4 Nov 2007

Weekend Wanderings

Saturday morning, having fought and won the dreaded Battle of the Shower* against the boys, we made our way to Oslo for a change of scenery. After parking our little Golf near Aker Brygge, we grabbed our coats and walked up towards Karl Johan Gate. It was a chilly morning, but we didn't feel cold thanks to the sunshine and brisk walking.

Karl Johan (so named after King Karl Johan) is the main thoroughfare in Oslo, connecting the Central Railway Station in one end with the Royal Palace in the other, passing Stortinget (Parliament) and the National Theatre on the way. The lower part of the street is a cobble stoned pedestrian only walkway, and this is where you'll find all the upmarket boutiques that Oslo has to offer. The upper part of the street is a wide boulevard with a park and the National Theatre on one side, the University of Oslo's Faculty of Law on the other, and, at the very end, the Royal Palace.

During the summer, Karl Johan is bustling with people shopping or enjoying a drink or meal at one of the numerous cafes and restaurants lining either side. In the wintertime, the park between the National Theatre and Stortinget is turned into a skating rink, to the amusement of children young and old. The street is truly the heart of the capital, and it is my favourite place to visit in Oslo.

Our boys are particularly fond of playing in the Royal Gardens, but this time around, we decided to walk down towards the Central Railway Station. The street artists scattered along the way provided the necessary amusement to keep the boys going, despite my occasional pit stops into various clothing stores.

Next to the railway station are a couple of newer shopping centres, where we managed to pick up a new pair of indoor running shoes for Christopher. I was shocked to find that he now has bigger feet than me. My feet are on the small side, but having your child outgrow you in anything is nevertheless a milestone. And yet another sign that they are growing up much too quickly.

After a gourmet lunch at McDonald's for our nugget-deprived boys, we leisurely strolled back to the car along the Oslo fjord, passing the infamous City Hall on our way.

As we left Oslo, we happened to see the Color Line cruise ship that we are scheduled to go to Kiel on in a fortnight. The boys were extremely impressed with the sheer size of the ship, and are now looking forward to our mini-getaway.

Sunday morning was yet another crisp but beautifully sunny day, allowing us to meet up with my sister and her boys for a good 7 km trek on forest trails. Christopher has been a good walker for some time, but I am noticing a big change in Benjamin, who now keeps up with his brother and cousins, and does not complain when walking for several hours. I'd forgotten just how pleasant these walks can be without continuous whining and whinging about feeling tired, having sore feet, being cold, hungry or thirsty.

Today's walk took us from Landfalltjernen to Tverken cottage, where we stopped and purchased freshly made waffles from the city-run cottage. And truly, there's nothing like eating waffles and drinking home-made hot chocolate on a lovely fall day.

Compared to last weekend, when I was ready to give my boys away for free, getting out and moving around did wonders for us this weekend. I am still noticing signs of teenageritis in Christopher, but I'm happy to report that the fresh air improved his symptoms somewhat.

I'll sign off with this final piece of happy news. Remember my plans to sneak off with this Object of Absolute Cuteness?

Well, as luck would have it, I no longer need to: Ann and Per have graciously asked Mike and I to be Godparents for baby nephew Emil. We are both honoured and extremely excited! I also believe this grants me rights to access at all times, which will come in handy whenever my children are acting, you know, like 7 and 10 year olds.

*To be addressed at a later date, as I currently do not have the energy required to describe - in sufficient and necessary detail - the amount of persuasion, coaxing, threatening and bribing required to get my children to SHOWER.


thirtysomething said...

Oh how envious I am of your chance to be in such a gorgeous place. My time in Europe (Germany) thirteen years ago as an exchange student has never left my heart. While I was there, I had the opportunity to travel to other countries - Italy, Austria, France, the former Yugoslavia - and fell in love with all of it. The cafe's, the cuisine, the art and music in the streets, people's attitudes and especially those day-long treks through the wilderness that were family outings.
Enjoy, enjoy!

Oh, funny...my oldest son is also just now growing out of his shoes and will require a size larger than my feet...does feel strange, huh. Must be a 10 y.o. boy thing.

And thanks for the sweet note on my blog today!

thirtysomething said...

Oh, I forgot - that sweet baby! Aren't you lucky!

Lisa said...

Thanks for posting about this so all of us envious readers can live vicariously through you all. :-)

Sorry my site slow to load. Have no idea why. Did change the design today. (The former one was a mess on Foxfire from what I've heard and am too dumb to fix it.) Hopefully the new template will load quicker.

Karen MEG said...

Thanks for giving us a glimpse of another fun filled weekend!
Hey, it must be an all-out World War on the Shower - we're having a major skirmish back here too. I've resorted to physically tossing child in ... I can't do that much longer without breaking my back. What's with that?!!!

Congrats on being godparents - what a lovely honour, and for such a cutie-pie!!

Victoria said...

Ahhh...lovely! Waffles, walking and no whining! Sounds all around good. I love the glimpses you're giving us of your adventures! Such nice pics too!

Oh, and my Boy (7) is anti-shower. He. Hates. 'Em.

And that yummy baby! Congrats!

gmcountrymama said...

Beautiful pictures and sounds like you all had a lovely day.
Congrats on becoming God Parents.

Jennifer (Jen on the Edge) said...

What a great weekend. You really are having the most amazing adventures.

painted maypole said...

sounds like a great day!

Kathryn said...

Wow. So much fun! Nothing better than a long trek on a beautiful fall day. Love the photos!

Gina said...

Sounds like a wonderful, wonderful weekend.

Valarie said...

Wow! That is so awesome. I will think of you when I am having my amazing adventure today. It will consist of taking a long walk down dirty dishes drive where, at the end I will get a lovely view of the garbage disposal. I think I may endeavor to climb Mount Laundry as well.

hokgardner said...

How wonderful that you and your kids are getting to see and explore so much of the world. I'm envious!

Cyn said...

You guys have the best adventures! I couldn't blast my kids out on Saturday and it was a perfectly beautiful fall day here.

Kellan said...

Such a nice tour for me of Oslo! What a wonderful weekend for your and your family! It's such a gift for your children, these walks and these trips. Have a great day. See ya.

Mountain Dweller said...

Oslo looks like a wonderful city to visit, thanks for the tour!
Sorry to hear about the teenageritis - my daughter is eleven and has had the same symptoms for the last couple of years..
ps Lucky you for being godmother to such a gorgeous baby!

Hae Yung said...

Pictures of the downtown Oslo brought back great memories of Norway. I think as kids get older, they seem to grow out of one issues and other problems come up. It is one thing or another. I look forward to seeing Christopher and Benjamin very much to see they growth and maturity. Emil looks soooo adorable. Babies are so sweet and cute before they give us attitudes.

Who She She said...

Emil is one delicious baby. Lucky you! I hear you about the teenageritis. My oldest is almost 7, and I'm seeing signs of it already. Fresh air and a good workout do help. Nice post. Sounds like it was a lovely weekend.

Beck said...

And then there's my daughter, who would happily shower forever.
But she's a girl.
Oh, that BABY! What a cutie! And lucky you for visiting such gorgeous places...

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

I have absolute sympathy with you on several items:

1. The showering issue. WHY do they find it so repulsive?
2. The day when your boys' feet are bigger than yours. It's a sad, sad day. And I have really big feet.
3. Wanting to kidnap other people's babies. I SOOO love babies. I beg all my friends to have more so I can hold them.

P.S. I'm so jealous of your charming life there in Norway. The only place to go here on the weekends is the park. Blech.

Julie Pippert said...

Thank you for taking me on that walk with you. :)

Using My Words

another good thing said...

Love the street entertainers and the shots. Nice.
regarding showers, I just put in a dual head massaging shower, with a handheld sprayer-- I can't keep my 9 year old out of there. Also, soap crayons that draw on the walls worked well at the 5 and 6 year old time frame.

LoriD said...

Mmm... I can almost smell those fresh waffles and hot chocolate. I can't believe your 7 year old does a 7km walk without complaining... that's awesome!

Rimarama said...

I'm so jealous of your weekend! Your description of Karl Johan drive brought back memories of wandering through Salzberg during the holiday season over a decade ago.

And waffles made from scratch with hot cocoa after a brisk walk? Man, Norway sounds like my kind of place!

sandy shoes said...

A hike without whining! I remember those. Good to see they can happen again :).

hellomelissa said...

teenageritis has already hit our house. and he's only 8.

great adventures!

BeachMama said...

Sounds like a wonderful weekend. I so look forward to taking walks and doing fun stuff with kids that want to be out there and can keep up.

And Oslo sounds so wonderful it must be fabulous to have this opportunity to see all these wonderful places.

And congrats on becoming Godparents.