I was talking to my parents about this blog just yesterday and realized that it sounds like we are quite the busy family with loads of guests and travel adventures. In our reality, our life seems quite routine and at times even a little boring. We pack the kids’ lunches, take them to school, Joel goes to work, I go to work (sometimes:), we cook dinner, clean the house, go to the grocery store, etc.. We do all the things we did in the States, but with less family and friends nearby to keep us constantly entertained or distracted, however you want to look at it. I guess that is when you know you have acclimated to your new town/life abroad, you get into your routine. In a way it is a really comforting feeling to feel settled. So just when we start to feel settled, we need something to keep us entertained of course. For those of you who read this and know us quite well, we are not so good at sitting still or just ‘settling in’ at home. Luckily, October has brought us plenty of fun already.
Joel’s Aunt Marlene and Uncle David made the trip to Tromsø during their fall break from working at the University of Utah. A little background is needed here. When I was in PT school we lived in Salt Lake City with Marlene and David for 6 weeks while I completed a clinical there. We immediately were welcomed into their home and their family. We feel an extra special bond with them and were delighted when they decided to come see us in this Arctic world. It is not an easy trip to get to Tromsø, typically 4 airplanes and 20+ hours of travel. Marlene and David are seasoned travelers of the globe and Marlene is getting into photography, so of course Northern Norway is a perfect destination … at least we think so! We began their visit with a weekend retreat to the island of Sommarøy, directly west of Tromsø and nestled out in the Northern Norwegian Sea. We rented a nice cabin on the coast, explored the nearby hiking area Hillesøy, enjoyed some great meals, great company and an overall relaxing weekend away from home.
We returned to Tromsø and within hours it began to snow. It continued to snow and snow and snow. Marlene and David were troopers, making the walks into town, tromping through the snow with the kids and reveling in the beauty of the first snow of winter in the Arctic North. Pretty cool.
After our guests departed, on their way home via a few day stop in Iceland, the snow just kept on coming. There were periods of sunshine interspersed between the big snowflakes falling, but is was mostly just snow. This morning I woke up to several fresh inches of new snow. The kids have been busy sledding, cross country skiing, making snow forts and snow men. It is beautiful here right now and so much fun to watch the kids with big ear to ear smiles on their faces, loving the winter wonderland. Little do they know this will likely be the longest winter of their lives given that last year the snow storms continued through the end of April! The local say the snow typically turns to rain at some point and stays a mix of snow, rain, and ice until February. We just want the snow to stick around until we depart for the States for the holidays in early December. One can hope!