At Thanksgiving I traveled back to Trondheim for a conference. I knew the university would be offering me a contract, so my family had decided that this trip would mark the decision point for whether or not we would return to Norway next year.
My boss picked me up at the airport and we spent the day together, talking, eating, scheming about the future, and indeed she presented me with a very good contract to think about over the weekend. By the time I got settled into my hotel, I had been awake for 35 hours and was running on pure adrenaline.
I stayed at Hotel Britannia, a fancy old hotel in the heart of downtown Trondheim. In the morning they offer a vast breakfast buffet and I feasted on gravelaks (raw salmon) and scrambled eggs, my new favorite breakfast, before heading out on foot to the university. What a feeling to be back in Trondheim! Walking across the bridge into Bakklandet, seeing the brightly colored buildings on the river, the university up on the hill, the spires of the Nidaros cathedral in the low morning light... memories came flooding in and I knew this was where I wanted to be.
The conference was terrific, busy with talks to give and attend and old friends to meet. Sunday evening I spent with Daniel, Evelina, and Hilde. Monday evening I attended a puzzle-dinner with the conference group. Tuesday afternoon I took presents to the international school and was greeted by enthusiastic throngs of children wondering if Mrs. Naylor and the kids would be coming back. Yes, they would, I told them.
After school, off to a baby shower for Bruno with faculty of the school, then to dinner with Mauro at an Italian restaurant, and finally drinks at Den Gode Nabo with Mat, Patrick, and Kristina. Wednesday morning I packed up and left, making a stop at a morning concert. Daniel and daughter Sophia, and Teresa and daughter Anna Lola, were performing in their first concert. New violinists playing with experience musicians -- it sounded really good and was a happy send-off to the airport. I headed home feeling like the trip was much much much too short.
Back in Washington, we made the decision we had been thinking of making since the day we left Norway back in July. We will return.