Friday, July 31, 2009

End of the In-Between Year

Back from Banff, back from an awesome conference. Tomorrow we fly to Norway. Final packing to do... so many bags to bring with us -- 10 checked backs, plus 2 carry-ons each, for a total of 20 bags. It will be a full van, and I'll have to pack straps to secure bags to our station wagon when we arrive in Norway.

Geir will bring our Mercedes to the airport, and they should be expecting us at the new house around noon Friday. This month has gone well... 4000 miles on the van, and a few more by plane with my surprise trip back to Banff. There are still plenty of things that can go wrong in the next 36 hours. Fingrene krysset!

Well, the in-between year is at an end. How much Norwegian have I learned? Enough to get by? It will be what it is...

And I suppose this post marks the end of Naylors in Norway 2. Come Friday, we start year 3! Ha det bra!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cadillac, Ann Arbor, and Lansing

The kids were so excited driving into Cadillac. Here they are for a week of playing in the lake and being kept busy every moment by Ann and Ike. We had a great time, and then I was on the road to Ann Arbor for a conference on math, neuroscience, and music mixing. An astonishingly good weekend.

I picked up Pam in Mount Pleasant and we drove to her dad's in Lansing. We'll be here for a couple of days while he recovers with a new shoulder joint.

Finally resolved issues with the moving company, and our container is on its way after a 2-week delay because of various complications. It's a relief.

Continuing reading Jernvognen. It's going a little quicker now. It's funny to be not only reading but also enjoying a story in another language. The book has grabbed my attention.

Planning now to go to the Bridges math art conference. It's back in Banff, go figure! I'll be adding 4 days of craziness to our last week here, but it will be worth it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Luxemburg

Our first big stop: Luxemburg Wisconsin, home to my mother and sister. It's good to be someplace we can unpack and run free for a few days.

2250 miles so far.

I've been playing Norwegian songs as much as I can in the car -- children's tunes, Disney tunes, Pokemon. As much as I can get away with until the family begs for something else. They're still not quite as enthusiastic as I am!

Our cell phone works again, so I've been making some final arrangements, canceling phone service and garbage, and trying to find out how our moving company is doing. Some last minute snags have me a bit worried, and I still don't know if our stuff is on its way yet. Hmm.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

July 4th

Winnipeg was disappointing... we arrived early evening and drove through the city. Many parts looked interesting and we wanted to stop, but we found ourselves propelled through the city without direction. We spotted no suitable hotel that looked inexpensive and would allow pets, and so we drove south from the city, through a string of small towns. The only hotel on this route looked pretty seedy, so we asked some kids at a gas station. They said to not go to the hotel across the street. They sent us to Morris, a fair distance across country roads, including a dirt road for several miles.

But, we found a nice Super 8 "Stampede Inn" in Morris, near the U.S. border and had an uneventful night. On Saturday, we crossed the border, drove through North Dakota (past Oslo, ND), Minnesota, and into Wisconsin. My goal was to get to a large small town and find a hotel near where there would be fireworks. Eau Claire, Wisconsin, fit the bill perfectly.

We stayed at the Days Inn, with an indoor pool and hottub. The motel was crowded with loud families and friendly partiers and nervous teens smoking in the parking lot -- a real slice of America. I took the kids swimming while Pam worked on coursework for her second Master's degree. We walked down and got Taco Bell. We arrived at 9:50, and the lobby was locked even though their sign said they were open until 10:00. We had to convince them to sell to us through the drive-through. A passionate oration about our family's "Fourth of July dream of eating tacos while watching fireworks" finally crumbled their will, and we left with bags of goodies.

It was a pretty good show. We got back to the motel in time to catch the end of Star Wars Return of the Jedi. A very satisfying day. Happy Birthday, America!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Moose Jaw & Winnipeg

Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan last night, Winnipeg Manitoba tonight.

Enjoyed "Norse Gods and Legends" audiobook, and yesterday listened to "Thor's Wedding". This book was built around some of the norse legends, so it was really nice to have had the background from the first audiobook while listening to this second book.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Banff 2

Celebrated Canada Day with the Toonie Pancake breakfast, then a gondola ride up Sulpher mountain for more fantastic views. Short drive today to Calgary.

Entering Calgary, this amazing rainbow. A double with a dark band between the arcs. Wow!