I'll start with food...one of my favorites! A group of us went out to dinner a couple Sunday's ago, which to remind you, we don't get to do that often. We went out after a game to a restaurant called "Dolly Dimples", known for having dozens of different types of pizza. One of the other couples we were with had eaten there before and tried the "Dangerous Margarita Pizza" and said it was amazing! So we looked through the menu and noticed that there were 4 margarita pizza versions. The classic margarita pizza, sexy margarita pizza, vampire margarita pizza, and dangerous margarita pizza. All had their special added topping. We went with the dangerous margarita pizza which had basil pesto as it's added topping. Honestly, it was probably one of the best pizzas I have ever had! There were 10 HUGE pieces and Gino and I scarfed it all down....YUM. The best meal I've had in Norway thus far was pizza, go figure!
The wives and I have gotten into a great habit of going to the gym every morning...well almost every morning. Anyways, the gym we work out in is located in the same building where the 94 Olympic hockey games were played (Hakons Hall). You can see the building from our house and its about an 8-10 min walk down a few unpaved hills. Since we've had alot of snow in Norway, the hike to the gym has been a little more difficult for the ladies and I. Our shoes/boots don't have enough traction, so we basically have to try and crouch close to the ground and ski down the hills. It's scary and hilarious all at the same time!
|Blair skiing/falling down one of the hills|
With all the walking up and down hills in Lillehammer, I knew I had to buy new boots with better traction. With the prices of everything in Norway being about triple what they are in the US a cheap, plastic, pair of boots are still $100. After searching around for boots for about 2 weeks and not finding anything I pretty much gave up and decided I'll just have to hold onto someone when Im walking....until we started seeing the old ladies in town walking up the hills with spikes on their feet!! Done...im getting those!
|My new spikes! Work wonderfully|
I have to talk about Gino's hair for a minute. Being a hockey player and all, the hair comes with the territory. He is constantly having to tuck it under his helmet during games so he decided to shave it. We borrowed a razor from one of the guys and shaved his head about a week ago and it looks great! For how much hair came off his head, I thought we would find hair through out the house for months! That was a little random, but I thought it was worth telling:)
A couple of days after he shaved his head, he came home from practice a little later than usual with a puffy lip and a bloody tooth. During practice, he was hit with a puck in the mouth and his tooth was pushed down out of his gums (makes me weak to think about it). He said that it was hanging there like a vampire tooth! He immediatly left the ice and went to the dentist where they shot him up with novicane and pushed the tooth back up into his gum (feeling weak writing this). They put a little stint on the outside of the tooth to hold it in place.
I wasn't able to get a good picture of the inside of his mouth! But it was pretty bruised and bloody. A week later, we went back into the dentist for a checkup and they said he needs to leave the stint on for another 2 weeks. The dentist tested his nerve in his tooth to see how much sensitivity Gino could feel. He couldn't feel much so he thinks it might be dead. Now were just waiting to see if the tooth turns grey..if that happens...ROOT CANAL! We're hoping for the best!
I brought the video camera to the last couple of games, so I could tape the team's game entrance onto the ice. First all the lights go out in the arena and the theme song from "Pirates of the Carribean" comes on loudly! The team comes out of the locker room and walks around the ice to the main entrance where the zamboni usually enters and exits. There they have people holding the Lillehammer Hockey flags. All of a sudden it sounds like a shotgun, but its actually a firework that goes off in the arena and all the players skate onto the ice. The first game I went to, the girls warned me so I wouldnt jump...I still jumped.
Lillehammer fans love them some Gino! Maybe its the "Golden Helmet", or his newly shaved head, But they seem to love him! I tried to get a video of the crowd yelling his name after he scored, but I have the goal on tape instead! A couple minutes after someone scores they have a song that the announcer picks represents that player...Gino's song is "Sweet Home Alabama". I think they were trying to think of the song that sounded the most "American".
We celebrated Thanksgiving on Friday since the guys had a game Thursday. The 3 other North American wives and I got together and cooked the meal. I have to say...it was amazing!!! Lamb is really popular over here and usually eaten for holidays so finding a turkey was really hard. We finally found one the day before the big meal. This is what was on the menu: turkey, mashed potatoes/gravy, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls, salad, stuffing, pumpkin pie, chocolate dessert pie, and homeade apple cider. For appetizers we had a cream cheese taco dip, bacon wrapped smokies, and tortilla cream cheese pinwheels. Needless to say, we were stuffed! After dinner, the guys played cards and the ladies headed down to my apartment to watch the Macy's day parade that I taped on our slingbox. It was so nice to have an American Thanksgiving here in Norway:)
On Saturday the Lillehammer Christmas Market opened! We all assumed it would be set up on our main walking street (Storgata), but it was actually in the Maihaugen Open Air Museum. It's a 16th century town over looking the Masa lake. In the summertime, you can take tours around the property and people dress up in 16th century clothes and put on a performance at each building/house. None of us had been there before and thought it was a couple miles away so all 8 of us hopped in 2 cars and started driving. Turns out, the market was about 500 yards aways from our apartment...you could litterally see our apartment through the trees. Ooops. Anyways, once we arrived we had to find parking which was a little difficult because there were so many people! We got to the entrance of the market and had to pay a fee.
|Girls waiting while the guys pay:)|
Once we paid, we walked into the covered museum where they had a little cafe, and a bunch of Christmas stands selling ornaments, etc. Then, we walked out the back of the building and started on our walk through the town. A few of the old houses were open throughout the town for people to tour and in our case...warm up! (It was 9 degrees on with no sun). The houses were all pretty dark inside with only a fire and candle light. I couldnt imagine living through winter in Norway in the 1600's. Even with the fireplace taking up half of the house it was still probably about 40 degrees.
|Our crew taking up the entire fire space|
|Pretty table setting in one of the houses. Ready for Christmas!|
After walking around for about 30 min we decided to find some cider and a hot fire to sit by. We found the town square which was full of people and little food stands. I saw this big cauldron and thought there was some sort of meat cooking in it...nope it was porridge!
|Drinking our hot apple cider by the fire|
As you can see in the picture above there were a bunch of girls with santa hats and freckles painted on there face. I just thought they were being festive but it turns out they were Chrismas Carolers. We loved this! Could have sat by the fire and listened to them for hours.
Overall it was a really cute Christmas Market! It's only open for the weekend unlike other large cities in Europe. But, I'm glad we got to see it. When we got back in the car, it had felt like we were walking around for hours because of how cold we all were. Turns out, we were only gone for an hour and a half, HA. I think I can officially say Happy Holidays!
Stay tuned for the next update featuring the Gopher Girls Italian adventure!