Friday, January 14, 2011

Bra (Good) times in Lillehammer

Happy New Year!  2011, wow  (That year seems very futuristic).  I hope you all had a safe and happy new year with your family and friends.  Gino and I spent the New Year with the Lillehammer gang at our place.  The ladies got together early in the day to make up about 20 rolls of sushi, which happens to be our new favorite group dinner to make.  A combination of philly rolls, shrimp tempura rolls, and California rolls, fried rice, and egg rolls.  YUM.  We have alot of fun making them! If you haven't before and like sushi, try it!  It's nice to have our girl time with a little wine. We basically laughed the entire night.  It was great!  The guys went to another apartment and watched the Canada/Sweden World Juniors game.  We all met up together a few hours later for food, drinks and farkle.  Anyone who has ever played farkle knows how addicting it is!  The game has become like our "new friend" in the group, we bring it to every get together, ha.

 At midnight (5pm MN time), we started hearing loud bangs/explosions outside of our window.  It sounded like we were being attacked or something.  To our suprise, they were fireworks!  We didn't know this but I guess fireworks are HUGE on New Years Eve in Norway.  We said that if we would have known, we could have climbed to the top of the ski jump and watched from there.  The view is amazing alone, but to see fireworks being shot off in a 5 mile radius would have been pretty neat.  From our balcony, you could see fireworks going off all around us...literally.  Here is a video Gino took, its pretty dark but you can see how many houses were letting them off right on top of us!  Sorry about all the screaming... we were so close and the girls were nervous!

My 26th......27th....OK 28th! Birthday was on Jan 9th.  I know it's not that old...but I'm so close to 30 it's scary!  It seems like just yesterday I graduated from college.  The last 6 years have gone by so fast.  Once your life starts rolling, it doesn't stop.  Anyways, Gino and I celebrated on the 7th because he was going to be gone all day on the 9th at an away game.  We have not spent my birthday together....EVER!  This would have been the first except for that thing called hockey got in the way.  We went out for dinner at an old brewery in town called the Bryggerikjelleren...we still can't pronounce it correctly.  The brewery was built in 1855 and we were told they have the best steaks in Lillehammer.  Here is a picture of the brewery, it was underground which was really cool! 

I ordered a tenderloin steak with bernaise sauce and Gino ordered the lamb.  They were both very very good.  I would say pretty comparable to a Mannys or Capital Grill type quality.  The meal came to about 700 NOK, roughly $100.  Not so bad! Pretty much what we had expected.  When we got home from dinner Gino had made a mudpie cake and put a heart made with candles in the middle.  It was really sweet and tasted great! 

After dessert, we pulled out the couch and watched a movie, an end to a wonderful night.  On my actual birthday, the girls and I got together in the morning for our daily workout/sauna and met up later that evening for wine and cheese.  We ended up watching The Black Swan.  For those of you who have seen it and liked it....can you please explain!!??  We were so disappointed and confused. I won't give anything away, but I just wish they would have explained a little more of the story at the end. 

The weather has been pretty warm lately.  Between 20-30 degrees each day.  The sun is staying out longer and longer too!  Throughout Nov-Dec and part of Jan the sun would rise at about 9:30am and set at about 3pm.  It was strange to be walking around outside running errands in the dark. But you get used to it pretty fast. We've been spending alot of time reading and relaxing in front of our "fireplace"...

We have a slingbox connected to our tv at home so we can watch American TV, OnDemand, and DVR shows.  Well there's an option through OnDemand under tv entertainment, screensavers.  We pretend to be in front of a fireplace or sunset on the beach or a waterfall, HA.  

  There has been alot of snow, which I've heard isn't much different from MN right now!  It snowed straight for about 2 days and almost covered the cars in our parking lot. 

 Gino only has 14 games left of the season!!! Then playoffs.  It flew by!  Probably because we were finally together.  His tooth ended up being dead so he had a root canal last week.  It only took about 30 min and he said it didn't hurt at novicane either!  I don't know if I could have been as brave.  He got a little banged up at the last game and skated off the ice with a bloody nose.  When I saw him skating off and making a bee line for the locker room I thought he had broken his nose.  But it turns out he just bumped his cheekbone and the side of his nostril.  He said that it felt weird like his nostril was flapping so he had thought he sliced right through but it turned out to be just a cut. Crossing my fingers, NO MORE INJURIES!
 Hopefully the next time I write, we will know where Gino is playing next year.  I'm excited but anxious to find out. This year has been great and 'Ive loved the time off from work...obviously.  But not only that, we have met great friends and experienced a few different cultures.  Our adventures over seas won't go on forever, so we're trying to soak up as much as we can while we have the chance. The plan right now is to do this for a few more years  and as long as Gino's still having a good time and enjoying the game, im in 100%.

 Have a great last half off Jan! love you

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