Thursday, August 25, 2011

Summer In The "Hammer"

  We've been a little MIA the last few weeks so I thought I better send out another update!  Trying to get out of the apartment and enjoy the Summer for as long as we can...which won't be that much longer unfortunately.   Gino started his exhibition games last week (3 of them so far..which they all won!)  so he's been busy training and working out to get ready for the regular season.  I, on the other hand, have gotten back into the Euro routine of waking up at 10:00 AM, having a morning cup of coffe as I check my email, get in a little cardio at the gym, meet Gino at home for lunch, little grocery run..etc..etc.  It feels good to be back here and back in the swing of things.  I promised some pictures last time and made it a point to take a bunch!  If you get bored looking at them...scroll on through.  Remember those strawberries I was talking about!?  There are a few of these stands set up around town.

 We've been taking alot of walks into town and strolling around the parks.  Its just beautiful in August!  I wish the weather could be like this the rest of the year.  Just like a Minnesota Summer! 
Walking down into town from our apartment

In the town square area,  by the movie theatre and behind the main walking street, is a farmers market.  I just had to post this picture.  So many beautiful colors!

Oh, by the way, we bought a new camera (Canon SX 130IS).  Hence, the bright colors!  Not to say they aren't this bright in person, but I'm sure my camera enhances them a bit, ha. 
We have a car that we're sharing with a few of the other couples but Gino and I have been trying to walk as much as possible while the weather is still nice.  There's an area about 1/4th a mile away from our apartment that has some walking trails and a gorgeous creek that runs into a little pool of water.  I've see people swimming and sun bathing on the grass/rocks the few times that I've walked by.  I felt the water the other day and its FREEZING! So, Im not sure how the heck they were able to jump in and swim around.  Not for me!

Instead....we've been taking full advantage of our little patio. Gino's probably going to kill me for posting this picture. Oops!

This is sort of a side note...and may be a little boring for some of you, but I have to share!  I decided at the last minute to pack my small appetizer crockpot and lug it over with us.  It was, without a doubt, the single best item I brought over!!!  Before we left MN, we bought a huge oversized suitcase and it fit just perfectly.  This has brought my cooking repertoire to a whole new level! My friend Blair, found this blog about a woman who cooked every meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) out of a crockpot for a full year.  Her site talks about how to make candles, drinks, etc with a crockpot.  I have the blog posted under, Other Blogs Worth Following.  It's called "A year of slow cooking".  If you're a crockpot fanatic, like I've become, you'll love it!

So, the car that we have this year is an automatic!!! YES...AUTOMATIC.  This means everything to me!  I wasn't able to learn how to drive the standard we had last year beause, a few weeks after I did the snow.  I wasn't about to start the driving lessons in snow, let alone a town built on a steep hill. It's not the most fun having to ask your husband to drive and pick you up all the time. In a way, your sense of independence is out the door.  So, it's great that I don't have to learn how to operate the vehicle.  I just need to feel comfortable driving on the Euro roads and not using stop signs (there isn't a stop sign in the entire town...RULE: cars on the right get the right of way).  I took the car for a spin a few days ago, and we decided to drive up a little higher into the hills.  This day was pretty cloudy.  You can tell the top of the picture is all white, half the mountains were under the thick clouds.

Later that day, we walked into town for a stroll through one of the parks.  There were dozens of people lounging around.  We found a cafe with a pavillion where people were drinking wine and beer. Having a grand ol' time! I still can't figure out anyone's work schedule....the town is consistantly busy with people drinking, eating, and moseying around all hours of the day.  Looks to me like happy hour is every hour!  I took a picture of this old Protestant church at the edge of the park.  It reminds me a little of the church we got married in!

Speaking of church, Gino, Kyle (another MN on the team) and I, went to a Catholic service last Sunday.  The church is about a mile from our apartment, pretty close to the church in the picture.  Anyways, its very small and shaped like a triangle.  There were probably about 50 people at the service and the church looked full.  The entire mass was in Norwegian, which I thought would be difficult to understand, but we basically knew what part of the mass they were at the entire time.  We would recite the English version in our heads!  We weren't able to understand the homily or gospel but could pick out a few words. They have handouts with the gospel readings in four different languages, German, Polish, Norwegian, and English.  They happened to be out of the English sheets that day.  For communion, no one put there hands out to receive the bread.  Instead, the priest dipped the bread in the wine and fed it to you.  I actually preferred that, rather than drinking out of the same cup that 50 other people just had their mouths on.  Seemed a little more healthy!   It was a cool experience, and we all said we would go back this Sunday.

On Monday, we took a walk into town and got a cup of ice cream from one of the outside street vendors.  The cup was about half the size of the smallest Coldstone cup, but it was delicous! It better have been cost us $7!  We got some kind of carmel coffee flavor.  We took our ice cream and sat on a bench down by the creek that runs through downtown.

Not to look like a creeper...but I saw these little girls throwing penny's into the water, assuming they were making a wish.  Thought it was cute!

Tuesday was probably one of the warmest day's since we arrived.  The guys had a game and were pretty much housebound the whole day so my friend Jillian and I decided to head down to the lake.  We brought magazines, a blanket and just sprawled out on the grass near the water and talked for a few hours.  It was so beautiful!  I told Gino he has to take me down for a picnic next time!  There were a few picnic tables, fire pit and sand volleyball courts.  Again, there were a few kids swimming in the water but it was as warm as Lake Superior (cold, cold, cold!).  I don't know how they do it!

  This next weekend, Lillehammer is hosting a huge bike tournament called the Birkebeiner.  It's about a 55 mile race that starts in Rena, Norway which is straight East of Lillehammer up in the mountains.  The race brings roughly 40,000 people to Lillehammer each year.  The finish line is at the Olympic arena where we work out.  So, this entire week, the town has been preparing for the festivites by setting up beer tents, stages, parking lots, etc.
 That's all I've got for now!  Ill hopefully have a fun update in a few weeks about the race and also about the Strandtorget Cup Tournament that Gino's team will be playing in Sept 3 & 4th.  Have a great week!

1 comment:

  1. Love this blog! Your town is SO cute and cozy, seems so down to earth and relaxed. I love all the colors and trees!! Seems like you're back into the swing of things already! Keep on writing and we will skype again soon!