Monday, September 12, 2011

When It Rains, It Pours...Literally

Well, its been a rainy few weeks! For a while, I thought that the "warm" sunny weather we had the first 2 weeks was a fluke.  It rained everyday for, honestly, the last 12 days.  Not all day, but enough to keep you indoors.  Luckily, things started to dry up enough for us to take a little hike earlier this week.  We walked up the trails by our house, which we have started to add into our weekly routine.  The water level from the creek was so high!  It was crashing up on the rocks close to the trail.

Check out how high it was in the picture below!  This is the bridge that we cut across on our way to the arena and gym.  It almost felt unsafe to be on the other day with how high the water was. We ran into a man on the trail that told us that there hasn't been this much water held up in the reservoir since the late 70's!
Anyways, you get the rained alot!  But the rain also left everything so darn green. It was hard not to stop flashing pictures.  I will show you one more that I think is really cool.  I didn't notice this waterfall last year...and maybe it's just because of all the rain but it was beautiful.

Gino's team had a tournament against 4 other teams this past weekend, called the Strandtorget Cup.  There were 3 teams in Gino's league, including Lillehammer (Stor Hamar and Sparta) and one Swedish team, called Leksand.  The Swedish team is from the 2nd league in Sweden and probably a step up from the Norwegian league. Side note: Lillehammer played them in an exhibition game before the tournament and ended up winning 3-2 in over time.  Let's just say the game against them was intense!  Lillehammer wouldn't back down.  From the stands, both teams were playing very aggressively. It was a great win but unfortunately didn't count for the tourney because it was an exhibition  For the first game in the tournament they played Stor Hamar, which you will remember from last year, is their rival.  We ended up beating them 4-1, not as intense.  The final game was against Leksand. Lillehammer ended up losing by 5-2 but out shot them by about 20 shots.  That was ok with everyone, they played really hard and it was an exhausting weekend for the guys.  After the final game, there was a beer tent with food music and of course drinks.  A couple of us went and enjoyed a glass of wine before heading over to a friends house for a few more glasses of wine!  It was a fun night. 

I just came across this picture that I have to share.  When the girls and I were waiting for the guys to come out of the locker room after the game I saw this contraption that looked like a coat rack.  Except, there were two hairdryers plugged into the wall that were attached to the base with tape, blowing air up through each arm.  Guys were putting their gloves and skates on the arms, assuming they were drying them.  Obviously, I thought it looked ridiculous! 

For all of you "unknowledgable" hockey fans: Little did I know, the contraption wasn't as weird as I thought. Look strange to anyone else!?  Gino told me later that night that they use them back in the States but they're an actual product made to dry gloves and skates.  This was pretty much a home made glove dryer, hence the hair dryers taped to the bottom.  Learned something new!
I've been trying out a few new recipes every week and thought I would share a couple of them in each blog update.  None of the recipes I use are too tough  or call for a million ingredients.   Of course, some turned out better than others, but these were a few of our favorites this week.  You must try them out and let me know what you think! PS.  These are not my beautiful photos...taken from the websites I found the recipes on.

Chicken Rollatini with Spinach alla Parmigiana

Shrimp Foil Pasta

Friday was another spectacular day for weather, so a few of the girls and I went for a hike.  We left the house around 1:45pm and didn't realize we had been gone for almost 2 hours by the time we started to head back.  I have to share a few photos, of course.  We stopped to take pictures of this rainbow, and a man on the path behind us said that we had to make a wish.  Am I the only one that didn't know you're supposed to make a wish when you see a rainbow?  I know about wishing on a star...but not a rainbow.  hmmm.

Oh and did I forget to mention we all randomly decided to wear pink and black on the hike?  How crazy is that! All of us, unplanned, decided to wear pink and black.  You can imagine the laugh we had when we all saw each other for the first time. HA

One big change from last year to this year is that I will be working!  I was fortunate enough to have met this guy after one of the games last year named Kevin.  He right away started talking to a few of us girls and told us he was from Detroit Lakes, MN.  SMALL WORLD.  He moved to Lillehammer three years ago and was working, at the time, at a hotel restaurant.  We kind of kept in touch over the year/Summer and met up right when we got over here this season.  He is now working at another restaurant in town called Lundegarden, one of the more fancy restaurants. Its catered to groups with a more sophisticated pallet....or people that like meat, ha.  One of the best and most popular dishs on the menu is Reindeer.  We haven't tried it yet but it looks delicious!  Ok, moving on...
So after meeting with Kevin, he told me and my friend Jillian that he had some fill-in catering jobs available.  He also had two cleaning jobs opening up in November at another resturant in a ski resort about 20 min outside of Lillehammer.
 We went in for a "trial" on Saturday night, catering for a wedding of 47 people.  The wedding was actually for a guy that owns a popular grocery store chain in Norway, so he was pretty rich.  His one request of the night was to make sure that no one had an empty wine glass.  It turned out to be alot of fun and we made a little money!  I guess the minimum wage varies depending on what industry you work in, but Kevin said that we would be getting 130 NOK/hr..which is around $25/hr.  BUT, he said that with the high taxes, to expect that at least 36% will be taken out. That leaves us with about $15/hr.  Doesn't sound as good as $25! But, it will be great to make a little of my own money here and there.  I won't be working a typical 9-5.  Just basically filling in on random catering events.  The cleaning job will be a few hours a week starting at the end of November. Ill keep you posted on all of that.

I'm kind of jumping around here but we're happily awaiting the arrival of my mom and dad this Thursday 15th!  They'll be here until the 21st and then jetting off to Paris for a week.  Everytime I take a walk to the cafe's or hiking through the mountains I think, "man, my parents would LOVE this".  Now they'll get to experience it for themselves and not live vicariously through my many photos!  It'll be great to have them visit and see how we do things "Norwegian" style.  We found out earlier last month that there's an extra apartment in our building that we can check out for visitors.  Works out perfectly!

Gino's first regular season game was just lastnight (Sunday) against Stjernen (pronounced steer-nen).  The game was in Fredrickstad, about 45 min south of Oslo.  Lillehammer outshot them but ended up loosing the game 3-2.  Stjernen played hard and the goalie played really well.  Gino said they had alot of chances but couldn't seem to score.  We're hoping for a big win on Thursday at home against Manglerud, from Oslo.  This will also be the first game my parents see, so hopefully they bring some good luck!  If you'd like to follow Gino and the team/league you can click on this link

That's all I have for now, but I wanted to touch on one final note...

I'm sure by now most of you have heard of the horrific plane crash involving the Russian KHL hockey team, Lokomotiv. This has truly hit home for us. The day it happened, Gino had an away game and ended up finding out about 20 min into his roadtrip. He said that the team had a hard time playing that night and that the focus was taken off the game and more so on finding out how something like this could have happened. When you play hockey you know what goes on with the team dynamic (families, friends, teammates) and you become so close to those people as a group. It just makes you think that this could have happened to any team and how unimaginable it would be to lose an entire group of guys with wives, children, etc in the matter of minutes. I think I can confidently speak on behalf of everyone in the hockey world when I say that this horrible tragedy has numbed us all and has made us all realize how precious life is. My prayers are with all of the families involved. I hope they can soon find peace.
RIP Lokomotiv

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