Oslo

Place 93 – May 21 2022 & May 22 2022: Oslo 🇳🇴 – New Favourite City?

Day 1

We woke up for our last day at the farm and we were made some waffles for breakfast!

We went to see one of the kids’ gymnastics performance nearby. This was great to see all of the kids having fun.

Unfortunately we had to leave before it was done and drive to Oslo! We had never been so we wanted to see what it was like so we drove there to stay for our final night in Norway. We stopped in Kongsberg for snack and coffee, of course!

We got rid of the car, which wasn’t super easy to find and it was actually in a parking structure but maps took us to a different location! Once we did that we got ourselves checked in to our hotel which was right on one of the main streets.
We had a shower and freshened up before walking for some dinner.

We walked fairly far to get a burger for dinner but it was great as we got to see a lot of the city.

Once dinner was done, we continued our long walk around Oslo and all of the different areas! We also went to the cool looking opera house that they have in Oslo.

For the evening we had a nice relaxing time with snacks in bed and watched some TV.

Day 2

We had free breakfast at the hotel but it was a nightmare! Far too busy for such a small spot.

We walked to the King’s castle and we walked around the park that is attached to the castle. It was such a peaceful place to walk around and the architecture, as is Europe, was beautiful.

We went to ‘Frognerparken’ which is the famous park with a lot of nude sculptures in it, which is one part of it but also it’s a nice park and the sculptures look cool!


We walked to find ourselves a coffee and then walked to Askerhus festing, which is an old castle/military fort.


We walked quite far from here to ‘Gamle Oslo’ which is the old part of town which also has a very new part just around it. We wanted to check this out and we loved it.


We went back to the hotel to get ourselves sorted and then headed to catch the train to the airport.

We flew back to the UK to spend a couple more days there.

Kim’s dad, Tom, picked us up from the airport and we had a McDonald’s for dinner on the way home, of course! It was time to sleep once we got back.


Bergen

Place 16 – May 14 2022 to May 17 2022: Bergen – 17th May Celebrations!

Day 1

We had to get to the airport early in the morning but we didn’t mind as we were travelling to probably our favourite place, Bergen!

When we arrived, we met our great friends Espen & Marcus at the airport and they drove us to Espen’s apartment. We hung out with them at the apartment as well as meeting Espen’s girlfriend, Rikke, who is a wonderful person also!

Rikke made us some lunch, which was delicious, and we sat and had a conversation for a while.


We wanted to visit the city, as did our friends, so we all took the bus to the city and had a walk around.


Marcus’ dad owns a nightclub/bar in Bergen and he was working, whilst the FA Cup game was on, so we went to watch that with Espen (he’s a Liverpool fan) and we had some drinks and food.


We went back home and we watched Eurovision for the first time! We had a great time watching it actually, and it’s a big deal in Scandinavia. We had some homemade pizza whilst we watched that and then it was time to sleep.

Day 12:

We had some nice homemade breakfast lovingly made by Rikke & Espen.

We had a relaxed morning and watch the GB Vs Norway hockey game. We then got ourselves ready and headed into the city on the bus again.

We lazily walked around the city and tried to buy few things and look around some shops as well.

We went out in the afternoon/evening to watch Rikke in a cheerleading performance! It was super cool to see lots of different ages doing a similar thing but at different levels.

Day 13

We went out for brunch in city with our friends which was really nice! We had some good food and some amazing weather, so much so we were getting burnt from the sun.


We rented a car, so we went to pick that up. They told us there were no issues with it but it was quite scratched up, so we did a full walk around of that and then we set off! We drove to the city and parked up before going to get MANY cinnamon buns and coffee, as is the rule in Norway.

We went for a BBQ at Rikke’s parents’ place which was a really nice place, great food and they were really lovely people as well.


In the late evening, we went to meet another friend, Tony, for some drinks and a chat. The weather was so nice we were able to sit outside comfortably, too!

Day 14

This day was the national day for Norway and we were excited to celebrate!

We got all dressed up for breakfast, Curtis and Espen wore suits, Kim had a nice skirt on and Rikke had a Bunad on, the national outfit of Norway. The table looked all fancy and we had a really nice, big breakfast!

Espen & Rikke!


We took the (very busy) bus to the city to join the celebrations.


There was a parade and we were able to get a table outside to watch the parade and have some drinks! The weather was perfect again so we caught some sun, as well.


After the parade, we went out to Rilke’s aunt’s house for some food and chatting! Everyone was Norwegian so it was a good time to practice some as well. We tried some Rømmegrøt, which is basically ‘sour cream porridge’. When adding a lot of cinnamon sugar, it’s pretty good actually.

We went back to the apartment to get changed into comfortable clothes and relax after a long busy, but fun, day!


We ate homemade cheesecake and strawberries whilst we relaxed and we were all super tired.


Marcus and his girlfriend, Stine, arrived and we got to meet her for the first time. We all sat and chatted and had a really fun time. This was when Curtis finally got the confidence to chat in Norwegian and surprised everyone with how much he has improved, too!


Vancouver, BC

Place 72 – Day 992: Vancouver, BC – More Office Setup & Meteor Shower!

Curtis’ Day

Curtis walked down to the office in the morning and got right into more office setup.

He and his colleague got all desks setup with montor arms (other than the ones that couldn’t be done as there were none left). Also, about 95% of desks now have monitors, other than the few that don’t due to running out of them.

Curtis spent most of the day doing this, as well as figuring out a few things he needed to figure out with his colleague about how desks will be setup. They got some permanent desks setup for people coming to the office full time, and then he sorted out some cables again and figured out which to keep and which to throw away.

Curtis walked back home in time to walk to get the car with Kim.

Kim’s Day

Kim had a really nice day today. It started with a 1-1 with a new employee and then a really interesting and useful chat with her manager and someone from the recruitment firm they work with. They caught each other up on work and bounced ideas off each other, it was great!

She then joined the weekly department check in and then finished a laptop at the same time. Then it was time for the regular weekly recruitment meeting. Kim also stole some time towards the end to discuss another role once everyone else has left.

In the afternoon Kim had a 1-1 with a manager to discuss a few of their new starters and how they are doing. Then she tried sorting out some charges from Apple, but had no luck!

She finished her day with a call with a teammate to see how they are doing.

Once she got back Kim managed to get a few quick wins done by sending emails and sending out an updated party invite. She then dropped some letters off to her colleague and stayed to play with the kittens.

Evening

We walked down to the garage to get the car, getting a coffee on the way, and once we picked that up we headed to the store to get something for dinner.

We got home and Kim did a little bit of work before going out to see a friend for a little bit.

We went to the gym at 21:00 for an hour which felt really good, and then when we got back up to the apartment, we had chicken ceasar salad for dinner and then we hung out and watched a bit of TV.

Kim went out at 23:00 to see her friend and drove out to a beach to look at the meteor shower that was happening today! She even managed to see a couple!

Kim headed home around 1:15am and then we went right to bed, after a little McDonald’s!


This Time Last Year


Mr And Mrs Hale

Vancouver, BC

Place 72 – Day 866: Vancouver, BC – Starting The Packing Process

Curtis’ Day

Curtis had some tickets to get done in the morning and then he jumped into a team meeting which went really well.

He then spent some time sorting out some licenses that people shouldn’t have had, which actually took much longer than expected.

After that, he had another meeting in which we discussed how some software works and what needs to be done to get something working as it should. Curtis learned some new things which was great, and his colleague was also able to learn things.

The afternoon was a lot of tickets and admin. He had a discussion about a potential new tools and helped people out with some tickets.

Kim’s Day

Kim spent a lot of her day in meetings and interviews. She had one interview in the morning followed by a recruitment meeting. Then for the rest of the morning she was able to complete a few admin tasks and plan some projects.

In the afternoon Kim joined another recruitment meeting and then had a 5 Min surprise meeting with a colleague to catch them up to date on the meeting. The wellness break for the week was at lunchtime and a few people say down and took some time to hang out and do colouring in online. It was so enjoyable and Kim cannot wait to do it again!

Kim then joined a meeting about an IT project that will be starting soon. She will be helping out with the logistics of it and it will be really interesting! From there Kim went in to host another interview and then had a quick review of the meeting with her colleague.

There was some paperwork that needed to be completed so Kim jumped on a call with a colleague to work through it. Then Kim had a call with another teammate to just have a check in and a chat.

Starting The Packing Process

We got done with work and then Kim went to take back some items she didn’t want from Homesense and then we went down to our storage locker and took out some things from there and took them over to the new apartment.

When we got there, we took the items in but Kim also got the sofa finished and we sat on that for a bit, just relaxing. It was super comfortable and a great purchase!

There were a lot of boxes from the sofa, so we took those down to the bin and then we drove back home and brought up some more items from the storage locker, ready to pack clothes and a few other things. We’re actually getting some things ready for the move, now!

We made sausages, peas and mash for dinner and watched some TV whilst relaxing for the remainder of the evening.

We’re glad we got some stuff done for the move, though most of it will get done at the weekend.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Vancouver, BC

Place 72 – Day 560: Vancouver, BC – Apartment Admin & Moving The Car

Curtis’ Day

Curtis had short team meeting at 09:30 but then after that it was full steam ahead!

There were a lot of tickets and questions in the morning, so Curtis had to deal with those and some were a little more work so took some more time.

He was meant to have a project meeting at 11:00 but that had to get rescheduled so he had some more time to get some tickets done.

After lunch, it was a little quieter but a good amount of time for Curtis to finish up some things.

He also had a call from an internet provider which he got installation booked in for the new apartment, as well as booking the elevators at each end of the move in/out.

Kim’s Day

Kim spent the morning on catching up with some of the smaller tasks she needs to get done. At midday she joined a team meeting to go over all the projects and give updates.

She then hosted the social call before joining a teammate for training on a few of the processes. They both then went to another team meeting to go over how some processes will work with a new team members and redefine some of the points. It was a great meeting and some great decisions were made.

Evening

Kim went out to drop off the car at a colleagues apartment for the night as our parking garage is being cleaned tomorrow and everyone was told to move their car!

Once she did that, she walked back home and finished off some work whilst Curtis watched hockey.

After hockey was done, Kim made coconut, lime and ginger chicken with coconut rice.

We watched TV, played games and relaxed for the evening.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Vancouver, BC

Place 72 – Day 400: Vancouver, BC – The Car’s Fixed!

Curtis’ Day

Curtis did some tickets and the usual admin at the start of the day, but then had to look through a list of contractors and figure out if they’re still contracting for the company and if not, go through and disable their accounts or find out from other people if they are active or not.

At 11:00 Curtis had another Norwegian lesson for an hour and it was excellent! He really enjoyed it and it was a really well flowing conversation and Curtis learned a lot too, of course.

For the rest of the day, Curtis did some tickets but he also helped someone with testing some design things.

At the end of the day, Curtis did 2 offboards of contracts that are no longer at the company.

Kim’s Day

Kim had a slow morning where she didn’t do too much. She got ready for the day and then spent some time working on her CV, she has decided to take the time to update it and condense some of the items a little. The last few times Kim updated her CV, she did a quick add of the latest role and moved on as she will have just moved to a country and needs to secure a job relatively quickly. This time Kim has a tiny bit of flexibility, while applying and securing a new job is very important, its also good to take this time and make sure she is putting her best self forward.

In the afternoon Kim took the bins out and also resubmitted an expense claim that had been rejected on Monday. The system didnt like the way that the claim had been uploaded. Then she spent the rest of the afternoon working on her CV, she now has all of her previous roles rewritten and just has her latest role to go.

The Car Is Fixed!

When Curtis finished work, we walked to get the car from the garage, which was about a 35 minute walk.

The car is finally fixed up, it was expensive, but it was worth it as now we don’t need to worry about it!

We drove back home, watched a quick something and then Kim went off to pole dancing.

Pole was so much fun! Kim felt a little distracted and struggled with some of the moves, but she is so glad she went as she did relearn a move she had been struggling with! In the second class they learnt a combo, Kim was able to do the first bit, but could not get the second half! It did her good to go this evening.

When Kim got back, we had homemade chicken burgers with curly fries and salad for dinner.

We watched a small amount of TV and then headed to bed.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Vancouver, BC

Place 72 – Day 398: Vancouver, BC – No More Job For You

Curtis’ Day

Curtis had a whole day of doing onboards and laptop setups.

Curtis created some accounts in the morning and then he walked down to the office.

Once he got to the office, he got 2 laptops, 2 monitors, 2 keyboards, 2 mice and 2 headsets to get ready for the new hires.

He spent a long time getting the laptops setup and packaged up and ready to ship out.

He then had to wait for a courier to arrive, which took a couple of hours, but he did some other work whilst he waited.

Eventually, the courier arrived and then he was able to head home and finish up working there, as well as chat with Kim about her fun day, as you’ll see below.

Kim’s Day (In 1st Person Today…Exciting!)

As you can imagine from the title and from reading Curtis’s blog, today was not a good day for me! I had an idea that I would lose my job today…And I did. I was laid off and not fired, so there is no need to panic.

I got into the office and finished packing up my desk after saying a quick hello to my manager. After this I made sure all the little tasks from last week and yesterday were done, re-saved a receipt for my credit card and sent out a laptop to someone. I then worked on writing up a handover list for my colleague, outlining a few things that I was expecting to be delivered, an update on a few contacts and links to logs, documents and other things I had been working on. I finished that all just before my 10am meeting.

I walked into the meeting room and said ‘its okay, I know whats going on, I understand and its okay’. I felt very George walking Lenny to look at the bunnies, but I was both George and Lenny, it was very strange. I was certain of what was going to happen, but still a little hopeful that it wouldn’t. Once I sat down it was confirmed that I was let go. They went over a few things together and then Kims manager handed over to a teammate who was going to explain everything in a bit more detail. Just before she did I sent the handover email to my colleague and sent Curtis a quick message to let him know what had happened.

My teammate then went over everything in a little more detail. I then collected my things and headed home.

Once I was home I facetimed my parents which was just what I needed. I was able to laugh and cry about it all and rationalise a plan for the next few days and weeks. After this I called my sister and did much of the same. We had a great chat and it was lovely to see her face.

I quickly updated my LinkedIn and then tried to go over my CV, but that didn’t last long. Instead I started tidying up the apartment, doing laundry, finishing unpacking from the trip and bagging up my IT equipment to take back to the office at some point, but not today! That took me ages because every now and again I would get a message from someone within the company and I would respond and have a little cry! I have received a fair few messages, that is a LOT of crying time.

While I had come to terms with the idea of losing my job over the past day it was still so upsetting to have it happen. I loved that job, I would brag to anyone who would listen about how amazing the people are and how interesting, diverse and fun my role specifically was. It is clear that I was in the right job for me, the love and support I have received has been incredible! And I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone I worked with and who made the last 16 months so incredible! Finding a new job will be a challenge and I can only hope that I get to work with people half as incredible as you all!

Thank you for all the opportunities, challenges and memories, it was a wonderful experience!

As I have said many times times today – it’s okay, I’m okay and it’ll be okay!

I know I’m not the only person to experience this, especially during the current pandemic, but I wanted to express my feelings on this platform.

Tomorrow I will start my job hunt. I have already been given a few companies to check out and a few specific roles to look into, so I am off to a great start. Let’s see where this new adventure and opportunity will take me!

Evening

Once we had a bit of a chat about Kim’s unfortunate news, we hopped in the car and drove it to the garage for its appointment tomorrow.

We then walked back home which was a nice thing to do after such a stressful day.

After our 33 minute walk, the elevators were taking forever in our building and you cannot take the stairs, so there was a lot of waiting there.

We got hungry, so we ordered McDonald’s as Kim had a hard day and we couldn’t really be bothered to cook.

When the food arrived, Curtis went downstairs to get it and there was a large queue again for the elevators.

Curtis had to wait a long time as just one elevator was working, but he got upstairs eventually.

We ate our food and watched TV for the remainder of the evening.

What a day, huh?


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Whistler, BC

Place 87 – Day 4: Whistler, BC – Quad Biking!

Breakfast, Of Course

We had a small breakfast from Purebred of just a coffee and a croissant.

We ate this quickly and finished off getting ready for the day, and then checked out, which we were able to do by phone, which was great.

We got everything into the car and then went for a bit of a final walk around Whistler.

We got ourselves some drinks for the day and the went back to the hotel to grab the car.

Alpha Lake & Nita Lake

We drove out to a couple of lakes near where we were going just to pass the time before our activity.

We just had a walk around and chatted for a bit, but it was actually a little cold.

Kim thought it was a good idea to go on the swing…But she then realised it was not.

We finished walking around these lakes and got back to the car to drive to the quad biking place.

The check engine light came on, which wasn’t ideal, but we managed to make it there fine.

Quad Biking!

For Curtis’ birthday, Kim got us a quad biking tour close to Whistler.

We got there and there was just 2 other people joining us for our tour, which was excellent!

We set off on some big quad bikes and did a bit of practice to acclimate to the bikes and ensure we were safe.

We began our tour and it was actually a little technical! There were a lot of stones around to navigate over, but we got to the first viewpoint pretty quickly.

Unfortunately, as with everything at the moment, the view wasn’t very good due to the smoke, but there was a nice river.

We continued on and went up a mountain which was pretty difficult with much larger rocks to get over and some steep hills but we made it to the top!

Again, there is meant to be a good view, but it’s not a very good time for views at the moment.

We had to ride back down the mountain and that was tough as we didn’t want to go too fast over the rocks, but it was incredibly fun and made us think and consentrate for sure.

We got down this part and had a nice flat part we could go fast on and then we came to a thin forest track which was challenging but great!

We then moved into a section that was in a forest still but with a lot of puddles on corners, which got us wet and dirty, especially the one big puddle!

We then headed back to the camp after around 1.5 hours of riding. We had a really great time overall and actually want to come back!

Home Time

We left here (with our check engine light on still) and drove home.

We got home in about 2 hours and were incredibly tired, but glad we got home even though we had a check engine light on.

We booked our car in for Wednesday and then we relaxed!

We had some frozen pizza for dinner, unpacked and relaxed for the evening.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Vancouver, BC

Place 72 – Day 385: Vancouver, BC – Grouse Grind, Bears & Dead Battery!

Grouse Grind

We were up at 08:30 and had some egg on toast for breakfast.

After breakfast, we got ready and then Curtis went down to the drug store to get Mars bars and Red Bull.

We then left the apartment and went down to the car to drive up to Grouse Mountain!

We got to the mountain and started making our way up. The Grouse Grind is notorious for being pretty tough, with its 2000+ stairs (plus rocks to climb up etc) & 2 hour completion time!

We started the hike and saw a squirrel right away, which was a great start!

The further up we got, the more challenging it became and we did have to stop quite a few times to regain our breath and stamina.

Towards the end, we got into the clouds and could even see them moving around us.

We eventually got to the top in just 1 hour 20 minutes, which we were very happy with!

Bears!

At the top, there are a few things to do, such as food, drink, disc golf and a bear enclosure!

We obviously had to go and see the bears, so we did just that.

We spent a while looking at the bears and they were pretty active. One of them even had a bath!

Once we were done with the bears, we walked to grab a quick beer before heading down on the gondola!

The beer was perfectly refreshing and just what we needed.

After such as awesome day, we got in the distanced gondola and made our way to the bottom of the mountain.

Once we got there, there was a Starbucks, so we grabbed a coffee and went to the car.

Dead Battery

Once we got in the car, we tried to start it and nothing happened!

Turns out, the battery had died, but we hadn’t left anything on so it must have been it’s time.

We eventually found a tow company that could come and help us, but after we scheduled with them, a couple said they would help jump start us and that worked perfectly, so we cancelled the tow truck and drove to Canadian Tire to get the battery changed!

We got that booked in and had to wait about 30/40 minutes for that to be swapped over, so we did a bit of shopping.

We got a wok which we’ve wanted for a while and then went to the liquor store to get some beer for tonight, which we needed for sure!

We got our car and headed back home.

First Ever Poutine!

We showered when we got home and then ordered some food.

We wanted to try poutine for the first time, so we ordered a burger each with a side ceasar salad each and a side of poutine and some sweet potato fries.

We watched the film ‘love Guaranteed’ which wasn’t great, but was something to watch.

We played some more Tony Hawk Skateboarding and watched a bit more TV but we were very tired after our long hike!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Vancouver, BC

Place 72 – Day 269: Vancouver, BC – 1 Year in Vancouver!

One Year Here!

We have been living in Vancouver for 1 year as of today! It’s just 269 days as we have had trips elsewhere during our stay, but we moved here this time last year! It’s flown by!

Curtis’ Day

Curtis had another slower start to the morning, but did a ticket which took an hour and a lot of project admin during his team meeting.

Once that was done, Curtis went with Kim to clear out the storage locker downstairs and move the majority of it into the car to take to the new apartment.

Curtis spent some time trying to figure something out, but didn’t make much progress, and then went have lunch.

After lunch, Curtis did a few more tickets and then that was the end of the day!

Curtis packed up his remaining clothes, getting ready for moving!

After Curtis packed up, he emptied the dishwasher and played some games.

Kim’s Day

Kim spent the morning catching up on emails. On the way into the office Kim dropped the car off at the new apartment so she can put some stuff into the storage locker after work.

Once Kim got into the office she spent some time organising her desk and getting things ready. She then spent a bit of time reaching out to other people about mailing things.

Kim had reached out to the building to see if they would be able to let her borrow some tools or help Kim out a wire hole through the back of a cabinet. Someone showed up today and was able to sort it out. The drill Kim tried it with last week was not up to the task. It was perfect and Kim spend some time setting up her game station for people to enjoy when they are back in the office.

One of the things that Kim has been putting off is rehoming some of the stationary she has removed from the kitchen cupboards. She started with envelopes and folders and moved those to where the other few envelopes are stored. Giving her more space for the rest of the stuff that she has to put away.

After work Kim went and picked up a wardrobe orgnaised for the new apartment. She then went to empty the car, and being smart Kim decided not to use the elevators and took the stairs to the parking floors. Except she didn’t. What Kim managed to do was get locked in a stairwell because the doors lock after you and cannot be opened from the inside! So she had to call the front desk / security to come and rescue her. After that she decided to bail and just go home. She will empty the car on the move in day.

Getting Packed Up

We got a few more things packed in the evening, but dinner was the priority!

Curtis had some Swedish meatballs and Kim had some chicken sausages, along with potatoes, carrots & peas.

Whilst we were making dinner, 2 police cars and 2 police vans arrived outside our apartment and they were arresting someone on a bike, which was a bit of entertainment!

We watched some TV and did a bit more packing up, and we don’t have too much more to do.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale