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.


Vancouver, BC

Place 72 – Day 256: Vancouver, BC – Sneaky Office Visit

Curtis’ Day

Curtis for rest and then, with Kim, walked down to the city.

Curtis was the only one in his team with a specific key, so he had to go drop it off.

He got into the office, dropped off the key and left again.

On the way back, walking through the deserted city, which felt very strange, Curtis stopped at Mario’s to get a coffee. It was delicious and Curtis had a good chat with the owner, as well.

Curtis walked back home and went right into the weekly webinar from Zoom in which they discuss new updates and have a Q&A session.

Curtis finished that and then for most of the remainder of the day, he completed the project work he began yesterday!

After doing a couple of tickets, Curtis did some training and then that was his day done.

Kim’s Day

Today was a busy day! The midweek catch up was great, there were more people than normal and it was great to see some newcomers! Kim hopped straight into a cribbage game after the social call and lost the game. It was good fun, but the other team crushed it!

Kim walked with Curtis into work, it was so lovely to have a tiny bit of normality, even if downtown does look like a brightly and beautifully painted apocalyptic movie. All the shops are boarded up, but people are painting on all the boards, its really beautiful!

When Kim got into the office she started by emptying the remaining cupboards on one side of the kitchen. She managed to organise the drinks where they take up only three cupboards and fit all of the drinks that were stored on a flatbed away in the cupboards too!

Kim then helped IT set up a new user on a laptop. She called one of the guys, but his audio wouldn’t work, so Kim asked the questions and he had to type out the answers. It was strange but it worked!

Kim then went back in the kitchen and started collecting all the nicer biodegradable plates and cutlery into one place, rather than being in different parts of the kitchen. She created a catering cupboard and its great!

Kim found another cabinet in the office so she took that to make it a gaming station in the break out area. She also took the new bookshelf in the kitchen for the breakout area too. She managed to position the bookshelf and another larger cupboard in a way that has storage for the trolleys behind them. Its very aesthetically pleasing!

Kim then had a meeting with her colleague, where she went over the plan for the rest of the day and asked her opinion on a few of the office move things.

Kim then moved a desk so she could use the area as storage space. She collected up all the stuff lying around thay belongs to the team and put it in the new space. It now looks much more open where Kim is making the breakout area.

Mid afternoon Kim popped out to pick up some personal pizzas for her colleague and herself. When she got back one of her managers was in the office. It turns out that he was in to pick up the laptop. So Kim finished setting it up and collected a few things to go with it and passed the laptop over. It was great to have a chat and say hello too!

Kim then attempted to DYI make a cable run in the cabinet she stole earlier. Turns out that it is nearly impossible to drill into the material it is with the weak drill Kim bought a few months ago. There is now a fair amount of sawdust and a tiny hole in the cabinet. So that was relatively unsuccessful! After giving up on this Kim moved a few tables from one part of the office to another.

Just before she left Kim cleared up the massive mess she made in the kitchen and one corner of the office. She then called a courier to ask some questions for a colleague and then had to plug in the mail machine in order for her colleague to send some post! It was a very sucessful day!

No Workout Today

We didn’t really feel like working out today, and Kim got home a little later, so we just played mini sticks instead, until we got hungry.

Curtis had meatballs and Kim had chicken sausages for dinner, with a collection of vegetables and a really nice gravy/sauce.

We watched the next episode of Tiger King and some other TV before heading off to sleep.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Vancouver, BC

Place 72 – Day 178: Vancouver,BC – Evening Sewing Fun

Curtis’ Day

Curtis got to work at a perfect time today.

He was able to get admin completed when he arrived and then had his team meeting which he has each morning.

After the meeting, Curtis spent most of the day doing ticket work, but that was varied too which was great.

Curtis had to do a bit of project work, but not too much.

Curtis’ day was pretty uneventful, but walking home was beautiful!

Kim’s Day

As the competition is this weekend coming Kim decided to head into work early so she could fit in some open training and partially be involved in a regular class.

Kim ate far too much on the Vegas and Utah trip and didn’t train for nearly a week so really missed it!

When Kim got in she reorganised the the kitchen back to how it usually is and decided to fix some of the tables.

After this Kim spent a fair amount of time going over the invoices she hadn’t yet saved and listened to the past few weeks of voicemails. This took a while!

Kim then had a meeting about the summer party with her colleague and took on a lot of information and guidance about how to plan it.

Kim arranged a FedEx and sorted the pizza and tacos that arrived for different meetings. Kim sat down for some lunch and had some pizza.

After lunch, Kim continued with sorting the invoices that she is working her way through before having a good catch up with a colleague.

When Kim started she worked closely with the HR team and provided some support there, however she hasn’t had much to do with it over the past few months.

Kim and her teammate had a catch up to realign how this will be working going forward and talk about the gaps in Kim’s training.

Sewing

Kim went to training and the classes were fun. The open pole session was packed, so Kim achieved very little, with the exception of a nice little transition move she will throw into the routine! The second lesson Kim did not succeed in! She didn’t want to injure herself so kept to the basic end of the combo and didn’t push herself too much.

After that, she went back home with a friend from training to try and sew some things together for their performances.

This didn’t go too great as the machine didn’t seem to work correctly, but it was fun anyway.

After her friend left, Kim showered and then we sat and watched a little bit of TV before sleeping.

We can’t believe it’s Friday tomorrow already and we have a day off Monday!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Vancouver, BC

Place 72 – Day 142: Vancouver, BC – Batwoman?!

Curtis’ Day

Curtis had nothing planned today, but got a steady stream of things today and, weirdly, the day went pretty fast.

Nothing eventful or interesting really happened at work today, but it was productive.

Curtis left work and walked home. Once home, he went down to the storage locker and got out his hockey kit.

He got it all ready and organised and put it in the car ready for later in the evening!

Curtis the did a few housekeeping things around the apartment and then sat down and typed this up!

As Curtis had a hockey game at 22:00, it is unlikely we can get this up before 00:00, so we’re going to do it early.

Kim’s Day

When Kim got in she went straight back out to go and buy milk before she forgot. She then delivered a few parcels when she got back and started her day by catching up on emails.
Most of the emails were related to missing receipts / invoices. So Kim spent most of the morning finding the missing things and had to contact a few different companies to get it all sorted.

In the early afternoon an interview was scheduled so Kim ensured that she was around to greet them and make sure they were all set up.
While the interview was going on Kim took some time to sit down and have some lunch.

After lunch Kim saved some receipts and other invoices before booking a new hires flight. Kim got a little confused at one point so started the whole process again. She also emailed the hotel that she visited yesterday to see if they had any availability and they did!

Kim then spent the last bit of her day putting together a quiz for Friday afternoon. It was good fun and turned out pretty well!

Today Kim left an hour early to try and use up some of her extra hours worked to go in to an open class in order to practise her routine for the upcoming competition. On the way, Kim saw the filming for Batwoman which was awesome! It wasn’t a great training session but Kim has at least put a beginning sequence together which is a start! On the way home she stopped to grab an onion for dinner.

Spag Bol

Kim made spaghetti bolognese for dinner,which was excellent, and then we watched a bit of TV.

We had to leave at 20:40, which we did, so we can get to the rink with plenty of time.

Curtis’ Hockey Game

The other team were good…

The game didn’t go too good, his team lost 5-0, but did have some main players missing.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Vancouver, BC

Place 72 – Day 84: Vancouver, BC – First Aid Completed & Linda Is Here!

Curtis’ Day

Curtis had another quiet day today, but spent a lot of it being fairly productive, getting the helpdesk system changed so it was more friendly as well as easier to use!

Curtis did a couple of tickets, one of which was right after lunch, which was good. It took about an hour to complete that and then it was super quiet, so Curtis went into the lounge, got a beer and chilled out.

Curtis did a ticket just before he left and then walked home.

Kim’s Day

Today was the final day of first aid training! For the morning everyone spent their time running through scenarios while teams were assessed by the instructors. When Kim did hers she felt she made some stupid mistakes, but as time went on she realised that maybe she was being a little hard on herself.

In order to get out and about during the day Kim popped put and to the shipping centre to pick up some Tim Bits for the class and get a coffee too!

After lunch people continued running a few more scenarios before sitting down to sit the written exam. The exam was in multiple choice format Kim used all of the exam time to ensure that she triple checked the the answer she had circled was actually the answer she wanted to have circled. That way she would make less stupid and easily avoidable mistakes.

After the written Kim assisted with two other peoples practical exams before being the final person to complete theirs. Kim’s went relatively well and then she helped tidy up the classroom while people got feedback on their assessment. Kim was last again but had really good responses and feedback.

While Kim waited to know whether she had passed or not she went upstairs to the reception desk to book a 2 more people in for the course.

Once that had all been done Kim was the final person to hear whether she had passed or not. Prior to this Kim had seen all of her classmates leave with smiles and their certifications so she was feeling hopeful.

Kim went in and found out that she had passed! She had a nice discussion with her instructor before saying goodbye. It was a really. Great week and Kim had such a wonderful time meeting so many amazing people and having the chance to work with them!

Kim went back up to reception, picked up the reading materials and then headed home.

Linda Is Here!

We didn’t eat when we got home as we were going to eat later.

We watched a bit of TV and then walked down to a hotel in the city.

We checked in to the hotel for Linda and they wanted to hold the whole price of it on the card for some reason.

We went down to meet Linda in the dock when she got off her boat and walked her to her hotel.

After we showed her the room, we all went out for a long walk around.

Chinese Feast

We were really wanting Chinese food and so we ordered some at around 22:00, when we got home.

We ordered from the place we got it from here before as it was good then. We got szechuan beef with noodles, curry chicken with rice and half a duck.

The food was just as good as it was last time! We ate whilst watching Suits.

A perfect way to celebrate success.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Vancouver, BC

Place 72 – Day 57: Vancouver, BC – Quarry Rock & Honey Doughnuts

Quarry Rock Hike

We were up at 08:00 and had bagels for breakfast.

We left the house around 10:15 and walked to the train station. We caught a train to the city to then catch a bus.

We got on the bus which took us all the way to Deep Cove, about 45 minutes from downtown Vancouver.

We got off the bus and just started walking. We walked for a bit and then noticed a sign saying we had gone the wrong way and had to turn back and walk all the way back to where we had come from! Luckily, other people had done the same so we weren’t all alone. We also got to see some really nice houses here, so not all was lost.

Once we returned to the right place, we began the walk up to Quarry Rock.

The trail up to the rock was 1.2km with the majority of it being on stairs but through some gorgeous woodland and higher up and up the mountain.

It took us about 30-45 minutes to get to the top, dodging people and crossing rivers (on bridges).

Once we got to the top, we had a stunning view! The weather wasn’t great, so there was no sun, but it was still nice to sit down and admire.

We walked back down the trail as we were very hungry and thirsty!

Lunch & Doughnuts

We were recommended a cafe called Cafe Orso so we went in, grabbed a table and each got a coffee.

Along with the coffee, we got half a tuna melt each with a tomato bisque, which was great!


Cafe Orso | Deep Cove, BC

Rating:- 8.5/10


We left after our lunch, incredibly full, and went for a bit of a walk and sit down by the beach.

We then went to Honey Doughnuts to see what all the fuss was about. This place was recommended to us by more than one person and the queue was out the door, so we had thought it would mean it was amazing!


Honey Doughnuts | Deep Cove, BC

Rating:- 7/10


We weren’t amazed by the doughnuts, they were just OK. Kim had a chocolate glazed and Curtis had a cinnamon sugar.

We left here and had a bit of a sit down whilst we ate.

We then left and caught the bus back, which took about 50 minutes.

We stopped off at the liquor store and bought some cans of Jameson, Giner & Lime to try.

Evening

We got a lot of admin done in the evening, as well as going for an evening walk.

We weren’t hungry after our lunch so Kim had a salad and Curtis had some toast.

We watched some TV and went to bed. We were exhausted!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Vancouver, BC

Place 72 – Day 37: Vancouver,BC – Croque Madame, More Jeans & Homemade Bolognese

Croque Madame

We woke up and Kim got up to make breakfast. We decided we wanted a croque madame, so Kim lovingly made those, with our Norwegian cheese and some delicious ham inside.

Xbox E3 Conference & Jeans

Whilst Kim got ready to go out, Curtis watched the Xbox E3 conference whilst chatting with some friends online.

Kim went out whilst Curtis was still watching this and went to the city to find some jeans. Kim’s jeans had recently broken so she desperately needed some new ones.

Kim found a pair eventually, but they weren’t exactly what she wanted. They will work for now.

Coffee

Curtis went in to town to meet Kim and go for a coffee!

We got there and had a place in mind, but it turns out it was closed, so we had to find somewhere else. We decided on Faubourg Paris.

This French cafe seemed alright but we think it had seen better days and thought it was more upscale then it is.

We each got a cappucino and relaxed whilst we drank it.


Faubourg Paris | Vancouver,BC

Rating:- 6/10


Homemade Bolognese

We came back home via a quick stop at the shop and watched some TV as we weren’t quite hungry enough for dinner yet.

After the one episode though, we both became rather peckish, so we started dinner.

Kim made a great homemade bolognese and we had it with pasta and a side salad.

We finished the evening with a beer and some more TV and then got ready for work tomorrow.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

San Francisco,CA

Place 74 – Day 2: San Francisco,CA – Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf & Pier 39

Former Work Friends

We were up at a good time to meet up with a former work colleague of Kim’s. He lives here in San Francisco and we arranged to have some lunch with him.

He picked us up in his car and said he wanted to show us some places before we had lunch.

Golden Gate Park

We drove through Golden Gate park whilst we chatted about our travels and some other things.

We drove through the park, which is incredibly huge and even houses Bison and sometimes does concerts.

Waterfront & Lunch

We got to the waterfront and found somewhere to park before strolling around a little bit.

We stopped for lunch at a diner called Louis’ which has been open since 1937 and still only takes cash, which is quite cool.

Kim had a turkey BLT and Curtis had eggs benedict with ham.


Louis’ Restaurant | San Francisco, CA

Rating:- 8/10


We finished up our lunch and hopped back into the car.

Golden Gate Bridge

We drove to the golden gate bridge to get photos of it as well as photos of Alcatraz. The weather was amazing and apparently it is rare to see everything so clearly.

Downtown Tour

We were driven to downtown and shown around various places. There were some St. Patrick’s day festivities going on so it was quite busy, but we were shown a few different places which was great!

We said goodbye to our friend and were very thankful for him showing us around.

We stayed downtown and went to buy a card to use on the bus. We got a 7 day pass each and we can use this as much as we want on both that and on the ferries and metro, which is perfect! That was just $40 each.

Fisherman’s Wharf & Pier 39

We had a stroll around Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39, which were absolutely rammed, but somewhere to walk around.

Part Of Pier 39

There were a lot of random shops and restaurants as well as, randomly, some sea lions!

Sea Lions!

Bay Bridge

We sat and watched the sea lions for a bit. We thought they were fighting but then it was apparent they were doing something else, so we abruptly left them to it.

We walked around the fisherman’s wharf some more and that area, just wandering around and seeing what’s about.

We eventually figured out which bus we needed to take and walked up to the required bus stop, with almost perfect timing!

We got on the bus and sat on it for 45 minutes before getting off the bus a couple of blocks from where we are staying.

KFC

We decided KFC was easy for dinner, so we walked for 15 minutes to get it.

We got way too much food, as the sides are so big here, but it was pretty good. We got some chicken, sweetcorn, coleslaw & some ‘biscuits’. We also got a huge chocolate cake for free with our food, for some reason!

We sat and watched TV whilst in a food coma.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Seattle,WA

Place 73 – Day 5: Seattle,WA – Amazon Spheres, Tacos & Giant Water Tower

Visa

First thing’s first – something we forgot to mention yesterday – Curtis now also has his Canadian work visa, so we can confirm that we plan to work in Canada in the near future!

Now – onward to today;

Off Into The City

We took the bus to the city this morning, but only had a $5 note. Kim was given a ticket which still had time on it, so only Curtis needed a ticket.

Curtis put the $5 note in the machine, expecting change, but the driver informed him that change is not given on buses in Seattle! This didn’t really bother us too much, but now we know.

When we got off the bus, the driver called us over and gave us 2 tickets to be used any time up to 18:00 as he felt bad that we put too much money in. He didn’t have to do that, but it was incredibly kind that he did!

SIM Shopping

We need to get a US SIM as we will be in the country for a bit of time, so we walked around places trying to find one.

We had seen the perfect thing at the supermarket yesterday, but didn’t want to just take the first thing we saw, so decided to browse.

Whilst we looked, we found nothing better, so decided we’d head to the supermarket later and get the one we saw.

Victrola Coffee

We had seen a coffee shop named Victrola a few times and it was full each time, so it must have been good! We decided we would check it out.

The coffees were mostly one size, which wasn’t a great start for us, so much so that Curtis panicked a little and ordered the house coffee instead of espresso.

The house coffee wasn’t great, but Kim had a mocha which seemed to get better over time.

We found some of the staff a little standoff-ish too, which wasn’t pleasant.

Interestingly there was also an Amazon office within the same building as this coffee shop.


Victrola Coffee | Seattle,WA

Rating:- 5/10


Amazon Spheres

Kim’s surprise was planned to be a tour of the Amazon headquarters. Unfortunately, it’s a very full tour and is usually booked for months in advance, so Kim had put us both onto the waiting list.

We walked to the Amazon HQ and asked the question as to if we had been accepted or not.

Unfortunately, we were not accepted and it is still full, so we were unable to do the tour. That being said, we have signed up for Thursday’s waiting list, so fingers crossed!

Spheres

We were still able to go into the Amazon Spheres, which were built fairly recently primarily as an alternative workspace for Amazon employees, but also as a living plant biome.

We could only explore the bottom floor, which explains all about how it was built, why it was built, the challenges and the people within. It was pretty cool to see!

Tacos

We left here and walked about 25 minutes to get tacos! Our host told us last night about a great, cheap, taco place so we grabbed some as a snack.

We each got a house taco (pork, salsa & pineapple) and we shared a steak taco.

The pork were by far the best. absolutely delicious, and the steak was just ok.


Taco Chukis | Seattle,WA

Rating:- 7.5/10


Volunteer Park

We went for a walk around volunteer park, which is a large park of woodlands. There isn’t much there, but it was a nice walk to relax. We saw a lot of squirrels and some were daring enough to come close. Kim tried to hand one a pinecone and freaked out!

We walked around for a bit more and then stumbled across a giant former water tower.

Water Tower

This water tower is huge and is now an observation deck.

We were able to climb the stairs to the top and get a 360° view of the city (and all the rain clouds!).

Different Bus

We took a different bus home after stopping by at something we will be doing tomorrow to ensure we are booked in.

We walked to a bus stop and caught a different bus number so we could go a bit off course and get directly to the supermarket near our apartment, rather than having to walk from home.

We got the SIM and other things we needed from the store and walked back home.

Stir Fry

We got home and Kim whipped up a pork stir fry, which was incredible.

We ate a lot, but it was worth the fullness!

We watched some TV and then went to bed. Got to be up early tomorrow!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Vancouver, BC

Place 72 – Day 4: Vancouver, BC – Downtown Vancouver & Broken Elevator

Exploring Downtown

We got ready in the morning, watched a YouTube video as per usual, had some breakfast and got showered.

After that, we headed out to downtown Vancouver to see what it’s all about.

We got downtown and really just walked. The mountains can even be seen from the city centre, which is really cool!

We looked at a few shops, went into some, but mostly just walked for a couple of hours, figuring out where things are, what shops there are etc.

Kim went into Lush to browse around and then we stopped for a coffee.

Blenz Coffee

We saw a Blenz Coffee, which is a chain we have been meaning to try for a while.

Firstly, when we went in, we saw the price which was much more expensive than other coffee shops.

Secondly, the staff were not very attentive and weren’t really listening during the order.

Kim got a hot chocolate and Curtis a cappucino and we sat and people-watched whilst we drank them.

Unfortunely, the cappucino didn’t really have any flavour and the hot chocolate was ‘just ok’.

Not sure we’ll be eager to visit any time soon.


Blenz Coffee | Vancouver, BC

Rating:- 4/10


Evening

We walked back to the apartment via the supermarket. For dinner, we had chicken strips with smiley face potatoes and a side of ceasar salad…a very odd dinner but a childhood favourite!

We got back, did some laundry and relaxed before we had dinner.

Broken Elevator

Before we got back to the room, though, we had to wait a while as all elevators weren’t working and we didn’t have an extra key to be able to walk up the stairs to our floor!

We had to call the host to come and bring us the key and let us in…all fun times!

We watched some YouTube videos whilst we ate and then for the rest of the evening, we started watching Black Mirror which is odd but interesting.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale