We had a slow start to the day after our travel time last night. Kim went out for a dog walk and then we both went and took the train to Basingstoke, like old times!
We saw Curtis’ cousin and his wife and child for the first time! We had some Nandos, lots of conversations and just a really fun time overall!
We took the train back to Kim’s parent’s place and continued to sort out remaining items to keep/not keep.
We had veggie meatballs for dinner and then after dinner Curtis watched the final Great Britain hockey game.
We went out for breakfast and then Kim went out to Thorpe Park (the theme park) with Abbie! Curtis had a chill day and did very little.
When she got back, Kim walked the dog again and then Curtis met his friends Ben & Josh for dinner! They went to a Nepalese place in the town, which Curtis didn’t know even existed.
This day was another relaxed one, with a baguette being purchased and eaten from the same place as before, of course.
We visited Curtis’ family and when the kids got home from school, we went to the shop with Curtis’ sister, Evie, to buy a few supplies and just hang out a bit.
We went to visit Kim’s family friend Debbie at her house and there were quite a few people there to say hi to us! Kim got to see a lot of people she hadn’t gotten to see yet, which was lovely, and we had some drinks and snacks too.
This day was spent packing and getting everyting sorted out, as well as a few remaining items left to sort from when we lived there.
We took the dog out for one final walk and then had a really lovely final dinner with the family at Wagamama, our favourite Japanese food chain in the UK. This was great as a lot of our family were there so we had a great little last time!
We had a drink or two at a pub down the road after and then headed back home to sleep before having to fly the next day.
We got a lift to the airport and said our goodbyes, with a few tears from Kim.
We had breakfast at a bakery in the airport which was surprisingly nice and then we went to get a coffee and relax.
We decided to book extra legroom seats for the way home and that was much better! This flight was super easy and we were able to be more comfortable and get a bit of sleep on the 9 hour flight, too.
When we got home, the airport took FOREVER but we finally got through it and onto the train home.
We arrived back home and did very little. It was great to be back at home but we did miss everyone back in the UK!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
It’s been 5 years or so since we’ve been in the UK so we thought it was time to visit the family and friends in our home land.
We arrived around 11:00, got picked up from the airport by Kim’s dad and then we went back to Kim’s parents’ place to stay.
We showered and went right out to get our first food item that we’ve been wanting to get for a while…A baguette!
There’s a baguette shop in our hometown (Andover) that sells terrific baguettes, so we walked down to get that and have some lunch.
We relaxed for a bit but stopping ourselves from sleeping after the long travel.
We went to see Curtis’ mum and then we both went with her to meet Curtis’ siblings from school and surprise them! They were surprised, as expected, and they both cried!
After picking up the kids from school, we stayed at Curtis’ family’s house for a bit and hung out with them until we got picked up by Kim’s sister, Abbie, and driven back to Kim’s parents’ for some Chinese food!
That was the end of the first day, which was mostly just getting acquainted with the timezone again and eating food.
Day 2 – Andover, UK
We finally got to take the dog out for a walk with Kim’s family. It was nice to see the doggo again too and be able to take a walk around places we used to walk around a lot.
We needed to go to the bank to get some boring admin stuff sorted but it was good to get that done. We had to visit 2 banks in total but we did it all in a day!
There was a bunch of stuff that we had left in the UK that we really needed to sort out. There was a large pile at each of our parents’ houses so we each had a bunch of stuff to sort. We spent a lot of this day sorting Kim’s items and deciding what to keep (which wasn’t much!).
We had some leftover Chinese for dinner and watched a movie.
Day 3 – Andover, UK
It was time for another dog walk! We took the dog out for another nice long walk and had some decent weather too.
We then went out for brunch with Curtis’ parents at a ‘new’ garden centre, which was really tasty and nice to hang out with them.
Before heading out, we stopped in at our first UK shop on our trip so we had a great time walking around there finding all the great snacks and seeing how cheap everything is!
We had to get ourselves a UK SIM card for whilst we’re visiting which we can also use in other countries, so we went into the town to buy one of those.
Curtis then went back to his family home and cleared out his items that he left 5 years ago and mostly just got rid of everything!
In the evening, there was a really lovely family BBQ at Curtis’ family’s house with a lot of his family as well as Kim’s family so it was a really great gathering with great weather.
Day 4 – Andover, UK
We went out for breakfast with Kim’s family down at a local pub and then went out to Basingstoke for some shopping and wandering around! We used to love going there for shopping and a few other things so it was good to see what was there and Kim was able to take a look at a few shoe shops, too, to see if she could find something she needed.
Once the evening came, we met with a bunch of friends and had some drinks and pizza! We hadn’t seen most of them for many, many years so it was a lot of catching up, chatting and having a really good time!
We found it easier to stay in Basingstoke, so we booked in to a Premier Inn, which is one of our favourite chain hotel brands in the UK so we wanted to stay there too!
Day 5 – Andover, UK
We had breakfast out at the pub again on this morning and then we went over to visit Kim’s sister at her house and see the house for the first time which was amazing to see!
We then had a really nice picnic in the garden as it was Kim’s mum’s birthday! This one was of our more relaxed days which was really nice to have.
Day 6 – Andover, UK
This was a day of meeting with our friends!
Kim met with 2 friends separately, Ashleigh & Eloise, and she had a bunch of really great conversations with them!
Whilst Kim did that, Curtis met with Shane, who was his best man at his wedding. He had lunch with him, and some drinks which was great to catch up. There was a lot to talk about.
We went out to Curtis’ auntie’s house to see her and her family and it was very, very nice to see them.
Dinner was at Curtis’ family’s house which was really nice to get some time with them and Curtis got some home cooking from mum!
Day 7 – London, UK
We took the train to London in the morning which was exciting! We love taking the train and it was super easy from where we used to live.
We did some walking around/shopping, as you do in London, before we went to meet Kim’s cousin, Bethany, in Camden!
Kim used to love going to Camden so we went there to go to the food market with her cousin, who is super lovely and we had a great time chatting and wandering around with her.
Once we finished up with Bethany, we took a train to a place we’d never been to before called Kingston. We met with a friend who lives there and had some dinner with her as well as a nice walk along the river.
We had to take a couple of trains to get back to Andover but we were close to the final train so we had to get a move on and do that! It took a while but we were able to get back home for some sleep after a really busy but amazing day!
We were away for a long time, so this is just part one, but it’s been a while since there were any blogs, but enjoy!
Curtis had a company wide meeting at 09:00 which unveiled some very interesting news!
After that, Curtis had a team meeting and then he talked a colleague through how to do something.
Curtis then had some tickets to do, followed by a meeting to help someone with something. The afternoon was mostly tickets and then he also did a bit of security work.
Curtis got some of his Norwegian homework done in the early evening, until Kim got home.
Kim had another busy and productive day! She woke up and got ready. Then she had breakfast and started whiteboarding with her managers. They managed to get into some really great topics and iron so much out.
In the early afternoon they left the hotel, popped things in the car and headed over to a nearby cafe to finish the day. Kim was able to get a few things done while everyone else was on a call and then they continued the discussions. Later on Kim did a mini presentation and tour of some research she had been doing and was really happy to know she was on the right track and getting stuff done!
We walked down to the beach and met a couple of Kim’s colleagues who were down there. We sat and chatted for a little bit but then needed to head to the hotel Kim was at last night to meet another colleague and friend of Kim’s there as they had some drink tokens for the bar! Curtis finally got to meet her after speaking with her a few times on Zoom but never in person.
We had a drink and a snack and had some really good chats. Overall, a pretty fun evening!
We stopped at our favourite Vietnamese place to get a banh mi for dinner.
We got home and watched a bit of TV together and headed to be fairly early, for us.
We woke up and felt very well rested, which was great.
We had some breakfast which was just ‘stuff’ cobbled together. We had cookies leftover from dinner last night (which were free), some cake and some fruit, as well as juice and Curtis had a coffee.
We got ourselves ready and then we chatted with Kim’s parents for a bit.
After that, Kim went out to meet some people for work for lunch! The plan was to have an outdoor gathering, but that was cancelled due to rain, so she met them for food instead.
The food was just okay, but she had a really good time hanging out with them for quite a while! She also had some tiramisu pancakes which were good.
Once Kim got back home, we just did some laying down and relaxing for a while. We eventually got ourselves up and made some quick, easy dinner. We needed to use the mushrooms we bought, so we had those with some other things.
We watched some TV and relaxed for the rest of the evening.
Curtis had a lot of tickets to do in the morning and then right before he had lunch he got another part of his project completed.
After lunch, Curtis had a meeting with an external company who were doing some training/a workshop. This went on until the end of the day and it was…Ok… Though a little too much sales for Curtis.
That was pretty much his day. Lots of sitting in a meeting. Curtis had nothing to do in the evening, other than play some games and have the leftover salad from yesterday.
Kim and her team had a trial day in an office and it was wonderful. She stopped for coffee on the way and then had a quick tour of the spaces. She then sat down with her colleague and they worked in a few planning items to really iron things out.
Kim then joined the marketing recruitment meeting before continuing on with the white boarding session to continue planning to change and update the current process for onboarding.
Throughout the day other team members arrived, Kim met a few people for the first time. At about 1 everyone had some lunch before having a discussion about ordering and even placing a couple of orders.
The team then built on the discussion from earlier to further confirm plans for the new processes. Kim then joined another hiring forecast meeting and worked with the department to see where they feel they will need support in the next few months.
Kim got to go to pole dancing for the first time in so long! She was able to go before but she wanted to wait for things to die down a little before doing that. She drove out to Richmond and was nervous but very excited.
It was difficult but really fun! Kim really enjoyed it and can’t wait to go back again.
After, Kim did MORE normal things! She met with 2 people from work that live in the area and they went for some food on a patio! This is allowed with the new restrictions, though it did feel a little strange for Kim as she hasn’t done this since around November but it was really nice to meet people in person.
Kim ate a mushroom linguini which was pretty good and the had a chocolate melt in the middle pudding for dessert.
She left fairly late and got back home around 23:30!
Remainder of Evening
Once Kim got home, we relaxed a little before heading to bed ASAP. Curtis is awake at 07:00 tomorrow, far too early, as he needs to go to the office to do a lot of things there! It’ll be productive, but long!
Curtis ended up having a lot of meetings in the morning, but they were all really productive and Curtis was happy with them. These meetings kicked off a project which he is excited about.
Once all of these meetings were done, Curtis had some tickets to do as well as some admin for the remainder of the day.
For lunch, Kim went to get some sandwiches and coffee from the cafe down the road so that was a lovely treat for lunch!
Curtis then played some games whilst Kim did the same with her colleagues.
For the morning Kim focused on the quiz for next week’s party. She was surprised at the amount she managed to get done, there is still a lot of work to do on it, but it is looking great!
She popped out to pick up lunch and then she joined a meeting once she had finished lunch Kim joined a meeting to discuss some interviews for next week. It went so well and Kim got some great ideas, support and guidance for interviewing.
Then Kim joined a quick team meeting to close out the week and catch up before hosting the games night. More people joined this week and that made it even more fun than the one on Saturday!
Kim cannot wait to host more of these!
We ate pretty late, but we ordered some take out food! We got food from a place called Tako which is a Mexican and Korean fusion place. It was actually really tasty, and surprised us a little!
We chilled out together for what was left of the evening and watched TV.