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!


United Kingdom

Place 92 – May 3 2022 to May 9 2022: United Kingdom 🇬🇧 – A Visit Home (Part 1)

Day 1 – Andover, UK

We came back to visit family in the UK!

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!


Tofino, BC

Place 88 – Day 1: Tofino, BC🇨🇦 – Exploring, Beer & A Lighthouse

We woke up pretty early and got ourselves ready to head out to Tofino!

Tofino is a very popular destination for tourists, so we were glad to finally be able to go.

We drove out there, on an estimated 2.5 hour drive. There were some road works and construction happening on the route, so we had to stop a few times, one of which was for 30 minutes, but we eventually made it to Tofino in around 3 hours.

We parked up and went right on the hunt for coffee. We found a place and walked there and had some pretty good coffee from Tofino Coffee Roasting Co.

We had the coffee and then walked around Tofino, just to see what it’s all about.

The actual town wasn’t all that interesting, but there was a little boat dock area which had some really fresh air and some really cool looking buildings.

After we went here, we actually ended up bumping into people that Kim knew from work and they gave a couple of really great suggestions!

The first suggestion was to go to chesterman beach which was a slightly less populated beach but really, really nice.

We stopped at the Tofino brewing company on the way and got there right as they opened! We had a beer and just relaxed outside for a bit which was really nice and the beer was good too! It was then time to get going again.

We drove down to the beach and got parked up and then had a nice, long, walk along the beach. There weren’t many people there and the sand was SO SOFT!

We decided to see how cold the water was, which was VERY COLD though kinda nice on our heavily trodden feet.

We left this beach and drove back up to Tofino and parked back up, being smart and using our ticket we still had time on!

The second thing that Kim’s friend suggested was to get a key lime pie slice from a restaurant nearby, so we got that and it was very, very delicious!

We left here after walking to a hotel that Kim remembered staying at as a child and then we drove out to Ucluelet. This super small town doesn’t have much, but it did have a lighthouse!

The lighthouse had a very large whistle buoy near it which warns boats where to go, so that was VERY loud.

We then decided that it was home time! We were pretty tired but had an incredible day and such a nice break!

We didn’t have too much trouble driving back to the hotel, which by the way, is basically a pub with rooms on, which isn’t as bad as it seemed.

We got back to the hotel and Kim ready that it was possible to see bears nearby, so we went to look for them but saw none, so headed to the local brewery!

Curtis got a beer and Kim got a cider and then we realised we were hungry and no other food place was open, so we had some pizza and a pretzel from the brewery.

We got a half and half pizza. One side was a veggie pizza and the other was lemon and herb chicken with tomatoes and tatziki.

We ate our food and had another drink and then eventually headed back to the hotel, which was just across the road.

We got back around 22:00 and chilled out until sleeping, which we are excited to do!

Likely another early morning tomorrow, and a long day, but it should be a fun one!


This Time Last Year


Mr And Mrs Hale

Vancouver, BC

Place 72 – Day 972: Vancouver, BC – Still No Pain & Blood Taken!

We woke up around 08:50 and Kim had a meeting and then Curtis woke up and led in bed relaxing for a whole. He still had no pain from his surgery, which is great! He took his pills during the night, which likely helped.

Kim went out to get her blood taken for something and whilst she did that, Curtis got out of bed.

Once Kim got back, she brought us coffee and then we hung out for a bit.

Kim did some more work, had an interview to conduct and a couple of meetings.

When it became the evening, Kim went to meet some work colleagues for pizza and drinks and had a really nice time! Just relaxing, chatting and pizza (which is the best bit, of course!).

Curtis stayed home and had some soup for dinner and played some games.

Kim got back home and we watched some TV before heading to bed.

It’s time for vaccine number 2 tomorrow at 12:45, which is exciting!


This Time This Year


Mr And Mrs Hale

Vancouver, BC

Place 72 – Day 968: Vancouver, BC – Exciting Interviews!

Curtis’ Day

Curtis was up early to have a call at 07:30, for a new hire onboarding in Denver. He did that, which went very well, and then he started his day of meetings!

He had a team meeting at 10:30, followed right after by another team meeting and then a meeting to discuss something regarding a the main project Curtis is working on at the moment.

After that was done, Curtis finally had time for some lunch, after he helped someone with their password issues.

Curtis did some more tickets and some project admin after lunch and then he had a call with someone to help them do something.

Once he finished that chat, he had a bit more project work to do before the end of the day.

Kim’s Day

Kim had a really long and interesting day today with a couple of surprise meetings. As she went to start her day Kim got a notification that her teammate was sick so Kim stepped in to do the onboarding for two new starters! It has been many months since Kim did an onboarding and she had to set up a secondary meeting so they can talk directly with her teammate to get information on part of the onboarding. Other than that it went really well!

She then joined a call with a manager to discuss how a new employee is settling in. They also had a chat about a few processes and procedures, it was a great call! Kim then just didn’t turn up to a meeting with the CEO and COO, for no reason at all other than that she was in the zone and forgot about the meeting entirely!

When Kim joined her team meeting she was greeted with a ‘oh here she is!’ as a result of missing her last meeting, it was so funny! They had a great team meeting and got everyone up to speed in terms of things that happened on Friday and some ideas that Kim had over the weekend. It was such a great meeting! From this meeting Kim and her manager both joined an interview to find the newest member of their team. They also had a quick review after the interview and Kim then took some time for lunch.

Just as she was finishing her lunch Kim had a message to see if she could join a meeting to help out with some communication and it was great to jump in and help out!

She then had a end of day chat with the new starters to check in and see how the day went! Both seemed happy and to have enjoyed their day which was amazing!

Kim then went into a meeting to discuss the breakdown of roles within the executive support team and they really managed to work out the responsibilities and description for an upcoming hire. She then joined a surprise meeting to discuss hiring with a couple of hiring managers as they seemed concerned about the status and possibly a little confused / out of the loop. So they all got on a call to ensure they were all on the same page, thus then spiralled into a really important and interesting meeting that ironed out a fair few things. It was great!

Kim took a break for some dinner and then went back to update paperwork and move it from one area to another to make it easier to read and understand. She then had a call with her manager to help them with an update and then they worked out and brainstormed a bunch of things and it was wonderful.

Evening

Curtis played games whilst Kim worked and, as Kim had to work late, we just had frozen pizza for dinner.

We were able to watch a bit of TV before heading to bed.


This Time Last Year


Mr And Mrs Hale

Vancouver, BC

Place 72 – Day 949: Vancouver, BC – Our End Of Work Week!

Curtis’ Day

Curtis had a meeting with someone from the company early on in the day to ask them about a new software they are thinking of trying out, and seeing what would be required from Curtis’ team on that one.

Curtis finished that meeting and went right into a meeting with his team to discuss project work.

After that meeting, Curtis had to write up a project for the earlier meeting and then he had a 1 on 1 with his boss.

Curtis then had some tickets to do followed by creating some more things within a new software the team will be hopefully starting to use in a couple of weeks, which is exciting!

Curtis had two offboards to do after lunch and that took up most of the afternoon, but he did have a security incident to deal with too, which was interesting.

Kim’s Day

To start her day Kim had a meeting with a potential vendor and then she had a meeting with the finance team to go over a few upcoming costs and make some plans. After those Kim took a little break as the lack of sleep from the heat really started to get to her today.

After a mini break Kim had a chat with a consultancy firm to discuss next steps on a few things and make some plans for the next few weeks. She then had a call to go through a few things with a teammate and then she has a connect with a candidate for a new role to answer some questions they had.

In the early afternoon Kim joined a the weekly recruitment meeting that was on today instead as tomorrow is a day off. It was the same situation for the weekly team leaders meeting, they all met in the afternoon, gave updates and sorted out a few things too.

Kim then had two 1-1s! She had the first with a manager to discuss a new starter and then she had a one month check in with a teammate. Then to finish the day Kim worked with the recruiter and the development managers to finalise a couple of job descriptions.

A Little later in the evening Kim joined a games night too! It was so great as it felt like ages since the last games night

Evening

We have two days off coming up, or at least Curtis does, and Kim has a ‘be available’ day on Friday, so this is really our last working day before the weekend, so a nice 4 days off!

We celebrated with pizza, but from a different place! There’s a place that does thicker crust pizza and we had it a couple of times and really liked it, so we went to get that! It was a short walk away and we really enjoyed it.

We watched some TV together and then headed to bed. Kim hasn’t slept well over the last few days due to the heat, so she is excited to sleep!


This Time Last Year


Mr And Mrs Hale

Vancouver, BC

Place 72 – Day 942: Vancouver, BC – TV Show Filming!

Curtis’ Day

Curtis had a very interesting company wide meeting to start the day and once that was done, he walked down to the office.

Once he got to the office, he setup a laptop and a few other things for a new starter, only for the laptop to not play ball so he had to mess around with it for a while.

After doing that, he was able to get some tickets done and he had some security work to do, as well.

Curtis had Subway for lunch as he forgot to take any food with him and then after lunch he walked up to the dentist. It was the first time he had been in a while due to COVID, so it was a long uncomfortable cleaning there, but felt great afterwards!

He was pretty much done for the day once he got back home, but on the way back he noticed the large amount of trucks around. He then remembered they are filming a TV show across the street from our apartment building, so it was cool to see that happening. They actually use that restaurant a lot for filming here, so we may see some cool stuff!

Looks more like a crime scene than a film set here!

Kim’s Day

Kim had a super productive day today! She started with a little admin, got carried away and ended up being 15 minutes late to her first meeting. She got an update on a candidate who is going through the recruitment process and they discussed next steps.

After that meeting Kim had a team meeting that really got into getting things done and a little training. It was awesome! She then did a quick laptop swap with a colleague. Once she got home Kim worked on organising access levels for the HR system.

After lunch Kim had a quick call with her manager to get a couple of updates and then she had a biweekly check in with a colleague, just to keep a few easy wins on the plate and things moving forward.

For the rest of the afternoon Kim had a chat and training with someone from the HR firm the company is working with. This was followed by a meeting with the development team to discuss career ladders within the teams.

Kim then had another mini therapy session and left it feeling like she had a much better direction in terms of next steps and what to look for in terms of support.

She spent some of the evening creating a quick survey buying a few things and setting up two laptops for new starters! A very productive time!

Evening

We had some pizza and then Kim had to do more work. Curtis helped her out a little with some IT stuff she needed help on and then he left her to get on with her work.

Once Kim was done with work, we watched some TV and relaxed. It has been very warm these last few days, with it expected to hit 40°C on Monday, which is FAR too hot!


This Time Last Year


Mr And Mrs Hale

Vancouver, BC

Place 72 – Day 931: Vancouver, BC – Wreck Beach

Breakfast & Wreck Beach

We had a good sleep and then woke up and had some breakfast. Kim went out to get croissants and we ate those and slowly got ourselves ready.

We went out to Wreck Beach, which is right by the university campus. This beach, it turns out, is actually clothing optional, though most people that go don’t go for that.

We drove out there and found ourselves some parking and then walked down the many steps through the trees to get to the beach.

The beach was nice and peaceful, with most people just lounging around. There are a lot of logs around, so we sat on one of those after having a walk around and just took in the air and the scenery. The weather wasn’t amazing, but not cold, so it gres to just sit and relax at the beach.

We walked a little more and then headed back up the many steps to get to the car. As we walked back to the car, another car drove very slowly beside us, trying to wait for us to leave our parking spot so they could take it. This was much to the dismay of other drivers who got very annoyed, so we intentionally just walked away and let the guy drive off so he didn’t hold up traffic.

A Surprise!

On the way home, Kim surprised Curtis by driving to the British shop, where we were able to buy a lot of British snacks, similar to what she did for his birthday!

We bought a lot of stuff there and then drove home.

Homemade Pizza

After relaxing at home a little, we went to the supermarket to buy everything we needed for a homemade pizza. We bought the dough this time, though, but it was fresh dough.

We made the pizza and it came out great, though quite soggy in the middle, so that’s something to work on, but it was very tasty!

After eating, we watched a film and had some of our snacks. After that, we watched some more TV but Kim also ordered herself a blanket she wanted to get.


This Time Last Year


Mr And Mrs Hale

Vancouver, BC

Place 72 – Day 929: Vancouver, BC – Making Lots of Plans!

Curtis’ Day

Curtis started his day right at 09:00 with a meeting which lasted for about 1.5 hours. In this meeting, he set out a whole project and got it ready to start! This has been a long time coming, so it was good to get it all flushed out and ready to go.

After that, he had a quick meeting with an external provider who will be doing some workshops for the team.

Curtis then had a task to help someone through which actually took about an hour, though it did work at the end!

He had a meeting after this with regards to returning to the office and planning all the work that needs to be done for that.

The remainder of the day was busy with tickets and other things, and then Curtis did some of his Norwegian homework. Today was a busy day, but in a good way!

Kim’s Day

Kim had another long and interesting day today! It started with two interviews back to back, with a little time to chat between them. She then joined the department update and was able to do some admin during it too!

She then had time with her new teammate to see how they have been doing, give them direction and assigned some new tasks too. They both then joined the weekly recruitment meeting.

After a quick lunch Kim had a 1-1 with her other teammate and they went over goals, plans and things coming up. It was a great chat! Then towards the end of the day Kim had two 1 month check ins sandwiching an end of day catch up with two managers.

She then popped out to pickup a new laptop and on the way she stopped at her hair salon to exchange a product she bought for some that will work better for her hair.

Once she was home Kim accidentally worked on a bunch of mini projects and fun tasks. Then after dinner she had a call with an exec to discuss an onboarding plan for a new starter while she set up their laptop. A successful day?

Evening

Kim worked fairly late, so we just had frozen pizza for dinner.

We were going to have a walk but then Kim had to do some work and ended up having a chat with someone from work and then it got too late for a walk! She got some stuff done that she needed to, though!


This Time Last Year


Mr And Mrs Hale

Vancouver, BC

Place 72 – Day 922: Vancouver, BC – 1st Vaccine!

Vaccine!

We got up and had some breakfast together and then very quickly got ready and walked all the way down to the convention centre to get our first vaccine!

We got there and entered, to then swap out our masks with a medical one and queue for about 10 minutes.

We then had to prove we had an appointment and check in, before being put into another queue to get the vaccine.

As always, Curtis was likely going to faint, so when we were directed to the person vaccinating us, Curtis let them know and they took him to the first aid area which had beds! He got to lay down whilst they vaccinated him! He then had no issues what do ever and didn’t faint! This was great.

Kim got her vaccine and then we had to wait for 15 minutes after.

We left and both felt great, with relief that we’re yet another step closer to ‘normal’.

We grabbed a coffee on the walk home and then both did work.

Curtis’ Day

After getting back home, Curtis got right into doing some work.

He had a few messages to answer from people as well as some tickets.

Curtis had to deal with a security issue which has been on the radar for a bit of time now, so he did that for a lot of the day.

He had a 1 on 1 and then finished the day with some project work, some admin and more tickets.

Kim’s Day

When she got back Kim joined a meeting halfway through and joined in. It was so interesting and she was so sad to have missed the first half. She then joined the weekly recruitment meeting and then had a great check in with one of her teammates.

Towards the end of the day Kim supported a team with their RACI and started to work out where responsibilities lie within the team. Then she joined a meeting with another team to discuss their hiring and next steps.

To finish the day Kim had an end of day check in with her managers and then another quick check in with a couple of department heads to make a couple of hiring decisions.

Celebratory Pizza!

We went out to get pizza from our favourite pizza place once Kim was done with work.

We got our favourite pizza as a celebration for getting our vaccine! We ate this whilst we chilled out and watched some TV. We did absolutely nothing for the evening and we hope that we don’t get any vaccine side effects tonight or tomorrow!


This Time Last Year


Mr And Mrs Hale