We arrived in Norway a few days ago but I am just now getting the chance to sit and write about our travel experience. So here it goes, the good, the bad and the ugly(which ended up being me).
You may be wondering how many suitcases does it take to move a family of four overseas. For us, the magic number was 16. Two check bags per person and two carry-ons, oh and I almost forgot the two car seats and double stroller. You should’ve seen us at the airport before we checked our luggage! We were quite the sight. Thankfully some good friends from church drove us to the airport and were there to help us.
The first leg of the trip was easy breezy. We flew from OKC to Atlanta. We bought the boys Amazon Fire kids tablets for the trip and they were enthralled. They’ve never had any kind of device or even played games on our phones so you can imagine how zoned they were. I was really worried about it at first. I had drawn a hard line in the sand over devices and it really killed me to cross it, especially since we always get on to our family when they let the boys look at their phones.
But, survival won and boy am I glad we got them! Although, it’s been quite the detox period and I think they asked for them no less than 126 times that first day we were here. But now, they are safely hidden on the top shelf in the closet and will only come out for travel, there I go with hard lines again.
The next leg of the trip was the longest, 7.5 hours from Atlanta to Amsterdam. I was really anxious about how the boys were going to do and now I don’t know why I wasted energy worrying about it. They were awesome. We only had about a 5 minute fit session from Nash before he conked out and then all my men slept. Me, I was awake with Liam sleeping on my lap so I got to catch up on all the latest movies. Instant Family – so cute, go watch it.
And then Amsterdam. Oh Amsterdam, why did you have to be so windy. Our last leg was cancelled due to weather and we got stuck waiting in a 3 hour line with everyone else to get our tickets changed. Eric was in line and I was a table with the boys, our double stroller and our 8 carry-on bags. You can imagine my mood. Oh, and Liam had to go potty twice! I had to literally push the stroller forward a few feet, then go back and push the bags and so on and so on until we got to the bathroom. Just about at hour 2 when I wanted to scream, Liam looked up from his game pad and randomly said, “Well, I didn’t get lost at the airport today…so that’s a good thing.”
Oh my heart. He is the sweetest boy. He knew that Mama was on edge and he chose to see the bright side. He’s my glass half-full kid and I love him for that.
All flights were full so we had to stay the night in Amsterdam. If only we hadn’t been up for 24 hours and we could’ve gone to see something. But we just headed straight to the hotel to sleep. And then, there was another line at the hotel. It seems everyone got the same vouchers. So I was completely grouchy and frustrated and tired. The boys, well they were just fine to wait in the lobby and jump off the ramp over and over.
We finally got to our room and fell asleep only to wake up at 1 am because we had not adjusted to the time difference. However, I was rested and refreshed and ready to go. We headed back to the airport at 5 am and I even got a little shopping in. Chocolates, Stroopwaffle and even a Longchamp backpack. Happy Mama.
The last leg was the easiest. Only 1.5 hours to Stavanger. Although, we got to the gate and headed down the ramp to board the plane only to discover a huge flight of stairs and that we had to take a bus to board the plane! So, imagine all of us, a double stroller and 4 wheelie bags and 4 backpacks headed down a huge flight of stairs. The people were so friendly. Many offered to help but for some reason we refused??? My Viking husband carried all that down the stairs in one trip while I walked with the boys hand in hand.
And then, we made it! Even the airport had that Norwegian charm. Quaint, clean and modern. My heart was beating faster. A quick cab ride to our apartment. We opened the door and then I saw it, the most spectacular view out our entire back wall of windows. Ocean, mountains, cute little houses and boats, lots of boats. Even some cranes for the boys to enjoy.
I will write more on our first few days here but for now, this blog is getting too long! Let me just say, it’s love at first sight for all of us. I cannot begin to describe how happy and blessed I feel. I actually almost cried tears of joy leaving the bakery yesterday. And yes, I love bread that much, but it was more due to the fact that I just walked around the corner to get there and was surrounded by such beauty, my heart just couldn’t take it.