It's really hard to make that word look right. Especially since the "o" isn't a normal "o" in Norwegian. Anyhow, it'll have to do. The "berg" could also be a "burg" but I'm not really sure. Tonsberg is the town that Ester's family comes from, so we went for the day to go to her family's Christmas party.
Before the party we wandered around town for a while. Unfortunately there was some rain, which was less than pleasant. However, there were also whales...and in great abundance...
Okay, I honestly don't even want to talk about just how many gummy whales I ate while we wandered around. Let's just leave it at a lot! Some of them were good, but the one I took the picture of actually ended up tasting like soap, and after chewing on it for a couple of minutes it met it's demise in the rubbish bin instead of being consumed.
We saw a place Ester used to live, checked out an old church where I learned that in most Norwegian churches, or at least the state ones, they have a boat suspended from the roof that points toward the front as a reminder of their water-bound past, and their goal of heading toward Christ. We meandered down near the pier and through some of the old classical house portion of town.
Seeing as how at least a quarter of me is of Norwegian origin, we took some time to pay homage to the great Norwegians of the past...the vikings. So I had my photo taken next to a replica (I mean obviously an original) Viking boat, and then we drove out into the country with her Dad to see an ancient Viking burial mound. It seems they would bury the great warriors with their boats, leaving a pretty impressive memorial for generations to come.
From there we went to her parents house where I got to meet Ester's mom as well. It's always nice to get to meet the families of people you know. I've been hearing about Ester's family for nearly 9 years now, and at long last I had a chance to meet quite a few of them. We headed over to the party next, where I was surrounded by Ester's relations, and introduced to them all by her uncle as being from Orrregon. (All the "r"'s indicate how he decided to roll it.) We had a lot of food, and I got to take part in the circling around the Christmas tree when they sing Christmas songs. I even knew a few of them.
There were a lot of little kids there, and they put on a little performance complete with a nativity scene. Then they were given bags of goodies by a Santa-like character. I just had to get a picture of Ester's two nieces in their traditional little outfits.
Johanna and Andrea. Aren't they cuties? Reminded me a bit of all my little blond nieces.
We left the party a bit early so we could go and visit Ingveig. While I never actually worked with Ingveig at Mother's Choice, she had been there between my first summer and my first year, and was living there teaching English during my first year. It was nice to see her again, and also to meet her adorable little girl Jenny. We visited for a while and then had a small meal together before we had to catch the bus back to Oslo.
Overall it was a very nice day, and we were quite tired by the end of it.