Thursday, June 5, 2014

Jan's Bicycle race ~ Garborgriket Rundt Rittet (May 18, 2014)

This area has a lot of nature to explore.  Hiking, walking, running, cycling, skiing, roller skiing (not sure what the correct term is), kayaking, surfing, windsurfing, kiteboarding, stand-up paddling, sailing…seriously this is an outdoors person's paradise.  Its just a little on the chilly side at times.

A few weeks ago, Jan participated in the Garborgriket Rundt Rittet mountain bike race, which was both roads & trails.  It was 82km (approx.  50 miles)  The race started and finished in the town of Bryne which is about 25min away.  Jan drove down earlier in the day, then the kids and I drove down to watch him finish the race.  Lucky for me, Jan has a new Garmin which allows him to send me a link so I can track him.  I wasn't sure where we would be able to park so we had to leave on time.  If you know me, that is hard to do alone and with two kids its next to impossible.  But I checked out the link before we left and we had plenty of time…I hoped.  

We made it to Bryne in plenty of time and found a great parking area.  I unloaded the double BOB stroller, re-attached the front wheel (not enough room in my car for it to remain in tact, not a big deal, I had to remove it in my SUV in Houston too).  Got the kids out of their car seats, loaded up the stroller, backpack, signs.  

The finish line...
We walked to the finish line to see how many people were there.  It was a bit crowded so we walked back towards our car and found a good spot.  We were hoping that Jan would be able to see us.  We had our signs… Go Jan with a Norwegian flag and "Go faster Daddy," which we have had for a few years...several marathons, half marathons, and triathlons.  I brought 2 whistles for the kids to use.


The kids are having a great time, yelling Heie, Heie, Heie.  Holding up their signs and blowing their whistles.  We started getting a few looks and one lady moved further down the street.  Yes we were loud Americans, well I'm American and the kids are half so there is another whole one ;-).  So I told the little cheerleaders we need to move.  We found a great spot, no one around us on our side of the street.  It was just past where the riders were coming out of the woods making their way onto the paved street.  It was great, there was a little ramp up to a building where the kids could run around without bothering anyone else.  They blew their whistles and yelled, holding their signs looking for Daddy.

I was constantly tracking Jan.  The kids were getting restless, so I told them they could play in the grassy area just behind us.  I told them Daddy would be here in about 5 minutes.  The next thing I see is a huge group and I see Jan's helmet and his jersey. Opps I was wrong, there was a huge delay on the tracking link I was using because he was in a wooded area.   I scream his name out, but he looked the other direction.  So all that and he didn't even see his cheering section.  

I told Rebecca & Marcus to get in the stroller, we needed to go to the finish line.  They hopped  in the stroller an away we went.  We found Jan in the finish area.  He had found his friend Lars who had been cycling with him for the majority of the race.  We chatted for a few minutes then we all made our way to the "festival" area.  The contestants had a food tent they could go into which after being on a bike for a few hours they needed to eat.   I had packed a lunch for the kids so we had a little picnic while we waited on Jan.
Our little picnic - Strawberries were dessert 
It was a fun afternoon and it was  beautiful day.  

I'm still trying to figure out this format with the photos and such…so bare with me on the placement of the photos.  Also I couldn't add captions because then it would really mess up the layout

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

1st Photowalk - Orre Strand (February 8, 2014)

Before moving to Norway, I joined few Facebook expat groups for the Stavanger area.  One of them was a photography group.  I have a good camera and over the past few years I’ve been learning with it.  Someone suggested to do a photo walk on the beach.  I thought it would be fun to meet some new people, I was nervous because I wasn’t sure how “professional” these photographers were.  I asked a friend  (who is a professional photographer) if these meet-ups were only for professional and luckily she said no they are all levels and are super nice people.  So I signed up.  The walk was taking place about 30 minutes south of Stavagner at a beach, but we planned to meet up at the train station then caravan out to the location.

Jan had mentioned to me the day before, its suppose to rain.  Well, I live in Stavanger now, the first month and a half it rained everyday.  I took along my winter rain clothes, and a cover for my camera…we drive down south get to the location and its WINDY and raining.  So its almost raining horizontal…but we go out anyway to do our photo walk.

Photo by:Neil Friestad
Photo by:Neil Friestad
 We went to Orre Beach,  there were about 8-10 people both men & women.  We walked out on a path to the beach.  WOW, windy, did I say windy.  The rain felt like little pellets hitting me. Thankfully, I came prepared, I had 4 layers on top and 3 layers on my bottom, with a fleece neck gator and a wool hat under my jacket hood with a pair of gloves.  And my boots, I so love my boots,  Nike winter boots with a fleece liner and they are waterproof.  (I wish Nike still make them because they have been my favorite pair so far this winter) with a pair of thick wools socks. 

The following photos are of me on the photo walk…taken by Neil Friestad
Waterproof jacket needed


So we start walking and taking photos along the beach.  Some had fancy cameras with huge lens, others had tripods, some had multiple cameras.  We walked at our own pace along the beach.  It was yucky out but some of the photos that were taken were AMAZING.  I had a few that could possibly be print worthy ;-).  

I really enjoyed my time out on the photowalk. The people were so nice even though we couldn’t talk much do to the less than ideal weather conditions. 

We spent over an hour taking photos then it was time to walk back to the cars.  I had  no idea we had walked so far…it probably felt farther on the way back since we were walking directly into the wind and rain. 

I’m looking forward to the next photowalk.  J

Just FYI, I'm trying to catch up with all my blog postings.  

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Picnic with Rebecca (February 2, 1014)

One of the last few days Rebecca and I had together before she started BHG we went on a picnic.  It was a beautiful sunny day…windy.  We dropped Marcus off at BHG then we went back home.  We prepared a couple sandwiches and grabbed our backpacks and off we went.  For clarification, we walked.

There is a small sheep field (also known as the Iron-Age Farm)about ½ -3/4mile from our house.    Rebecca requested that I pull out the stroller and I told her no we were walking.  She was a bit slow at times but we made it to the field. 

We ate our lunches then walked to the top of the hill.  We could see the fjord and it was beautiful with the rolling hills around us.  Have I mentioned how beautiful this country is???
This is the top of the hill…such beautiful views

The sun was out but very windy on the top of the hill
We walked around and saw the sheep.  I always thought seeing the cartoon with the big fluffy sheep with the teeny tiny legs was fictitious.  Not at all..Ive seen sheep at the county fairs and such but I don’t think any have had these massive coats of wool.

Then it was time for the walk back home.  Yes, she walked the entire way.  It was slow at times but she did it.