San Francisco i mitt ❤

Endelig var jeg tilbake i favoritt byen min (Bergen er fin og, men slår dessverre ikke SF..)
Det er ca 25 år siden jeg var her sist. Da jobbet jeg som au pair hos en amerikansk familie som bodde litt utenfor byen. Jeg besøkte San Francisco flere ganger iløpet av det året. Og hver gang ble jeg like begeistret.


Jeg tror det må ha vært havet, sjøen, den magiske broen Golden Gate, historiene om Alcatraz, hippie bevegelsen, China town  og Freia melkesjokolade på sjømannskirken som gjorde meg helfrelst den gangen.
Å være tilbake etter så mange år ble et herlig gjensyn. Vi bodde sentralt ved Fishermanns Warf. Første dag gikk vi på Pier 39. Det var ikke mye som var forandret. Chiradelli sjokolade butikken var der enda. Det samme var julebutikken. Det lå fremdeles seler å latet seg på flytebryggen slik som de gjorde for 25 år siden.


Vi spaserte ved sjøkanten mot Golden Gate bridge. Det var litt langt å gå så vi bestemte oss for å leie sykler neste dag. Da ville det bli enklere å komme seg rundt.
Den avgjørelsen var jeg veldig glad for. For en flott opplevelse det var å kunne sykle over den verdens berømte broen. Jeg storkoste meg.


Vi stoppet underveis og spiste lunsj med panoramautsikt mot Stillehavet.
Resten av dagen syklet vi rundt i byen og fikk med oss flere parker og det kule hippie strøket Haight Ashbury. Her dyrker de fremdeles slengbukser og blomster i håret.
Vi hadde dessverre bare noen få dager. Jeg kunne lett ha vært her mye lengre, for i denne byen er det utrolig mye å finne på. Men det får bli neste gang. Jeg kommer tilbake, og jeg venter ikke 25 år denne gangen.

China town

English:

Finally I was back in my favorite city (Bergen is nice too, but unfortunately does not beat SF ..)

It’s been about 25 years since I was here. Then I worked as an au pair with an American family who lived in the bay area. I visited San Francisco several times during that year. And every time I was as excited.

I think it must have been the ocean, the sea, the magic bridge Golden Gate, the stories about the Alcatraz, the hippie movement, China town and Freia milk chocolate at the seamen church that made me completely love the city at that time.

Being back after so many years was wonderful. We stayed centrally at Fisherman’s Warf. The first day we went to Pier 39. There was not much that was changed. The Chiradelli chocolate shop was still there. The same was the Christmas store. There were still seals lying on the floating bridge like they did 25 years ago.

We walked by the seafront towards the Golden Gate bridge. It was a little far to go so we decided to rent bicycles the next day. Then it would be easier to get around.

I was very pleased with that decision. What a great experience it was to ride a bike over the world’s famous bridge. I loved it.

We stopped along the way and ate lunch with a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean.

For the rest of the day, we rode around the city thru several parks and the cool hippie area, Haight Ashbury. Here, they still cherish flare jeans and flowers in the hair.

Unfortunately, we only had a few days. I could easily have stayed here longer, because in this city there is so much to do.  I will return and I will not wait 25 years this time.
 

The traveling bunad.

Some bunads stories are just so amazing.  Like this one. About a year ago when I still had Nordic Galleri a lady from Fergus Falls contacted me about a bunad she needed help finish.  My sister is the bunad expert in my family and she was in town so I told the lady to stop in an she could take a look at it.

Im not sure I have the whole story correct, but Kathy told us about how her mother had traveled to Norway some forty years ago and purchased the fabric for a Romerike bunad. She brought it to America. Someone in the family were supposed to do the embroidery. But it turned out to be a lot more work than they had imagining and no one volunteered to finish it. 

Just a few years ago, Kathys daughter went to Norway on a student exchange program. The family took the opportunity and sent the fabric with her, maybe she could find someone in Norway who were willing to finish it? She did not succeed and the bunad fabric traveled back to America for the second time… 

Kathy never gave up wanting to finish it for her mother,  and I believe she felt relief when Aina said that she would give it a go and work on it.

So the bunad went back to Norway the second time. Aina lives in Norway and are attending bunad seminars at the Rauland Academy in Telemark. She brougt the bunad there and got help and information about the embroidery.

Its a lot of work with all the embroidery,  so by the time Aina and me were ready to come back to America after a year, the bunad were not completely done. She would have to finish it in Fergus Falls.

And then the bunad traveled back to America for the third time. Aina got some work done on it while on vacation in South Carolina,  and the rest while staying in Fergus Falls at our dear friend Claudias house. She is the best who let us turn her kitchen into a bunad work shop for a few days.  

After forty years and several trips across the Atlantic, the bunad was finally finished. It only need some clips, the belt, and the purse, and it is complete. I believe Kathy were very happy,  it fits her very nice and will be worn by her mom and then later her daughter.  The family has finally completed their precious Norwegian bunad, and they will cherish it for many years to come. 

I feel very proud to have been a part of this, I did help with some of the sawing on the skirt. And I am as alway so impressed by the interests Norwegian Americans has in their heritage and history.  

 

 

Going home.

Its time to say goodbye Minnesota.  My last day in Minneapolis was a good one. We drove to Lake Calhoun in the morning, ran around the whole thing, then drove to Lake Harriet where I put on my rollerblades and rolled around that whole thing. 

Next we got in the car and got some sandwiches,  drove back to Lake Harriet and had a lovely picnic by the water.

After a shower at the hotel we went to our favorite mall in the world, Mall of America.  Did our shopping of the year and enjoyed a nice pumpkin cream cheese muffin and a chai tea latte at Starbucks. Back to the motel,  had a beer 🍻 and dinner at Chili’s. 

What can I say, a perfect ending to this year’s fall trip to America. Tomorrow night I’ll be on my way back to Norway.  

A special thanks to Nancy and Wayne for looking after my car a whole year and for picking us up at the airport.  And to our wonderful friend Claudia in Fergus Falls for housing us and letting us turn her kitchen into a bunad shop.

I did not have time enough to see everyone in Fergus Falls,  but I’m pretty sure we’ll be back next year. 

Norsk Høstfest Minot North Dakota

We have arrived.  Getting ready for our eleventh time as exhibitors at Norsk Høstfest in Minot, North Dakota. 

The booth is almost ready, we have checked in at our best hotel ever and we have attended the Governors reception. Tomorrow at nine the door’s will open and we will be ready for the crowd.

 

Getting ready, what a mess..


The Hyatt House, our home the next days.

Nord og Sør

USA turen vår er godt i gang. Vi tok fly til Atlanta denne gangen. Mye fordi jeg alltid har hatt lyst til å oppleve sørstatene, men også for å få noen dager med sol og varme før vi skal videre nordover til Norsk Høstfest i Minot.

Vi kjørte til Myrtle Beach i Sør Carolina. Der ble vi i tre dager før vi dro sørover mot Charleston og Boone plantation. 

Alle som vokste opp på 80-tallet husker nok den storslåtte serien Nord og Sør. Det gjør i alle fall jeg. Det var nok pga den serien at jeg først ble begeistret for sør statene med all sin historie om slavehandel og borgerkrig, og ikke minst damene med de flotte kjolene og de elegante gentlemen. Det hele virket sagnomsus og romantisk. 

De senere år har jeg lest meg gjennom en del Nicolas Sparks romaner og sett flere filmer. Handlingen i alle disse filmene er stortsett lagt til sørstatene.  Stedsnavn som Cold Mountain, Outer Banks,  Charlotte,  Charleston og Savannah er for meg synonymt med romantikk og drama.

Vi fikk ikke tid å besøke alle stedene, men jeg er veldig glad for at vi fikk med oss Boone plantasjen der Nord og Sør ble filmet. Fantastisk opplevelse,  det var som å tre inn i filmen. Jeg forventet nesten å se Orry komme ridende nedover alleen av eiketrær.

Siden jeg var så “smart” å melde meg på halv maraton i mars 2016,  måtte jogge skoene være med i bagasjen.  Det nytter ikke å ligge helt på latsiden selv om det er ferie.. Men så er det jo ganske kult å kunne jogge på en endeløs strand. Og å kunne hoppe i havet etterpå.

Nå er vi tilbake i Atlanta og skal videre til Minneapolis i morgen.  Der henter vi Buicken min og kjører innom Fergus Falls på vei mot Norsk Høstfest i Minot, nord Dakota.  Blir veldig kjekt å treffe igjen mange kjente de neste to ukene, gleder meg.

 


Lang flytur? Ta med garn og hekle noen pannebånd.  Fikk også strikket noen pulsvanter på maskinen før jeg dro. De ble montert på hotell rommet. Må jo jobbe litt i ferien og.


Aina jobber med en Romerike bunad som skal leveres til en kunde i Minnesota. Også en busserull må bli ferdig… Var det ferie vi var på?

Tøft å jogge på sand i nærmere tredve grader. God med en dukkert etterpå.

 
Fint i Savannah. Godt med frozen yoghurt i varmen. 


Boone plantasjen 

 

Farewell Fergus Falls..

Is been a week since I closed down Nordic Galleri and left Fergus Falls. It was not an easy decision to end my store, but several incidence gave me no other options. The hardest part was making the decision, but as soon as that was done, the real work started. I had the store for sale in September and we had a 20% off store wide sale. Two persons showed interest in buying the store, but they both turned it down after a few weeks of consideration. Late September I went to Norsk Høstfest in Minot and sold items from Nordic Galleri. It is a good selling place and a lot of fun. Very busy week. 

Returning to Fergus Falls after Norsk Høstfest my two most busiest weeks started, it was time to get seurious about selling out Nordic Galleri. I only had these two weeks before I had to return to Norway. During these weeks I had a lot of visits from many friends and customers in Fergus Falls. It really warmed my heart and made it easier with all the support from everyone. Some people were sad, but I think everyone understood that running a business can cause many difficult issues and sometimes it is time to let go.

I would like to thank Claudia who has brought me so many of my favorite drink from City Bakery, Chai Latte, and who has been such a great support from day one, binging me lunch and taking me out to dinner several times! Arna, the previous owner of Nordic Galleri, also a great support and believer in me, Im sorry I had to be the one to close down the store, I know its harder for you than me. Juli, my good friend, taking me to hockey games with your handsome boys, biking in the summer and just hanging out and for making me cry when I read your goodbye note! Joni, for our walks and several movie nights, loved it. And please thank your wonderful parents from me, they are very special to me! Anne and Sean, for bringing wine and pizza and inviting me to your home so many times! Wendy, for accepting me as you did right away and invited me to the precious knitting nights, saved me from insanity when I got lonely being away from home several weeks! Marion, for loving Wik and Walsoe and for inviting me to meetings and to your home! Gladys, for inviting me along for a wonderful family Thanksgiving dinner, I forgot to say how thankful I was for that!

For Lois, who I could always depend on if I had any questions about whatever American stuff I did not understand. My great friends and neighbors, everyone at The Cuttery, Bahama Gold, Lincoln Ave Antiques and Collectors Corner , for putting together the pot lock and for giving me wine during work hours the day before the last day! And Carrie for being such a great neighbor the first year or two! Lance and Lisa, great next door neighbors! All my knitting friends, you all mean so much to me, Wendy, Juli, Heather, Ann, Kristina, Gloria, Linda, Ruthie, Denise, Kirk and there is a few more that I just cant remember the name, so sorry, I see your faces, but cant come up with the names…! Hal and Donna, you took me under your wings right away! Peg, for answering all my stupid tax questions. Jackie, for teaching me that Americans don’t eat fast food all the time, you actually eat homemade bread! For my wonderful employees, Karin, Linda, Brenda and Joy, I could not have done this with out you. Jean, for being positive all the time! Dawn, for posting wonderful Walmart stories on FB, love them! 

Nancy and Wayne, I cant tell you enough how much you have helped me and how much you mean to me! Kirsten, who helped me out with parking in Minneapolis the first year! Anne, for letting me use your car so many times, love you and I still owe you money..! My parents for bringing me to and from the airport in Bergen and always supported me no matter how hopeless it all seemed! Sissel, for chatting with me from Norway and lifted my spirit when I was feeling down. And my sister Aina, for coming over to visit so many times, staying in the store with me and being a great support! My beautiful daughter Lisbeth, who did not get too upset and tell me that I should have stayed at home with her, but understood and supported my adventure, I love you so much! Eirik, my favorite brother (did I mention that I only have one brother..), for coming over once with me and borrowing my car for a whole week so I had to walk to work in snowstorms, and for making us miss our flight back to Norway.. (well, that was kind of mostly mine mistake..) 😉

This kind of ended up like a very long Oscar speak, but there is just so many who has helped me the last four years of my adventures in Fergus Falls and America. I do apologize if I forgot to mention someone, please forgive me I know there is several others who helped and deserve a BIG thank you! Love you all! And a big thank you to customers who stopped in during these years. Its been my pleasure serving you. If you need anything Scandinavian, please visit Heidi and Sandra in Scandinavian Gift Shop in Alexandria, say hi from me!

A chapter in my life ended by selling out Nordic Galleri. I did not end up rich in money, but rich in so many more important ways, rich in experience, adventure, friendships and love! I will forever be grateful for my opportunity to own a business in USA, it has really been great!

And no it is time to start my new chapter in Norway, starting with moving out of my apartment in about a month and moving into a camper to try a new lifestyle, the simple living! I hope it will be fun! Check in on my blog sometimes, there will be reports..;)

Thanks for the cool candle light holder Claudia, and thanks for the cookbook Hal and Donna, it even have recipe for lutefisk and lefse!

En helt vanlig dag i USA…

Hjemme i Norge har vi vaskemaskiner i alle hjem. Slik er det ikke i USA. Her er det ganske mange av befolkningen som må fysisk ut av huset og langt avgårde når de skal vaske klær. Dette må også vi da boligen vi bor i ikke har tilgang til vaskemaskin og tørketrommel. Alt har sin sjarm, også en tur på vaskeriet!! Er egentlig en helt ok aktivitet på en sur regnværsdag som minner veldig om en kald vestlands sommer… 🙂

Bare å stappe inni, hive på penger og vente…

 

Å vente….

Venter litt til…..

Nesten ferdig….

Hm… kulehul…? Noen som ikke liker vaskeriet..?