Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Running Trails, Mystery Meat, and Groupons

A random assortment of happenings.  Some happy, some slightly illness-inducing...

1.  New Running Trails - We're finding some fabulous new running trails, and loving them!  I think the best way to really see a city is to just lace up your running shoes and go for it.  There's a plethora of good running spots here.  Heck, just running in the city itself is interesting enough, never mind the trail around the water and the awesome parks.  So here are some pics of two of the more beautiful paths.  Obviously I was walking, not running, when I took pics (because I'm sure as heck not running with a heavy, breakable, precious camera), but these are the new gems that are motivating us these days...

Gorgeous trail around Sognsvann.

Trail along the fjord.

Boats on the fjord.

Boats and fall leaves - two of my favorites.

2.  Work and Class  -  If you think I've found a job, you're kidding yourself.  Ha.  Norwegian class is keeping me quite busy.   Ken, the only employed and productive member of this household, had to work quite a bit last week.  Hopefully this isn't a normal occurrence.  The poor guy was trying to answer questions on the phone and flip the chicken on the grill (I was cooking at the stove, in case you think I was just sitting there watching him...) at the same time on Sunday night.  Skillz.

3.  Mystery Meat - It can strike at any time.  Just when you think you've picked up something vegetarian (which, you opt for vegetarian based upon the fear of not knowing what meat will be in an unmarked dish behind a counter, so that makes this even better), you sit down, you take a bite, and...son of a...what's in this?!  It's happened to both of us more than a couple of times, and pasta/pasta salad seems to be the main culprit.  Although, it can also be right in front of you, and you still have no idea.  For example, we walked into a large tent at a food festival, and were excited to see what appeared to be beef stir-fry being cooked all around the tent.  Until Ken looked at the sign, and at the t-shirts worn by the folks who were cooking.  And there it was: hval.  Look it up if you can't guess.  Needless to say, we excused ourselves from the tent.  Then made a beeline for the vaffel tent.   You can see a full description of the cuisine offered at this food festival on my new favorite Norwegian food blog, the Nordic Nibbler.  Please note that he was victimized by a mystery meat far worse than we will ever experience (fingers crossed!)...

Once the mystery meat has entered your mouth, and you achingly swallow it, you then desperately reach for something that's guaranteed to be tasty, and will hopefully cover up the flavor (soda, candy, vaffel, etc).  You also lose your appetite for the next few hours, at a minimum.  Ken runs the risk of being a victim of the mystery meat every weekday, when he takes that oh-so-promising scoop of pasta salad from the salad bar at his office.  Needless to say, his jeans are a bit loose these days...

4.  Groupon in Oslo - We were big fans of Groupon in Portland, but this is a whole new level of appreciation.  Ken discovered that Groupon arrived in Oslo just around the time that we did.  And this, my friends, is an event worthy of much celebration.  Because it means that we can try restaurants for around the same price we would pay for a regularly-priced meal in the U.S.  So far, I've picked up great deals from a couple of different pizza places that look good, and last Friday night we enjoyed a pretty tasty three-course meal at a cute little place.  Love it!

5.  Feeling Like a Normal Fall - Between finding good pumpkins, and so many colorful trees dumping beautiful leaves all over the city (one of my favorite things about Portland's fall) there's a bit of the familiar loveliness of fall.

Fall window.

Halloween goodies from home.

On a final note, the ship with our belongings was delayed a couple of days.  It's supposed to arrive tomorrow, then hopefully we'll get our stuff delivered by the middle of next week.  Fingers crossed!  In the meantime, we have two more nights in our temporary housing, and we made an IKEA run last night (free bus, soft serve, pizza, hot dogs, cheap it) to pick up a mattress that we can use for a few nights.  We didn't mind dropping a little cash, because we'd rather eat mystery meat than sleep on a hardwood floor, and we can reuse the mattress as a lovely addition to our guest sofa bed.  So, feel free to come on over across the Atlantic anytime after next week!