When my mother knew I'd be in Norway for this amazing fellowship, she decided to visit along with her 77-year-old aunt. Aunt Minnie used to be grandma's twin sister. While I no longer have my grandmother, Aunt Minnie is like a grandmother to me. This trip was extremely special because it was Aunt Minnie's first international trip, other than Niagra Falls. It was also special because this was my mother's first time traveling abroad without me (I'm usually her tour guide). I tried to give them as much information as possible and I was so proud of them for finding their way without a problem. They are really excited to be here. I am also touched because my classmates volunteered to cook them dinner tonight, an international dinner where they would get to know them and present different aspects of their cultures. Unfortunately, Mom and Aunt Minnie are so tired that they had to decline.
We finished class at 1 this week (an hour earlier, which was great for us to have more time). After the inquiry, I went straight to my mom's hotel (around the corner from the school) and was happy to see they were eager to see the city. We went onto a tram (Aunt Minnie's first tram ride) and I brought them to an area called Akkr Brygge, a new harbor-side shopping, eating, and housing development. It will be completed in a few years, but it is still impressive today. This area also features the Nobel Peace Center.
Aunt Minnie treated us all to an excellent Al Fresco meal along the water. We sat under heat lamps, with blankets on our laps as we enjoyed a fine meal. I was very eager for this since I could not afford to eat out here in Oslo -- just sandwich shops, fast food and groceries. Aunt Minnie was suprrised because she had heard that the food quality was terrible in Norway. Not true. It's excellent, just expensive. Perhaps some years ago options were limited, but modern Norway has great culinary options.
Afterwards, we walked back to the hotel-- although I feel bad because although it seemed very close to me, it was a lot of walking for Aunt Minnie. She did appreciate all the people watching and sites, though. They went to bed early, and I went back to my dorm to relax and perhaps get some work done. The days are flying by. So much to do all the time. In a good way!