Saturday, December 25, 2010

kids can say the most wonderful things

We are all enjoying our Christmas dinner at my Mom´s in Houston, when my 10 year old nephew Stian raises his glass and says he wants to make a toast. We all raise our glasses and he says "Thank you Bestepappa and Uncle Guy for being here with us for Christmas. I like that you are here".
I got so choked up that I was almost not even able to look back and thank him.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

flying to Houston for the holidays

03:15 - My alarm goes off. 
Time to get ready. I did a last minute re-packing… so instead of 2 suitcases I ended up with 1 suitcase and 1 slightly smaller carry-on (plus a backpack), in order to avoid a penalty fee for having 2 suitcases to check in.

04:15 - The car is packed, and Inger Johanne takes me and my Dad to Torp airport in Sandefjord. It is MINUS 21 degrees Celcius outside. The weather has been very bad the past few days, and we´ve been reading about flight cancellations in several cities, including Oslo. Luckily we are further south, and Torp airport has had no problems.
Checking in went smoothly.

06:30 - The airplane is de-iced and we finally leave the cold, freezing landscape. The plane is packed and I could not bring on board my carry-on. No matter, this first leg is only 2 hours.

08:30 - Finally in Schiphol, Amsterdam, probably the cleanest airport I know of. After a bit of shopping and roaming around, we go through another set of scans. This airport had the full body scan that I´ve heard so much about. You stand inside this round elevator/time travel looking thing. I think It´d be cool to wear some sort of message on my underwear so it shows up on their scan. Maybe next year.
This flight is packed as well. And there are delays, because of the problems from the other airports.

12:15 - After sitting in the plane for over an hour, taxiing around the runways, and after the wings are de-iced, we finally take off.
It was to be a boring, uneventful flight… which is actually a good thing. We even had our own tv screen with a remote control, so we could pick from a variety of movies and tv-shows, and even games like tetris and backgammon. Traveling with Dad was nice too and made the flight seem a little faster.

22:15 - Finally, after an almost 10 hour flight, we land in Houston! We are 1 hour late and it is 3:15 pm in Houston, which is 10:15 pm in Norway. Going through customs took another hour, and this time they took me aside to grill me about my re-entry to the states. I hate customs in Houston, because they always make you feel like you´ve done something illegal. But everything was ok, and I was granted entry.
My luggage was waiting for me, and so was Ken who greeted us at the gate.
It is PLUS 26 degrees Celsius here in Houston!
Our arrival was a surprise to my nephew and niece this year, so when we rang the doorbell they were extatic! Both Dad and I greeted them at the door and gave them a big hug.

05:00 - After a nice meal with my Mom and the whole family we finally went to bed around 10 pm, which would make it 5 am in Norway.
We´d been up for 26 hours!

For some reason, both Dad and I still managed to wake up at 4 in the morning, and were wide awake. I guess the jet lag will take a while, but at least this years flight went alot smoother than in previous years. Time to enjoy the holidays with my family and friends.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010