Imagine a new comedy, “National Lampoon’s Norwegian Vacation” starring the Southern California version of the Griswold family. That will be us on our next big trip to my ancestral homeland. Our ‘Party of Five’ epic journey to Norway is just days away and I’m psyched!
I’ll be taking photos, videos and documenting our adventures as much as possible through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, You Tube and this website. Thanks to modern technology, I will have WiFi at all times; which I know sounds sacrilegious to traveling to one of the most beautiful, natural places on earth, but I want to capture and share as much of the beauty and fun as possible.
- Two adults, three kids, four pieces of checked luggage, seven carry on bags, three car seats, one stroller, lots of snacks and bribery tools (candy) and five thin-blooded Southern Californians with their warmest ski jackets.
- Winter clothes courtesy of REI.
- Portable WiFi mobile 4G hot spot “MiFi”, courtesy of Xcom Global.
- Flight Route: Orange County through Chicago and Sweden to Oslo | Oslo through Newark to Orange County.
- Flights courtesy of Scandinavian Airlines
- Travel Itinerary: Oslo, 3 days | Larvik, 5 days | Lillehammer, 4 days | Oslo, 1 day
- Family-friendly flat rental in Oslo, complete with bunk beds, washer/dryer and kitchen courtesy of Christian through Airbnb.com.
- 3 Day Oslo Pass courtesy of Visit Oslo for tours, museums, transportation and fun.
- Rental car, 5 speed VW sports wagon, courtesy of Hertz through USAA.
- Family-friendly lodging near the seashore in Larvik, courtesy of my (3rd?) cousin Kristian and his family. There will be a lot of cousins to visit with in Larvik and Skien.
- We’ll be VIPs at a concert at Murphy’s Irish Pub in Sandefjord, courtesy of Morten, Tainted Souls.
- Family-friendly home rental in the Olympic hub of Lillehammer, courtesy of Mari through Airbnb.com. Ironically, her boyfriend is from Laguna Beach originally. We will spend some time getting to know them and having our daughters play dance games on the Wii together.
- Family-friendly BnB rental near the Gardermoen Airport in Oslo our last night in Norway, courtesy of Gardermoen Hotel Bed & Breakfast and Hotels.com. Bonus: breakfast and airport shuttle.
- Researching, planning and collaborating made easy with Google Docs, Trip It, Sons of Norway, Visit Oslo and Visit Norway.
- Genealogy research made possible with Geni.com, Ancestry.com, as well as my uncle Kern and his invaluable photos, letters and ancestry notes
- Norwegian language learning made fun with NRK.no, Aftenposten.no, Google Translate, Memrise.com and lovely Norwegian You Tube teachers.
- My daughters’ favorite Norwegian phrase thus far, “Nei takk” (no thank you).
Stay tuned for my travel cliff notes! While you’re waiting, check out this cool music video by the popular Norwegian band, Kaizers Orchestra.