Tag Archives: Norwegian

Tainted Souls Live in Sandefjord, Norway

by Lindy
Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Murphy’s Irish Pub, Sandefjord, Norway

When we were in Larvik, Norway, we were able to go see Tainted Souls in concert. They were playing live at Murphy’s in Sandefjord and had taken their fans from Oslo to/from the concert in a big party bus. I’m psyched my cousin Heidi was able to come with us and we could share some beers and good conversation. It was also cool to meet so many fun and interesting new people!

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Tainted Souls’ Party Bus; Sandefjord, Norway.

Photo Credit: Geirr Cranner

Tainted Souls in front of their Party Bus. Live in Sandefjord, Norway.

Tainted Souls’ band members:

Morten Duesund – Vocals
Bjørn Skallerud – Guitars
Rune Kristensen – Bass
Tor Arne Berg – Drums

Photo Credit: Jonathan NeubauerTainted Souls Concert; Sandefjord, Norway.

We got there well before the concert began, so we were able to hang out and meet the band and their friends, family and fans. Everyone was extremely cool and we had a great time, first having tapas at Da Vinci’s across the street and then at Murphy’s Irish Pub for drinks. Murphy’s was a cool pub with a lot of space to mingle and hang out. At the same time the band was setting up, there was an awesome birthday party going on for a girl named Pia, and everyone was dressed from in 1920s flapper era attire. They were all extremely attractive and having a blast. Sorry I didn’t get a picture of it; you’ll have to trust me that it was a sight.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Lindy and Heidi, Tainted Souls Concert; Sandefjord, Norway.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Morten, Lindy and Her New Tainted Souls T-Shirt.

Photo Credit: Lindy Neubauer

What’s This Gringo Doing in Norway?

Photo Credit: Lindy Neubauer

Pre-Concert Drinks. What? Jonathan drinking an unleaded Coke?!

As a side note, you will never see Jonathan go to a bar and drink an unleaded Coke; there would usually be Jack Daniels in there with just a splash of Coke. However, in Norway, the DUI laws are very serious (.2% BAL) and he adhered to the law that evening. I was happy that I wasn’t the D.D. and that Heidi was with us too, because she was familiar with the area and there was a lot of road construction and closures. I would have gotten us lost and mangled if I were driving with only the assistance of Google Maps.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Norwegian Beer – Hansa; Tainted Souls Concert.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Morten Representing Surfrider Foundation on Stage

I had given Morten, the lead singer, a Surfrider Foundation Newport Beach Chapter t-shirt as his wife’s a surfer and I want to bring Surfrider to Norway. It was cool that he wore the shirt on stage! During set up, there was an issue with the sound system, so there was some band angst in calling in some back up help, but the crew got it worked out and the band sounded great. It was a very interactive and engaging concert! Morten chatted it up with the crowd between songs and the fans sang along and took lots of photos and videos throughout. He’d even brought Pia, the birthday girl, up on stage to sing Happy Birthday to her! I’d listened to their CD Mercury Mind several times before the trip, so I was familiar with the catchy songs and they did several cool cover songs as well. My favorite was Chris Isaac’s “Wicked Game” – it’s a classic and they performed it well.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Pia’s Friend Calling Her Up on Stage for “Happy Birthday”.

Photo Credit: Lindy Neubauer

Tainted Souls Performing Cover Song, “Wicked Game”

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Tainted Souls Concert. Sandefjord, Norway.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Tainted Souls Fans. Sandefjord, Norway.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Tainted Souls Concert. Sandefjord, Norway.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Tor Arne (drums) and Rune (bass). Tainted Souls Concert; Sandefjord, Norway.

See more photos from Murphy’s Irish Pub and other concerts in their website’s concert gallery. You should also keep up with them on their Facebook and Twitter. They’ll be playing in Southern California early September 2013, so make sure to save the date if you’re on the west coast.

In my next and final post in my Norwegian travel writing series, I’ll cover our last four days in Norway, which we spent in the beautiful mountain town of Lillehammer, Norway’s Olympic city. Read about it here.


Norwegian Vacation Part 2 – Family Reunion

by Lindy

It’s been over 100 years since Lauritz Anton Kjønnerud (Kenrud is the Americanized surname) and Elise Marie Hagan left their homes in Larvik, Norway – the southern coastal region. (Home of Thor Heyerdahl, Kon-Tiki adventurer.) They left Norway (independently) in the early 1900s for better lives; times were tough in Norway and America promised a land of opportunities. Lauritz and Elise are my maternal great-grandpa and great-grandma. They were married in Couer d’Alene, Idaho on August 30, 1913 (exactly 90 years before my wedding anniversary on the same date!)

I am fortunate that my grandpa Andy (Lauritz’s son) and uncle Kern (Lauritz’s grandson) maintained contact with some of our family in Norway and that I’ve had the chance to get to know them throughout the past 10 years; especially with the ease of email and Facebook. The Sons of Norway in Seattle helped to reconnect my grandpa with his Norwegian relatives after Lauritz and Elise died, leaving him and his brother orphans. Kern has also passed on the letters between the families in Norwegian and old photos of their first homestead in Bellingham, Washington. Having the opportunity to see these has left a lasting impression on me and I’m honored to have this legacy to share with my children.

Photo Credit: Lindy Neubauer

Lauritz, Ralph and Andy Kenrud, Bellingham, WA

Photo Credit: Lindy Neubauer

Elise on the farm, Bellingham, WA

Photo Credit: Lindy Neubauer

Ralph and Andy (great uncle and grandpa) cutting wood, Bellingham, WA

Photo Credit: Lindy Neubauer

Lauritz, Ralph and Andy Kenrud, Bellingham, WA

Photo Credit: Lindy Neubauer

Fishing in Bellingham, WA

Photo Credit: Lindy Neubauer

Lauritz, Ralph and Andy Kenrud

Photo Credit: Lindy Neubauer

Ralph and Andy Kenrud, my grandpa and great uncle

Photo Credit: Lindy Neubauer

Elise, Andy and Ralph Kenrud | Bellingham, WA

Photo Credit: Lindy Neubauer

Lauritz and Elise in Bellingham, Washington

My husband and I visited my family in Larvik first in 2004 and then in 2011, some came to visit our family in Seattle and now we’ve just returned from our big family trip to Norway where we were able to spend quality time with most of the cousins and great uncles/aunts. It was an incredible experience for me and impactful for my children as well. Kiersten (5) is now smitten with her cousin Jakob and claims to want to marry him and Brendan (2) perpetually stuck by Jana’s side. They all played so well together despite the language barrier.

Photo Credit: Lindy Neubauer

Driving from Oslo to Larvik

We had five days of spending time with all the family, rotating visits to everyone’s houses. Highlights were having late night conversations with our accommodating hosts Kristian (cousin) and Heike, as well as tasting various new liquors with them, having a fun cookout at the beach in Stavern with waffles, sausages and lefse, spending a day with Kjell (great uncle) and Inger eating and reviewing ancestry documents, meeting a new cousin from my great-grandma’s lineage, Heidi, and hearing all the creative things she’s involved with at her job, seeing and learning about Henrik Ibsen’s ‘Rat Virgin’ sculpture in Skien on the Telemark canal, meeting younger Kristian and Ingrid’s new baby girl, Line, and Kristian taking the kids on a tour of his police station in Skien. It was wonderful seeing Beate (cousin) and Espen’s home and tasting a traditional Norwegian soup with flatbread and lots of butter. We also had a great time seeing Håkon (cousin) and Reidun’s home and getting to know them more. We also got to meet another cousin of Kristian, Espen and his wife Pham and their two lovely daughters. They had lived in the U.S. before, so there was a lot to talk about. Of course, there never is enough time and I’m sad we didn’t get more time with everyone. I’m certain we will visit them again someday though.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Brendan and Inger, great aunt, Larvik, Norway

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Norwegian dinner; Larvik, Norway.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Brendan, Jana and Heike; Larvik, Norway.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Beate and Brendan + me; Larvik, Norway.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Beate, Inger, Kjell and Kiersten; Larvik., Norway.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Delicious Norwegian Jello Dessert

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Delicious Norwegian Meatballs, courtesy of Inger.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Lindy and Kjell reviewing ancestry documents; Larvik., Norway.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Inger, Annika and Kiersten; Larvik., Norway.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Kjell and his grand nieces; Larvik., Norway.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Lindy and Heidi; Larvik, Norway.
Creative cousins.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Lindy, Heidi and Annika, Larvik, Norway.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Frozen row boat in Larvik, Norway

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Hungry swan. Larvik, Norway.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Playing on the beach; Larvik, Norway

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Henrik Ibsen’s ‘Rat Virgin’ Sculpture. Skien, Norway.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Climbing up the ‘Rat Virgen’; Skien, Norway

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Kids taking over the computers. Skien, Norway.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Welcoming Kristian’s new baby girl, Line.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Ane reading to Kiersten. Skien, Norway

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Skien family. Beate, Reidun, Ane, Espen, Jakob, Oscar + me, Annika, Kiersten, Brendan.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Traditional Norwegian soup, courtesy of Beate. Skien, Norway.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Legos are universal. Jakob, Oscar and Brendan; Skien, Norway.

Brendan and Jakob at the police station in Skien, Norway.

Brendan and Jakob at the police station in Skien, Norway.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Annika, Kiersten, Baby Line and Ingrid.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Dressed for the weather. Stavern, Norway.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Staying warm at the beach. Stavern, Norway

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Beach cookout, Stavern, Norway

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

The girls: Jana, Annika, Kiersten. Stavern, Norway

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Jana locked up in Stavern, Norway

The Guys' Jonathan, Brendan, Kristian. Stavern, Norway.

The Guys’ Jonathan, Brendan, Kristian. Stavern, Norway.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Stavern, Norway

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Beautiful Norwegian girls, Ane and Julie. Larvik, Norway.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Kids’ table for celebration dinner. Larvik, Norway

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Bear hug. Kristian and Brendan. Larvik, Norway.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Family photo with Håkon taking the photo. Larvik, Norway.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Strong liquor.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Stronger
liquor.

Some of the things I loved about Larvik and Skien was the stunning, natural beauty, the crisp fresh air and the kind, authentic people. I enjoyed the traditional Norwegian meals with lots of bread, cheese, meat, fish and spreads on open-faced sandwiches and especially the meatballs and potatoes. I loved how everyone is active outside despite the cold weather; you can see bicyclers, runners, hikers and soccer players everywhere. There is a Norwegian saying we’ve learned, “There’s no such thing as bad weather; just bad clothing.” So true! I became adept at dressing in layers and was quite warm and comfortable. I really like the cold-weather, Nordic fashion with a blend of rugged function and beauty. I also love Norwegian design and decor in their homes; it’s so natural, rustic and quaint with a lot of personal touches.

Now that I’m back in the U.S., I reflect a lot on my ancestry and the people who came before me, their journey, as well as what aspects of me are distinctly Norwegian (stubbornness, determination, outdoorsy, down to earth.) I like to think I’m Norwegian even if just 75% of me is and I can’t speak the language well and I’m the 3rd generation in America (on both my parent’s sides).

I’m happy to report that to honor my Norwegian great-grandparents, my uncle Kern has arranged for Lauritz and Elise’s names, where they immigrated from and their dates of arrival to the U.S. are going to be added to the last available rune stone at the Leif Erikson sculpture, a tribute to Scandinavian immigrants, at Shilshole Bay Marina in Seattle. The final stone will be added to the 13 existing runic-like stones arranged around the statue in the ancient tradition of a Viking ship. The stones display authentic Viking designs, and each stone holds plaques with the names of Scandinavian immigrants to honor their history.

leiferikson.org

Leif Erikson statue at Shilshole Bay Marina, Seattle, Washington Photo Credit: LeifErikson.org

Leif Erikson International Foundation (LEIF) commissioned a new base for the existing statue and a display of some 850 immigrants’ names. (More names were added in July 2010, for a total of 1,767.) The statue base is a large granite stone approximately six feet high, in the middle of a plaza. It is encircled with upright, runic-like stones, featuring authentic Viking carvings and plaques with the names of immigrants, along with their home towns and years of immigration.

The base and tribute display were designed by internationally known artist Jay Haavik, grandson of the former pastor of Ballard First Lutheran Church, the Rev. O. L. Haavik.

The Norseman Leif Erikson symbolizes the courage to venture to a new land.- leiferikson.org

leiferikson.org

Lauritz and Elise will be honored on a rune stone like this.
Rune stone, Leif Erikson Statue at Shilshole Bay Marina, Seattle, Washington
Photo Credit: LeifErikson.org

My next post will be about the concert we went to in Sandefjord, Norway to see Norwegian rock band Tainted Souls perform live. It was awesome!


Norwegian Vacation Part 1

by Lindy

Orange County, California to Norway
March 30 – April 13, 2013
Part 1 of the Epic Adventure

We had the most excellent two week trip in Norway! I’m compelled to recap our adventures before my memory completely fades, but I will break down our journey into a few different posts out of consideration for short attention spans. Although traveling with kids is not necessarily the most relaxing or fun, we feel it’s very important for our kids to experience the fun traveling and exposure to other cultures to broaden their knowledge of the world. I also wanted them to spend time with our Norwegian family and learn more about our ancestry (as much as what’s possible with a seven, five and two year old.)

This first post will cover the craziness that ensued just to arrive in Norway, the main highlights of our first two days as tourists in Oslo and I’ll finish the post with a thoughtful interpretation of a missing stage of life from the famous Vigeland Sculpture Park as told to me by our  Air BnB apartment host, Christian Krogh.

Throughout our trip, I took travel notes on my smart phone on a simple notepad app. It was the easiest and most accessible tool and as it’s an Android phone, it was easy to speak into the microphone to record my notes. The fun began at 4:30 a.m. Saturday morning, March 30th. We had an 8:30 flight on American Airlines, so we woke up 4:30 am. Everything went smoothly and we were confident of our travel mojo on the runway waiting to take off, until the pilot got on the intercom to tell us that the plane had a broken part and we needed to go back to the terminal to inspect it. After inspection, they said they needed to shuttle a crew of mechanics from Los Angeles to fix the broken part, so everyone needed to get off the plane, get their luggage from baggage claim and go to ticketing for new flights. !!WTF?!! Didn’t they realize our luggage was practically 6 feet tall since there was five of us traveling?! And only two of us were capable of carrying it (oh, actually one because it was too heavy for me.)

Photo Credit: Lindy Neubauer

Luggage Cart: (1) 50 lb. suitcase, (1) 40 lb. duffle bag, (2) big backpacks and (1) bag of car seats.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

7:00 am – Excited Traveler

7:30 am – Happy Traveler

Photo Credit: Lindy Neubauer

9:30 am – Angry Traveler

Photo Credit: Lindy Neubauer

9:45 am – Weary Travelers

But, we forged on and did as we were told. Round 2 with luggage, ticketing and security (not so easy)- we had new flights. We got to our gate and discovered our flight was delayed 30 minutes. No problem, we thought, we had time. The agent at the gate told us that the delay would make us miss our connecting flight, however, so we needed to be booked on yet another flight and there wasn’t showing anything available for us in the system. She recommended we go home and come back the next day to take the first flight out or that we could fly to London and stay the night there and fly to Oslo the following day. I would have chosen option #2 before choosing to go home and come back the next day. As a last resort she offered us the solution of taking a shuttle to Los Angeles airport, taking a red eye flight to London that evening and then flying to Oslo direct. We all agreed it was the best option, so we took it, however, we had to get our luggage out of baggage claim again, but by this point we were experts.

The rest of the flight details were a breeze once we got out of Orange County airport; they gave us excellent customer service throughout with food vouchers and bulkhead seating which were golden. I was so glad we weren’t pinched in the regular seats; the passengers were all trying to sleep and get comfortable in extremely cramped seats. I enjoyed watching Silverlining Playbook before drifting of into a nice slumber.

Some mishaps that occurred which kept us on our toes included our two year old son ‘doing his duty’ in his diaper right before landing and it went up and out of the back of his pants. Luckily, we had a change of clothes and did a quick presto-chango in the bathroom. Next, at airport security for our connecting flight in London Heathrow, he somehow gagged on his lollipop and started throwing up on himself just as we were taking off our shoes and laying everything out to go through x-ray. It was messy and smelly and distracting. Since we weren’t entirely focused at this point, we neglected to take out our iPads and other items from our bags to be scanned. Therefore we were flagged for closer scrutiny and Jonathan was frisked for good measure. But we pressed on and were rewarded with the most awesome indoor playground for kids where they could burn off energy while waiting for our connecting flight to Oslo. Our five year old peed her pants, because stopping playing to go to the bathroom is just a drag. Again, we were fortunate to have packed a spare pair of pants for such occasions – I’m a pro.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

London Heathrow Airport Hitchhiker

The final leg of the trip was a blur of shuttling, screening, waiting and various forms of transportation. We arrived in Oslo Gardermoen airport at 12:30 am Monday morning (eight hours ahead of California time) so we’d been on the go for over 34 hours at that point and still needed to retrieve our mound of luggage, go through customs, take the express train to Oslo Central Station and take a taxi to our rental apartment. We were all frazzled and extremely fatigued, but we made it happen. It wasn’t fun or easy, but we did it (with a lot of stares from onlookers.) We finally laid our heads on our pillows at 2:30 am (36 hours from start to finish) and although the kids were excellent travelers keeping their spirits and resilience up throughout, my daughters were in tears at that point saying that they didn’t like Norway and they wanted to go home.

I questioned our rationale for taking this big of a trip and assessed whether or not it was too ambitious of us. But we were certainly not going to go home at that point. After a solid night’s rest, everything looked sunny and bright again and we were ready to explore Oslo. We downloaded the Visit Oslo (tourist sites), NSB (trains) and Ruter Billett (bus) apps as well as Google Maps and our portable WiFi to navigate Oslo with relative ease. We also brought our Anker portable external battery chargers to help recharge everything on the go as needed.

Highlights from Monday in Oslo included: me slipping on a sheet of ice while walking to find a neighborhood restaurant that was recommended, eating pizza and a falafel at a “Friends” store when we discovered the restaurant and everything else was closed for the Easter holiday. Interestingly, the man at the counter asked me, “Do you want little or small falafel?” I said small and lo and behold, the ‘small’ was quite huge; I should have clarified before ordering.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Friends Store in Kvaernbyen Oslo
Everywhere we go, we take over the place.

Our tourist highlights that day was viewing the Palace and the changing of the guard and walking around the beautiful Aker Brygge harbor area and the kids played on an outdoor playground.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Oslo Royal Palace

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Changing of the Guard Oslo

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Rower water sculpture Aker Brygge Oslo

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Aker Brygge Oslo

We dined at a cozy restaurant called Rorbua that had a rustic and nautical decor. The menu had seafood and traditional Norwegian food and everything was delicious. We had a valuable economics lesson after that meal; it ended up costing us $200 USD! But still I’m happy we ate there instead of the alternatives of Big Horn Steakhouse or TGIF’s. I could justify and embrace spending that much on this fantastic dinner because we were still recovering from airplane food as well as an exteme case of travel fatigue.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Rorbua Restaurant Aker Brygge Oslo

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Steak at Rorbua

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Salmon at Rorbua

On Tuesday one of the highlights was Vigeland Sculpture Park where the kids played on the snowy playground, observed all the beautiful, naked sculptures and sledded down the icy steps near the phallic monolith in the center of the park.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Southern Californian girl at home in the snow.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Everywhere we travel, there must be a playground. Vigeland Park Oslo.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Universal playground fave. Vigeland Park Oslo.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Peek a boo. Vigeland Park Oslo.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Making friends in Norway.
Vigeland Park Oslo

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Vigeland Sculpture Park Oslo

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Here’s how we feel about traveling with kids.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Nordic Mama. Vigeland Park Oslo

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Girl huddle. Vigeland Park Oslo.

A rare photo of the the couple taken by their daughter.

A rare photo of the the couple taken by their daughter.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Traveling Troll at Vigeland Park Olso.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Sledding at Vigeland Park Olso.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Real life family sculpture. Vigeland Park Oslo.

We then went to the open air Folk Museum to see how Norwegians lived from the 1700s to present day.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Folk Museum Oslo

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Folk Museum Oslo

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Traveling Troll at the Folk Museum Oslo

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Folk Museum Oslo

Then we walked around the beautiful Opera House and took in the breathtaking views.

The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet House
Photo Credit: VisitOslo.com | Karianne Lund

Photo Credit: Lindy Neubauer

Statue of Norwegian Opera Legend, Kirsten Flagstad

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Opera House Oslo

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Annika at Opera House Oslo

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Norwegian ingenuity and determination. Opera House Oslo.

We ended the day at an outdoor cafe called Skansen and enjoyed a glass of wine, apple cake and ice cream near Akershus Fortress.

Akershus Fortress Photo Credit: VisitOslo.com | Nancy Bundt

Apple Cake and Ice Cream at Skansen Cafe Oslo

Our host at our apartment rental, Christian, wrote in his ‘Guide to Oslo’ notes that there is a theme of life throughout Vigeland Sculpture Park but that there was one mysteriously missing. He challenges his guests to discover what that is, but if they can’t, to email him for his theory. We attempted to find the missing stage of life, but ultimately had to resort to emailing Christian. Here is his detailed explanation of Gustav Vigeland, the sculptor, and the missing stage of life.

“Gustav Vigeland was undoubtly a great artist but not a very sympathetic person. He was very focused on leaving a memorable location about himself and his art. He never got married but had a lot of female relationships. Why do so many girls like the bad guys? He did not treat the women nice. In fact it is stated that he was confronted on several occasion for beating them up. The theme of the park is “Life”. The park is supposed to show all shades of life. The “Monolitt” is supposed to symbolize the male genitals. As you so in the park you have newborn babies and old people. However, a pregnant woman is missing. Why when the theme is suppose to be all shades of life? We don’t know for sure but what we think is that G. Vigeland did not think that a pregnant woman was a pretty picture to portrait. 

G.Vigeland had a younger brother that also was an artist. Gustav made sure that nobody credited his younger brother’s work. During the war the younger brother got the nazi occupation authorities to give him a small chapel to decorate. He did a great work in this chapel. When you enter the chapel there is a big box right over the entrance door to the chapel. Vigeland was asked why he had placed this big box over the entrance door. Anyone entering the chapel had to bow their head to get in to the chapel. The younger version of Vigeland said that “I put it there because when I die I will use it as my coffin. If my older brother drops by to see what I have made, I want to make sure that he has to bow his head.” – Christian Krogh

WOW! Talk about a fascinating art history lesson!

Next, “Norwegian Vacation Part Two” will cover our five days in Larvik, my maternal great grandfather and great grandmother’s hometown, where we spent quality time with family.


Norwegian Vacation, Party of Five

by Lindy
National Lampoon's European Vacation | Photo Credit FanPop.com

“Why are those stupid Americans wearing lederhosen in Oslo?!”
(Yes, this photo is from the Alps,; I’ve taken creative liberties)

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.

Travel Details:

  • 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.

    Two Bedroom Flat Rental in Oslo, 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.

    Larvik Boat Tour | Photo Credit: Gunnar Berven, Opplevlarvik.no

  • 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.

    Home rental in Lillehammer, Airbnb.com

  • 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.

    Gardermoen B & B, Oslo

  • Researching, planning and collaborating made easy with Google Docs, Trip It, Sons of NorwayVisit Oslo and Visit Norway.
  • Genealogy research made possible with Geni.comAncestry.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.

 


Tainted Souls’ Viking Invasion Tour

by Lindy

Norwegian rock band Tainted Souls is planning their upcoming U.S. Tour for September 2013, which we’re jokingly naming the “Viking Invasion Tour”. They will focusing their tour on the west coast, specifically California (Southern and Northern), Oregon and Washington.

Tainted Souls would love to reach new audiences in the U.S., especially the Norwegian-American community that maintains pride for their ancestry as well as modern Norwegian culture. Music lovers of all ages will enjoy their unique genre of rock which is a combination of classic rock, alternative and melodic tunes, which are sung in English. They will also prove that not all Norwegian bands play Death Metal.

If you are interested in learning more about booking Tainted Souls and/or interviewing them, please review their Electronic Press Kit (EPK) and contact me. Please also read my recent interview with Morten Duesund, lead singer. If you are interested, I can also send you a demo CD, photos and other material. Coming soon: video footage from live performances in Norway. I will actually be there for one of their gigs in Sandefjord, Norway this April! #Psyched

Tainted Souls Biography (from Sonic Bids)

Tainted Souls is a Norwegian band that is often described as making “melodic rock” that gives the listeners references to great rock bands from the 70´s, as well as to the more “modern” rock music.

The band is primarily focused on providing a good and honest stage performance, packed with naked and in-your-face rock and roll with lots of punch.

Vocally the music is described as having references “grunge” icons Vedder and Cornell, and to Ozzy.

The band started by rocking their way to the Norwegian national finals of the “Battle of the Bands” concept Emergenza in 2008, and has since then released singles and the album “Mercury Mind” and been on the road playing at all kinds of venues.

Their album has received good reviews in Europe and they are now focusing on building on their audience in the U.S., Europe and Asia.


Interview: Norwegian Rock Band Tainted Souls

by Lindy
Norwegian Rock Band, Tainted Souls

Norwegian Rock Band, Tainted Souls

Allow me introduce you to Tainted Souls, a Norwegian rock band from Oslo. I had the great pleasure of interviewing them after we became fast friends on Twitter and Facebook. Why am I making Norwegian friends online, you ask? Good question; the answer: I am 3/4 Norwegian, 3rd generation in America, I keep in touch with my family in Norway and I will be visiting there again this April. I am a card-carrying Sons of Norway member and currently working hard to learn Norwegian by taking language classes with Ms. Sissel on Saturdays, reading the Aftenposten newspaper, listening to the radio on NRK.no and watching these awesome Norwegian videos on YouTube.

I am also passionate about music and helping people promote their bands. It’s no secret how much I love Pearl Jam, Eddie Vedder and the grunge music of the ’90s. One of my favorite radio stations on SiriusXM is Lithium, which features my all-time music faves. When I first listened to Tainted Souls, I totally thought Morten’s voice sounded like Eddie Vedder’s and I knew I had to interview him.

Tainted Souls

Tainted Souls: Rune – Bass, Bjørn – Guitars,  Tor-Arne – Drums, Morten – Vox.

Who are Tainted Souls?

Well, we are four Norwegian guys, Tor Arne on drums, Rune on bass, Bjørn on guitars, and myself on vocals. The name Tainted Souls comes from our idea that we are all born “clean” and that who we are today is the sum of all our experiences… that we are all “tainted” by our experiences in life.

It all started wit Bjørn and I meeting at an audition. He auditioned for my band at the time, and hearing him play that guitar, made me realize I needed to go in a different direction, so I left my band and together we formed Tainted Souls.

How do you write your songs?

Well, it varies actually. Sometimes a new song can be born while we’re jamming in our rehearsal studio, and other times it can come out of individual work.. Like if I write a new poem and Bjørn puts the basic riffs and chords to it before we all meet up and jam it into a finished song. And of course sometimes Bjørn sends me something he has come up with and I write lyrics to it. I ask him about his thoughts or if there are any words ringing in his head while he’s playing, and then I write lyrics to try to match that.

Do you all write?

Yes in a sense, we all contribute, I usually have the lyrics and vocal lines, Bjørn has the chords and riffs, Tor Arne and Rune lays down the drums and bass and the we do the final arrangements together.

How do you come up with the lyrics?

That all depends. I like sitting in cafes, just watching people, and often I write about people or situations I observe. It can be anything really, take “contemplate” (on the Mercury Mind album), that song is based on a couple I was watching at a cafe in Oslo. I also write a lot that is based on my own life and experiences, like “Pale” and “Get Up”.

Do you ever experience writers block?

Absolutely. Sometimes finished lyrics come flying out, and other time it can take weeks to finish something I’m working on. I then usually get out of the writers block when I make a new observation, or by putting everything away and go play with my kids for a while. Some of the words for “get up” came while watching the Paralympics.

I find inspiration in our fans (I read everything I get), in my kids, in everyday life, and in watching and listening to my idols and icons. Who? Eddie Vedder, Jim Morrison, Dylan…the list goes on…

I am addicted to Pearl Jam, but there are a lot of bands that influence us. Pearl Jam probably influences me more than the others, so our music is influenced from lots of bands, as we all bring our passions and ideas into the process of writing.

Have you ever met Pearl Jam?

No, unfortunately not. I flew over to Seattle just to feel and observe and “be” before we recorded the album “Mercury Mind”… and went through three major and in-depth security checks in the process… So one can say I will do anything! :)

What are your plans moving forward?

Well, right now we are focusing on marketing and promoting the album at home as well as outside of Norway, primarily the U.S. and Europe. We’re getting pretty good reviews and feedback in the U.S., UK, France, Netherlands and Eastern Europe and we’re focused on going to these areas, in addition to getting into the festivals in Norway.

Can you tell us a little bit more about your creative inspiration in Norwegian?

Oslo-bandet Tainted Souls er sterkt influert av grunge-rocken som startet i Seattle U.S., og har en vokalist som flere ganger har omtalt Eddie Vedder som nærmest å ha “gude-status”, og som dro hele veien til Seattle for å “kjenne på følelsen” før de gikk i studio og spilte inn albumet “Mercury Mind”. Da er det vel også naturlig at de tok kontakt med WA-jenta Lindy Neubauer for å få til et intervju. Å gå rundt der, fra fiskemarked til klubber, høre band og snakke med folk, gav Morten enda mer følelse for Seattle – og Vedder. Og masse inspirasjon han kunne ta med i studio og på scenen.

Thank you to the band for allowing me to interview you! Maybe they’ll proceed their idols and play Live at Benaroya Hall soon! I hope you enjoy their music as much as I do. Farvel for nå!

Tainted Souls' Album Mercury Mind

Tainted Souls’ Album: Mercury Mind

 


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