Super LONG travel day!
As I feared, my suitcase was about 10lbs too heavy, so instead of paying $35 extra, I threw a bunch of clothes & shoes into my duffle bag since I was allowed two bags at no extra charge. Of course that means the skirts that I bothered ironing will now be hopeless, but since my bag was searched anyway, they might have been anyway. That's why I brought my travel iron just in case. :) The flight to Heathrow was relatively uneventful, and I was very thankful I was able to change my seat to 63K in the back with the extra leg room by the window. I prepped about 150 Marauder's Map replies ready to send later, watched 2 eps of the BCC comedy The IT Crowd (meh) and dozed as much as I could. I still get airsick with too much reading which includes computer work, so I didn't want to push it. :( We landed early but our gate was still occupied, so we ended up on time anyway. Since it was the cheapest, I had booked British Airways to Oslo, not leaving until 4pm, but it was all the way in Terminal 4, requiring a train ride. That terminal is PACKED! I found an outlet, sat on the floor with my luggage cart letting my battery recharge while I caught up on some more emails to kill some time, since I could find networks but no payment options ever appeared in my browser, then I decided to try to check in early, since I didn't see my flight listed yet, but it didn't look like they were stopping people. I had read before I left that BA only allows a single carryon bag, so I had to take my tapestry bag with my laptop bag inside it so I could also cram in my purse! Thankfully BA allowed me to check both bags so I didn't repack yet again. An hour later in line to drop off my bags after the self-checkin more than 3 hrs before my flight, while I went through gate security I was randomly singled out for the scanner search - weird! The girl was trying to be chatty, but it's kind of odd how you have to strike three very specific poses, and I wasn't clear if they were x-ray machines or not. It was forever with still no gate information, then a delayed message all the way through boarding time, then right as the flight was originally supposed to leave, we got a gate assignment and it no longer said delayed, so I hightailed it down there! No, the plane had just arrived, so we still had a long time again to wait. Even when we finally got on the plane 45 minutes after original departure time, then we sat on the runway for another 45 minutes while we waited behind 10 other planes for takeoff clearance! At 6pm, when I was supposed to be in Oslo by 6:45pm (7:45 Oslo time), I texted Teje how late I was so don't worry about waiting for me if it was too late for her & the baby. She had told me on Monday that she had people to visit & errands to run so she wanted to meet me at the train station when I got into the city. Well, almost 10:30 local Oslo time I was finally off the train in the city center, and Teje was holding Sixten at the top of the ramp! How wonderful to be greeted by a nice smiling face after such a long day! She had already scoped out where my hotel was, and in the drizzle we walked there, I checked in, gave her the baby blanket I'd made and the beef jerky they requested which nicely lightens my load, then we went around the corner to the Dubliner pub, where she bought me a Strongbow served by a California bartender who went to Chico & used to live in Pleasanton...haha! Sixten was really tired, but doing quite well for only 9 weeks old and such a long day, and I even got to hold him a little when he wasn't crying or eating. :) They're staying overnight here in Oslo with her sister-in-law which is why she could still meet me so late. For the baby's sake & the sake of us chatting, we hung out in the back room away from the good but loud live music. I am exhausted and am going to take a much-needed shower then get some sleep!
Oh, and what I had expected has already happened once...when I handed my passport to the Oslo official, a youngish blonde guy, he said "Hello," seeing my US passport, but opened it and said laughing, "I was going to ask if you live here!"
"No, it's my first visit but my ancestors are from 100 years ago."
"Do you speak any Norwegian?"
"No, just 'takk.' *smile* " (takk = thanks)
"A good place to start! Ah, Peterson, a good Norwegian name! Good luck with the Norwegian!"
I wasn't going to correct him that Britta and Peterson are both Swedish...hehe...Teje said that before I did when I told her the story though! ;)
I've set my alarm for 6am in hopes I can get myself up, get ready, grab something at the hotel breakfast, check out, and back to the train station before 7:30am, since I have to pick up my Hurtigruten/Norway in a Nutshell tickets before my train for Trondheim leaves at 8am!
Until next time!