Why did we pick Norway for our trip? Well, my father and step-mother have lived there for the last 15 years or so, since my father's retirement. Usually they fly to Canada to visit the family, but for health reasons they were unable to fly last year and this year is still up in the air. So, I decided we needed to visit them there.
The last time I was in Norway was 1967, the year after my father took on a project and we moved to Lillesand. We lived there for almost a year and half, during which time we were enrolled in school and became fluent in Norwegian. I have fond memories of that time of my childhood. I was 11 years old, living in a cool house at the top of the mountains, overlooking the fjords and sea. We lived in Lillesand, a small town in the south of Norway with a population of about 1000 people. We had lots of snow in winter, and rode sparks (sleds) to school. We ice-skated and skied cross-country in winter and went to a swimming hole and out in our fishing boat in summer.
I wanted to put a link to my dad - what he did for a living and why it took us from our little town of Niagara Falls all the way across the globe to the tiny village of Lillesand. I googled my dad and all I came up with was 'Associate Pastor'. Nope, not him. Then I googled the name of my dad's company and all I came up with was a link to a 'motorcycle gang'. Also not him. So I'll just have to tell my story without the links.
I booked our flights based on 1) connections outside US, 2) cost, and 3) flight times. We would fly economy class from Cancun to Amsterdam to Trondheim - a 24 hr trip with a 6 hr layover in Amsterdam on the way over.
We packed warm clothing, a few snacks, books, and gifts. We carried our winter coats. Luis, our Cancun taxi driver, picked us up at the ferry and took us to the airport. We made arrangements for him to be at the airport to pick us up the day of our return. We checked in and then went to Immigration - me to get my FM3 stamped and Miguel to get his Mexican document stamped (not sure why, but Mexicans leaving the country fill out a form that is turned in when they return). We got through security and sat and waited to board the first leg of our flight - Cancun to Mexico City on AeroMexico.