New Years Eve in Norway

The honeymoon between Big E and The Girl ended this morning over Xbox. The Girl had never done it before, Big E wanted to teach her (ie, play while The Girl watched) and it exploded from there. In full disclosure, The Girl had her tantrum at the end of the day.
Vigorous walking (hiking) temporarily cured the spat. After breakfast, we suited up in our outdoor gear and took a hike up Kolsastoppen, a huge mountain where you can see all of Oslo from its peak. It was icy and covered in pine needles, but the view was totally worth it. At the top, we signed our names in the book stuck in a postal box, drank water, ate chocolate “that tastes like Norway,” and admired the view. Then we slid/hiked back down. I fell several times on the ice, and toward the end, sat on my bum to slide down the straightaways whole hog. The Girl’s snowpants were black in the seat. Mine were an ashy white, having started out gray in color in the first place.
We stopped at the grocery again on the way home to get mussels and cheese for our NYE dinner. I was starving after that vigorous climb, so I could not wait and practically inhaled a Tartare aux Provenceurs cheese appetizer in the car. A wee bit of France, which is how I met P. Big E and The Girl had ice creams instead. When we got home, we had light snacks of salami, ham, cheese and crackers around 4-5. P and T also got out all the “native Norwegian foods” that I hadn’t tried before. I had T’s mom’s pickled herring (pretty good), brown butter (made with whey) and something else that I can no longer remember.
The girls watched a movie while the grownups talked. I suggested to The Girl that we call daddy at midnight to say that 2012 was great, but she couldn’t wait that long and called him at 7 instead, and the joke fell flat. We had dinner just after that – mussels as appetizer and Swiss fondue with aquavit and a nice salad. Yum! The girls and Little e half watched another film, Coraline, after dinner. In Norway, Saturday after dinner is sweets and candy time so each girl loaded up a huge bowl of m&ms, chocolates and candy… And ate about 1/4 of it. After that, there was still dessert for all – brownies with melty middles and ice cream.

Then we suited up to do some fireworks so Little e could see them before she went to bed. Insert tantrum from The Girl. The Girl wanted to wait until midnight, when everyone was going to do them, not 10 as it now was, and at Big E’s school. But there were fehrvehreki going off everywhere in the sky and there was a sulfuric haze descending along with the snow. She liked them a lot, and liked helping T with them (by choosing or advising which to do light next). Big E was scared and stayed way, way back. The little fireworks were lame, but P had gotten a big brick that shot off fireworks like you’d see on 4th of July just above our heads with lots of oohs and aahs. Then we walked back to P&T’s house. Lots of neighbors were out or calling to us. Big E went across the way for “new years hugs” before coming back inside. Little e had fallen asleep in the stroller so they transferred her to bed. We turned on yet another movie, the parent trap, and snuggled up with blankets on the couch. The Girl made it until 11:50 but was out cold. Big E was scared by fireworks and stayed inside. P and T joined their neighbors for the ball drop.

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