After getting some sleep - not much but some I woke up at 1am and Mike woke up at 4am. The time change was getting to us but there was work to be done. Mike used the early morning hours to work on his presentation to make everything work off the network just on the off chance the wifi in the conference building goes haywire. Now he can give his talk and not have to rely on outside data connections. I sat there and stared at him while he worked because after eating the early morning oatmeal at about 3am I was starving again.
But Mike wanted to wait and have breakfast with his friends from Pluralsight. Pluralsight is not only a sponsor of the event but Mike is one of their course Authors. Over to the Raddison Blu Hotel we go. On the way over Mike is showing me how to get back on my own because after breakfast he will go off to the conference and I will head out on my own. There is only a few blocks from hotel to hotel but because of round about's and traffic patterns it takes about 15 minutes to walk to each venue.
It was fun meeting the Pluralsight folks and Mike's fellow authors during breakfast. Oh and let me stop here for just a moment to say that the "Free Hotel Breakfast" over here beats any free breakfast by hotels in the states. The amount and variety of foods offered was amazing! Mike had fish (eww) for breakfast and I had the normal stuff for me.
Then all too soon it was time for me to start venturing out in the City of Oslo on my own. Mike went left and I bravely took a right and off I go. I was so proud of myself because I was able to navigate granite stairs in the rain (slippery steps are not my friend) and also not get lost. I was almost back to the hotel and I fell. I did not do my normal semi-graceful I know I am going to fall and catch myself ... I did a full on belly flop on the sidewalk!
I think I was on the ground 3 seconds and I popped back up hoping that no one saw me (right.....) and hobbled my way back to the room. Falling on concrete is bad enough but uneven granite and concrete mix of stepping stones hurt like crap. There are no sidewalks like we know back in the states. Here it is a mix of cobble stone, granite squares and concrete squares (10 inch x 10 inch) and they are not even but rather you will be walking along and one is raised and a shoe catches. Mike was even having trouble so I was being extra careful. Oslo is not a good city for the "walking challenged" such as myself. :-) but I try.
I took a quick look and my palms are all bruised and my knees are a mix of bruises and scrapes. I am not sure how my maxi skirt did not rip but it seems fine except for a little dirt. I decided that the best course was to just jump back in the shower to wash off the street grime and clean the scrapes. A little soap, water, & Advil and I was back on my way.
I step outside of the hotel and it was raining even more so I decided to hit the mall that is across the street, Oslo City to get the list of gifts Mike asked me to pick up for his team. The original plan was to walk down to the Palace to get photos and be a tourist but it was raining, I was in a little pain and I was being a total wimp.
Shopping it was!
(Oslo City "Mall")
Mind you - all of the above that just happened is BEFORE 9am! I step into the mall and the shops are not open yet but I found a little bit of home.
A tall mocha Frap here in Oslo was 54.00 kr so about $7.03 so way more expensive than home but I had time to kill. I made a nice discovery on this mall trip, most of the clerks that work in the tourist area speak English. Yay me! My Starbucks Barista was from Pennsylvania so we talked for a bit about home and Norway. She came over with her husband and is very happy living in Norway but misses home too. When I noticed the different foods being sold at the Starbucks I asked if I could take a photo of the case. She said as long as I was not the media it was allowed.
Can being a scrapbook consultant and blogger be considered the "media"?
I hope not.
See that cheese in the case?
That is Norwegian Brown Cheese a local favorite.
Mike put some on my breakfast plate while we were with the Pluralsight crew and let me just say that the face I made while tasting it was not pretty. The guys around the table had a good laugh at my expense and I then put the cheese on Mike's plate. I knew when I saw it in the Starbucks case I had to get a photo not only to tell you about it but it will also give a good laugh memory from this trip.
Once the shops opened the challenge was to find gifts for Mikes team back home. The team name for this group of people is the "spicy banana's". I need to find team gifts for geeks named the spicy banana's - challenge excepted!
I found the perfect gifts
When my little geek friends travel they have travel receipts or power cords to keep track of. These little bags just seemed perfect for that.
A loose English translation is:
Together we can do the impossible
Yep that fits this team!
I also love on the practical side that they are light and flat for packing to bring back home. I will not have to find a post office to ship them to the office. I was prepared to do that if needed. I also found a great little book store. I can not post the photos because they are gifts for family but I spent about an hour just walking around and enjoying a good old fashion book store. I was in love.
After a day of shopping I spent:
1004 kr or $ 129.34 USD
I was feeling very good about being a savvy shopper until lunch.
Tune into the next post to hear about this adventure!