Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Go PAPA!!!

We are so happy to announce that after a difficult campaign, Papa Salmon {Matt Salmon}, came out on top!  He has been faced with so much negativity and mudslinging, but he took the positive high road.  We are so proud of him and all that he stands for.  We love you Papa!  You are the BEST man for the job!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Switzerland: Lauterbrunnen

I know I say that every place we go is the most beautiful or my favorite, but this tops the list. This area was breathtaking! We went to a campsite in this town and enjoyed a cable car up the mountain to the village Muren, took a train, and toured some glacier caves with beautiful waterfalls. The kids even bought Swiss Army Knives {made in Switzerland, much to Matt's delight} and carved sticks every chance they could get.


We were super bummed that we couldn't go to see our family this summer, so G & I decided to make some friends for all our girl cousins.  You can find the pattern in the book "Wee Wonderfuls". Thanks Aunt Spicey for the idea and for helping us!

Norway: Stavanger

Our last stop was Stavanger. Our highlight of this city was hiking to the top of Preikestolen {the 'Pulpit Rock' is the English translation}. This flat rock was breathtaking. It was quite the hike too! We were really proud of ourselves once we got to the top! This rock is 1982 feet above Lysefjorden. It really was breathtaking and a bit scary to be on the top of this large rock.

The next day was our last non traveling day, so we decided to do something fun for the kids and go to Kongeparken or King Park.  We rode alpine slides and made our own chocolate and had a great last hurrah in Norway.

Norway: Fitjar

In between cities, we had to stop by Fitjar because this is where our line of the Ellingsons come from.  Mons Ellingson left from this very city when he was only 9 to become an apprentice on a ship.  He is Matt's great-great grandpa.  Matt when to their town records and even found his name.  This was an awesome stop to see where our heritage comes from. 

Norway: Bergen

Next we traveled to Bergen. On our way we stopped at this Stave church in Borgund. It was built sometime between 1180 and 1250 BC! It was made out of wood too! It's amazing that it has lasted this long. They cover it in tar once a year to withstand the weather. We thought it looked like something out of Harry Potter!

When we got to Bergen it was a chilly 45 degrees!  We enjoyed the market and G even tasted some fresh shrimp.  Matt was in heaven with all the fresh fish.  Bergen was a fun city and we even purchased a pewter cheese slicer.

We also decided to go to a children's science museum to brake up the bad weather.  The kids had a blast trying all the different exhibits.  Matt even had fun too!  The favorite was the motorcycle simulator. 

Norway: Sognefjord

Next we traveled to Sognefjord.  This is the longest fjord in Norway and in Europe too.  If we had to choose, we would say this was our favorite place.  The house we stayed in was right on the water.  We had to hike down a slippery slope to get there {and have the bruises to prove it}, but it was worth it! There were even Rainier cherries growing on trees right by our house.  Those are our fav!  We helped ourselves to a bucket of them every morning and brought them on the road for a snack.  The house was lovely.

Everywhere we went Katie and I felt like we were in Jurassic Park!  Waterfalls were in abundance along the mountains and the foliage was so very green.  We loved seeing grass grow on the roofs of the houses.  We took many scenic drives, ferries, and one of the most popular scenic railways in the world:  Flåm Railway.  Every corner we turned was breathtaking.  On one of our drives we went to the top of the mountain where there were many glaciers and the water was a glowing aqua.

We also went on a hike up to a goat farm.  We saw many goats, horses, waterfalls, we picked wild strawberries, and took a sip from a mountain spring along the way.  Once we got up top, the farmer's wife fed us Norwegian pancakes, strawberry jam, hot chocolate made from goats' milk, and some freshly made Norwegian brown goat cheese.  This was one of our favorite days.