Tag Archives: memories

Year Three

WordPress so graciously reminded me yesterday that it was my three-year blog-a-versary, and with as busy as life has been, I welcomed the opportunity to slow down and reflect on the last three years here at Pictures and Plane Tickets. When I hit “publish” on that first day I would have never imagined all that would happen over the next three years, let alone all the fun adventures we’ve experienced, crazy things we’ve done, and the interesting people we’ve met from all over the world. There are a lot of great memories crammed in to those 36 short months.

Enjoying Cocoa Beach before our first cruise

Enjoying Cocoa Beach before our first cruise

I’m actually in slight awe thinking about all that we have accomplished (travel-wise) over the last three years. One of our first adventures documented on the blog was our first cruise to the Bahamas. Since then, we’ve been on three cruises, visited six new states, traveled to twelve different countries, stepped foot on two different continents, explored five out of the six main Hawaiian islands, checked off eight Bucket List items, swam with sharks, jumped out of an airplane, got scuba certified, zig-zagged our way across the U.S., and much more! We’ve ate, drank, laughed, and photographed our way through a good portion of the world, yet at the same time, there are so many more places that we yearn to explore–places like Thailand, Fiji, Mexico, Italy, and Greece.

While we have some exciting and dream-worthy adventures on the horizon I can’t guarantee what the upcoming years will bring; the one thing I do know, is that we will continue to laugh and photograph our way through each and every adventure. And I hope that you’ll continue to join us along the way.

Half Moon Cay, Bahamas


Chasing Memories

I’ve mentioned on the blog before that my great-grandmother Karin (we called her Mas–short for Grandma) was a huge influence in my life from an early age. I would go to her house every day before and after school and almost every day in the summer for a good part of the first 12 years of my life.

In the summertime, I remember sitting out under her covered porch listening to stories from Mas’s childhood. Stories about pestering apartment neighbors, stories about her siblings, stories about that special Christmas when she received an orange in her stocking (that was one of her best Christmas’), and in the later years, stories about World War II and leaving Norway.

Those quiet moments on Mas’s patio are some of my favorites.

While we were in Oslo this past summer, my grandmother’s cousin, Fred, took the family and I on a tour around the city so we could see where our ancestors grew up. We were lucky because we had family from all over Norway down to visit us that day. Our group of 15 or so made our way through the streets of the Kampen district, absorbing our family history and reminiscing about our many memories for a good portion of the day.


As we walked the old, narrow streets past the colorfully painted houses with intricate designs, I noticed that many homes and buildings proudly fly the Norwegian flag. It was easy to feel the strong sense of unity and pride that these citizens have for their beloved country, and it was very contagious.






Iceland Street

I quickly learned that although the buildings looked like a big (boring) box from the street they actually had beautiful terraces and gardens once through the main gate.

After stepping off the bus, we began our journey near the home of my great-great-grandmother. We saw where she lived when she met my great-great-grandfather and learned more about their lives in the early 1900s. We walked through the neighborhoods, listening to the intriguing stories about those who came before us and after a few blocks of walking, we crossed the street and stopped in front of a bright red, three-story building. Fred rang the buzzer and although my Norwegian was limited I understood that he was introducing himself and explaining why we were there and asked if we could come inside. It was as we were walking through the main gate to the terrace within that I learned that this was the home where my great-grandmother (Mas) was born.

I stood there in the grass and looked up at the beautiful red building. This was such a special moment for me. I envisioned her running around and playing on the stairs from an early age. All of those sacred stories I heard growing up were right there in front of me, playing over and over in my mind. I stood there with my grandmother, husband, cousin, and the rest of the family cherishing that moment.


My great-grandmother in the very front in the old family photo above. It was such a surreal feeling to see the exact spot where she sat.

I waited 26 years for this moment. Standing in front of the apartment where my great-grandmother lived as a child.

After old pictures were shared and stories were told, we continued on our journey and walked to the Kampen Kirke (Church); our last stop within the Kampen district. As I entered the church I was amazed by the beauty of the building; the tall stained-glass windows on each side of the chapel created a beautiful kaleidoscope of colors on the pews and the altar was covered in delicate and beautiful artwork.


We made our way through the sprawling Kampen Park to the famous Edvard Munch Museum (you know, the guy that painted the “scream” photo). The cherry blossom trees surrounding the site were in full bloom and were the perfect contrast to the bright blue sky that day. Unfortunately for us, the Museum was closed but we still took a break and enjoyed some delicious Norwegian Chocolate.





Norwegian Kit Kat Bar

With tired feet, happy hearts, and hungry stomachs, we wrapped up this special day with a big family dinner back at cousin Fred and Mona’s house. We indulged in traditional Norwegian fare including hamburger patties (there’s something about this Norwegian recipe that is oh-so-delicious! It takes me right back to my childhood), baked chicken, fish balls (not “those” kind of fish balls ;-) –it’s minced fish-shaped into a ball, like a meatball), salad, fruit, drinks, and coffee. Not to mention the traditional Norwegian Flag Cake and Norwegian Cheesecake for dessert–these cakes were to die for!


This was hands down my favorite day of the entire trip. I will be forever grateful that we were able to see these places with my sweet grandmother. All of the history and memories came flooding back during our trip around the city, I couldn’t have asked for a better day spent with my amazing family.


Travel Tips Thursday–Writing It All Down

I received a journal last year as a bridal shower gift and I instantly knew that it was the perfect opportunity to start writing down my thoughts and feelings while on vacation.

This gift would become my vacation journal.

A year later, I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am that I decided to start a travel journal. It has been on all of our vacations since we have been married and I try to take a few moments each day to write a little something: what we did, how we felt, what we ate…those little moments that may be forgotten years from now.

Every so often I will pull out the travel journal and read about our different vacations. It’s fun to see how much we’ve done in one short year, and it’s also fun to relive those feelings and memories (especially on those cold winter nights when I’m reading about our tropical paradises).

Do you have a travel book or a place to write down your experiences on vacation? What about a daily journal about life in general?