April 19, 2012

Friends! I’m so excited to tell you about this. Every time I think about it, I get all giggly. Next March, Ben Blair will turn 40 years old. The big Four Oh! Obviously, we want to do something awesome to celebrate such a landmark birthday, and we’ve come up with the perfect thing: a trip to Norway to see the Fjords! That’s right. We’re going to celebrate Ben Blair’s Fjordieth Birthday!!!

Ben has talked about visiting the fjords since I’ve known him. And somehow, we haven’t made it happen yet. But I think we’ve finally found the perfect excuse. Of course, as soon as we thought of the idea, the first thing we did was have a logo drawn up. (Hah! Can you guess my graphic design background?) There’s nothing like a logo and a public announcement to make me commit to a project. I hired Clayton Thompson. I knew I wanted hand-lettering, and I knew he would do an amazing job. And he did! Don’t you love the logo?

But here’s the thing, outside of the logo, we don’t really have a plan yet. And I’d love your advice. Should it be a romantic getaway? Should we invite everyone Ben Blair knows and loves — and see if they’re up for a big trip? And if yes, how might that work? Should we bring the kids? What would make it a really amazing celebration?

And what do you do at the Fjords? Hiking? Boating? I really have no idea. Have you been? Can we go in March for his actual birthday? Or do we need to postpone the trip till a warmer month?

I hope you’ll brainstorm with me! I’m so excited to get the plans going, and I’ll be sure to share updates as I go. Hooray for Fjordieth Birthdays!

P.S. — Don’t laugh, but I started planning this the day after Ben Blair turned 39. : )

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{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lori H April 19, 2012 at 5:53 am

I know absolutely nothing about the Fjords, but I love the logo! Looking forward to learning more about that area as you travel there.


2 Jan @ Family Bites April 19, 2012 at 6:04 am

Great idea! I also know nothing about the Fjords, but the logo and idea are awesome. Keep us posted on the plans!


3 Meagan April 19, 2012 at 6:34 am

Lol I love it! But are you allowed to make such Brittish puns while living in France?

With a name like that I really think it ought to be a big family and friends bash. Is there maybe a cruise boat?


4 anita April 19, 2012 at 6:58 am

What a clever idea! I think you may want to wait or go early–even August can be cold. I hear the northern lights are going to be amazing this summer due to solar activity. And Ulvik is a jewel of a town to stay in!


5 LSR April 19, 2012 at 7:47 am

Northern lights are unlikely to be visible in the summer, since they’ll be having 18+ hrs of daylight….


6 Giulia April 19, 2012 at 7:12 am

Ha, ha…my husband is turning 38 next week and I already have a plan for his 40th – hurry up already ;)
I’ve been to Finland (north through the Fjords) all the way up to where Finland meets Norway (north cap). I think you’re issue in March will be the darkness more than the cold (that too). We went in the middle of summer with an RV and traveled north for 2 weeks stopping at camp grounds on the way, I was a teenager at the time and it was awesome and I have great memories. By going in the summer we got to see the midnight sun – amazing experience to see the sun creep to the horizon, never set and then just go up again. Do you like RV’s – if yes, you’ll also get to see reindeer that just jog down the highway.


7 Lee April 19, 2012 at 8:17 pm

That sounds so cool! Anyone know how to rent an RV in Scandinavia?


8 The New Diplomats Wife April 19, 2012 at 7:15 am

this is hysterical – truly – i love birthdays and themes and this is one of the best ones i’ve seen yet. and who doesn’t love the word “fjords”! :)
i haven’t been yet but it’s on my list, my parents went and adored it. I think the way to really see it is by boat, at least for part of your trip – it’s one of those rare things that really makes sense to do in a cruise of some kind i think and you could combine it with a bit of land. I think the “season” doesn’t start until late spring, unless you want a snowy getaway.
In terms of who to invite, I’ve always been a “go big or go home” kind of girl, especially for birthday. I would suggest doing something with a group (like maybe organize a 4 day cruise or something) and then take 3 days for just the two of you since it’s such a landmark and you’ll need time to take it all in and you could do that part around some of the small villages.

These should be helpful:


9 Chris April 19, 2012 at 7:22 am

Woot woot!. The logo is brilliant and so much fun! May Aunt went on a cruise through the Fiords in Norway during the summer and said it was breathtaking. I know it is on the complete opposite side of the world, but I have been to the Fiords in New Zealand several times and it is amazing all times of the year and is as magical in in the rain as it is in the sun (but it rains most of the time)–truly breathtaking to see these massive rocks erupt out of the water. I am sure people will give you good advice about the best time to go. Fun!


10 Jillian In Italy April 19, 2012 at 7:25 am

I did a quick trip to Bergen, Norway last year and it was really beautiful. The people are very friendly and the seafood delicious. I think it’s a trip that kids would really love. Lots of outdoor activities to do and the fjord cruise is something the kids would adore. One thing you might want to keep in mind is that it is a VERY expensive place to visit. Like 10 euro for a beer type of expensive (good thing I don’t drink beer!). Best of luck with your travel plans.


11 Angeerah April 19, 2012 at 7:31 am

OMG! The fjords of Norway are AM-AZ-ING! We went there in 2008 when I was 16 weeks pregnant. My husband and I rented the tiniest car in Olso. The drive was beautiful and on the way you go through some long tunnels. It’s pretty wild. We stayed in a small town and for the life of me, I can’t remember what it was called. I’ll have to look it up. We stayed at an adorable bed and breakfast right by the water. The owners were super nice and they had a delicious breakfast. I want to say we were near Aurlandsvangen but I can’t remember for sure. I think a lot of people go to Bergen and do a long cruise or take a train tour. We almost did that but decided to save on money. The town in which was stayed was quaint and sweet. You pretty much have to do a boat tour in order to get a feel for the fjords. On the boat we saw all these small little isolated towns and one older lady was dropped off our boat at her farm where her husband and a bunch of sheep met her. It was fantastic!!!

I love Scandinavia. We also visited Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland (where my husband went to a chemistry conference). Such beautiful countries and people! I hope you plan something amazing!


12 Alyssa April 19, 2012 at 7:42 am

My husband was a big fjord lover too (Norwegian heritage) so we ventured up while visiting with his family in Oslo. We took a famous scenic train ride through the Norwegian countryside and then a boat through some of the fjords. It was beautiful and memorable and I’d highly recommend it if I could remember the name :)

Norway is expensive, or at least it was 6 years ago. I’d recommend going as a couple and making the most of it. If you take the whole family that will ADD UP and you might feel the need to skimp.

Fun fact: camping is free and allowed in Norway as long as you keep a minimum distance from a person’s home. It could be really fun and relaxing to hike and camp the fjords (in the summer!).

I also recommend taking a dip. We swam in September and it was COLD but one of the most exhilarating things I’ve done in my LIFE. There is nothing like glacial melt off to get the heart racing.



13 Liz Brown April 19, 2012 at 8:02 am

My brother in law and his family lived in Norway for 6+ years. We visited them a few years ago in June, it was still quite cold in southern Norway, even with the sun up until 11 pm. Since we were staying with them we didn’t have to pay for hotels, etc so I can’t say how much that would cost, but it is quite expensive. I know there are lots of fabulous hikes and you can take a ferry (drive your car on) right through the fjords- which we did and it was amazing. I can have my sister in law email you with some great ideas for things to do in Norway. I know they often stayed in cabins, hiked, fished, skied, etc while there. I think it would make a very cool destination to celebrate a 40th birthday,


14 Petra Palmer April 19, 2012 at 8:03 am

What a fun idea! My parents did a cruise of the fjords and loved it. I think your children would really enjoy such an adventure, perhaps you can find a package that includes children for a reasonable rate. Personally, I enjoy celebrating milestones with my children as they (and my husband) are my favourite people in the world, and for them any celebration is a big, exciting thing; they always put lots of effort into sweet surprises. Stockholm sounds like an amazing place to visit with children. My fjordieth is next month – but I don’t believe anyone is whisking me off to Scandinavia – too bad!


15 anja April 19, 2012 at 8:37 am

How fun! If you want to see more than one of the fjords, you will have to do a lot of motoring. The roads are often steep and narrow. That’s the reason why we decided against Norway for this summer holiday with our little kids. And yes Norway is expensive, too. Maybe we go, when my hubby turns 40! Ha! What a great idea!


16 Sara E. April 19, 2012 at 8:38 am

We had a lovely time in Sweden and Norway for our 10th anniversary last summer. We flew from Stockholm to Bergen and after tons of research and failed attempts to self-cater a fjord tour, we ended up booking this train/walking/boat tour which was excellent.

Definitely squeeze in some hiking/walking if you can. You have to do a boat tour to really experience the fjords but the walk down the fjord valley was really special. You could rent a car and skip the train. But that’s part of the fun too.

We thought Stockholm would be an amazing vacation with kids – despite the cost. Bergen could be great for kids too for a couple days. But like everyone else said, it is breathtakingly expensive in Norway, especially the food. I brought some food from home and we used the grocery store as much as we could, but there’s no way around spending a lot of money. The guidebooks suggest you can eat hot dogs at 7-11 to save money… a hot dog lunch runs like $8-10 a person. I thought that was absurd before we went, but it made sense afterwards. Here’s a post on our journey.


17 Lori C. April 19, 2012 at 8:40 am

Love that you need a logo…every birthday needs a theme! I vote for a romantic trip with just the two of you. Then you can stay up late for the northern lights and sleep late and eat breakfast in bed. Happy planning!


18 Lindsey (Cafe Johnsonia) April 19, 2012 at 8:47 am

Norway is my favorite! It would totally be fun with other people to go along, or as a romantic getaway. My grandfather took us to Norway in 2004–we were there for 3 weeks. Definitely take the tour through the Songefjord–it’s breathtaking.

Go in August if you can. It’s the warmest month there and you’ll also be able to take advantage of the farmer’s markets and visit the beach on the western coast.

Definitely visit Bergen–you would love it. Stay at least 2-3 days in Oslo to take in everything there. It’s gorgeous.

Actually there isn’t one part of Norway that we visited that I wouldn’t recommend. We loved all of it.


19 Tara W April 19, 2012 at 8:58 am

Gabrielle, consider a cruise to the Fjords. Its a great way to see multiple destinations ports and only unpack once!


20 Zoe - SlowMama April 19, 2012 at 8:59 am

The logo is awesome! What a great idea for a 40th. I’ve only seen the fjords in pictures, but I think sailing/boating through them would be incredible.

As for who’s going to join the fun, I personally think it works both as a romantic getaway and a group bash, but I think I’d leave it up to Ben Blair. (Unless you’re trying to surprise him, which I guess you’re not because the cat’s now out of the bag!) How does he imagine his dream trip to the fjords — with lots of family and friends, just the two of you, or a small select group?

Any which way, sounds like a trip he’ll never forget. Appropriate for the big 4-0!


21 Katie April 19, 2012 at 9:05 am

So jealous! My ancestors come from Norway and I’ve been doing temple work for them. As a result, I’ve been dying to see where my family comes from! I’ve always felt a real pull to Scandinavian design.

As for what you should do, I’d take a cruise!


22 sonja April 20, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Totally second the hurtigruten; even my family in Norge takes it. Norway is awesome; you will love it; just pack some peanut butter.


23 AnnaMatronic April 19, 2012 at 9:17 am

How utterly genius!


24 Angie April 19, 2012 at 10:08 am

Wait a minute!! There’s a minor detail missing.

Does this mean the Blairs will be in Europe for another year?! Do tell!


25 se7en April 19, 2012 at 10:10 am

Totally love this!!! You must be the funnest wife in the world!!! Did I say – amazing idea!!!


26 everton terrace April 19, 2012 at 10:37 am

I have no idea but can’t wait to hear what you sort out because my father has always wanted to go as well!


27 susan April 19, 2012 at 10:58 am

looove the logo!
i live in stockholm and have spent extensive time working in norway. it is a spectacularly beautiful country and you are in for a treat! as others have pointed out, it is, however, terribly expensive so brace yourself for that. in my humble opinion bergen is where you need to aim for. it is norway at its best – beautiful and charming with easy access to the fjords. oslo is pleasant but doesn’t have at all the same level of charm as bergen (although bergen is really pretty small – you don’t need too much time there). there is a really great tour (a day cruise) you can take from bergen called “norway in a nutshell” which delivers basically exactly what it says. google it for more info. if you have more time and money at your disposal i would look into hurtig rutten – another cruise tour that is spread out over a longer amount of time and you can choose how many days you wish to take it and in which city (bergen for ex) you would like to start and where you want to depart. this is a very popular tour and can get crowded in the high season. march = crowds certainly won’t be an issue but be sure to bring your longjohns!
fun fun!


28 Elin April 19, 2012 at 11:12 am

If the fjords are what you are going for, Bergen and the western side of the country is your best bet. There are cruises you can go on to see the really long Sognefjorden which is just north of Bergen, or the famous Geirangerfjorden a bit further north.

If you have the time, you can take a cruise along the coast all the way up north and see the midnight sun and reindeer. Last summer they put cameras on a boat and sent it on television for five straight days/nights, and lots of people watched it. The big Norwegian company Hurtigruten makes this trip and others, and their web page gives you information both on Bergen city and what you can see along the fjord.

We do have high prices compared to many countries, and especially if you look at alcoholic beverages, due to extra taxes. Perhaps you want to check prices for a cruise/ferries/driving a car (taxes on gas too)/taking the train before you decide to take the entire family. But, it’s a very safe country with beautiful nature that your kdis should see too of course :)


29 Nora April 19, 2012 at 11:44 am

Hi I was in Norway in 2010 and went from Oslo to Bergen (my new home town if I could pick one!). We did the Norway in a Nutshell tour which leaves from Oslo by train to Myrdal, then transfer to a very steep and famous train to the town of Aurland and ferry thru Sognefjord to Gudvangen and then switch back up by bus to Voss and train to Bergen. Take an organized tour by a company called Fjord Tours which pre purchases all tickets etc. Can also stay at old amazing hotel called Kviknes Hotel (new part not so nice but place is beautiful, go kayaking hike or chill). Also see two ferries meeting in middle of fjord to transfer passengers and mail…way cool. In Bergen stay at hotel near Bryggen and enjoy old town, fort and funicular – great brfst buffets – healthy and clean. In Oslo check out viking ships and roof top walk of new opera house…..sigh.


30 Naomi April 19, 2012 at 12:05 pm

I love it. (I’d totally wear a tshirt of that design, too, so great!) I’m going to try and dig up a copy of an early ’90s 45rpm single by Thorsten, “Across the Fjords.” Good stuff.


31 Ellie April 19, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Sorry can’t help you with the Fjords as I haven’ t got there yet myself.
But I LOVE the logo!!!


32 Gretchen April 19, 2012 at 1:17 pm

What a coincidence! I am turning 40 this year too (egads!) AND we just got back from a trip to Norway – and we did go on a fjord cruise! It was lovely and I just blogged about it!


33 Gina April 19, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Well done! These are fantastic graphics. Adore them!! (I’m partial to March babies, too, as I am one, myself and know that this is a trip to please. What a lovely idea.)

Regarding travel: … my husband and I have just consulted one another and agreed: we weigh in on the romantic. It is romantic.

The fjords are absolutely breathtaking and majestic; humbling nature. I agree with the comments about Bergen. This red speckled water town is so memorable. Getting up to the impressive Geirangerfjorden, Andelnes, is very easy and it’s really beautiful.

Further north: “Lofoten is one of the most sublime places in the world, if the weather is perfect — a place of dreams, almost. (Have you heard about this? It’s an old, red teeny fishing village that’s nestled on the water crowned with mountians — less severe than Geiranger but equally stunning.

Back to romantic or kids: I think that there is a lot of time on the water, looking at natural sites (or covering bald mountains, if you venture inland from the coast) and would be best if you can absorb with patience not distraction… We bookmark a plan for the future to go far north when the kids are all very mature. That trip would include Lofoten and north of this is the island of Svalborg (polar bears!), and Narvik where you can see the Orcas.

Since we’re 59 N’ers, who’ve traveled there quite a few times and have Norwegian friends, I’m going to properly fact gather and email you.

I love your ideas of fun!


34 Laura April 19, 2012 at 2:06 pm

The logo is awesome!

I live in Oslo (American expat for 1.5 years now). If you have any questions about Norway please drop me an email. I’d love to help make your trip to the fjords better. Norway can be expensive but is worth every penny. And the weather is the best in summer. As we say in Norway “Ha en god tur!” (Have a good trip!).


35 Brittany M April 19, 2012 at 2:11 pm

My husband is from Norway and we went there after we were married. We flew in Oslo and stayed there for a day or two. Then we took a train to Stavanger, his home town. There is a hike there called Preikestolen where you end up at the top of this giant cliff overlooking a fjord. It is amazing! Definitely look it up. Then you can catch a boat tour from Stavanger up to Bergen. I would also say to wait until at least June though July and August are the best bet for good weather! Good luck with planning. It is an amazing country that I would love to go back to!


36 Rachel W April 19, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Sounds fun! I’ve been reading books by Jo Nesbo (Norwegian writer) and now I really want to go to Norway! I’m totally jealous! If you want to read some good detective thrillers set in Norway you should pick up one of his books.


37 Office Crush April 19, 2012 at 2:18 pm

OK, I had to google fjords to know what they were, but: what a cool idea. And THANK YOU for introducing me to Clayton Thompson. Whoa, what genius!


38 Emme April 19, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Rick Steves has a great show on Norway and the fjords–charming places to stay, things to try, activities, etc. You can find more info on!


39 Jenny also April 19, 2012 at 2:38 pm

So cool! I’m turning 4o in March 2013 too. I’m giving myself what I want the very most and will loose 40 lbs this year. Started the day after I turned 39. Down 6 lbs so far. Good thing I’m giving myself a year.


40 Cortnie April 19, 2012 at 3:23 pm

I love that logo!! “Fjordieth” haha, I love it.

If I could plan a trip in the most ideal way I would have it be a family trip BUT it might include a couple of extended family members or close friends willing to babysit on a night here or there so you and Ben Blair can have some time alone. What about that? ;)



41 jen April 19, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Ha! Seeing fjords was the only thing I requested when some friends and I were planning a backpacking trip around Europe, after a semester studying in London – about a billion years ago. My friends came along begrudgingly at first, only to end up saying it was one of the coolest things we did in weeks of backpacking all over Europe! We were there in the spring (April, maybe) and the “official” tours weren’t open, so we just took whatever transportation we could through all that snow! It was amazing! In the end we had ridden buses and trains and boats and more . . . along one of the routes that Norway in a Nutshell had recommended. Did I say it was amazing?

I think that your kids would love seeing it all, but even more I think it would make such a romantic trip!


42 Cheryl Burchett April 19, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Seeing as you are away from home and lots of friends and family won’t be able to be there for the event, I think you should ask well widgets to photograph themselves in Viking hats ( like the one in your logo) and send the pic with a special birthday note to Ben Blair. You can present them to him at the fjords!


43 Cheryl Burchett April 19, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Well wishers NOT widgets…. Although some widgets could be fun!?!


44 Michelle A April 19, 2012 at 5:52 pm

No advice to give, but just a compliment: such a rad idea!


45 Christelle April 19, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Norway is a beautiful country I discovered many summer ago. My favorite part was the Lofoten islands; breathtaking!! The aurora borealis were amazing. I would consider a B&B in the Lofoten. Bonus point when you go in the summer time: 24 hours of daylight and plenty of time to discover the beauty. I would definitively leave the kids at home and enjoy Nature. Budget big if you want to be able to enjoy it.
Have fun! Love the logo!


46 Cherie April 19, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Love that you made the logo before you had a plan! I think you (try to) do both: try for a bigger get together with nearest and dearest (cruise? rent a great house?) and then work in a romantic overnighter or side trip somewhere in the itinerary while the nearest and dearest babysit. A logo like that needs a grand plan!


47 Diana April 19, 2012 at 7:02 pm

What a lovely trip that will be. We went to Norway for two weeks in July, taking trips/cruises down many of the fjords. Some of the small towns we visited claimed they were completely snowbound during the winter, and I believed it after looking at some pictures. I can’t imagine that in March these places would be completely thawed out, so were I in your shoes, I’d wait until May or June at least. Have fun!


48 Amy April 19, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Okay, genius. I can’t stop giggling, either. I’m in the throes of deciding what to do for my fortieth, and this is inspirational!


49 kelsey April 19, 2012 at 7:59 pm

We went to Norway for our honeymoon. We went in August and it was gorgeous- warm, sunny, and perfect. We joined the Norwegian Hiking Society and spent two weeks hiking through the Jotunheimen area and then spent a couple of days in Aurland. You can take a day trip through some of the Fjords in that town. If you like hiking (even a little) I highly suggest joining the hiking society. You can then hike from hut to hut. The huts range from simple cabins to hotels complete with meals. Each hotel like hut has a huge common area where families play games, talk, or read. You can see our pictures here:!i=93935759&k=E2L93
We always talk of going back. Maybe for my 40th. What a clever title and idea!


50 michelle April 19, 2012 at 9:20 pm

How clever, I love the play on the word fjord + forty. Sounds like it will be an amazing, memorable birthday!


51 Jen Lewis April 20, 2012 at 12:00 am

I would love to visit the fjords. I think it should be a big bash for whoever wants to come. It’s always fun with friends and family.


52 Ilaria April 20, 2012 at 2:38 am

Dear Gabrielle,
I am an Italian living in Norway and I thought of sharing with you some thoughts and experiences that might help you.
The weather here is very difficult to predict, so you have to be prepared for any kind of weather all year around (it can be summery in May and awful in July). Here you can find weather forecast quite accurate for Norway:
In march the night are not so long any more (on 21stMarch night and day are like in the rest of Europe).
I have been visiting the Lysefjord (fjord of light) near Stavanger in May 2007. We stayed at the Rogalandsheimen guesthouse, not far from the center and we could borrow 2 bike for getting around.
We went to Pulpit rock (Prekestolen) and the view over the Lysefjord was amazing. We also took a cruise on the fjord and saw the Pulpit rock from below. It was a nice cruise, the water had an amazing color. But the view from above from the Pulpit rock is way better.
I have not visited other fjords, but I have been in Lofoten in March (end of March) and it was great! The weather was not too good but we were amazed by the place nonetheless. We would like to go back there again. Plus in March they are fishing and dry the cods outside.
The hurtigruten takes you to the Geiranger fjord (one of the most famous with Sognefjord) only in the summer. The whole hurtigruten cruise might be too long and boring for a young family (at least this is what some friends told me).
Good luck with the planning!


53 Molly W. April 20, 2012 at 8:37 am

The fjords really are something to see! We went in May and it was a great time to go, a bit chilly but clear and lovely! Norway is SUPER expensive so maybe leave the kiddos behind for this one? Enjoy, it will be fabulous!


54 Rebecca April 20, 2012 at 9:21 am

I absolutely LOVE this! My husband just turned thirty, but served his mission in Sweden. I think the Fjords could definitely be in our future- I just don’t know if I can wait… maybe thirty-fjord?. Love the idea and the logo!


55 Helena April 20, 2012 at 1:12 pm

My sister and I went to Norway in 2007 and took a cruise from Bergen through the fjords to Balestrand. Even in the chilly, misty rain we got, it was glorious. We spent a night here ( Fancy, fancy! The next day, we sailed on and then took a train back to Oslo. We loved it.

Norway is expensive-o for an American. Almost comically so. We’d do the math to convert to dollars, think “no no, you did that wrong”, do it again, and then grimly pull out our wallets.


56 Mali April 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Hi, I think March will be fine, a bit cold, but that’s part of the experience. Rent a car maybe? And while you’re at it, you should catch a flight to Tromso to see the Northern Lights as well. (I’ll sort you out with addresses, links etc) Joanna Lumley did, take a look: I’d say go as a couple, as price level is high and I think it will be romantic with a trip like that.


57 Tina April 21, 2012 at 1:52 pm

I’m from Oslo, the capital of Norway. If you’d like some tips on what to se or do, send me an e-mail!

All the best,


58 Leah April 22, 2012 at 8:54 am

Fun! Tons of great advice here. My husband is Norwegian and over the course of our 16 years together, I am still in awe over just how beautiful Norway is–it really is breathtaking! Like others, I would personally recommend going in summer if you can. It would certainly be a trip your whole family would enjoy, and Norway is very accomodating when it comes to families with kids, although yes, it’s all super expensive. More people means bigger car, bigger room for rent, more mouths to feed, etc. so if budget is a concern, leave your littles at home and go big with the Mister! If the fjords are what you really want to see, a boat tour is a nice way to do it. You can rent a car and drive, but keep in mind that you will either have to allot more time, or more money for fiery rides across the water if you’re wanting to see more than one area/fjord. The only other attraction that I think is simply amazing but has not yet been mentioned, is Trollstigen. My husband’s grandma lives in this part of Norway so we visit every time we go and it takes my breath away every time!
Any way you do it, it will be the trip of a lifetime! We’re taking our boys to Norway next month so that our littlest babe can meet his Norwegian family and friends, this post has me looking forward to it even more now…


59 Vanessa April 22, 2012 at 10:26 am

I personally recommend you guys go to Geirangerfjord because when I went there 8 years ago, it was breathtakingly beautiful! The houses have grass roofs and the ferry ride that takes you around the fjords is spectacular. We went around June and it was still quite chilly so best not to go during the winter. I actually remember hearing that the roads to get there are blocked during wintertime.
Anyways, have a great year ahead planning this trip! :)


60 Taryn April 22, 2012 at 6:50 pm

I spent 5 weeks in Norway on exchange years back. It was Jan/ Feb but that didn’t stop me doing a train/bus/boat fjord tour! Absolutely stunning! The cold didn’t detract from the beauty & wonder! Part of the tour was a scenic train ride through the snow in the high up mountains which was magical (a bit like a Harry Potter train experience!) – I’m sure it would have been equally amazing in the warmer months, but it would have been different without the wonders the cold brings with it. I’ll always cherish my amazing memories! Perhaps one day I’ll get to go again. :-)


61 Melissa April 23, 2012 at 2:19 am

My Norwegian grandparents served two missions in the Stockholm Sweden temple when I was in college, and we had the great fortune to visit them while they were there. Of course we went all over Sweden AND Norway. The town I remember most in Norway is Andalsnes. We stayed in a charming hotel with a view of the fjord. It was grey and chilly and rainy…and perfect. One of my favorite travel memories. And here’s a really interesting side note: my sister and I were watching MTV Europe in our room at that hotel when the video for Yellow premiered. Kinda cool!


62 Claire Balsley April 24, 2012 at 1:42 am

I’m not sure if anyone else has recommended this or not, but Norway in a Nutshell is a great way to explore the country. It is a packaged transport trip… meaning, you choose the route you want to take around the country and your own time frame and buy the package accordingly. The package includes train, boat, high speed ferry, and bus costs. You can stop in whichever location you’d like, and pick back up on the trip at your own convenience. Norway is an incredibly beautiful country, one that could be as equally romantic a trip as a family friendly one. Another recommendation is to hike the glaciers – an amazing experience, and something your kids can do too if you take them. There is a day tour from Balestrand to an amazing glacier. If you’d like to see my experience at the glacier:


63 Chris April 24, 2012 at 7:46 am

To help set the tone of anticipation and excitement, I’d purchase this book for Ben Blair:

The author, Sigrid Undset, won the Nobel Prize for Lit. in the late 1920′s for this historical fiction novel which opened my eyes to the beauty of Norway and the Fjords. It is a trilogy and has it ALL! What I love is how S.U. captured the psychology of her characters in a most realistic manner and shows honestly the consequences to our choices (and sins) in life. It is beautiful. Also recommend Gunnars Daughter by the same. Very historical, tragic, quick read.

The smartest man I have ever personally known, a retired History Professor from Washington State Univ., recommended K.L. to me and said, “Every philosopher, theologian, historian and literature guru has read this book.”


64 Danielle Adonis April 27, 2012 at 6:43 am

Hi Gabrielle, what a wonderful idea and an awesome logo. Love it!!
Take your husband to Svalbard (Longyearbyen)…it’s the most amazing place I’ve ever visited. Should be a great place to see the Northern lights. I went there just before polar night, end October. But around the first week of March there is a festival celebrating the return of the sun! I think it would be an amazing place to visit for a couple of days with or without kids.
Or how about a trip to Pulpit Rock above the fjord?
Or perhaps an adventurous drive or walk up Trollstigen?
If you need some more ideas or tips, just email :-)
Thanks again for sharing and inspiring through your wonderful blog.


65 Connie Z. April 27, 2012 at 6:56 pm

A little brainstorm:

+ you could have a series of events.
+ you two or the entire family goes, and you take photos at fun spots.
+Create clues out of the photos or something interactive for later.
+Later when back home, you could have a party with friends and family. The photo clues could be the interactive part. You could project the photos and add music or other live parts of the presentation.
+ or you could find a fun little viking doll or toy, and you could take fun crazy photos at hot spots when you visit. You could weave a funny story or poem to show at the party later.
+ compile all of the photos into a hardback bound book. Include photos from the party of folks interacting with the original photos, projected, etc. Put the logo on the front


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