Living abroad means seeing less of the ones we love. I meet with my family 1-3 times a year. This year I was in Romania for a week in February (when my father was mostly in the hospital for a minor intervention) and 2 days in June (we were in Belgrade for a friend´s wedding ), when I didn´t get to see my brother since he was working and we didn’t have time to travel all the way to Bucharest.
A couple of weeks ago I started feeling seriously homesick. I´m in the middle of a trial now and I´ll need a couple of weeks after that to do my accountancy and put my affairs in order, so it wasn´t the best time to travel. Besides, I didn´t feel like leaving V alone with Sammy for a week since the dog needs his walks and he´s a full-time job if you have him alone. Thus I decided to ask mom if she wanted to come visit. After persuading pops that he would make a wonderful nanny for my niece for a couple of days, I bought the tickets and started counting days. 😉 You see, mom is babysitting my two-year old niece while my brother and his wife are at work; you have to be three in order to be accepted at a regular kindergarten in Romania.
Friday was my day off so I woke up early with V in order to tidy up a bit and prepare the apartment for my mother´s arrival. 😉 I then worked for an hour, bought a nice bouquet of flowers and went to the airport to pick her up. She hasn´t travelled a lot on her own, my father usually leads on, so I didn´t want her to find this journey any more stressful than necessary. 😉 We found each other and, overwhelmed with joy, took the train back to Oslo, going straight home to unpack and unwind. She brought us wine, smoked ham and cheese (cascaval), baked eggplants (ready to turn into a salad by adding mayo and stuff), pretzels (my fave!) and some pufuleti (snacks made out of maize flour). I was so happy I started dancing the moment I put Aretha Franklin on the turntable. 😉
After a short nap, we headed for Hunting Lodge, where V works part-time, and tried in vain to find a table at Delicatessen tapas bar. We ended up having dinner at Trattoria Popolare, an Italian bistro with sturdy portions and yummy food, just around the corner. I had gnocchi and smoked mozzarella, my mum tried the spaghetti marinara and V had a pasta soup with smoked pork chunks. Everything was delicious and simply melted in our mouths. I always felt that Italian food is overrated, but not this place, I tell you!;-)
Today I woke up early-ish and snuck under mum´s quilt, like I did as a child. It´s so nice not to be an adult all the time, I don´t know how people can stand it!;-) We chatted for a while, then decided to get up. In the meantime, V went for a walk with Sam and bought coffee and bacon for a lavish breakfast. 😉
A hearty portion of scrambled eggs and several cups of coffee later, we decided to go for a stroll in Grunnerløkka, through the Botanical Garden. Sam was our loyal companion and we had a great time admiring the foliage, although it was raining like it only does in November. The Botanical Garden was as amazing as ever. We had coffee and waffles in this pretty building you see below, then walked some more to Grunnerløkka and shopped for some small gifts.
Dinner was a French-Vietnamese affair at Xich-Lo, together with V and my cousin. It´s a stylish restaurant where V used to work a lifetime ago and the food is simply exquisite! I had venison, my mom ordered halibut and the boys went for duck. For desert you have to try the rice pudding with mango, it´s just out of this world! If you only have time for one fine dining experience in Oslo, let it be Xich-Lo! I promise you you won´t regret it!
Tomorrow we´re making pancakes for breakfast and the eggplant salad for lunch. We´re having coffee in the neighborhood and then visiting friends for coffee and cake later on. In the evening we´re going to see Swan Lake at the Concert House, my mother brought her heels with her!;-) I wanted to show her the new opera , but Romeo and Juliette was sold out and so was the children´s opera. She´d been inside, just not to a show, yet. Next time I´ll make sure it´s the Nut Cracker, ´cause I love it so much!
I´m tired and happy and all I want to do now is sleep. A mother is a cure for everything from depression to anxiety and insomnia. 😉 (not that I suffer from all three of them!) Do you relate?