The Man Child and I love to travel. In a fast paced, stressful profession where work never ends, we need to make the time to step away, shut off the phones, and disconnect. While we try to shut off the phones for at least a few hours every week, this just is not enough. The best way for me to re-charge is to take a vacation, even if that vacation does not include time for rest. Through travel, we gain the opportunity to reconnect with each other and truly experience life.
Planning for our most recent trip began about a year ago. We were sitting in JFK airport, in the middle of a 7 hour layover on our way to Brussels for our friends’ wedding, discussing possibilities for our next few trips. I really wanted to see the aurora borealis (the northern lights). I’m not talking about a faint, green shade in the sky that can occasionally be seen in some northern parts of the U.S. I’m talking about the bright lights that dance across the sky for hours on end painting the sky with shades of green, purple, and even a rare shade of red. Plus, I’d always wanted to travel to Norway (probably because I loved the Maelstrom ride at EPCOT so much as a kid). As we were fantasizing about a future Norwegian adventure, a guy, about our age sat down at the bar next to us. He spoke perfect English, with seemingly no accent. But, when he asked for a beer, he asked the bartender to describe the different beer because he was “from Europe and did not know much about different American beer.” Of course, the Man Child had to find out more about this guy, so he immediately struck up conversation.
The Man Child: I heard you say you were from Europe. Where in Europe are you from?
Our New Friend: I’m from Norway.
It must have been a sign! We had to make this Norwegian vacation happen! We spent the next several hours talking about Norwegian people, places, and culture. By the time we were ready to board our flight to Brussels, we had planned our next big trip and made a new friend in the process.
Fast forward one year.
We were all packed and ready for European adventure. The Man Child likes to pack lightly, and we try to fit everything in our carry-ons. You’ll notice the Man Child’s carry on is almost bigger than him.
We planned this trip so that we would have a direct flight to Europe. Edelweiss Airlines flies direct from Tampa to Zurich. Perfect. When we arrived at the airport, we grabbed some food and went to sit closer to our gate. We hadn’t even boarded the plane yet, and the Man Child already made new friends. Two of these new friends happened to be traveling to Europe to meet up with a mutual friend of ours. Small world! The best part about the flight is that the plane was not full. Actually, it was mostly empty. After take off, people moved seats and were able to spread out over entire rows. I chose to stay in my seat, order some champagne, and watch James Franco.
I tried to get some sleep, but the direct flight cut our travel time in half, so I wasn’t too tired. I finally fell asleep about 3 hours before our scheduled landing. That sleep was short lived because the Man Child wanted to look out the window…
Thanks for shining the bright light in my eyes, babe! The Man Child rarely sleeps on the way out for a new adventure. There’s just too much excitement. He spent the night wandering around the plane, making new friends, and getting yelled at by an old, German lady for talking too loudly while she was trying to sleep.
We landed in Zurich at 10am local time. I’d scheduled our flights so that we would have an 8 hour layover in Zurich, which my research informed me should be plenty of time to see the city. We checked our bags into our flight to Oslo, and set off to the city center.
Zurich is a beautiful city, but there wasn’t too much going on. I probably could’ve scheduled a 5 hour layover, and it would have been plenty of time to see the city. We walked around the entire old town area, grabbed some lunch, and headed back to the airport.
We had a great day, but we were exhausted by the time we got back to the airport! By the time we finally got into our hotel in Oslo, it was after 11pm. We crashed hard.
I think this is the perfect place to leave you. Stay tuned for the next chapter of our Eurotrip 2015: our Norwegian adventure!