Saturday, April 27, 2019

Glacier, friends, and more waterfalls!

The week has flown by, but I've had some amazing experiences. I presented in front of a couple of university classes. The views from the classroom were pretty impressive.

I also presented at a middle school. They were located right next to the fjord - the same place where I saw porpoises earlier in the week. Can you imagine?!

The farm I stayed at had the most spectacular view and critters. I made fast friends with one of their cats (Snoopy) and the horses enjoyed the carrots. I also arrived just in time for lambing season.

There were mountains, fjords, rivers, churches, a glacier, and more waterfalls than you can imagine!

I'm in Oslo for the night and then off to Scotland.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Fjords, waterfalls, flowers, and porpoises, oh my!

I arrived in Oslo on Saturday afternoon - heavily jet lagged - but in one piece, with my luggage. I call that a win.

On Sunday morning I flew into Sogndal. Even cloudy, windy, and cool, it was beautiful. I'm staying on a farm, in a 2nd floor apartment. There are two balconies, the one in the living room looks out over the fjord. I spent the afternoon and evening staring at the mountains and the water.

Today is Monday and I seem to have conquered my jet lag - just in time for a busy day of sightseeing.

I started out with a walk along the fjord and a visit with some sheep.

In the afternoon I received a tour of the local folk museum. They've assembled a variety of houses from the 17th century to the 1950's. Many of the older homes had sod roofs.

There was also a habitat for bees... Apparently these are becoming quite popular in Norway.

Next was a stop at the Kaupanger Stave Church.

Then, a trip to a 'real' waterfall (foss) - there are a ton of waterfalls around here... but apparently they don't really count unless they're a certain size... Say this size...

On the way to and from the waterfall we were treated to a dozen or so porpoises. A first! I wouldn't have known they were porpoises if my guides hadn't informed me they were "nise," not dolphins. Unfortunately, I didn't grab a picture of them. They were far enough away that you wouldn't have really seen anything anyway... but trust me, they look just like dolphins from a certain distance. :)

I finished the day with a BBQ at a friend's house. The food was delicious and so was her view!

Finally, here are the friendly neighborhood trolls:

Saturday, April 20, 2019


I have arrived in Oslo.

My first look at Norway:

Nap time. 

Up, up and away (again)

It's been a long while (years) since I've blogged on a regular basis and I recently realized that I miss it!

I’m off on another adventure and it seems an appropriate time to dive back into blogging.

I've been working on my doctorate and all coursework has been completed. I’m down to the dissertation, which means I’m halfway done. 

I’m currently sitting at Keflavik airport in Reykjavik, Iceland. I’m only here for an hour and a half, when I catch my connecting flight to Oslo, Norway. We landed in Iceland in an overcast, windy, andcool conditions. The sun is peeking out now in one small area. Iceland is on my bucket list and since I can’t really see anything from the airport I will plan a special trip in the future. Maybe once I have completed my doctorate. ;)

Tomorrow I will travel to Sogndal, Norway. My university has a partnership in place with the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL). I will meet with different departments and receive a tour of the university. I will also give a presentation on schools in America at a couple of local schools. 

After a week in Norway, I will check another box on my bucket list - Scotland!

Boarding time. More to come...

Friday, March 08, 2019

Here I go again on my own

I have been blessed again with another travel opportunity! This time I will be exploring Norway and Scotland.

Monday, June 04, 2018


I've been back home for a week now... long enough to start processing what I learned and experienced in Italy. Here are some of my observations/things that will stick with me:
  • Beautiful buildings, artwork, and rolling hills
  • Delicious, fresh food (especially tomatoes) that is thoughtfully prepared and presented
  • Heat and humidity reminiscent of my time in Texas
  • Lanes, turn signals, and speed limits all seem to be optional
  • The 40-ish tunnels between Rome and Macerata
  • The people don't acknowledge (smile/nod/greet) each other when they pass in the street - unless they genuinely know each other
  • Once you've been introduced to someone, they are very warm, friendly and smiley
  • They were very open about their strengths and weaknesses and open to questions
  • Everything is smaller there: cars, rooms, roads, elevators, doors...
  • Maybe not everything... the hills are pretty steep
  • There's an attention to detail in everything they create (art, architecture, food) which far surpasses anything I experience on a daily basis
  • The Mediterranean sun
  • Olive trees and vineyards
  • Solar farms
  • Cities on hills with centuries of history layered on top of each other
  • The amazing group of women with whom I shared this adventure
  • The Adriatic Sea
  • The clock tower
  • The doors and door knockers
  • Our university systems and government are very different, but we have a lot of the same issues
I learned more than I ever thought possible. I'm so appreciative of this opportunity, of the financial support I received, and for the new friends I made!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


I'm home, safe and sound. It was quite a trip... Our home base for this adventure was Macerata. We spent many days walking through the ancient city, exploring streets, stores, and restaurants. We also walked around outside of the wall (the viale). I took so many pictures, it's impossible to share them all. I've selected some of my favorites to share in this post.





This view was from one of the University of Macerata buildings. It was also the day we felt a tiny earthquake.