Monday, June 25, 2012


We had the fun added adventure of spending some time at the Olympic Park in Lillehammer where the 1994 Winter Olympics were held. We were fortunate to have met some very kind Brits at Grotli that offered to give us a ride to Oslo instead of having to take the bus back. We had a great time with them and enjoyed getting to know them during our 8 hours together. They really wanted to stop to see the ski jumping area so they invited us to join them.
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Saturday, June 23, 2012

it all began with servald grotli

There we were. After a long - though beautiful - seven hour bus ride through the mountains of Norway, Signe and I had finally arrived at the place about which I had heard so much. My Grandpa and Grandma Lund had visited Grotli Hotel before, and have always been quick to share stories of their adventure. But now the adventure was ours. And it was an adventure.
The hotel itself was the original impetus for our trip to Norway. My grandpa would often tell me of an old hotel - one that his Grandpa had built at the turn of the century and that was still owned and operated by family. Our first night at the hotel was rather quiet. It wasn't until the the next morning that I worked up the courage to approach the owner, Are Bergheim, and reveal my identity. Though he wasn't quite sure of my relation to the hotel, he took us into a room filled with old photos. And while I saw one photo I recognized (see above), the photo room left me with more questions than answers. Are, however, was determined to figure it out. He invited Signe and I to join him and his wife for coffee that evening. Meanwhile, he promised to do a bunch of research and get to the bottom of everything. 

Immediately following dinner, Signe and I met Are and Berit in a comfortable lounge area. For five hours we enjoyed each other's company - along with coffee, soda, cake, ice-cream, and fruit - while Are unraveled the mystery of my family history. Armed with a full-sized flip-chart and a stack of family tree paperwork, he confirmed what my grandpa had said all along: that the man who began building this hotel in 1903, Sevald Grotli, was indeed my great, great grandfather. The penny dropped when Are made the connection that both he and I are exactly fifth generation descendants of this man, making us third cousins. A unique feeling of intrigue and familial warmth pervaded the atmosphere that evening. 

The "Grotli Chapter" of our trip had greatly exceeded our expectations. The warm reception and rich hospitality of Are, Berit, and their son, Hans Christian, in addition to the personal and in-depth family history lesson, made for an unforgettable trip. 
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Thursday, June 21, 2012


Here is the hotel that Michael's great great grandfather started building in 1903 (it was finished in 1905 and they have since added on). We didn't know what to expect at Grolti. We knew it was located in the middle of nowhere (connecting Eastern and Western Norway) and that it was still family owned (meaning Michael was related to the owners in some way, but I will get to that in another post).  It was indeed located in the middle of nowhere. Since we came with the bus we had no way to get to any other towns (the nearest town was 40 km away) so we were "stuck" there with the hotel and the mountains and the snow. It was beautiful and quiet. It was really quiet. I kept asking Michael to listen and all we could hear was the buzzing of our ears. We spent the day leisurely walking around and reading. I am not used to days of SUCH rest. It was weird, but probably really good for my soul. I don't think I could live there permanently since I love living near the city, but it would probably be good to be completely unplugged once in a while even though that proves difficult for me. Michael on the other hand would be fine living remotely like this.
It never got completely dark while we were there...
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Monday, June 18, 2012


Michael is more than half Norwegian and for as long as I have known him he has talked about how he wanted to visit Norway to see his country and learn more about his family of origin. He especially had a desire to visit the hotel his great great grandfather Servald Grotli built. Several of his family members including his Norwegian grandparents have been to visit this hotel  - The Grotli Hotel in Grotli, Norway. Luckily, Michael married a Dane, which made going to Norway a little easier given Denmark and Norway are so close. 

We had a wonderful trip to Norway. It was full of adventure and intrigue. This country is absolutely gorgeous, which made the seven hour bus ride from Oslo much nicer.
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Sunday, June 17, 2012

happy father's day

happy father's day - far! thank you for being such an amazing and wonderful far.
i so appreciate all you have done for us and how you love us. love you.
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Friday, June 15, 2012

a perfect afternoon

royal copenhagen +  great cup of coffee + tasty lagkage + beautiful weather + amazing company
 = perfect afternoon
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Thursday, June 14, 2012


 We had a fabulous date night in Tivoli.  Tivoli is a lovely garden and at night is lit up beautifully! It is of course also an amusement park, but unlike many amusement parks you can have an enchanting evening enjoying the garden, great restaurants, cafes, and music/concerts without ever getting on a ride.

this picture is for ashley:)
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