Posts tagged ‘travel’

August 17, 2012

Friday Fieldtrip::Fjords and Highlands

by heatherkp

We took a LONG day journey to visit the mid-west coast of Norway and were hoping to get to hike to the top of Preikestolen– or Pulpit Rock but in the end the weather didn’t cooperate with us so we took a ferry ride instead.  This was not a disappointment though, just a different perspective on this beautiful area of Norway!  The fun thing about this adventure was that there were a ton of bridges and tunnels and 9 of us caravaned in 3 cars.

We stopped in a couple spots to check out local sites including Tronasen, check out this fun video of the crazy narrow switchback road we took to the top!  At the bottom we came to this bridge, which is the oldest suspension bridge in Norway, built in 1844.

Next we continued North towards Stravanger  where we caught a ferry along Lysefjord after feasting on a fabulous picnic on the banks of the North Sea.  There are several ferries that run along this Fjord, some for locals who are traveling just to their home or work destination and some ferries travel the length of the Fjord ending in Lysebotn while offering local tourist information along the way.  This ferry was about 2 1/2 hours long and the day was partly rainy/cloudy so it made for some spectacular and dramatic views!

Towards the end of the ferry ride we were very lucky to spot these seals lounging along the rocky shore.  Once the ride was over we embarked on another windy and steep drive up to the “Highlands”.

That’s what I’m calling it because the terrain was very elevated, there wasn’t much vegetation and there were many sheep, rock cairns, lakes, residual snow, thatched or living roof’s and several rainbows along this stretch.  It was what I imagine the highlands of Ireland or Scotland to be like. 

As we started to come down from the highlands there was more and more vegetation, especially evergreens such as spruce and pines.  There were also many more signs of life, more houses, a few small shops and villages where tourists come to get away in the summer but it was still quite unpopulated (there are only 5 million people in Norway!).

I was delighted to see some of the traditional architecture such as this wooden food storage house called a Stabbur, where food was stored to keep the mice away!  The return route home took us through the lakes and mountains smack down the center of Norway East of the Stravanger area through a couple towns like Rysstad (the picture below was taken there) and Evje both popular vacation/camping spots for the summer in Norway.It was about a 12 hour day and we covered a lot of ground but I assure you it was one of the most memorable days of my life!  I am so grateful to my brother, his wife and her mother who helped to plan this day so we could experience Norway’s splendid range of beauty!

August 3, 2012

Friday Fieldtrip::Wedding Bells in Norway

by heatherkp

Okay, so I’m sure you noticed I recently went to Norway and the whole purpose of this trip was for my brothers wedding!  He married a beautiful and sweet Norwegian woman who I am thrilled to have as my sister in law.  I was apprehensive about going to Norway because I’d heard not much more about it than how EXPENSIVE it is and that it’s a socialist country.  Well, being in the midst of a move and trying to re-launch 2 businesses in Charleston I was enthusiastic but a bit concerned (about the expenses not the politics!).

We arrived a few days before the wedding and we got straight to work transforming the Christiansholm Fort into the vision my brother and sister in law had for their reception!  The whole family got involved with decorations, preparations and set up…from ironing over 30 tablecloths to hanging over 100 paper lanterns and setting 80 something place settings!  It was a family affair and a great way to begin to know one another.

Lanterns are assembled and table scape items are grouped to be arranged.

I promise I did more than boss everyone around and take pictures! B & I hung all the lanterns as a team.

My dad puts his Navy ironing skills to work!

My mom meticulously arranges all the place setting keys (I loved this idea)!

Susanne’s Aunt created this piece for guest to sign (in addition to the guest book).

I made these magnets which were favors (not a great picture…).

Lots of special details from both sides of the family became a part of the day!

After about 8 hours of set up work (over 2 days) with at least 12 people involved, every last detail had been beautifully arranged.  My brother and sister in law put so much of themselves into this production.  Since my brother is a sound engineer there were musical themed objects everywhere, my favorite being the menus aka place settings and being in a Scandinavian country there were plenty of hearts!

Finally on Saturday the weather was perfect and the wedding was at this incredible Church called Oddernes kirke, which is over 950 years old.

A couple family members wore traditional Norwegian folk costumes called Bundas.  This costume is typical for the Stavanger area (where Kristiansand is located).  I didn’t take very many photo’s during the wedding (the only time of the entire trip I can say this!), partly because I just wanted to be there and really be present and partly because I was nervous about getting up to do this Apache Blessing,  which apparently I aced (I hate speaking in public but need to do it more!).

My brother walks with his bride down the isle in one hand and his very own Norwegian bible in the other!

Man was my husband drooling when he saw they were riding away in this beauty!  He has an old 68’s Cadillac Coupe DeVille in very bad need of restoration, this one gave him inspiration…or heartburn (not really sure which)!

Over at the fort guests were greeted with Champagne and delicious hors d’oeuvres while the couple and family had photo’s taken.

I obviously didn’t take this shot but the best man and talented photographer Guy Jackson grabbed my camera for this and a few other shots, thanks Guy!

Here he is along with the bride, groom and bride’s gorgeous sister and maid of honor!

Back inside the fort the Toastmasters prepare the guests for a few cultural traditions which included the many speeches (toasts) given by family and friends.  In this case the toastmasters were friends of the couple and served as translators and “MC’s” for the event.  They did an amazing job!

One of the traditions taken care of by the toastmaster is opening all the cards & gifts and displaying them as well as writing it all down!  I love this, makes it so much easier for the bride and groom and you don’t have to worry about gifts “walking away”!

We ate Reindeer for our entree!  It was delicious, similar to venison but also roast beef (a cross between the two maybe?).

The bride and groom kissed, a lot and toasts were made and cake was eaten and then we danced to the funky beats of the talented DJ Musa of Denver, CO USA!


I needn’t have been concerned in the least about this trip because Norway and my brother’s wedding were such an incredible experience and my sister in law’s family are truly special people.  This was one of the best trips of my lifetime and I know I’ll be back to Norway someday!  Finally, I wish my brother and his new bride a lifetime together filled with abundance, love and delight!

 

PS. If you would like to see more photo’s taken by the professional photographer she also did an amazing job!

July 29, 2012

Walking Weekend::1 Day in Amsterdam

by heatherkp

Boy did we walk in Amsterdam.  We had a limited amount of time there and we had plans to stop at a few spots but mostly we just wanted to walk along the canals and see what we could see!

In 6 hours we covered a lot of ground from Central station past the national monument, the flower market, Vondelpark and to the Van Gogh museum.  Here is roughly the route we took which was about a 45 min walk back to the Central station at the end of our day.

Along the way we did some window shopping (I will post next week some of the great designs I saw in the shops), admired the incredible dutch architecture, meandered along the canals (Singel,Herengracht, Keizersgracht & Prinsengracht), had an ice cream and were thoroughly exhausted by days end.  Here are some of the sites along our path.

This was nuts, doesn’t every church have a head shop below/behind it?  Only in Amsterdam!

Watch out for the bikes!  They will run you over and these kind are used to haul shopping bags, children or whatever!

I love that this lady had her bike decorated with flowers:)

Check out this mode of transport!

And I swear this guy turned around just so he could have his picture taken.  Love those yellow pants:)

The traditional dutch architecture was really something, I especially loved the dark facades with the curved gables and the intricate masonry!

One of the happiest accidents on our walking tour was coming across the flower market.  I was sad not to be able to bring home any plants or bulbs, unfortunately tulips just don’t grow well in my tropical climate.  I enjoyed seeing all the lovely blooms and bulbs though.

This is the view of the back side of the market along the Singel canal.

Our final destination (before walking back to the central station) was the Van Gogh museum.  This was certainly a highlight for me. I didn’t get any shots inside (I’m sure I would have been promptly escorted out if I had!).  This rock display outside the museum was very fun.

I was so glad to have purchased tickets online before we went because the line was very long!  This is true for most of the museums in the city, if you go, I strongly suggest you buy your tickets beforehand.

This was the main square where the National Monument is and it reminded me very much of Venice.  There were a lot of people milling around (and a few mimes) as well as a fashion show (it was the beginning of fashion week).

I’d love to return to Amsterdam and have a bit more time to explore.  We barely scratched the surface but it was a wonderful day!

July 9, 2012

On the move Monday

by heatherkp

As you read this we are in the midst of taking off for a big trip to Norway via Amsterdam for my Brother’s wedding!  It’s been quite an adventure planning and packing for an international trip while in the midst of living with most of our belongings in storage, not to mention the upcoming move when we return (and all the necessary things we have had to take care of ahead of time to have things lined up upon our return).

So I’m trying to go light on the packing for this trip which is a bit tough since I have a wedding and there will be cool temperatures.  I’m only checking one bag and taking 1 carry on.  I’ve been referencing several sources for packing info, like the site One Bag which shares ideas for creating a “Master packing list”‘ that you always use for travel but you don’t always take everything on the list.  I really like this idea, it makes a lot of sense and I will be putting together a list for my travels starting with this trip to Norway. I also found quite a few helpful tips such as folding, rolling and bundling on the Real Simple website, which recently featured packing in one if it’s magazine issues. I did incorporate a few new tips, such as covering the bottom and top of my stuff with plastic bags (which prevents wrinkling a bit) and using lots of pouches and ziplock bags (not new but totally necessary).

We have one day in Amsterdam on our way to Norway so we plan to take in the canal sites, maybe a bike or boat ride, the Van Gogh museum and whatever else we have time to enjoy such as a meal or two, people watching and lots of photography!! In Norway we will be staying in Kristiansand with my sister in law’s family.  We will travel to hike fiords, take in the sites in town, maybe go to the cannon museum, take a boat ride to a small island and enjoy getting to know the new side of our family!  We will be eating fantastic fish (except for my husband who may loose weight on this trip since he eats nothing from the water) and reindeer will be served at the wedding!

We can’t wait.  We are just about packed up now and will be leaving in a couple hours.  I won’t be around much over the next couple weeks but when I get back there will be loads of pictures and bits from our trip to share as well as the ongoing (soon to be completed) moving process.  See ya soon.

 

PS Pardon any errors, wrote this quickly and distractedly!!

July 7, 2012

Silent Saturday::Packing Time

by heatherkp

Countdown to Norway!!

 

January 20, 2012

Friday Field Trip::Ocean~River~Mountain~Marsh

by heatherkp

Since the new year we have had amazing times exploring different areas of our new state.  South Carolina is truly beautiful with a vast variety of landscapes to explore.  We started the new year at Caesars Head mountain where we had this incredible sunset view from the back porch and we spent the days hiking and exploring the many, many local waterfalls.

After the new year we returned to our own little ocean retreat at Pawleys where I am in the habit of taking daily walks when the weather permits.  Several times a week we also try to catch the sunset over at a boat ramp on the Waccamaw River, it’s quite a spectacular spot don’t you think?

And most recently we went last weekend to the middle of the state (well not quite but we were west of the coast) to Givhans Ferry State park.  We took a couple nights and stayed in the cabins right along the Edisto River and had some great campfires, hiking and a canoe ride.  Luckily we didn’t spy any Aligators!

It’s been a fantastic beginning of 2012 and I can’t wait to explore more of our new state!

August 5, 2011

Friday Fieldtrip::Penland the Full tour

by heatherkp

It’s Friday and I’m away again on another Field trip, this time up to PA with a couple college girlfriends for a wedding.  While I’m out scratching up more field trip fun I’m going to share with you the first of a few posts over the next couple weeks about Penland School of Crafts.  To start with I’ll show you around the campus so you get an idea of the setting, the views, the buildings, accommodations (for some) etc…I’ll get more into the creative specifics of the class I took with Jason Pollen next week but for now I hope you enjoy the scenery:)

Welcome to Craft House.  This is the first building I was greeted by when I drove up and I quickly found out it would be my home for my 2 weeks at Penland.  I stayed in the 3rd floor dorm, where there were many other work study and “over 30-under 40” students.  They seem to do some divisions by age, probably not a bad idea.

Inside the 3rd floor dorm rooms (above) and a “typical” individual non-private accommodation (below).  Not bad especially with the windows and fans (they provided us with). Below are some of the typical views looking out across Penland road and along the walkways that run across the campus.  Craft House has a fantastic big porch with swings perfect for enjoying sunsets, reading, having a glass of wine and relaxing (although I felt short on relaxation time with all that was crammed into the schedule!).

My next stop upon arrival at Penland was over to the Pines dining hall.  I spent many hours in this building both eating and fulfilling my work study hours.  I worked about 3-4 hours a day in addition to classes from 9:30-4:30.  It was a lot of work but it was fun. Apparently almost 45% of the students attending Penland do so on some sort of Scholarship!  If it wasn’t for these scholarships so many people wouldn’t be able to go, me included!  I definitely plan to go back, if they’ll have me.

Above is an installation sculpture on the porch in front of the coffee house by one of my favorite artists Patrick Dougherty.

The meals were really diverse and always included a vegetarian option and a great salad bar.  They make a fantastic Wasabi salad dressing, man do I miss it and miss not having to cook (but really I love to cook).  Each day the big chalk board in the dining hall told the daily events.

Some of the veggies and herbs are grown at Penland but they feed on average 250 people at lunch and dinner during their 5 summer sessions (each 2 weeks long).

Some of the buildings at Penland are on the National Historic Register (such as the Dye house below) and others are fairly new.  They are also in the process of building a brand new dorm building. 

Print Studio

Clay Studio (outside kilns)

Metals Shop

Glass Studio

Northlight, houses Photography, Book making and a large hall for social gatherings and Yoga:)

Lily Loom, houses textiles-weaving and surface design as well as the Main administrative offices.  Below are a few of my other favorite spots and views I found upon wandering the grounds. 

Porch at the old Dye House

Hydrangeas in bloom by the entrance to the Supply store (back of Craft House)

“Cheryl’s Gate”, named so after a class mate who helped me appreciate the intricate beauty of this old gate (not that it needed much help!)

Old stairs (not in use) covered in Moss on the side of Craft House and the supply store

View at dusk looking out the front door of Lily Loom

Walled garden leading behind metals and clay to Lily Loom, it’s covered in clay tiles and found objects and I could always find something new as I walked past it.

The Red neon box up between the Print studio and Northlight.

View out the side of the Pines on our last morning.

That concludes the walking tour of Penland!  I hope you got a feel for what the campus, grounds and facilities are like.  It’s quite a wonderful experience and I even heard rumors of them installing some Air conditioning sometime in the near future (in the spots that really need it).  Have you visited Penland or another similar school?  What was your experience like?

 

February 4, 2011

Friday Field Trip::France

by heatherkp

This is part one of a series where I’ll be sharing photo’s from my trip to Provence 2 years ago.  I have been very inspired by all things French lately and I never fully explored the imagery and inspiration that was all around us on this trip.

Produce at the French farmers markets I spent about 10 days in Provence with a girlfriend from college and her sister who was living there at the time.  It was fantastic to have her as our guide since she was fluent in French and knew her way around.  It made it so easy for us to sit back, relax and enjoy the sightseeing. Here is some of the beautiful produce at the weekly market in Orange, radishes, frisee lettuce, cheese (I love how they are wrapped!) and truffles!  We were lucky enough to be there during truffle season and we enjoyed a lovely homemade meal with truffles (I’ll share more on that evening another day).

French Photography shop and sign

Isn’t this sign charming?  It hung way above the street corner and I’m certain it attracted more than the fair share of photographers attention (both inside the shop and out).  Who needs and ADT sign with this impressive steel gate announcing “Attention Au Chien”.  I never saw a dog but with a sign engraved in your  gate you are certain to be more safe with or without a dog!

I wanted to share a bit more with you today but it seems I have come down with some bug and am going to put myself back to bed momentarily but I wanted to kick off French February with a couple images from Orange, which was home base for us for our many day trips around Provence.

January 7, 2011

Friday Fieldtrip::Covered Bridges

by heatherkp

This Friday I’m sharing with you the trip we took last week over New Years to visit a friend.  On our return home we took Highway 30 aka Lincoln Hwy and made quite a few stops to see restored covered bridges.

This stretch of the highway took us through mountains and there was a lot of fog and mist since the temperatures were in the 50’s but there was still snow on the ground.

It was erie and overcast and moody and beautiful!

Don’t you love covered bridges?  Finding them is like finding a well kept secret.

We also stopped along the way at the Flight 93 memorial (Shanksville, PA) which was sad but also good reminder and I’m glad to know they are creating this memorial.  The first phase will be done this 9-11 (for the 10 yr anniversary).

It was a great way to start the new year.