Bye bye Kieler Woche! Until next year…
This year I got a taste of what it feels like to be a working mom. All these years of dedicating my time to being at home with the kids where the best years of my life – no question about it. It wasn’t always a walk in the park as you can imagine. I kept myself busy trying to be as curious about the kid’s environment, their social life, their preschool as well as their school lives which left very little time to myself. In the thick of it I would daydream being trapped in a room full of beautiful fabric and a well-oiled sewing machine for a day … ahhhh, the possibilities and the creative space… Little did I know that the future held a whole nother layer of business – busyness for me in store.
The last two years since our move to Germany getting acquainted with our new town, the new home, the new school(s) and the new friends & neighbors took up all our time.
Now, two years into living here we have a child in Middle School, one in Elementary and now the baby in preschool … On top of that I took on a job! A real paying job at a real workplace, with real colleagues, coffee machines and cooler talks … My life is a whole nother kind of busy right now.
My days now have 25 hours, sleep is a sweet memory and the phone doesn’t have an off-button…
If I ever felt the need to thank my mom it is this moment that puts it all into perspective for me … her sacrifice, her dedication and her very alert mind. No wonder she never had a hobby when we were growing up. How could she? She raised four of us mostly by herself – always rushing from work to the market then home to drop of the goods and back out to some school related appointment. Thanks MOM! Really, I mean it. Thanks for putting yourself second.
Now, a couple of months into this new reality I am still trying to make it all fit into 24 hours and at the same time take a moment to appreciate it all as well. I love that I was giving the opportunity to live to see my kids prosper. Isaiah is incredibly responsible and helpful with his youngest sister and is becoming a young adult right in front of our eyes…
and Seda is a social butterfly with no time to complain.
Stella has made the biggest leap this spring. She actually goes to preschool now and loves it! That might not sound like a big deal to you but when we gave preschool a try last fall after her third birthday I was convinced that this kid had to be home schooled – which is not possible in Germany, by the way. I was certain that she would NEVER be able to separate from me. Then we took a break, then I did more research and more inquiring with other moms and then we waited. Waited for the time to be just right. Now, at a different preschool, within a week this little 3.5-year-old has been on three field trips including one with a ferry and have grown to LOVE preschool and all her new friends ages 2.5 thru 5.
What a difference a few months make – for ALL of us. But to see it through a preschooler’s eyes really makes it precious and joyful. Everything is so temporary. Everything is so fragile. What a gift it is to wake up every day to see one’s children grow.
On our two-year-anniversary I can only take this moment to thank the universe for this growth – for this life!
This spring break we got to board our favorite cruise ship right here from downtown Kiel to head to Oslo, the capital and with 648,000 people the most populous city of Norway.
We were so excited about boarding this ship after hearing and seeing it twice a day every day at 10 am and 2 pm.
The trip takes about 20 hours.
We boarded at 1:15 pm and by the time we checked into our room and headed back upstairs to the observation deck we heard that ship horn and smoothly left the Norwegenkai in Kiel. Bye bye Kiel! See you in a few days!
Checking into our cabin is always like unwrapping a gift:
Our cabin was rather small but we spent more time exploring the ship then inside of it anyway…
A little wind and rain didn’t keep these three from enjoying the open sea on deck.
Back inside there was a lot to do as well:
arcades, game center, cafes and restaurants with & without ocean view… a fitness center and an indoor pool area (one place I wasn’t allowed to take pics at)!
After a relatively short night we arrived early morning in Norwegian waters and lots of little island to see before we docked in sunny Oslo at 10 am.
We grabbed the first taxi for a short ride downtown to our hotel: Citybox. Perfect for families, simple, central, modern & clean!
We had 24 hours to explore this gorgeous city so no time to waste… We explored everything by foot and with this crisp air from the Fjord …
In front of the Oslo City Hall
We loved having the place to ourselves and dancing on the beautiful marble floors…
From the city hall it was a nice walk along the boardwalk to the Oslo opera house and the main train station:
Seda didn’t miss a good photo opp. She had to do it! 🙂
The central train station (Ostbanehallen) is a sight to see on it’s own. It’s home to exciting restaurants, bars, cafes and shops – all under a glass roof! Our absolute favorite place was this bread bar called BIT! The cinnamon bread was out of this world!
The cool silver Airport Express Train leaves downtown Oslo every 10 minutes and reaches Oslo airport in 19 minutes! The whole atmosphere at the train station is so low stress – it’s incredible!
The next day it was back to the Color Line terminal for us. We were hoping to catch a Tesla taxi but had to make-do with a Benz. Oh well – first world problems!
Oslo City Hall from the top floor of the Color Line.
The fjord is absolutely breathtaking and for ours we had beautiful sights to see and photograph when leaving Oslo.
Back inside when we reached the open sea the kids loved the chip & dips and the kid’s drinks in grown up glasses … Below Isaiah in the observation lounge with ‘captain’s view’.
I absolutely loved this spectacular sky!!
20 hours at sea later we arrived back home – back in Kiel!
Looking at the above pictures I realize once more how beautiful Kiel really is!
Thank you Color Line for taking us to Norway and back home safely!
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