In the morning I slept in a bit, and then headed out to the post office and popped into a few shops, just window shopping because everything is so expensive (And I'm starting to sound like a broken record saying that!) The past few days, workers have been hanging garlands across streets and wrapping trees in lights and I saw the big Christmas tree getting hoisted into place:
I'm hoping it will be lit either tonight or tomorrow so I can see the city all done up for the holidays.
One nice benefit to renting a room in an apartment through Airbnb is that when the owner of the apartment is at work, it's like you have your own place. Sveii met me at the apartment bearing a gift of hot chocolate and we sat and planned our meal. I brought over with me Pepperidge Farm stuffing, gravy packets, and a graham cracker pie crust. The must-haves for me were: turkey, gravy, stuffing, and rice. To round it out, would be potatoes and cranberry sauce.
On our way to the big grocery store, we made a few shopping stops, including at one of the many malls throughout the city. I don't think I've ever been somewhere with so many malls! It seems every other street corner has a little mall, and then on the bus to one of the big malls we also passed at least three others. Apparently, shopping is a Norwegian pasttime. The big mall we went to contained a grocery store just a little smaller than a US store. It was fun wandering the aisles, with Sveii pointing out traditional foods to me and seeing a few brands I recognize, like Sunmaid Raisins, Skippy peanut butter, and Knorr products. It was interesting seeing the differences too...like all mayo is sold in squeeze tubes like toothpaste, and some meat is sold in a box, like the turkey breast we picked out:
Everything on our list was in the store, except for cranberries/cranberry sauce/cranberry jam. As an alternate, Sveii picked up cranberry-blueberry jam. And there was one super Norwegian addition to the menu: surkål or in English, sour cabbage...I decided not to try that dish. We made our dinner at Sveii's apartment, which has all apartment-size appliances - two burner cooktop, mini fridge, and a convection-type oven. The hardest part was the timing and keeping things warm while we took them off the burner to make the next dish.
While things were busy cooking, we did a Thanksgiving activity sent over from Mom which made decorations, and watched the snippets from the Macy's parade on snapchat:
I could pretend that I worked hard at making our meal...but actually the extremely American traditional meal was cooked almost entirely by Sveii - I was in charge of the gravy.
About to dig in:
Everything turned out delicious, including our dessert, which didn't quite turn out exactly as planned...a chocolate pie, made with cream and chocolate chips. It didn't set for long enough, so it was more of a soupy pudding than a pie but it was so decadent and good:
I'm so thankful that I was able to spend my first Thanksgiving away from my family with a good friend. And I'm thankful for my loving family who understand this travel bug, and for the ability to take adventures around the world.