Celebrating Norway’s Constitution Day in Los Angeles

For me, celebrating Norway’s 17th of May in Los Angeles began by vicariously experiencing it through pictures posted on Facebook by Norwegian friends. I woke up to a newsfeed filled with bold and bright Norwegian flags, happy families dressed in beautiful bunads, and smiling kids in parades. It was a lovely start to the day and I much appreciated them sharing their celebrations!

(Photos courtesy of M. Eriksen, E. Strøm-Gundersen, and S. Mjeldheim)

(Photos courtesy of M. Eriksen, E. Strøm-Gundersen, and S. Mjeldheim)

Ideally, I would have attended the festivities at the Norwegian Seamen’s Church in San Pedro that day. It’s a simple celebration with traditional foods (hot dogs, waffles, and Solo are our favorites), a parade around the block waving flags and singing, speeches, and fun and games for the kids. And let’s not forget the ice cream! But this year, “17. mai” fell on a Friday and the kids had after-school commitments until 5 o’clock. The idea of driving in Friday afternoon traffic to San Pedro was unfathomable.

Moods of Norway LA infoSo I had to find an alternate way to mark the day. I had seen that the store Moods of Norway was having a celebration. I was intrigued. Continue reading

Norwegian Church’s Christmas Bazaar (2012)

Thanksgiving hadn’t even passed yet, and we attended our first Christmas event. Every year the weekend before Thanksgiving, The Norwegian Church in San Pedro hosts their annual Christmas Bazaar. It’s an opportunity to not only support the church by buying handmade goods and Scandinavian products, but also to remind Sonny and Doobie of some of the unique qualities of their heritage. Christmas is a special time in Norway and the church certainly recreates some of that.

The kids were a bit reluctant to go. It is a 30-minute drive away on the freeway (assuming no traffic) and they were happily and lazily enjoying their first days of Thanksgiving vacation at home. The promise of Solo and waffles did help get them motivated to go, however. I also told them they could help pick out something special to bring back home.

The bazaar is nothing super big and fancy, but it is very cozy and joyful. We were warmly welcomed with hot gløgg and gingerbread cookies in the entryway which was decorated with a Christmas tree. Just beyond that, we could see the Christmas lights on the booths and hear Christmas music playing. Right away the Christmas spirit came over us. Continue reading

Farm Fresh Produce to Us!

I woke up almost as excited as a little kid on Christmas morning.  For a long time, I’ve been intrigued by the idea of having produce delivered directly to me from a local farm.  After seeing an offer on Living Social for $31.50 worth of produce for $15, I bought it without a second thought.  It was a way for me to finally commit to giving it a try.  On Thursday, I woke up to a box of fresh produce outside my front door.  Since I had seen of list of what to expect, I knew what would be in it, but I was still very eager to open it and check it out.

Reactions by family members varied.  Sonny, the oldest, was the first to join me as I started opening it.  When I started telling him what was in it, he said, “Spinach?!  Ew!”  “Do you know what spinach is?  Can you pick it out for me?” I asked.  He started picking through our box, totally overlooking the spinach that was laying on top.  When I explained it was a leaf, like a lettuce, and showed it to him, he was surprised and asked, “Can I taste it?”  Just that moment was worth the $15.

My dear husband wasn’t as excited as me about the delivery.  When he came into the kitchen, he looked in the box and asked, “Does that mean we have to eat all that?” Continue reading