Eurovision 2015

All through the 90’s my mother would tape the preview shows of Eurovision Song Contest (On an old-fashioned VHS-tape…aaaah the 90’s), and I used to love watching these tapes.I don’t know why, but Eurovision would always be the highlight of spring. Me and my sister (sorry to drag you into this) would watch the previews decide which songs we liked, “sing-along” (read sing what we believed the singer sang) and make up what we believed they sang about…remember this was the 90’s when they had to sing in their own language.

Last week was this years grand finale, and for the first time in a long time I was somewhat prepared for what I had in store.

Let’s go through some of the, in my  negligible opinion (and I do have a right to this opinion…I voted), entries with the mostest

1: ITALY

TH00087_207I might be somewhat tainted by my husbands love for all things Italian, but this was my ultimate favorite this year. You cannot go wrong with 3 good-looking (albeit a bit young) Italian guys, in Italian suits, singing an opera pop-ballad about amore in Italian…What’s not to like? This sort of reminds me of the good old ESC days, and I bet that it would have been even more amazing with a live orchestra and a grand piano introducing the beautiful voices of Il Volo. 15 years ago I guess the victory would be in the bag. Just to bad that Sweden decided to send Måns Zelmerlöw the same year as Italy sent Il Volo.

2: SWEDEN

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Don’t get me wrong, I like the Swedish song and I bet I’ll voluntarily listen to it more than a couple of times during this summer, But it was such an obvious winner. (One of my good friends showed me the video at Easter and proclaimed it the winner)  I liked the balloon guy and the butterfly as much as the next person, but to be honest I think that was the only thing I would have remembered during the rest of the show hadn’t I heard the song a couple of times before the grand finale. But well done Sweden and congratulations on your fifth Eurovision win (quite impressive)

3: RUSSIA

TH00087_186Everyone has an opinion about Russia, especially in Eurovision it seems. Let me start by saying that I am not going to have an opinion about the politics. In Eurovision it is about the songs and the performances. Even if people don’t agree with how Russia runs things, I don’t think it is fair that the politics of a country (any country) is affecting the viewers opinion about a song/performance/person. That is why I’ll end my morality sermon and talk about the performance.

Up until the finale, I really liked the russian song. And I somewhat did at the finale as well. I loved the dress (even though the neck cut was way too deep), and Polina looked beautiful, but I was not a fan of the whole overwhelmed feeling of the performance…especially at the end. But I think she was a worthy contender at the top of the list.

4: NORWAY

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I have to mention Norway, now haven’t I. When I first heard the Norwegian entry, I have to admit I didn’t like it at all. It was slow and boring…but after hearing it a couple of times it kind of grew on me, and by the time we reached the finale I was actually rooting for Mørland and Deborah Scarlett. And even though we’ll never learn what terrible thing he did in his early youth, this song might get a spot on my iPod. Well done Norway

5: SLOVENIA

TH00087_12When I heard this the first time I immediately thought of Duffy…You know the British songbird who graced us with “Mercy”. And I liked the song. Have not decided on my opinion about the whole head-phone trademark…or the dancer who apparently only knew the violin move.

6: LITHUANIA

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Not a fan of the song, to happy-snappy even for me, but I think I might like her dress. I haven’t quite decided yet. Reason enough to make it on my mostest-list??? Obviously…

7: AUSTRALIA

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This is definitely one of my favorites this year. I think I’ll go as long as to say that this is the only song I would be fine with beating Italy. Very Bruno Mars-ish, but I like Bruno Mars, and I like Australia, so what’s not to like about this funky entry.

(This obviously aren’t my private photos. I have borrowed them from the official eurovision website)

Until next year Europe.

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Snapshots: Caribbean blue

To sum up…

Let's see...where do we want to go??

Let’s see…where do we want to go??

"One lap to go or maybe three. tonight's dessert can be guilt-free"...You had me at dessert.

“One lap to go or maybe three. Tonights dessert can be guilt-free”…You had me at dessert.

Where to go, what to see?

Where to go, what to see?

Goodbye Fort Lauderdale...Hello open sea

Goodbye Fort Lauderdale…Hello open sea

If there ever is such a thing as world-famous fresh fruit, it can be found at the Bahamas.

If there ever is such a thing as world famous fresh fruit, it can be found at the Bahamas.

We tried to take a picture of me where the wind didn't make me look 8 months pregnant...We failed.

We tried to take a picture of me where the wind didn’t make me look 8 months pregnant…We failed.

Making new friends in Jamaica. People are so friendly here

Making new friends in Jamaica. People are so friendly here

Pretty gorgeous, no???

Pretty georgeous, no???

Strike a pose, drink a lot of water, try not to faint.

Strike a pose, drink a lot of water, try not to faint.

Turns out there are more lizards than ruins in Tulum.

Turns out there ar more lizards than ruins in Tulum.

Had to save a kiss for this little cutie

Had to save a kiss for this little cutie

Best. Vacation. Ever.

Best. Vacation. Ever.

The day we met Jesùs…not Jesus

I can’t believe I am about to finish my posts about the cruise, I mean it only took me 6 months (can I please play the quality not quantity card once again?)

Without further ado, let me introduce you to our stop in Mexico.
Since the shore excursion in Jamaica was such a success we decided to do another one in Mexico, and decided to visit the old Mayan ruins of Tulum (his might have been somewhat inspired by the fact that my husband was in the middle of the Assassins Creed Black Flag game at that time, but lets not dwell)
So we got up early in the morning to join the shore excursion team who would take us to our local guides. When we came outside it rained…no I’m exaggerating, it drizzled. But that didn’t stop this big Texan to want to get a refund on his excursion since the Shore Excursion guide-book didn’t say anything about rain…no sorry drizzle.

Welcome to Tulum...please don't climb on any of the ruins.

Welcome to Tulum…please don’t climb on any of the ruins.

Anyway at Playa del Carmen we were introduced to our guide for the day and his name was Jesús…not Jesus (He made this very clear). And together with the bus driver Gabriel, they took us the 40ish miles to the Mayan ruins where our tour began. Luckily/unfortunately we didn’t have any Hong Kongians with us, nor did we sing along to Bob Marley, so our drive in Mexico was somewhat less eventful, than our bus drive in Jamaica.

I’m usually not really a fan of the whole guided tour phenomenon, and I’d rather walk around alone to be honest, but Jesùs really knew his stuff and was so genuinely into his job, that he made it rather interesting. And with the site being phenomenally, breathtakingly beautiful it made me really happy that husband had convinced me that this would be fun to see (you know, since this guy in AC had climbed on the ruins and everything…we were not allowed to climb on the buildings…not that anyone actually tried…anyways).

Wanted to include a picture of our amazing tour-guide, but since I haven't asked his premission, I guess I just have to caption a photo of me with "The best tour-guide in all of Mexico".

Wanted to include a picture of our amazing tour-guide, but since I haven’t asked his premission, I guess I just have to caption a photo of me with “The best tour-guide in all of Mexico”.

So even if it was excruciatingly hot under the Mexican sun, I endured it for the sake of some of the fascinating things Jesùs told us. I couldn’t recite any of the things he told us, because my brain capacity just isn’t what it used to be, but some of the things…wow, pretty awesome how people could build things like that so many years ago without, you know, computers.

There was this cool thing about this ruin and the sun, but I just can't remember. Guess you have to go there for yourself to find out.

There was this cool thing about this ruin and the sun, but I just can’t remember. Guess you have to go there for yourself to find out.

After a while at the site we headed back to Playa del Carmen to catch our catamaran back to the island of Cozumel were the ship was docked. The plan was to look around in San Miguel, but with the heat and all the people trying to sell us things, we decided to go back to the ship and relax after an amazing and eventful day.

Jamaica me crazy

So christmas was crazy, an the beginning of 2015 was crazy. I guess you’re all on the edge of your seats by now , anciously awaiting the continued adventures of Hamilton and I, and husband off course. Well dear followers, you waiting ends right now and I’ll continue to let you in on our caribbean cruise experience. After leaving the Bahamas, the plan was to set sail for St. Martin and St.Thomas in the eastern caribbean, but thanks to a teeny tiny hurricane, we had to adjust our sails and go elsewhere. We ended up going to Falmouth, Jamaica and Cozumel, Mexico.

Pretty much all Falmouth had to offer

Pretty much all Falmouth had to offer

Just a little sidestory before we go to Jamaica. In the morning of our first day we came back to our room (or cabin or whatever) and saw that we had received a message on our phone. This was from the captain. Turned out he was norwegian, and that he wanted to invite all the norwegian guest on a tour of the bridge. And as if this wasn’t enough the next morning we were invited to have dinner at the captains table. I have seen enough episodes of “the Love Boat” to know that this is a pretty big deal. So we ditched our plans to see Chicago, and went to dine with the captain. Pretty awesome, no? Anyways, during said dinner the captain told us that if we should choose one place to take a shore excurcison, he would recommend Jamaica. So we took the captains orders and after dinner we marched ourselves to the shore excursion ticket office and booked two tickets to climb the Dunnes river falls. Turns out the captain gave us some good advice as Falmouth, Jamaica isn’t really that exciting. The rest of Jamaica however (or at least the parts we got to see) was.

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So off we went in a miniature bus with our guide Tracy, our busdriver (whose name I cannot remember, I want to say Bob, but that might be somewhat stereotypical) a couple from Canada, a couple from Venezuela and 8 HongKongians. The trip from Falmouth to Dunnes Rivers falls included som interesting facts about Jamaica, (Did you know there are three types of Mangrove trees on earth and all three can be found on the island of Jamaica…That’s all I got) some Bob Marley sing-along and some jokes from Hong Kong. I was somewhat out of my comfortzone, but when in Jamaica…so I hummed along to the Bob Marley songs I knew. I wasn’t really sure about climbing the river, but we decided to go big or go home, and went for it. And boy am I glad I did, cause the excursion would not have been the same without it. Some facts from Wikipedia: “At about 180 feet (55 m) high and 600 feet (180 m) long, the waterfalls are terraced like giant natural stairs though some incorporate man-made improvements. Several small lagoons are interspersed among the vertical sections of the falls. The falls empty into the Caribbean Sea at the western end of an attractive white-sand beach.” So our expedition started at this attractive white-sand beach, and together with our “Dunnes River Falls”-guide, our videographer and a group of tourists we set off to counquer the falls. And we did. It was cold it was wet it was wild and oh so fun. We even cheered at the videographer upon his request, and I have to admit that the phrase “Ya Mon” might have slipped my mouth a couple of times. So even though we almost lost a couple of the Hong Kongians in the souvenir section and we were fooled into buying a ridicoulusly expensive copy of a DVD of us (and a gazillion other tourist) climbing the falls, I think we can conclude that our excurcion was a success.

Bahamas mamas

One of the things I remember made the biggest impression on me when we went on our cruise was waking up the first morning and going to breakfast. We had, due to jet lag, gone to bed quite early the night before. The last thing we did before going to bed was to take a walk on deck in the pitch black night. With the sound of the ocean crashing against the ship and the quiet humming of the engine running. Going to breakfast the next morning with the view of the sun just rising over Nassau, Bahamas, was a big contrast to the previous night, and absolutely beautiful. I guess that the thought of being somewhere so far away from home was an added factor to this taking my breath away a little.

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Stunning with its turquoise ocean and cute colourful houses, I really loved experiencing this place with my bestest of friends. Even though our marriage was seriously tested in the souvenir shop, (why people would want all that tacky knickknacks with Bahamas/Nassau written all over it is beyond me…but you know, just my personal opinion :S), but that is a completely different story.

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Sail away

As the rain is pouring down outside, and I am experiencing the seasons first sniffles, I am dreaming away to our vacation a couple of weeks ago. We haven’t really been on vacation just the two of us in quite some time (a week-end in Antwerp and the week in Italy with the in-laws doesn’t count), so we wanted to do something special for our vacation this year. What started as a joke became reality when I earlier this year asked the husband if he wanted to go on a Caribbean cruise. My prejudice towards cruise vacation is that there are a lot of little old ladies with purple hair playing shuffleboard. But at the same time I have to admit I was a bit curious about the whole concept. So we decided to go, and 3 weeks ago, early in the morning we dragged our tired butts out of bed and headed for Miami and Allure of the seas.

Passport...check Tickets...check Excitement...Check We're ready to go.

Passport…check Tickets…check Excitement…Check We’re ready to go.

As with any vacation, it’s always hard to talk about it when we come back home, because you have experienced so much, that it’s hard to pick out what parts to focus on. But I’ll try to write about my favourite adventures in the Caribbean sea.

Ain’t no mountain high enough

My ideal saturday morning would be to sleep until I woke by myself, have a long breakfast on the couch with a magazine or some random TV-show, maybe take a trip to town or try to finish up one of my many projects at home. Today however the alarm went of at 8 AM and I totally forgot to eat my breakfast as we hurried around packing and getting ready to take a hike to the Pulpit Rock,one of the most famous tourist attractions in the Stavanger region. Husband has never been, so when he was invited by a colleague and some friends, he said yes, and I was allowed to tag along (Hurray I guess).Just to give you an idea how I am at hiking, I once went for a hike with a group of friends to a place called Frafjordshatten (which I have renamed the Frafjords-effing-hat). The start was really steep, my socks were wet before we even had begun, my backpack was too heavy, every time I asked how far it was I just got a diffuse answer, and when I thought I had enough it started to rain…a lot. This resulted in a really annoyed Monica, who pretty much spent the entire last half of the hike (we’re talking 3+ hours here) complaining. We never made it to the top of the mountain, and I was never asked to go hiking again… :/

Ahhh...Gods creation people, pretty awesome

Ahhh…Gods creation people, pretty awesome

However, I have hiked to the top of pulpit rock several times before with my family, and as I recalled it wasn’t too bad, so I decided it would be good for me to get out of the city and out in the fresh air. I was quickly discouraged as the start, like the Frafjords-effing-hat, was really steep. It didn’t really help and we practically ran up, making me breathless and giving me blood taste in my mouth before we had walked for 5 minutes. As I didn’t really know the people we hiked with, I didn’t feel comfortable with complaining too much, so my strategy was to pretend to stop for pictures when I needed a break and to blame my short legs for not being able to take me as fast up the rockery mountainside as the rest of them.

Stopping for pictures every two seconds to catch my breath

Stopping for pictures every two seconds to catch my breath

Seeing as this is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the region, we were off course joined by a heap of tourists. I have heard rumors about foreigners hiking in high heels. Luckily I couldn’t see anyone stupid enough to do so, but there was the odd leather boot and TOMS shoe in between the sensible apropriate heel. Amongst the clothing and accessories the tourist had chosen to climb the rock in, I could also spot a plastic bag, leather tights, a Marc by Marc Jacobs tote, a sequined bolero and several umbrellas.

This is what we walked an hour and a half for

This is what we walked an hour and a half for

We were lucky to avoid most of the rain, and got away with walking in a light drizzle, but when we reached the Pulpit plateau we were welcomed by a stiff breeze. So we decided that one picture to prove our presence was enough and found shelter to eat our lunch. The wind picked up, and those brave enough to stay on the plateau had to lay flat down on their tummies for a while to not get taken by the wind. Needless to say, we didn’t stay at the top for too long before deciding the best thing would be to start the journey down.

It's a good thing I have a strong man to hold on to at the tip/top of a windy mountain

It’s a good thing I have a strong man to hold on to at the tip/top of a windy mountain

Safely on the ground we all decided, me included, that all in all this had been a good trip. Even though it was a success, I think I’ll have a slightly less eventful Saturday next week.

After conquering the pulpit, we awarded ourselves with a picture at the finish line, just like the tourists...If you can't beat them, join them

After conquering the pulpit, we awarded ourselves with a picture at the finishline, just like the tourists…If you can’t beat them, join them

Back on my feet

Last Saturday I wrote a post, but due to some major procrastination, I never published it. Suddenly a week has passed and I still haven’t done anything about it…until now. I mean, why deprive you of it? So here’s my adventures from last week, and maybe I’ll be a good girl and let you in on this week-end before we reach Monday.

Today, I decided that enough was enough, and that the lazy days where over. So while the man of the house was out, I started to act as the good little housewife that I am (ahem) and tidied, cleaned, baked cookies, took out the trash and so on and so on.

A litle cookie and tea break never hurt anyone

A litle cookie and tea break never hurt anyone

I love orchids and a clean bathroom, so why not combine

I love orchids and a clean bathroom, so why not combine

I have to admit I did take a break to go into town and look for a birthday present for the husband, who is turning 29 in a couple of days. I have to confess, I did actually pick up a little something something for myself as well. Since I managed to walk in and out of Mango (on sale) without actually buying anything, I decided to rewardmyself with a top from the Rolfsen-sale instead.

M is for Monica, A is for Awesome...But somehow I still managed to leave them behind.

M is for Monica, A is for Awesome…But somehow I still managed to leave them behind.

Anyways, it is nice to put your legs up after such an efficient day, and as it has decided to get autumn-ish outside, what is better than to snuggle up with the best man in the world to eat cookies and watch a movie. Right now, I cannot think of anything

Lazy days

I don’t know if it was the “stress” of the big birthday week last week (More on this to come…hopefully), but these last couple of days has been the lazy kind.
I haven’t really bothered to clean the apartment, I bought take away two days in a row, and I pressed the snooze-button like a gazillion times just to enjoy those ten-fifteen-thirty minutes of extra sleep.

Today the husband went to football practice, while I stayed at home with the intention of actually doing something sensible, like doing the laundry or vacuuming the floors. Instead I ended up eating cookies and watching useless movies on Netflix.

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But you know what?!?!? Sometimes I think it’s important to throw your (somewhat unshaven legs) legs up on the table, relax and do nothing. I guess not every day can be an adventure for me and my Hamilton.

Too hot to handle

When I was leaving italy I left a status on my facebook page saying I didn’t mind to get away from the heat. Looks like I spoke to soon, ’cause this last week has been as hot as Ryan Gosling with no shirt on (H-O-T). And it’s not that I’m complaining…Oh wait who am I kidding, I am complaining. Don’t get me wrong. I love summer as much as anyone, having dinner on the terrace, wearing cute dresses and shorts. But at this temperature I am forced to stay inside and watch my flowers slowly burn to death. It also makes me want to have an every-hour-on-the-hour costume change, and I don’t have enough summer attire to cover that. Is this a global warming thing? ‘Cause in that case I need to start separating paper from carton, only do cold showers and maybe even invest in a hybrid, ’cause I can’t take this much longer.
Dear God, next yer, can we please have the same summer, just a couple of degrees colder. Thank you in advance.