Over the last week Natalie and I have gotten to visit with a few beloved friends & family over in this hemisphere. First, the day after Easter we took a day trip to London and met up with my cousin Kristen, who up until November was working in Surrey as a large animal veterinarian (now she’s heading a research project in Canada). Her beau is still here, though, so she comes back to visit and deemed us to be the most sane of her family, thus the first to actually be allowed to meet him. ;)


After a brief visit the Tate Modern, Natalie and I met them on the Tube and found our way toward the V&A Musem, stopping for some lunch en route. It was an unusually nice day. Then we wandered to Hyde Park, ate some ice cream, saw the Princess Di memorial, and walked around some more, took the ferry to the Tower of London, doubted that the tennis courts were original to the castle, took the ferry back, found a nice Italian joint for dinner, and ultimately had to part ways. It was good to visit with Kristen. Of my cousins, she’s probably the one I’m closest to, and I haven’t been able to see her since my grandfather was ill with cancer back in 2004. It was nice to meet John as well, he’s a cool bloke. We took the photo above on the Thames ferry with a shot of Tower Bridge (and some randoms) in the background.


A few days later, we flew up to Bergen Norway to visit our good buddy Asbjørn (”Ozzy”) for almost a week!! He just finished his Master of Arts at the Kunsthøgskolen i Bergen, and the MA group exhibition (titled “Artism”) opened on 14 April so we were there for it. Our Cambridge roommate Keith decided to book a last-minute flight with us as well, since he’s of Norwegian descent but knows little of Scandinavian culture beyond Lutefisk and Lefse. Natalie and Oz’s college friend Lexi, who lives with her Norsk husband north of Bergen, also took the ferry down for the occasion. Once we got to the MA exhibition, though, there was a bit of drama involved: part of his piece was a multimedia video installation for which the LED screen was messed up. So I spent some time in the afternoon wearing my electronics troubleshooter hat, and finally got it to work. I got shocked a couple times in the process, too. Europe uses 230V. Ouch!

Kunsthall Hjelp

Over the next couple of days we got to see quite a bit of Bergen, from castles to wharfs to trendy coffee shops and signs that say things like “Spill Her” and “Fartsløp.” We also took the very touristy tram up Mount Fløyen. You can see pretty much the whole port portion of the city from up there, and it’s gorgeous:

The Overlook

Then we walked all the way down (which took a while), noting the tufted-eared squirrels and pollarded tree formations en route. Geology in this part of Norway is quite different than the south, where I’d been before (Stavanger and Kristiansand). No fjords, but still plenty of granite rock formations and waterways. We rounded out the visit with a celebration of Susheaster!!


Explanation. When my friend Matt was living in Seattle (before he came to UW for grad school, where we met), he wasn’t able to celebrate Easter with family. So he went out for sushi with friends. The next year, I went with him for sushi in Madison just before (or just after?) Easter, and we dubbed it “susheaster.” A tradition was born. There have been Susheasters held in Seattle, Madison, Omaha, Washington DC, Minneapolis, and now: Norway!! Since Ozzy actually grew up in Japan, it was a natural choice. (Despite being tall, blond, blue-eyed, and hairy, Oz is fluent in Japanese.)

Music note: I picked up 3 new CDs in Norway: Kings of Convenience Riot on an Empty Street, Thomas Dybdahl Science, and Kaizers Orchestra Oompa til Du Dør (”Oompa ’til you die”). The first two artists I’ve been listening to for years, but the last one is a more recent indulgence. Very cool stuff.

Off to bed now…

2 Responses to “Visitations.”

  1. 1 Mark Apr 18th, 2007 at 11:55 pm

    Yay for Susheaster! Just found your blog the other day, it was great to catch up with what you’re doing and seeing in England. I should start blogging more again…

  2. 2 Matt Apr 19th, 2007 at 6:57 pm

    Actually, I was flying solo for the first Susheaster in Seattle. I headed off to my favorite sushi place in Kirkland (I think…been a while, it was 1999), sat at the Sushi bar, and blew far too much $$ on an absolutely delicious meal. Burr, you had the pleasure of being at the first Susheaster of Friends.

    Also, there have now been two Susheasters in Columbus, OH, attended by folks in town for Alan Moon’s Gathering of Friends.

    Your sushi pictures are making me hungry…

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