What a hectic past two days. We are cramming so much sightseeing into this visit that I think I've on occasion forgotten to breathe. This vacation is definitely tougher than work and I can tell you we at WTVY work extremely hard daily to bring you the latest, most accurate news.
So yesterday we started our morning off, our team comprised of 3 men and 2 women, at a wedding store. Hmmm....you may be wondering why we spent hours at this facility and frankly I'm still not sure. I must say the visit was quite enjoyable for 2/5 of the team...bet you can't guess which ones! We saw the latest in bridal fashion, prom gowns, tuxedos, jewelry, shoes and wedding jewelery. Our tour guide was a spry and beautiful Swedish woman of about 32 years of age who is a true entrepreneur. She has her own shoe line that is doing well and offers fashionable, hot shoes for women in the market for bridal shoes, prom shoes, or simply unique footwear. Her line is called Cheeky May- you should check her out. It was humorous to watch the guys peruse the racks and fain interest, but let's be honest, what guy really wants to shop for wedding stuff. You can't get most to do it even for their own wedding much less just for entertainment purposes. We did have the most delicious pastry I've had on the entire trip in this shop. It was a light and airy pastry filled with a vanilla type custard topped with many fruits including strawberries, kiwi and pineapple. I am sure there was lots of butter and sugar hidden beneath the pastry layers but every calorie was worth it!
We then headed to yet another Rotary presentation. I hope they enjoy hearing them as much as we enjoy giving them (written with a sarcastic tone.) I think I'm going to suggest switching topics with another team mate once just to shake things up. Our jokes are no longer funny to us and most of the time I'm not sure the Rotarians think their funny either :) They pretend to be interested and sometimes tell us they learned some interesting facts about our state, it's those comments that keep us going. So during our serious presentation our team leader mouths to me, "shut the door." You see, you could hear the catering staff cleaning up our lunch mess in the other room and that was distracting our audience. So I sneaked over to the door that was located just beside our team member who was speaking and tugged gently- I assure you this is true. I kept pulling the door too and when it started to close-brace yourself- I yanked the handle clear off the door. You might imagine the sound of the metal clanging onto the floor and the look of shock in our speakers eyes. The audience also looked stunned at the loud and unexpected sound of their building being torn apart. Now, what is a girl to do? For a brief moment I considered escaping out of the room, but my part of the presentation was next. A few deep breaths and a loud sigh later I returned to my seat, face red and door handle in my hand. I announced to the group that I had been in the market for a souvenir and this would do just the trick. Definitely my most embarrassing moment of the trip.
Fast forward to today now, I'm starting to yawn and ready to shower, brush my teeth and then crawl under my Snuggie for another long day tomorrow. We visited an iron ore factory today that is no longer in use. It was amazing to see how a process that is so seemingly simple today could require so much manual labor. It also was a bit surreal to walk on the grounds where you know men were earning their livelihoods hundreds of years ago. We then saw a museum, toured a church and heard an amazing organ concert, ate lunch that consisted of bread with cheese on it and some type of soupy omelet...they did offer herring but I passed. It's amazing after this trip that their are any fish left in the ocean! Poor things- I can't bear to eat one more bite of salmon, herring or any fish. I'm on strike! We wrapped up the evening with a meal prepared by our host families. The men who are staying in a house together ate moose and we girls had an Italian feast. Our host prepared a type of spicy spaghetti sauce over fettuchini noodles, a salad with vinaigrette dressing, corn (she thought we'd like that, and we did) and chicken marinated in terriyaki sauce. The meal was delicious! After the main course we enjoyed homemade apple dumplings with a special type of ice cream. My stomach is definitely overextended at the moment, but how could I pass up such a delicious food experience? This host family is amazing- not just for the terrific food, but because they have hugged on us, cared to know about our lives and allowed us to share in theirs. This is what this trip is all about- making friends across borders and changing the lives of those you meet while allowing them to permanently alter yours for the better.