Monday, May 6, 2013

60th and Above

Hey readers,

So I am now in my 3rd semester at Royal Roads and loving it!  We have been tasked with starting an online venture, please support my business!

60th and Above is an online business that facilitates sales of art between northern Canadian artists and international buyers. The sales are facilitated via an online auction style, allowing for the highest possible selling price. The format structure of the initiative allows artists to collect fifty percent of the profit from the sold artwork while the remaining fifty percent would be donated to the Arctic Children and Youth Foundation, amongst others. This venture provides the opportunity to be able to sell art on an international scale while providing global recognition to northern Canadian art and artists across the territories. If you are a northern artist and are interested in selling your work and receiving recognition or would like to donate a piece of art to benefit a northern charity, please contact or check out

Leandra Grenier-Green

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Travel Day(s)

We woke up at around 6, went to the main house for breakfast, said my goodbyes then Jan drove me to the Sogndal airport.  After having to throw away a tin of mackeral that I had tried to sneak through in my carry on luggage, my flight leaves bound for Oslo.  The view from the plane was phenomenal but the flight attendent was only speaking in Norwegian so I didnt understand why were were stopped at another small airport where I had to get out and get on another plane to continue on to Oslo.

Once in Oslo, I had 3 hours to wait for my plane to leave so I listened to some music and people watched.  The main airport in Oslo is an excellent place to look for attractive people, somehow the Norwegians there are so good looking!  Anyways, I finally went to check in and was told that I had to go online to apply for some short term visa because I was entering the states.  I thought this was the most ridiculous thing since I was really only going to be in New York for 3 hours in between flights.  So I log on, do some research and it turned out that because I am Canadian, I dont have to apply or pay for anything but this whole process took a long time and all because the guy at the counter didn't know what he was talking about.  After getting mad at him, he felt bad and upgraded my seats to First Class for both of my flights with Icelandair!

I didnt both bringing anything with me on the flights because Icelandair has an excellent entertainment system, everyone gets their own screen and there is lots of media to choose from.  One I got to Reykjavic, I ate some snacks I had brought and after a minor altrication with an American woman in the bathroom, I boarded the plane bound for New York City.  I sat next to a good looking New Yorker and watch the movie Titanic and Decsendents.  We got served first (love First Class!) and had tons of room, I could almost lie down to watch my TV  :)

One I get to New York I meet this friendly man headed for Germany and grabbed a coffee together because I had tons of time to kill. Then when I went to check in and had to wait an hour in line.  While waiting, I met a nice American girl who had been travelling in Europe and was heading home.  When I finally get to the counter, I am told that my flight to Montreal is cancelled!  After being told this after a day of travelling and of no sleep, I was almost about to cry and the woman at the counter was rude which didn't help matters.  They were able to reschedule me for a flight in the morning, which meant that my only option was to find a hotel to sleep in for the night.  My cell phone did not work since it was outside of Europe, the airport didn't have internet and I had no American change for a pay phone so that I could call home and tell my mom to let my grandma know that I wouldnt be arriving when I was supposed to.  As I was about to head out to the taxi stand I saw the American girl I had met before who had that same distressed look as me.  Turns out her flight was also cancelled and rescheduled until the morning.  We decided to split a taxi and share a hotel room to save some $$.  It was nice to have someone with me and when we got to the hotel we decided to order some NY pizza and watch Sex and the City since it was to late and we were to tired and out of the way to go out and explore real New York.  After about 30 hours of not sleeping I was looking forward to sleeping on the memory foam mattress in the hotel but that did not happen because this girl snored like an elephant the whole night.

Finally, morning comes and I catch a cab to another further airport to get on the plane and finally make it back to Canada.  My cab driver was really friendly and taught me a bit about New York.  I got to the airport an hour before I meant to because I hadn't set my watch properly with the time change but atleast I didnt set it an hour to late.  After waiting in a long line I get checked in and go to the gate.  We get loaded into the plane and then wait there for another hour before the plane leaves.

After all of this, I finally make it to Montreal!   I get my luggage and hop in a cab and make it to my Grandmas house expecting to see only her but who is waiting for me at the door?!  My brother!!  He had flown all the way here from Edmonton to see me before he heads to the Yukon for the summer for work.  I was so happy to see him because I thought I wasnt going to see him until Chrismas with the way his work and my school schedules work out.  So now the two of us are spending the next 6 days here visiting our Quebecois family.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

So... what is next?!

After my time with grandparents in Montreal, I arrive back to Edmonton June 5th.  I will spend the summer there working as a lifeguard at the Glendale golf and country club again, like I did last year.

I came to Norway to further my interest in Arctic studies.  Although this will forever be an interest, it is no longer my career focus.  I have instead applied and received conditional acceptance into Royal Road University's Bachelor of Commerce program with a major in Entrepreneurial Management.  This means, that given the completion of the conditions of entry (maintaining an A grade average and completing an online summer course in Financial Accounting with a final grade of 75%), I will be moving to Victoria in the fall.  This program will combine my 3rd and 4th year together into an intensive 12-month program, resulting in a full bachelor degree, which is bound to be more useful than my current BA in Northern Studies.

Although sad to leave Norway, I am looking forward to this new part of my life!

Last day in Norway

My last day in Norway!  I headed to the main house for breakfast and ended up staying for 4 hours chatting and meeting neighbours as they came by.  Afterward, I went with the Latvians and their Norwegian friend to the nearby lake for a boat ride in a rowboat.  We rowed across to the other side and lounged around there, soaking up the sun.

Later after a swim in the nearby fjord and had dinner, we got driven up to the family's summer house.  It is this charming little cabin about an hour drive up the mountain from the main property.  To get there we sat in the forks/bucket of the tractor, such a cool experience.  The cabin itself over looked a giant lake and other mountains.  The dogs we were with had so much fun running around, the air was so fresh.  After having a few drinks there, we came back down to the main house.  The guys had to go take care of milking the cows and the woman of the house really wanted to take me for a drive.  We drove to some neighbouring towns, this woman seemed to know everyone and everything about them.  Then we drove up to giant cliff where the basejumpers jump off in that famous Norwegian tourism video.  Then she took me to check out an epic waterfall nearby.  Then I got back home, packed all my stuff and went to sleep.

This morning I woke up at 6 and am sitting at the airport in Sogndal.  I fly from here to Oslo.  Then from Oslo I fly to Reykjavic, then from Reykjavic I fly to New York where I catch a flight to Montreal.  In total, this will take about 30 hours in which I will take 4 plans to four different countries.  Then I get to my grandmas house in Montreal where I stay until June 5th.  My adventure is almost over!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sogndal, day 2

 This morning I woke up and headed over to the main house for a nice breakfast.  To get there I have to walk near a field of sheep and another of blossoming apple trees. The weather is still phenomenal, +26 degrees!  After breakfast I was shown the farm and got to cuddle a lamb that was only 2 weeks old; it was the cutest thing!  Then I helped feed the cows and they kept licking me with their loooong sandpaper-like tongues!

After lunch I met some neighbors, a young Latvian couple, who invited us over for coffee.  I played with their cute puggle dog named Charlie.  Then we rounded up the farmer's son and the 5 of us got into the car for a little road trip.  We drove around the mountains through some long tunnels, near green lakes and through lush forested highway.  It was really cool because it was HOT out and we were all wearing summer clothes even though there is still snow not far away on the mountains.  We got to our destination, a glacier called Jostedalsbreen in a national park.  The glacier itself was spectacular to look at but around it were water falls from the melting ice trickling down into the lake in front of the glacier.  Looking at it wasn't enough so we ignored the "do not enter" signs and climbed up to the foot of the glacier.  This involved us having to take off our shoes and trekking through the frigid water and on glacial snow, brrr.  Once we stopped being able to feel our poor feet, we trekked back to the car for some beers and cake.

We left the glacier and drove around to take in some more scenery.  There are many tunnels here in Norway.  It seems that when there is a mountain, they take some dynamite and blow through it whereas in Canada we build our highways on top of the mountains.  We drove through a little town and kept seeing bookcases filled with books.  The attraction of this town is just that, you can take any book you want for 10NOK and add your own to the collection.  Really cool, it was just strange seeing full book cases amongst an outdoor backdrop of mountains.

After dinner (fresh deer with cranberry sauce) we headed to a neighboring town for a house party.  I met lots of really cool Norwegians and tasted some freshly house made apple cider, mmm.  The house had a view of the fjord and mountains, perfect!