Day 1 April 24, 2016
Wow! What a day! It all technically started last night when my flight left Sea-Tac at 11:38pm. I took some Tylenol PM and drank a bunch of water, hoping to stay hydrated. As I was waiting in line to get on the plane I recognized a guy who was on the flight to Chicago with me, and I think I might have seen him at the audition too, anyhow, I introduced myself and he gave a big hug! His name is Lars and it felt good to know I've got one other Seattle-ite with me. As he and I were chatting before getting on the plane he stepped back and knocked this tiny, cute little lady over! She fell so hard that her nose and head were bleeding like crazy! They had to call the paramedics to help her get stitched up before getting on the plane. Surprisingly we weren't late at all! I tried to sleep as much as possible, but ended up feeling like I was barely ina nd out of light sleep the whole time. Once we landed, Lars and I found our way to the shuttle to the hotel. We found another Alt cast member along the way, Heidi. She also lives in Ballard! She's an artist and my age too, so that is awesome. The 3 of us made our way to the hotel where we checked in and met Ane. She assists Brita, who wil be taking care of us while in Norway. She gave us a little folder with our itinerary for the next few days. We went to breakfast next and I immediately went back to the room to nap for a couple hours. I got refreshed and went on to meet with producers Ola-Magnus and Evelina from TVNorge who talked bout what to expect. Then I met with Kristoffer, the producer of the show who talked about some rules and what to expect and I ended with Brita, who shared more about of what to expect when we get to Norway. I spent the next little bit enjoying a beer and free lunch int he hotel restaurant. I had some time to relax before dinner so I rested, watched some T.V. and did another Norwegian lesson. At 7:15, I headed down to the lobby to meet up with the rest of the cast! We all introduced ourselves as new people showed up I was excited and overwhelmed all at the same time! I'm not sure I can even name everyone, but I will try! This season's cast is: Joni, Lars, Thomas, Johnny, Heidi, Brittany, Jeff, Derrick, Lauren, Kelsey, Richard, and me! What a great group! I can see myself getting along really well with all of them. We had our dinner delivered and it was delicious. We spent the dinner time talking, getting to know each other and talking about how excited we all are. I can see myself being pretty close with Heidi, Kelsey, Johnny, Derrick, Lars, Jeff, and Thomas.. I hope I can be on a team with them as well. I'm heading to bed since we will meet up for breakfast around 9 tomorrow morning followed by checking out and then bringing my luggage to see Brita so she can go through what I've brought to wear. I'm exhausted, but so excited to make it to Norway!!
Day 2- April 25, 2016
Today I woke up "early" since I'm 3 hours ahead in New York. I met some cast members downstairs for breakfast and got a facetime call from Dan and the girls. I went out to eh lobby and it didn't take me very long to start crying when I saw Jolie and how sad she was and crying. It is hard to believe I won't see them or talk to them for such a long time. Next, we got all checked out and met in Brita's room to go through our luggage so they could check our signature outfits and check the weight of our luggage. I was able to show them my bunad and surprisingly they picked out a different sweater for my picture Wednesday we met for lunch at 2pm in the restaurant and then got all packed up to head to airport. The girls all took the first shuttle and the boys took the second shuttle. When we got to the airport it was all very smooth. I had my last phone call with Dan which was emotional too. It's going to be really hard not talking to him for so long. We boarded the plane and despite my efforts to fall asleep, I just couldn't. I took my sleep spray and even tried the jet lag pills but I was so anxious about being on the plane that I felt jittery and anxious for at least the first 2 hours. I stayed busy watching movies and coloring in my coloring book, which helped a bit. We were fed twice on the plane which was so cool! I haven't been on a plane that big or been fed and actual meal, let alone 2 meals! As we got close to Oslo I started to get so excited. Not just because of the fact that I was about to enter Norway, but also because I made it on the flight, phew! as we landed I took video, I wanted to remember touching down in Norway forever. I couldn't stop smiling as we exited the plane and gathered our luggage!
Day 3- April 26, 2016
It's funny because day 2 and 3 were sort of blended together since we flew overnight. The airport was so nice and reminded me a lot of Ikea. I was able to get $ out of the ATM (otherwise known as the Mini Bank in Norway) and then we took a big van/bus to our hotel. We were given quick schedules for the day which included trying on all f our clothes/gear, getting measurements, and meeting with a psychologist. We then all went to breakfast which was awesome! So many great foods including brunost, the brown cheese, it was delicious. I got a ton of food and tried it all! Thomas and I killed some time chatting outside which was refreshing and cold.. Next I got measured and got to open my black bag and see all my clothes and gear! There was so much great stuff! Multiple jackets, pants, boots, tennis shoes, gloves, a hat, and long john underwear. I also had to try on cross country ski boots (or at least that's what I thought they were). This made me nervous, but also excited for what was to come. I had a lot of time before my counselor appointment so I went to my room finally and took a much needed shower...ahhhh....... After my shower I went back downstairs to hang out with everyone before my session with the psychologist. I was so tired though, that I ended up taking a walk outside the hotel for some fresh air, and found a little path that I could walk down around the hotel and my first prayer walk while in Norway. I know this will be the first of many prayer times while in Norway since it's so gorgeous here- although where our hotel is, lacks luster. After waiting around for what felt like forever, it was finally time for my meeting with Arne Jorgen, who goes by "AJ". He just wanted to know more about my family, about me, and if I was worried about anything while I'm here. I definitely started crying again, but that’s really because I'm so so tired—and am already highly emotional after leaving Dan and the girls I just kept talking about how amazing Dan is, how I truly don't feel worried about the girls or him and how I'm really here because of his love, encouragement, support, and reassurance that I don't need to feel guilty about being here. I reiterated to him my fear of going under water, so I'm just praying I don't have to do any challenges that involve anything like this. After my session with AJ was done, I went back to the room to relax, freshen up and get ready for dinner. When we met in the lobby we met Ingrid and Petter the two people who did all the research on our families. It was neat talking with the. We also met Astrid and Niccolai, two of the directors for this season. We went into the dining room for dinner and it was delicious—it was like a flattened meatball with veggies, potattoes,gravy, and even lingonberries. yum! So far the food in Norway has been much better than I ever expected it to be! I sat next to Heidi, Joni, Johnny, and Ingrid. Ingrid was telling me about her son Oskar, who is turning 3 next week. It was fun to talk with her about what his party will be like and how the process of cleaning our homes for it to get messy and full of people is so alike us in the US. After dinner, Brita gave us information for tomorrow—we need to meet in the lobby at 5:30am! Oh man! I'm so tired just thinking about it, but also so excited. We finished the night by celebrating in Kelsey's rom. She and Derrick bought some ine and cider and we did a "Bachelor" style toast and enjoyed more time together. I'm already getting the "mama bear" nickname and it's making me laugh, mostly because I was nervous about Kelsey standing so close to the window! (I fell asleep hard and fast this night!)
Day 4- April 27, 2016
Wow! What an incredible day! We met in the lobby at 5:30am where we boarded the taxi bus to head to the TVNorge studio. When we arrived (only about 10 min. Away) we were brought into a sort of conference room where we were served a light breakfast. From there we were told we were going to be going to et our hair and makeup done, then will be taking some photos and doing some filming of the promotional video. It was my turn to get my hair and makeup done. My makeup artist was wonderful! I am totally forgetting his name right now, but he did a great job with my makeup and he did my hair in the traditional way a lot of girls wear their hair in their bunads (for me, my Damekor dress). I felt so pretty and confident going into the photo shoot. My pictures were on a blue screen sine they are shooting us separately and then we will all be placed in a forest scene where we are walking on a trail to follow Fridtjof, our host for the show. I had to bend over and pretend to be picking a flower. It was fun! The dress isn't very flattering in some ways so they had to use tape in the back to keep it from making me look too "frumpy". Next, we had to film sections and parts of our promo video for the show. It was a fake forest scene in front of a blue screen. We even had a fake camp fire! We pretended to be listening to a story about a troll and then had to act afraid when he showed up. It was really fun. I did most of this filming with Lauren, Johnny, Heidi, and Thomas. After doing our scene, we had some waiting then more filming, but with everyone—that's when Fridtjof showed up! I was nervous to meet him, but he was really nice! We did some group filming together and before I knew it we were done! It felt like had been a really long day, and that it should be evening time but it was only the middle of the day. Next, we drove through Oslo and up a little mountain/hill to a gorgeous lodge! It was amazing. It was described by Brita as being "a place that Norwegians might go in the winter to drink hot chocolate". The interior was beautiful and we had an upstairs conference room to drop off our things before heading down to the restaurant for lunch. As per my first arrival, the food has been amazing! It was the most beautiful one we had yet and tasted so good. A pea puree, pork belly, and roasted tomatoes with broccolini and bak choy. Wow! Our drink was a delicious apple juice type drink and tasted a lot like liquid applesauce. We only had about 15 minute to eat since our "press" day was just starting. WE sort of ha stations to go to, one was with Kristoffer, our director, getting our shots done for when they introduce us at the beginning of each episode. Then there were multiple photographers and reporters who asked some questions and around 4ish- we were finally done! We headed back to the hotel and some time to relax before dinner so Thomas, Heidi, and I went for a walk to a local shopping mall and I bought and aquavit sampler, some treats, a couple things at H & M and a beer from the grocery store. Dinner was a type of roast, and you guessed it, more potatoes! It was delicious. After dinner a few of us had a drink in the lobby and I played my first round of Cards Against Humanity. I was definitely uncomfortable but it was fun! Off tomorrow on a travel day! Yay! *** Brita met us in the lobby with details about travleing tomorrow—she gave us a detailed list and I recorded it all in my other small notebook. So excited! All we know is that we are traveling for 6 hours tomorrow and we are headed west!