Recent stuff and vacation

May is now a gone stage for this year, and summer is approaching. At least, that’s the general idea. We had some good weather a couple of weeks ago, but the return of the slightly cold weather does give way for some depressing thoughts. Not “suicide” depressing (or even on-the-brink-of-suicide-depressing), but more like “I-don’t-really-want-to-get-out-of-bed-where-it’s-warm” depressing. Some of you know what I mean.

In the past month, both my two-year-old niece and my mother had their birthdays (May 8 and 9, respectively), Constitution Day was on May 17 (in terms of what it means for Norway, and its celebration, you United-States-of-Americans can compare it to your July 4), and we had Pentacost (which is a public holiday in Norway, even though most of us don’t really celebrate it). And given that we had visitors from far away during Pentacost, such events are quite challenging for someone who’s trying to lose weight.

Then again, even with a minor setback last week (when I had gained 1 kg), my total weight loss since I started in January has now reached 22.2 kg (or almost 50 pounds to you non-metric people). My goal is still within reach. My even further challenge will come this summer, when the type of course I’m taking will be unavailable, which means I have to go through the summer on my own. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can manage it without any setbacks when the next course is available at the end of August.

In other news, I now have my vacation time nailed down. First, I’m taking one week of vacation time in mid-July, in hopes of warm weather that week. I’m not really going anywhere, but I plan to spend that week as a tourist in my hometown. I plan to see sights and visit tourist attractions I usually pass by on a daily basis, and really see what my little city has to offer. We often ignore all those special sights when we live in the area, and most of us don’t take the time to truly experience this. My vacation week is smack dab in the middle of the tourist season, and also the same week as the local annual boating festival (“Ålesund Båtfestival“). Not because I’m particulary interested in boats and boating, but more because of all the culture that surrounds such festivals, including the stream of tourists from all over (and the fact that there’s a big chance of sunny weather that week).

My next, and primary, vacation this year will be in October. The destination: Berlin, Germany. Given that weather is likely to be cold, windy, rainy and pretty much grim, I just had to put a vacation week in July to give it some balance.

The reason for travelling to Berlin in October? A Blue Man Group fan meet. The annual European fan meet, to be exact. Since I don’t have a budget for another USA trip this year, I decided to go for the next best thing; meeting up with fellow fans in Berlin to enjoy our common interest, Blue Man Group (since they already have a regular show in Berlin). I expect to meet some of the friends I made last summer once again, and I also hope for a tour backstage and meet with some of the people behind the show on the ay of the fan meet. If that falls into place, my day (and year) would be made.

The October trip will last me two weeks, flying out there Monday, October 15, and returning home on another Monday two weeks later. Flights have been booked, and so has a decent hotel (Fjord Hotel Berlin), so all I need now, is tickets to the show, and plan for additional activities. I’ve already invested in a couple of guide books for Berlin, to make sure I don’t miss out some of the more important sights. I just need to sit down with those books and plan an outline of which sights I want to see (categorized by how much I want to see those sights, and which ones I can visit if I have time left). I’ve already taken care of travel insurance, making sure my passport is up-to-date, and making sure my home is safe while I’m away.

For my Berlin trip (and most other vacation trips), I only plan what I’m going to see. I usually don’t plan out entire days, except for the attractions/sights that have limited opening hours, and for specific show I want to see. When I do plan, I also plan out which attractions/sights are geographically close (or bundled) together, and of those, in which order to visit them (based on their opening hours). I might get back to this one in a later post, though. We’ll see.