It’s worth mentioning that when it comes to Norway I am obsessed. For our third anniversary Jarred and I visited the majestic country and I haven’t stopped daydreaming about the scenery or the vaffels [translation: waffles] since. If you happen to be in the market for your next vacation destination – do yourself a favor and visit Norway.
That being said, last Saturday when we awoke we decided to forgo our intended skiing adventure for the day. Jbabe didn’t think the cold air would the best remedy for his body post-sickness and indulging in an extra hour of sleep will never be something I turn down. However, when I crawled out of bed a bit later (which was a perfectly acceptable 8:30 by the way, in case you were envisioning me as completely worthless) I was determined not to waste the beautiful sunshine pouring through our windows.
While perusing Pinterest to find a feasible daytrip, I stumbled across a post describing the nearby town of Poulsbo as “Little Norway” which immediately ended my search. I sprinted into the living room where Jarred was working (which to be more accurate meant I leapt the two steps from our bedroom) and ecstatically informed him that we would be taking the 10:40 ferry to Norway. Jbabe may have been initially confused, but as I listed off fun details – like the fact that Norwegian was the primary language until the 50’s and the King of Norway actually visited in the 70’s – he obviously couldn’t refuse.
It didn’t take us long to realized that when the sun comes out in Seattle so do all of its inhabitants. I thought our arrival at the pier several minutes before 10:40 would ensure our position, however it appeared everyone else had the same idea. We were instructed to pull forward into the queue of waiting vehicles for the 11:25 vessel.
As we were patiently minding our own business, a vested lady materialized outside of our car (I don’t know why this is a reoccurring theme for us) and started signaling to Jarred. He lowered his window and the woman immediately questioned if we had “gone through her booth”. Both of us were 100 percent positive that we hadn’t, yet it was clear she wasn’t convinced. Jarred and I proceeded to rattle off every description we could recall about the woman whom we purchased ferry tickets from; which was surprisingly a large amount given the minimal interaction. However, we obviously didn’t present enough factual evidence to persuade her, as she then requested that we explain precisely which ticket booth we had driven through. Things got even more confusing when the two parties couldn’t agree on which side to regard as left and right.
It was only when the woman demanded to the see our tickets that she begrudgingly accepted that we were not the people she was seeking. I have no idea what they did to upset her, but I can vouch for the fact that she was not pleased. Shortly after the bizarre encounter our awaited chariot emerged and we set sail towards Bainbridge Island where our journey would begin.
After a beautiful, but frigid ferry ride across the sound there was nothing but about twenty miles of two-lane highway separating us from our final Scandinavian destination. As we drove into the quaint city center nestled alongside Liberty Bay with the snow-covered peaks of the Olympic Mountains rising in the background, it wasn’t hard to see what enticed the early Norwegians to stay. For the record, the fjords of Norway are indisputably more magnificent, but the similarities were undeniable. That being said, it was significantly quicker and cheaper to travel to Poulsbo. So it’s fair to say we got our moneys worth.
As we walked along Front Street I began increasingly giddy with each Norwegian flag we passed. My excitement was put on hold for a hot second when we found ourselves, due to limited space and numerous people on the sidewalk, literally standing between two men having an altercation. From the vocal exchange we gathered that the owner of Viking Coffee didn’t appreciate the tattoo artist from the parlor next-door vaping in front of his outdoor coffee shop. Even though I kept my thoughts to myself, I definitely sided with the coffee guy. Most people don’t order lattes with a side of vapes.
The remainder of our stroll was significantly less eventful as we sized up lunch options. We selected Tizley’s Europub, whose menu boasted not only Norwegian options, but also German and Irish fare as well. To be honest, my expectations were minimal since they deviated from the strictly Norwegian theme I was going for, but our meals were fantastic.
With satisfied stomachs we decided it was time for more important ventures – like dessert. Thankfully Sluys’ Bakery was conveniently located next door. Even though the vaffels I so desperately craved were unexplainably absent from their display shelves, the chocolate dipped peanut butter cookie I ordered made a delectable consolation prize. However, considering this was the second Norwegian bakery I’ve been to in Washington that has failed to include my favorite item on their menu, I’m starting to get a smidge irritated with everyone’s blatant disregard for Norway’s finest cuisine. I don’t know what higher authority I need to take this complaint to, but I’m going to have to take action soon.
We spent the rest of our time in Little Norway popping in and out of coffee shops and boutiques while also enjoying the views. I mentioned earlier that it was a beautiful, sunny day, but I had to laugh when the line at the gelato store extended outside of the building and halfway down the block. My amusement was due to the fact the high for the day was only 53; I’d loved to see how these people would react to the Oklahoma summer heat.
At the end of our wanderings I decided, based on the where the sun was positioned, that if we continued along the bay to the west side I’d be able to capture a picture perfect shot of Jarred and I with the cute little town of Poulsbo in the background. It turned out, unless we wanted to trespass on private property (which I was completely down for but someone I’m married to objected) my photo wasn’t happening. Instead we will forever commemorate our day pretending to be in our favorite Nordic country with this lovely photo. Long live Norway!