Tag Archives: USA

Back in Houston

Melanie picked me up at the airport with a huge smile and that good southern accent welcoming me to Houston and Texas. From there on it was like we had never been apart and we spent the rest of the night having fun and enjoying finally being abe to spend time together again.

Our first stop back home from the airport was Chipotle for dinner. They have the best burritos and real black beans. I have missed it so much I was no longer able to wait until arriving Costa Rica!

However we just picked up our meals and then we went to the University and the Uni Bar Valhalla to meet up with a friend of Melanies and have a few beers. I was sooo hungry by now. I had not had anything to eat since the Sushi at Newark Liberty and that was almost 6 hours ago! We had a nice time at Valhalla drinking and dining and having fun with Mels friends. At 11 pm we decided we had had enough social life. I was still going strong despite the jetlag, but that was probably more due to sleeping both at the Oslo – New York flight and the nap on the Newark – Houston Flight, however I was starting to feel it and going home was not such a bad idea.

My deepest wish was to capture the Houston Skyline by night so Mel took me to a viewpoint downtown and there we spent some time trying out different settings before I finally was happy about the result.

When we got home the first thing we did was to greet a very attention seeking pet in the form of Katie, the dog. She was soooo cute and welcoming! A really beautiful dog!

Then it was Christmas eve 2. I had a ton of packages waiting for me. Since late november I have been ordering things that I wanted to pick up from US during this trip, but knew I would not have time to pick up in person at a store due to my waaaay too short visit and I had lots of boxes and envelopes waiting for me ! A few items had not arrived yet, but Mel said she had a few packages waiting for her at the post office as well and that we would go pick them up in the morning.

And then it was time to go to sleep. I think I fell asleep almost immediately. Head touching pillow. I woke up around 5 am (midday back home), but soon fell back into sleep and woke up at a more decent time around 7:30 am.

At first I enjoyed just the relaxing quiet of the morning and then it was time to start repacking the luggage to fit the new stuff inside and take the stuff that I was leaving behind in Houston out. Melanie woke up around 9 ish and got our showers and prepared for leaving to the post office while coordinating to meet up with Lisa. At the post office the rest of my stuff was waiting for me with the exception of 1 little thing that we by this time must assume that has gotten lost in the mail.

It was such a beautiful day outside and already at 10am temperatures were up to 20 C. Early spring days for Houston and far warmer than what they had predicted.

Lisa arrived soon thereafter and we decided to go to the Cheesecake factory down by Galleria for lunch. Ashish, Melanies roommate, also joined us and we had a great time.

Ashish and Lisa

Melanie and Me

We even came up with this awesome business idea. The best app ever. The “Find your Sugardaddy app”. Our app would also have an “I need a Sugardaddy escorte for the night” section to it and we totally planned a few other. but more secret, services to our app. :) I think this app would totally rock. Nothing ethical about it though. We laughed and joked and had a great time. It felt so awesome to be back together again (although we missed Andrea who is in Barcelona now) and could nothing but agree that we had far too little time to spend together.

I had Asian carmelized chickcen and White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake for dessert. Yummy, but ohhhh so satisfying. So delicious and tasty!

Once Lunch was done we went to the Houston Galleria to do some shopping at Hot Topic, Torrids and Bath & Bodyworks.

However distances were far and there were many distractions before we found Hot Topic. I picked up the items I had wanted to look at before I found a beautiful dress at Torrids and suddenly it was 3 pm. 3 Pm was a critical point because it was the time I SHOULD HAVE BEEN at the airport and from there on we had to rush.

Thankfully Melanie lives only 10 minutes away from Galleria and we got home in a very short time and picked up my luggage and dropped Lisa off before we sped to the airport ! Speeding was the right word, however Melanie is a good driver (I would not have dared driving this fast in such a traffic) and with punk rock music streaming from the radio we rid ourselves from the feeling of stress and rocked on in good spirit. Nirvanas Feels like Teen Spirit played all the way to the drop off point and there Melanie and I split and I rushed to the check-in counters.

Thankfully the lines were very short and I was through check-in and security in just 15 minutes. meaning I was still there in quite good time prior to my departure. I even had time to search for a perfume I had been asked to pick up for my host sister in Costa Rica, but unfortunately neither in New York nor here in Houston did they have the one she had requested :( Not much to do about that though. I still have the possibility to search for it arriving Liberia (If they have a tax free store at the airport there).

Its time to board nowand Im incredibly exited to see my family and my friends in CR again! Until soon.

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Safe arrival at Houston airport

The flight from New York was quite uneventful. I slept through most of it and it felt good. I was really tired.

When I woke up I had a nice chat with the gentleman next to me and as it turned out his daughter also works in CA. How cool is that. Seems that anyhow who I speak with today there seems to be some kind of connection to things we have in common. When I told him where my final destination was in Costa Rica he said he and his wife had always dreamt of going there. Cool.

We arrived safe and sound in Houston and my new Norwegian friends left for their convention and to their hotel downtown and in just a few minutes my friend Melanie will arrive at the airport to pick me up before we set off for adventures :D

Stopover at Newark, NY

The flight from Oslo to New York was really good ! I shared a three seater with a nice lady from a company that hires out costumes for filmmaking and theatre setups as well as for private parties, Annik. She was a great conversationist and we had lots of fun during that trip. Annik travelled with 3 colleagues and they were also flying to Houston with the same flight as myself today. The purpose of their visit was to participate to a convention for costumes to bring home to complete their stock for their company.

I also watched a few comedies. Both movies I have wanted to see since I heard of them, but had no time to see at the theatres yet. For the first movie we got some food and we ordered some nice Cava to go with that. My ultimate purpose was also to sleep some during this 9 hour long trip (one does what one needs too to make time fly huh?)

Horrible Bosses
Nick hates his boss, mostly because he’s expected to work from before sunrise to after sunset and his boss, Mr. Harken, calls him out for being a minute late and blackmails him so he can’t quit. Dale hates his boss, Dr. Julia Harris, because she makes unwelcome sexual advances when he’s about to get married. But Dale is on that pesky list of child offenders so he can’t quit. Kurt actually likes his job and his boss, well, up until his boss dies and the boss’s coked-out, psychopathic son takes over. But who would be crazy enough to quit their jobs in such poor economic times? Instead Nick, Dale and Kurt drunkenly and hypothetically discuss how to kill their bosses, and before they know it, they’ve hired a murder consultant to help them pull off the three deeds.

More on Horrible Bosses online.
IMDB
Wikipedia
Warner Bros page

Once that movie was done I started Drive, which I have already seen and recommended here, but having already seen it I quickly fell asleep during this one and stayed asleep until we were almost past Greenland.

Right about here I started watching my second movie (Drive doesn’t count as I slept through most of it) and by now Annik had finished watching Horrible Bosses as well and she started the same film as I did due to all my outbursts of laughter during the first few minutes.

Crazy, Stupid, Love
At fortysomething, straight-laced Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) is living the dreamgood job, nice house, great kids and marriage to his high school sweetheart.

But when Cal learns that his wife, Emily (Julianne Moore), has cheated on him and wants a divorce, his perfect life quickly unravels.

The hapless Cal is taken on as wingman and protégé to handsome, thirtysomething player Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling).
In an effort to help Cal get over his wife and start living his life, Jacob opens Cal’s eyes to the many options before him: flirty women, manly drinks and a sense of style that can’t be found at Supercuts or The Gap. But despite Cal’s makeover and his many new conquests, the one thing that can’t be made over is his heart, which seems to keep leading him back to where he began.

More about this movie here:
IMDB
Wikipedia
Warner Bros page

Flying over Canada I waved down to my friend Anique-Marie in Montreal despite MTL being covered by clouds. Oh well. It is the thought that counts, right?

The ladies from Kostymeavdelingen were really nice and Annik had even attended the same College (DPH) as I did as a first grader the same year I took my second year there. Hella had a friend that lives in Costa Rica and all 4 ladies were really nice company.

When we landed in New York I stayed with them and we went to pick up our luggage, check it in again and after we had checked in to the domestic connection area we went for dinner. I had Sushi which tasted really good, but the girls all went for the more american style of Hamburgers and fries and then we went to out gate. Our flight was a bit delayed, but we had fun :D

Last minute packing and last snowfall

Yesterday was a really busy day. First at work and then all afternoon as well.

My first errand was to visit my friend Jorunn E to hand over some things she forgot when visiting last saturday and then I met Jorunn S (It really is practical (for me at least) that several of my friends have the same name) for a session at the gym. After the gym I met Eva for a coffee and all in all – despite not having finished packing or anything similar… I felt relaxed and quite good about having spent the last day at home with my friends. Before going home I had to stop at the groceries store for some last minute errands and ran into another friend of mine, Paul.

At home I spent some time instructing Eivind (my tenant) in how to take care of plants, what else to remember while I’m gone and to take good care of my cat.

Then I spent most of last night packing. First I packed once and decided that Ill bring only one suitcase, but then when I was checking in I realised that 1 overweight luggege cost 200 usd and 2 different underweight luggages costs 70 usd. SO I repacked again. I need to bring 2 suitcases anyways for all the stuff I plan to bring home so the choice was easy enough. In fact I had already packed everything inside a small suitcase that was inside the big one. So I split what I had into the 2 suitcases and went to bed at 2 am.

This morning I woke up at 6am and realized I should proabably go through my stuff to double check that I had not packed far too much (like I normally do when last minute packing …). Of course I found far too much in my bags. 30 t-shirts / tops for a 35 day vacation? Even I understand that is far too much. I got rid of a few items too much and then I sat left with 5 kgs less than when I started and I was satisfied. During this session I also had time to add a new playlist to my ipod and after cuddling the cat goodbye I left for the airport.

A nice neighbour helped me carry one of the suitcases to the bus stop and I was off. A nice snowfall and listening to The Vaccines had me in a really good mood!

Right now I’m at the airport. Last gifts are bought, I had my breakfast and now admiring the snowfall outside.

I have stopovers in New York and Houston. Thankfully in Houston I have enough time to meet up with my friends Melanie and Lisa from when I lived there in 2008. Then I’m off to paradise. Sun and 30+ Celcius !

I’m sooo ready for you Costa Rica. It has been 5 years. It’s about time!

Just barely remembered I had to apply for the ESTA visa for US

Just 1,5 days left and I spent all afternoon running errands and fixing the last details on the 2 last dresses I made for my nieces in Costa Rica. And… Packing… Very important detail…

I am still very insecure about whether i should pack 1 or 2 suitcases (I do have a huge amount of stuff that is waiting for me at Melanies place in Houston that Ill have to pick up as well). Mostly I have been really good not exaggerating the stuff Im bringing there this time, but at the same time I have gifts and glutenfree food that is coming with me in case I need some during the CR roundtrip (that Ill make with my Couchsurfing friend Magnus and maybe a few others) and I cant find any easily at hand.

So, almost done for the day, I am in my bed – just wrapping my sheets around me and suddenly it strikes me….. YIKES… The ESTA visa!!! I have to apply for that before the deadline ends (I think it was 48 hours prior to departure, but it may also be 64 and then I would have been fucked) ! So I rushed over to the computer and found the ESTA page and got it done. PHEW.

Now I can go to bed. Another hectical day tomorrow with full program at work, meeting up with friends after work, working out with another friend, meeting another friend and then go home to pack the last bits and pieces… Something is just telling me right now that Ill be sleep deprived by the time I reach the airplane… I can’t wait though and I am really really exited about spending 22 hours in Houston again as well and meet up with Melanie and Lisa :D

Really exited now.. Hmmm. Am I even going to be able to sleep tonight? I could go on packing, but I do need my beauty sleep… Ill keep you posted

Stupid and Funny laws in the US

Just another of them shocking and stupid examples of US law inforcement..

www.huffingtonpost.com

The House Judiciary Committee passed a bill yesterday that would make it a federal crime for U.S. residents to discuss or plan activities on foreign soil that, if carried out in the U.S., would violate the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) — even if the planned activities are legal in the countries w… read article for full story.

What does this mean?

  • “Under this bill, if a young couple plans a wedding in Amsterdam, and as part of the wedding, they plan to buy the bridal party some marijuana, they would be subject to  prosecution,” said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, which advocates for reforming the country’s drug laws. “The strange thing is that the purchase of and smoking the marijuana while you’re there wouldn’t be illegal. But this law would make planning the wedding from the U.S. a federal crime.”
  •  A U.S. doctor who works with overseas doctors or government officials on needle exchange programs could be subject to criminal prosecution.
  • A U.S. resident who advises someone in another country on how to grow marijuana or how to run a medical marijuana dispensary would also be in violation of the new law, even if medical marijuana is legal in the country where the recipient of the advice resides
  • and so on…

However, this is not the only stupid american law that exists. there are countless laws that … to put it mildly, are really, really stupid. Some of them are so outdated that it is amazing they are still in the books.

I have gathered a few nice examples here:

  1. ALABAMA – Putting salt on a railroad track may be punishable by death.
  2. CALIFORNIA – In L.A. it is against the law to complain through the mail that a hotel has cockroaches, even if it is true.
  3. FLORIDA – A special law prohibits unmarried women (whether single, divorced or widowed) from parachuting on Sunday or she shall risk arrest, fine, and/or jailing.
  4. FLORIDA If an elephant is left tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would for a vehicle.
  5. IDAHO – It is illegal for a man to give his sweetheart a box of candy weighing less than fifty pounds.
  6. IDAHO – Fishing from the back of any animal is illegal.
  7. KENTUCKY – Anyone who has been drinking is “sober” until he or she”cannot hold onto the ground.”
  8. KENTUCKY – “No female shall appear in a bathing suit on any highway within this state unless she be escorted by at least two officers or unless she be armed with a club.”
    An amendment to the above legislation: “The provisions of this statute shall not apply to females weighing less than 90 pounds nor exceeding 200 pounds, nor shall it apply to female horses.”
  9. MARYLAND – In Baltimore its illegal to take a lion to the movies.
  10. NEBRASKA – A parent can be arrested if his child cannot hold back a burp during a church service.
  11. NEVADA – It is illegal to drive a camel on the highway
  12. NEW JERSEY – It is illegal to raise chicken in bottles
  13. ALABAMA – You are not allowed to chain your alligator to a fire hydrant.
  14. DELAWARE – You may not sell dead people for money without a license.
  15. GEORGIA – In Atlanta, it is illegal to tie a giraffe to a telephone         pole or street lamp.
  16. ALASKA – It is considered an offense to push a live moose out of a moving airplane.
  17. ALASKA – Kangaroos are not allowed in barber shops at any time.
  18. TEXAS – It’s legal for a chicken to have sex with you, but it’s illegal to reciprocate.
  19. TEXAS – It is illegal for a person to shoot a buffalo from the second story of their hotel.
  20. TEXAS – It is legal to commit a homicide as long as you tell the person when, and how you are going to kill them.
  21. TEXAS – You can be legally married by publicly introducing a person as your husband or wife 3 times.
  22. CALIFORNIA – It is a misdemeanor to shoot at any kind of game from a moving vehicle, unless the target is a whale.

Where to find more stupid american (and other) laws:
http://www.loonylaws.com/
http://www.bored.com/crazylaws/
http://www.elitefitness.com/forum/steroid-laws/120-stupid-laws-america-236949.html
http://www.dumblaws.com/

ENJOY !

Leaving Los Angeles

I spent most of last night packing my stuff neatly into my different bags and suitcases making sure they dont weigh more than the exact limit that the airline company allows, however I really hope my carry-on luggage wont be weighed !! It weighs a lot more than the allowed 18 kgs.

Even if I was up late last night I woke up real early, got ready and waited for Marco to get ready for work. He gave me a lift to the airport to make sure I got there in time. I checked in with Continental, paid the overweight fee that was not really cheap (but a LOT cheaper than sending the stuff through the mail system) and went through the security control to the international area. I was there in good time and both check in and flight went very well.

As we flew over the US Continent, I took some pictures (I love window seats)  and watched 1,5 movies. The Bounty Hunter was one of them and then I started The last song

The Bounty Hunter

The Last Song

Unfortunately The last song was longer than the remaining time of our flight, hence we landed in New York a bit further than mid-movie. At the airport I got myself some nice Pizza and sat down next to the gate to wait for boarding.
I had a window seat again and this time I had a Norwegian mom and her son seated next to me. They were nice. The flight was somewhat delayed and while we watied I realized that I could watch the rest of The Last song. Woo hoo..

This movie was followed by

Date Night

And after this I gave in to sleep :D We arrrived Norway and it was a nice summer day :D YAY. More Sun. I wont comlain about that.  I cant wait to get my cat back !!!