****Once again - shameless plug for reciprocal memberships!!!!! Our Tellus Membership (ASTC) got us free admission into the Hjemkomst Center! So seriously - if you have a membership anywhere.... check to see what great perks it might get for you in another city/state!***
It was a fun day exploring the girls Scandanavian heritage. Tom's family hails primarily from Sweeden (with some English thrown in). This area of the country was settled by large numbers of immigrants from Sweeden and Norway. Which is the land of the Vikings!
What they were known for, however, were their amazing longboat Viking ships!
Seriously, this thing is amazing - big, beautiful, and sea worthy. how do they know? Well the guy who built it (by hand), had a dream to build a ship to honor his ancestors and then to sail it back to his families homeland - Oslo Norway. And in 1982, he set sail! If you want to look up the story of it's sailing - the name of the boat is the Hjemkomst (hence, the centers name).
Once we had our fill of the Hjemkomst, we took a tour of a replica of a Stave Church.
Back in the day, the Vikings were converted to Christianity, and were learning the "rules" of the church (Catholic at the time). The Bishops had told them that to be a true church you had to have a row of windows. Now if you've seen the Basicalla in Rome, or other churches of that time period (1000-1100), they all have rows of stained glass windows. But if you live in an extremely cold climate like Norway, and in a place where the people did not know how to make plate glass yet... we'll you didn't really have a way to make that happen - so they made tiny little windows to satisfy the Bishops demands.
Coming out of his mount is a vine... Christian growth
We didn't spend a lot of time talking about the Viking stories of middle earth - with trolls, goblins, and elves. But we did enjoy these friendly looking guys....
The Hjemkomst center also hosted some hands on learning activities.
The girls favorite was the area where we learned about the development of Braille (and all the forms that were used before Braille was officially adopted as the written language of the blind).
I cracked up when the very first exhibit was a phone! A good ole - this is what we had when I was your age - phone.
So the art medium was "touch and sound" - and it was set up to let the kids dial up old "a joke a day" sites and "tell me a story" lines. I had as much fun as they did!
We've been packing in a lot of trips around town, but we love having downtime at the hotel as well. The mornings have been great to get school work done (since we are up since we take Tom to the office), then some chilling out time, some time at the pool, etc....
But my favorite is when we are in the room and the girls create their own games. Today while I was working on a few things, the girls created a spaceship....