I have a lot of things to write about, but not a lot of time to actually sit down and write – so it’s now almost midnight, and I will try my best at remembering everything that’s happened whilst not falling asleep and dropping the phone on my face (fingers crossed). 

OH! I’m also editing a video from this week, so if you don’t feel like reading this novel I’m about to write then you can keep an eye out for that (if I can get it done before my hair turns gray) 


THE DAY MY AUNT ARRIVES!!! I had been counting down the days and annoying my friends about this for weeks – so I was pretty excited, as I hadn’t seen any family since last August (and also because my aunt is one of my favorite people).

Before heading to Orange County, which was where she would be landing, me and my host family drove to Whittier to have dinner, and to see some pledging thing (don’t remember what they called it) for Hal’s fraternity at my host parents’ college – Whittier College. It was actually quite interesting and pretty impressive to watch, they had been practicing what they were for a long time, and you could tell. Cindy also gave me a tour of the campus, which was smaller than I expected! 

Just your local college student

From there we went to pick up my aunt at the airport – I had Chad record our reunion (gonna be in the video!), but when I saw her it didn’t actually feel like it’d been that long, it’s odd to think that it’d been 6 months. I also noticed how rusty my Norwegian was and how much I struggled to organize my sentences, which my aunt actually commented on hahah! I was stumbling quite a bit, but the funny thing is that one of my friends told me that she could tell I’d been speaking Norwegian again, because my English had gotten worse! My brain was quite confused. 
Can you tell we’re related?

02/24 FRIDAY

As you can imagine, my aunt was pretty jet lagged from traveling almost 20 hours – so 5 am Friday morning, I was woken up by a lovely medley featuring Eminem, Party Rock Anthem, and a wide variety of different songs that she was DJing until I decided to get out of bed (not really a traditional alarm, but it was still fun hahah).

When school for me was over, I took my aunt to show her the campus and to meet some my teachers. I really enjoyed showing her my new normal, and I think/hope she liked it too! 

After showing her my high school we went to the Tyler Mall to attempt to do some shopping – I ended up finding something, but my aunt couldn’t make up her mind on what she was looking for, so that wasn’t really successful. Eventually we went to have dinner at Yard House (one of my favorite restaurants), which I’d been looking forward to, but of course they didn’t have a table, so we ended up wandering around the mall looking for a place to eat – we eventually found this BBQ place (which is kind of ironic for a vegetarian) and had dinner there before we went home.

Now to the exciting part – looking for a place to stay in LAS VEGAS!! We decided that we wanted to do something special with my aunt since she was here + something for my 18th birthday, so Vegas is what we decided on (and I do not regret that choice, obviously) 


We were up and ready before the sun, and started the day driving Troy to a baseball job he was trying out for, followed by breakfast at one of my favorite places in Riverside – JuJu Bar!! They serve fresh smoothies, juices, vitamin shots and THE best acai bowls (seriously, the best). I had my regular order – the tsunami bowl, my aunt had the same as me and Cindy had her twilight bowl. They’re always a success, I think I could have it for every meal. 

Then, the road to Vegas. After breakfast both me and my aunt needed some caffeine – so of course we had to stop at Starbucks and get a coffee on the way!

I think it was around 1 pm we could start seeing the city pop up from the desert (and the massive ads were getting more frequent) – and our first stop, obviously, the Las Vegas sign!

Yeah, the sun was kinda bright

We drove down the strip to the older part of the city to kill some time before checking in to our hotel, the Paris. Both me and my aunt were glued to the windows hahah. 

After a couple of hours relaxing at our hotel we walked down the strip to have dinner at Hard Rock Cafe – and the strangest thing happened, I found out that several of my exchange friends were in Las Vegas too that weekend!? 

Already miss you Joël!

We were all quite tired after eating, and that combined with being jet lagged was not a good combo for my aunt, so we went back to our hotel to rest before we were gonna head out again. Both my aunt and Cindy fell asleep, so I was just kinda sitting there waiting to go explore. Turns out laying down was the kiss of death for Cindy, so me and my aunt went out to watch the water show at the Bellagio (literally right across the street). It was amazing!! Exactly what you’d expect being in Vegas. 
Aunt Yvonne ❤
It was also synced to music?!

I was really tired that night, and the proof was in my phone – I actually don’t remember doing this, but when I woke up the next morning and unlocked my phone, I saw that the last thing I’d googled was Justin Trudeau (the Canadian prime minister) and Joe Biden (former vise president)…? I honestly don’t remember why or when, so I was quite confused to say the least (I think it’s hilarious though). 

This photo makes me laugh

02/26 SUNDAY 

Sunday was the do-as-much-as-possible day, and I think we succeeded. 

Both me and my aunt were kind of freaking out over the fact that they had a Carlos bakery, so obviously we had to try it + we had lunch at his restaurant.

We also did get some shopping in, and I got to buy some presents for my nephews and grandparents. 

We figured we couldn’t go to Vegas without seeing a show – so we ended up choosing Mystere, a Cirque du Soleil show at Treasure Island. 

So worth it!! I would definitely pay to see that again. I don’t understand how it’s possible to do what they do, and I love it.

Before the show we had dinner at Guy Fieri’s restaurant.

02/27 MONDAY

Last day!! 

The first thing we did was go and get my new phone (finally!!!) – I’ve been having trouble since September, so getting a phone that I can basically live in has been amazing. 

We had lunch at the Bellagio, and they had this beautiful display with tons of flowers inspired by the celebration of Chinese New Year.

Before going home, we decided that we were gonna go zoom lining in the old part of Las Vegas(!!). We probably stood in line for almost 2 hours, but oh my gosh was it worth it – it had gotten dark when it was our turn, so all the lights were turned on and the view from the top was amazing. 

We were laying down (super man pose) and flew over the people walking the street below. Cindy didn’t go, so she filmed us as we passed her. 

Last year for my 17th, my aunt took me to go in a wind tunnel (like skydiving), and this year we went zoom lining, so I see a tradition forming..

Seeing the city lights when leaving was quite spectacular.


 My 18th birthday!! 

When I got to school, 3 of my friends surprised me with donut holes and a poster that they had made with 18 envelopes that they’d filled with memories we have together + photos!! Couldn’t have gotten a better gift, thank you guys! 

After school we drove to downtown LA to have dinner at a Japanese restaurant called Takami, and I fell in love with edamame beans, they were soooo good. 

The restaurant was on a roof I believe, so we had a view over the city. 

Celebrating my 18th in America was something really special that I’ll never forget. 


Last day with my aunt..

The only thing she hadn’t really seen was the beach, so after school me and Cindy took her to my favorite, Laguna Beach, so she could see the sunset over the water. We made it just in time! 

To end the night off we had dinner on the roof of Sky Loft – highly recommended!! The food was good, the company was better. 


Up at 4 am to drive to John Wayne airport in Orange County. Goodbyes are always harder than I think they will be. 

Thank you so much for visiting me, see you soon!!


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