Past trips: Venice, Corfu, Montenegro, Rome, Pompeii

Hello, readers! Sorry about the long absence. I’ve been working on tightening up the book but now it’s time to change gears once again. On Easter Sunday, we are boarding the Nieuw Statendam, a Holland America cruise ship bound for Northern Europe. It’s a repositioning voyage: a one-way trip from the ship’s winter itinerary in the Caribbean to its summer home on the Baltic.

Along the way, we’ll be getting to know the Azores, Cherbourg of movie fame, and Bruges, which has been on my bucket list. A one-day stop in Amsterdam will give us a day at the famed tulip gardens. Stay tuned for pics!

Then on to Norway, where we will meet cousins who share my great-great-grandfather on my father’s side, patriarch of the brave brothers who sailed to America, traveled to the western frontier, and staked claims on the prairie.

My parents were both half Norwegian. Mom’s maternal family originally were the Kjilis, which someone at Ellis Island translated as Kelly. Dad’s paternal family were the Amundsons, which someone at Ellis Island translated as Amerson. Together, they connected with these families in the 1990s, visiting family and the homestead left behind by the four Amersons-to-be in Biri; the church in Jevnaker where my mother’s ancestors were married; and the church in Oslo where my great-great-grandmother Kelly was baptized.

Nancy and Bob Amerson with Johan Odegaarden at the family homestead in Biri


Nancy Amerson at the church in Oslo where my great-great-grandmother Kelly was baptized
The family home in Biri, still in use


Nancy Amerson at the church in Jenaker where her great-grandparents were married

My ancestors made their one-way trip without hope of ever returning, or even any guarantee they’d find the American promise of land. Such courage.

So, it’s a bit of a pilgrimage, this ocean voyage. I’ll be without my laptop, so my blogs will be heavy on pictures, light on words. Thanks for following!

Carved gifts from and by Johan Odegaarden

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