Our Norwegian host Marit and her sister and their sons and wives all met us at the airport with big WELCOME signs, and we went in two cars to Marit's house in Tromsdalen, and as we pulled up in front of the house her son and grandson were waving torches in greeting, and then touching them to fuses, shooting a volley of brightly colored welcoming fireworks into the air! Marit's house is the last house on a street overlooking the harbor....beautiful in the dark with all the Tromsø city lights reflecting on the water.
The sky began to get a lot lighter by 9:30, eventually looking like the sun was about to come up in the southeast by noon. The rest of the group was all up by 11:00 am, and Marit put out a big spread of many diffferent kinds of lunch meat that included reindeer salami, flatbread, scrambled eggs, herring, pickled beets, orange juice, coffee, and we all sat around the table for over an hour, just talking. I can tell already that it going to be difficult not to eat too much while we're here!