It came as a complete surprise to him and our months of planning worked a treat.
When Rolf was 40 my brother with his partner and I took him to Paris for a weekend. When he was 50 we took him to Rome. Both of these trips were amazing, we became the complete tourists going to the Lido in Paris, Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, Sacre-Coeur and Notre Dame Cathedral.
In Rome we visited the Colosseum, The Trevi Fountain, The Spanish Steps, The Vatican City and so much more. We decided we were definitely taking the tourist trail every decade for Rolf’s Birthday going forward.
For his 60th we had, therefore, made up our minds to visit New York. It was arranged and we were very excited at the possibility of the different experiences we could have over in the Big Apple.
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Then Covid struck and no one was going anywhere, especially not to the United States.
It’s still too early to take the risk, we felt. We came up with the idea of having a lovely Airbnb trip somewhere in the UK instead with our nearest family – 10 of us – who are very rarely all together.
We found a beautiful chalet with a hot tub sleeping 10 very comfortably and a wrap around balcony. On the Border of England and Scotland it was close to Gretna Green.
Rolf was stunned, he has a fondness for a log cabin as we have one in Norway, much smaller, but by a fjord.
I picked Rolf up in the morning and drove to my brother Kris’s house where we had a spot of lunch and then took him to The Galloway Hoard: The Viking-age Treasure on tour at Kirkcudbright Galleries, which is the richest collection of rare Viking-age objects ever discovered in Britain.
After that we proceeded to the beautiful Airbnb. My daughter Katy and the rest of the family had arrived before us and decorated with a "happy 60th” sign and party balloons; when we arrived Rolf was overwhelmed.
This feeling lasted for the next three days and it didn’t matter that we didn’t go abroad.
New York can wait, family is best. Happy Birthday Rolf!