Denmark Day 7

On Day 7 we were very busy too, since it was our (sniff!) last day in Denmark. Don’t last days make you think about every little detail more?

We got up, had coffee and breakfast, making sure to savor our bread and cheese. Then we all headed to Kronborg Slot, better known as Hamlet’s castle, where we had such fun touring the grounds.

From there we went to Louisiana, the museum of Modern Art. We ate lunch at their buffet, which was really delicious. Then we toured the exhibits until we were too tired to stay any longer.

Back at the house, we went down to the beach to put the last touches on our sand castle. I think it’s pretty awesome. Then after some iPad time, we took some Champagne down to the sea–ever since my dad passed away in 2009, I always take a pinch of his ashes with me on my travels. Dad met Kathryn and Ole in Phoenix, so they wanted to be part of the ceremony. We toasted to Ed Murphy in the windy, chilly Danish evening.

What an amazing trip. Kathryn, Ole, Emma, and Esben, thanks for making Denmark so special for us. It was hard to leave you and head to Sweden!


Denmark Day 6

We had our quiet day. So that makes it time to live it up. On Day 6 in Denmark, that’s just what we did. First we drove to the nearest Fjord and hopped a ferry. This was a big thrill, and we got to watch lots of sailboats pass by. The weather was perfect and the sky was clear. From there we drove to Ole’s mom’s house where she served us a traditional Danish lunch. After lunch the kids played at Grandma’s house while the grown-ups headed to town and visited a wonderful art co-op in the town where Ole went to high school. John and I bought a print there and are very happy to have it in our home. From there we drove to the king’s marker–used to designate the king’s hunting ground. We took some pics THEN picked some fresh cherries off the tree. Next we headed to the farm where Ole grew up. It was such a treat to see his childhood home and to tour the modern facilities, where they package the fresh vegetables for restaurant use and sale in stores. We got to walk out into the fields and pick some carrots. From there, the Sorensen’s went to Ole’s sister’s house, while John and I went to Dragsholm Slot for a gourmet meal. First we toured the grounds and the castle. It’s a gorgeous structure that would make a great place for a small gathering (Kathryn suggested our wedding!?!). The meal was delicious and so much fun. After we ate we drove back to the house in time to watch our 6th Danish Sunset.

 

 

 


Denmark Day 5

We decided that a quiet day would be nice, so first we started off by heading down the road to Gillileje to buy some fish for dinner. Then we came back to the cabin, and after some great beach time (while we worked on a killer castle I will reveal later) we had a relaxing lunch of Smørrebrød. After lunch we did some shopping in town. And then we all met back at the cabin for a delicious fisk dinner. Ole’s friends came up from Copenhagen and kept us laughing all night!


Denmark Day 4

After a delicious breakfast on the porch, John and I drove about 40 minutes in to Copenhagen for the day. We started at the National Museum then headed to the New Harbor for lunch at Restaurant Heering. From there we strolled along the Strøget, and finally made our way to Mikkeler brewery for an IPA.

That night, we had a special visit from Kathryn’s Swedish high school friend Alsa and her Canadian boyfriend Louis. We had a delicious dinner and watched the sun go down.


Denmark Day 3

The next morning we woke and had a delicious breakfast of Danish bread with jam and cheese, and then we said goodbye to Ole’s family before hopping in the car to head to the Viking Museum.

This was a fun interactive museum where we learned how the vikings made pots, dyed wool, carved boats, and cooked over an open fire. The museum also had a killer raspberry patch!

From there we headed to Fredensborg in North Zealand to visit the Queen’s summer residence. We had lots of fun touring the grounds.

From there we headed north to Smidstrup where we saw the beach rental for the first time. I was smitten! It became perfectly clear why so many Scandinavians ended up in Minnesota. The house reminded me of being on Cross Lake.


Denmark Day 2

On our second day in Denmark, we woke and had some delicious Danish bread with jam and cheese. Then we decided to head into town to see the sights. We drove to Maribo and toured the cathedral and then stopped for some snacks in the square.

From there we drove to Fuglsang Kunstmuseum to look at some pretty amazing Danish art. The museum is built with one room that is all glass and looks out onto the countryside so that it almost seems like a floor to ceiling painting. I really enjoyed several pieces in this collection and I’m so glad we stopped in.

From there we were searching for a good swimming beach for the twins, Esben and Emma. We found a gorgeous one and enjoyed quite a romp! Then it was back to our base camp in Lolland where we watched our second Danish sunset.

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Denmark Day 1

We are back from Denmark and Sweden, where we had a very busy 15 day trip. I did not get a chance to blog while we were there so I’ll be back-dating my posts.

On our first day in Denmark we arrived to Copenhagen and got our rental car and drove down to the island of Lolland, the site of the big birthday party for Ole and his sister. We were so excited to meet all of Ole’s family and to celebrate his 50th birthday and his sister’s 60th birthday. Check out the pics and see how much fun we all had!

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Denmark Sweden

Denmark SwedenJohn and I are so excited to be celebrating our 15th consecutive year of visiting a new country together. We spent all weekend making our last-minute preparations and packing up the suitcases. It’s going to be a little cold in Denmark and Sweden–we’re looking at 60/70 in Copenhagen and 50/70 in Stockholm. So we made sure to pack pants, socks, long sleeves, and jackets.

How did we decide on Denmark and Sweden? Well, coming off the high of hiking Kilimanjaro last year, we had started to research details on climbing Mt. Elbrus and had corresponded with a guide and were looking at flights and dates. But then I got this FB message from our friend Kathryn:

I know it’s a long shot, but please think about joining us in Denmark next July because we will be celebrating Ole’s 50th birthday at some weird Scandinavian Long House/Compound on a remote Danish island (Lolland). Nothing but a cold ocean, 40 of your closest drunk Danish friends, pickled herring, and…well, not much else. Could be interesting…think about it! You can stay for free but the plane ticket is a bitch!

Now really. How does one turn down an offer like that! I’ve been wanting to go to Denmark with Kathryn and Ole, well, since I met them about 15 years ago. And I haven’t been to Copenhagen since 1991 but I loved it so much I’ve always wanted to go back and do it properly. I think Kathryn might have been a bit surprised when I wrote back 30 minutes after she sent her message and told her we were a go.

Since I’ve already been to Denmark, we needed to add the “new” country so we decided to spend a week in Stockholm, where John’s going to run an Ultra Marathon. I am going to run a few laps of it with him. We’ll also visit the Vasa museum, do an archipelago tour, and take a day trip to Uppsala. We’re really looking forward to the trip.


North to Alaska

Cindy and Larry are not just our neighbors, they are our family. We’ve spent countless Thanksgivings and Christmases together, we’ve traveled together, we’ve wiped tears over lost parents and pets. And now they are moving from within view of our kitchen window to a beautiful home with a view in Bend, Oregon. I feel like I’m losing a limb. I wish I knew a special term for the grief that comes from this–not a permanent loss, but a loss I know will affect me every day. John and I have been in our house for 10 years and I can’t imagine our lives here without Cindy and Larry.

Part of my love for them comes from the many tales they have told of their lives in Alaska, before they moved to Phoenix. I always beg for their stories. About famous hikes or bike rides, sea kayak trips or teaching in a remote village. I’ve never lived in a place that was anything more than emotionally hard. I’ve had my physical needs met at all times. So the stories of bear at the tent or moose in the yard, or gas lamps or water rationing always made me aware I was dealing with two major bad-asses. It took a trip to Alaska with them to understand exactly how much respect I should have. Alaska is not for the weak, and I–it turns out–am very weak.

Larry planned a tour that hit all the high points–he put great care into the itinerary so that we could see so many of the places we had heard about. We started with the Mayor’s Marathon (for John) and Half (for me and Larry), and the trip just kept getting more exciting from there. We got to spend time with their friends and family, and eat at their favorite restaurants. We weren’t on the internet at all times, which made regular blogging hard. But I hope you’ll enjoy these pictures with a narrative of how my bad-ass friends showed us how it’s done in the 49th state.