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Vi ses, Denmark

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

   I can't believe my time in Denmark is actually up. It's definitely been a bitter sweet move. I've really grown to love this city and even more so the people in it. These are the memories that made this time unforgettable...

These amazing girls...
A whirl wind of good times with Mischa
A quick but great friendship with Rachel
Several Dyrhavn trips with Rachel, Maria, Jen, and Anne-Lise
This bundle of cuteness 
And these good times with the kiddos
The homey feeling of Charlie Scott's with Marc, Kasper, Eugene and the gang
Thanksgiving with this crew
So many fun times with Megan and Molly at the movies, the fountain, and Francis
Mom's Christmas visit
The Amys' visit to Denmark 
Traveling to some awesome places 
This guy... Ooh, this guy...
Going into this, I had no idea was what was to come. I guess you never do though, huh? Even with the job turning out different than expected, I wouldn't even think of taking this experience back. All the incredible friends I met, the traveling opportunities, experiences with friends and family coming to visit, and that hott musician, made up for the downfalls of the job like tenfold.   
It's a huge understatement to say that I'll miss everyone. I love all of you, am beyond grateful to have met such great people, and would be so happy to see your faces again somewhere in this big ol' world. 

Now to enjoy the "sweet" part of the move with family, friends, and weddings! 

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To InfITALY and Beyond!

Friday, June 14, 2013

  It's new, super, awesome adventure update time! For those of you that don't want to read the full write up, scroll down for the highlights. Now for my much appreciated super readers, enjoy!
   Lucky me got to go on a trip to Italy with Sune two days after finishing my work as an Au pair. What an awesome way to celebrate and spend my time before returning home. 
Typical flying picture  
  So, we got to Milan early on June 6th for a long day of exploring. Instead of waiting two hours for a bus, we decided to walk to our destination for hiking... 60km to Verbania? "Sure we can do that in a day!" The cute, old, Italian men fishing along the river saw the humor in that goal. But we set out anyway and had a really pretty walk along a river. This would've led us the whole way, but due to our lack of planning with no food, water, or reliable map, and growling tummies, we strayed off the river to find some food. We found a restaurant where we managed to order something (they hardly spoke any English, but I recognized pollo) that turned out to be super awesome pollo. After a couple wrong turns, we wound up in a town called Vertiage. After 6 hours of walking and a long way to go, we opted for a train to Verbania instead... An excellent idea. This beautiful train ride through the mountains, along a big lake, through fancy villas, and sitting down(!) made us quite happy. It was free too! Definitely a plus. 
  So we arrived in Verbania and found a campsite... Where I think we were the only ones without kids.  Even so, it was a super pretty location with a beach, the lake, and the mountains in the background, and "everything we could need in one place," including a good meal, a market for our breakfasts, kayaks, and more. We ended the night with really good gelato on the beach and enjoying a thunderstorm. Super nice night.
  We planned to satisfy our super outdoorsy, risky, nature freak selves the next day and ditch the family campground for a secluded mountain, buuut the convenience of the campsite and not having to trek with our backpacks won us over. We still managed to save some face with our slightly dangerous, 2 hour kayaking trip turned 6 hour hiking adventure; We rented a kayak and went to find a stream to lead us up a mountain. First we climbed steep, slippery rocks, then moved to the overgrown, steep, thorny side. If it weren't for Sune's encouragement to keep going for "some fence and building that looked cool" (that somehow convinced me), we might've missed out on an amazing hike, where we passed through a really cute village called Mergozzo, saw a cool church with a wishing well inside, and finally made it to the top for an incredible view where we relaxed a bit with some birds before making our way back down. 



  Dark skies and thunder had us worried for the hike down. But, as with most things on this trip, it worked out, we found our way down, feeling wild and free running down the mountain, and the rain waited for us to get to the kayaks like we'd hoped for! Those steep cliffs would've been that much more terrifying going down in the rain! When we got to the campsite and I was cooling off in the water, there five men were walking over to Sune. I was sure we were going to get some sort of fine for taking the kayaks out too long, be kicked out of the campsite, or even a fine for the possible search party of us. But no fine. No exile. All good. 
  This night, we had the best dinner at a restaurant in Verbania... Super duper salmon with fennel for me, and the best red wine. And the best creme brûlée! All the best. We got granted another wish that night with more bedtime rain and thunder to be enjoyed in our tent. 
  The next day, we went for a fun swim and enjoyed the beach before heading to Milan. We stayed at Hotel Kennedy, a decent hostel, but as Sune learned later in the week... maybe don't stay downstairs. But we were just excited about a bed instead of the hip-bruising, back-aching ground with no pillows. 
  We hadn't done much research at all about the city, so we just went out for dinner (but not before some gelato) and finding the Duomo (the only thing I'd seen about Milan). It was a pretty spectacular, ridiculously intricate church (on the outside... The cathedral was closed). Conveniently though, some big music event was going on outside it. 
  I think I gave the boy an overdose of picture taking, as I failed to look like a decent human in any of the pictures.

The most decent of all the pictures
Denmark's flag in Milan! :)
  Next we just walked around before having a much appreciated beer and piña colada at a pretty spot outside. We were pretty indecisive about what to do, and ironically were both worried about the other thinking we were boring because we weren't in the party mode we thought we should be in while out in Milan. So we went to one more place a local recommended before realizing we were both content with just going home. It was a good but emotional last night of the trip... This whole moving thing keeps doing that to me. 
  I flew home the next morning, while Sune stayed for four more days. This was one unbelievable trip and I'm so glad we got to go. We kept saying that even our "bad decisions" or "wrong turns" worked out great and led us to new, exciting options. Hiking the mountains and exploring Italy with my favorite guy? Seemed and still seems like a dream. Those were three memorable days. 

  And now for those of you without 2 hours to read my detailed account of three days (and I don't blame ya!) here's our... Dun dun dun duuun! ...
High Fives for Italy 
Pretty river walk from the airport to Vertiage (6hours)
Delicious pollo
Super beautiful, relaxing train ride from Vertiage to Verbania after all that walking
 The campground "with everything you'll ever need"
Kayaking to our crazy mountain hike 
Feeling wild and free running down the mountain  
Mountain man Sune 
Conquering the thorns and finding the way down the mountain 
Cold mountain lake water on our scratched bodies
Not getting a crazy fine for a possible police search
Playful swim and sun bathing
Gelato on the beach
Thunderstorms and rainy nights in the tent
Best meal in Verbania: salmon with fennel, the best red wine, and creme brûlée 
Good luck with the sun and rain 
Strawberry mango gelato before dinner
Refreshing drinks in Milan
The Duomo (the only thing I knew about Milan) and balloons 
Our Italian names: Abbigalamenta and Acqua don Sune Leon(or something like that)
Our "wrong turns" always leading us to good things 

Our view for gelato and thunderstorms

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Nostalgic, grungy, film, world-travel-hipster-ish photos

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

(Thanks to Demetri for the title!)
I can finally post the pictures taken on my disposable camera. Expect more later too, from disposable camera round 2! 
Here's the happy cow pictures from this day!
Freedom for the cows!
And then they eat...

King's garden chilling from the same weekend 
Hangin in the park this one time...
 
Favorite graffiti
Favorite tree

Such a handsome dude... From this day at the Fleamarket 
Sune og Heidi spille på Tjilipop
Anne Lise og mig at lytte til Sune og Heidi
Sejt blomster


  
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Perfect Days with the A's

Monday, June 3, 2013

          My best friends Amy and Amy (cause for a lot of jokes but at least no forgetting names) came to visit last week! They stayed from Thursday til the next Friday, but for what seemed like a month. (In a good way!) we got so much done, had so many laughs, saw countless beautiful scenes, ate far too much, heard so much music, enjoyed the sun in parks, gardens, canals, and the beach, and ate outside as much as possible. I took them to lots of my favorite cafes, restaurants, chill spots, new restaurants, touristy activities, and more. As Amy coined the phrase for the week we were "accomplishing much, breathing often."
          On Thursday, I picked them up at the airport with Lagkagehuset in hand, with plans of having a relaxing afternoon coffee and cake before getting the kids. I couldn't contain my excitement, as my Facebook friends could see from my bouncing in the metro seat status. With a late flight, it ended up being more rushed and stressful than I'd have liked, trying to arrange for someone picking up the kids, etc. Throughout this time though, I was switching from bouncing in my seat to tearing up from excitement to see them. They safely arrived, we made it home, the kids were picked up, and with their help, we whipped up some dinner and all was well. Then we got to relax and have the Lagkagehuset and coffee for dessert outside, checking off two things from our list (fiskefrikadeller og weinerbrød.)
        We didn't waste any time, as we went to see Sune and Morten play at their hostel gig. It ended up being such a nice night. Amy O. has a pretty evidence backed jinx going on with my love life where whenever she comes to visit me wherever I am, my current relationship ends. That nearly happened again, but things got back together so Amy actually got to meet one of my men. And my favorite. Everyone kept saying how happy we were and it just seemed perfect. And surreal. (feelings that lasted the whole trip). They both loved the music and the musicians. ;) Perfect first night. Oh, and as we were walking out the door, Sune started singing my song! That was beyond exciting.
        We went out for our touristy day on Friday, which involved lots of walking. We covered the usual attractions and made it back to the center for burgers at Sporvejen, the place decorated like a train car. We were delusionally hungry at this point and far too quickly scarfed down our burgers. Due to this said scarfing and all the walking from the day, we went into coma mode and had a hard time getting ourselves going.
        We stopped into Charlie's but nothing was going on, then stopped in Studenterhuset on the way back for some music. We just sat on a couch for a while before finally feeling satisfied enough and like we got our money's worth for the entrance, and went home.
        Saturday was supposed to be our relaxing, nature day at Dyrehavn. They got to meet the first of my Denmark friends, Maria. Maria and I tried to tell them some facts about Bakken and Tivoli but included a disclaimer to save us from likely inaccuracies. We just walked around Bakken and did two super cool rides... Two roller coasters that had us all screaming and impressed. Then we walked around forever in Dyrhavn trying to find the castle but we never did. :( But we did see some deer, relaxed, ate some bread on a hill by a pond, and enjoyed the nature. My reassurance the day before that "we won't be walking nearly as much tomorrow" did not hold true.
        We parted with Maria and headed to Sune's to get ready to go out. But not before eating some delicious pizza on the roof!



        Then we met up with Megan and Molly and went to Francis Pony... Of course. We had a great night out, dancing to Backstreet Boys, meeting randoms, and having some overdue conversations between best friends.
at The Fountain
       Due to rain, no soup, and laziness, the Amys actually got to experience a lazy Sunday with Sune (really showing them my daily life here). Sunday was Sune's birthday! Woohoo! So he came home Saturday night with surprise Danish flags everywhere (the Danish tradition), and his present in the morning. We made banana pancakes and Sune brought us cake on his birthday. We tried to go out for soup but I led us astray and then it started raining (the one day we weren't prepared with rain gear). But this led us to eating at Café Castro where we got the best nachos ever and a really good sandwich. Then, being excused by the rain, we all huddled inside and watched a movie, with half of us falling asleep. It was nice though, and we didn't feel too bad about it since we'd already accomplished so much in just three days.
       We headed out earlier than usual on Monday, as we were expecting rain later in the day. Thus, we also actually went prepared this time, decked out in rain gear, and it wound up being sunny all day! The weatherman was literally the opposite everyday. Not complaining about the sun though! So we headed to the botanical garden where I'd been with Sune in the winter (where I was going to link to that post but I somehow didn't blog about it). I loved it then, even without the flowers blooming outside, so I knew I'd love it in the summer. And it was an incredible site... Beautiful hills covered in flowers, cobblestone paths leading to amazing views of the whole garden, bright green all around, and several pretty ponds. We picked one of the ponds for our picnic spot with our packed lunches, and probably really annoyed a napping lady when we beckoned all the ducks over with our bread. Unskyld, lady.
        We then headed over toward Tivoli, doing some shopping along the way (naturally). I also got to introduce them to Riccos, where we got chai tea lattes (a staple for the trip) and rumkugle, and enjoyed them under a tree near the lakes. At Tivoli, we didn't do any rides because they were way too expensive (or the guy basically told us we were fat), so we just walked around, checked out all the flowers and scenery, and laid in a field listening to some band practicing. Afterward, we went in search of soup (again) but this time at Café Retro, before seeing Sune and Morten play again. To our dismay, the place was closed, so no soup again.
I felt like God was saying...
       So we had a dinner "that never happened," aka we were super disappointed, then stuffed our faces with Pringles and cookies... Yeah. We followed this by chilling on a bridge by a canal. As Amy said in her write up of the trip, it was moments like this that were extra cherished. Afterwards, the World Traveling Wonderful Guitar Show didn't disappoint! Do they ever? Nej! 
 Bikes! Bikes! Bikes! Tuesday was our biking day! Sune found us two to use and I'm so glad... Wouldn't be a full Copenhagen experience without biking. Off we went to finally get our soup at Soupnatural. Rubin got her Madhatter's Bubble Tea too! Then we headed to Christiania and had a beautiful ride around the lake. It was good having Sune as our tour guide so could tell us all the facts about it. Afterwards, we went and sat by a really pretty canal, with coffee/hot chocolate in hand, of course. Another of those great, cherished moments. We obviously had a lot of fun with the biking and took advantage of the photo opportunities. Perfect day. 
  

  
  Wednesday was an extra nice day. "Maybe my favorite day. But they're all favorite." (A commonly quoted phrase on the trip). Why was it favorite you ask? It was filled with nachos, ice cream, a harbor, fort, flowers, and beach. Where was this awesome place you now ask? The quaint little town of Dragør, Sune's hometown that I mentioned here. The day started out rainy so I was worried it wouldn't be too nice, but it brightened up when we got there for a beautiful day. We got (more) nachos before eating some delicious ice cream (and holding up the ice cream line), and ate it sitting by the harbor. We went up to the top of the fort too, which was covered in super green grass, with vibrant yellow flowers, and really blue ocean in the background. Was amazingly vivid colors. Much different than our trip in the winter. Being girls, we took lots of pictures here, as with most of our destinations. After getting enough pictures and stinging nettle on our feet, we went to lay on the beach. I was all tuckered out from pictures and posing, so I just laid in the sand while they got some lovely photos. I realized I didn't give this place much description at all in my initial post from my trip with Sune. I didn't even mention the adorable, picturesque town with cute, yellow houses and cobblestone streets with flowers all around. "Quaint" was our word to describe it.


       On our last full day, I had to clean, get the kids, and do dinner, so the Amys headed off to Sweden! When they got back, they got to try risengrød which they both liked. Then we made the groupie label official and went to see Sune and Morten play once more for the best show yet. We got Bieber requests, played Jenga, and had a great time hanging out after. (Not to mention Sune and I bought our tickets to Italy! So excited). Ah and introduced them to the oh, so delicious folded pizza slices. Big success! Haha
       Finally, the trip had to come to an end with the Amys flying back on Friday. We were able to fit in one more treat at Lagkagehuset before they left though! Overall, this was one of the best weeks ever. It was so amazing just seeing these girls, plus I got to show them around the town I've grown to love, introduce them to some of my great friends (who they loved and wished we could bring back with us), took them places they've read about in this blog, showed them my daily life, and introduced them to the boy (who they also loved). It was just such a great time filled with so many "perfect days." So glad they could come, and know we'll remember this trip forever! :)
Inspired by the always amazing, "Reasons my son is crying," we made a 
"reasons why we're smiling"
1. Rubin's shoes were tied. 
2. SUN. 
3. Flowers everywhere! Botanisk have, Tivoli, the neighborhood, the fort...
4. Chai tea lattes
5. "There's water!"
6. Good timing with transportation
7. Burgers!
8. Cake. 
9. Nutellaaa
10. Puppies! By the canal, by the harbor, on the train, in the garden... So many adorable pooches. 
11. Nachos
12. Blurred Lines
13. Music
14. Happy hour
15. Swinging by the bridge 
16. Baby shrimp in our tummies  
17. Backstreet Boys in Francis Pony
18. Vaca at Hotel Sune... with no screaming children!
19. Banana pancakes!
20. Feeding the ducks at the Botanical Garden
21. The canal
22. Soup! Finally!
23. Taxis!
24. Sune and Morten!
25. Their excellent rendition of Bieber gets a separate mention
26. Biking! (Maybe not on Rubin's list)
 27. Being together in Denmark. 

  Had to...
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(Mostly) Merry Month of May

     My inspiration for the title and the perfect introduction for this post...


  I had another long(ish) weekend last weekend (as in I had dinner off because the kiddos were going for haircuts and McDonald's) so I headed to Sune's where we had a nice, lazy night with TV shows and movies. 
  So to Amager beach, my man and I went since we had a car for once! We explored the beach, the sporting events going on, didn't get the ice cream we wanted, and chilled in the not so comfy sand for a bit before the looming rain sent us home for sushi along the way. 
  Sune had a wedding gig that night, sooo that meant a night with the M's! Have any posts I've written ever gone from that last statement to anything but having an awesome night? I don't think so... We started at the fountain with some wine, harmonica playing, and battling the cork in Megan's wine with a pen, keys, and fingers. But Megan prevailed and got into it... Close call. We then went to Minibar for some dancing. It was quite fun, met some really nice randoms, danced our little bums off, had an emotional moment with Maria, and regretfully(always) ate McDonald's with Molly. 
  The next day was a nice, refreshing day consisting of a pretty stroll with Sune through the botanical garden before meeting Jen at Ørstedsparken, where they were having the "hygge Sunday" to end Distortion, the music festival which the Amy's and I went to the week before! This hygge Sunday wasn't too different from the usual park days in Copenhagen, but it was still nice, of course.
  When our tummies beckoned, we headed home to make a super delicious dinner with an omelet, salmon sandwiches with some bomb diggity sauce that Sune concocted (sour cream, honey, cayenne pepper, mustard... Who knows what else) and enjoyed it on the roof. :)
  So that I'm not leaving out all the not-so-sun-shiny, happy times, and this blog doesn't totally have you reading through rose colored glasses, I'll include some of the downers lately. I've been pretty emotional about this whole moving bit. Tears are nearly bound to come whenever I think or talk about it. I'm, of course, so excited to see everyone and all the things that await at home, but it's been hard. I'm leaving so many amazing friends, this exciting, beautiful city, the life I've been making the last year and my amazing guy. All of that, plus the big changes coming, the fear of the unknown, starting a whole new life, and figuring out where and what to do is quite stressful. But I know things will work out, of course, and this is an exciting adventure too. 
 In excellent news, Sune and I are going to Italy!! I, oh, so luckily, bit the bullet and requested my last Thursday off to be able to go on this trip with him and my wish was granted! So come Thursday morning, we'll be flying to Milan, camping and hiking our way through some Italian mountains, drinking some Italian wine, and eating some legit pizza (with low expectations of the latter from what I've heard). Seems like a dream. Three more days!
I don't have any new pictures from these days so here's some from messing around with my new app! (Beautiful mess)

    
                


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