Saturday, May 24, 2008

Denmark Vacation Days 1-3

I have just a minute on a computer so I wanted to give a brief update. So, here goes.

Between three flights, layovers and travel time we spent about 17 hours in airports and airplanes on Thursday and Friday. We left Salt Lake on Thursday about 2:00 pm and arrived in Denmark about 5:00 am our time and 1:00 pm local time. The flights were fine except the 2nd one when the flight crew decided we were flying to Hades and kept notching the temperature up in the cabin accordingly. I think we ended up at about 99 degrees in the cabin. Know what happens when you sit compressed in a very small space with other people who are sweating? You all sweat together! Several people got nauseous and we finally asked if they could cool down the cabin. How do you spell relief on a six-hour flight? The first waft of cool air you feel.

We arrived in Denmark excited to do some sightseeing and really sink our teeth into this beautiful country. We got to our hotel, checked in, and started walking. That's what we've done for the last 36 hours. We are like the pioneers. We've walked and walked and walked and walked. Our first stop was Tivoli Gardens where I rode a roller coaster for the first time I can remember in a long time. We ate dinner there and just played for a few hours. Then it was back through the shopping district to grab an ice cream on our way home. We also stopped in for the night service at the church Vor Fruekirke where the Christus statue is housed with the statues of the 12 apostles. That was sweet to be in a silent, quiet church while others worshipped there.

Saturday morning was beautiful with breakfast in a greenhouse room on the side of the hotel. They served all kinds of hot food and we ate on stark white table cloths and sat in wicker chairs. It fulfilled many of my wishes of eating in a beautiful place here.

And what did I say we have been doing since we got here? Walking. We left the hotel at 8:30 am and didn't get home until 5:30 pm. We had a city tour and a harbor tour and toured the Rosenberg Castle and saw the beefeaters and the crown jewels.

Funniest was where we ate dinner. It was a French restaurant in Copenhagen that was known for its American hamburgers. We came all the way here just to eat hamburgers? Well, they were great on their yummy French bread.

That's all I have time for now. Coming soon will be the tale of the lost luggage. All I can say is, help us out by adding a few of us to your prayers. We are wearing only the clothes on our back and doing it with a smile. Any love sent our way would be greatly appreciated.

UPDATE: We did pack carryons. Spencer and I just happened to be at the end of a long line for a full flight to Minneapolis and there was no room left in the overhead bins to store our luggage. They checked our bags because of this and we haven't seen them since. They did not deliver them to us at the gate in Minneapolis and they did not give us a claim ticket. And now they seem to have fallen into some dark abyss.

I'm now entering day five of wearing the same shirt and pants. Yikes! I've also become rather proficient in washing my clothes at night in a sink. I have the clothes on my back and my purse. It's actually been rather interesting to see this whole group of 16 pull together to make sure that Spencer and I have everything we need.

So, wish us luck (and send prayers). We are having a BLAST in Denmark. I just never expected my packing light challenge to include the self-help pamphlet "How to Travel Internationally with Only the Clothes on Your Back."

It's quite a read, if I do say so myself. :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Denmark Itinerary

I've used the excuse "I'm trying to get ready for this trip!" to assuage the guilt I've been feeling about NOT writing. My apologies to all 3 of my loyal fans :). If it makes you feel any better, I can blame it on my imaginary poodle Fido. He ate my posts.

I will not do any better over the next few weeks, but I will be traveling so that is an excellent excuse, don't you think?

When I'm back I will post so many pictures you will have to spend days slogging through them--so be prepared. I may be irritating and cloying for a few weeks when I say things like "When I was in Denmark . . ." and "I bought that in Denmark." and "I found this in an adorable little shop in Denmark." When I blather on too long, you are invited to pinch me. It will bring me back to the present and remind me that I'm boring you.

Image via

The map is to give you a taste of where we are going. Click here for a better view of the image. We start in Copenhagen (far right) and will criss cross through out several of the islands that make up Denmark. Our southern islands will include Mon (green island almost directly below Copenhagen) and Aero (little pink-orange island shaped a bit like the letter "L" that is below the pink-orange island of Fyn; the city "Hjorring" ends up with its letter "g" resting on this island). We will spend a day or two in Odense on the island of Fyn and then make our way up Jutland through Vejle and Silkeborg to Alborg near the top. We will also go to the very tippy top of Denmark to Skagen where the North Sea and the Baltic Sea meet. Then back through Randers and Arhus. We will end up near Copenhagen in Roskilde and see a historic Viking village there as well as the great cathedral that placed Roskilde on the map as the center of religion in northern Europe. We will spend our last few days in Copenhagen.

I'm sure it will all fly by me too fast. Hopefully the pictures will help me remember my very favorite parts. I can't wait to see the Carl Bloch paintings, the Christus statue, the Mermaid statue, Tivoli Gardens, the 17th century Danish village on Aero, the lake district near Silkeborg, the artist's delight of Skagen and many more sites. I've said before that seeing where my dad lived is also going to be a highlight of this trip as well as the hometowns of Jens Peder and Hans Jorgen--both young men who left home, family and country to emigrate to 19th century America and follow their hearts to Zion.

Wish me luck! I'll eat a Danish or two in your honor while I'm away. You had no idea I was soooo thoughtful, did you?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Outsourcing Food

I happened across this report this morning that was on the Nightline website on outsourcing our food. (Watch it and listen carefully for an old commercial on Twinkies and how the announcer pronounces the word "protein." Who does that?)

A Nightline reporter interviews author Michael Pollan on his latest book, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. Pollan's call to action—"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."—is something I actually try to do. At least when I'm not stuffing my face with fast food or bad chocolate. :(

Pollan calls most of what we eat "edible, food-like substances" which are items that we have created in the last 5o years that look like food, smell like food, and may even taste like food, but really are not whole foods that are real. Eat the things that your great-grandmother ate 100 years ago. I love the discussion in the video on margarine. It is an example of edible, food-like substance.

It is rather interesting to do an informal survey--how much of what I ate today is real food? Things like meat, milk, fruits and vegetables--whole, unprocessed, unpackaged. Then how much of it is packaged and processed?

I agree wholeheartedly with Pollan's conclusion that in order for us to really eat healthier we may have to do unpopular things like spend more money on food. (Pssst! Don't tell my sister. This will give her a heart attack.)

We are in a crazy social situation at this time where the cheapest food is making our bodies sick. In my opinion, we need to reconnect with healthy, local food sources to nourish our bodies with whole foods. I think that is one reason why I like this author's conclusions so much.

I'm going to read Pollan's book. And I'd love to hear what you think about this report or the book.

(Update: I wrote most of this a week ago and then didn't publish it. So, I'm putting it up now with its date from last week. Hope you enjoy it anyway.)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

May Day, May Days

The early days of May are a little crazy in my family. I call it "birthday season" and I have to prepare weeks ahead. :) Between May 1st and May 8th we have no less than SEVEN important events. Here is the breakdown

May 2nd: Brock's birthday
May 3rd: Granddad Rasmussen's birthday
May 5th: Grandma Jesperson's birthday
May 5th: Brock and Julie's anniversary
May 6th: Matthew's (nephew) birthday
May 8th: Rus's birthday
May 8th: Tami's birthday

Then there is Mother's Day that always falls within a few days of this week of birthdays. It is one continual round of partying.

This Sunday the boys and Dad all cooked dinner at my parents' house and did the clean up for Mother's Day. Mom made dessert for Rus and Tami's birthdays (strawberry pie and peppermint cheesecake--mmmmm!). We celebrated Matthew's birthday last Sunday (and would have celebrated Brock's too if he was in town) and next Sunday we will celebrate Michelle's birthday. It just means we get to eat lots of cake during these weeks and I'm all for more cake.

Besides all of these celebrations, I seem to be surrounded by new mothers. In the last three weeks, three of my friends have given birth to little girls and I've attended two baby showers for two more new mothers. Two other friends are both due to deliver in the next couple of weeks. That is SEVEN women I know who have or are giving birth to little girls in the span of six weeks. It has been fun to be literally swimming in sweet baby clothes as I get ready for each of these events.

And from now on, I'm blacking out the first two weeks of May on my calendar. I'm just going to title that time PARTY CENTRAL and eat as much cake as I want when that time comes around.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Three Weeks and Counting

In three weeks, I will be in Denmark. In three weeks, I will be eating seafood. In three weeks, I will be spending 24/7 with my entire family. In three weeks, I will be on an adventure that I can only anticipate now and hardly seems like reality. In just three weeks.

I'm looking forward to hearing the Danish language, to seeing Carl Bloch's paintings, to tasting all the native Danish foods. I'm excited to immerse myself in family history and see the land of my ancestors as I try to get a sense of this place and its beauty.

I want to go. I've never had such an opportunity in my life to travel somewhere this beautiful without having to do all the legwork to get prepared (thanks, Dad!). I'm really looking forward to seeing how this country affected my father when he lived here in the sixties. I want to see it through his eyes.

Right now, I'm immersed in details. What to pack, what to wear, what to do, and what to bring and how to pack all of it into one carry-on and a backpack. I've never been the world's lightest packer, but I'm determined to improve my record this time around. I especially was interested in this entry on the Four-Hour Work Week blog on how to pack extremely lightly.

We (my family--siblings, spouses, parents) traveled to France and England a few years ago and we each only took a carry-on piece of luggage and backpack. That was very successful. It really increased our mobility since we did a lot of traveling on subways and trains and it especially helped in European cars. (You try to fit 12 people and all of their luggage into 2 European vans with little luggage capacity and you will see what I mean). Carryons were essential. It also released a ton of pressure when it came to keeping track of everything in hotel rooms and on the road. Less stuff=less to worry about. I highly recommend it.

So, here's to packing and packing light. I'll let you know if I'm successful. :)


Related Posts with Thumbnails