Family Trip #1

So this post has been a long time coming. It turns out kids get pretty bored in July with no school, no planned activities and few toys. I have been playing a lot these past couple weeks and I’ve been exhausted by bedtime. I hope to do a better job blogging come school year…

So…this is a post full of family fun on our first weekend out and about in Denmark. Sit back and enjoy the pictures that may or may not be very fuzzy. I know Grandma and Grandpa will enjoy seeing them at least.

Day 1:

Our first trip was to Odense. Odense is located on the island of Fyn. (Fun fact: Denmark has over 400 islands!!! <insert “The More You Know” jingle>) Fyn is one of the bigger islands and Odense is the third largest city of Denmark. It is also the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen. Never heard of him? Well he wrote such tales as “The Little Mermaid”, “The Princess and the Pea”, “The Snow Queen” (which Frozen is based off of), and many more. Disney owes him a LOT.

Now “Let It Go” is in your head.

So back to the trip…

We first decided to go to the Danish Railway Museum or Danmarks Jernbanemuseum. I was a little worried that the girls would get bored quickly. Boy, we were pleasantly surprised. There was a multiple choice answer/scavenger hunt to do throughout the museum. Claire enjoyed hunting down the signs and guessing the answers. Avery enjoyed climbing in and out of the trains. My husband loved the engineering aspects and reading the history of the railway. I was just happy everyone was happy. We even rode on a vintage train for 10 minutes and the girls took a trip on a mini train.

The rain stopped right around lunch time (p.s. it rains quite a bit in Denmark) so we were able to enjoy the cute playground behind the museum. (This was Avery’s favorite part of the museum.)

Lunch was enjoyed in the park which involved another rain shower and us taking shelter under umbrellas.

Next, we ventured into H. C. Andersen’s world. The walk to his birthplace was extremely quaint and pretty busy (don’t let the below picture fool you…it was busy).

We discovered we needed tickets to step in the house and those were located at the H. C. Andersen museum.

The museum was free for kids. We know why. There were no interactive, eye-grabbing stuff for them. Avery laid down in the middle of the museum and threw a fit about being “SSSOOO BBBBOOOORRREEEDDD”. So our time there was short.

We then searched for the Tinderbox, a fun playhouse for kids. We followed the map and footprints scattered on the streets of Odense.

It led us to a beautiful stream. By now, Claire was complaining about walking and how bad her feet hurt. She did perk up when we saw some ducks and a garden with a fountain.

We then came across a playground and a castle stage.

We had missed the play and we believe that this is where the map was bringing us. You can imagine Claire’s excitement when we told her this was not the Tinderbox we were searching for.

So we trudged back from where we came from, continuing to look for the Tinderbox. Google Maps brought us back to H.C. Andersen’s childhood home. We did tour it but both girls were whining and losing interest fast. So we gathered our courage and asked someone for directions.

This put us on the right path. We found it in the Møntergården. And WOW! Avery was in pretend heaven. We all were able to dress up and play pretend in this little house. Unfortunately, we only had an hour before closing time so playtime had to end.

Needless to say, we were all exhausted and ready for bed.

Day 2:

LEGOLAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Another fun fact: Legos were invented in Denmark by Ole Kirk Christiansen. The word “Lego” is the abbreviation of leg godt which means “play well” in Danish.

Of course, the girls loved it. Claire was all about the roller coasters (not for me). Avery loved the Merry Go Round and the Duplo Park. I loved all the Lego sculptures and the MiniLand. I was extremely impressed. The MiniLand has moving cars, trucks, plane and windmills. So many little Lego pieces! There were even Lego sharks in the boat rides!

We also got to meet some Lego royalty (AKA Legoland employee). Claire talked her ear off.

It was a great weekend and many memories were made.

We’re Here!

We are officially residents of Denmark. We’ve actually been on Danish soil for one week. But I have to be honest with you, it has really felt like a month. From an international flight with children to jet lag to endless paperwork, it has been a busy/stressful one.

The flight was probably the least stressful part of this week. Claire was a bit scared of the flight at first and was terrified of the window seat. By the end of the flight, she was asking if she could sit in the window seat to watch touchdown in Chicago.

I sat in the back with Avery who was fine until the last 10 minutes when she started screaming “JUICE!!!” at the top of her lungs. (She had finished her bit of juice in a two hour flight and was ready for a refill by landing).

Screen time for the two hour flight was a lifesaver with a three year old.

The five hour wait for our international flight was probably the most agonizing for the girls. We grabbed McDonalds for them then jumped onto a bus to Terminal 5 (international flights). Thank goodness for the moving walkways. O’Hare may not have intended for them to be used for playing tag but with our gate right next to one, we took full advantage of wearing out the girls.

Around 10 PM, we loaded onto the plane and set course for Denmark. Avery had the movie UP on her headrest screen and Claire watched Ralph Breaks the Internet. Avery only lasted about 20 minutes before she was fast asleep. Claire, unsurprisingly, lasted her whole movie and then fell asleep. She still claims she didn’t sleep at all but I was awake most of the time. She did.

About 12 hours after takeoff, we were in our new rental home.

And then jet lag set in. Oh. My. G.O.S.H. Jet lag with four people is something. Avery was in our bed multiple times this week and then slept 13 hours one night. Claire is a bit more emotional than usual. And me. Well…I can’t get to sleep before midnight.

And this conundrum led to a very late night for me. You see, our new place has motion lights. I was laying in bed trying to get myself asleep. Our house is also very empty and with hard floors everything echoes. Since I’m a light sleeper, I was listening to the noises of the house when the motion lights flicked on. Immediately my mind jumped to the worst. We are being robbed! Now the question was, do I get out of bed and investigate myself or wait it out? I didn’t hear anymore noises so I mustered up my courage and looked around the house. I didn’t see anything but I did double check the locks. Of course, due to my heart racing at warp speed, I didn’t fall asleep until 3 AM.

The culprit of my panic attack? Denmark wildlife.

A roe deer was happily eating from our apple tree early that morning and was likely the one who set off the lights. I happily sneaked in a midday nap with my mind a little more at ease.

Heart-attack causing deer aside, the rest of the week has involved driving and shopping. I’m getting comfortable behind the wheel in Denmark. Road signs are pretty easy to understand and our rental car has GPS.

I’m a little less comfortable at the grocery stores. I think a major achievement for me this week was going to the store alone with the girls. I figured out the Danish word for wheat (hvede) and I think I purchased a good supply of food for us that may last a week…maybe.

Another exciting event was finding patio furniture in the shed on the property. We spent the first few days eating on the hardwood floor. So now we are excited to have a dining table and chairs!

Although it appears the girls prefer to eat this way:

I am not so patiently waiting for our shipment of household items. Until then, I just tell the girls (or myself) we’re camping.

Other notes for the week were celebrating the 4th in Denmark, enjoying gluten free buns at McDonalds for me (yipee), finding denice water and our first family trip in Denmark (upcoming blog post).

One week down. Many more to go.