We went to see our friends Peter and Grethe and their two sons Oscar and Magnus at their new sommerhus (summer home) in Sjælland, the island that Copenhagen is on. We had a great time - it was a perfect mix of relaxing, fun, absolutely beautiful scenery, delicious gin and tonics followed by wine :), happy kids (most of the time) and fabulous company. We're looking forward to going to the Canary Islands with them in June!Here are two maps - above is the island of Sjælland and in the Northwest corner where our ferry landed and from there where Peter and Dag road their bikes. It was a 4 hour ride - they road from the ferry landing to their house. The map below is a map of Denmark for reference to where the heck we were. :)
Beck, the spaghetti monster - he was unstoppable!
Another town in Denmark called "Riis" - we had to take advantage of the opportunity
Deer in back of the house
The boys were taking turns peeing on ants (above and below)
the back of the new, super cool, summer house
Grethe, being funny! This makes me laugh every time I see it. I love it!
Peter out on the point at sunset
Grethe, me, Magnus and Oscar
Riis loved fishing!
Oscar and Magnus with the same look of "sun's-in-our-eyes-just-take-it-already!"
Dag, trying to catch our dinner...thankfully, we had a back up plan because there was nothing to show for a very good effort on Dag's part!
Dag pointing to where they started riding, at the ferry landing
Peter, riding on the beach
Peter, pointing to where they started - notice the many terrains they road through :)
We went to our friends' new summer house for the past few days and had to take a ferry to get there. Riis and I just finished the Magic Treehouse book about the Titanic not too long ago and that was the first thing that he thought of when we got on the ferry and started getting really scared. Riis, who is rarely scared, kept saying "I don't want to die." I had to tell him over and over that we were safe and that this wasn't the same as the Titanic - there were plenty of lifeboats on this ferry in case something happened and that the water was not that cold.
Another funny thing that I just have to write down so I don't forget: Riis was telling us about a bad experience he had with a kid at school and told me "I take that part of my brain," he motioned to his head and then threw it away "and I forget it." I was trying to be a good listener, but I have to admit it was hard not to laugh.
This morning was not one of our better moments. Beck was upset from the time I set his bowl of cereal on the table until I, in my state of "FINE! Do whatever the heck you want to do...just DO SOMETHING!", let him ride his TRICYCLE to school. We live 1.5 km from their school which is the reason I didn't want our 3 year old riding a tricycle he just learned to pedal. He refused to get in the bike trailer, so I foolishly agreed on the tricycle. D-U-M.
I didn't time it, but it felt like it took two days to get there, as you can imagine. Denmark is a pretty flat country, but we live in a very hilly area - perfect for the morning I was having. So, Beck proceeded to not let me touch his tricycle the whole time and when we got to a bridge with an enormously steep decline and a VERY busy road at the bottom I looked over to see him with his hands on the handle bars and his feet in the air OFF of the pedals going DOWN!! I must have screamed and scared the crap out of him because he had a look of shock on his face. I then took the bike and had to play the role of negotiator to:
1. Get him to stop crying.
2. Make him understand that he was going to get his bike back at the bottom.
3. Get him to come OFF of the bridge.
Good times. Miraculously, we somehow made it the whole way and walked in the door at 10am! As soon as I walked in the teachers said "Did you forget that Laura's birthday party was today at 9.00?) DOH! Crap. I did. When a kid has a birthday here in Denmark, some of the teachers will walk a group of kids to the birthday kid's house or take everyone on a bus to get there. (Everyone lives pretty close to the school.) They wrote down the address of Laura's house for me and literally pointed me in the direction to ride my bike. Little did they know that I am totally directionally challenged. I forced Beck to get into the bike trailer and then accidently made Riis ride WAY out of the way on his bike. We then had to backtrack because we had gone too far and I must have said to Riis that I wasn't quite sure where we were going because he, the smart kid that he is, said to me "Mommy! Just look for a Danish flag and then we'll know where her house is!" What a great idea! Danes have this great tradition of putting out the Danish flag on someone's birthday...very helpful in this situation...UNLESS! Unless, of course, it's the QUEEN OF DENMARK'S birthday today too! UGH. When I looked up on the hill where Laura somewhere lived, I saw a sea of red and white Danish flags and burst out laughing! What a day.
We did end up finding her house. Riis, so patiently put up with my directional deficiency.
Word to the wise: wine solves all problems. I just sat down with a glass of wine to write this and feel no stress in recounting the ridiculous of it all. :) My apologies to my beautiful son, Riis, who has had one too many long adventures that could have been avoided if I knew where I was going. Riis, your patience is astounding.
Our baby turned 3 today! We just cannot believe how quickly the past 3 years went. We feel so fortunate to have healthy and happy boys who make us laugh every day.
Before Beck came along, we couldn't imagine a life with 4 in our family. Once he arrived, we couldn't remember life before him. And now that he's been here for 3 years we can't wait for more!! We love you, Beck and wish you a very happy 3rd birthday!
Mommy, Daddy and Riis
Beck has been asking for a turtle cake for a very long time! :)
Beck, Riis and Ryan - I couldn't get a picture that wasn't blurry
Beck, Toke, Riis and Ryan
I made this video for Beck's birthday and he LOVED it. He wanted to watch it over and over.
We went to the Randers Regnskov with our friends Jacob and Toke during the Easter vacation week. It's such a cool place. The monkeys run around freely...and Beck runs around and pulls their tails (although, THAT is so NOT cool!) A monkey did use Beck to get down from a wall while we were there. It hopped onto his chest and down to the ground with no reaction from Beck. Ha!
Beck looking so innocent with the two big monkeys behind him in the trees!
Jake and Beck
Check out the little baby on the monkeys back
This crazy looking African animal was pretty close to my face when I turned to meet his eyes!! Needless to say, I screamed!
Riis took this because he absolutely LOVES toads - And what's funnier than a Toady-back!?
Just my sense of humor. I find these signs HILARIOUS! For all that are wondering, a Skildepadderne is a snapping turtle...BEWARE!
I considered tagging this sign with a sharpie while I was there with the caption: "WHEEEEEE!!!"
We moved to Højbjerg, Denmark in May 2008 and will be here for 3 years in total. We are so fortunate to have this opportunity and are trying to embrace every moment. As a family we've made so many amazing friends, explored Denmark, traveled to Barcelona, The Canary Islands twice, various parts of France including Paris, the French Alps, the south of France and Colmar in the North, as well as Amsterdam and the back roads of Germany (thanks to our GPS maps that weren't updated). I've gone to London to visit a friend from the States. Dag's traveled the world for Vestas (quite literally). Riis and Beck have learned to speak Danish very well... meanwhile, I have tried. (Dag has done better than I.) And we still have plans to visit Greece and Italy before we move home. This is the life! Thanks to all of our friends and family back home who support our adventures here and our new friends in Europe who have made this experience so memorable for all of us.