Monday, November 28, 2011

Lighting of the Christmas Tree at Rådhusplads

It is Christmastime!! We went to downtown Copenhagen for the parade and lighting of the Christmas tree. The parade starts in Nyhavn, which is a really nice part of Copenhagen right on the water. It is where you always see the tourist pictures of Copenhagen with the colorful buildings and the ships in the foreground. Santa and Mrs. Claus showed up and took pictures with kids and there was a marching band playing and all kinds of fun stuff to look at.






Graham loved all the commotion.

Then Santa climbed up on a fire truck with Mrs. Claus and a horse drawn old time fire engine followed behind along with the marching band and a bunch of cool old cars. The parade went from Nyhavn to the walking street (Stroget) and all the way down along the walking street. Everyone shopping stopped to take pictures and watch. We walked along with the parade all the way down to Rådhusplads.



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Video of the parade down Stroget

Rådhusplads

Look! Occupy Copenhagen!

After some standing around and some speeches, Santa climbed up the fire truck and lit the tree. It was spectacular! After it was over we started to walk to the bus to go home. Olivia became hysterical because she thought that Christmas was over and she was very upset. On the bus I explained to her that Christmas had really just begun and we looked at Christmas lights from the window. It was so fun and reminded us of our old tradition of going to Prescott, Arizona every year for their parade and lighting of the tree. That little town sure knows how to put on a parade.

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Video of Santa lighting the tree

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Happy Happy, Joy Joy


Graham is almost always happy. He is such an easy baby! He will be 6 months old in a few weeks and still everyday I look at this happy kid and cannot believe how good natured he is. Some photographic proof:





My favorite thing is these two laughing together. It is the best sound!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Helsingør



I love this sign. There are a few of these on the sidewalk leading up to Kronborg Castle.
Once a month the trains and busses are free in and around Copenhagen and so Matthew and I decided to take a trip North of Copenhagen to a little town called Helsingør. This castle is the setting for Shakespeare's play Hamlet.
I took a trip up there in March when my friends Laura and Kiana came to visit, and Matthew has been there years ago, but it was the first time for us going together. More than that, it was just a fun place to go on the free train! I packed up some picnic food and put on the kids' snow suits and we went to catch the bus to the train. It only took about 45 minutes - an hour to get there with switching trains once. The castle is so beautiful. I am not a great picture taker, I wish I was, and I know that my scenery shots are especially lacking, so for some good pictures of the castle and tons of information about the history of it, which is very interesting, you can go here.


View from the street as you are walking around the castle to enter.


Once you enter the courtyard of the castle you come upon a moat which you can see in the background there. We enter this magnificent area and just wander around and are amazed by how cool it is. Olivia found a few tiny models of the castle and was putting grass and flowers inside the model castle. Here she is standing in the presence of this amazing piece of history that is hundreds of years old and all she wanted to do was to play with grass and flowers. Oh, and look at fountains. She just loves them. I love that kid.


We missed being able to take a tour of the place by 3 minutes- we didn't realize it was closing so early. We blame that on the 10 minutes it took to pry Olivia away from the fountains.


A couple of tourists decided that they would try and climb one of the castle walls, so Olivia ran right over there to try and do it too.


A random Indian family stopped me and asked if they could take a picture of me and Graham. I was wearing him in the Baby Bjorn. Okay, weirdos. They were very nice but I just couldn't imagine why they would want a picture. The funny thing was that they wanted to just take the picture quickly and be on their way. Nope. I don't think so. You are a stranger and want to take a picture of my baby? Well then there will be small talk. I will ask you if you are in Denmark for long? Where are you from? What brings you here? Do you like it here? It was clear that they did not want to chit chat but I was going to get something out of the exchange other than the weird feeling that came over me as I imagined them back in India showing their Denmark pictures with us in it to a large group of more strangers and what they were saying and stuff. Weird.

The town of Helsingør sits on the coast and you can see Sweden from there. I believe it is where Denmark and Sweden's land masses are closest to each other. The view is amazing!







Matthew and Olivia being sad penguins. Sad Viking Penguins.


Olivia making her most Vikingest face


On the way home on the train Matthew entertained the crowd, and more importantly Graham and Olivia, with his game of cups. Unfortunately I have no pictures of that. All in all, it was a great day!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Christmas in September


Matthew's dad, Rod, and his partner, Paul, came to visit us a few weeks ago. They stayed with us in Copenhagen for a number of days and then went to Sweden to visit Lars and Ulrika and see the countryside and then came back to Copenhagen for a few days. We had such a great time! Olivia loved Grandpa Rod and Paul and was especially delighted to have them stay with us. We went to so many amazing Copenhagen sites, some of which I had still not been to. Rod and Paul were so generous to treat us to food and entertainment and even watched our kids for us one night so we could go out just the two of us. I just loved having the opportunity to spend time with them and get to know them better.

Paul, Rod, Olivia, Matthew

View from the Rundetårn (Round Tower)

Grandpa and Olivia


Paul

Boarding the boat tour in Nyhavn

Paul

Olivia

Rod and Paul

Like Father, Like Son


Bedtime

Olivia and Graham with the stuffed animals Rod and Paul brought them


We decided to make the traditional Danish Christmas dinner (pork roast with potatoes) for Rod and Paul and invite Lars and Ulrika and family from Sweden. It was so fun! Rod demonstrated how to make his awesome snowflakes and it added to the festivities.



Lisa and Olivia

Then we went with Rod and Paul to Sweden. We stayed at Lars and Ulrika's for one night and then headed back to Copenhagen while Rod and Paul stayed in Sweden. Lars and Ulrika made the traditional Swedish Christmas dinner and it was so yummy!

Olivia and Lisa

We were sad to see Rod and Paul go but had such a fun time with them and hope to see them again soon!