a special vistor indeed

December 30, 2011 § 3 Comments

Hello 2012!  Before the year closes I have one more post of 2011 for you…

Once his classes were finished, finals complete and bags packed my boyfriend, C.J. made the trek across the pond to Denmark for a special visit indeed.  I don’t know who was more excited, him or me?

Since it was C.J.’s first time in Europe, I tried to make it as educational and cultural as possible.  Here are a few elements of Danish culture I tried to share with him…

Soccer (Fooootball)

When I asked C.J. this summer what he wanted to do in Denmark he said he wanted to see “European soccer!”

So I surprised him with an early birthday present to the FC Copenhagen game at Copenhagen’s Parken stadium. Unfortunately FC lost to  Standard Liège but we saw a great game and C.J. got his European soccer memory.

Wienerbrød

Yes…pastries!  Denmark is famous for their delicious pastries.

Ironically called ‘Wienerbrød.’  Translation: ‘Viennese bread’

I had to remind C.J. call them “pastries” and not to call them “danishes” as we do in the States.  Saying you want to “eat a Danish” in Denmark can get you some weird looks.

Sweden

Since it was C.J. first time to Europe, I took him to Sweden so he could say he went to TWO countries.  We took a day trip across the Øresund to Malmø in Sweden to a fun day of exploration, Christmas markets and acting like dorks.

Food

Yes we have pastries…and we have crepes (dessert pancakes)!  Denmark has more to offer than just sweets.

We have potatoes…and bacon.

Sunlight

Yes! There was SOME daylight while he was here.

Like a true Dane, C.J. snapped this shot of the sunlight on Frederiks Kirke to commemorate the light’s beauty.  He was here one week and he already missed the California sun.

Shopping

Its the holiday season, so shopping was a must.

Doesn’t he look happy?

Hygge

C.J. favorite memory of Denmark was ‘hygge.’ Hygge does not have a direct English translation but it abstractly means coziness, candles and good times with friends.

So hyggelit.


So many memories, coffee shops visited and fun dinners with friends.  I am so thankful C.J. came to visit and secretly wish I had stolen his passport so he couldn’t leave Denmark.

We are both having our own exciting 4th-year adventures but I do look forward to finally being in the same country as my boyfriend (but not ready for my European excursion to end).

Tak for besøget C.J!

So thank you 2011, you have been so good to me.  

Bring it on 2012!

watercolor WEDNEDAY XVII

December 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

California Dreamin’

I love Denmark but I miss the California sun!  We have been having an extremely mild winter here in Copenhagen but it is still Scandinavia, which means the sun hibernates in the winter.  I have my bottle of Vitamin D ready but for now I will just reminisce my summer in San Luis Obispo.

I took this shot while hiking along the Pacific Coast just north of Cauycos this summer.  The California coast is just too beautiful!

See you in May Pacific Ocean!

Central Europe Trekking

December 27, 2011 § 1 Comment

My apologies…its been almost two months since I returned from my trek across Central Europe and I am just now sharing photos with you!  Better late than never, right?

Well here they are (finally)…some photos to give you a glimpse of my amazing adventure through Prague, Budapest, Salzburg and Vienna. I have included a short explanation of each city and a gallery of photos at the bottom of the post.  To view all photos, click on one and scroll through the images.  I know its a lot, but there is so much to share!

Prague | The first stop on our journey.  Prague can be summed up as Disneyland– on steroids.  The castles, churches and parks were absolutely breathtaking. The city has been left almost untouched from its communist regime and boasts many historical landmarks dating back from the 13th century.

Budapest | The best place for poor college students to go!  It was so cheap!  In Budapest we spoiled ourselves with concerts, ballets and fine dining because we could.  So much to explore…so little time!

Salzburg | After singing “doe, a deer, a female deer…ray, a drop of golden sunnnn” for most of my childhood my dreams of being ‘Wezel’ (meant to Lisel) in the Sound of Music were finally realized.  While in Salzburg Kathy and I were total tourists and took the Sound of Music tour and loved it!  The weather was beautiful and fall was in full bloom.

Vienna | The final stop in our journey.  While in Vienna we indulged in Viennese desserts and popular cafes and the Opera!  There is so much to see and experience in Vienna, we just scratched the surface.  I might just have to go back…


Words really can’t describe the trip but I hope the photos will do it some justice.  I promise to be more on top of sharing the photos from my next adventure.  After the start of the year I head to Barcelona and Italy to explore Gaudi, the ruins of Ancient Rome and to reunite with all those crazy Cal Poly kids in Florence. Can’t wait!

En Dansk Jul

December 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

Twas the Night Before Christmas, in Denmark an American girl found herself

…I am no poet, so that is as far as my poem goes

Merry Christmas from Denmark!

I got the opportunity to celebrate the birth of Christ in my new home, Denmark.  I spent the day with my good friend Kathy and her Danish host family.

Enjoy the photo narrative of a wonderful Dansk Jul (Danish Christmas)!

Hoping for a white Christmas, but a beautiful sunny day we got.

Its been awhile since I felt the sun’s warmth!

Before church we relaxed while drinking coffee and eating æbleskiver.  I got full before the feast had even begun!

Æbleskiver (Danish meaning apple slices (singular:æbleskive)) are traditional Danish pancakes in a distinctive shape of a sphere. Somewhat similar in texture to Americanpancakes crossed with a popover, Æbleskiver are solid like a pancake but light and fluffy like a popover. The English language spelling is usually aebleskiver or ebleskiver.

Christmas photos with Kathy and her host-sister Iza under the Christmas tree in our homemade Nisse hats

Nisse is the mischievous Danish elf that plays pranks on people. Nisse often lives in old farmhouses and wears gray woolen clothes, red bonnet and stockings and white clogs. As a good elf, Nisse generally helps people on the farms and is good with children but plays jokes during the holiday season. On Christmas Eve in Denmark, many families leave a bowl of rice pudding or porridge for him so that he is friendly to them and keeps his jokes within limits.

Brita and Iza, my adopted Danish host-mom and sister.  Brita calls me her ‘weekend-kid’

After church Uncle Poul lights the tree…yes, with REAL candles!  Watch out fire code.

Our very Danish Jultræ all lit up!

Time for the gift-game.  We played a card game that made us act like fools in return for gag-gifts.  Brita waiting in anticipation…

As the youngest of the game, I was given the responsibility of making a lot of decision in the game.  So mischievous!

Auntie Lis showing off her newly won crown and light-up ornament.  She enjoyed her queen-status.

Time for food!  Traditional caramelized potatoes, turkey and pork.  Its Denmark so we eat…meat, meat, meat!


After dinner we opened presents, sang some Christmas carols (in Danish so I hummed along), watched a movie and then crashed from our sugar highs.

I definitely missed my own family, traditions and food but this was an unforgettable Christmas itself.  I am excited to go home and share some Danish traditions with those in California.  Everyone back home, get ready for a Danish-American hybrid Christmas next year!



“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

God Jul!

December 23, 2011 § Leave a comment


“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel”

Isaiah 7: 14

Celebrating the Scandinavian winter season with little daylight but beautiful sunset...at 3pm

A visit to Tivoli all lit up for the holiday season

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas treeee...

Willow trees draped in lights in Tivoli

Early Christmas present! My Dad visited Denmark in early December again.

the first and only snow we have had of the winter season...still waiting for the white Christmas...

Celebrating the end of the semester with the Cal Poly crew at a FC Copenhagen soccer game

counting down to Christmas day with the Christmas countdown candle!

Christmas performers while shopping in Malmø

Julefrokost: "Christmas Party" a Danish tradition to gather with friends and feast! My first Julefrokost experience hosted by my host mom.

Baking (and eating) way too many Christmas cookies and treats!

Merry Christmas!  Experiencing the holiday season in Copenhagen has been such a treat.  Here are some snapshots from ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ in Copenhagen.  Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

God Jul!

watercolorWEDNESDAY XVI

December 21, 2011 § 1 Comment

God Jul!

Wishing you a happy holiday season from Copenhagen. Today is the shortest day of the year (and my sister’s birthday, happy birthday Shannon)!  Which means a lot in Scandinavia, when daylight is visible for a mere seven hours.  While daylight disappears and temperatures drop, Danes bundle up and frost the city in lights for the holiday season.

One of the highlights of Copenhagen’s Christmas season is a visit to Tivoli, the second oldest theme park in Denmark located in the heart of the downtown.  The park was opened in 1843 and home to gardens, fountains, rides, arcades and restaurants.  Rumor has it that Walt Disney was inspired to build Disneyland after a visit to Tivoli.

Tivoli celebrates the holiday season by overdosing us all with Christmas lights, gløgg, æbleskiver and Christmas markets.  The lights are definitely the most special.  Twinkling lights, icicle lights, rope lights, starburst lights…lights, lights, lights!  So much for Danes wanting to conserving energy.

watercolorWEDNESDAY XV

December 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

Happy Birthday Dad!  Although this is not an image from Copenhagen it was painted in Copenhagen!

Last week I was blessed with another visit from my dad!  Although we both had to work we had a fun time exploring Copenhagen, tasting some traditional Christmas beer and celebrating his birthday (don’t ask how old he is…old).  Just kidding Dad!

Enjoy his birthday card.  I am finishing up my semester here so check back next week for a preview of my work this semester.  Hej Hej!

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