Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category.

Denmark vaction, 2012

“Foraged cuisine” has recently been earning Copenhagen restaurants raves. At Noma, Geranium, Nimb Louise, and elsewhere, Rene Redzepi and his acolytes prepare foraged ingredients in edible creations designed to highlight the surprise: look, among the seaweed and shells, here’s a meticulously crafted oyster reduction. You might almost miss the delicious morsel, if you didn’t know to look for it. While we enjoyed our own meals in this style, we didn’t have to forage for fun in Denmark. The castles and cafes, Viking ships and museums, were out in the open. Tivoli even calls itself a “Pleasure Garden.” Ice cream (with or without marshmallow “guf”) was widely available, and clearly marked. Some villages felt as if a Hans Christian Andersen story had come to life on the streets. Danish history was engaging and interactive for all ages. The four of us, and Grandma Lynn and Papa George, had a wonderful time: a week based in our Copenhagen flat, ludicrously well-stocked with Legos; another week relaxing at our “beach house” in Vejlby Fed, on the island of Funen. Turns out it’s quite exciting to be “in a different land,” as Cleo aptly put it. We even used our pink fishing nets to try a bit of low-tide foraging, ourselves. All the photos are in the album.

Rosmmenn play their first round of FodBoldGolf

In our first-ever round of the Danish pastime of “fodboldgolf” — 18 golf-style holes into which you attempt to kick a soccer ball — we encountered once again the Danish phenomenon of the Honor System. Repeatedly, we encountered museums, bag drops, unlocked bikes, and other features that functioned completely on the honor system. At the unmanned Fodboldgolf course, for example, one calculates the fees according to one’s golfing party, and deposits said amount in a small drop-box. It represented a level of cultural trust we Americans found utterly, repeatedly, amazing.

DC Days

For Spring Break, we met Grandma Jeanette in Washington, DC, for a week of museums, monuments, and walks. The cherry blossoms were bursting into bloom a few weeks early, making us grateful for the warm winter. We toured the White House and Capitol, and marveled at rockets, airplanes, and the very first Teddy bear. A selection of photos is in the album.

SoCal summer sentiment

So many photos…it must be summertime. As if the ballet recital and grandparent adventures of last month weren’t enough, we’ve also got ample documentation of our trip to SoCal for Lance and Kayleigh’s wedding. And while I’m well aware of how cheesily ridiculous this would’ve sounded to the 18-year-old me, I do want to mention that it is tremendously satisfying to see your kids become friends with your own friends’ kids. Friends you’ve known since you were an 18-year-old…or maybe even longer. Friends with history. The notion that these same friends could be walking through Legoland with you now, and that their own kids could be *awesome* and running ahead of you, holding hands with your kids — well, it might not have occurred to you back then, but it’s delightful.

So West & Stella, Nathan, Keira & Shane, (and Jay, Lucy & Finn, and BUG too — in absentia for now), thanks for letting us hang out with you and your parents. We totally dug it.

Spring, she whispered cautiously

Here in the northeast we have developed a somewhat distrustful relationship with the weather, this winter. So we are reluctant to acknowledge the current state — budding trees, chirping birds, shining sun — as actually being “springtime.” We have been punished before for our overconfidence: the snowstorms of Groundhog Day and oh, what’s that other important day, right, THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING have made us gunshy. Our clan spent Spring Break a few hundred miles south, in Charleston and Savannah — where it was warm and persuasively buggy. There, spring had come. We returned to snow and freezing rain. But now the evidentiary coup de grace has been delivered: Cleo Carver turned FOUR this week. As Cleo reminds me, her birthday is in spring; ergo, it is now spring.

Wherein we go jump in a lake

…to be more precise, we jumped into several lakes during our recent wonderful trip to Italy and Switzerland. In Italy we stayed with Grandma Lynn and Papa at a lovely, large house in Lesa on Lake Maggiore. We explored the Lake’s islands and sites — including some fantastic gardens that clearly thrive in the hot weather — and cooled off in the Lake and the pool. Lake Maggiore is the larger, but less busy, neighbor of Lake Como, home to the famous Bellagio, where we disappointingly found neither choreographed fountains nor craps tables. As Papa George reminded me, Lake Maggiore is also home to Stresa, just north of Lesa, where the hero of Hemingway’s Farewell to Arms recuperates, and we found its lakeside cafes quite well-suited to rest, relaxation, and rehabilitation.

Hikers at Oeschinensee

After a terrific week in Lesa, we drove north to Switzerland through a gorgeous alpine pass. For the last leg of the drive we were actually on a “car train” which carries a single line of cars, with passengers sitting inside, through a tunnel to our next home in Kandersteg. From this home base we took day hikes that began with an assist from a gondola or funicular to get us several hundred meters UP so that we could enjoy a more leisurely stroll through cow pastures and around pristine (if chilly) lakes. The landscapes were unbelievably dramatic, the architecture quintessentially “Swiss,” the wildflowers colorful.

After a day in Bern to see the fine collection at the Kunstmuseum (note to Lance: Kunst is German for art) and explore the city, we saw one last picturesque lakeside town: Luzern. Here, our engineering hearts warmed to the sight of the compound steam engine on our ferryboat and to the many wonders of the Verkershaus (Transport Museum). Through it all, we enjoyed great company, good meals, always preceded by a glass or two of Prosecco. Lots of photos are in the Italy-Swiss Album.  Thanks to Grandma Lynn and Papa for sharing a great trip with us!