Aside from sharing with friends and family, I mostly want to write our story because already the details are quickly fading. I don't want to loose the memories. It's hard to sum up three weeks, but I'd at least like to share the highlights.
We arrived on a somewhat blustery summer day, and we were soon told by almost everyone we met that that this had been one of the worst summers on record. Like all memories, they are selective. If Kevin tells you about our trip, he'll remember that it was the coldest/wettest August he's ever experienced. Whereas I'll mention that it never got bad enough to bust out my new pants from REI, and we only really got soaked once...and the kids were still laughing. Makenna got a ruffly purple umbrella out of the deal, and Kier mentioned this weekend "Look, it's raining, just like Denmark!" We had an unusual heat wave over 90 when we first returned and one of the most beautiful autumns I recall, so the rainy August does feel distant...
We stayed our first 3 nights at the Damtoft Pederson's home (my second host family). Their home was just as inviting as I had remembered, and we truly enjoyed settling into the country at their place. The kids really enjoyed playing with all the Play Mobile toys. Makenna learned to somersault and loved their big carpeted living room...she's call out "Guys! Guys!" to make sure we were all watching.
As always the eager Rotarian, ready to share the story of good will and exchange, Henning had already spoken with the local newspaper about my visit and organized to have a photographer meet us our first morning in the Denmark...I'll see if I can't get it scanned at some point...it's a good little article with a nice pic of us with Kirstin and Henning :-)
Our first full day we headed out to their beach house, where we would later stay a good chunk of our trip. We were blessed with a nice patch of sun for a walk down to the water with Kirstin. The location is simply beautiful. They bought the summer house just as I moved into their home (back in 1996), so I had visited and stayed there before, but they had done lots of renovations, which included more windows and a bigger deck.
The next day we spent celebrating my host sister, Signe's birthday! It was a lot of fun for the kids (and me!) to wave the Danish flags and sing to her in the morning. We were still adjusting to the time, so Kev got up around 4 a.m. and took a long walk into town and picked up some pastries from Odense, brunesviger, and chocolate croissants(...that's what he knows!)
We went on a trip to the local lake and driving around in the countryside in the morning. Kieran had really wanted to see some wildlife, so we were happy to spot a pheasant, quail and two deer on our short drive!
We couldn't get enough of the animals, so we went to petting zoo with the birthday girl, and family. She got a camera for her b-day, so she took lots of pics, here are her two favorite from the day:
Our time with the Damtofts ended too quickly, like every place on our trip really, but it was a great way to start our trip.
And, yes, Makenna got a nasty gash on her forehead just a few days before our trip (tripping into a bookshelf)...she had green eyes for the first whole week!