Monday, June 1, 2009

June 1, 2009 - Danish Days

We traveled from Nairobi to Denmark overnight on Friday.  Our 8.5 hour flight to London went well - we had the best seats for traveling with a baby and Grace was able to sleep in a baby bed for much of time and was generally very good, except for a little bit of crying on our dissent (she had just eaten before landing so it was hard to get her to latch on to help her ears adjust).  Kristoffer and I each slept a little bit, but I was so worried about her being comfortable and not crying loudly that I didn't sleep soundly so we were tired but fine.  There were changing tables in the airplane bathrooms so that was easy for Kristoffer to change her diapers and I took care of her feeding, obviously.  We had a 4 hour layover in London which went pretty well (except that we didn't have the stroller because British Airways wouldn't let us gate check it or bring it on the plane) and then another 2 hour flight to Copenhagen.  Grace also cried a little bit going up and down, but it wasn't too bad.  

Upon our arrival in Copenhagen, we bought train tickets to go from the airport to the central train station, switch trains to go to Esbjerg (a city in western Denmark), and then switch trains again to go to Varde where Kirsten and Hans would pick us up.  The plan would have been perfect had our second train not broken down!  We had to switch to another train and couldn't get all the way to Varde.  The train company paid for a taxi to bring us from Esbjerg to Kirsten's house, and our taxi driver turned out to be Hans's nephew!  Such a small world!  There was even a family from Boston (Medford, actually) on our train - they were here visiting relatives in a city called Kolding.  Even though we got to Varde a few hours late, Grace was excellent on all of the trains and she was very happy to meet her Farmor and Hans!  

On Sunday we spent the day celebrating "Pinsa" (Pentacost) with all of Kristoffer's family on Kirsten's side.  We went to his cousin's Aja's house for breakfast and then went to a forest park for a picnic lunch and playing lots of games.  Unfortunately, Grace was MISERABLE in the morning and screamed for a few hours.  It was not a great way to make a first impression, but everyone understood that she had such a big day the day before and was maybe adjusting to a new environment, new routine, new people.  In Denmark right now the days are so long because we are so far north, so the sun starts to rise at 4 am and doesn't set until around 11 pm.  It is a LONG day and that tends to throw us (me and Grace, at least) off.  Everyone was so happy to see Grace, but we hope that she will be better company in a few weeks at Kirsten's birthday party.  Nikoline and Josefine were so cute and excited to meet their cousin: 


When we got home from our big day with the family, Grace had taken a very long nap and was in much better spirits.  She enjoyed playing in the garden with Farmor:


Last night she slept pretty well and this morning she was listening intently as Hans spoke to her:
Today we went for a REALLY long walk around Varde.  This weather is the best that I've ever experienced in Denmark and it was a wonderful FREEDOM for us to walk Grace around outside - something we can never do in Nairobi!  I was an extremely happy mother:


 And Kristoffer, Kirsten, and Hans also enjoyed taking Grace for her first true outdoor walk:

After lunch today, Grace and I both took a long nap in Kirsten and Hans's beautiful garden and then we took Grace to the beach for the first time to get ice cream.  She was very happy about the mint chocolate chip we tried and also liked pulling on the knitted rope that her cousin Josefine made for her:

After her bath tonight, Grace relaxed a bit in Kirsten's comfy chair which she has had since she was pregnant with Kristoffer!  Grace liked it as much as her father!  Tonight she went to sleep around her usual time, 8:30 pm, so maybe she has adjusted to the change in sunlight (even though we are only one hour time difference from Nairobi).


So far, these Danish days have been fantastic.  Grace was a much happier baby today than yesterday. Tomorrow we will leave Varde and go to spend the week on Als with Farfar and Marianne.  Grace and I are both working on our spoken Danish and Hans's English has gotten very good.  All in all, the first few days of Grace's big trip have gone very well and we are so happy that we still have so many days here with our family!  

LMW

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