The Americans Arrive in Denmark!

Saturday, November 22nd – Bjørn picked me up from my apartment at 2:30.  We headed to the airport to scoop up the Americans that are arriving.  Irena, Bjørn’s wife, met us at the airport.  We arrived before they land and watch the “Arrival” monitors with anticipation as the status of their flight changes from landed to the waiting for luggage countdown.  Finally my mom, dad, sister, aunt, and uncle appear and the American invasion for Thanksgiving has begun!

We hug and kiss and talk about their flight and eventually pile everyone into the two cars.  We head to Mama’s Hotel.  (This is what Irena has dubbed their house in Gentofte – complete with welcome mat to confirm their home’s new name.)  We get everyone settled in Mama’s Hotel and make ourselves comfortable in the living room while enjoying cocktail hour.  Most family holidays in the states are spent at my Aunt Trish and Uncle Mike’s house in Annapolis.  It is so different and yet so familiar to be settled at another relative’s house in Denmark.  Our cocktail hour consists of the normal Gin and Tonics accompanied with peanuts and good gossip. . . just like home.  For dinner we have salmon and potatoes. . . already I’m eating better than my normal grilled cheese or pasta!  After dinner we sit and talk for a bit over a few glasses of wine.  The battle of sleepiness begins to take hold with the jet lagged Americans.  My mom is the first to throw in the towl, followed by my sister and then uncle.  My aunt and dad are battling out to see who will be the last one standing, when my aunt finally gives in.  My dad wins and retires to bed at the grand hour of 10:00 pm.  Everyone calls it a night so they are ready and fresh for their danish adventure.

The next morning we wake and have a lovely breakfast.  After, we all pile into two cars and head to Sweden.  We drive down and take the bridge to Malmo.  The day is sunny but cold.  The sun looks beautiful over the snow in Denmark and Sweden!  We drive up to Helsinborg in Sweden.  We then take the ferry over to the other half of the city, Helsingør, which is located in Denmark.  On the ferry everyone enjoys their first Carlsberg beer while saying goodbye to Sweden and hello to Denmark again!  We then head to Kronborg, otherwise known as Hamlet’s castle.  Kronborg is a beautiful castle that looks out over the narrowest part of the Øresund.  The castle dates back to the middle ages and for almost six centuries the king’s men monitored the ships passing through toward the Baltic Sea.  Over the years the castle has been pillaged by the Swedish, served as barracks, and served as the setting for Shakespeare’s Hamlet.  Now you can wander through the historic rooms and even host a party in on of the expansive dining rooms. . . let’s hope none of those brats on “My Super Sweet 16” ever find out you can rent out this castle.  Most entertaining done in the castle is for political events with the royal family.  I learned that the Clinton’s had the privilege of eating at Kronborg.  Once we are done exploring the castle we pile back into the family busses and head back to hotel Mama.  

Back at Mama’s Hotel we enjoy happy hour and help prepare dinner.  On this evening’s menu we had amazing racks of lamb.  The table is set with giant wine glasses for red wine.  We gather to the table and drink and eat. . . for the next 5 hours.  After millions of conversations, a few spills of coffee and wine, tons of laughter, and seven bottles of wine later we decide it may be a good idea to teeter off to bed.  What a wonderful end to a first day!  If asked what we did this day I could truthfully say, “Well I woke up in Denmark, went to Sweden, rode in a car and ferry, explored a historic castle, and then drew the day to a close by personally finishing off a bottle of red wine and a rack of lamb!”  Not too shabby if I do say so myself.

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