We’re spending our summer away from home. Summer in New York has never been my thing; too hot, too humid, too many tourists in town and too many friends out of town.
· About a lovely visit to the small but amazing Rudolph Tegners Museum and a short list of other Danish museums that my girls really like ·
For the past couple of weeks the summer in Denmark has felt more like a cold, grey Scandinavian autumn. So we have tried to keep busy with other things since the weather isn’t very beach friendly.
· A small Vacation catch up from our first month in Denmark ·
It’s exactly a month ago that we arrived in Denmark for our long summer vacation, and since then the days have been spent catching up with family and friends. We have been horseback riding, digging up potatoes, had lots of picnics, gone swimming in the sea, been playing at a lot of amazing playgrounds, gone on a farmhouse vacation, visited an old museum city, had lots of ice-cream, stayed up late and slept in, celebrated my youngest’s 4th birthday, barbecued plenty of sausages and enjoyed the Danish country side.
• A bit about the wanderlust I feel every spring and a picture from our earth day flower journal •
Every year when we reach spring and especially around earth day, I’m hit by a severe case of wanderlust.
We’re slowly settling in at home after two months of vacation in our summer house in Denmark. Most days of our vacation were spent in our garden, at the beach and the nearby forest, while other days called for a change of scenery.
One of my eldest and dearest friends works at an amazing museum in Copenhagen and because of this, my daughters and I have been visiting the Glyptoteket museum on a regular basis ever since they were babies. We come here to sit in the beautiful Winter Garden, to participate in children’s events, and to enjoy the rooftop view and experience some spectacular exhibitions.
Some people might think it would be easier to take two small kids to see a modern art exhibition with only a few paintings on the wall, out of reach of curious little hands, instead of a place full of marble statues. And on a practical level that might be true, because who would like to see their 3-year-old knock over an irreplaceable marble statue, let alone be hit by it if it falls? But practicalities aside, which kid wouldn’t love to look a the huge white marble sculptures of bodies and busts and wonder who they are and what they are thinking?
On one of the last Fridays of our vacation, my daughters and I went back to Glyptoteket. We looked at the large golden fish in the Winter Garden (or the Jungle as Alma has named it), found a hippo and a butterfly and sat under a palm leave and pretended we were lost somewhere in a deep magical rainforest. We observed marble statues and came up with stories about the lives they lived many years ago. We saw paintings of girls playing in a forest, a statue of a girl holding a dead bird, a painting of a dead bird and a sad woman sitting next to her husband’s bed. We played chess in the hallway, and saw a beautiful Man Ray exhibition, which later inspired Alma to do some drawings of a little wooden manikin.
And at our summer-house we now have a small old glass with a golden edge filled with 9 tiny pieces of the most exquisite white marble, that our friend gave us just before we walked out through the big doors and left the magic of this amazing museum behind.
Should you ever find yourself in Copenhagen, be sure to pay Glyptoteket a visit.
Though it’s small, extremely flat and most of the land has been cultivated by farmers, there are still plenty of amazing nature areas left in Denmark. Some of my fondest childhood memories have taken place at beautiful Danish nature spots such as the Wadden Sea, Mols Bjerge National Park and Raabjerg Mile.
When staying at our summerhouse, we have a few local and favourite nature spots nearby that we make sure to visit. One of our absolute favorites is Heatherhill, situated 6 kilometers down the road from our little summerhouse.
Heatherhill is an open, undulating nature reserve with broad heather-covered slopes rolling right down to the Kattegat Sea near the small town Rågeleje. The larger part of Heatherhill is swathed in beautiful heathland flora and purple heather.
We enjoy taking long walks here, studying the fauna, enjoying the expansive view over the Kattegat Sea, chatting with the sheep and going to the wild and beautiful beach for a swim and a picnic. If you ever end up in the northern part of Zealand, don’t miss out on this amazing area.
Here’s a short list of all my favorite Danish nature areas I still have a few places left to show my kids, but since some of them require quite a lot of walking in hilly areas that are not accessible with a pram we might wait a few year before visiting the best ones.
Be sure to visit one or two, should you ever stop by Denmark. It’s so worth the trip and is a great contrast to Copenhagen.
As a mother in a new city, one of the things me and my kids like doing the most, is to explore our surroundings and all the things this city has to offer. Exploring is often equal to days spent outside, long walks and hungry stomachs, and after having to deal with blistered feet and a child screaming because she’s still hungry and doesn’t want to take a nap because I forgot to bring her favourite blanket, I have learned that there are somethings that you just don’t leave the house without.
Here’s my list of 9 things that I don’t leave my home without when I’m exploring New York with a toddler:
1. A good pair of walking shoes. The first few months I walked around in a pair of not so comfortable but very pretty shoes. That wasn’t the right decision. Now I wear my Birkenstock sandals on warm days and my running shoes when it’s colder. Less fancy but so much more comfortable.
2. A good stroller. I have tried a few different strollers in my six years as a mother, and one thing I’ve learned is that this is not good to go for the cheapest solution. If you know you will end up walking a lot, you need a stroller that can be adjusted to fit your height (to avoid getting a really soar back), maneuvers easily, is comfortable for you child, can decline for nap time and can carry all of your stuff in the shopping basket. My Mutsy stroller comes pretty close to being perfect and on top of all the things mentioned above it has a small storage room for the rain cover and it looks great with the leather look-a-like details and a simple design.
3. Water bottle(s). I’m always surprised how much water my children can drink when we’re out walking. Running out of water on a hot New York day is not fun.
4. A good book. My toddler loves to sleep in her stroller, and while she does, I find a bench with some shade and catch up on some reading (preferably with an iced coffee in my hand).
5. Nap time essentials like a snuggly blanket and pacifier.
6. Packed lunch and a lot of snacks. For some reason my kids always get hungry the second we’ve left the house, and since I can’t always be sure to buy something they like whereever we end up, I always bring food from home.
7. Sunblock. You often don’t realize that you’re getting a really bad sunburn before it’s too late, and even though it was cloudy when you left the house, there’s a good chance that the sun will come out during the day.
8. All the stuff you need to handle a change of diapers.
9. Patience. Exploring a big city with small kids is definitely not the same as exploring it with a friend or your husband. You might have to stop every 3 minutes to serve a drink, eat a snack, smell a flower, jump over a puddle or look at a fire engine.
(Do you want a few more tips on exploring New York with a toddler? I wrote about it earlier right here )
1. Sunglasses / Mini Rodini 2. Jacket / Mini Rodini 3. Fox / Jellycat 4. Dungarees / Zara 5. Book / This is New York 6. Bagpack / Fjallraven 7. T-shirt / Norfolk 8. boots / Angulus 9. Jumper / Pierrot La Lune 10. Water bottle / Klean Kanteen 11. Not all who wander are lust-hat / Prjona Plym Beanie
Some people think that small people and big cities is a definite no-go. I think it is all about doing it on the child’s premise and exploring New York with small kids can actually be a lot of fun. In the last few month it has become one of our favorite things to do, though we wouldn’t be able to do it without a practical wardrobe, some great accessories and a few child-friendly rules:
- Exploring has to be fun for both adult and child. For us that means no shops unless they are kid friendly (Or Whole Foods, where Alma will jump out of her stroller and start stuffing melon, red pepper, grapes, crackers, milk and raisins into my shopping basket).
- Be aware that exploring a big city can be much more tiring than hanging out at the playground. Walking around, or even sitting in the stroller and taking in the big city makes my soon to be 3-year-old daughter really tired, so I always make sure to bring her blanket, dummy and her teddy, in case she needs to take a rest in her stroller.
- Good things come from good research. Most big cities have a great selection of places that can be fun for both kids and adults. Museums, parks and libraries are among our all time New York favorites.
- Pack a big lunch box and a lot of smaller snacks. For some reason kids always gets hungry when you are on the go, and you can’t always be sure that you can buy something where you end up.
- Time is of little importance. One of the great things about exploring a new city with a small child is, that you will end up doing it at a different pace than if it was just you and a friend. Don’t expect to do more than one thing a day, and never rely on a tight time schedule.
- Wear comfortable shoes. If your child is in a stroller, it will often be easier for you to walk than to take the subway or a cab. My children have always found it really entertaining to watch the city go by from their stroller.
- Be open to sudden change of plans. If the mood isn’t right for a visit to a big museum (a lot of them have great kids areas) then avoid a big confrontation, and find a nearby playground instead
- Download the free app Playground Finder, that will point you to some of the nearest playgrounds.
- Download the free app Coffee(in)Touch, that will pinpoint you to the nearest coffee shop. It has often saved my day.
- Be practical. Make sure your stroller folds easily, and pack all your stuff in a back pack. You will need to have both hands free if you decide to take the subway with small children.
Nogle mennesker mener, at små børn og store byer er en kombination der for alt i verden skal undgåes. For mig, handler det blot om, at opdage og udforske på børnenes præmisser. I løbet af de sidste par måneder er det blevet en af mine døtres og min yndlingsbeskæftigelser at udforske New York. Vi kunne dog ikke gøre det uden praktisk påklædning, et par gode accessories og nogle børnevenlige opdagelses-regler:
- At gå på opdagelse i en storby skal være sjovt for både børn og voksne. For os betyder det ingen butikker, med mindre det er af den virkeligt børnevenlige slags.
- Vær opmærksom på, at det at gå på opdagelse i en storby kan være meget mere udmattende end for eksempel at hænge ud på en legeplads. Også selvom dit barn bruger en masse tid i sin klapvogn. Min næsten tre årige datter bliver altid træt af de mange indtry, og jeg har derfor altid både dyne, sut og bamse med, hvis hun vil tage en lur i klapvognen.
- God research gør dagene sjovere. De fleste storbyer har mange steder der er spændende for både børn og voksne. Nogle af vores yndlingssteder i New York er museer, parker og biblioteker.
- Pak en stor madpakke og flere mindre snacks. Mine børn bliver altid sultne når vi går på opdagelse. Og det holder ikke, hvis jeg først skal til at finde et sted at købe mad.
- Drop de stramme tidsplaner. Noget at det gode ved at opdage en storby med små børn er netop, at du kommer til at tage det hele ind i et helt andet tempo end hvis det bare havde været dig og en veninde. Og forvent ikke at nå mere end en ting på en dag.
- Hop i de komfortable sko. Hvis dit barn sidder i en klapvogn, kan det ofte være lettere for dig at gå end at tage undergrunden eller en taxa. Begge mine børn har altid elsket at sidde i deres klapvogn og se storbyen suse forbi.
- Vær åben for pludselige ændringer i planerne. Hvis humøret ikke lige er til museumsbesøg, så drop det og tag i stedet på legepladsen. Du vil ikke stå på Guggenheim med en 3 årig der får et hysterianfald.
- Download den gratis app Playground Finder. Den kan lede dig til den nærmeste legeplads. og kan ende med at redde din dag.
- Download den gratis app Coffee(in)Touch, der vil oplyse dig om den nærmeste kaffebar. Den har reddet mig fra nedsmeltning (eller forfrysninger) flere gange.
- Tænk praktisk. Jeg elsker min Marni skuldertaske og et par pæne sko. Men når jeg skal gå på opdagelse med mine børn er det i praktiske sko, med en let sammenklappelig klapvogn og en rygsæk på ryggen. Du får brug for begge hænder når du tager subway’en med små børn.
Everything has a beginning. And this is yet another one. But for me this one has a meaning. It is the beginning of a new relationship between me and some words and pictures on a blog in cyberspace, and it is the beginning of a new life for my daughters, my husband and me.
In the end of 2014 we packed down our apartment in Copenhagen and said our goodbyes to friends, designer furnitures, summer house, teddy bears, day care, family and favorite shoes. And then we moved half way around the world to a new and very old apartment in Brooklyn, New York. To a life that in so many ways seems completely new and in just as many ways is exactly the same as the life we used to live. We don’t know if we will be staying 12 months or 5 years. But for now we love it. Because in just a few month it has become life as we know it.
Alt har en begyndelse, og dette er bare endnu en. Men for mig betyder den noget. Det er begyndelsen på en ny relation mellem my og nogle ord og billeder på en lille blog i cyberspace, og det er begyndelsen på et nyt liv for mine døtre, min mand og mig selv.
I slutningen af 2014 pakkede vi vores københavnerlejlighed sammen og sagde farvel til venner, designer møbler, sommerhus, bamser, børnehave, familie og skosamling. Og så flyttede vi halvvejs rundt om jorden, til en ny og meget gammel lejlighed i Brooklyn, New York. Over til et liv, der på mange måder er noget helt nyt og ukendt og på lige så mange måder er præcis det samme som det vi liv vi kendte til inden vi flyttede. Vi ved ikke om vi bliver i 12 måneder eller 5 år. Men lige nu elsker vi livet lige her. for på bare to måneder er det blevet det liv som vi kender til.