We’re in Corol­la, NC, for the week. It’s rainy this year, which is some­what dis­ap­point­ing, espe­cial­ly since we’ve had radi­ant weath­er in the past. In any case, it’s nice to be out of town, spend­ing time with family.

Some­thing I’ve fig­ured out this year: good food, even BBQ and seafood, are tough to come by. We dis­cov­ered Pig­man’s BBQ last sum­mer, but I hoped a lit­tle research would turn up a gem. No such thing exists!

If you have any sug­ges­tions, feel free to chime in!

(Tell me that’s not an amaz­ing pack­ing job! That’s what a week at the beach with a baby looks like for the uninitiated.)

Our Trip to Denmark

Ten years. Had it real­ly been so long? Before Helen and I got on the plane to Copen­hagen, it was hard to believe that when I last vis­it­ed Den­mark, I had just fin­ished row­ing at the Hen­ley Roy­al Regat­ta. Before that, as some of you know, I lived in Den­mark for a year as an exchange stu­dent. That was sud­den­ly 13 years ago. I had no idea I’d be stum­bling over so many mile­mark­ers as Helen and I pre­pared to vis­it my Dan­ish friends and host fam­i­ly, but there I was, trip­ping over them with prac­ti­cal­ly every step I took. I could only hope for a soft landing.

And what a soft land­ing it was. When Helen and I arrived at Copen­hagen air­port, we met my old friend Tom­my, who, along with his part­ner Camil­la and their son Alexan­der, would be our hosts while we stayed in town. They’re great friends, the kind of peo­ple you can recon­nect with after years of being out of touch and just pick up where you left off. It’s an amaz­ing feel­ing, and as Helen not­ed, the sort of thing that makes you feel at home wher­ev­er you are. They were great hosts and their son Alexan­der is a great lit­tle boy!

We began our tour of Den­mark by tak­ing a relax­ing spin around Copen­hagen’s canals. It was the per­fect thing to do after sit­ting on a plane for over sev­en hours. We soaked up the Dan­ish sun and did a lit­tle sight­see­ing from the com­fort of a boat. If you’re head­ed to Den­mark, this is a smart tourist move. It gives you a pret­ty com­plete sense of the city so you’re not dis­ori­ent­ed lat­er in your trip.

Helen and I con­tin­ued down Mem­o­ry Lane the fol­low­ing day by tak­ing a trip to Skan­der­borg. I lived in the heart of Jut­land’s lake dis­trict for a year — and what a year it was! Do you remem­ber the win­ter of 1995–96? It was ter­ri­ble! Den­mark usu­al­ly does tem­per­ate win­ters, but this was an excep­tion. Look at the lake in this map. Pret­ty big, right? It froze! That had­n’t hap­pened in 25 years and it has­n’t hap­pened again since. Need­less to say, it was a mem­o­rable year.

Intro­duc­ing Helen to Skan­der­borg and the Schmidt fam­i­ly was like solv­ing the last piece of the puz­zle. Helen and I met the year I returned for Den­mark and she’s spent about a third of her life hear­ing about this place and these peo­ple. A lot of my iden­ti­ty is built around the year I lived abroad. It may sound strange, but Den­mark is home to me, too. Maybe you can go home again?

Now that I’ve final­ly recov­ered from jet lag, I’m going to be post­ing pho­tos and lit­tle sto­ries to accom­pa­ny them here, recount­ing our belat­ed hon­ey­moon — or baby­moon, depend­ing on how you look at it. It was an amaz­ing trip. I can’t wait to share it with you.

Holger Danske

Hol­ger Danske

Orig­i­nal­ly uploaded by J T. Ramsay

We’re back! I’m still feel­ing a lit­tle jet-lagged, but I’m so hap­py to have intro­duced Helen to my host fam­i­ly and Den­mark. I’ll be writ­ing more lat­er in the week about our trip, along with a cau­tion­ary tale regard­ing the lim­its of pow­er adapters overseas.

In the mean­time, enjoy my pic­ture of Hol­ger Danske, rest­ing in the cold depths beneath Kro­n­borg Cas­tle, which you know from Hamlet!

Turen Går til København!

Helen and I are going on our hon­ey­moon! Yes, we’ve been mar­ried near­ly four years and are just two months away from wel­com­ing our first baby into the world, but we final­ly have the time and mon­ey so we fig­ured, “Why not!?” It’s long overdue.

Where are we head­ed? Den­mark, naturligvis! I spent a year in love­ly Skan­der­borg, Den­mark from 1995 to 1996 as a Rotary exchange stu­dent. It was an amaz­ing expe­ri­ence that I’ve cher­ished since I returned from my exchange. I’ve nev­er total­ly for­got­ten Dan­ish, but I haven’t been back since a quick jaunt to vis­it my sec­ond host fam­i­ly in 1999 after row­ing at Hen­ley Roy­al Regat­ta with the Saint Joseph’s Uni­ver­si­ty light­weight crew. I can’t believe ten years have passed already!

We’ll be on the ground in Copen­hagen at 7 a.m. local time tomor­row, vis­it­ing old friends and my sec­ond host fam­i­ly, whom I’ve man­aged to stay in touch with­out every real­ly writ­ing as often as I ought. Now my host sib­lings are all on Face­book, which is hilar­i­ous when you con­sid­er that the Inter­net was just a baby when I was on exchange. Heck, my eldest host sis­ter just got married!

Helen and I will be post­ing pic­tures and videos in case you’re inter­est­ed in fol­low­ing our com­ings and goings while we’re over­seas. What’s on tap? Every­thing from a canal tour of Copen­hagen — some­thing I’ve nev­er done — to a trip back to my old stomp­ing ground in Skan­der­borg, which I may not rec­og­nize, to all the stan­dard tourist des­ti­na­tions like Den Lille Halvfrue, Fred­eriks­borg Slot, Amalien­borg, and oth­ers. I can’t wait to share this won­der­ful coun­try with Helen!


Sun­set @ Sun­set Grill, orig­i­nal­ly uploaded by Black­mail Is My Life.

Our sec­ond, tri­umphant trip to Corol­la, NC, is com­ing to an end. It’s very windy and the surf is rough. Hur­ri­cane Han­na’s arriv­ing just in time to wish us goodbye.

We had a love­ly week here. We caught up with friends, ate a lot of great seafood and BBQ, relaxed on the beach, and duked it out with some rough waves. I can’t wait to do it again next year!

I took this pic­ture at the Sun­set Grill in Duck on Wednes­day night with my iPhone. It may not have a flash, but if you get the light­ing just right, it takes some awe­some pictures.