søndag den 26. juni 2016

Yesterday we entered the wardrobe crossed the bridge to Narnia Sarnia which is in Canada right across from Port Huron (see map here). The purpose was to do a Danish Sankt Hans midsummer celebration with a bonfire together with other Danes, primarily from Michigan. This is the third time we celebrate Sankt Hans in the US. 4 years ago we did it on the beach in California (read about that here) and last year we were in Ann Arbor with my colleagues (more about that here).

This also happened to be the first opportunity to test if our green cards actually worked, and we were more than ready to cross the border:

We were however less prepared for 40 minutes of wait time to cross the border. Sigh. We have not had to do any passport control in a car for quite some time and I certainly don't miss it.

Lucky for us a wonderful pool and good company was awaiting on the other side:
Luca spend every single minute from 3:30 to about 6:30 in the pool, and maybe he fell asleep in the car still wearing his swimgear....... He maybe even slept in it and did not change until Sunday afternoon...... But hey, he is at least very clean!

We enjoyed all the most Danish of Danish summer foods such as "koldskaal", "grillmad" (anything barbecued), "matador mix" and "snobroed". Yum. It was quite fun to watch some of the kids trying to roast a "snobroed" for the very first time and it did not take long before most kids were doing s'mores instead.
Today has been a quiet Sunday. We picked up Bailey from his sleepover at his friends house (Freya - the super excited, chubby bulldog with the craziest undershot I have ever seen. She actually will scratch you with her teeth when she tries to lick). Bailey had apparently not been super happy and even refused to eat :-( And he was beyond exstatic to see us all again. 

We have skyped with Teresa in Denmark. She is doing good and has been more than busy hanging out with all of her friends.

And we have watched Kurt and Sophie (our patio chipmunks) dart across about a gazillion times today. They must really like the heat! We also found a toad. A very dumb toad! It tried to hide under Bailey. Lucky for the dumb toad his hiding spot was also quite dumb and we managed to rescue it into safety.

Otherwise we a re recharging for another round of weekdays. Kristian's new job is going really well, but he is of course tired. Luca has been worn out for a week of outdoor day camp activities, but seems to be ready for a week of Star Wars camp in the upcoming week. We have tried to find a job for Ulrik but have not succeeded. And I struggle with my rat brain surgeries that takes a lot of practice, and some geometry as I need to angle my cannulas with 0.1mm precision......... Stay tuned

tirsdag den 21. juni 2016

Greetings from Windy City

Teresa and I have spent the past few days in Chicago and it ain't called Windy City for nothing:
It has been beyond awesome to spend a few days in a big city with my favorite daughter, but the purpose was more than just for the fun of it. Teresa left for Copenhagen last night to spend the summer in Denmark with her friends and family. The plan was for her to fly out during the weekend, but as her Washington DC trip ended early Friday morning, we thought that was a little harsh and booked a ticket for Monday night instead. So I took some days off work and we hopped on the Greyhound bus Sunday morning. This is my first US Greyhound experience (I don't think my ride 20 years ago in Canada still counts) and I had my comfort expectations quite low - which turned out to be a good thing. The floor was slightly sticky, I will spare you for a description of the bus toilet, and Teresa and I spent the entire 5 hour ride trying to watch Slumdog Millionaire with a wifi network allowing for 1 minute of streaming buffer update for every half minute watched. Weeeeeee. We still had half of the movie left when we arrived in Chicago!

But then once you arrive in Chicago, what do you do in the company of a 13 year old?

You go to Korean beauty stores:

You find those sidewalk lines that match your foot size exactly:

Go to the hotel pool:

And giggle in the elevator about all the not so smart people staying on the 4'th floor, who obviously are not smart enough to actually push the elevator button but tries really hard to push the floor designation plate next to the actual button instead.......

Oh, and you eat. And drink giant gobblers of virgin candy cocktails:

And even visit a Dr Marten's store. I felt very old as I used to have those boots when I was a teenager. I was not brave enough for the knee high red ones (but oh how I wished I were) back then, so I only had the black ones. Now I wish I had a 5 year old boy I could buy these for. But seriously they are SO cute:

And then when you are all tired, sticky sweaty, and have eaten way too much asian food with bubble tea at Joyees, then you go back to the hotel and help your daughter pack her suitcase and take her to the airport. 

Teresa was flying as an unaccompanied minor and I got a gate pass so I could take her all the way to the right gate (which they changed in the middle of everything......). I was required to wait in a designated area right in front of the plane until it was in the air but SAS kind of forgot that I was there. Luckily my sister could keep my updated from her flight app and as soon as she texted me it was off I left the now very empty terminal :-/
....... to go back to the hotel room and feel very lonely and spend an almost sleepless night in the noise of a ridiculously loud air conditioner. 

A few hours ago Teresa landed safely in Copenhagen, with a pit stop at "Lagkagehuset" (very expensive but oh so delicious bakery) apparently - LOL. And I will now have to drag myself down to the bus station for another 5 hour of greyhond and then go home to all of my boys <3

fredag den 17. juni 2016

Give me a "W"

W for work as in Kristians new job at General Motors. Where he will not only get benefits (vacation, retirement, and a yearly bonus) but also a 50% salary increase. Yay. Had anyone told us some years ago (as we were still living happily in Denmark) that he would be working downtown Detroit we would most likely have laughed our - ehm - derrieres off.

W for Washington DC where teresa is returning from any minute. It's 5:30 and I am currently waiting at the Middle School for her to return. She will have exactly 2 nights on her own bed before we head to Chicago so she can fly direct to Copenhagen. I have threatened her to show up in my pyjamas if she did not send us or post any pictures. So I have gotten a bunch af boring pictures. Thank you Teresa!

W for "what a bloody mess" - quite literally! I have starting doing my little brain surgeries in live animals. Wow, that bleeds. A lot! But they mostly survive and even still like me after. Actually they are super cuddly and I certainly do not mind cuddling them every day :-)

lørdag den 11. juni 2016

School's (almost) out and summer is in

The weather forecast leaves no doubt that the Midwestern summer is back:
Lucky for us the T storms do not show up as often as predicted, but it does look like we're in for some serious thunder this afternoon. Time will tell.

With summer comes the need for bright green lawns of grass = sprinkler bonanza. They have some heavy duty ones here at Briar Cove and somehow the timing has been screwed with, so we were puzzled by the strange sounds on the patio the other morning, until we looked out the door. Seriously! Is this really necessary? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Skp7Xj4m9Og

 There is one more week left of school - unless you are an 8'th grader graduating from Middle School. This is apparently a bigger deal than we anticipated and according to Teresa we were the ONLY parents now showing up for the graduation ceremony :-( But we did get up early and curled her hair (me) and drove her to school (Kristian) and took pictures of her outside - with a 4 legged intruder:
Next week she is going to Washington DC leaving at 4:30 AM Tuesday Morning and returning 5:30 AM Friday morning!!!!! I guess that's sort of a good thing, because then she won't have as much jetlag when she flies to Denmark Monday night to the spend the summer in Copenhagen. 

While she is gone Luca will go to a gazillion summer camps and Ulrik will be working - with that little detail that we have not found him a summer job yet, but we hope Meijer can always use some strong teenagers to push carts from the parking lot :-/

Kristian I will be working. That is always a lot of fun. Especially when you spill blue dye all over yourself and knock over towers of mouse cages. Yay - or whatever:

On the bright side is that we can sit on the patio in the evening binging on garden fresh herbs (#MojitosAreHealthyRight?):

søndag den 5. juni 2016

Creepy dolls and visitors from overseas

We are lucky to have visitors all the way from Denmark once more this spring. This time it is my niece and her husband on a sort of late honeymoon/work/roadtrip-trip. They came Friday evening and have spent the weekend with us before going west Monday morning.

On our own bucket list for the summer of 2016 has been The Heidelberg Project in Detroit and Belle Isle, so we filled up the van Saturday and headed for Detroit. First stop was Eastern Market, which was super crowded. We have not been this time of year before, but apparently flowers, herbs, and trees are "the shit" this time of year. We do not have enough garden space for any more flowers but we got a bunch of basil and mint for some pots by the patio. Licorice basil and pineapple mint among others:
We also had lunch at a newly opened very industrial, very hipster place called "stache". They had really good sandwiches (albeit slightly overpriced in my opinion, but who care about that anyways.....):

Then we went deeper into the the residential area of Detroit where we have never really been. On the way we passed the islamic slaughter house..... creepyyyyyyyy. It did not seem like the place to be after dark:
Finally we reached our destination: The Heidelberg Project. A block of houses converted into art 25 years ago. Some of them burned down, some are still standing. And some of them still have people living tin them. On one of the burned down houses was the creepiest collection of toys I have ever seen. Those dolls..... they are what nightmares are made off!

Other things were less creepy. And no matter what - should any of you ever come to Detroit it is worth a visit.

Unfortunately we came the wrong day for Belle Isle. There was a Grand Prix with race cars going on, and we did not feel like getting stuck in traffic for longer times, so we went back home with a pit stop at Biggby Coffee. 

Sunday we went to Church. For a special celebration that they have now paid off an 8 million $ debt for renovating the entire building, there was icecream. Guess who made the most of that? Also we now have a deal to have the sweetest guy, who used to be homeless, come teach Luca how to swim. Perfect.

 The rest of Sunday was spent in a dog-friendly way with a visit to the arb, where the peons are in full bloom:

And we introduced our guests to bubble tea right across from Ulrich's book store, where we of course HAD to get a picture. It certainly makes it a lot easier to be named Ulrik, when there is a book store in town with the same name, that everybody knows off.
The car was even washed today (or at least the windows.....)