Svanesøen

An American, a Russian, a Dane, and her Japanese grandmother share a cab on the way to the ballet…
This would be a terrible joke, but I’m the American in this scenario and the story ends with me seeing Swan Lake by the Royal Danish Ballet at the Copenhagen Opera House.
IMG_5689The Royal Danish Ballet is important to ballet history & I studied them in my Dance History class at uni. Before we went to Copenhagen I got excited and bought myself a ticket. My unexpected cab ride with a few strangers occurred when trying to get to the performance. I purchased my ticket from the Royal Danish Theatre (a different venue from the Opera House) website. My ticket said “Det Kongelige Teater” on it multiple times which translates to the Royal Danish Theatre. The ballet company is based at the Royal Danish Theatre. I picked up my ticket from an electronic print-your-ticket-here/billeter at the Royal Theatre. There was even a huge poster for Svanesøen (Swan Lake) on the side of the Royal Theatre. svanesoeen_carousel719v1 Continue reading

Liverpool

First of all – to get you in the right mood:

We celebrated Derek’s birthday a few weeks ago. For the Saturday before his birthday we took a train up to Liverpool – a place that’s been on our bucket list since we moved here. My dad listened to the Beatles all the time while I was growing up and I, like so many others, love their music. However, I’ve recently come to realize there’s much more music than what I know from my dad. I mostly just know #1 hits and early years music. It’s time I educate myself on the music of their later years!
My inept knowledge of the Beatles’ music aside, our overall takeaway from Liverpool is that one day, bookended by two 2 hour train rides, was not quite enough.IMG_5523 Liverpool is has enough to see in its own right, never mind all the Beatles related sites.
From the train station we headed straight to the Albert Dock (a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of all of the maritime history that’s happened here) where there are lots of things to see and do.IMG_5576 Continue reading

Coventry

In an effort to combat the winter blues we set a goal at the beginning of the year to regularly go out and do something new or stay in and get together with friends. Some of our Saturdays have been spent in Birmingham City Centre, a few at home, and a few on days out. One recent day out was to nearby Coventry.
Coventry is famous for a few things; Lady Godiva, the Coventry Blitz of WWII, and for being a manufacturing hub in England.IMG_5503 The city has a few museums, the cathedral that was famously bombed out in the blitz, and a nice little town center. We went to the Herbert Art Gallery first. Our main purpose there was to learn a little more about the Lady Godiva legend. IMG_5468 Continue reading

National Memorial Arboretum

We spent a cold but sunny Saturday at England’s National Memorial Arboretum with some friends. It’s a place to commemorate those who have fallen for and served their country.IMG_5428IMG_5392IMG_5419The kids’ favorite was this memorial to fallen Navy sailors.IMG_5396Arboretum_CollageWhile I appreciated the statues at the top of the main memorial, particularly the opening in the wall that symbolically looks through the doors of death to eternity. IMG_5432IMG_5436Stay warm, friends! Spring isn’t that far away.

Christmas in America

IMG_4774We spent our Christmas in Maryland and our New Year’s Eve in Virginia. It was a blast to see family and do a little tourist-ing in the area. Here are a few pictures of our jaunt back to the states: Continue reading

Happy Toddler, Happy Flight

Are you flying during the holidays? Holiday travel, especially a long fight flight with a toddler, can dampen anyone’s festive spirit. It’s tricky to manage everything when planning a trip; finding flights in your budget that fit with your schedule, reserving places to stay (Is the hotel close to the sites? Do they provide a crib?), putting together an itinerary, hiring a car (A quick tip: I recently learned about Turo – a car sharing company that has rentals all over the states, including airport rentals. It’s like the airbnb of cars. So convenient & helpful when traveling on a budget!), etc. Once you’ve done all that it can be exhausting to face the fact that you may be flying with a small child. Don’t worry. You can manage it. With a little planning ahead of time, smart packing, and low expectations everyone will survive and get to your destination.Happy Toddler, Happy Flight: Packing for a flight with a toddler. // Our Second Second City Over the past few years we’ve been on dozens of short flights (like Birmingham to Zurich or Chicago to D.C.) and several rounds of transatlantic flights with Daughter. After each flight I took note of the toys/snacks/games that were lifesavers and the items I wish had been handy during the flight. So, to help you be confident in your ability to travel happily during the holidays here is my list of recommended items for a smooth flight. Continue reading