Corpus Christi Day is a public holiday in our part of Germany. The twins didn’t have kindergarten, and I considered taking them to Basel. Then, I thought better of it.
They were repulsed at the idea of even going to town. We stayed in our neighborhood and had a picnic. I love when my kids eat outside and nature takes care of all the crumbs and spills.
I can’t get over how happy the twins are to be home in Freiburg. They can now focus on their favorite subjects: soccer, kindergarten, and going out for ice cream.
Vinnie and I have traveled together a few times, and Errol has taken Thom on some trips too. Predictably, Lee and Ned questioned when they would get to go on a special trip.
The problem is that Lee and Ned (especially Ned) don’t like trips. They love being at home and going to the same handful of places in Freiburg. Ned famously remarked that his favorite part of the trip to Cologne was the train back to Freiburg.
Before we had this time in Europe, we didn’t know the twins felt this way. Our only family travel were beach trips and back and forth from Nebraska. Admittedly, that’s quite a bit different than the trips we’re taking this year.
The realization that the twins had little tolerance for much out of their routine, led me to revise our big spring trip. There was no way they could be on the go for two weeks. An early exit provided an opportunity to give them their special trip. We’d make a stopover in Leipzig on our train ride home from Berlin!
One of my mentors died right before we left New Jersey last summer. When I spoke with her last, she was so excited I was to spend a year in Germany. She specifically mentioned how she loved Leipzig for Bach and Thomaskirche’s Boy Choir.
Unlike Vergene, Lee and Ned were only interested in seeing the soccer stadium.
I managed to get them inside St. Nicholas church, but the rest of the day was soccer-centered.
The weather was on the warm side, but we walked the whole way to Red Bulls Arena. We found a great playground nearby and went into three soccer stores.
We took a tram back to the train station. Apparently, Leipzig’s central station is the largest in Europe. The twins loved it because there was a Pizza Hut, and I let them eat supper there.
I just finished a very long day. We were in Berlin this morning, spent most of the day in Leipzig, and arrived home in Freiburg at 12:45 a.m.
It was planned as a big day with a lot of time on trains. A late train that led to a missed train gave us an even bigger day with even more time on trains.
The twins held up remarkably well.
This picture is from yesterday on the flight from Copenhagen. Neddy asked for his mask and Marshall to nap on a short mid-morning flight. Of course, neither of the twins slept at all today. Go figure.
Our cancelled flight gave us another day in Denmark. We spent most of it in Roskilde. The town is home to a cathedral where 18 queens and 21 kings are buried. It came highly recommended by Dad’s childhood bestie who married a daughter of a Dane.
We got to the Viking boat museum after it closed at five, but we saw a replica in the harbor. My favorite part was seeing the boat-making station. That is some impressive, sexy work.
We made it to the hotel in time for the Champions League Final. Thankfully, Real Madrid won, and Thom won’t be hating the world and Liverpool tomorrow.
Our flight from Copenhagen to Berlin was cancelled tonight. Trying to look at this as a resilience-building exercise. A very long day.
The highlight of our days in Copenhagen was Tivoli.
I was unsure if our group was up for an amusement park, but Mom insisted that it was a must-see. She had been there in 1975 in her early 20s and remembered it as very beautiful and more than rides. The admission fee had kept me away on my 2003 trip to Copenhagen.
Mom was so right. We arrived after a quick visit to the Rosenborg Slot and didn’t leave until well after supper. The kids rode lots of rides, we saw a little play, watched the 175th Anniversary Parade, and finished the evening with a Harlequin show.
Errol joined us there from his last philosophy gig in Lund. He had never heard of Tivoli and was charmed as well.
The park has great atmosphere. It was relaxing and very refreshing to be somewhere the kids really wanted to be. There was hardly any wait for the rides, and they rode their favorites over and over.
The next day we took a couple buses to the Little Mermaid. We met up with my brother and his crew for a quick chat and some pictures before taking a harbor bus to Nyhavn. Mom, Dad, and Errol lunched at one of the street cafes on the water while the kids and I grabbed some groceries and picnicked at a park.
Bathroom needs led us to Copenhagen’s beautiful central library. We met up with the other adults, and the men and Thom left for the art museum, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. The littles, Mom, and I explored the city a bit more and found the kids afternoon ice cream.
Our evening flight didn’t happen, but Easyjet’s cancellation allowed us some experiences we never would have had without the airline footing the bill. We got to stay at the beautiful Tivoli Hotel & Congress Center and take cabs. I love good mass transit, but I can’t put into words how luxurious door to door service felt.
We began our day in Stockholm with a playground stop. Sitting through breakfast and a short train ride warrants at least an hour of free play for the twins. Errol was happy to stay on the train. He spent most of the day at the university.
A group of school children were also visiting the playground, and they all wore bright yellow reflective vests. This makes sense on dark winter days, but I felt bad for the kids to have an extra layer on this unseasonable warm May morning.
It was about 80 degrees. When we stopped at a grocery for lunch supplies, the cashier told us that this was as warm as Stockholm ever gets.
Near the playground was a beautiful church on a hill. We walked a path up some rugged rocks and rested in the sanctuary. Mom made friends with the church volunteer who eagerly showed her his John Deere cap when he learned Dad was a farmer.
The day before in Uppsala, we had visited an English bookshop. We learned there was a Stockholm location and thought Mom would enjoy a stop. She treated the kids to new books, and we’re happy to now have more Pippi adventures for our supper table reading.
We had some extra time before meeting Errol at the Vasa Museum. Conveniently, there was a reasonably priced barber shop right by our bus stop. When Mom visits, it almost always includes a trip to the barber. She has missed just a couple of the twins’ haircuts since they were babies. All three boys were looking a little shaggy and really appreciated the spring sheering.
The Vasa Museum contains a large ship that sunk in Stockholm’s harbor in 1628. It was retrieved and restored in 1961 and is very impressive.
We rode the tram to the King’s Garden. Mom and Dad bought gelato while the kids danced to live music. It seemed like everyone in the city was out celebrating the beautiful weather even though it was a Tuesday evening.
Errol found a traditional Swedish restaurant in the old part of the city near the castle. We watched the changing of the guard before supper. The meal was delicious, but it was hard to choose what to eat. This was the first time I had been somewhere that had reindeer and moose on the menu.
We left Stockholm the next morning and enjoyed seeing Sweden out the window of our train to Copenhagen.
We made it to Denmark! Mom, Dad, the kids, and I took a five-hour train ride from Stockholm to Copenhagen. There’s a park next to our hotel with a rink. The kids loved watching locals play floor hockey and later got in there and played their own game of soccer with a peach pit.