Travel

Nordic Adventures

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The famous Nyhavn Street in Copenhagen, Denmark. This street was designed to look like the streets of Amsterdam; so charming and quaint.

Before we had kids, Brent and I did quite a bit of traveling. It really seemed like every other person we spoke to kept making a point of telling us to TRAVEL as much as possible before having kids. So being the good students of life that we are, we traveled up a storm. So much so, we actually got kind of sick of traveling. Who says that, right?

Nowadays, the travel bug has definitely stopped biting — and we feel so settled into our cozy Playa Vista bubble that we don’t have the itch to venture out much more than the occasional jaunt to Hawaii. Maybe that will change in the future, but for now there is no place like home, and our Sleep-Number bed.

It’s fun looking back through old photos and remembering our trips on this blog. In summer 2010, we traveled for about two weeks through the Scandinavian countries of Denmark (Copenhagen), Finland (Helsinki), Sweden (Stockholm), with a quick train ride up to Kalmar for a friend’s wedding, and then a brief stop in St. Petersburg, Russia. Every time a good friend of mine travels somewhere great, I love to ask them the good, the bad and the ugly of their adventure, so here is mine from this trip.

The GOOD:

  1. The glorious spa in Stockholm
  2. Drinking vodka in an ice cave
  3. The baby boom in Denmark
  4. A wedding in a castle

1.) Stockholm was by far my favorite, the city was fabulous, the food excellent, and I visited a spa and had the most amazing facial ever. She used Kerstin Florian products on my skin, and I still use them to this day. My skin LOVES these products, I use the rehydrating remineralizing face cream morning and night and it gives me the perfect balance of good thirst quenching moisture without any heaviness or greasy residue. Thank you Sigrid, at the Sturebadet Spa, for the best facial EVER.

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Sturebadet Spa, adjacent to our hotel, Stureplan

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2.) Another experience high up on the list was the opportunity to drink a cocktail made from ice, while sitting at a bar made from ice, in a room, (yes, you guessed it), made from ice. Stockholm did the ice bar experience first –  before Las Vegas and New York copied it. It was definitely a highlight of our trip.

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Licking my vodka tonic while in the Icebar.

 

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Iceberg, Stockholm, Sweden

3.) Denmark was fun, we rented some segways which was an easy and quick way to see the city. Something that really stuck out to me was there seemed to be baby boom in the city. If felt like everywhere you looked you saw blonde babies and toddlers running around! I have lived in Los Angeles county for over a decade which has wonderful diversity  — so it’s different to travel to a county that feels very homogenous. Even though there seemed to be a lot of babies when I visited, apparently, there isn’t enough. The government is trying to encourage couples to pro-create with catching slogan’s such as “Do It for Denmark!”

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My hubby and I did it for Denmark 😉

4.) One of my husband’s former roommates married a great gal that was originally from Sweden, so we had the privilege of attending their wedding held in a beautiful and original castle in Kalmar.

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Kalmer Castle, Sweden
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Walking up to attend our friend’s wedding in a castle. Pinch me, please!

The BAD:

  1. Fish Butter
  2. Dirty martinis made with olive oil

1.) All the Scandinavian hotels we stayed in offered us fabulous spreads for breakfast and there was always an assortment of  fresh, dried or pickled fish. It was fun at first, but then we noticed even the butter had a fish taste – not sure how they did it, but it was defintely some sort of fish infused butter. You have to REALY like fish in those countries, because they really love their fish up in the North!

Now that I am listing out my “bad” experiences, they only have to do with food, so I don’t know what that says. Ha! Probably a result of always traveling with a foodie husband.

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Breakfast at 71 Nyhavn Hotel. Brent is a little bleary eyed the morning we arrived after almost 24 hours of travel. 

2.) In Russia we took an evening cruise on the water channels which to me felt very “James Bond-esque.” It felt like ordering a dirty martini from a fancy Russian hotel was the right thing to do before embarking on a sunset cruise. I will never forget the look on the waiter’s face when I explained to him what a dirty martini was, and Brent will never forget the look on my face when the waiter brought me a martini glass half full of vodka…and half full of olive oil!

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Water channels in St. Petersburg, Russia
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Savior on the Spilled Blood Cathedral, St. Petersburg, Russia
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L ‘ermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia

The UGLY:

1.) Traveling while sick

International travel is hard — the time zone changes, the hours on trains and planes full of coughing people. Unfortunately, Brent got sick about a week into our travels. This picture below is of me exploring this charming little town in Sweden all by myself, because, poor Brent was sick back at the hotel. Definitely not a high point.

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The sweet little town of Kalmar, Sweden.
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Tivoli, Copenhagen

 

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