søndag den 14. januar 2018

47 hours

...... without any kids in the Frikke household! For the first time in what interestingly enough comes close to 47 months. Last time Kristian and I had more than a few hours without any of our offspring was back in July 2014, where we went to Berlin. And when you have been married for close to 20 years and usually have the longest conversations over practicalities, it almost felt scary to imagine several days with no interruptions. But we are still a good team who enjoys many of the same things and we ended up having an awesome weekend without going out of town.
We have gone on long walks with the dog:
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We have found good deals on dessert plates - something we really needed after having used somewhat broken secondhand ones for more than 3 years. We went to Anthropologie to have a look and check this out! They had llama plates on sale for only 3.50$ each. #llamalove
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I love having things that makes me happy, when I use them and these plates are most definitely in this category.
We have been going out for breakfast and dinners. I dragged Kristian along to hopcat where they had more than 100 beers to choose from. And even better, they sell them in small tasting samples so you don’t have to confine yourself to just one one. I had salted caramel porter and Belgian beer tasting like “althea bolcher” (a Danish hard candy with an orangy flavor that I used to hate as a child but kind of like now).
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And after that we only had to skip across the street to be right at Michigan Theater. Here it is from the top of the parking garage:
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It is an old theater with those movies that usually don’t make it to the big cinema complexes full of teens. We had tickets for “The shape of water” and I was blown away by everything in there. The golden ceilings, the red velvet chairs, and the live organ music during the commercials. Seriously a guy walked in and starting playing in the little organ up front:
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The film was one of the best I have seen in a long time. Please go see for yourself if you have the chance!
We were sitting next to a couple of college kids and they were audibly gasping when one of the main characters - a power tripping psychopath - gave racists comments to one of his employees, or when there was that kind of beautiful artistic nudity involving non-surgery-modified and quite real human bodies .in some scenes. They have obviously not watched non-Hollywood movies before🙄
And now it is Sunday afternoon. The kids will be home in a few hours and Kristian and I are not quite ready for it yet. We have learned though that we cannot keep blaming the kids for always being late for church Sunday morning..... ahem......

fredag den 12. januar 2018

Are you cold?

If any of you ever wake up in the morning and wonder: have I ever felt real cold? Not just cold, but bonechilling painful cold!Well, this blogpost is for you.
If you can answer yes to every single question you are a true cold trooper. If not.... well then you have not lived life to the fullest!
1) have your nose ever filled up with ice crystals within 10 steps of being outside?
2) did your lungs hurt when you tried to breathe?
3) have you stopped noticing how stupid ear flap hats look because you wear one every day?
4) have you ever walked your dog and had to remove icicles from under his eyes upon returning home?
5) did it sound like styrofoam last time you kicked a piece of ice?
6) have you ever been surprised that it was not warm enough for shorts when it sure felt like it? (Aka when temperatures suddenly heats up to just a few degrees below freezing).
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torsdag den 4. januar 2018

Out cold

We are back in Michigan and it is cold! Even by Michigan standards. But we are nowhere near any record breaking weather despite the stories of horrible cold spells flooding the media. As we drove back we listened to Danish radio and the had a story in the news about penguins in a zoo in Canada that had to be brought inside as it was too cold for them.
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And I hardly dare to say this - but the cold does not feel too bad....... yep, I am apparently morphing into a true Michigan trooper. Albeit I am not happy about having to leave my cozy bed in a bit to pick up one of Luca’s friends.
My body has been out cold hard though. I woke up with a terrible headache and almost a flu like feeling yesterday. I guess it was from all that time sitting in a car. As far as I remember it is not the first time that the multi day drive back from North Carolina has affected me this way. Luckily school does not start until Monday January 8th, so the kids and I still have time to recover (if one ever truly feels like having recovered anything on the first day of work/school after Christmas break.......). That also gives Ulrik time to work on some more college applications. On December 24th he got an email from university of Michigan stating that his application had not been complete so they had not been able to process it! I was furious. We had receipts for everything and if something was missing, then why didn’t they just let us know sooner? It turns out that we are responsible for having the national test score agency send out the scores to the universities. Sigh. I am apparently still too Danish in my logical thinking that universities would be granted access to national databases without my involvement. And of course it costs money to send the scores, right? Anyways - another deadline is coming up by February 1st, which will be his last chance for getting in this fall. Fingers crossed (and of course he will be applying to other universities as well as umich is quite hard to get into).

mandag den 1. januar 2018

Happy 2018

It’s January first and we are steadily climbing our way through the Smoky Mountains towards Lexington in Kentucky. The mountains are not smoking today as they did on the way down:
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Instead we are seeing ice coming off the mountain sides:
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Luckily we have nice dry roads despite the cold.
Yesterday was a long day filled with good company and beautiful lights.We started out going to church with Doug and Birgitte, who then treated is to an extravagant lunch (Luca ate a brownie the size of a plate with icecream and fudge sauce, and did not ask for additional food until this morning).
We had a quick stop back at the house to walk the dog before we headed over to Kate and John for coffee - fellow Danes who understand concept of “eftermiddagskaffe”👍🏻
And then we tried to squeeze in one last outdoor activity - a visit to see the lights at the botanical garden after dark. It was quite a drive and we were not sure if it would be worth it, but it was stunning. Just being inside a tropical green house when it is dark outside is not something I have tried before. Outside was SO pretty. They had done an awesome job of adding lights to the trees in the garden:
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Last but not least (after a sushi stop at Whole Foods for Kristian, Teresa, and I) we went back to Doug and Birgitte’s house to spend the first part of New Years Eve. Luca finally got to play with Ethan (those two are dynamite together - sigh😉) and we got to have some good old fashioned hygge! Very trendy in the US these days........
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We went back to our house to watch the balldrop on Times Square. For my own part I was mostly curious to see if Mariah Carey screwed up her show, which she didn’t. But I do not understand how she kept on going wearing some glittery next-to-nothing outfit in that cold...... “Perhaps” she was wrapped from head to toe in flesh colored spandex!
Teresa and Luca decided to jump into 2018
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And with 2018 featuring a visit from Teresa’s best friend from Denmark, I think it will be a good year❤️

lørdag den 30. december 2017

Give me a “C”

...... for Charleston, Carowinds, and Crowder Mountain.
Well, one of the reasons we like to get out of Ann Arbor for the winter is to be more outside and have places to go, and the past few days have certainly not disappointed us!
Wednesday we headed deeper south towards Charleston in South Carolina - a 3 1/2 hours drive. But at the end of that waited awesome company:
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The most beautiful surroundings
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And so many palm trees❤️
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We are lucky to have friends in Ann Arbor, who have family down here and opened their house to the 6 of us (woof) without any hesitation. And what a house! One of those homes you would otherwise only see in movies with goldfish in the pond by the entrance, garden paths made of crushed sea shells, and room after room filled with antiques. We even got a guided tour of the harbor by Walker, who is way more updated on US history than we are (or probably ever will be - ahem). Only down side was a somewhat creepy drive back to North Carolina in the dark as we were all exhausted.
We have also visited “winter fest” in Carowinds. The teenagers of the family tried to get in as many daredevil rides as they could possibly get away with, while the rest of us enjoyed the lights and decorations:
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And today we went hiking on Crowder Mountain for 3 hours straight. And what a hike! The path took us on the rim of the mountain tops with plenty of rock climbing
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Even the dog does not want to go downstairs tonight due to worn out legs.
We have also squeezed in some more North Carolina family time with a visit to the aquarium:
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And Teresa and my credit card and I even managed to find an Anthropologie sale:
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So overall we have had a wonderful visit down here. We still have one more full day before going back (to the terrible cold😢) tomorrow so stay tuned.

onsdag den 27. december 2017

Merry Christmas from North Carolina

Christmas break this year is spent away from the Michigan cold. I am certainly not missing the temperatures:
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It is actually quite cold down here as well as a cold front has decided to cross the eastern side of the US as a late christmas present for everybody.... but I’ll take southern state cold over northeast cold at any time.
The drive down was wet but uneventful (in a good way). Bailey got to ride an elevator for the first time in his dog life. Not a big success🙈
And we got to visit a Walmart deep in the mountains where everybody wears mossy oak outfits and looks (and talks) like they just stepped out of Duck Dynasty. That did not stop us from a dog potty break though
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This time we have rented a pet friendly Airbnb house. Or half a house as we do share it with the owners. They invited us to Christmas Eve service at their church - elevation church. That was - ehm - quite an experience. I don’t think it technically counts as a mega church but for people like us, parking attendants, smoke machines and laser lights, live broadcast of the sermon from somewhere else, and free earplugs for everybody due to the insane decibel level, was very different from what we usually do😳
We spent Christmas Eve with our family down here (and I absolutely forgot to take any pictures whatsoever, but ya’ll know how Christmas Eve dinners usually go right?).
On Christmas morning Luca woke us all up at 7AM on the dot. And after a solid gift frenzy and some quality time spend on the phone with T mobile about activation of some new iPhones, we walked the dog and went to the movies. And luckily found an open CVS where we could get some frozen dinner as we forgot to prepare for that before the stores closed the day before:
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Yesterday (which was...... Tuesday...... I think...... #christmasbrain) we spent the day with Birgitte and Doug (and Hannah) at the Billy Graham library. I admit that my expectations were not exactly high.Especially not when we started out meeting the mechanical talking cow:
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But it was such a good experience after that. They had several rooms connected, each dedicated to a certain theme of his life. I didn’t know much about him walking in, and I had no idea what he managed to accomplish. He was one of the first western pastors to break though the iron curtain and go preach in communist countries and the room with video footage from him visiting Romania, Moscow etc, which you got to watch sitting in the shadow of the Berlin Wall while being blinded regularly by the search light from the guard tower almost gave me goosebumps.
Again - I totally forgot to take any pictures, but Teresa did ask me to snap a photo of her in front of the giganormous Christmas tree by the entrance:
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And as I write we are driving even further south to Charleston in South Carolina to spend the day with friends from Michigan❤️