Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Summer Road Trip - Day 5 - Krakow and onward north

As promised, we now return this blog to our previously scheduled summer vacation wrap-up. It's now almost 2 months later, but who's counting?

Where was I? It looks like I left off upon arriving in Krakow, Poland. I loved that city and I definitely would like to go back and spend more time there. We only stayed one night.

The next morning we went to Auschwitz. I definitely think it's a place everyone should go to at some point but I can't say it was 'fun'; just one of those things you have to see. During the high season, you must tour the camp with a tour group so if you come as individuals, you are assigned to the next group to leave with a guide in the language of your choice. The next English group was huge; so big that they ended up splitting us into 4 groups of about 30 each. Unfortunately, we ended up with a tour guide that wasn't very good. The tour itself wasn't bad; it was his personal opinions he chose to inject into everything he was describing to the point that several in our group were making comments about filing complaints. He had a chip on his shoulder and I guess he was using his position as a tour guide to be able to vent his feelings to travelers from all over the world. It was unfortunate, and it caused us to decide to skip part 2 of the tour. I'm not sorry that we went, I just wish we had had a more impartial guide.

After leaving there, we began our trek up to the northern coast of Poland. It was a trip that lacked motorways in most places. Polish roads... wow. I have never seen anything quite like it! You know how, after a major snow fall, cars form ruts in the snow and everyone follows those ruts? Picture this, but without the snow, just the ruts, in the blacktop. Passing another car became an amusement ride of getting up out of the rut, around the car and back down into the ruts. It was nuts.

I will give 1 point to polish drivers, though. When they're driving slow, and they know it, they move way over to the right shoulder and drive with half the car on the shoulder so that it's easier to get around them. Loved that!

They lose that 1 point, however, for the sheer number of times we saw a car towing another car, with a rope. Before Poland, I can probably count the number of times I've seen this done, on one hand. After Poland, I need both hands, both feet and a few other appendages... we saw at least 2 a day. Crazy! Maybe it's how the Poles save on gas?

[Insert your own "How many Poles does it take to... ?" joke here]

Oh, and if you have to make a quick market stop and there's no place to put the car?  Not a problem, just pull right up on the sidewalk...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

It's been 4 years!

I know I left you all stranded somewhere in Poland and I will get back to the rest of the vacation tales, I promise, but today is a special day and so, instead of vacation, we're going back in time to 4 years ago...

On that day, it was hot - really, really, hot, 100 deg F (30+ on the Celsius scale) and that was the day that I married my prince. :) See what a witch I was that morning?...

After I jumped off my broom, I had to sit for all the pre-wedding pictures. My dress was heavy, and hot, but a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do, right? On the back of my dress was a train, and on the end of that train, what else would you find but a caboose?! My father is a model railroader and since the time I was very young, we had always joked that my train would have a caboose, and so my mother was tasked with sewing a small caboose on the end of my train as a surprise for my dad. :)

And how did my Dad repay me for the surprise? When he hugged me at the church, he ripped the veil out of my head!

Then we got down to the business at hand and I married this wonderful man...

Today is our 4th Anniversary!! I just googled the gift traditions:

Traditional Anniversary Gift: Flowers
Modern Anniversary Gift: Linen/Silk

I didn't get either of the above but what I did get was even better... I finally have a dining room set!! I would show you pictures, but you'll have to wait as the table is currently upside down with no legs. As soon as it's all put together again, I'll get a picture.

Happy Anniversary Ole! :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Summer Road Trip 2010 - Day 4 - Prague to Krakow

Day 4 began with a bit of a scream. It came out of me as I attempted to take my first steps of the day. All that hill walking on Day 3 left my calf muscles a bit unhappy!

We headed out from Prague, bound for Krakow. If you viewed our original itinerary, it called for a trip to the Salt Mines. As much as I would've loved to see them, with the shape we were in, we made the decision to skip the mines and the 378 wooden steps that lead down to the mine.

The drive from Prague to Krakow was very pretty and it was all motorway, which made for easy driving. I decided to give Ole a break with the driving and was cruising along the highway enjoying the drive. Then we hit a bit of a snag...

A police van that had been parked at an on-ramp suddenly decided to pull me over. I wasn't sure what was wrong as I was actually doing the speed limit - heck, the limit was approx 80 mph! Thankfully the police van had a little system for pulling people over - he pulled in front of me and the back of the van had a message bar that said "Follow Me" in several languages! I followed him into the gas station rest area as I was instructed to do.

Well, apparently we were supposed to have some sticker on the windshield to drive on the toll roads in the Czech Republic. We honestly had no idea about this sticker or we obviously would've had one! We ended up having to buy the sticker, and pay a fine - lesson learned I guess! The worst part of it was that at this point, we had about an hour left in the Czech Republic and then the sticker was useless.

We arrived in Krakow about mid-afternoon and decided to go into the town's market square. I absolutely LOVED the area and I could definitely go back and spend more time exploring Krakow. We enjoyed a horse-drawn carriage ride around Old Town. It was sprinkling rain and we were a bit wet by the time the trip was over, but it was warm enough that we didn't care. Here's a few pictures from the market and our ride...

I have found something new that I love!  It's called żurek, and is a traditional Polish soup.  Yummy!!

Once last picture before I leave you for Day 5...  This, apparently, is Schindler's Lift...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer Road Trip 2010 - Day 3

I'm already a day behind and it's only day 4 of the trip!  Let's catch up now....

Day 3 was all about Prague! If you have not been here, the one thing you really need to know is that this city is all cobblestone, and if you want to see Prague Castle - it's all about the hills. Our hotel was within walking distance of Prague Castle... if you're a mountain goat!

Honestly, it was rough, but we survived the climb and Ole survived my whining and we made it up to the top in time for the changing of the guard.

Prague Castle is huge. For most of the buildings, you need tickets, so we did the big ticket.  The ticket sales people attempted to convince us that we needed to buy the Audio Tour, for another 500 Czech Kroner each, or we would end up standing in line at the St. Vitus Cathedral for up to 2 hours.  Ole then tried to tell her that if he didn't buy it, he could make 500 Czech per hour that he stood in line.   He was being difficult, and she didn't understand him (shock) but we convinced her we would be fine without the audio.  As it turns out, there was no line by the time we went to the cathedral so ... we win!

This is a view from the stairs leading down from the castle.  This was about 4-5 flights down, with more to go, as you can see...

We then went from the castle to the Old Charles Bridge.  I think our bodies were screaming in pain too much to truly enjoy things by this time but I am glad we went!  This is a view of the castle from the bridge...

And this is us, exhausted!...

We returned to our hotel, and then later headed out to the local shopping mall for dinner.  I had a very tasty pizza and then we crashed.

I will catch up with Day 4 as soon as I have the energy!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Summer Road Trip 2010 - Day 2

We left Lehrte, Germany on Saturday morning to continue our drive to Prague. The trip took us through what was once 'East Germany'. These days it's hard to tell that there were 2 countries, but there are reminders now and then, like this old watch tower out in the middle of farming fields...

I drove a bit of the way and I actually drove over the Germany/Czech border, which means there is a place in Europe that I have driven before my husband! Driving the German roads can be a bit nerve-wracking. I'm sure if I did it more often, I'd be fine but there is something a bit disconcerting about being passed when you're already driving 95 mph!

We have a GPS in our car and Ole has one on his phone. We installed maps for Eastern Europe on both before we left but neither of them would navigate over the German border. We knew the maps were loaded so we just hoped for the best and thankfully, once we drove into the Czech Republic, the GPS did wake up and realize where it was! Which meant we were able to find our hotel - whew!

This is a view from our room - we are right on a busy street but across the street is a gorgeous park:

Last night we took a dinner cruise on the river to see Prague by night.

Either my camera doesn't have the ability to take decent night pictures, or I personally don't have the ability to use the camera - either is possible! But here is the best I could do - Prague Castle at about 10 pm:

Today we're headed over to see Prague Castle and explore the area.

One more random observation before I go:

They have some really, really big doors on these buildings... It's hard to judge the scale but that white box are you see is about even with my head.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Summer Road Trip 2010 - Day 1

Our much anticipated summer vacation is officially underway!
My plan is to do a daily update so we have something to look back on and remember it all! This is, of course, dependent upon working internet connections but I do believe I have booked all of our hotels with that in mind so it shouldn't be an issue.

We headed out at about 1pm this afternoon with a car full of suitcases, dog beds, 2 dogs and lots of water. Typically we would leave the dogs at a kennel, but because we planned this trip too late, and everyone in Denmark is on vacation at the same time, finding a kennel with space was impossible! We ended up finding a dog sitter online where the dogs live at her house for the week, with her own dog, and her family. So the first stop on our journey was the dog sitter and, once we got there, I became quite confident that our dogs are about to enjoy the vacation of their lives! The house is in the middle of nowhere at the end of a dead-end country road. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the dog sitter, her husband, her 5 yr. old son, a cat, about 6 eight-week old kittens (they were hiding everywhere so counting them was tough!) and a flock of chickens. The dogs went nuts, exploring every inch, sniffing everything there was to be sniffed. Zoe wasn't quite sure what to make of the kittens but she thought they definitely should play with her! I am convinced that, by week's end, she will have bathed every one of those kittens from head to toe whether they need it or not. Lexi also thought the kittens were quite interesting, but backed away quickly when the momma cat told her off. You had to be there!

The rest of the day was spent on the road headed south. We were doing quite well until just before Hamburg when traffic came to a stop…

Thank goodness for A/C in the car as the thermometer said 95 deg F!! There were several reasons for delay including some fender benders and some construction. It was a bit frustrating to be crawling along but at least we were moving. The north-bound side of the road was not. Due to an accident of some kind, that I think was already cleared up by the time we passed through, all traffic on the north-bound side was being diverted to one exit. This meant that for about 5 miles, no one was moving. Trucks were stopped in the lane with the drivers out of the truck, etc. But the thing I thought was so awesome was that there were ambulances driving up the emergency lane literally handing water bottles into each car that was stuck in the jam. How cool is that? BIG points for Germany on that one. Never saw anything like it and I'm quite sure you will never see that happen in the states!

Driving through Hamburg and past the ports almost had me thinking I was back in New Jersey…

I do believe there are a few container ships that pass through this port each day!!

We finally made it to our hotel in Lehrte, Germany at about 9pm and were able to sit down and have a nice dinner on the restaurant's patio. The amount of food on my plate at this hour and in this head was way, way more than I could eat, but it was quite tasty. I could've chosen the "Ox Cheek" but that frightened me, so I went for the Mixed Grill instead!

Our hotel is nice - a bit on the warm side - but it's not often that it's this hot around here.

I took one picture just for Kelli…

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Little Cat, Big Bed

My name is Coal.  Long ago I lived on the street.  It was really, really cold one night.  I sat in front of a door and howled.  Patti felt sorry for me and took me inside.  Where I stayed.

I'm old.  I was neutered in 1994; you do the math.

I have extra toes.  It seems to fascinate people.  My paw can double as a spoon, which is handy.  It also allows me to lift the ball out of the track on my favorite toy. 

I have been on an airplane 2 times in my life.   I didn't much like it.

My first trip was from New Jersey to Washington.  I had 2 brothers and a sister with me, but the airline wouldn't take all 4 of us on the same flight, so I had to fly out on the first plane and sit in Washington waiting for the rest to arrive.  It was a long day in a small box.

The new apartment had carpeting.  I liked that.

My second trip was from Washington to Denmark.  I shared a crate with Oscar.  He pee'd on me.  It wasn't a pleasant trip.

The new house is big but it doesn't have carpeting.  Slippery!!  I had to learn how to walk again. 

I'm basically an indoor kind of guy.  I wander outside now and then, but I get confused.  One day I jumped out the bathroom window.  Things outside made me nervous.  I ran up a tree.  Patti eventually convinced me to go back inside.  When I go outside now, I only go to the terrace or the driveway.  I like to roll over and scratch my back on the cement.  If you catch me out there, I will immediately run back inside.  Can't take any chances (see cold night above).

Sometimes I think I'm a dog.  This is why I sleep on the doggy bed.  This is also why I ignore my own water bowl and drink from the big bowl.

Today I was in the kitchen when the tall guy served food for the two big black slobbery ones.  I stuck my head in Lexi's bowl and started to eat her food.  She was confused.

Mission accomplished.  I will go back to sleep now.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Good Morning Denmark!

While the Danish government believes that I can read, write and speak Danish (after all, I did pass the test), I find my skills lacking and it frustrates me. By far, the hardest aspect of the language, for me, is understanding what people are saying. That and actually listening, rather than tuning them out, but that's a separate issue!

I've talked to others attempting to learn the language and to those who are more fluent than myself and the number one suggestion that I get is to turn on the TV. I can't actually watch the TV while I'm working, but everyone suggests that just having it on in the background will somehow penetrate my skull; subliminal learning apparently.

So today was day one of the experiment. I turned on the TV this morning and found Denmark's version of the Today show, "Go' morgen Danmark".

This is what I know, or more accurately, what I think I heard...

  1. It's a nice morning in Denmark.
  2. Something about a motorway. I don't know if something happened on a motorway or if something is going to happen on a motorway but I know that a motorway is somehow involved in something. Useful, yes?
  3. Pia Kjærsgaard had something to say about something. She's the leader of the most conservative party in DK and most of what she says holds no interest for me other than outrage, so I didn't pay much attention to this part.
  4. I think someone wrote a book about women's backsides through history. When it was popular to have a small butt and when it was popular for baby to 'have back'. And they talked about Pamela Anderson. And church bells were ringing in the background. The same segment was played again later - the church bells gave it away.
  5. Tour d'France is coming. I think someone from the Saxo Bank team was interviewed.
  6. It is a dark day for England after yesterday's loss in the World Cup. In a related matter, some woman wrote in asking for someone to explain 'off-sides'. I'm not sure if it was explained or not. Then again, I'm not sure I would understand it if someone explained it in English.
  7. Someone cooked something involving couscous.
  8. Protesters are at the G20 meeting in Canada.
  9. It's going to be warm later this week.
Perhaps Day 2 will go better.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Can you read my mind?

You're probably thinking, "who is this woman in my reader list?" And that would be perfectly understandable as I seem to be as rare as an overstock in a Danish grocery store.

I have been blogging.
I blog all the time.
In the shower.
In my head.

The mere absence of actual words on a screen should not discount all the great posts I have written.

In my head.

Perhaps one or two will be coming to a screen near you!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day so a perfect day to share the story of our birds.

No, we don't have birds as pets, but we do have a rather large bird population that frequents our yard and the yards of those around us. Each year, the birds build nests in the area and one of their favorite nesting spots is inside our car port.

Next to our house we have a large storage shed and the back wall of the shed (the wood storage area) isn't a full wall. It has vertical boards with spaces between the boards.

One day a few months ago, I had mentioned to Ole that we needed to move some items that were stored in that area because they were getting very dirty from the birds and from things blowing through the open walls. A few days later he discovered the reason for so much bird dirt - we had a nest in our shed...

That white metal part is the place where our garden hose hangs. At the time the nest was built, the hose was still there! Apparently, for this particular momma bird, the car port wasn't good enough for her babies so she chose a more secluded spot inside our shed! Quite an elaborate structure - the condo living of bird life, so to speak.

I told Ole that we couldn't move the nest after she spent so much time building it! But then, about 3 weeks ago, I needed the hose so that was a bit of an issue. I decided then that I would take down the nest. But, when I lifted it off the hose, I discovered 3 little eggs inside and suddenly I had huge guilt! I set the whole nest carefully on a shelf, removed the hose, and then put the nest back up and hoped for the best. As it turns out (thank you google) birds have little or no sense of smell, so despite popular belief, they really could care less that you've touched their nest. And, if you do ever find a baby bird, with or without feathers, out of their nest, the best thing to do is to simply pick them up and put them back in the nest.

(I'm fascinated by the construction that goes into these nests. When you get a chance to look at one up close, it's pretty amazing.)

About a week later, as I opened the door to the shed, 3 little beaks popped up! And each time I opened the door after that, I could hear momma bird quickly fly away, always to return when I left the area. I grabbed my camera one day and managed to get a little photo of the babies...

It's quite difficult to figure out what's going on there as it's just a pile of feathers and beaks, but I think there are 3 little fledglings in there. This past week, I wanted to get another photo figuring they'd be a bit bigger now but when I went to take a picture... I found an empty nest.

Our little birdies flew the coop. They're all grown up and off on their own in this big, bad world. Perhaps this time next year, they'll return to raise their own little babies.

To all the mothers out there - whether your babies are still in the nest, or have grown up and are off on their own...

Happy Mother's Day

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Stockholm Baby!

I live in Europe - just a hop, skip and a jump from the rest of Europe in all its fabulous Europeaness. You would think that I would manage to leave my little sheltered town and venture out now and then but somehow it just doesn't seem to happen often. I've been here 3-1/2 years and have rarely ventured beyond the German border (it's 2 hours away!). We did manage to get in a car with some fabulous friends last November and spend our Thanksgiving weekend in a spa in Poland, and of course that was worth every moment, but for the most part, getting beyond the local doggy forest seems to be somewhat of a chore.

But, my family managed to wake me from my slumber and send me on a mission. The original mission was to somehow get the rest of the fabric for the drapery project to my mother, in the US, without having it cost more than a flight to the US.

You know how someone is from a place and you know someone else from that place, and the chances of those 2 people knowing each other or being from the same spot within that place is usually an impossibility but yet you can't help but say... "You're from Texas? Do you know Jim?". Well, my brother sent an email last month and though he knew the chance was slim asked... "You're in Denmark - have any friends in Stockholm?". Yeah, because those two places are small, and right next to each other. I know 3 people in Sweden. Total. And to say I know them is a bit of stretch, really, since I just know them from reading their blogs. 2 of them I'm sure have no idea that I exist, but they're blogs are funny, so I keep reading. The 3rd, however, also happens to be a Facebook friend and so I posed the question... "Any chance you're anywhere near Stockholm?" And get this... she is! And, being one of those generous souls that also happens to be a perfect person to serve as a pseudo-ambassador for her current country, she agreed to let my brother and sister-in-law pepper her with questions about Stockholm. Why the interest?

Because my brother may take an assignment in Sweden and hop on over to this side of the pond. Now, how cool is that!?

What does all this have to do with getting fabric to the US? Well, suddenly one evening on the phone with my mother, I found out that my brother, and his entire family, would be arriving in Stockholm for 4 days beginning on Palm Sunday. Which, at the time, was oh... a week away? Suddenly a flurry of activity took place on the computer next to mine and the next thing I knew, we were heading for Stockholm on Saturday, duffel bag full of fabric in hand, so that we could give said bag to my brother, visit with the family and even meet my Stockholm connection! Granted by the time we booked our flight, paid for the dogs to stay at the kennel, and paid for a hotel, it would've been cheaper just to ship the fabric to the US, but hey, a girl has to get out now and then!

We arrived in Stockholm Saturday afternoon and were greeted at Arlanda by Sir Pe, who took us straight to the home of Lady Fi, Oscar the dog and the infamous anklebiters! Upon arrival she promptly asked us if we had remembered to bring ear plugs - and I don't think she was kidding! The ankle biters are loud, but very sweet, and they proceeded to entertain us with their attempts at the Danish language. If I'm being honest - their danish was probably better than mine!

I gave Oscar a gift of a purple ball and he instantly became my friend for life. This is one very sweet dog!

We enjoyed lots of great conversation and pizza and I am delighted to have had the chance to meet our new Stockholm friends!

After a great evening, Sir Pe offered to drive us to our hotel. Once the men decided, with the help of the iPhone, the best way to get from point A to point B, we said our goodbyes and piled into the car for the ride to the hotel. We were a bit delayed getting out of the driveway as Sir Pe had forgotten to unplug whatever it was he had plugged into the car to keep it warm when we had arrived. Yes, it's that cold in Sweden.

As we drove, we chatted about various things, and then Ole and I learned that if you ask your driver about certain topics, such as their home country and why they don't live their anymore, said driver can get a bit distracted and forget exactly where it is he is supposed to be taking you. You have to be careful, as you may end up back at the airport, which doesn't happen to be anywhere near your hotel. I'm not saying that this is what happened (because I think I said I wouldn't say), I'm just saying... as a general word of caution for future visitors. 'Nuff said. Moving on!

On Sunday, we got together with my brother and family! It had been over a year since I'd seen them, so this was a great treat for all of us. Unfortunately for them, their luggage had been delayed in Amsterdam so they were stuck in what they had worn on the plane. Not to mention that they'd just arrived on an overseas flight, with 3 kids, so everyone was a bit exhausted. Nevertheless, we all went out to a local pub and had some lunch and then had a chance to wander around Stockholm a bit. We visited the royal palace and did a bit of sight-seeing.

Ole and I finally headed back to our hotel. Did I mention that Ole booked a hotel that sat on top of a shopping mall? Could it get any more perfect?! We wandered through the Swedish grocery store and I found some prized possessions - cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup and ziploc bags. I decided to let Sweden keep the caviar in a toothpaste tube. That's just too weird for me.

Final word of caution for those who may be thinking of visiting Stockholm. There is a train. It runs from Arlanda airport to central Stockholm. It takes 20 minutes. It costs approximately $40 USD, per person. And, at the time we were on it, the bathroom on board was out of order. Grumble. Highway robbery!

Oh, and the fabric? It has arrived back in the US! :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Telling Time

I learned how to tell time long, long ago. I have no memory of the process, it's just one of those things you learn early and never forget. But, I learned to tell time in a part of the world that uses AM and PM to differentiate between the time before lunch, and the time after. Then I moved to Denmark, and ... my ability to tell time has been blown to bits.

Why? Well, you see, over here they use a 24 hr clock. Where I come from, we call that 'military time' but here, they just call it time. Whether there are armies of soldiers involved or not, it confuses the hell outta me. Oh sure, on paper, it's all rather simple - there are 24 hours in a day and if you just use all 24 when telling time, rather than only 12, it simplifies things and gets rid of that pesky little 'am' and 'pm'. I fully understand the concept and I do agree that it does make a bit of sense, but my brain cannot compute the times on short notice. It's not that I don't know that 17 means 5pm, it's just that when the world is moving quickly, and I'm not paying attention, 17 is meaningless. And this... this gets me into trouble now and then.

Exhibit A: A couple of weeks ago, we had the dogs at the swimming hall on a Saturday. There's an appointment book there where you choose your next swimming time and write in your name to reserve the time. We were on our way out and decided to book a time for Wednesday evening. I ran to the book, scrolled quickly through the available times, and jotted our names down for 6:30 pm. As we were loading the dogs into the car, something in my brain was triggering me that some bit of something, somewhere, wasn't quite right. So, because of that little nagging voice, I ran back inside to double-check the time I'd chosen. Yep, okay, 6:30 it is. All set. Or so I thought.

When we arrived Wednesday evening, right on time, the owner started to tell Ole that we had missed our time, but that we were lucky, as no one was scheduled so we would still be able to swim. I'm thinking.. huh? How did we miss our time? Let's go to the videotape (or in this case, the appointment book). What time had I chosen? 16:30... um, oops. Yep, I had chosen 4:30 pm, not 6:30 pm, and despite my brain's best attempt to warn me of my error, another part of my brain just couldn't see that pesky little "1" standing in front of the 6:30.

Exhibit B: And just the other day, while on the phone, we were discussing an upcoming event and whether or not we'd be attending. I had received an email with the details of the event and I had read said email earlier in the day. When Ole mentioned that it may start too early for us, I quickly replied that I thought we'd be fine as it didn't start until 7 or 7:30.

I went back later to sign us up only to discover that we will be late in arriving. I'm guessing by now, you can probably figure out why.


Friday, March 5, 2010

Hockey Hockey Hockey

For the first time in over 15 years, I watched a hockey game from beginning to end. Not only that, but I watched a 2nd hockey game, in the same weekend, from beginning to nearly the end, and a 3rd game for about the last 20 minutes. Last weekend was all about hockey, hockey, hockey.

The last time before last weekend was the 1994 Stanley Cup finals where I watched the NY Rangers win the cup and end a 54-year drought in winning their first cup since 1940. It was a HUGE game if you lived anywhere in or around NYC and was something not to be missed.

On Friday evening, we headed out to a hockey game that wasn't quite so newsworthy! It was an event planned for a new international society. There was a fantastic turn-out with about 100 people, including both internationals living in Denmark, as well as Danes. It was really exciting and a great kick-off to what I hope becomes a regular part of our lives! We had a sandwich, a beer and a hockey game all for just 50 kr. per person, which is about $10 and let me tell you, entertainment does not come this cheap in DK! Incredible.

The game was the Herning hockey team against the Esbjerg team, in Herning. Now, as this new group is for those living in and around Herning, the general idea was that those who attended would be routing for the home team. Slight problem with that in this household. The 'home' team for my dane would be Esbjerg! But, given that our tickets were smack in the middle of the Herning fans, and the fact that despite all of our cheering and hopes for a good game there were no goals scored while we were there, in the end, it didn't matter that a traitor was in our midst! About that lack of goals thing... after 3 periods with no score, the game went into overtime. After the first overtime period, still with no score, we decided that beating the traffic out was more important than seeing the game to the end, and, after standing for over an hour (hey, 50 kr. remember - no seats!), it was time. Some pictures...

(Photo courtesy of Kelli!)
Ole, Monica and me

Kelli and Monica

Upon arriving home from the game, I discovered that the USA was in the middle of kicking some serious hockey butt at the Olympics against Finland. I was able to find a live stream of the game and watched the last 15 minutes or so of that one. Suddenly, I was totally sucked into the hockey madness!

And Sunday night, I joined the masses in watching the Gold medal game against Canada. It was a nail-biter and emotional roller-coaster from start to finish and while the end was a crushing blow, I'm glad I was able to watch it even from the other side of the world.

Maybe I won't wait another 15 years to see my next game!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fancy Schmancy Pictures

Since I started taking Tamoxifen, my left knee has been bothering me with a nice nagging pain. I explained this to my Oncologist in January but he felt that since it was just one knee, and not all my joints, that the Tamoxifen wasn't to blame. He advised me to go to my regular doctor.

After a visit to my regular doctor, she wanted an X-ray of my knee, so I had to go to the Herning hospital for the X-ray. But, nothing was apparent from that little black and white picture and she decided to send me off to an Orthopedist.

So, earlier this week, I trotted off to Viborg Hospital to meet the Orthopedist. I had a 9:15 am appointment so I brought along my Kindle, and the paperwork they had sent me by mail, figuring I'd have to sit awhile. When I got there at about 9 am, the receptionist surprised me by greeting me in English - she must have read my file because I hadn't yet said a word! She told me to sit in section 4 and I prepared myself for a wait. Before I could even get a pen from my bag to fill out papers, they called me in - yeehaw! After a 15 minute consultation with the Orthopedist, he decided that I needed an MRI of my knee. He then explained that I would have to go to the private hospital in Viborg for the MRI and that it would be about a 2-week wait. That was on Tuesday.

Yesterday morning (Wednesday) I received a call from a private hospital in Herning asking me to come in for my MRI today! She explained that the wait time in Viborg would be too long and that my file had been sent over to them instead. I have to tell you it's quite handy to live smack in the middle of these two cities!

I have never had an MRI before and I wasn't quite sure of what to expect. I arrived at the hospital this morning and I have to say, the place was much smaller than I had anticipated. The MRI machine was actually a portable unit that was in a trailer in the parking lot. Once inside, it was just me and the technician. I had to lie down on the machine and then she put all kinds of braces and straps around my knee. She gave me some headphones to wear so I could listen to music to counteract the noise of the machine. She was telling me everything in Danish, which was okay as I was understanding the majority of what she was saying. There was, however, one thing I definitely misunderstood. When she explained it all, she said I had to be perfectly still and I was sure she had said it would take about 2 minutes. I'm thinking.. no problem!

Problem. 2 minutes and 20 minutes, in Danish, sound a bit similar. So, as the machine is cranking away, loudly, and I was listening to the 3rd song on the headset, it soon hit me that she didn't say 2, she said 20, and I was going to be stuck here for a bit. Oh well, there wasn't anything uncomfortable about any of it so I didn't care.

Next thing I knew, she was waking me up. Yes, despite the songs in my head and the very loud machine, I managed to doze off. I'm sure I'm not the first to have done that!
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