Monthly Archives: June 2014

Copenhagen: Part 1

Jennifer Michie Copenhagen

Oh, Copenhagen! Where do I begin? You are a magical city that completely enthralled and enchanted me. It is simply a beautiful city. The architecture was quite a heady mix of old versus a clean minimalist cosmopolitan appearance. Both worked in tandem with each other to create a unique city.

We like to be adventurers when we travel so after landing in Copenhagen airport, we got our luggage, bought tickets and headed to the train station underneath the airport. We made our way to Islands Brygge and headed for our hotel. It was gorgeous. It was a ginormous loft apartment/hotel that we just fell in love with. Floor to ceiling windows that slid or opened like a door. It allowed us to let in so much fresh air and we could sit on the couch and just look out over the water. Bliss!

We got settled, ran to the grocery store attached to our building, it was called Irma’s and was completely adorable. We ate some lunch and then headed into the city. Now our apartment was located about a 15/20 min walk outside of the city center, which suited us just fine.

Jennifer Michie Copenhagen Stores

The adorable Irma’s sign and a delicious cinnamon roll from Emmery’s

We had a lovely stroll along the water and over the bridge. The bikes! Oh, the bikes! I don’t bike in London, it is just too congested, but here, I would bike. I loved the many bikes that had a beautiful wooden cart on the front to put your children, your groceries or your dog. Or, in some cases, all three! I couldn’t get over the fact how bikes were just lined up along walls, with only a small lock secured around the spokes. In England, bikes are locked by the wheels and then locked to a rack and a million other things to make sure they are secured. Here, no one seemed to worry, there was such a lovely element of trust.

Jennifer Michie H.C. Andersen

Jennifer Michie Dome

Our first stop was to the Glyptoteket. We should have known we were going to have museum issues from this point forward, all we could do was laugh. They apparently have an excellent collection of French Impressionist art, but unfortunately floor two was closed, so we didn’t get to see any of it. However, they have a stunning conservatory and as we strolled around we were regaled by a live production of a group singing excerpts from Wagner’s Operas. The Egyptian Hall more than made up for anything we missed. Part of it was designed to make you feel as if you were descending in to a tomb.

Jennifer Michie Andersens Bakery

Next we headed to the Tivoli Gardens, which is the world’s second oldest amusement park. It was adorable! Walt Disney visited there when he was building Disneyworld, and you could see a few things that inspired him. We went to Andersen’s Bakery famous for their hot dogs, they were delicious! We split one as I really more interested in dessert. I got a mandelhorn, which was a crispy almond trumpet filled with an orange chocolate cream, I didn’t think Mr. Michie would be interested. I was wrong! I had to fight him for it, but I managed to steal a few bites!

Jennifer Michie Tivoli 2 Jennifer Michie Tivoli 1

We strolled around the park some more just taking everything in and finally headed home. It a magical place. There are updated rides, but there still remains a sweetness to the place. I loved a lot of their light fixtures. At night the entire park is light up, it was enchanting.

Day two began somewhat early, we had already scoped out the bakery attached to the hotel the day before called Emmery’s and had picked up some treats, so breakfast started with their coffee and the most divine cinnamon rolls smothered in chocolate that I have ever eaten. The pastry was more of a puff pastry consistency, the inside was filled with butter, cinnamon, sugar and nuts that that made there way down to the bottom and had caramalized and turned crunchy in the pan and the the tops were smothered in chocolate and fresh chopped hazelnuts were sprinkled over the top. What a way to start the day!

Jennifer Michie Nyhaven 2014

After we finished getting ready we headed down to the boat dock. Here we picked up a boat bus that took us to Nyhaven. It is a picturesque little section of Copenhagen on the canal. The buildings are so colorful and cheery. Hans Christian Andersen used to live here, in three different homes along the canal. We walked and took pictures and ate lunch by the water.

There is such a different pace of life here. I love it! Things get done, but you aren’t rushed. Most cafés and restaurants who had outdoor seating had a stack of blankets set out so you wouldn’t get too chilly. That made me very happy and as it was a cool day, my blanket kept me toasty all through lunch!

Jennifer Michie National Museum 1Jennifer Michie National Museum 2

Next we headed to the National Gallery of Denmark. It was a really interesting place. Again, they had areas shut down as they were under construction, so we didn’t get to see everything, but what we did see we just loved!

Jennifer Michie Bear Crossing

There were signs everywhere to point out roads for pedestrians and roads for bikes. I liked that this path also included a place for bears to stroll.

Jennifer Michie Pizza

We stopped at a little pizza joint for dinner that we noticed everyone at the night before. It was great and so fresh! After dinner we strolled home along the water and then headed up to the apartment. It was nice having a little haven to return to the evenings. Where we could stretch out on the sofas and watch tv or read or just listen to music and watch the boats go by.

I have more to share, next up Sweden! So, stay tuned, I’ll be right back!

Jennifer Michie Dog at Irma's

Exhale

Photobooth 1960s

Well Friday has finally arrived and with it, I hope there is a chance to catch my breath. I’m just ready to slowly exhale. There was a graduation ceremony at school on Wednesday, so my scuba class was canceled, I missed it. I missed being in the water. The previous week we got to dive in with all of our equipment on and enter the pool by doing a somersault, I don’t think I ever want to enter the pool another way again!

I’m working on editing my Copenhagen pictures at the moment, there are just so many to share! But I’ve narrowed it down to a few favourites. So, I’m hoping to keep my promise to get those posts out soon and have them done and dusted this weekend.

I think we shall have a quiet weekend, although there are a couple of exhibitions on at the moment I wouldn’t mind popping in to. We shall simply see what the weekend holds for us.

Last weekend we welcomed the arrival of Summer with a fresh peach cobbler, but I’ve been craving a brownie, so we might whip up a batch of those this weekend and devour them with a big scoop of ice cream.

Next week brings with it the 4th of July and so I want to work on a menu plan for that, I’m more interested in what dessert I shall make, maybe a shortcake cake filled with vanilla whipped cream, blueberries and strawberries is just what the occasion calls for? We shall see.

School is slowly winding down, although I think the fast heady pace will stay until the last day. I shall soon have more time to myself to get back to my home here and share all the things that I want to share with you.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, wherever you may be. Here’s to the weekend! Long may it last!

{Image: Found HERE, Pinned HERE}

Half Way

Misteltoe

Today is the 25th of June, a Wednesday. We have reached the half way mark in the week. We have also reached the half way mark in the year. It’s 6 months till Christmas. This year is zooming by and this month has kept me spinning. I’m working toward being able to just be still and to be able to have time to come in to my little home here and write, I’m truly missing it at the moment.

Happy Wednesday, we’ve almost made it to Friday!

Wednesday

Jennifer Michie Flower Head

This week is going by in a blur. My Monday morning started with a long detour to work as there was a fire at London Marylebone over the weekend and it was shut. From that point forward, I feel like I have been spending the week thus far, running to catch up.

I have another scuba diving lesson tonight and a few things to get done when I get home and then I can put my feet up for five minutes. I just read the most delicious book, so that has been added to my already long list of things to share with you. I promise, my Copenhagen posts are coming soon!

We spent my birthday morning in Regent’s Park eating breakfast in the Japanese Garden. The above image was a close-up of a cluster of roses, still fresh with morning dew, that I shot in one of the rose gardens. They are named, “lucky”. I liked that!

Happy Wednesday my friends, we are almost at the end of the week!

Happy Father’s Day

Canoe on the Water

I listened to a podcast recently that spoke of “living content”. It’s premise: that it is up to us to find contentment within ourselves; it is about having the right attitude, a certain frame of mind. Be content with what you have and content with all the rest. It spoke about being present and content in the season that you are in right now.

I listened to these words very carefully for I try very hard to live contentedly, but there is always something, there are always little things in life that are not perfect and I work hard to accept that. No matter what my situation or day I’ve had, I always have at least one thing to be grateful for when I lay my head on my pillow at night. First and foremost my family. I am blessed with a family who love each other, respect each other’s differences and truly get along. That is not always the case in some families.

What’s more, I’ve been blessed with a wonderful father. A man who has always managed to be content as he has traversed through many seasons. He has been on the mountain, but he has grown in the valleys. A man who has handled whatever has been given to him with grace and good faith.

I feel privileged to call him my Dad. He has taught me so much and even now as an adult watching how he responds to life continues to guide me on my own path.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad! I love you!

{Image found HERE, pinned HERE}

Let The Weekend Begin

Erin Gregory Flower Painting

Friday has come at last and I am so happy! My Birthday is this weekend and we are going to start celebrating tonight, with dinner from Five Guys and watching a good movie on our vintage projection screen for Friday the 13th. I’m voting for The Goonies or maybe Sixteen Candles.

We’re gonna make my birthday cake tonight and tomorrow I want to get up early, grab some coffee and walk through Regent’s Park, one of my favorite parks in London. I want to stroll around when it is still peaceful and the zoo animals are just waking up. We are going to visit the new Folk Art Exhibition at the Tate Britain and maybe grab a bite out.

And, we shall just take it from there. I don’t want anything too planned out, just something fun and simple. I also want to carve out a little time this weekend to finish my Copenhagen posts and one or two other things that have been on the back burner!

The sun is out today, I was lucky and got to have my Friday meeting out on the balcony. So over business, I could work on my tan. Life is good! Here’s to Fridays and Birthdays and THE WEEKEND! Long may it last!

{Image: Erin Gregory, found HERE, Pinned HERE}

Scuba Lesson #4

Samantha French Breakthrough 2012

This has been an exceedingly busy week. I am working on my Copenhagen posts, I have so much to share with you.

But work seems to be getting the better of me at the moment, with long days, an even longer commute due to track works and all the heat is just draining my mental energy. Because all this heat is making people mean and mean people are not fun to be riding around the tube with. I had two guys come close to blows the other night because one of them wouldn’t move enough for the other to get in.

But last night, I found freedom beneath the water. My colleagues are excellent teachers and we have covered a lot of ground in a short space of time. I can put my tank together myself, jump in with all my gear on, and take my mask off underwater, put it back on and clear all the water out of it.

Last night, we had to take our mask off, leave it on the bottom of the pool, swim around the group, come back to our spot and get the mask back on and cleared, it was pretty fun. When we finished Jack gave me a handshake, a fist bump and did a little dance, which made me smile, which made my mask fill back up again, so I just lifted by head to the sky and cleared it out once more.

I even got to do a somersault. Being under the water is like being a mermaid. You are just so free. There is a lot to keep a check on, but gliding through the water, with the power of your legs with a world of bubbles and water around you is cathartic for me. I could be in that water every day!

Now, we are working on planning a trip to finish everything off and get our open water certificate and move up to another level if we wish. I can’t wait!

{Image: Samantha French, Breakthrough}

My Howard Hughes Moment

Now, everyone has their quirks, some more than others. I have my own, but on the whole I am a pretty go-with-the-flow girl. However, my relaxed approach to life was severely tested a few nights ago, when I was eating dinner with Mr. Michie.

Now, I’m going to digress for a moment and talk about Howard Hughes. As well as being a genius, it has been well documented that Howard had a few quirks of his own, portrayed effectively by Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese’s biopic. I think that you could argue that half of his issues stemmed from his mom with the constant need to be rid of anything and everything germ wise. He seemed to keep a fairly strong grip on his OCD until his plane accidents kept him in so much pain. Then he went, just a little, off the deep end.

Anyway, there is a scene in the movie in which he takes his then girlfriend, Katherine Hepburn (played by Cate Blanchett) to a club. Now, everyone who works at the club knows he has a prefrence for things to be a certain way. He orders a steak and peas. Now, the peas have to be of a certain size and quality – arranged in rows on his plate, so nothing is touching. Errol Flynn (played by Jude Law) drops by their table and in a very brazen and obnoxious manner reaches over the lamp and grabs a pea off of Howard’s plate and pops it into this mouth. The look on DiCaprio’s face is one of utter disgust. He is deeply upset, he can’t eat, someone has touched his food, he puts his silverware down and is done.

Now, on Friday night, Mr. Michie took me on a date. We went to one of our favorite restaurants, but to another location they have opened, that is nearer to my school. They had the more established staff working the tables and the new staff wandering around cleaning and clearing. We had mostly finished our dinner, but I was still munching away on my tortilla chips when one of the new girls came by and picked up Mr. Michie’s plate and then mine, I just stared at him, she had just watched me put a chip in my mouth, but I suppose she thought she was there to clean up, so that is what she was going to do.

Now, at this particular restaurant, when you are done, they take everything off the table, including your paper placemats that serve as their menu prior to bringing you the dessert menu. The one thing in this whole process they don’t touch is your drink. Well she came back, grabbed the placemats, picked up Mr. Michie’s empty beer bottle and grabbed my half full glass of coke! There was no way to tell her that I was still drinking that, because in order to get the glass she placed her fingers into the glass to pick it up. Her fingers! At that point I was so done. I had, had it. In that moment, I was Howard Hughes and the girl who had drawn out one my own quirks was Errol Flynn.

One of the other staff must have noticed the stunned looks on our faces because they asked if we were okay. We just asked for the bill, they were uber busy and to be honest, I don’t think that it would have made a difference if we had made a fuss. We got the bill, paid and before we had even left the table, she was already wiping it down. Now they weren’t that busy and there is such a thing as customer service and general politeness. Just wait one minute, let us walk away first, for goodness sakes!

Howard, if you’re up there? As those fingers gripped the inside of my glass, I felt your pain. It’s like an invasion, an assault. Those peas were his and they were how he wanted them! That glass of coke was mine and I was not finished with it!

On A Clear Day

Jennifer Michie On A Clear Day

Well, my Copenhagen posts are coming, I promise. This week has been very busy with back to back exams, canceled trains (because there was no driver!), late school nights, another scuba lesson (which was fantastic, by the way!) and not a lot of time to catch my breath!

For now, I give you my morning view. The sun was shining the birds were singing extra sweetly since they know it’s Friday and the sky was almost cloudless as I traveled past the lake. There was almost an azure blue appearance to the sky. All I could think of was Barbra Streisand twirling around in her 70’s orange coat to “On A Clear Day”.

My morning was made all the sweeter now that one of the coffee shops is doing an iced lemon tea. I picked up one for breakfast, now if I only had one of my Mom’s biscuits to go with it, life would be even better! Iced tea for breakfast, just speaks to my Southern heart.

I shall leave you with Barbra belting out this tune, while I enjoy the sunshine streaming through the windows of the main studio and sips of my iced tea!

Here’s to the weekend! Long may it last.