Celebrating 32 in Copenhagen

Saturday 27 June 2015

Birthdays in my early to mid-twenties were rarely celebrated in a big way.  The timing, while wonderful as a child, coincided with University friends off making as much money as they could in our months off and later, in the final weeks of teaching which truly is the most exhausting, trying time of a teacher's scholastic year.  There was either no money or no energy to ring in another year in a grand way.  I've made up for it in recent years.

My 29th birthday was at the tail end of our time in Gabon and was spent with wonderful friends, sipping champagne and killing mosquitoes around our pool.  My 30th birthday was a grand affair staying at the luxe Waldorf Astoria on the edge of the gardens of Versailles.  31 was a long weekend in London.  These traveling celebrations, while lovely, had to come to an end at some point and 32 seemed to be the year for it.  As the day approached, I told Joe all I wanted was him to come home early and bring dinner and I genuinely would have been happy with just that.

But, imagine my surprise, when Jasper and I passed by our mailbox and inside sat a card with my name, without postage.  The card, a Norwegian children's card, stated:

How about Copenhagen?

I could not wipe the smile off my face.  My husband, as much as I love the guy, is not a gift giver.  He is also not the travel planner in our relationship so while I really looked forward to the trip, the effort and planning that went into this surprise meant the most to me.
I had spent an afternoon in Copenhagen a couple of years ago and Joe has been in and out for work but both of us were really looking forward to spending more time in the city.  We didn't have an itinerary or even a wish list of what we wanted to do aside from just explore at an easy pace.  In fact, I find our travel style has continued down this path as of late.  Gone are the jam packed days of sightseeing as we spend our time wandering with hardly a plan in place.  We were headed this way as it was but the addition of a baby maybe pushed us into it a little further.  A slow, flexible rhythm is easier on all of us and sometimes just being in a new place, letting it permeate a little, observing and experiencing is even more valuable than working from a checklist. 
It was nice.  Copenhagen was comfortable, being quite similar to our lifestyle in Norway.  We had great weather, a treat in itself after our awful Spring in Stavanger.  What we did do: we walked through the Botanic Gardens and over to Rosenborg Palace (without going in,) we bought juice at the Big Apple, meandered through Freetown Christiania and pondered life in a commune (next time, I'm definitely taking a guided tour,) we lounged in a perfect little park behind the library, people watched along Nyhavn and drank beers and played cards in our suite while Jasper slept.

 I couldn't have asked for a better way to celebrate 32.  Thank you Joe!

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