Day 9: Almost home

We got up at 5:30 this morning, Uppsala time, and just barely caught the-bus-we-thought-was-a-train (when we purchased the tickets yesterday) to Arlanda Airport in Stockholm. From there we flew to Amsterdam. After promising that all checked luggage was our own and that no one had asked us to bring anything on the plane, we got on a packed plane. Our flight to Minneapolis took 7+ hours. Once in the airport, I got busted by the agricultural-sniffing dog for carrying an orange across the ocean. I relinquished the citrus and then we had to re-check our bags and go through security again because, you know, we could’ve spent that 7+ –hour flight filling our shoes with knives. We’re now sitting in a bar/restaurant, drinking local craft beer and eating fries while we wait for our flight to Denver.

It’s already been a loooong day, and there’s still miles to go.

Here’s a somewhat appropriate image from our last day in Stockholm:

Almost home.

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Day 8: Friday Haiku in three-part harmony

Our family is rich
so how did I end up with
this big onion head?
~ Tracy

This picture makes me
think little girls in dumb hats
is super cool shit.
~  Zippy

Children lose their smiles
pose for a picture; realize
head is an onion.
~ Zebu

(NOTE: Despite the no-talking rule as we composed our haikus, mother and son both went the onion route. Nature or nurture, hmm?)

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Day 7: Biking the river in Uppsala

This afternoon, Zippy and I took the train from Stockholm to Uppsala where Zebu has been studying for two semesters. He took us on a walking tour of the university town where I was thrilled to see evidence of a phenomenon he’d described during one of our Skype sessions:
 Bikes in the river.

Thanks for making my day, anonymous bike-thrower!

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Day 6: Things I learned in Stockholm

An elevator (aka lift), is identifiable by a silent HISS:

This is a Western Jackdaw (image from pexels.com because those taken on my phone are poor quality). We kept hearing and catching glimpses of the bird yesterday, but weren’t sure what it was. Now we know. A Western Jackdaw!

It’s possible to walk a whole lotta dogs without any muss or fuss:

The National Library of Sweden has very nice toilets that are FREE to the public, plus nice statuary next to the entrance/exit:

Zebu, Zippy, and a very chill woman.

The last thing I learned? It’s WAY easier to take photos with my camera and download them to my laptop than to transfer between phone and computer . . .

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Day 5: In which we each take shots in Stockholm

Zebu took the train from Uppsala down to Stockholm after his class this morning. As he showed us around parts of the city, we took turns with the various cameras. Here’s a picture of Zippy and Zebu (lower right corner), walking and talking:

A few minutes later, we passed two young employees standing outside a toy store, blowing bubbles to attract customers:

Zebu then took this photo of Zippy and me beneath one of the regional pink-blossomed trees I’ve been admiring since we set foot in Amsterdam:

And here’s Zippy’s final shot as we headed home on the metro:

It was an absolutely beautiful day in Stockholm and while Zebu confessed to wishing we’d experience one of the colder/grayer/wetter days he’s grown accustomed to, he didn’t begrudge us the warm sunshine.

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Day 4: Copenhagen, totally

The alarm went off at 6:00 this morning. We got up and went to the Amsterdam airport for our flight to Stockholm with its eight-hour layover in Copenhagen. After having the security guy in Amsterdam confiscate my peanut butter due to its bomb-making capabilities and then spending WAY too much time finding the baggage lockers in Copenhagen, we finally stepped out into the beautiful (but windy!) Copenhagen afternoon.

We went to the Trinitatis Church. By “went,” I mean peeked in long enough to take a photo which, because I’m exhausted, I’m having trouble editing, and then climbed to the round tower. Along the way, I found this fellow in a window seat:

Zippy resting on the climb to the round tower atop the Trinitatis Church in Copenhagen.

Up top we had this view:

View of the old and new in Copenhagen

Then we did some other stuff before heading back to the Copenhagen airport to fly to Stockholm. (Doesn’t that sound like a typical third-grader’s story/book report/research project in which it’s always a mad rush to The End?) Here’s a preview of what’s to come taken from our bus ride from the airport into Stockholm:

Well, that didn’t work. Rather than finding the photo I emailed myself from my phone, all I’m getting is the blue twirly wheel of death. I’m gonna call it a day.

*goes back to change the name of this post from Day 4: Copenhagen, mostly to Day 4: Copenhagen, totally*

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Day 2: art in Amsterdam

We did a whole lot today: Climate March + MOCO Museum for Banksy/Dali exhibits + Climate March again + FOAM Museum for William Eggleston’s LOS ALAMOS exhibit plus additional photography exhibits, and then dinner out at SNCKBR. (And yeah, I’m totally cognizant of the fact that there are a whole lotta acronyms in the preceding sentence.)

It’s been a good day here in Amsterdam. So good, in fact, that I’m having trouble picking just one image to represent the experience. (To add more pics would result in a marathon blog post, and I don’t have the bandwidth for that right now.) So I’m going to leave it at this quote that was painted on the wall at the Banksy exhibit:
Actually, this is THE perfect sentiment for the day. You know why? The “art” wasn’t just in those museums. It was also on display in Museumplein where all those people gathered to voice their concern/outrage/hopes/etc regarding the climate change affecting the planet.

We’re a creative species, and it’s gonna take a whole lotta outrage + art + action to get us out of this mess. It’s a daunting endeavor. But today, between the civic action outside the museums and the creativity exhibited inside, I truly believe that is possible.

Art is essential to our survival.

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Day 1: Amsterdam balcony view

What we see from our AirBnB on Maritzstraat.

We’ve only been here about an hour and I’ve already managed to trip the breaker with the hand blender I brought with me to make my green smoothies each day. I REALLY needed one after that long day of traveling. Bad news is there’s a good chance I fried my brand-new blender. Good news is this place had a little blender so I  was still able to have my smoothie.

Other good news? It’s really beautiful here.

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Thankful Thursday: the travel edition

Zippy and I are leaving today for Amsterdam. Neither of us has ever been to Holland, despite my maternal grandfather immigrating from there way back when. It’s late in the season for tulips (bad timing, huh, Barb?), but that’s okay. We planned this trip around our schedules and Zebu’s. He’s finishing up his study abroad in Uppsala, Sweden, and we will see him after our stay in Amsterdam. (We’re also spending an afternoon in Copenhagen on our way to Stockholm.)

I hope to post an image each day. Should liven up this mostly-Colorado blog!

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Sunday Confessional: Sometimes I’m perfectly happy to be less-than-perfect

I made a new hoop today, something I’ve been talking about for months. My reasons for not doing it sooner include the usual procastinate-y suspects, but one of the main reasons I put it off was because I was nervous about taping it. The last hoop I made (in 2008) has layers of gaffer tape where I screwed up and overlapped. The tape added heft to that hoop (and a little imbalance).

Today, after Zippy measured, cut, and connected the irrigation tubing, I decided to take the easy approach: one color.

The spacing varies and there are some wrinkles, and I’m pretty confident that I’ll discover dog and/or cat hairs stuck in the tape, but I’m thrilled with my taping performance.

The hoop is pretty and blue and ready to go for a spin, and I’m perfectly content.

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