Latte

Arriving in Copenhagen

Copenhagen Airport greeted us Sunday evening, as the sun was setting. It was a light and airy welcome, with barely a wait to clear customs and collect our baggage – just what we needed in our still jet-lagged state; after flying from LA, USA to London, UK, the day before! Our flight from Terminal 5, London Heathrow, was smooth and pleasant. British Airways were excellent to fly with; perhaps it was because we were obviously jet-lagged (we looked that bad!) that they handled us with extra care – giving us priority to the front of the line when boarding. All three children nodded in and out of sleep on the flight, which was just over an hour and a half long.

After landing in Copenhagen a friendly taxi driver took us to Vaernedamsvej, affectionately known as ‘Little Paris’, where we had an apartment organised for our 12 night stay. It was dark when we arrived. We walked into a courtyard, set back from the street,  following the instructions the land-lady had given us to find the key and access the apartment. The apartment was on the first floor – and we were grateful to have only one flight of stairs to walk up.

We didn’t sleep much that first night and were awake at 5am checking out ‘Yelp‘ to find out which cafe opened the earliest in our neighbourhood. Thankfully, the exceptional ‘Granola‘, which we could see from our apartment, opened at 7am and we were practically waiting at the door when they opened.

After breakfast we visited a local supermarket to stock up on essentials. It was ‘rush hour’, but you wouldn’t have known it. There were hardly any cars on the roads – just plenty of bikes. The scene was calm and serene. People smiled as they biked to work, most without helmets – as the dedicated and large bike paths made their travel so safe.

A street in Copenhagen in the morning

The man of the house then bid us ‘Farvel’ (Goodbye in Danish) and headed off to the office, whilst the girls and I walked back to the apartment.

We spent the afternoon sleeping. The man of the house returned from work at 6pm and joined us. We all woke at 8pm, with our body clocks utterly screwed!!

We ventured out of the house that evening for a meal – but the children really weren’t up to much exploring. Nevertheless the fresh air helped us and we were all asleep again – by 2am!

The next morning started incredibly early – 5am for two out of three children! Feeling seriously jet-lagged we got through the day, with only Miss 4 having an afternoon nap. Miss 11 and 8 managed to last the day, falling asleep in the evening and sleeping all night…

Finally, after four nights in Europe, the jet lag is over and we are ready to properly explore Copenhagen!

A Week of Firsts in Santa Barbara: The Good & The Bad…

It’s been a week of firsts here in Santa Barbara.

First time for driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road; first purchase of a brand new car (a very nice 2014 Acura MDX) in America (serious paper work!), with the driver’s seat on the left hand side; first time dinging a rental vehicle three times in one day (well, it was called a ‘DODGE’ – so I figured I’d test its ‘dodge’ ability… unfortunately it didn’t dodge the school secretaries car very well, when I parked up for our first school visit!); and first visit to Santa Barbara Zoo (where Miss 7 saw a snake for the first time, and is feeling a lot less freaked now she understands a bit more about them, besides – she has other things to worry about… her new class, at a new school, has a pet tarantula named ‘Harry’!). Santa Barbara Zoo By the end of the week (I am still miffed at me writing this on a Thursday evening in California, whilst my good friends in New Zealand are well into their Friday ‘avo and my folks in the UK are fast asleep, in the early hours of Friday morning) I will be the owner of my first American bank card and have visited a doctor for the first time in the USA .

Unfortunately, I will not have discovered my first proper Latte since leaving the shores of New Zealand a few weeks ago (it feels like we’ve been away for months!), but my first tastes of local beer and wine have been favourable.

My children have sampled their first fish and chips Santa Barbara style (the chips get a thumbs up – but we’re yet to find fish that compare to our favourite Island Bay, Wellington, takeaway) and had their first close encounter with some of the native wildlife – namely pelicans, storks and cute little geckos. Santa Barbara Beach We’ve enjoyed our first social gathering of new friends (still waiting till 4th September to move into our house of residence for the year, but we did have a lovely spot for socialising, up until Tuesday this week.. now we’re in a little place on a housing complex – but it’s free – so not complaining… just thinking how to spend the money we’ve saved – have my eye on a little Californian sunshine convertible that would suit my hippie style nature!).

Enjoyed my first delicious smoothie and relieved to be discovering refreshing places to cool down and take a rest (especially when Miss 3 decides to conk out for an impromptu nap!)… gives me a chance to day dream on my dream car (ha, ha!)… really don’t think I am skilled enough to be trusted with a brand new, sparkling motor! Smoothie and daydreaming.And we took our first steps, as a family, on ‘Miramar Beach’ (kind of nice to have a local beach with the same name as one of our favourite Wellington peninsulas!). Miramar Beach, Montecito, Santa Barbara

Friday evening will be spent at the new schools ‘pre-term’ gathering – which will be another first – a ‘Mustang Roundup and Family Picnic’, complete with a band and country dancing… Yee Ha!!

Next week will be one of even more firsts… as Miss 10 starts a new school, in a new country, in a new hemisphere… and Miss 7 gives school a go – after a couple of years ‘natural learning’! I am going to find it so strange, as I’ve had all three of my daughters at home with me for at least six weeks now. Little steps…!