Friday, 11 January 2019

Dear Lochlann... you are four.

 // 2.1.2019

Hey there little boy guess what, you turned four today.  Our little blonde, curly-haired Peter Pan is growing up! You were so excited this morning and told us that your favourite present was your electric toothbrush despite the bicycle and a dozen hot wheels cars also waiting for you.  You were allowed any breakfast of your choice but simply went for coco-pops but you were even too excited to eat those!

You have grown up so much in the past year Lolo.  You have left nursery joined big school, given up bedtime nappies and even given up your dummy.  When I think about how far you've come this year I realize you really aren't my little baby boy anymore.  We were so worried (well I was your dad knew you'd smash it) about you joining FS1 in September and yes there are sometimes tears in a morning but you have done so well.  You have your own little group of friends and you happily tell us all about your days.

You absolutely love every type of vehicle there is you are all about fire engines, police cars, helicopters, trains... you name it, you love it! Christmas and your birthday have been a dream come true for you as you are now the proud owner of a whole fleet of play mobile vehicles.  You are still such a home bird and love nothing better than staying in at home and playing quietly with your toys.

The vehicle theme continues when you are asked what you would like to be when you are older. Your answer usually ranges from pilot to fireman to astronaut to train driver.  Whatever you choose to do I know you will love it and I have no doubt that you will be great at it.

... slow down boy of mine and stay little just a while longer.

Love you to the moon & back again little Lolo.




Saturday, 5 January 2019

48 hours in Kobenhavn with Kids

When we stepped off the plane at Copenhagen airport early on cold December morning, with the littles in tow, we weren't sure what to expect.  We were excited and hoping for a charming, festive 48 hours but knew that it might be a stretch with the children.  Perhaps Copenhagen would be beautiful and fun; maybe it would simply be freezing and the children would be miserable - we would soon find out.

As soon as we landed we headed to the train station and people were more than willing to help us figure out which ticket would be best for us to use.  We were pleasantly surprised to find out that children travel for free on the train!  We bought a single use ticket as we wanted to soak up the atmosphere and take in as much as possible whilst walking along the Copenhagen streets.

The train ride from the airport was relatively quick and easy and our hotel was just a few minutes walk from the station, which was brilliant.  We stayed in the Axel Guldsmeden Hotel Colbjørnsensgade 14, Vesterbro, 1653 Copenhagen, Denmark 
which was absolutely stunning and we literally only scratched the surface of the hotel due to our short stay.  I urge you to check it out and look at staying there, the location was great and the hotel was just beautiful.  If and when we return to Copehagen we will certainly be staying there! We had an adjoining room and the children were overjoyed to find their room had bunkbeds!
We ditched our trolley case and headed straight out.

// soaking up all that is festive

Of course we wanted to find anything and everything festive and handily found a map in the hotel which contained directions to some of the lovely markets that were on during our visit.  We walked everywhere which Lochlann struggled with at times but overall it wasn't an issue.  The markets were everything you wanted them to be.  The stalls were so sweet and so christmassy we bought some traditional tree decorations that are made with glass using.a kiln.  If you go you must warm up with a traditional mug of hot Glogg: sweet mulled Danish wine with raisins and almonds.  If you fancy a stronger tipple of Glogg, you can add some rum.  A great thing about the markets in Copenhagen is that they are quite small and easy to move around with small children.  When we visited they really weren't overcrowded at all.  It isn't like visiting the markets in say, Manchester UK.  The overall feeling was much more traditional and relaxed and Posey and Lochlann were really excited by how festive it all was.  

// strolling down Nyhavn

If you have ever google Copenhagen you'll have seen the Nyhavn.  Copenhagen is famous for its colourful port.  I think you could visit this place at any time of the year and think it beautiful but in December, wow.  It was just glorious.  The buildings are of course beautiful alongside the harbour but in the winter the boats and the streets are decorated with Christmas decorations and the street is littered with little wooden huts also selling a steaming mug of Glogg and festive treats such as waffles on a stick, which P and L enjoyed immensely.  

My only regret about this part of our trip is that we didn't stop and take a rest at one of the many bars and cafés that line this gorgeous part of the city.  Each place had little tea lights burning, blankets lining the chairs and fires burning to get warm by.  I really wish we had taken the time to soak this place in just a little longer.  It was simply beautiful. 

// a whistle stop trip to Christiana 

Before heading back to the hotel for a rest, as we planned to head out in the evening, we pushed on and headed a little further out to visit Christiana.  Christiana is known as Copehagen's, 'hippie free town.' We literally just strolled through it to experience it. It was great to show them the graffiti art work that was on display as P is really into her art at the moment.  

// Christmas magic at Tivoli Gardens 
address: Vesterbrogade 3, 1960 Kobenhavn V, Denmark | Entrance 110dk per person (this does not include cost of rides). 

One of the highlights of our trip has to be Tivoli gardens... It was most certainly the highlight for the children.  They absolutely loved it.  I can't express to you how beautiful this place is; it honestly is magical and most definitely a winter wonderland. 
Tivoli is the world's second oldest amusement park and can be found smack bang in the midst of Copenhagen.  It was so close to our hotel and is literally across the road from the central train station. During the winter this amusement park is transformed into destination Christmas with a wonderful Christmas market and the chance to meet Father Christmas is a location that honestly rivals Lapland for its magic. 

We headed over to Tivoli in the evening but had we been in Copenhagen for longer we definitely would have spent a whole day there and gone back in the evening after a rest in the hotel.  I won't lie to you the rides aren't exactly cheap but with one of a kind old fashioned car rides and majestic, ornate carousels you really don't mind so much.  
I would love to spend more time there just wandering around.  We took some photos but honestly they don't do the place any justice.  It is simply stunning.  

After lots of fun at Tivoli gardens we decided to just grab some dinner quickly and head back to the hotel to thaw out.  

The next morning we enjoyed a little lie in followed by a delicious breakfast in the hotel.  It had a great selection and we filled up before heading out to soak up as much of Copenhagen as possible before our evening flight home.  

// ice skating at Frederiksberg Runddel | skate hire 50dk 

Frederiksberg Garden was around a 25 minute walk from our hotel.  We didn't have the time to explore the gardens but at we knew the entrance to the garden is transformed into a wonderful ice rink each winter season so after breakfast we headed there.  We enjoyed strolling round the Danish streets and taking in the sights although I have to say if I had my time again I may have rented a bicycle with seats for the children as they were ever so slightly grumpy about walking for a second day.  Admission to the ice rink is free and everyone is welcome.  It is a lovely little rink and you can hire a pair of skates as well as penguins for the children to skate round with. 

Despite some apprehension both the children throughly enjoyed this experience. Neither of them have skated before but the atmosphere was lovely and the penguins really helped them.  It was really cold so once we had finished skating we had warmed up with hot chocolates and Sam and the children enjoyed a Danish hot dog from a traditional stand.  
It was such a simple activity but in such a lovely place, with a great family atmosphere. Definitely one of the highlights of the trip!

// a taste of hyyge 

After a ice skating we headed back towards the hotel as we only had a couples of hours left before we needed to get to the airport.  On route back we decided we would visit a Danish bar/ café off the beaten track as it were, so that we could really experience hyyge.  
I don't know about you but I have always loved the idea of hyyge and love the Danish for educating the world about it.  In case you don't know, hyyge is a huge part of Danish culture and it is all about getting in touch with the calm, peaceful and cosy side of you.  
So on our wander back we stopped off at this little place that had benches with tables outside.  There were a trio of danish women sat snuggled up with blankets and warm drinks happily chatting away beside us and it was just lovely.  Sam opted for a festive danish beer and the children and I cozied up with yummy hot chocolates and blankets. 

If I was to visit the city again I would really like to check out the Hygge and Happiness Culture tour which is a child friendly tour and includes a complimentary hot drink and a Danish pastry.. yum! 

// in love with Denmark 

So in case you hadn't realized from this post I am basically in love with Copenhagen and desperate to explore some more.  48 hours with children in many ways was just not enough time.  Having said that we did a lot of memorable and extremely festive things that we all really enjoyed and all four of us (including the 4 year old) would really love to head back there some day soon. 

It is my master plan to head back there during a different season so that we can experience a different side to the city and also tick off more things in my travel must see list such as the fairy tale castles such as Kronberg Castle and the world's oldest amusement park Dyrehavsbakken, which is only open in the warmer months and is about a 30 minute train ride away from the city. 

This place is definitely somewhere to visit with your children, don't be put off by the walking just make sure you plan in some stops to relax and enjoy some hyyge in one of the many wonderful places along each street. 

For more information on visiting Copenhagen visit: 
Visit Copenhagen

Thanks or tak (as they say in Denmark) for stopping by, 

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Dear Posey... you are five.

Well little girl I cannot honestly believe it but you are five years old, five already!  I am not sure how we have got here so quickly and yet it seems as though I can barely remember a time where it was just your daddy and I.

You are growing into such a wonderful person P, you are bright, you are sassy and you are ever so caring.  Right now your favourite things to do are draw and write.  You are so determined to read and write which is just fantastic.  You can be quite hard on yourself, it seems we may have a little perfectionist on our hands.  I hope to try my best to teach to you to be kind to yourself, these things will come, there's time yet my darling.  We were so amazed by your confidence when we went ice-skating in Copenhagen, you went straight for it round and round the rink on your own like the super star that you are!

You recently learned how to swim without your life jacket and your face beams with pride each time you manage to swim a width or two of the pool.  You have your daddy and Sally to thank for this.  I love watching you in the pool, I think it is most probably your favourite thing about living in Abu Dhabi!

You miss your family in England and I know you find that hard, you've had such a wonderful Christmas with them all and it was lovely to watch you bond with everyone.  You spent time doing everybody's make-up on Christmas Day and Boxing Day which was so funny and so cute too.  Great Nanna looked fantastic! :)

In this letter to you I also wanted to say sorry.  I am sorry for being a shouty mum and I am sorry for not always taking the time to play with you.  You mean the absolute world to me and I feel like I stumble my way through my firsts as a mother with you.  You are my first, you are the little one that made me a mother - I am learning a long with you and I hope that you can forgive me for any mistakes I make and I hope you know how proud I am of you.

I love you so much sweet Posey Margaret Ivy, Happy fifth birthday.

Love you to the moon & back, always.