Last week we had our first visitor! Shane came to see us. J and Shane met 15 years ago in Phoenix when J first moved there. Though we have all moved around a lot since then, we’ve always managed to keep in touch. It was really nice of him to extend his Europe trip to come see us. It meant a lot to us and the kids.
We tried to pack in as much as we could in a couple of days’ time. It was cold and rainy when Shane arrived, but some of the NorCal sunshine followed him here. (yay!)
We had Shane jump right into life in Billund. On his first morning here, we showed him the kids’ school and he joined me at the FIRST Connect Billund meeting. After the meeting he and J went to lunch in town (J wanted to take him to the hot dog stand!) and in the afternoon, I took the big boys to LEGOLand Billund! That’s J and Shane, not the kids – they were still in school 🙂
The little boys were somewhat disappointed that we went with out them but seemed to understand that Uncle Shane should see the park while here. (It closes fairly early).
After collecting the kids, we headed to Vejle to show Shane around and had a bite to eat.
Since it stays light for a long time, we were able to drive around and found a strand (beach) down by the fjord. We chatted with a local mom there with a cute pup and her kids. There were some boys and their scout troop there fishing, and she was filling us in on the types of scouts in Denmark. Maybe our boys will try it in the fall – M did Cub Scouts in California and J was one of the den leaders. It was FREEZING and windy at the fjord, so we didn’t stay long. Plus it was late for a school night! Whoops.
The next day J had meetings at work and Evan didn’t want to go on a road trip, so he went to school while M and I took Shane on a short drive to Ribe. The weather was lovely (thankfully), though we still had to wear our coats. I’m convinced that everyone has been tricking us and there isn’t actually a summer in Denmark. We had sunshine so that made the day nice.
Ribe is a neat old town to explore. There are various styles of architecture, a Viking museum, and great spots to eat local food!
Did you see it?! I ate herring! And it was pretty darn good – so it must be amazing. The ham was from a nearby island. (Tania, I was thinking of you.) The cheese and homemade cracker were nice too. Both fish portions were good. Shane and I aren’t big mayo eaters and found the sauces to be a bit much for our tastes, but I had some and they were nice. If you are a mayo fan you’d enjoy them! The apple dessert was nice too. Yum. Ok, here is the photo again.
There could be a whole post based on this photo.
Moving along – after our huge lunch, Shane wanted to see the shore. Great plan! I just didn’t have experience on anywhere to go near Ribe. So I looked on google maps and found a National Park. Cool! Let’s go there! We started to drive and enjoyed the views. The canola flowers right now are incredible! We came across a beautiful village too.
The funny thing about Google maps is… you don’t always get ALL the info you need…
The road ended in the sea. THE SEA, I tell you! What? Oh yeah, high tide. No drive. We drove to another spot out of curiosity. There, the sign said no cars or motorcycles. Ah! NOW we know what the big tractors and bus-like trailers were for! Getting to the National Park! Someone commented on how dumb tourists get stranded all the time…
Well, that’s the funny thing about Denmark. You’re just supposed to KNOW things. I’d have gotten a bit nervous with a road where the sea laps up to its edge, but may not have thought about a tide coming in and taking the road out… I’m not accustomed to driving on roads that are often underwater! Haha. You learn something new every day. Like, I may have a fear of riding in a tractor bus. I kind of feel we got the real experience at the water’s edge…
The pole that you see Shane and M standing next to has markers indicating the water levels in years past. I may have to Google that too. Crazy high tides or big storm surges? I’m not sure. There was a berm there and old illustrations noting that the seawall had been compromised in the past and washed people away. Glad things were tame when we arrived. I’m also glad that we didn’t drive down the road and get stuck in high tide. Whew.
That was Shane’s last day. That evening we got home and J put on a slideshow of photos from the last decade or so. What fun! We saw so many familiar faces and relived our lives in Phoenix for a few moments.
Thanks for visiting Shane! We enjoyed having you!