Monday, November 24, 2014

Amsterdam

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We flew from Copenhagen to Amsterdam in mid-July 2013 (whoa). It was chillier and rainier there than it had been further North in Denmark, but after so long chasing the summer, we were more than happy to be able to don jackets and scarves. We definitely felt a wry sense of humor in Amsterdam. From these giant clogs out in front of our hotel, to the strange giant horse wallpaper above our bed in our hotel room.

We stayed in the Vondelpark area of Amsterdam, which was near to the canals, but far enough outside of them to be able to afford our hotel. The location proved to be great one, near the freshly completed renovation of the Rijksmuseum.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

New York City Marathon

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We’ve fallen even further behind on the final ‘Round The World posts because we had some actual travelling to do!  One of Lana’s long-term goals has been to run the New York City Marathon (she’s run three other marathons before our trip), and she entered the marathon’s lottery for several years. The rules have since changed, but when she set this goal, if you entered the lottery for three years and didn’t get in, then you had guaranteed entry the following year.  Her plan had always been to run it on that fourth year, which is also the year she turned 40 (ahem, that would be this year).

Unfortunately/fortunately, last year she somehow managed to “win” the lottery, but found out while we were in Istanbul. At that point we didn’t know when we’d even be home, let alone how Lana would manage to train for a marathon while still traveling. Thankfully, the NYC marathon allows you to defer for a year (of course you don’t get a refund for the year you defer). But realistically it made more sense to defer, and run it in 2014 as she had initially planned.  The theory was that she would have plenty of time to get back in shape and train. 

Due to a series of unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances (family health, injuries) it was not, in fact, her best training cycle. Add to that the 40 some odd pounds she’d gained on and after the trip, and not managed to lose. All of this an excuse explanation as to why she was nervous that she was not feeling particularly confident going into the trip.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bicycles everywhere

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David is an avid cyclist, and he was always looking at the bikes we encountered on our trip with the eye of both a cyclist and a photographer.  He didn’t indiscriminately take pictures of every bike he saw, but limited himself to bikes that stood out to him for some reason.  The bikes in this collection are the best of those.
Above: Penny-farthing bicycle and tricycle at Mystic Seaport, Connecticut.  Below: Classic Schwinn “Le tour” with original Sugino components in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Copenhagen

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We were very fortunate to be able to stay at houses our friends owned in several places, and Copenhagen was one of those.  We made friends with several of the people on the cruise we took in the Galapagos, and we’ve kept up with them by email and Facebook.  We met lots of amazing people along the way, and when you meet other people who enjoy travel as much as you do, and you’ve had shared experiences with them as well, these are people you want to hold on to.  For all the crap people talk about Facebook, it’s been one of the easiest ways for us to casually keep up with friends we met along the way on our trip.  While in Budape┼čt Lana shared a photo of her gelato (big surprise) on Facebook.  Our friend Judith, who we met on our Galapagos cruise, commented to ask if we were planning to visit her hometown of Copenhagen.  When we said yes and told her when we’d be in town, she then offered to let us stay at her apartment, since hotels there are quite expensive.  We were thrilled, both just to see a friendly face, but also because as we quickly discovered, she was absolutely correct about the price of hotels. Money aisde, the notion of a stay in someone’s home and access to their kitchen was always a most attractive option.  We accepted immediately.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Denmark

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With our friend Nicole on her way back to the US, we were back to hunter-gatherer mode of finding a place to sleep each night, and deciding where to go.  We had a flight to Copenhagen, but no firm plans yet, and we only booked a hotel for our first night there one day in advance.  However, we were renting a car, and we knew we could be a lot more flexible with arrangements.  We felt right at home in Denmark as soon as we stepped off the plane.  One of our first sights in the airport was the folded paper lamp we have hanging in our dining room at home; here it was in a small gift shop on the concourse.  When we reached the luggage carousel, our bags were already there, side-by-side.  It was definitely one of our best airport experiences.

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