Monday, September 7, 2015

Fourth Weekend

It seems fall is here for real now. There have been several days of all-day rain, and others with sunlight and pouring rain separated by 8-minute intervals-sometimes at the same time. The morning temperature taking the kids to school is much closer to 12 degrees instead of 18 as it was when we arrived, and the sunset is quite a bit earlier now as well.

Torben got hives this week, from something. We're not sure what caused them, but it was interesting trying to explain to the teachers that that's what it was. Eventually, I settled on "skin allergy" and that seemed to be OK. He had them on his torso all of Thursday, then on his neck, face, and head on Friday, and by the weekend they were gone.

Saturday morning we had snegler again before brunch. They really are so delicious. I could eat them every day -though definitely that wouldn't be a very wise idea, clothing wise. The kids all look forward to brunch all week long -pancakes, sausages, boiled eggs, fruit, bread (with nuts and seeds in it, and they all love it!), yogurt and skyr with various toppings, and cornflakes with strawberries. My favourites are the sausages and pancakes with brie and raspberry jam. Delicious! It's so great that we have basically the same brunch Saturday and Sunday each week -it's a nice treat to look forward to. Anders refuses to each "brunch" though...he eats at home in the morning, and then eats breakfast when we go to brunch, and then wants lunch in the afternoon. Sunday night when we walked to dinner, he was almost in tears because he'd forgotten to have lunch!

The sporting goods store down the street has some good end-of-season sales now, and we've noticed the kids rain suits were about 60% off, selling for 100Kr. We decided it might be a good idea to get those, even though we brought rain pants with us. These seem a little heavier and perhaps more waterproof than ours. So after Saturday brunch we took a walk to the store. On the way back, the clouds got very dark and it started pouring on us! Thankfully, the rain suits were still in the bag and they didn't get wet. We, on the other hand, got soaked. The kids thought that was pretty funny.

It rained most of Saturday, so we did a lot of playing inside. The kids also went outside -Torben wanted to try out his new rain suit, and they wanted to see if the apples and pears were ready to be picked yet (they're not). I decided to work a bit on some crochet projects. I didn't exactly remember what I was's been a few years since I did any crocheting. But my first project turned out quite nicely, I thought.

We skipped out on Saturday dinner this week. Apparently there is a tradition each semester that they stage a wedding party among all of the students. They each get a different role of a bridal party member or a wedding guest, there is a proposal during the morning song, they have bachelor/bachelorette parties the evening before, then there is a ceremony and a fancy dinner. Though it would have been interesting to see, it seemed like the party would go on a bit late for the kids, so we opted to stay home. They all looked pretty tired when we saw them on Sunday for brunch, but said they had a fun evening.

In fact, they were all moving quite slowly evening at brunch time, and it was served almost tapas-style. First there was the yogurt / skyr and cereal course, then fruit, then bread, then sausages, then eggs, then bacon. Most meals are all brought out at once and we go through the line to fill our plates. For this one, each type of food came out at a separate time, so you really had time to let your stomach rest in between! I think we were there for about 50 minutes.

Sunday of our fourth weekend was one of the glorious days, so we knew we needed to take advantage of the gorgeous weather. We packed into the car and headed south to the ocean. Jeff is still a bit anxious about driving the car in areas where it's busy, so we went to Rømø to see the ocean. It took us about 45 minutes to get there; there was a detour in Gram because of some sort of festival going on.
 This is the castle in Gram.

As we got closer to our destination, we could see parts of oceans and backwater on the sides of the highway -really a 6-mile causeway between the mainland and the island where we were headed.

 On one side of the road, the water came almost all the way to the road. On the other, there was quite a bit of marshy grass in between.
 It was interesting to see the sheep so close to the ocean shore.
 Somewhere in here, we found the one black sheep.

I had forgotten how windy it gets when you're right on the coast! We happened to arrive the weekend of the annual kite festival on the beach, too, which was really fun to see.
 The crab and lady-bug ones were tethered to the ground and would hop around, like they were alive. That was really cute. There were also little cows that did the same thing.
 Because it was so incredibly windy, there were lots of very large kites attached to people's cars and whatnot. Hundreds of kites, everywhere.
 This one kind of looks like some clothes blew off a clothesline.

The boys had a great time running around on the sand -it was low tide so really they were running on the ocean-bottom.
 I love this one where Anders is hardly touching the ground as he runs!
 Torben! I see the ocean! Let's go!
 Hey dad! Wait up!

We had parked the car near the shops, which ended up being less than ideal on a couple of fronts -first, it was very crowded with cars and people, and second, it was quite a long way out to the water from there! We walked and walked on the wet sand with drier sand blowing into our faces and imbedding in our clothes. It sure was fun though.

This almost makes it look like the sand is different colours, but in reality the lighter lines are dry sand that are blowing inland.
 From one angle, you could see several people's kites up in the air.
We saw so many different types of shells leftover after the tide went out. This one looks quite like an oyster.
 We need to ask what these are. They were everywhere! They are similar in texture and colour to a muscle, but were long and skinny.
 And this is unknown as well. It looked a lot like coral (up north?!) but was very light weight. The wind was blowing it all over.
 Lots of clam shells. We took lots of pictures so we could leave the shells there.
 The one on the right in this picture had some particularly interesting stripes in it.
 And the boys found this striped one and said we just had to take a picture of it.
 Here's another pile of those long skinny ones. They were incredibly brittle and made lots of cracking noises when you walked over them.
 Anders even found one clam shell that was still intact (and without an animal inside -he checked)
The wind was a little much for miss Svea, but she was a trooper when we gave her some crackers and turned her face away from the wind.
We discovered how nice it is when the kids are old enough to hand them a camera and say "take a nice picture of us, please" and you get a photo that's framed nicely and in focus: Though in this first one, we forgot to remember now to stand in front of the sun.
 And Jeff came up with some good advice: if you're wearing a sweatshirt with front pockets, don't store all your stuff in the pockets.

We also had a few attempts at taking a nice selfie of all of us -a few tries before we realized Jeff and I needed to kneel down to the height of the kids in order to get everyone in the frame. Then I lost my balance and fell over in the wet sand. So that was hilarious to them all.

 This is one of my favourite photos we have taken in a while. We are clearly wind-blown, and my pants are full of sand, but it's just fun.
I had a lot of fun taking pictures of the kids playing, too. Trying to get the three of them together in one shot was a bit of a challenge, though!
 As we discovered in Michigan over the summer, Svea isn't really a fan of sand. So, having her stand on the bottom of the ocean was interesting.

 Quick! Everybody look at the ground! Wait, what?

Walking back to the car, it was quite amazing to look closer at the ground and see that it really resembles the marble floors you often seen in old schools or other buildings. Small pieces of broken shells were everywhere.
We also happened across someone whose kite didn't take flight...
We literally heard the thud as it smashed itself into the ground. Oops. There it stuck.
Anders was having a fun time wading in the shallow tidepool near the shore:
 I love this one, where he's kind of looking back, but not quite. This one will probably make it to the livingroom wall when we get back home. Torben and Svea weren't exactly ready for ocean wading today.
The boys had such a good time playing outside here at the water.

 I think they were trying to decide which direction to go to get the best pictures.
 And then it was time to go home...

We had a fantastic afternoon and got to see some new sites. It was a great adventure. Next time, we'll remember hats or hoods for the kids as well...that sand was something else!

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