Denmark Travel Diary

I have finally been able to get to some of my travel posts! I am currently on my big Europe trip traveling around with my sister. We are in Nice, France right now but I was able to get my Denmark travel diary done on the train rides. In general I really loved this country! It is so beautiful and the city of Copenhagen is a great place to be. I am a little jealous of my friend who lives there!

Day 1- Just a note, that first picture is from the plane just before landing and I was just so impressed by how many wind turbines there were. I had never seen them in the ocean! I got to Copenhagen around 12:30pm on Sunday after a flight from Denver to London and then London to Copenhagen. I was extremely jet lagged but needed to stay up as long as possible so I could get on the right time zone. My friend picked me up from the airport, with Carlsberg beers as welcoming gifts. We rode the train back to his house in Hellerup. This town is very cute with lots of nice houses, flowers and a great beach/harbor. My friend’s boyfriend had a delicious danish lunch waiting for us so we ate open-faced sandwiches before taking a train to Klampenborg. It is only one or two stops and probably walkable (definitely an easy bike ride). First we walked around the deer park. It is a really pretty park which would be great for picnicking or biking through. There is a manor several kilometers from the entrance because the property used to be a hunting home for nobility. We saw several species of deer, including the fallow deer which I had never seen before (they have very fuzzy, wide antlers). After walking a little ways we headed to Bakken which is the world’s oldest amusement park. it was created in the 1500’s (I can only imagine what that was like). You do not have to pay an entrance fee so we just walked through the park and got some ice cream cones. Some of the buildings definitely channel a historical look with sloping roofs. They have lots of horse drawn carriages for rides around the area. From here we walked across the rode to the sandy beach for a swim. The water was chilly but so refreshing and really woke me up. It was a really nice, sunny day so there were lots of people! Back at home we had a traditional dish called Flæskesteg, which was amazing! Apparently it is usually made around Christmas time. We finished dinner around 9:30 and the sun was just starting to set (I forgot about the whole more sunlight thing). We walked through the neighborhood to downtown Hellerup and the beach/harbor. There is such a nice rose garden there as well.

Slide1Day 2- This day was pretty much entirely exploring Copenhagen. I woke up to fresh coffee and croissants (such a treat!). My friend and I went out around 8:30 and he took me on a long walking tour of the city. We started with Christiania which is an artist community in the city that sort of follows its own rules. There are lots of colorful buildings and beautiful art. You can’t take pictures inside so I only have one from the side entrance. It was a Monday morning so it was pretty dead but they usually have lots of food, music and shops. From here we walked along side the canals, past Church of Our Savior. I had no idea that Denmark is comprised largely of islands. There are so many canals in the city and just walking around is so nice, especially along Nyhavn. Nyhavn is the postcard Copenhagen with the colorful buildings and boats lining the canal. I would note that this area is so packed! It can be a little difficult to navigate with all the people so I recommend timing this well so you aren’t there during peak times. There are lots of great restaurants and cafes along here that would be so lovely to eat at. From Nyhavn we headed along the water towards the mermaid statue. Honestly this is not very worth it. It is very out of the way, tons of tourists are there and it is really small. I recommend just seeing it from the boat tour. There is a great view of the opera house, statue, royal houses and church along that walk though. From the mermaid we headed past the Gefion Fountain and St. Albans Church to the royal houses. The palace was burnt down several times so the royal family now lives in several houses that belong to noble families. The lutheran church is there as well so we walked through it, the ceiling is pretty cool! By this time we had walked a ton and were super hungry. We ended up walking a ton more to get to Gasoline Grill, a burger place that had been recommended to my friend. It was worth the walk! We ate in the park nearby before walking through the crown jewel palace to the botanical gardens. It was Monday so the butterfly garden was closed but we had a nice time checking out the plants and flowers. From here we walked through some nice market plazas that I definitely want to check out more when I come back. We walked through the Royal Copenhagen store (very beautiful but expensive tableware) and then had coffees at the top of the Illum, enjoying nice views of the city. We ran a couple of errands before heading back to Hellerup. Dinner was another traditional meal of Frikadeller and then we watched the world cup semi-finals.

Slide1Day 3- We took a train to Hillerød in the morning to visit Fredriksborg Castle. This was by far the most beautiful castle I have ever seen. There are such beautiful views from the town so we stopped there for some pictures. There are also some cafes there that would be fun to try! You walk across a bridge to get into the courtyard where there is a beautiful fountain. Originally we weren’t sure if we were going to get tickets to go in or just explore the courtyard and gardens. We ended up getting tickets and I am so glad we did. The interior was incredible. I was especially impressed by the ceilings and chandeliers (so ornate!). My other highlight was the church (yes inside the castle). We hopped on a tour for a bit before exploring by ourselves for a while. I cannot imagine only one family living in a place that big. We walked around the grounds next, which we just as amazing. The crown emblem is literally carved out of a hedge on either side of the canal that runs from the water fountains. We walked out the other side of the garden and though the other side of town to the train station.

Slide1Day 4- We headed out early to pick up my sister, Meghan, from the airport (she came on a 8:15am flight from Stockholm). Meghan and I ate some food before heading to Helsingor for some more castle adventures. This town is definitely worth a visit whether or not you decide to see the castle. There is also a maritime museum and some interesting things. The castle was costs around 120 krone and neither of us were dying to see it so we chose to skip the castle and just walk around it and down the shore. I am pretty sure this was the home of a noble family so it is not nearly as big as the Fredriksborg castle but it is right up against the sea which was very cool! After walking around the castle we headed back through the town, exploring, taking pictures and hitting up a thrift shop. We hopped on a bus to Humlebaek. This stop is worth it if you want to see the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, none of the exhibits caught my eye at the time so instead of going in we walked along the rocky beach and then up along the street (the house and gardens are all very nice).

Slide1Day 5- I took my sister into Copenhagen so she could see everything. We did some shopping along the main streets and walked around for a while. For lunch we went to Dalle Valle which is an affordable buffet that has lots of danish options. After lunch we walked to Nyhavn for a boat tour of the city. I highly recommend seeing the city via boat. They take you along the canals and point out all the important landmarks and the history in both Danish and English. We went with Netto boat tours which was 50 krone per person.

Slide1Day 6- We went back into the city with the sole purpose of reserving our train tickets to Germany. If you need to make reservations or get international tickets in Copenhagen make sure you leave a lot of time because we spent at least an hour just waiting for our turn. We then grabbed a bite to eat outside of Tivoli and then walked back through the city. We were pretty tired by that point so decided to head back to Hellerup to get packed up. We walked down to the Hellerup beach for a swim because it was very hot and sunny. The water was even better than the first day! Our last little adventure involved a very long walk to University of Copenhagen for my friend’s BBQ. It was so much fun! Lots of dancing, drinks and good food.Slide1

This part of my trip was truly amazing. I love love love the city of Copenhagen and it was so incredible to see my friend again!

Erin

Winter Boots

Hello lovely people! This winter I am doing several posts on warm weather dressing and today I am highlighting my favorite winter boots. Christmas is the perfect time to ask for a solid pair of boots to last you through winter. I own almost all of the pairs that I am suggesting and have been able to use them in a variety of conditions. There are lots of options out there but these are the ones that I have had great experiences with. I use comfort, durability, quality etc… to determine how worth it a boot is. This is something that I highly recommending investing in.

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Bean Boots: I can’t possibly do a post on boots without including those classic bean boots. These have so many pros. If you are looking for one boot that is probably the most versatile and comfortable than L.L. Bean is your best bet. They are very comfortable and not to big or clunky. They also have that rubber sole and shoe which makes them great for rain, snow, sleet, mud and everything else that could possibly come your way. There is one down side to them and that is if you do not wear thick socks they can be pretty cold. If this is a big factor for you I highly recommend the shearling-lined Bean boots which I have heard great things about. Bean boots are just overall great shoe’s that can be worn in every season.

Sorel: These are the best for severe weather and lots of snow. I have a pair that I wear pretty much only when it snows a lot. This is not the boot to get if you don’t get very much weather. They are pretty heavy and much bigger. They are however wonderful boots. They are incredibly warm and comfortable.

Hunter: If you use them as winter boots than make sure to get some sock liners. They are a great option for snow and mud but are very cold without liners. There are actually quite a few good options so I highly recommend perusing the website and finding some reviews on different styles. Right now I have been looking at the adjustable ones. Also certain colors often go on sale at the end of a season, especially from other sellers such as Nordstrom Rack.

J. Crew Nordic Boots: So this is the one I have not actually bought myself yet. I have been contemplating it for a while however I do have several pairs of boots already so I am not sure I need them. I include them because they are another great option for warm and good tread in the winter. I think they look great as well! The lining these have is probably the warmest on this list.

Sperry Duck Boot: Sperry has some very similar options as L.L. Bean however the version I really like is their wool ones. I don’t have to wear thick socks and they are still light and easy to walk in. The wool on the one I linked is plaid which just adds something extra. Here is their classic version.

Another popular choice is Ugg for winter boots however I am not including them since my personal experience with them has not been great. Maybe the model has improved but I did not like how they did not have great waterproof options. My feet ended up getting wet many times when there was lots of snow. Also the tread was very poor and that is really difficult for lots of walking and hiking. So this could be a good option if you don’t need tread and it is not very wet (they are super warm).

As you might have noticed, all of my recommendations are pretty classic and well-known companies. I do think that as far as winter boots go they are well-known for good reason and truly worth it. Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any recommendations for great winter boots!

Erin

Gift Guide for Everyone

There are so many gift guides out there right now and it can be pretty overwhelming so I decided to go about it a little differently this year. Several weeks ago a blogger asked for input on what gift guides people wanted to see. This got me thinking about gifts and how I actually had most of my gifts planned out already for the people close to me. I always struggle with gifts for people I need to get things for but may not know so well. This could be a friend, in-laws, family members etc… I wrote this as a suggestion but decided it would be a great challenge for me as well. So this is my gift guide for pretty much anyone. I tried to choose things that I feel are either fun and unique or could be useful to almost anyone. I am doing my categories by price and will round up 10 items in each price range. Note that I tried to link cheaper items in all categories for options.

 

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1. iPhone Lens Kit: There are some fun lenses out there these days that add something new to iPhone photography. I actually have a set myself and my favorite one is definitely the macro. It is crazy how much detail you can see. Here is another set and there is this pink one too.

2. A Big Candle: You can actually end up spending a decent amount of money on candles. The prices vary hugely. I like the Bath & Body Works collection because they are cheaper but still have great smells. Holiday smells are often big hits with everyone. For subtler scents go for ‘winter’ or ‘fresh balsam’. I personally love the smell of any pine tree.

3. Fun Ice Cube Trays: This is such an easy one. My parents have several different ones and it makes drink making so much more fun (dachshundsemojisducks).

4. Himalayan Pink Salt: You can use Himalayan salt in lots of ways. It is often an item that people don’t really buy for themselves but enjoy having and using. This is a great option since it comes with a grater set up. It is great condiment to have around!

5. Board Games: This is the best present for any family. You do have to gauge ages with this one but you can’t really go wrong here either. Even if it is not right away, it will get played at some point.

6. Cheese Knives: This is an excellent gift for the hostess. Prices really vary so you can go as nice as you want with them. I like finding ones that are a bit more fun.

7. Winter Hat: There are so many options out there for this one at all price ranges as well. Patagonia is a great option but it is a bit pricier (they are an incredible company and so worth it though). Here is a great option for men.

8. Tea/Coffee: This is a great gift especially if you are coming from out of town. Giving someone some coffee or tea from where you live can be a great way to connect. It also lasts forever which is a major plus. The Celestial Seasoning Factory is very close to where I live so I almost always bring back tea and mugs for my friends.

9. Moose Munch: This stuff is heaven. You are bound to make anyone’s day with the delicious popcorn from Henry & David (in general they have great gift options for everyone). It is so good I want it for myself!

10. Herb Growing Kit: This is one of my favorite gifts I have ever received. It is a great way to grow your own herbs inside (probably not for the big gardener).

 

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1. Honey Jar: Most people often do not already have a honey jar which is why it can be a good gift. It is one of those things which used to be in every household and is not anymore but brings some fun into any kitchen ( I also love this one but it is over $100; here is one under $25).

2. Fun Socks (KJP): This is a great gift because everyone needs warm socks. I love patterns that are a little more interesting like KJP’s new collection but if you really don’t know someone’s style go for something simple and quality like L.L. Bean camp socks (women/men) which are under $25.

3. Plaid Scarf: This is another item that you can’t really go wrong with. When it is cold out everyone needs a nice scarf. Darker plaids usually go across better especially for men (if it is not something they usually wear). If you need a nice gift I highly recommend a cashmere scarf because there so soft and great quality but they are pricier (under $100Burberrymen).

4. A Fun Water bottle: Water bottles are just things that people always need. It can be fun to get something a little more interesting and of great quality. I linked a S’well bottle but there are so many great companies. I love my Lifefactory glass one (the straw is great). There are also Hydro Flasks and Nalgenes (the cheapest option).

5. A Marble Cheese Board: Cheese Boards are great as gifts because it is again not something people often get for themselves but are great to have. This one is monogramed and from Anthropologie. This is definitely an item you could end up spending a lot more on though.

6. Fun Salt & Pepper Shakers: These animal shakers are just so adorable. There are so many fun ones out there that would make such great gifts. This is a cute avocado shaker and here are some Colorado skiers just for fun (I really love this one but it is much pricier).

7. A Fun Plant: I linked a bonsai because it is something I always thought would be fun to have. Also orchids are a great options but prices can vary a lot. For a maintenance plant I highly recommend a succulent. They are also very affordable!

8. Slipper Socks: The perfect gift for lounging around. There is pretty much no one who doesn’t need some super comfy, thick socks. There are lots of options out there including these for a great price.

9. Holiday Pajama Sets: There are lots of options for this fun gift. Getting ones for a whole family would be so fun! There is a great selection for that at Target.

10. Advent Calender: This is often associated with kids but there are so many fun ones out there these days for all ages. This could make the perfect gift, giving people something small every day until Christmas (or after). Here is a great compilation of different advent calendars.

 

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1. Pendleton Throw: Throws in general are great gifts because they are so useful. It is something you can almost guaranty will be used. Blacks, whites and grey are colors to stick to if you don’t know someones house very well. There is also this option which is also Pendleton but under $50.

2. National Parks Pass: I saw this on REI’s gift guide and thought it was such an amazing idea. What better gift than to give a family some beautiful places to go together. It might depend a little on where they live/their lifestyle but I think it is such a great idea. It could motivate friends to plan a trip and get outside.

3. Poloroid Camera: This is also one of the greatest gifts I received. It was a complete surprise and has been such a fun thing to have around at parties and on trips.

4. A Box Set of Classic Books: Whether you know someone is a reader or not this can be a great gift because it is such a beautiful decoration and can be read. There are lots of options for different books in different age ranges.

5. Water Garden: I just found this several days ago and think it is such a great idea. This one might not be for everyone but it is a fun way of having a fish and also grow some herbs for your kitchen.

6. Nice Headphones: I don’t know anyone who couldn’t use an pair of headphones, especially nice ones. They are so easy to break and loose that I am always trying to find new ones. Of anything on this list this is the one that would likely get used the most.

7. Multi-Tool: I feel like this is one of those things that now days many people don’t really have them or don’t know they need one. In college mine was so useful because I didn’t have a tool kit so I used it for when things needed fixing (so many times).

8. Polarized Sunglasses: Again this is something everyone could use. They are so useful and if polarized they are great for any outdoor activity.

9. Faux Fur Throw: I talked about throws above and how great they are as gifts. I wanted to include another in this guid because faux fur can be such an amazing home addition. It is so cozy and takes any living room to the next level.

10. A Cozy Crew Neck: There are some fun crew neck sweaters out there. I think they are so great an comfortable for an gender and any age. Right now I am loving the KJP ones but there are lots of options.

I hope this was useful and got those gift ideas flowing. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

Erin

Life Update

So I decided to change up my plans for this Friday’s post and do a little life update. I have been in a place of real flux lately and next week a lot is going to change. I am going back home on Wednesday and I am super excited about it. I love Colorado so much and I couldn’t be more excited to go back to the mountains. I have still not made a whole lot of progress on my long term goals and plan but I have decided that the next several months will be spent with my family and working on several projects. I am also going to do some serious thinking and planning about my future and where I want to go from here.

I have struggled a lot over the past six months because I have been feeling some major pressures about where I should be going and how I should use my degree. This all has really clouded my own goals and what I am passionate about so I need to take the time to think about what I want to spend my time and energy on. I am really loving blogging and taking photographs right now so I am hoping with this time home I will have time to focus on that.

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Blouse similar, Pants Macy’s, Booties Sole Society, Earrings Rocksbox

Anyways, I am feeling really good about going back to Colorado right now and I am excited to see where this next journey takes me. Happy Friday and have a lovely weekend! Stay warm!

Erin

3 Beautiful U.S. Backpacking Locations

Happy Friday! This is definitely one of those weeks in which the weekend couldn’t come fast enough. I really need to get some more sleep this weekend and do some organizational things to get me ready for the next month of craziness.

I really wanted to continue adding a couple more posts on backpacking so I decided to write this one on some of my absolute favorite locations around the US. I am going to list three states however in my descriptions I actually explain exactly where within the state I recommend doing some backpacking (or at least hiking).

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Colorado: I am very biased since I am from Colorado but I absolutely love it. There are so many beautiful places to hike that this was by far the hardest to choose one backpacking location. Maroon Bells is a beautiful area and many people recommend a trip there, however I am going to talk about the Steamboat area (Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area) since I have personally had the most experience here. It is a very beautiful area and the perfect place to go to get away from the crowds. I have usually gone in August and rarely see other people/groups on the trails. The views are truly breathtaking and the lakes are freezing but clear and beautiful. I recommend getting on the continental divide and taking a route either north or south. This allows you to stay high and enjoy those views. The downside to this area is that it is very high in elevation and you have to gain a lot of elevation in the first couple days in order to get onto that trail (be cautious if you are from out of state or are not experience.

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Virginia: Western Virginia was the first place I ever backpacked. The Appalachian mountains are absolutely beautiful, so basically the entire tri-state area (North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee). I include this location because the fall foliage is definitely a highlight of any place I have ever been. Mid to late October is the ideal time to enjoy the prettiest trees in the US. I just picture walking up a mountain covered in reds, oranges and yellows and it makes me so happy! The mountainous landscape combined with the perfect colors makes for an amazing experience. This is definitely the most accessible location. There are trails everyone can do and you can go for however long you want. Just doing a day on the Appalachian Trail is very worth it!

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Utah: Although I am from Colorado and hold it very dear to my heart, Utah is my favorite place to hike. There are so many incredible national parks and landscapes and features I couldn’t have ever imagined. As far as backpacking goes, I have done several longer trips in the Uinta wilderness, which is a east/west mountain range. It is very beautiful but can be quite a challenge as there are many passes and peaks that you must climb in order to reach some of the pristine lakes and trails. There are some more populated areas with great fishing, shorter trails and interesting rock features (eg. Red Castle lake). I highly recommend this area! For a shorter trip (but pretty challenging) climb Kings Peak, the highest mountain in Utah. The last mile to the summit requires you to boulder the entire way, so allow for extra time!

Thanks for reading!

Erin