We left Pgh around 11am on Thursday, August 3rd, then went from JFK –> CDG / Paris –> Copenhagen by 10am Friday August 4th. It was not ideal, we were exhausted, Chooch had a stomachache, there were SCREAMING KIDS on both the long-haul flight* and the short flight from Paris to Copenhagen. I was so frazzled by the time we arrived and then of course Henry was peak annoying when it came time to get public transit figured out, a Danish train guy yelled at us because we weren’t sure if we were getting on the right train — we were struggling. I mean, who is really their best self on a travel day, anyway.
*(The banshee on this flight actually made me feel like I was about to snap – I have NEVER heard a toddler (I believe that’s what it was) SHRIEK as much as this fucking kid for NEARLY THE ENTIRE FLIGHT – I was so pissed; I kept hissing, “HOW IS THIS HUMANLY POSSIBLE??” to Henry, who just shrugged it off because no sound of any sort outside of the voices of Chooch and me bother him.)
I know this but it still really distorted my opinion of Copenhagen and most of the day was….meh. I won’t lie and act like we were living our best lives on that day, you guys. We were hot messes and I actually broke down and cried dramatically in the lobby of the hotel because Chooch jammed the revolving door with his luggage, which caused a ruckus and he tried to blame it on me and all I wanted to do was wash my stupid face and eat my first cinnamon roll of many.
In the airport shuttle before jet lag and TOO MUCH TIME TOGETHER in TOO MANY PLANES tore our family apart.
I did wash my wash my face in the hotel bathroom after we stored our luggage in the EARLY BIRD suitcase repository, but I was still HUMMING with EMOTION.
Then we set off to…nowhere because I was being a big crybaby still and yammering on about how we had “no time” since our flight came in an hour later but it was still only around noon at this point, we couldn’t check in until 3, and our Coaster Crew welcome dinner wasn’t until 8pm that night. I always go into panic mode when we travel because I’m afraid of running out of time, missing essential sights, not “doing” it right. All the travel vlogs I watched, all the notes I took, all the Top 10 Must Do lists I read – my brain ran it all through a shredder. I know deep down that is impossible to see it all (we’ve been to Korea twice now and came back both times realizing that OH SHIT, WE FORGOT TO GO TO <xyz> or whatever. So I really try to remind myself that just being there, being in the moment, looking around, slowing down – these are the things that matter. But you think that stops me from throwing hyper-fits? Ha! I was a real hornet that day.
Tivoli Gardens!! This was the second part on our Day 1 Coaster Crew agenda but it’s located in the middle of the city, right near the train station, so we couldn’t help but walk near it and get a sneak peek from the street.
First, we just walked around aimlessly until Chooch stepped up and asked, “Tell me the place you wanted to go to and I will get us there.” I was still pouting and kept saying “Forget it” but he finally got me to say Nyhavn. I knew that by this point, it was going to be packed because it’s one of THE tourist spots of Copenhagen but I’m sorry, I’m just basic enough to really want to see the iconic colored buildings and canal, OK?? I am human after all! Chooch figured out how to get there but then we had to rely on Henry the Bumbling Transit Guy to figure out the rest.
Henry kept trying to get tickets from the thing for the trains even though I kept saying, “That is for the train” and then he would say, “It is the same thing” and then I would say, “The train and the metro are different my guy” and he would say, “No they are not.” And we went round and round like this to the point where the sight of a middle-aged man pressing a disheveled woman with her blouse unbuttoned and bra pulled down against a pillar in the middle of the train station did not make me as giddy as such a sight normally would. But I still had the light-hearted “Oh Europe” thought in my head.
Anyway, finally Henry listened to me, and we found the entrance to the metro, where he was then able to get our tickets and we set off to whatever stop Nyhavn could allegedly be found.
Taking a pause from trying to mansplain transit shit to me.
Anyway, we got off wherever Chooch said to, and we saw these glorious sights:
We just kept walking and walking and walking and the whole time, Chooch kept muttering something about how Google said that Nyhavn was permanently closed, and I spat, “Um, I don’t think an entire iconic section of town is permanently closed???”
Chooch led us to basically a large body of water and was like “OK we’re here” and I know my eyes are bad, but this looked nothing like the famous views of Nyhavn that I have seen for like, half of my life? I didn’t even take any picture, so I have nothing to show for it, but I was so confused. Chooch goes, “It’s a bar, right? I told you – it’s not here. It’s permanently closed.”
NO, IT’S NOT A BAR?? Apparently when he googled Nyhavn the first thing that came up was the address for a bar that no longer exists. I will leave off the part where I threw a fit and declared that I was just going home (like, home to Pgh, not the hotel) all because of one stupid misunderstanding. I’m telling you – I am not fun on travel days. I never have been.
Anyway, Chooch got the right address locked in and we started walking again – it was fine, Copenhagen is pretty walkable (as long as you’re being conscious of the millions of dinging bicycle bells around you ugh) and we got to see some more cool shit on the way to the correct locale.
I would live there.
Anyway, we finally made it and it was, as expected, a huge tourist trap, full of pushy people trying to get The Shot for the ‘gram. Sucks that we didn’t get in as early as we were supposed to because my initial plan was to hit this spot up ASAP to beat the crowds, but whatever. Veni vidi vici, etc.
It was still really surreal to see it in real life, crowds aside.
I think it actually wasn’t THAT crowded. I imagine weekends would be even worse.
Anyway, that was whatever. Cool to see!
And then we just walked around a bunch. Looked at all the old-ass shit. Contemplated buying a plate but then worried about traveling with it (spoiler alert: I ended up bringing so much glass home in the end anyway; shoulda bought the stupid plate.) Tried to not sprain our ankles on cobblestones or get knocked over by the droves of distracted tourists.
I will say though that the girl we talked to at the Reinh van Hauen bakery was super sweet! I asked her to choose her favorite pastry for me and she selected that chocolate icing thing on the left, which was filled with cinnamon and so good – a great choice and I thanked her for it before we left! Taking time to sit down at this bakery was exactly what I needed though. I really need to try to be a slower tourist! I’m also so harried and wanting to run run run.
I know this probably seemed like a super negative post but I really wanted to be real about how subpar the first part of arrival day was. It drastically improved once we went back to the hotel for check-in at 3pm, met Coaster Crew’s leader Tim (I saw him sitting in the lobby talking to some dudes and I said, “WE HAVE TO GO AND INTRODUCE OURSELVES, MAKE A GOOD IMPRESSION” because I was dead set on not lurking in the shadows on this trip) which went very well, and then took an hour nap in our super cute Tivoli Garden hotel room.
Part 2 will be much more upbeat, I swear! And then pretty much every day after that will be a 10/10.