Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen

Tivoli Gardens

Holiday report card

The holiday is over and the reflection has begun.

Was all the planning necessary for our first trip away with a dote? Did Lil D have a fun? Did the grown-ups have a good time? Was it worth it?

We aunties went into this with our eyes open.  Kids, we were reliably informed, moan.  They get hungry, they get tired, they’re enthusiastic about what they like, less so when they aren’t interested.

Hans Christian AndersonSo we brought snacks in prepared packs (mini oreos, yogurt covered raisins, raisins) and Lil D looked forward to scoffing the lot everyday.  We planned one big activity a day (zoo, Tivoli amusement park) and took it in our stride when Lil D and D Daddy (not a natural traveller) were too tired to take a walk through Copenhagen just to enjoy the sites.  We aunties went without them as they settled in for an evening in front of Danish tv.  We could not go to Copenhagen and not visit the Little Mermaid, but didn’t mind that Lil D missed her.

We had plenty of activities with us, and free hotel wi-fi allowed Lil D to indulge in her first love, dance.  We had a dance party everyday, with Shakira’s Hips Don’t Lie quickly becoming the theme song for the holiday!

Amusement ParkYes D Daddy suffered from lack of sleep, an unfortunate flare up of his eczema, and the loss of his phone due to overheating in a European plug socket, but he also got to eat some great food (mostly burgers!), went on the scariest rides in the amusement park and saw his first real life rhinoceros.  It all balanced.

Lil D loved being with her aunties, the hotel buffet breakfast, the make your own ice cream sundae in our first restaurant, every ride at Tivoli, the polar bears.

Seeing it through her eyes was a joy.

Cinnamon bunsMaybe for her, it was any city in the world, but she has been to Copenhagen, how many 7 year olds can say that!?

And us aunties? Well done us, we say. Everything we brought was used, including the birth certificate / letter of consent.  Well done Dublin airport for questioning the fact that Lil D has a different surname from us.  Yes, a little odd that we were able to leave the country unquestioned, but at least we got to use it on the way back!  We got to share one of our favourite cities with our Lil D and we all made it home in one piece!

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Copenhagen Zoo

It’s been quite a while since we aunties have been to a zoo.  Our expectations weren’t high but Copenhagen Zoo enchanted us all completely.  A good 40 minute walk from Central Station, under advertised but beautifully designed.  Even rain couldn’t dampen our enthusiasm for these gorgeous animals. Highly recommended.  Free entry with the Copenhagen Card.

Planning an itinerary for dote pace

We’re beginning to realise that planning the daily activities for this trip is a previously unknown combination (to us) of dote friendly activities, snack breaks and using google to make sure everything is within easy walking distance (with public transport options if little legs get tired), all beneath the looming cloud that this planning may go up in smoke for any number of dote related reasons.  This holiday is going to be all about Lil’ D, though with any luck we adults will enjoy it too.

On past holidays Bear has done an excellent job of creating an itinerary that we tend to use as a strong guideline when we get to our destination. Not so, we suspect, when travelling with dotes. Should our idea of fun be diametrically opposed to that of Lil D we have a safety net in place.  We have prepurchased ourselves some Copenhagen cards that will gain us free entry to 74 museums and attractions, free transport and other assorted discounts.  Lil D goes free with one adult card. The card costs €79 for 72 hours and will hopefully prove convenient.

Copenhagen Card Continue reading

An Ad Hoc Guide to Passports

{Phase One of Operation Dote in Copenhagen – 3 months before departure}

A Rummage for Passports

Dotes need their passports renewed every 5 years. Lil D’s has just run out. The UK Passport Agency quotes 3 weeks as the average turn around time for passport renewal but we wanna get in there quick so we can book our flights and hotel with some peace of mind.

The process

  • Quick trip to the Post Office for a Passport Renewal form. Easy.
  • Taking of photographs. Attempt 1 – photo booth. Not so easy.passport 001

Passport photo requirements say that children under 6 don’t need to be looking directly at the camera with a neutral expression but Lil D is 7 and (by the way) totally capable of looking directly and neutrally at a camera if only the photo booth chair would cooperate. Result – Lil D craning her head up into the photo, perched half on the seat, half on her tippy toes. Not a keeper. On to Plan B

Plan B – avail of the local chemist’s passport service. HUGE success.

For barely a few pounds more than the cost of a photo booth you can buy the immediate knowledge that the photos taken will fulfil Passport Agency requirements. Priceless when you’re on a deadline. You also have time to brush your dote’s hair, breathe between shots, ensure your dote’s face is neutral and have complete creative control of the photo you can’t get rid of for 5 years. Next time my passport needs renewed, I’m totally coming back. Continue reading