Thursday, December 29, 2011

Santa Skis At The National Harbor

One of the things we did during the Christmas weekend is watch the water ski stunts at the National Harbor. What's intriguing is that the skiers were in Christmas costumes. It was so chili that day that Kepi got sick the next day. Obviously, the water is cold at this time of year and I was impressed how the skiers took the waters and went on with their show anyway.

The National Harbor Christmas Tree. This is the area where the water skiers performed.

A dog elf.

Frosty the snowman on a boat.

The water skiing reindeers.

A flying elf.

An elf sky skiing.

This is the Grinch, who couldn't get his jet ski started.

Of course - water skiing Santa.

Santa did well skiing. My only comment is that this is one fit Santa.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Christmas Morning

I woke up real early on Christmas Day and tiptoed to the kitchen to make myself a warm cup of cocoa.

Everyone was still asleep as we had a late night on Christmas Eve.  After the Midnight Festive Mass, we came home at around 1 AM and proceeded to open our presents; it was Christmas morning after all. It was a wonderful, warm feeling to see family light up with smiles as they each opened their wrapped presents. Pieces of wrappers and ribbons fell down like rain, as Dizzy, the house cat, pawed and playfully chewed the ribbons and perched on every discarded wrapper. At this time of year, it is about family, home and of course - the cat.

It's not about the presents at all. Christmas morning was made beautiful with thoughts that: a Savior's birth is celebrated; my family is tucked safely at home sleeping; thankful that my health is improving; my job is going well; love abounds at home; and blessings never stop pouring.

After the presents have been unwrapped and the shouts of excitement dissipated, it was nice to wake up to a quiet, peaceful morning. A Christmas morning made special with a cup of cocoa and the warm company of a cat.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Dear All,

Merry Christmas from our home to yours.

Thank you for everything.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Denmark's Frederiksborg Castle

From Copenhagen, we hopped on a train to Hillerod. It was a thirty minute ride along Denmark's green country side. When we got to Hillerod, we had to figure out which direction was the castle; there were no signs at the train station and there was no customer service to ask for information. Coincidentally, there was a couple from California who were also looking for the castle and we all decided to just walk and ask the locals. In a matter of minutes, we were able to figure out where we're supposed to be heading.

I was in awe when I saw the castle across the lake. Kepi and I bid goodbye to the California couple as they kept walking while we decided to stop for photos.

It was a good 15 minute walk until we finally reached the front of the castle.

A fountain in front of the castle.

This is the main entry to the castle after crossing the moat.

More of Frederiksborg Castle to come.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Postcard From Denmark

Frederiksborg Castle is one of my favorite castles in Denmark. The location, the castle itself and the gardens are simply spectacular.

Frederiksborg Castle is situated in the centre of Hillerod on three islets in the Castle Lake surrounded by Frederiksborg Castle Gardens.

Frederiksborg Castle Gardens consist of a romantic landscaped garden and a baroque garden, recreated in 1996 according to studies of J.C. Krieger's gardens from 1725. (Source)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Little Mermaid Of Copenhagen

After the Gefion Fountain, we took the bus to see the Little Mermaid. What I had in my mind was the Ariel in Disney movies - you know, red flowing hair, fair skinned and beautiful voice.  Well, the sculpture is very simple but very iconic.

 The Little Mermaid symbolizes the fairy tale by Danish author and poet Hans Christian Andersen, the story of a young mermaid who fell in love with a prince who lived on land, and often came up to the edge of the water to look for her love. (Source)

The story of The Little Mermaid is not a very happy one - she visits a witch and agrees to give the witch her tongue, in exchange for legs to replace her fish tail, so she can live on land with her love, the prince she's seen from her visits to the shore. And every step she takes on her new legs hurt like she is walking on swords. To be with her love she chooses to become a mute and to be in pain with every step she takes. Yet despite all her dreams and sacrifices she never gets to be with him. (Source)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Copenhagen's Gefion Fountain

After the Rosenberg Castle, we took the bus to the Gefion Fountain. Copenhagen is real easy to get around with Copenhagen's efficient train and bus system, everything is accessible.  Also, we stayed at a hotel walking distance to one of the metro stops, so it was easy for us to just hop on the train wherever we wanted to go. Fortunately, it was perfect walking weather when we were in Copenhagen so we made the most of it and spent most of our days outdoors.

 The Gefion Fountain is the largest monument in Copenhagen. The fountain is to Copenhagen what the Fontana di Trevi is to Rome, a wishing-well. The goddess Gefion is the fountain’s main figure.(Source)

Even if the main attraction is the fountain, if you find yourself here, I suggest you walk around the park.

 English Church - St. Alban's Church (1885-87)

I love the water lilies. I found this area very relaxing.

St. Alban's Church taken at the entrance to the Kastellet.

This is definitely one of the places I enjoyed visiting in Copenhagen.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Copenhagen's Rosenberg Castle

After our Baltic tour, we stayed in Copenhagen for four days to rest before we head home to the US.  Copenhagen is clean, friendly and it's an easy city to navigate.  We loved walking around the city, eating bread and pastries on their cafes, exploring the tourist spots and most of all - their beautiful castles.  I really enjoyed Copenhagen; there's just something about this city that makes me feel at home.  Anyway, one of our first stops is the Rosenberg Castle.

Rosenborg Castle stands today, with its tall towers and its red masonry with sandstone ornaments, as a distinguished example of Christian IV's many building projects, perfect despite many changes during its construction history. The Castle is built in the special Dutch Renaissance style which became typical of Danish buildings during this period. A couple of architects, Bertel Lange and Hans van Steenwinckel, are associated with the Castle. Christian IV's own effort is often discussed but there is no doubt that he came up with many of the ideas. (Source)

The castle is located close to the Royal Garden, where we spent a lot of our time relaxing, watching people and just sitting on their vast grassy lawn.

This is the view from The Royal Garden.

This window is from the entrance gate to the castle.

There's more of Denmark to come. I apologize for being absent in the blogging world as life has caught up with me. Also, I've been trying to finish my two final papers for my first semester in grad school, while preparing for the holidays.

Life is good. I hope that you're all doing well. Thank you for always visiting.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mom!

My dearest Mom,

I wish you a wonderful birthday.
Thank you for the unending love and support you have given.

You were there when I was born.
You are here in my trying times.

I would not have made it without you.