Are we there yet?

We were all excited. Christmas was just around the corner and we were going home to Denmark to celebrate the festive season with our Danish relatives.

It’s not often we make the journey to the old viking country, so the anticipation grew as the day emerged when we had to leave the family home behind for a couple of weeks. The dogs were all shipped off to the dog hotel and the taxi drove us to the airport.

It had been snowing for the past few weeks, and the airport had been forced to close due to 2-3 cm of snow – it’s not easy to deal with snow, when you have no machinery to clear runways with!

The airport was as a result of previous cancellation and airport closure, hopping. Not in a good way. People were trying to get to their final desitnation in time for Christmas dinner, which meant there was some not so happy vibes going through the terminals. Santa would have had a heart attack with all the anxious panting and negativity.

Anyway, we checked in on the SAS flight and made our way through security. It’s always interesting and nerve-wrecking to prepare to be scanned for metallic objects, and most people end up doing a imitation of the Austrian Lederhosen dance, slapping all body parts to locate metal objects.

As always, I had emptied my pockets, remove hair pins, taken off any cheap metal jewelry and walked bare-feet through the body scanner, while holding up my pants (had to remove my belt of course!).

And of course I triggered the fecking thing and had to be padded down by some overweight and sweaty Irish customs officer. Did I smell a bit of Guinness and Shepherds Pie in his odor from the Christmas party he attended last night in a Finglas hotel?

Finally through security, walking like I had ridden a horse for two weeks solid, heading towards the departure gate. For some reason, all the flights that I go on are departing from the gate furthest away, which is not easy to deal with when you have three kids, a few pieces of hand luggage and a funny walk.

Shortly after arriving, we were asked to board the flight and we (wife and I) managed to get the kids locked into their seats and everything else in the overhead compartments. The pilot welcomed us and we started to taxi to the runway.

While “driving” towards the runway, it started to snow a little bit. Now, I wouldn’t normally about a bit of snow, but that’s because I’m Scandinavian. However, the Irish do not know how to handle snow, so the slightest snow flake could potentially ground all flights.

It was the first time ever, where I started to pray – loudly. The only words I could utter was “get this fecking plane off the ground, before it really starts to snow!”

Prayers answered and we took off. Christmas dinner was safe – or so we thought.

The kids enjoy flying, in particular when they can use my iPad. It was the first time they were sitting in the own row, and they were having juice, snacks and movie.

As we were approaching Copenhagen airport, our daughter looked out the window. Suddenly she burst our “what the hell, are we back in Dublin?!” The reason for this sudden outburst was that is had been snowing in Dublin and we were landing in a snow-covered Copenhagen airport.

I was mortified about her honesty and outburst, but we were laughing at the same time. Gotta love kids and their sudden honest views.

The next 87 minutes were spent waiting for our luggage, in a packed baggage reclaim area. You try and entertain 3 tired kids that long! The luggage was on the plane, but they had difficulties getting it collected due to snow. In fairness, there was about 2 feet of snow in the airport.

So, what do you do in an airport?  Well, you use your iPad and buy a hot-dog.  Not just any hot-dog, but a Danish hot-dog.  Nothing beats a Danish hot-dog, with all the toppings.  What makes me so proud is that my daughter love these creations too – it makes my viking heart melt.

Finally the luggage arrived and we made our way to the car rental.  Got the car keys and spent the next 48 minutes looking for the car, which was parked in the most remote location.  Again, we weren’t prepared for the Danish winter, so our clothes was like a piece of silk and the cold wind cut through it like ice-taps.

Car packed and we hit the motorway.  I looked over at the outdoor thermometer and the green digital numbers showed -9 degrees Celsius!  No wonder we were cold.  Add the wind factor and it felt like -14 degrees Celsius.

For my American readers, that’s equivalent to 7-15 Fahrenheit, so pretty cold.

We had barely left Copenhagen when we hit traffic.  It’s not like it stopped, we just went 20mph, and there were no signs of the queue / traffic getting better.  So, we decided to get some provisions; snacks, junk food and drinks – a healthy combination for any person.

A the next gas station, we stopped, and I jumped out wearing just my shirt – no jacket.  The cold wind hit me like an ice-storm and I could barely breath.  I waddled across the forecourt, aiming at the shop entrance.  When I reached the door it was locked!  IT took me a few painful seconds to realise that I was standing at the exit, so I crawled to the entrance instead.

On the road again, with minor frost bites in my face and one eye frozen solid, we entered the queue / traffic again.  I swear the cars hadn’t moved that much.

The journey to my parents house, from Copenhagen, should under normal circumstances take no more than 2 hours.  Unfortunately, due to the weather conditions, it took around 3.5 hours.  As a result, we received multiple calls from my family, asking if everything was alright.

3.5 hours later, after leaving Copenhagen airport, we arrived at my parents house.  We were greeted by my family, with big warm hugs and nice cold Christmas beers.  Dinner had been served 2 hours earlier, so we had to nuke the food.  But, it doesn’t really matter as mummy’s cooking is always great, no matter if it’s just of the stove or our from the microwave.

Bring on the Christmas celebrations!  Finally home.

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