When I left for Denmark in August, I didn’t have plans to come back home to California until the Christmas holidays.
Enter: the Danish Potato Break.
The University of Copenhagen has a weeklong break from classes in October, apparently to honor the tradition of potato harvesting? We’ve been told that “back in the day” students would have to take a break from all that learnin’ to help ma and pa pick potatoes in the fields. Not sure how relevant that is anymore, but hey – I’ll happily take a week off for pretty much any reason.
The timing lined up perfectly: flights were cheap, class workload was (relatively) light, and my brain was ALL IN.
Best part —
It was a complete surprise! I managed to pull the whole thing off without telling a single soul. Ok, exaggeration. I did tell a few of the trusty souls. But my mom, dad, and grandma had no idea and the look on their faces when I showed up on the doorstep was so, so priceless.
I’ve travelled alone internationally before (during the short study abroad I did in Germany the summer of 2011) but I’d never done it on the sly. I was LE NERVOUS. I’d also not yet navigated the CPH Metro (all about that bike life here), so I was definitely stressing about that too. No need, though. It was easy peasy, and the whole morning went by without a hitch.
Airport snacks. (Yes, napkin, it was a GOOD day.)
(I guess this means I don’t need to worry about seeing the Little Mermaid when I get back to Copes?)
This was the skies during the CPH -> LHR leg. I could feel the SAD instantly evaporating once we cleared the clouds. (I swear, it was the first bit of true sun I’d seen in a while!)
And this was lunch courtesy of British Airways. Mmmm, quintessential airline food. Plus a side of “All The Light We Cannot See” (BEST BOOK).
My flight landed in Heathrow at noon, and then I had a two hour layover before my leg to LAX. That sounds like a nice amount of time right? Wrong. Heathrow is a nightmare, especially if you have to change terminals (I did), and go through security again (yup, I did). And espeeeecially if your bag gets flagged in the scanner and you have to have some tiny bearded airport man rummage through all your stuff to find the toothpaste you forgot about. Yup, also happened.
By the time I hustled all the way to my gate for the long haul flight, it was already time to board. I was just settling into my tiny little aisle seat when a couple sits in the aisle next to me, with their tiny, crying infant. JOY TO THE FREAKING WORLD. Just about the best thing to be sitting next to on an 11 hour flight.
But then something AMAZING happened. The two other people in my row just never showed up. It was a full flight, but for whatever reason the rest of my aisle was a no-show. OH THE SHINIEST OF SILVER LININGS.
Yo, London, you pretty.
Yo, airplane food, you ain’t so pretty.
Once I’d eaten my measly meal, I bought a pass to the inflight wifi. Mostly so I could iMessage my mom and appease her repressed panic. I almost always Snapchat her in the morning when I wake up, and then randomly throughout the day. By the time I was on my LAX flight, it was mid-afternoon Copenhagen time and I knew she’d be internally freaking out. (She was.)
I also watched Inside Out again, cause duh.
Naps were taken in this gloriously stretched out position.
And more movies were watched. (Don’t hate on me and my passive voice, btw. It’s a ~creative decision~ )
Then, just like that, I was H O M E. Cannot tell you how good it felt to touch down in Los Angeles. Sunshine, freeways, beach – how I missed you!!! Customs took two seconds, and my suitcase was coming down the carousel barely 5 minutes after I got to baggage claim. Pro tip: travel on Tuesdays! Talk about empty.
I had my friend Osang pick me up from the airport and drop me off a home, where these three fat porkers were waiting. They were way more excited than they look here, promise!
My dad was also home to greet me, all excited and totally caught off guard. He opened the door with this “WHOA WHO ARE YOU WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE” look that was just classic. When my mom got home and saw me, she was so overwhelmed that she instantly started crying. It was amazing, and my sister managed to catch it all on camera.
I’d relive the whole thing over if I could.