A Jet Set Lifestyle: Heads to the Strawberry Fields

IMG_20170615_091452902_HDR-01

I grew up in Connecticut. As much as I feel it is important for a person to see other cultures and experience other places first hand to really be able to grow as a human and understand the world they live in, I do enjoy coming back to Connecticut at particular times. One of those times being strawberry season! Strawberry season in Connecticut tends to coincide with Father’s Day. Which is great, as my father loves strawberries (but more on that later).

Strawberry picking works well solo and is also a fun family activity. With that being said, I hope the children are well behaved and can follow the farms rules and also will listen to their parents as those parents enforce the farm’s rules. Parents, please enforce the farms rules, they are in place for everyones safety and enjoyment.

IMG_20170615_091510061-01

On another soapbox note, make sure you drink up some water, and bring a cooler for the car with more water for after your picking as you are out in the direct sunlight. So, wear your highest SPF and your favorite shades as well. A sunhat would be handy too. But enough on safety let’s get to the fun!

I grew up not far from Jones Tree Farm and would go picking there seasonally. As an adult I would head back there as well. This season I am up in Litchfield county for a bit of time and decided to see what was around this area.

Deeply Rooted Farms LLC came back with high ratings and I decided to check it out. It’s been terribly hot earlier this week but today (06/15/17) it was in the low 60’s and I decided it was a great time to go as they opened their season 2 days earlier. (Note strawberry season varies a little bit depending on the weather, so make sure to check in with your local farm.)

IMG_20170615_094055450-01

I took the 15 minute drive over and chatted with the people working there. They currently (as of this writing) have two types of berries, Earliglow and L’Amour. More will be coming later in the season. Earliglow stay on the small side but are really sweet as L’Amour are not as sweet and get bigger.)

They give you a basket and send you on your way. Please stay in the marked areas for picking. Once you’re done picking you head back to the stand have your berries weighed and pay by weight. This particular farm (As well as Jones Tree Farm) take cash or check as forms of payment.

Due to some medical things I gave myself 30 minutes in the field to get what I can get. A nosey woman who doesn’t know how to be quiet or mind her own business was behind me while I was waiting to pay and she was waiting to get a basket to pick and said “Boy you didn’t get a lot!” Nice lady, real nice. But some of the people are the farm that work there are actually nice. This one young woman asked me if I would like some help picking, I had decided already I was done for the day and needed to get out of the heat, so I told her I really appreciated the offer but was done for the day. Why do I tell you this? Because kindness begets kindness as rudeness begets rudeness. (I’m really on my high horse today huh?)

Anyway, for a first timer at Deeply Rooted Farms LLC I’d say I’ll come back! Perhaps again this season, perhaps not. But if I do come back this season I’ll get a dollar off if I bring my same box back!

IMG_20170615_095006204-01

Not into picking your own? You can drive on over and pick up some that were picked by the farmers and are ready to go!

 

Not sure what to do with all your strawberries? Check these recipes out:

Strawberry Dessert Topping

Strawberry Jam

Preserving Your Jam

Strawberry Pie

I myself love the jam. My father is a big fan of the dessert topping for his ice cream and the strawberry pie which my mother used to make for him. So with this blog post going live on Father’s Day, guess what dessert is and what he’s taking home as part of his gift?

A Jet Set Lifestyle: Granola – Copenhagen

18192432_1366220990133224_6540037833890186615_o-01.jpeg

Granola is a spot that’s popular with locals and tourists alike. I arrived and there was a wait, this is a good sign I thought. But looking back, I’m honestly not sure why.

I go in and there was a small table pushed in the corner where I was able to sit without a wait, okay great. However after sitting there for 10 minutes I walked up to the counter to ask if I were to order at the counter or if someone came to the table. A young woman said someone would come to the table so I went back to wait. It still took a few more minutes  before the same young woman came over to take my order.

18278179_1366220536799936_2517078397959776431_o-01

I don’t completely blame her, she was in the weeds with too many tables, but management should not be greedy for all the money and bring on extra staff during brunch.

20 minutes later I have my food. I stare at it considering how much I just spent on this. I knew I’d quickly be hungry again, especially after waiting so long to eat to begin with. Maybe I’m just an overfed fat American.

18209059_1366220530133270_8224259382543662374_o-01

2 minutes after that I finally get my orange juice which was over ice. I feel if the juice is cold (as it should be) there really is no need to have it over ice. Juices are expensive enough without loosing space due to the ice and who wants watered down juice  anyway? Maybe I’m in the minority on this one.

How did I entertain myself during the wait? I didn’t. They have no wi-fi.

Anyway, once my food finally arrived I ate quickly because once again I was so hungry.

It’s fine. But it’s not worth the money. I had hoped that because it was so small it would at least have been amazing, it wasn’t.

18237778_1366220673466589_9205269856958437247_o-01

Do you want to know how long it took me to pay? Well not long because I walked up to the counter, I wasn’t about to stay any longer.

Do I recommend Granola? Definitely not.

A Jet Set Lifestyle: The Viking Ship Museum Roskilde, Denmark

I have previously been to The Viking Ship museum in Oslo, Norway so to learn that less than an hour away from Copenhagen there was a museum with 5 Viking ships I was pretty excited to say the least.

I hopped a train and headed off. It’s about a mile walk to the museum from the train station. But you go by a couple parks with benches so if you need to take a rest, like I did, you have some options.

I got to the museum and had a couple hours before it closed so I knew I had to be a little quick.

At the time I went they were selling tickets in the gift shop. After buying the tickets I wandered down to see the 5 ships, or more, what was left of them. So far from my knowledge and research it appears the best well preserved ship is the Gokstad in Oslo, Norway so of course I see that one first and everything else is a slight disappointment in comparison.

IMG_0840[1]-01IMG_0845[1]-01IMG_0848[1]-01IMG_0849[1]-01

But this museum is well worth a visit. First off these ships are around 1,000 years old. You try keeping yourself together for that long. My makeup is usually streaked across my face before noon. But other than that, next to the ship remains they have small scale models of what the ships would look like if they were fully preserved.

IMG_0854[1]-01

They also have an outdoor area with a workshop. In the workshop they build life size replicas of the ships and they take people out on during the warmer months. You can go into the workshop and see ships being built right before your eyes.

IMG_0892[1]-01IMG_0915[1]-01

The current ship they are working on (2017) they are allowing the general people to help build as well was having step by step plans and videos on the internet that people can follow their progress through and attempt to build their own.

IMG_0916[1]-01

Do I recommend this museum? Absolutely  !

A Jet Set Lifestyle: AirBnB fails.

For a long time I stayed at hostels, but as I get older I want more privacy, especially on this trip. So I’ve started renting AirBnBs in both the capacity of private places or just private rooms. On this trip it is a mixture of private rooms in both AirBnBs and hostels as well as hotels.

So far I’ve had my first bad AirBnB experience.

I’m not a big talker, especially when I first get up or I’m tired, I just like to be left alone, hence me not booking any shared rooms this time around.

Well I extensively read reviews of AirBnBs as well was the profiles of the hosts. The particular one I am speaking about the host specifically wrote that he mainly leaves guests alone, which I greatly liked reading.

I get there and he’s on his way out so I say bye and that’s the last I see of him.

Great right?

Wrong.

He has a co-host. I’ve never read a co-host profile before as I thought they were a friend that lived nearby and helped check in a guest or clean a room when a host was unavailable. Well, that’s not the case, at least not in this situation. He lived there. And for whatever reason our scheduled matched up and he was always there when I was there.

He would be in the living room or kitchen where I couldn’t see him. They had a couple of cats so I never knew who was rustling around but I’d come out of the room and he’d come out in the hall to talk to me for 20 minutes to an hour!

On one such night he talked to me for a half an hour after I got off an long  Hangouts call and was on my way to try to use the restroom. After I got to my room, ready for bed, I realized I needed more water.

I thought about going without, but I had to take my vitamins so I ventured out to get water and he then talked to me for another 20 mins I had wanted to be in bed almost an hour previous by this point.

On my final night I quickly run out of my room and cross the hall to the restroom and on my way back to my room he comes running out. I feel ambushed. I rub my eyes. He asks if I’m tired. I say yes. He asks if I leave tomorrow. I say yes at 5 in the morning. He then goes on for another 5-7 minutes.

Now, I’m not necessarily an unfriendly person, if I was I’d cut him off and not let him talk so long, but I’m also, as I said, not really a talker. So what should one do in such a situation? You don’t want to piss a host off, especially while still being there. You also don’t want a bad review. What does one do? Have you had a similar situation where you were uncomfortable in a place you stayed? How did you handle it?

A Jet Set Lifestyle: The National Museum of Denmark

For so many Vikings coming from Denmark, you would think there would be a larger Viking age exhibit at he National Museum. But alas they are relegated to the same floor as the prehistoric age and there’s not much there.

In the museum guide it has a list of must seem items. There are some gold horns so I thought, “Yes! This I will see”but alas, they are just replicas. Mind you they are gold and a couple hundred years old, but they aren’t a thousand years old.

You’ll also find the remains of quite a few people which can be either interesting or creepy to see.

IMG_0768[1]-01IMG_0771[1]-01IMG_0779[1]-01 (1)

What I did find interesting and may be worth it enough to bring you here are the time stones. I’ve done much reading about rune stones but have yet to see one. Well they had a room full of them.

I’m not sure why it didn’t hit me until seeing them, but rune stones are very similar to today’s gravestones.

Other than that you can find a few weapons, musical instruments, etc from the Iron Age and such.

There’s a second floor that brings you up to speed with modern times in Denmark but I personally had a plan of going and learning more about the Vikings.

As for a museum set up I think Iceland’s National Museum has a better set up.

This was not my favorite museum.

If you really want  learn about the overall history of Denmark, sure, give it a shot.

Have you been to the museum? What do you think?

A Jet Set Lifestyle: Meyers Bageri – Copenhagen

IMG_20170324_093215366_HDR-01

I am somewhat familiar to the man behind Meyers Bageri, Claus Meyer (who is also a founder of Copenhagen’s Michelin starred Noma), due again to Iceland. Meyer and Gunnar Gíslason, who is the chef behind Dill in Reykjavík, have partnered to bring the New Nordic food scene to New York City back in 2016.

A friend I made in Iceland in 2015 worked at Dill and told me about the spot in NYC that was opening. And sure enough spring 2016, Meyers basically took over Grand Central. There is the Nordic hot dog stand, then the Nordic Food Hall, and finally the pearl of the endeavor, Agern, a very posh spot to get the best of the best in New Nordic while in NYC each season, as the menu changes seasonally.  By the end of 2016 Agern has already received itself a Michelin star and earlier this year (Feb 2017) Dill became the first restaurant in Iceland to receive a Michelin star.

I think you get the picture, Meyers is kind of a big deal, and surrounds himself with other big deals. Now let’s get back on track.

IMG_20170324_093208728_HDR-01

Meyers Bageri has a location just 2 blocks from the Grød location I went to. So though I was full I thought it was a good idea to pick up a cinnamon swirl to have later.

I walked into the tiny little bakery and ordered a cinnamon swirl from the young woman working at the counter. She wrapped it up, I paid, and I was on my way!

IMG_20170324_093142054-01-01

Later that evening I decided it was time for a snack and I thought the cinnamon swirl would do just the trick.

IMG_0971-01.jpeg

Now mind you it was about 12 hours old (if not a bit older, but she did take it off a pan that was on an oven rack, so I doubt much older) by this point and now at room temperature but when I tell you I wish I bought another for the next day I mean it. They are not crunchy and flaky like American cinnamon twists, but they also are not doughy and overly sweet like American cinnamon rolls. Now I have quite a sweet tooth so perhaps people who have an aversion to sugar (who the heck are these people? Trust me, they exist, I’ve met their kind) would still find them “too sweet”. But if you like a good pastry, this should be on your list. I recommend!

IMG_0973-01

Oh! If you can’t get over to Copenhagen, look what I stumbled upon on the internet!

 

A Jet Set Lifestyle: Grød- Copenhagen

17991685_1352858194802837_2970817842478131525_o-01

In Copenhagen I took the bus to head over to Grød for breakfast. Grød is a place that serves sweet or savory porridge. In America we call porridge oatmeal and before my stay in Iceland last year, I had no idea oatmeal could be savory. An Italian girl who was my roommate and that I made friends with would often eat porridge and put things like tomato sauce in it. I had never seen such a thing.

17973651_1352858408136149_8528811099767686959_o-01

But coming to Grød in Copenhagen I saw that it’s not just the Italians who go the savory route. Oatmeal and I aren’t best friends so I opted for the sweet route, something I was familiar with. I went with the”all in” which had all of the toppings.

17973782_1352857954802861_804480325741212767_o-01

I must say it was quite delicious. I didn’t mix it to much to start as I wanted to try each flavor separately but that unfortunately made for a lot of peanut butter at the end which was a bit over powering. Other than that, I must say Grød is definitely on my recommended list!

18155956_1358568297565160_4499130598757037376_o

 

 

Some of the many take home options! )

A Jet Set Lifestyle: Copenhagen Public Transit System

The Copenhagen public transportation system was very easy for a former New Yorker to learn. There’s really only a couple of metro lines and then a ton of busses. During rush hour you can find they can be busy, but being that Copenhagen is a cycle city they often are not too crowded.

One thing that differs from New York Subways was the level of cleanliness. I didn’t see a speck of garbage on the tracks, or did it smell like urine, and there were guys in the early morning polishing the floors! All of that seems pretty unheard of if you’ve only been on the New York City subways.

The metros here are similar to those in other cities where it’s rather on the honor system of scanning your card when you enter and exit the station. Whereas in New York you have to scan before you even enter the platform. Now this isn’t to say to try to ride for free as I saw ticket operators doing random checks more here than in any other city I have been to.

The same goes for them coming on the busses and checking. Though it’s a bit more difficult to get on for free there as you are supposed to pay or scan your card upon entering.

And what happens if you get caught? A nice hefty fine. That’s a way to put a dent in your travel budget!

You can buy tickets by ride and rides go by zones, a lot of cities that aren’t New York do zones. In New York you can go from the two farthest points and it’s the same price as the two closest points. Do I think zone ticketing is better? Yes. Have I figured out zone ticketing yet? Nope! If you’re like me and don’t understand what is in what  zone you can buy an unlimited pass which allows you to to ride the busses and subways as much as you want anywhere within Copenhagen for one set price. They come in different timed amounts such as 24 or 48 hours. They are active after your first swipe.

If you understand the zoning it may be less expensive to go ride by ride however, especially if you aren’t planning to use the metros all that much.

What’s nice, besides the cleanliness of the metro stations, is that a lot of the stations have screens that show when the next metro or bus is coming. Also on the metros and busses a lot of them announce the next stop or at least have screens displaying the next stop as well as what connections are available there. But try not to rely on them as once in awhile you’ll get on a metro or bus or get to a station where that isn’t the case.

Also note, the busses won’t stop unless you press the red stop button (if no one is at the stop to flag it to stop that is) so stay alert. Also, some busses and metros the doors won’t open to let you off (even if you pressed the red stop button) unless you press the green button to open the door!

It may seem like the escalator isn’t working, but get close to it and it begins. Now that’s a nice energy saving feature.

The final thing to say about the Copenhagen public transportation is that there’s often free Wi-Fi! A lot of the metro stations as well as some of the busses have free Wi-Fi you can connect to. Again, it’s not always the case, so keep that in mind if you are Wi-Fi only!

A Jet Set Lifestyle: Canal Cruise Copenhagen

IMG_0689[1]-01

Bad idea.

Let me start off by saying I’ve never been one to like organized tours, whether they be walking, bus, or boat. (But the walking one in Napoli was an exception I did enjoy that walking tour.) Granted you can sometimes learn things you wouldn’t if you were on your own, but is it worth the hassle? No, I really don’t think so.

I bought the Copenhagen card and with it (another first, I often don’t bus city cards as I prefer to walk, but I knew I’d be taking a lot of metros and/or busses this trip.) I could get a canal tour for no extra cost. Since I was tired as I hadn’t slept much I thought it would be nice to sit on a boat and relax a bit.

It’s an indoor/outdoor boat. It says to kerphands inside the windows which could be opened but I thought that wouldn’t make for good photographs and leaving the windows closed would be worse. So I made my way to the outdoor area in back as people were sitting in front.

The boat speed was a lot quicker than I had expected, which makes it somewhat difficult to take photos. But another added thing? Even though the sun was shining and the weather was in the 50s in March, it’s still March and just in the 50s. On land after a cold winter 50 feels warm. On the water? Different story. Gloves make photo taking more difficult as well, so cold hands it is.

We went zipping by many sights such as the Royal Danish Theatre, Paper Island:

IMG_0691[1]-01

The Black Diamond, and a highlight The Little Mermaid where they did slow for a photo opportunity. Good thing she faces land and we’re on the water. We got a nice shot of her backside:

IMG_0699[1]-01

We did learn a couple interesting facts that hasn’t come up in my Google pre-research. Like the fact that the waste disposal plant (I believe that’s what she said) is one of the tallest buildings in Copenhagen and has a ski slope built on it:

IMG_0697[1]-01

Also that they salute the flag every sunrise and sunset but some people who reside nearby feel sunrise is too early and so “sunrise” is at 8 am each morning.

IMG_0698[1]-01

If you aren’t necessarily interested in going into The Black Diamond, The Royal Theatre, and other such buildings but want to see them a canal cruise might be a fine option for you. Would I pay the cost separately from the Copenhagen card and be happy with my decision to do so? Definitely not, but if you have the Copenhagen card and some time to kill, give it a shot.

Also, make sure you do sit and keep your hands inside the boat, some of the bridges you pass under are really short and narrow. I’m 5’6″ and I got worried about my head a couple of times while seated.

 

A couple other photos from the canal cruise:

They have a copy of the statue of David:

IMG_0700[1]-01

The church in the Christiania neighborhood of Copenhagen (In good weather you can head to the church and climb that spiral):

IMG_0709[1]-01

What’s left of the old royal palace after it burned down… twice:

IMG_0715[1]-01