Tuesday, July 14, 2015

BBA Challenge - July 2015 - Vacation

Each month the Blogging Business Artisans team invites members to participate in a team challenge.  This month's challenge comes from Linda Pruitt of Pruitt Supply aka Abigail Jayne of AbigailJayneArt.

     Vacation Time! Create something with a vacation theme, i.e. camper/camping, flight to                    somewhere, travel log, or write a blog post about your favorite vacation/vacation spot ever! (why would you recommend it to someone else?) Another idea: You might also want to post about your dream vacation. (Do some research.) Think travel, not staycation.

My dream vacation (it’s truly on my Bucket List) is to visit Denmark.  It would be a “roots” tour.  Since I don’t like flying over water or driving over bridges, perhaps I’ll go by ocean liner.  I’ll be retired by the time I make this trip, so what would be the rush?

Ideally, I would visit over the 4th of July.  Since 1912 thousands of Danes have celebrated Independence day at Rebild Bakker in Denmark as a small gesture of gratitude towards accepting so many Danish immigrants over the years. It remains the biggest 4th of July celebration outside US. 

My great-grandfathers were some of those Danish immigrants. Here is a picture of my paternal grandfather’s family, probably taken sometime between 1900-1910.

Larsen / Larson Studio Portrait

My grandfather, Hans William Walder Larson, known to the family as "Billy" or "WW", is the boy seated next to his father, Jens Peder Larsen.

(Yes, it is true.  Half the siblings are Larsons with an "o" and the other half are Larsens with an "e."
I've heard different family folklore about how this came to be, but the one my dad believed to be true was this:  "SON" was the American way to spell it -- and they wanted to be good Americans.

My maternal great-grandfather, Jens Peder Quist and his wife, also came from Denmark, but I know very little about my maternal grandfather's family history.  (Much more is known about my maternal grandmother's family, but that deserves another post.)

So -- each of my parents was half Dane, and that makes me half Dane!

The Larsen/Larson relatives have kept in touch with the Danish relatives “across the pond” for many decades.  My third cousin Lise’s great-great maternal grandparents were in the Royal Danish Orchestra and Royal Danish Ballet.  What a shock for her grandmother to have seen the height of culture as a child, only to move to a farm on the desolate prairies of Green Valley Township in Miner County, South Dakota, a thousand miles from the nearest ocean and her family!

My dad's Aunt Dot, the milliner, made trips to Denmark every other year.  

Great Aunt Dot Larsen's Hat Shop

Great Aunt Dot and Friend - Wild and Crazy Hats!

She collected pretty blue Royal Copenhagen China plates.

Mermaid Plate

Royal Copenhagen Christmas Collector Plate - 1953
(the year I was born)

My dad’s cousin Jay and his family made several trips to Denmark.  Here is Jay with his daughter Lise near the white cliffs of Mon.   

And my brother and sister-in-law have visited Bandhoi Farm on the Island of Mon where they have been welcomed as family by relatives who speak fluent English.  

You will find the Island of Mon on the southeasternmost corner of the map above.  The Island of Mon is famous for its white chalk cliffs, Mons Klint.

From the highest point of the cliffs, on a clear day, I am told you can see both Germany and Sweden.  Perhaps if I'm that close to Germany, I could take a little detour to meet my BBA teammate Duni in person!

I would  love to visit Stege, the largest town on the island, and of course, Copenhagen -- the Little Mermaid in the harbor, the shops and cafes, 

and who could visit Denmark without touring Tivoli Gardens.

Tivoli Gardens - www.tripadvisor.com 

And, if Jerry is able to travel, we would certainly take a side trip to Finland. (He is 31/32 Finnish by heritage, and grew up bilingual.)   Uff-dah!  That's a lot of Scandinavian!!

I follow Go Visit Denmark on Facebook and each post makes me want to visit more. Perhaps, someday, it will happen. 

I believe every soul has a homing instinct.



  1. What a wonderful trip this would be!
    I had no idea that other countries celebrated the 4th of July.
    Some of my distant relatives had the last name Olson when they came to America. They decided that they wanted to make a new start, so changed their name to Solon. Gets very tricky when trying to do genealogy!
    I hope you get to cross this one off your bucket list :)

    1. Thanks, Edi. I don't even have a passport yet, but it will stay on my Bucket List.

  2. That would be a fabulous trip and a great connection with your ancestry! I've been to Copenhagen and surrounding countryside -- I loved Tivoli (had my first, and only, ride on a ferris wheel there!)

  3. That would certainly be an incredible trip! I hope you do get to go one day! Those hats are something else!

  4. I hope you do take your dream trip LeAnn! I love to travel and love to explore the history and culture of the places I visit. Your trip is on my list! And yeah for Jerry ... I'm a Finn (tell him "Sisu" from me!)