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Vacation Favorites

I know I know I promised I would be back on Monday with all kinds of updates on my trip but I’ve been dealing with some serious jet lag this week, compounded by the need to get back to work after two (glorious) weeks off, and I am covered head to toe in an allergy rash (oh yeah… sexy stuff I know). My goal today is to find an allergist and get an emergency appointment! Anyways, about my vacation! I honestly can’t even say enough about this trip. I lack the words to describe what an amazing life experience it was… and so much fun! I could literally spend the next month blogging about this trip but I HIGHLY doubt anyone is actually interested in that. So here is a one post recap of my absolute favorite moments / events of the trip. (I also finally got pictures up on Facebook today. So if we’re friends… go there for more info if you want it!).

Spending a night in Tivoli Gardens and the G Man showcasing flowers at The Botanical Garden at Rosenborg Palace in Copenhagen

Dancing on deck as we sail away from Copenhagen!

The G Man posing at the Vigeland Sculpture Garden in Oslo, Norway

Traipsing around the Danish countryside in Aarhus… by bus, steam train, and foot!

The Holocaust Memorial in Berlin

Leisurely day at sea with pool time and trivia sessions

General family silliness in Rakvere, Estonia. Sword fighting and vodka tastings

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, drinking 7 bottles of vodka with 15 other people and one guide on the “Fun Tour” of Russia, sunset on the water, and wandering the extensive gardens of Peterhof Palace

Climbing to the top of Temppeliaukio Kirkko (The Rock Church) in Helsinki, playing with horses at a horse breeding farm specializing in Finnish Warmbloods, and wandering the cobblestone streets of Porvoo eating toffee.

Freezing my patooty off in the Ice Bar at the Nordic Sea Hotel in Stockholm (The very first permanent ice bar!)

Relaxing final day at sea. Enjoying sun and unusually warm weather by the pool and watching Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows on the outdoor movie screen

Allow me to take one self-indulgent moment just to say thank you to my family for this once in a lifetime experience. I was so surprised how many people on the trip were astounded that we all still traveled together even though Doug and I are adults. I think it speaks volumes of the depth of our connection to one another. We aren’t perfect and we certainly have our moments, but I am thankful every single day for my family and this trip created memories that will last a lifetime.

Now vacation is over (sad face) but I am glad to be home to my baby Fig and of course Mike (I missed both of them SO MUCH). There is a still a bit of summer left here in DC so I am hoping to squeeze all the remaining juice out of this season before heading into what I think will be a really exciting Fall. Lots of exciting things on the horizon so stay tuned 🙂




Friday Favorites

It will come as no surprise that this week’s Friday Favorites will feature all pictures from my couple days spent in Copenhagen. These are just a collection of my favorite “fun shots”. Hope you guys are enjoying the posts while I am away! I was able to sneak in one post about the trip yesterday but I’m on the cruise ship no so we’ll see how that changes! Love and hugs!!

“MySpace” style self-portrait at the top of the spire of the Church of our Savior (I was all by myself and I wanted photo evidence that I climbed all the way to the top!!)

Copenhagen is considered one of the most “bike-friendly” cities in the world… and people seem to know it! Apparently 1 in 3 people in Copenhagen travel by bike. This is a bike rack outside a metro station… ridiculous. They don’t even always lock them up either!! Obviously this is not DC.

My mom and I enjoying a delicious locally brewed Danish beer at dinner.

My dad and I tried the traditional “Shooting Star” at lunch. This dish includes boiled / breaded herring on a slice of bread with shrimp, asparagus, and caviar. It was… AWESOME.

Walking along the river one afternoon we found this weird trampolines! Obviously my mom and I wasted no time getting on them and taking many silly pictures. That Danish boy doesn’t look that pleased but we had a BLAST.

Week in Workouts: Thankfully I have been able to stay really on track and I feel great about it. My weekend got really crazy before we left on Sunday evening so by the time we landed on Monday morning I was DYING for a workout. Only complication has been all the treadmills measure km/hour and all the weights are in kilograms. I really struggle with the metric system so it’s been kind of trial and error 🙂

Friday 8/3:

  • 60 Minute Spinning Class

Saturday 8/4:

  • Rest Day

Sunday 8/5:

  • Rest Day

Monday 8/6:

  • 8K Treadmill Workout (that is approximately 4.98 miles)

Tuesday 8/7:

  • 20 Minutes Inclined Walking on Treadmill
  • 30 Minutes Total Body Strength Training w/ Weight Machines / Free Weights
  • 10 Minutes Elliptical

Wednesday 8/8:

  • Speed Workout (referenced in a post earlier this week)

Thursday 8/9:

  • 20 Minutes Inclined Walking on Treadmill
  • 30 Minutes Total Body Circuit Workout w/ high intensity cardio intervals
  • 10 Minutes Stair Master

Denmark Days

Hooray for wireless in our hotel rooms here in Copenhagen!! I was a little nervous because I COMPLETELY forgot that I would need an adapter for all my chargers while we were in Denmark (the cruise ship should be fine because it is an American cruise line). Luckily I snagged one from the concierge at the hotel and I’m writing during a little break in our day. We spent all day out and about and came back for a little rest before spending the evening / night in Tivoli Gardens.

So far all I can say about Copenhagen is WOW. Sometimes it feels like a city of opposites because on one hand our hotel is amazingly modern (you have to put your room key in a scanner to work the lights / electricity in your hotel room… hello Green), but on the other the city is packed with beautiful old architecture. I have loved just walking around and taking in all the sights (and eating the FOOD!)

We flew overnight from DC and arrived here in Copenhagen at 7:15 am local time. Everyone was pretty wrecked from not getting much sleep but for me the key to beating jet lag is not napping. So when we checked into the hotel and everyone went to lay down I used that time to grab a workout. It gave me all the energy I needed for the day ahead!

To start our sightseeing off, we bought tickets to the Hop On / Hop Off bus tour. They are embarrassing and touristy but they are a GREAT way to see the highlights of a city so haters go ahead and hate! We rode through a couple stops including a brief photo stop to see the Little Mermaid sculpture, but we hopped off the bus at Nyhavn, which is kind of a harbor front area. It is packed with outdoor dining and old fashion sailboats. Here we grabbed a bite to eat for lunch and walked around a bit before getting back on the bus.

The Little Mermaid statue / Nyhavn

We got off again at The Church of Our Savior, where I climbed all the way to the top of the spire! The views of the city were unbelievable and it was quite a workout to get up all those steps (my calves are actually kind of sore today… embarrassing). We toured around a bit more before heading back to the hotel for a pre-dinner nap. We ate dinner at the great Danish restaurant pretty close to our hotel. We learned the hard way though that the portions of certain dishes are very large. We ordered way too much food and no one could finish! We wised up going forward though.

View from the outside stairs at the top of the Church of our Savior / A massive portion of food at dinner

On our second day, I got up nice and early and got my workout in before meeting the family for breakfast. We walked over to Amelinborg Palace for the changing of the Royal Danish Guard. It was really fun and unlike the guards at Buckingham Palace some of the guards would actually smile or look at you for pictures which was fun (I saw one of them even messing with a group of tourists and then smiling… so cute!). A rain storm came through so we ducked into a little restaurant for a beer and a small lunch. I got an egg and tomato Smorrebrod, which totally hit the spot! We walked around a bunch, so much that we needed to come back and take a little rest!

Across the River from the Opera House / Changing of the Guard / Egg & Tomato Sandwich

Anyways, glad I got to share a little of my vacation so far with you! I’ll hopefully be back again soon 🙂

Sweet spire on top of the Stock Exchange (according to the recording on our hop on / hop off bus tour the design is three dragons on at the bottom with their tails intertwined, sick)

Bon Voyage!

So I alluded to this earlier in the week but today you’re getting ALL the gory details. This weekend, my family and I will be taking off for a once in a lifetime vacation through Northern Europe. Growing up, I was extremely blessed to have the chance to travel a lot with my family. We did two family trips to Europe (one to London / Paris, and another through Italy… our homeland!) and then I studied abroad in Ireland while I was in college. While studying abroad I grabbed my backpack and my roommate and traveled all over the place. Needless to say, I love Europe and feel extremely blessed to have had so many amazing travel opportunities.

Zimm Family vacation in Skagway, Alaska.

For how tight knit my immediate family is, we haven’t traveled much together in recent years. Last summer we FINALLY got out schedules to mesh for a cruise to Alaska from Vancouver (prior to this we realized that the last time we did a family vacation with all four of us was to Mexico on Christmas / New Years in 2003/2004!) We had so much fun on our cruise last summer, we were determined to do another family vacation this summer. I have long been floating the idea of a Mediterranean cruise because I really want to see the Greek Isles and Turkey, but after doing some extensive research (thank Mom… you rock!) we all went crazy over the idea of doing a Baltic Cruise. We’ve literally been planning this trip since January so I can’t believe that it’s actually ALMOST HERE!

The clan braving the “Cliff Walk” at Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver, Canada.

To start our trip we’re going to fly to Copenhagen, Denmark and spend about 2 days. I’ve been doing tons of research because sightseeing will be on our own for this time. I’m really excited to go to Tivoli Gardens, climb to the top of the Round Tower, and eat plenty of open faced sandwiches (Smørrebrød in Danish).

Tivoli Gardens

After spending two nights in Copenhagen, we will board the cruise ship and set sail! First stop will be Olso, Norway where I can’t wait to pose for a picture at the Holmenkollen (world famous ski jump!). Next we will circle back to Denmark, stopping in the city of Aarhus. Here we will have a chance to see the Tollund Man, the most well-preserved prehistoric body! My dad and I are super into science (My dad is a chemist) so we are super stoked for this. Finally, we will stop in Warnemunde, Germany which is a short train ride outside Berlin! I have actually been to Berlin before (I took an impromptu trip during final exams of my semester in Ireland… I got a round trip flight for 15 euro it felt wrong NOT to go!), but I went right before Christmas so I’m excited to see how different the city looks during the summer months. Since I have been before though, my family graciously accommodated my request to visit the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp before touring the city. I wouldn’t say I am “excited” to visit this place as it will undoubtedly be a very upsetting experience, but I think it will be a very emotional and unique experience. Sadly, most of world history isn’t “feel good” history, but I think it’s still important to educate myself.


We will get a rest day at sea as we head further east. Our next stop will be Talinn, Estonia. Here I am SUPER excited to go on a day trip to Rakvere and visit a castle built by Monks! After Talinn we arrive for two days / an overnight in St. Petersburg, Russia. I think this was probably THE selling point of this cruise for our whole family. With two days and an overnight we will really be able to see more of the city, but I am the most excited to see Peterhof Palace, which is sometimes referred to as “Russia’s Versailles”. I also plan to enjoy plenty of vodka, caviar, and Russian folk music! After leaving St. Petersburg we have two more port cities before returning to Copenhagen. First stop is Helsinki, Finland, where we will be heading into the country side to visit a traditional Finnish farm. I’m planning to roll up my sleeves and get dirty. Finally, we stop in Stockholm, Sweden for our final port. Here we are planning a canal cruise (was I the only one who didn’t know that Stockholm was actually a chain of small islands??) and exploring Gamla Stan (Stockholm’s “Old Town”).

St. Petersburg, Russia

Anyways… that’s my trip!! Like I said… this is once in a lifetime stuff right here and I can’t wait to simply savor every moment of it. As for the blog… fear not! I’ve been working ahead and there will be pre-scheduled new posts up every day for you to enjoy. I am HOPING that perhaps I might be able to sneak in a blog post here and there, but internet on cruise ships isn’t great and it can be expensive so no promises.

Now for the final feat before my trip… PACKING. I have 50 lbs of luggage for 14 days!!!! I am not known for packing light so this could be a real challenge. There is a laundromat facility on the ship, so I might need to do a load of workout clothes (workout clothes are the one thing I don’t re-wear… gross. You’ve seen how much I sweat!) so I can bring less with me.