September 23, 2015
Although no one truly wants to acknowledge it, today is the day that summer is officially over. And although I hate to be the bearer of bad news, I have to admit that I actually don’t find the start of autumn to be all that devastating. Yes, the days are getting shorter and the air a bit cooler, but – and this just may be the Danish realist optimist in me – there is so much to love about autumn!
The overall hue is such a gorgeous amber color, and everything has the smell or taste of freshly picked apples or pumpkin. Cool breezes inspire us to walk a little closer to one another, and cuddling is a necessity (who doesn’t love that)! The fall just evokes calm and coziness – hygge in all its soothing Danish glory!
The autumn months of September and October are usually spent getting ready to go back to school, rather than planning a trip, but the fall is a great option for day trips and ‘staycations’ both here in Chicago and in Denmark.
Sure, Chicago is known for its plethora of summer festivals, but did you know that there are so many things to do in Chicago in the fall as well? Plus, according to Travel + Leisure Magazine Chicago is one of the best cities for fall travel. So although we are surrounded by many amazing Midwest fall getaway destinations, autumn-loving day-trippers need not travel too far to enjoy all that this colorful season has to offer.
Similarly, Denmark offers many autumnal events where the emphasis is on quality time with friends and family (“hygge”). Whether it’s enjoying a horse and cart ride in the Sønderskoven woods, admiring the changing leaves near the Ribe Cathedral in the oldest town in Denmark, or taking in a horserace at Klampenborg Galopbane (Copenhagen Racecourse), autumn events in Denmark are one-of-a-kind.
Speaking of Klampenborg Galopbane, to me Chicago and Copenhagen have such distinct similarities. I guess that is why Emma Thorsen settled in Chicago after leaving Denmark over a hundred years ago. She must have felt that connection as well. Each time I highlight something about each of these places (two of my favorites!) it reminds me how linked they truly are.
Klampenborg Galopbane reminds me so much of Arlington Racecourse here in Chicagoland. Both thoroughbred racing tracks are fun, family-friendly destinations located just north of major metropolitan cities; both opened in the early 1900’s, and both have interesting histories. Although Klampenborg is opened through October, this Saturday is closing day for the 2015 season at Arlington. Fascinator in hand, I’ll definitely be celebrating this first bit of autumn by enjoying the last race at Arlington – in style!
Do you also fancy a day at the races? The Danish Home Foundation’s Annual Benefit is this Saturday at Arlington Racecourse. The Foundation will celebrate their own “Perfect Trifecta” by honoring 3 couples with the 2015 Essence Award. Congratulations Shirley & Jerry Andersen, Herta & the late Al Iversen and Arleen & Robert Nielsen! For more information call 773-775-7383 (ext. 4) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more here about the 2014 Essence Award winner , The Danish Pioneer Newspaper