Friday, September 7, 2012

Day Eight - We Fly Home

Even though we were very sad about having to leave today, it ended up being a great day. I woke up at 8 and unpacked and then repacked all of our bags so they were ready and then got dressed. The kids were still asleep, so I left them with John who was doing some work and I ran a couple errands.

My first stop was the sweater shop where I managed to exchange a sweater I bought two years ago for one I like more + some super sweet felted baby slippers for Violet. Then I went back to a souvenir shop I had gone to on our first day of the trip and recovered a baby bootie that we had lost there. I had been so sad when I discovered it was gone so it was a very joyous surprise to find it there. On the way back the hotel I picked up a mocha and walked through the wet, busy streets of Reykjavik just trying to drink it all in before having to leave. I love that city more than I can say.

We headed towards the airport a couple hours later, with a stop at a lava field to take some family photos. The on and off rain made it a bit challenging but I think we got some good ones.

Happily, John was with us for our 7.5 hour flight to Seattle. That flight went by surprisingly quickly and painlessly. Our 'welcome' back to the US left a lot to be desired, however. Being greeted by an army of security, including a dog sniffing everyone's luggage, put me in a really pessimistic and annoyed mood (we had JUST gotten off an airplane, having already been through security, for crying out loud).

After a couple hours at the airport, John left for Alaska and the kids and I took the train over to our terminal. And then the kids started to melt-down. We had all been up for over 20 hours and it was 3:00am for us. It was a bit rough but we got on the plane and both kids fell asleep before we even took off. Once back to LA, I had to carry sleeping William, my 30 pound carryon, and push Violet in the stroller forever through the airport to baggage claim. And then once to the curb, Will laid down on the sidewalk and fell back asleep. Ha! So, it was a tough few hours, but we made it and the trip was a fantastic success.

There's so much more to see and I hope we get to go back soon! Until next time... :)

Babies in the morning.

Beautiful boy.

Pretty art everywhere.

Keflavik Airport


So tired...

Day Seven - Husavik to Reykjavik

This morning we slept in after our late night and then packed up and cleaned our cabin. We said our goodbyes and thanks to the owners of the Kaldbaks cabins, grabbed a quick lunch in Husavik and then we were on the road back to Reykjavik (about a 6 hour drive).

It was a rainy day which meant that we didn't get to take as many photos as we had planned, but the drive was still enjoyable as always. After a stop in Akureryi we continued on to Hvammstangi where we met up with our friends Eydis and Fanney who we met on our first trip to Iceland. We sat a talked for a bit and then followed them back to their farm where they showed us around and we got to see their beautiful horses. I wish we could have spent more time there but it was very wet!

We rolled into Reykjavik just before dark and checked into our apartment at Hotel Fron. Then to bed we went!

Weathervane at Kaldbaks Kot Cottages

At Kaldbaks Kot 

Pretty font in Husavik

Afternoon donut

I looooove this so much. 


Pretty Akureyri 
Pretty horses

Snowy peaks

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Day Six - Husavik

Wow, there was a crazy storm last night! I could hardly sleep because the wind and rain was so loud and shook our little cabin so hard. After finding some ear plugs I was finally able to go sleep until I rolled over into a puddle on my bed – the wind blew rain in through the cracks in the window pane! Most of the day was stormy also – lots of wind until the afternoon. After the storm there were blue skies and sunshine.

This morning we made breakfast in our tiny kitchen and then spent the day cuddled up inside playing UNO, drawing and reading. It was a wonderfully relaxing day of just doing nothing – an especially nice treat for John who has been working non-stop for months now.

We drove into Husavik for dinner at the gas station grill – cheeseburgers, fries and cokes. After putting Violet to bed I did some cleaning around the cabin in preperation to leave in the morning. Right now (10:30pm) we’re going outside every few minutes to check the status of the aurora borealis that’s going on! It’s still quite light in the sky but we’re starting to see some lights! Can’t believe we’re seeing them again!!! :D

Making breakfast

A happy meal

Bacon smile

Learning how to play chess

Baby nap

Mama nap

Wishing I could stay longer

Icelandic yogurt is the best

Sunsetting over the bay

Happy boy

Pointing to Iceland...sort of

Feels like a big girl

Pretty colors

Northern lights photos taken by John:

Monday, September 3, 2012

Day Five - Akureyri to Husavik

I’m writing this at the little kitchen table in our cabin in Husavik, Iceland, looking out the window at the rain falling into the Skjalfandi bay. The radiator is next to me under the window, warming me with a lovely heat and my tummy is full of a delcious fish stew. My husband and my babies are happily entertaining themselves and everything is perfect. I can not believe my luck at getting this incredible life. I'm so grateful and am trying to soak in every second through every pore and capture every feeling and sight right into my bones.

We woke up to a very rainy day in Akureyri, after enjoying an incredibly sunny and warm day yesterday. When Violet and I were up and dressed, we braved the rain and walked across town (which takes about 5 minutes) to a café I had seen yesterday. It’s called Kaffi Kolt and is connected to a yarn shop. The entire front of the building, including the columns, are covered and wrapped in knitted and crocheted squares. Talk about adorable. Vi and I hung out at the café with a latte and a sandwich, then bought some Icelandic yarn, until John and Will picked us up after checking out of the hotel.

In my opinion, Iceland looks best under gray skies with a bit of rain, which is exactly what we had as we drove from Akureyri to Husavik. Lovely and green and wild. We stopped at a little heated pond and then arrived at Kaldbaks-Kot cottages just outside of Husavik. After checking in, John brought in the luggage while I made the beds with the linens we were given. We relaxed in the cabin for awhile and then headed into Husavik.

First we stopped at the Samkaup grocery store for a few breakfast supplies and then to Gamli Bauker, a restaurant on the harbour which we ate at last time we were here. I had a very tasty stew with fish caught on one of the boats just out the window. After dinner, we stopped at a gas station grill where I sneakily acquired some salt and pepper and sugar poured into napkins and wrapped into little bundles, for making breakfast. Haha.

So now here we are back at the cabin. The rain clouds are starting to clear a bit to the south, so we are hoping hoping hoping that they’ll clear enough that we can maybe see the northern lights tonight. It was from this very same cabin, almost exactly two years ago, that we saw the most spectacular aurora show (pictures HERE). Cross your fingers for us!

John and Will are about to go soak in the hot tub down the path from our cabin and then we’re going to make some popcorn and hot chocolate and play a game of UNO before going to bed for a few hours. We’ll set an alarm to check for lights in the sky. : )

Me and the V 
Kaffi Kolt

Hot pond

View from our cottage (there are mountains on the other
side which are shrouded in clouds)

Grocery shopping

Gamli Baukur

View from Gamli Baukur

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Day Four - Akureyri and Myvatn

We saw so many things today! Most of which we saw on our last trip here, but we were able to spend more time exploring. After sleeping in (the children didn't fall asleep until after 2:30 am) and having lunch, we headed to the Myvatn area where we checked out steam vents and geothermal activity at the the geothermal power plant, marveled at the beautiful Godafoss, hiked around huge rocks to get to Dettifoss (my favorite waterfall in Iceland) where we saw spectacular rainbows, found secret caves enclosing hot pools and then finally had dinner at my favorite restaurant in the country.

Sweet baby ready to go!

At lunch.


Black sand.

Geothermal happenings.

Walking to Dettifoss.


Rocks around Dettifoss.

My boys.

Baby wearing on the walk/hike to Dettifoss.

The earth is splitting apart here -- North American and European plates. 
It's hard to tell from this photo what exactly is going on,
since I was underground. But it's a very deep and very hot
pool of water in a subterranean cave, called Grjotagja.

Woke up with dandelion hair.

I love this dairy cafe! Everything they serve is raised on the
farm/dairy and it's all so good! 

Cows at the dairy.

View of the farm while eating dinner.

And now for John's photos:

Really happened!

The outside of Grjotagja

Much better photo inside Grjotagja