Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Delayed Posting - Jolabord i Nupur

So, Saturday was a great quiet day. Jacob was at school all day working on his paper for his economics course and Zelia and I hung around, played and she had some VERY good naps. Jacob came home around 3, we ate a little, packed and walked out to the gas station in town where we were being picked up by a van to take us to the hotel. We brought the car seat and then there weren't enough seats so Zelia was on our laps which was making us uncomfortable with the snowy roads. The driver had to stop at Bonus to get potatoes so we put the car seat in and Tanja sat on the floor for the ride, very nice of her. Through the long dark tunnel and about an hour later we arrived. The hotel used to be a boarding school for boys and girls and Sigi now runs it. We know Sigi because he also works for the University Program and he is the one who sent the ride for all of us. We checked in, got our rooms and headed up to the second floor. There were already people hanging around drinking in the halls and you could feel the buzz in the air that a party was going to start. The rooms were quite small with 2 single beds, a skinny closet, a sink, a chair and a table. We got a little settled and sat in the hall with some wine and Tanja and I were working furiously on our Icelandic sweaters. Zelia was crawling around on everyone having fun. She even managed to give Henry a smile and all he usually gets from her is screaming! Sigridor was also there, she is the Academic director of the program and actually lives in Reykjavik and commutes to Isafjordur for work. We will be spending next Sunday with her and her family when we are in Reykjavik.

At around 7pm we all got dressed and headed downstairs where several long tables were set up in the dining hall, a buffet area and a stage with musicians setting up. Sigridor was already at our table and Jacob went to get a high chair. Some people brought drinks in their bags (as I have mentioned alcohol is VERY expensive) and I enjoyed some jolaol, which is Christmas Ale, a mix of malta and orange soda and so yummy!!!! We headed up to the buffet for appetizers, 3 kinds of herring, lox, smoked salmon pate, cured goat meat (Jacob loved it), red cabbage salad, beets, Hangikjot (smoked lamb), peas, corn, roast beef (I went to town!!!), gratine potatoes (that were amazing), a shrimp salad (which really was a ceviche), a green salas, and eventually roasted pork and lamb. It was truly a feats and delicious. Later we learned that Sigi, himself chose the lamb and then it was sent to the north to be smoked by someone who really smokes fish but smokes lamb once a year for Christmas! We ate very well. Zelia did a good job considering the time and played for a bit on the floor, but at 10 I took her up and got her to bed. Throughout the night we would hear noise from time to time.

The Icelanders like to party and boy can they, I am not talking about 20 year olds, I mean this place had several in their 50's and 60's and they were drinking a lot and partying until 5am! According to the other students it got pretty crazy, lots of dancing some belligerent behavior, everything.

We woke at around 8:30 and hung out in the room, ate some clementines and hard boiled eggs we brought with us. Then we decided to head downstairs to see if there was any coffee and on the way out we found Tanja and Traian who told us about the rest of the night. We headed downstairs to a quiet, sleepy hall with the doors locked to the coffee. By reception a man was asleep in his chair, still dressed from the night before with several cuts on his face. We thought he had wandered in the snow and passed out only to return in the morning and fall asleep in the chair. We sat on the couches wondering when people who worked in the hotel would show up...Traian and Zelia were having a great time while Traian read stories to her. It was so sweet, she just cuddled right in... at 11 the place came to life as people wandered down to eat and the doors opened. There was a fancy coffee/espresso machine as there is everywhere in this country, left over meats from the night before, fresh bread, sour milk (like buttermilk), muesli, cheese and some cut up veggies, perfect.

After we ate we headed out for a walk along the road in the snow. The day was very grey and blustery and it was great to get outside and move a bit. As we walked along we saw the house that we think Jeanie would like and an adorable sheep dog who stayed with us for most of the way. When he spotted Tanja off in the distance he ran out across the field and herded her in to us:) At about 1pm the same man and van that brought us took us home.

This week has been good so far, we are feeling like one foot is on the plane:) Zelia has been sleeping very well for her naps outside which is great, yay to no coffee for me. On Monday night, while I went to knitting, she screamed for Jacob for about an hour before they came to get me. Except for that bad beginning, she fell asleep and then only woke once in the night , so I had a GREAT sleep!!!! unfortunately she did the same in the morning when I went to pilates, poor Jacob. She does have tooth #2 now...

I am working furiously on my sweater and am going to come home with it done!!!

Today we are going to the mom's morning and bringing cookies. Everyone is bringing something for the holidays. Maybe later we will go swimming since we ended up spending a lot of time at Gudny's house yesterday and didn't make it. I headed over there to get some help on my sweater and we visited for a few hours which was really nice. Today Jacob has a field trip so we'll see how it goes and tomorrow after his last class, we have a holiday party at the school in the evening for our Icelandic class. That's the news for now!