Friday, July 24, 2009

Icelandic Independence Day June 17

Well, I was SO delinquent that I never wrote about Independence Day although I swore I had, hmmmmm.

Here are some pictures. There was a fair in town with music and food and horses and then we continued on for a walk to the Isafjordur forest - the flowers were unbelievable!

Jacob's 32 birthday

All I can say is that it was a huge success and a truly fun evening.

Jacob worked his butt off making a bbq feast for 15 people. I made the ice cream cake. We set all the chairs and table outside and Henry helped cut the wood for the fire. One by one everyone came, Aude, Siggi and Herdis, Gerdur, Gisli, Katrin Maria and Tomas, Henry and Danielle, Tanja, Astrid and Traian, David and Albertina. We hung out, drank beer, ate very very well and ate every last bite of ice cream cake.

Jacob got a whipped cream maker (like everyone has here), an immersion blender, a beard trimmer (he took it off that morning!!!!!), a beautiful mug made by Loa, a local potter, the salt fish book from the festival we went to and a book about Icelandic fishermen - all very cool.

It was a really wonderful celebration of a pretty amazing year!

A Lovely walk in town

On Monday or Tuesday Jacob was cooking and needed me to run to Samkaup to get a few ingredients, probably on Tuesday. It was a beautiful day and Zelia and I headed out for a walk. She loves to walk everywhere now, check out the rocks and sit on every step possible. she also loves to walk up and down the ramp in front of the computer store. Needless to say it takes a long time to get places and I love it.

As we were walking 2 boys came our way and asked her name and I told them. One boy, Gunnar, was on a bike and Trusti, was holding a box of rocks. They had spent the afternoon in the square selling their rocks to the tourists from the boats and people in town. They were very neat rocks, lots of crystals, I knew not from here. They told me they collected them in Akranes. One of the boys turned to me in English and said, "you have been here?" I know that he has seen us around. We proceeded to have such a fun conversation about the rocks and Zelia and the school she will be going to. They went to that preschool so they high-fived and said it was the best. It was very cute. they gave each of us a rock for free:)

We walked through the square and by the shops and at the entrance of one an older man was speaking to a woman in Hebrew!!!! I practically pounced on them. We chatted for a bit and it was SO nice to hear Hebrew and talk. They are in Iceland for 3.5 weeks, doing the ring road and taking some times in the Westfjords. Finally! I invited them for dinner but they declined....oh well.

We eventually made it to Samkaup where Zelia now LOVES to use the small carriages and a while later made it home:)

Heavy Liver

A funny Zelia story....

Whenever Zelia or anyone picks something up that is heavy, I say, ze Kaved (this is heavy) and sometimes we make grunting noises and lately Zelia will make those noises as well.

The day before Jacob's birthday, Jacob made the same chopped liver he made at Pesach that was such a hit and that Zelia licked off of a spoon like a lollie pop. We brought her some in a little dish, but she wasn't interested. I said, aval Zelia ze kaved (but Zelia it is liver) and she pretended to pick the little bowl up and grunted. It took me a minute to understand what she was doing and then burst out laughing!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Grilled whale and beach bbq´s

Well, it was another beautiful summer weekend in Iceland.

On Friday afternoon, Jacob headed out on a boat with Birkir (we met him in the Thai restaurant in September!!!!) He caught about 20 cod and brought several back. At around 8pm we packed the car and headed to Skálavík - a beautiful bay past Bolungarvík. You go through a long valley which opens up into a beautiful sand beach, strewn with large rocks and sand dunes in the background. The sun was high in the sky but we are beginning to see a semblance of a sunset - the colors changing and the reflection on the sea narrowing.

We went with Tanja, her mom visiting from Hong Kong, Astrid and Traian. Jacob brought VERY fresh cod, Tanja and her mom brought whale, there was salad and potatoes - perfect. Fresh cod is like an entirely different food from what you buy in a store, the texture is completely different, hard to pick up with a fork as it just falls apart. Whale meat is as red as can be and parts extremely tender. Zelia and I did no partake, but everyone else enjoyed it thoroughly. Oh, it is minke whale - not endangered in the least. We stayed on the beach until about 11 and Zelia just played and had a great time.

We slept quite late on Saturday, had breakfast and then went with Traian for a hike. We drove past Bónus on the old mountain road (what was used before the tunnel was built), parked and headed out. We were in a very green area with a river, walked by a shooting range, crossed the river and headed up. We brought the wrap for Zelia but she was determined to walk on her own, often without holding anyone´s hand, but she really liked when she could walk with Tray. She did a lot of walking and forced us all to not think about the destination but the walk, she would sit in the mounds of grass and look at the leaves as she watched us pick and eat sorrel, then listen to the jet above, and pick a flower or two, examine some rocks and then move on. Close to the top we had some tuna sandwiches and bananas and then began the walk down.

After a good nap in the car we packed the car up again, conferred with Gisli, Gerder and Tómas and headed back to the beach for bbq #2. This time we had delicious steaks (yes still from my birthday - we have one more pack to enjoy), Gisli made a delicious plaice, we had grilled carrots, truffle cheese I brought from the US, built a fire on the beach and ate Gerdur´s delicious french chocolate cake. Zelia so loves to be with them that Jacob and I can walk away completely out of her site and she doesn´t care. She played in the sand, digging, finding rocks, throwing her ball, it was glorious.

There are terrible flies here though, ugh, the wind would pick up and we would be gratefully. They just swarm but thankfully do not bite.

On Sunday we headed out to Suðureyri, to play and to swim in their pool. It is outdoors which is really nice, plus they have 2 hot pots and a warm shallow kiddie pool - all their water comes from a hot spring, lucky fellas! We ate some P&B - Zelia´s first and then drove for a long time waiting to get her to sleep so that we could fish off the pier. It was pretty cool and windy and greying, but the fishing was great and we came back with 10 plaice. I made a lemon caper fish dish, with pasta and Greek tomato salad, yummmmmmm.

Now we are getting ready for Jacob´s birthday, hummus, chopped liver, bbq´d chicken, cole slaw, potato salad, ice cream cake, perfect!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Rauðisandur og Látrabjarg

Well, it seems I am in the mood...

Last weekend, Jacob did not have class on Friday so once I was finished with work we ate lunch, packed the car, headed to Gerður´s store for a sweater repair and then to Bónus before really getting on the road. Once through the long dark tunnel Zelia was asleep and Jacob and I just enjoyed the ride.

We had been duly warned about the roads so were ready for some slow driving. Although most people here are not driving that slowly, but gravel can be like ice and when you are driving on the edge of 200 meter cliffs, no one wants to be a hero. Much of the drive we have done before, at this point several times and so Jacob was feeling quite confident. Once we passed Dynjandi, over the mountain pass, almost at the end we turned off toward Bíldudalur and we were on new roads - for us. Still all gravel:) As we came around to Tálknafjörður we decided to follow our map to some hot pots, to have lunch and then a swim. We ended up going almost all the way through town to the pool and campgrounds. We had a nice picnic lunch outside and then headed to the pool (we had not found the natural hotpots). The pool was great, I really don´t know why Ísafjörður has the worst pool in the Westfjords. The best part of this pool, which was totally outdoors, was this wading, sun bathing pool. It is totally brilliant and i the Caribbean resorts would do this it would be perfect. It was a relatively shallow pool with a smooth surface and had large smooth rocks in it that you could lounge on and enjoy the sun. It was super beautiful out and lovely. The largest, regular swimming pool was about 36 degrees and then there were two other hot pots at hotter temps. After the swim we were back on the road feeling rejuvenated.

As we drove into Patrksfjörður we were charmed by a nice looking town, found a market and bought some frozen schnitzel - I was having the biggest craving! As we left, returned for gas and left again we were struck by the most amazing sight. This fjord is huge and has amazingly beautiful and large sand beaches, the water was turquoise - it looked like we were in Hawaii - better beaches than any we saw in Fiji. It was breathtaking. Every bend we turned revealed another pool of clear water and sand dunes everywhere covered in patchy grass. Once almost around the fjord we could either go to Látrabjarg or Rauðisandur and we chose Raupisandur - the red sand beaches. We traveled over a pretty crazy 10km pass into another fjord to a site to behold. There is a large reef out in the water which lends a pink/red hue to the sand - the beach was HUGE, well over a mile deep, I think. We drove up and down looking for a good place to camp, thought one place then no, then another and no and finally we went back to the first place we saw where there was one camper. It was getting windier and windier and we ended up setting up our tent within the ruined walls of a farm house or some other structure. We have collected some drift wood from the beach and Jacob made a fire and cooked dinner. Several times we tried to get Zelia to sleep but it was pretty tough in all that light. We were along a mountain so eventually dipped into shadow, but it was still daylight out. Eventually we all fell asleep. In the morning we had bacon and eggs and headed toward the beach to a path that would take us out onto the sand. Zelia was loving the freedom and kept squatting down and saying peepee - so funny. Once out on the sand, in the sun, it was really amazing. Zelia immediately found a mussel shell and started to dig. It was so much fun to watch her really explore the beach and check out the sand. A large seal was curious about us and floating around in the water - perfection.

Eventually we walked back, went to the camp site to have lunch and then headed back across the pass and over to Látrabjarg. Zelia took her nap in the car.

We went over one of the scariest areas yet, 200 meter cliffs plunging into the sea, no guardrails and we were on the outside when another car came in the other direction, ugh...there is no hope for you on these roads. It was a quick pass though and we got to the parking area which was full of cars, campers, monster trucks and buses. It was quite windy and we had already read that the cliffs can be dangerous for that - you can be sucked over and small children can be whisked away. Látrabjarg is an area of 17 km of cliffs, covered in sea birds, all types, you can hear the racket. We made some coffee, walked around and then strapped Zelia to my back and began climbing and walking along the cliff. Jacob got very close to the edge, on his stomach and got some great pictures of the birds, puffins too. I saw a few, but was not getting that close:) Anyway, Zelia was getting restless, wanted out and I wasn´t going to let her walk around there. So we headed back down, in the car, on the scary road and to a wonderfully flat camping field just across the road from a beautiful beach. We set up camp and walked to the beach. Jacob, of course, went for a dip and Zelia and played in the sand and eventually she went in some wading pools. The are was so beautiful - I keep using these words and they are beginning to feel meaningless - but you will see the pictures don´t lie.

When Jacob went in the water he stepped on a Koli (plaice) and went to get his fishing rods. He only had a few moments though and it was time to make dinner. We brought steaks (yes still from my birthday present) had broccoli and ate well. This evening we were never in the shade of a mountain and the sun was shining on us all night. We took Zelia for several drives and a walk and eventually we all got in the tent and just sort of waited to fall asleep. At one point Zelia got up, walked to the door of the tent and said, allt buid - all done! She was ready to do something else. Who knows when, but eventually we all fell asleep. Oh, I didn´t mention that the wind was really blowing and the tent was making SO much noise! In the morning Jacob noticed that everyone else had set their tents up facing a different direction and all had their cars in the same place along the tent - live and learn from the campers in Iceland. They are VERY experienced.

We had breakfast and packed up and headed out! Through the little towns, this time we stopped in Bíldudalur looking for gas, no luck, then through Patreksfjörður, Tálknafjörður and to a great hot spring pool along the side of the road overlooking the beach. Really this is the way to do long drives. About 45 minutes later we were at Dynjandi where we stopped to make grilled cheese and let Zelia run around and then back in the car to head home.

We were tired, but it was a perfect weekend!

Harry Potter the Half Blood Prince

I know, I know - I owe pictures and description of our camping trip last weekend to Látrabjarg, but since it hasn´t happened I am writing a little note about last night.

I joined Albertina and Danielle at the movies. I have not been to the movies since Father´s Day last year when we saw Indiana Jones, so just a little over a year!

Danielle and I walked over at 7:45 and met Albertina there. The movie theater is great, small, adorable, seating downstairs and in the balcony. The seats are read and comfortable, even supporting the head. The theater was almost full, mostly with kids all there on their own, with friends.

I wonder if they know this is such a great way to grow up. half way through the movie there was a little break, most of the people ran to Hamraborg and bought candy and snacks. I thought, again about how these kids are so free, so safe. I imagined them all walking home at 11pm, in the day light after the movie, and then thought again that even if it were dark they are used to going about their business without light as well.

When the movie let out, there were a handful of parents there to pick their children up, but the majority made it home on the their own. What a gift.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Terri´s Visit

On Tuesday afternoon around 3ish Terri and Jacob arrived from their long drive from Reykjavik. Terri had just landed that morning. Jacob took the northern route which was faster and just as beautiful and Terri got to enjoy the landscape and nap from time to time. Once they arrived we walked over to visit Gerdur´s store and have some coffee and cake and to talk and then we left from there and went straight to the Tjárhús for dinner. We just cannot get enough of that place. It was a good dinner a little salty but charming as always.
On both Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we had our regular schedules, Zelia in Dagmamma, work and school, visits to Gerdur´s store, dinner, bed and visiting. On Thursday night we had Gerdur, Gisli, Tómas and Katrin Maria over for dinner, Indian chicken it was! Gerdur brought over her rhubarb pie and other dessert from the store. Then on Friday night we had Bruce over for dinner, he was Jacob´s professor in Reykjavik, from Scotland. We had thai panang fish curry, ate outside in the sun and headed to Tanja and Astrid´s for a little party. Zelia slept downstairs outside and we had a nice visit. Met a guy named Brandon who writes for Lonely Planet and actually spent the next 2 evenings asking him many many questions about his job and the places he had been. Super interesting!
On Saturday, after breakfast we headed to Þingeyri for the Viking Festival. Unfortunately the weather wasn´t very good but it was so fun to really walk around and see the town. It is very cute! We weren´t sure where to go so just began walking, Zelia insisted on pushing the stroller. We found a place with some people and wondered in to find beautiful clothing made my Gaga,, I actually don´t think that this website does what we saw justice. It seems very inspired by viking design and there were pieces you would hang on a wall. Every little detail was cared to including the wood price tags. We continued on through a recreated Viking village which was surrounded by a beautiful wall made of layering grass and rocks, it was so natural and would come in and out of the hills, really very beautiful.
Jacob´s classmate Þórir lives in Þingeyri and is very involved in this festival so we thought we would try to find his house and also the advertised supa í Gardi, soup in the garden. Turns out it was all the same place. We walked into a beautiful backyard, with trees and bushes and an amazing compost pile to find people milling around a deck drinking soup, some people dressed in old viking dress and a small group under three trees making flatkökur on a fire. The Viking dress is really nice, long dresses as one layer and then another woven woollen dress over it, mostly earthy muted colors, handmade leather shoes and jewelry on the straps of the dresses. Some of the men wore wool felted shirts and wool blankets wrapped around them for warmth. Þórir´s wife does all sorts of handwork and hand dyes her own yarn, so of course I bought a few skeins and showed them to Gerdur.
Once we left the garden we headed down to a little blue tent by the church that had a little market inside, baked goods like pönnukökur, rugbrauð (sweet rye bread), fresh waffles, coffee, rhubarb jam and cream, wool sweater and socks and other things. We had a bite, bought some socks and just enjoyed the atmosphere as Zelia slept soundly in the middle of the tent in her stroller along with other babies in a row.
We headed back and at 6:30 Brandon came by for a drink, then Bruce and then we all headed to Edinborgh for the Saltfish festival. We waited an hour before dinner was served and then there was a feast. Two kinds of plokkfiskur, one made with a lot of basil which was delicious. Then there were 6 dished all made from salt cod, one covered in octopus, another in lime and cream, some in chili and olives and our favorite – raisins and pine nuts. Of course there was bread and butter and salad as well. There was also a jazz band playing and Zelia loved listening to them, was really mesmerized and even danced a little. It was a great day.
Sunday was absolutely beautiful when we woke, sunny and warm. After a big breakfast I went out for a good hard hill run and by the time I returned Jacob and Terri had made a plan to take a boat to Hesteyri in the evening. We laid low for the rest of the day enjoyed the weather and walked around while Jacob did some work. Terri and I went to the maritime museum in town. I really don´t like museums very much but this one was perfect for me, little, very clear information, and a place to try brenevin (liquor), hárkárl (the shark) and hárfiskur (dried fish), some people were taking plenty! Some of the kids in town work at the museum and were dressed in old Icelandic garb (not viking clothes) and put on a little performance including some singing which was really beautiful.
Packed with food for Zelia we headed to the small boat Harbour with Jacob and waited for the boat to come. Luckily, our friend Albertina was the tour guide. I stayed outside the whole time as I don´t do very well in boats and part of the ride over was a bit rough, but gorgeous. Then we arrived in Hesteyri about an hour later. This place is hard to describe, you´ll have to wait for me to get the pictures up. It is an old village on the peninsula Hornstrandir, that was abandoned in 1952. The homes are all owned by the families and they are used as summer houses. There is a cemetery, a school, the doctor´s house and maybe 4 others and not far from the village there used to be an old whaling station, that later became a herring station. Once those two things stopped there was little the inhabitants could do to stay. The entire area was covered in wild flowers, angelica, thyme, orchids! On one section there were several tents of people traveling. We heard about the town and its history and then walked around. Zelia had so much fun walking outside among the flowers, eating her craisins and being free. Why would anyone leave this place????? It´s all Jacob and I could ask ourselves the entire time. There was a rushing river flowing into the sea and a beach filled with rocks. We ended at the doctor´s house where we were given coffee, pönnukökur, cake and rugbrauð with Kæva (liver pate) – Zelia loves it and she loved eating the beets that were sliced on top!
The ride back was calmer and we saw several puffins on the water – my first!!!!!
Back at home we had a fresh salad and some chickpeas and headed to bed. What a fantastic weekend.
Terri left on Monday morning for Reykjavik after a short delay in ‚isafjörður and made it home safely. The week here has continued uneventfully although sadly today is Zelia´s last day with Harpa. We have not found another babysitter yet which is a problem but we are working on it. We will go back to Harpa in the afternoon to say goodbye and to celebrate her daughter, Hjortis´, 1st birthday.
This weekend we are heading to camp for two nights on the red sand beaches near Látrabjarg – the bird cliffs where we will see thousands of puffins and other birds. Hopefully some friends will join...will report when we return.

Back in Swampscott

Zelia and I arrived on Friday afternoon and were picked up at Logan by Ima and Aba. Zelia had slept for the whole flight but was awake and curious as we drove to the house. Right away we got to see Baki, Angie, Lily, Lucy, Topper, Lauren, Ian and Mama Z!!!!!! What a treat. After a delicious dinner of Panamanian meat pie we headed to bed tired and satisfied.
Not surprisingly, Zelia and I were up at 6am ready for the day, at least it wasn´t 4am! Although, even more surprisingly we were not the first ones up, but Baki and Angie had already taken turns going out for a run. Then Baki went out and got fresh bagels from Bagelworld, yummmmmm. We spent the day hanging around, trying on clothes (yes Lauren and Ima went and found me an outfit to wear to Sarah´s wedding), returning some things and looking for others. The best part was getting out with Lauren and Angie for some shopping and a pedicure – what a treat!!!!! Thank you Angie Then in the afternoon we began getting ready and Zelia looked smashing in the dress Mama Z brought for her. We drove to Beverly in the rain to the wedding, mud and puddles everywhere we got into the house and enjoyed seeing everyone as we waited for the ceremony to begin. We also enjoyed taro chips and iced tea – Zelia loved the chips and I didn´t realize that they bleed their color!!!! Ahh, all over my white pants and sweater. After a lovely ceremony, Sarah looked beautiful in her dress, we scavenged the hors d'oeuvres and drank some j´suise wine – check out the link on the side of the blog. Sarah and Oren make it themselves. Zelia was beginning to feel at home and was wondering around having a blast. When it was time for dinner we all moved outside under the tents to sit at long tables covered with burlap table clothes – totally adorable and had a bbq feast! Zelia didn´t join us for even a minute but was walking back and forth between the tent and the house, taking anyone´s hands who gave them to her and sitting on the windowsills
The next day, when we finally made it out of the house we piled into 3 cars and headed to the Children´s Museum!!!!! Of course the first day of summer vacation was rainy and the line was long, but once we got in it was a blast. Bubbles, golf balls, climbing structures, hair salons, construction sites, sewage tubes, building areas – we saw only a fraction of the place and even played after lunch before heading home and sleeping in the car. Everyone did so well for such a long time. It was so much fun to watch Lily work meticulously building and see Lucy and Zelia crawling around in the tubes. Sadly, the New Jersey Cheathams left early on Tuesday morning. Thankfully Lauren, Ian and Utah were staying until Thursday morning. Also, we got to see Laura, Rebecca and Noa, all looking beautiful.
On Wednesday Lauren, Ian, Zelia and I met Kathie at A&J King where we enjoyed coffee, chai lattes and sticky buns...the best. I put in an order to pick up on Friday morning and fly to Iceland for Jacob. Kathie, Zelia and I walked around Salem, visited the knitting store and then headed to the little children´s museum there. It was run down and small but Zleia had a blast playing in the fire engine and seeing Kathie. Ima, Lauren, Mama Z and Ian were all at the mall trying to find Lauren new clothes for her grad school adventure – woohoo!
I have to mention that the entire time Zelia was asking to go home, saying baita, baita. She would look for Daddy, find him in pictures and walk around with them and kiss them. When Jacob called she would listen to his voice and ask for him on the phone. It was very sweet and a little sad to watch. One of the days I was telling someone about her saying baita for home and she was clearly listening. The next morning she looked at Ima and said baita, when she didn´t respond, she said sweet.
That night we had a feast! Mama Z treated us to a rib roast and it was delicious!!!
On Thursday we had a special visit from Melissa, Annabella, Rose and Lucas for lunch. What a wonderful family. Then later in the afternoon, Jocie, Theo, Sammie, Max, Hallie and Terri came for dinner of aroz con pollo. Sammie and Zelia had so much fun playing in the yard, sliding on the slide and driving in the little cars, Max has a blast playing with Max and Jasper next door and Theo was mowing the lawn. After a full day, Zelia was asleep in her stroller and I enjoyed a gin and tonic with Anthony and Rick.
Friday came and I could not believe that we were leaving that day. Fortunately it was the one warm and not rainy day! I had some last minute errands and packing to do and then my parents were having 50 people from the synagogue over for dinner!!!!! The rest was a whirlwind! People came, Zelia napped, we visited with and chatted and before I knew it we were out the door and in the car with Ima and Mama Z and I had not said goodbye to Aba – terrible! He had even made me a hamburger to take on the plane! Zelia had been feverish for 2 days so with tylenol and advil in hand we were off. Of course once at the airport my bag was SO heavy they wouldn´t accept it. So we repacked into the backpack and took only what I really needed on the plane and sent 2 bags through – always something.

Zelia slept almost the entire way and Jacob picked us up nice and early. Oh, I bought some wine and brenevin in the duty free when I got in and after finding Jacob the wine bottle fell and broke making a big mess in the terminal. A man went to get us some help and then told Jacob to go and knock on the door to customs, tell them what happened and that they would allow him in and get him another bottle!!!! REALLY?????? Apparently so, because after 10 minutes out he came with a new bottle of wine – unbelievable.

Zelia was so excited to be with her daddy again, took his hand and cried when he went to the bathroom.
Back in Reykjavik we were staying at Sigga´s place (she is the program director of the program). We were supposed to fly out that evening but it was too much so we stayed another 2 nights with Jacob, enjoyed the pool, walked around the city with new friends who moved to Reykjavik from Seattle (but are from Argentina and Ecuador) and just got to be together.
On Monday morning we flew to Ísafjörður and headed to dagmamma and work. On Tuesday afternoon Jacob and Terri arrived after a long drive...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Dennis and Riri´s (Marie) Visit

I have so much catching up to do on the blog I have to rack my brain to think about where I left off. Aha, Dennis and Marie´s visit to Iceland. What a great trip!
We picked them up on Wednesday night at the airport, dropped them at their hotel and then met them at our house for a drink with Gisli, Gerdur and Tomas. We were on our way to the Tarhouse for a delicious meal. Hey, when the best restaurant in town, maybe Iceland, is open only in the summer you have to go as much as possible. It was a long dinner which began with a fish soup (I think more of a bisque) that had fish and shrimp in it. We ordered three fresh fish: spotted wolf fish, monk fish and halibut. Basically they bring you a list of fish and tell you which ones they have that day, which means they were caught that day! And then you wait and the chef prepares them as he chooses and they come out in large pans and put on the table. The first fish we had, the wolf fish, was served in a sweet chili sauce, The halibut was pan seared and the monk fish was served in a creamy mushroom sauce. Each dish also had little potatoes, tomatoes and some salad in the pan. It was really delicious. That night there were also cakes for desert, so we had several, rhubarb, chocolate and, hmmmm, I forget.

On Thursday morning Jacob had Zelia for an hour while I worked and then I took her. We decided to go for a walk into town and figured eventually we would find Dennis and Marie. As we walked past the bakery, Marie ran out to get us. So we all had some coffee and a bite together. As they went to get their things together I bought sandwiches for the road and a bananareluterta ( a cake they make that I had been wanting to get for a while!). Back at the house, we waited for Jacob to finish class and we walked around some more. Once Jacob finished, we packed the car and headed to Gerdur´s store for a coffee and ponnukokur with whipped cream and rubarb jam – delicious! And we hit the road. We drove south, through Þingeyri to Dynjandi waterfall, where we got out, ate lunch and hiked. It was a very nice day out and we could look out over the fjord. Then back in the car we went over a large pass and got to Flokalundur, the hotel at a nature reserve. After checking in and putting on our bathing suites we headed to find the hot pot on the beach. It was fabulous – not as hot as we would have liked but what a view!!!! Zelia took to Riri right away and was having so much fun looking for her and holding her hand. It was still touch and go with Grandpa.

Back at the hotel and showered we got ready for dinner. Nothing very good, but it was food. Zelia was asleep for some of it, but eventually woke and joined us. After dinner we went into the lounge to eat our special desert. At one point Jacob mentioned banana and Zelia said – anana- slid off my lap and walked toward the kitchen. Jacob went with her and they came back with a banana, which she promptly ate! Hah! We eventually fell asleep in the bull daylight. Jacob and Dennis woke early and headed to a lake to do some fly fishing. Once Zelia and I woke and showered we played outside, it was a REALLY beautiful sunny day. Jacob came back with a beautiful char!!! We had breakfast together and continued our drive, heading to Reykjavik. On the way we stopped at a little gas station and market where Jacob graved his char so that there would be gravlax for breakfast the next morning. The drive is certainly long and we were all very happy when we finally arrived at the guest house! We rented a great 2-bedroom apartment and after settling in heading out to Laugarvegur, the large shopping street so that Dennis and Marie could get a look, we would could walk off long drive and eventually find some dinner. Zelia enjoyed walking most of that time, through the crowded street We walked into a few really great boutiques and checked out the Icelandic designs and then we ended up eating at an Italian restaurant and it was delicious. Once back in the apartment we hing out, watched Zelia be a goof sitting in the bookshelf and were just able to relax and hang out.

In the morning we were able to do the same thing which was perfect. Eat some gravlax and eggs and yogurt and muesli, sit around, pack up and head to the Blue Lagoon!!!!! Wow, even my third time was fabulous. I just love it there. We spent about an hour or so in the water wondering around looking for the hot spots. Chatted with some Americans and then tried to find some food. Dennis, Marie and I really wanted to have something more than a sandwich since there is no food served on the plane. We ended up driving through the lava fields to a town which was clearly the American officers base. The streets were wide, there were lawns and American looking houses. We stopped at a gas station/grill and had what turned out to be some very good fish and chips, bought some sandwiches for the flight and headed to the airport. It was so nice to not have to fly alone. We hung out in the airport did some shopping and were on our way. Luckily a very nice man moved so that we could all sit together. Zelia had a blast playing with Riri and even sat on Grandpa´s lap!!!! Then she slept for the second half of the flight.

It was a great trip – come back soon!