Iceland: Day 1

Travel Goal #3: Non-Europe, Non-America Travel

Iceland was incredible.  I’m not even sure where to start so i think i will do a quick 3 day recap.  4 of us went to Iceland for a friends Bachelorette because it is different, awesome, and only a 5 hour flight from JFK.  Also their economy collapsed a few years ago, so most stuff is relatively cheap or reasonable.

Day 1: Arrival, Church, Spa, Northern Lights

We arrived at the Keflavik airport around 7AM friday morning.  Rented our little car and hit the road. In a 2 wheel drive, in a snowstorm, armed with just a map… but all was good. During the ride from Keflavik to Reykjavik we passed all kinds of lava flow fields (lava that has hardened and broken up), a few signs of civilization, and the sign for the Blue Lagoon which will be in Day 3 🙂

After reaching Reykjavik we checked into our hotel, the awesome Hotel Holt, had some breakfast and geared up to explore downtown Reyk.

First stop was the Hallgrimskirkja Church, the tallest building in Reyk (i think) so we scampered up to the clock tower to check out the awesome view.

After this we stopped to refuel with coffee and chocolate croissants, walked around a little more, then headed to our spa appointment at the Blue Lagoon Spa in Reykajavik (not to be confused with the Blue Lagoon on day 3). lemme tell you, no pictures (cause that would be creepy in a spa) so take my word for it: best spa ever.  we got there 2 hours early to take full advantage of their 3 jacuzzi (2 outside, 1 salt water) and hot and dry steam room.  perfect way to rejuvenate after a long night of flying and day of exploring.  after two hours of that kind of bliss we each had a 90 minute treatment.  this is what i had:

ENERGIZING AND STRENGTHENING SILICA TREATMENT True pampering while skin is provided with pure Icelandic energy. The white geothermal silica mud is the Blue Lagoon’s signature ingredient. It is energizing and relieves stress and fatigue. It naturally deep cleanses and exfoliates and strengthens the skin leaving it with a healthy, youthful glow. The treatment begins with a salt glow where the skin is polished with a unique combination of Blue Lagoon minerals and oils. The body is then wrapped in a firming silica wrap which is left to work while feet are massaged. followed by a scalp massage. A face mask selected for each skin type is applied. This is an extraordinary treatment that cleanses firms and strengthens the skin. The treatment ends with a full body relaxation massage. 90 min 16.200 Krona

Best treatment EVER. the part where they put the mud on you, then wrapped you in plastic then in a heating pad like a burrito was amazing.  i wanted to live there forever. and btw 16,200 krona is about $130. and that includes tip. crazy.  also an example of how the currency was like monopoly money.  1,000 krona was like $8, so it was basically impossible to do quick math in your head . if you heard about an economic boom in Iceland over St. Particks day you can thank us.

After that amazingness we changed again and headed out on our Northern Lights Tour!  A van picked us up (and like 10 others) and drove out 30 minutes to nowheresville, Iceland and we stood in a field of snow and stared at the sky for like 2 hours. never have i been so happy to own Uggs. 20* and standing in snow and my feet were toasty.  Eventually we started seeing striations in the sky then they slowly turned light green and one part went over our heads across the sky and the other part looked more like a picket fence going east to west.  it was very pretty but fairly faint on the night we went.  but i can still say we saw them 🙂 can i prove it? not really, tiny cameras are not powerful enough to pick up Northern Lights. this is what i got: i assure you it was cooler in person. and had actual green and blue colors.

yeah. Then when we tried to leave the van wouldn’t start cause the brake lines froze. Yikes! It was the beginning of a great horror movie, but then they fixed it and we returned to Reyk.  Where we had a glass of wine and then fell into our beds after being up for the better part of 45 hours.  Day 1: Complete.

Spring Cleaning, LIST style!

One of the blogs i follow, Iowa Girl Eats,  has a great list on Spring Cleaning.  and since temps here are hitting the 70’s (!) i def have a bit of spring fever.  (Sure to be cooled down when i am in Iceland…) but man, a list of things to do? MY FAVE! so here is her list, updated and interpreted by me 🙂

  1. Organize your Finances- My plan? work through my taxes (obvi) AND find a better solution for my cable/phone/internet.  i currently have them provided by 2 diff companies (one for cable/phone, one for cable) and feel like i can consolidate these and save some real $$.
  2. De-Clutter your home- This is like the neverending project for me.  I think i have a tiny bit of hoarder blood in my genes (thanks dad!) so i have way too much stuff for one person.  As i think i listed in my goals i really want to tackle my upstairs and clean that out. Also my entertainment system area.  And my kitchen.
  3. Donate your unused stuff- This is an obvious one for me.  Hello Interfaith! you could also have a garage sale, but those aren’t too successful for me.  Could have been the extreme lack of planning on my part, but still, think i’ll just stick to donating.
  4. Get a Haircut- Check and Check. doing this tonite actually.  My hair tends to get so long that i start shutting it my car door.  Time for a trim!
  5. Clean out your makeup bag- Oh the makeup bag/drawer/basket/closet. I have a lot of products. Like A LOT  Time to go through and chuck everything that i haven’t used in a year.  Also time to clean my brushes (which you should really do every few weeks). Also time to get rid of those nail polishes that are from college…. Anything that isn’t super old, but you rarely use? Take it on vacation. Use it, then leave/chuck it.  Give it one last hurrah.
  6. Disinfect your work space- I need to do this ASAP.  Everyone at work is sick and hacking up a lung everywhere.  Also i need to re-decorate my workspace.  i had my office painted (last year….) and have yet to hang my certifications and licenses back on the walls.  I also have yet to put up the gorgeous picture of france that i lugged all the way from france.  Procrastination at its finest.
  7. Assess your workout Gear- I like this one cause it has the potential for shopping.  I KNOW i need new sneakers.  gonna keep my old ones around till the mud run in May but i assume after then they will be toast.  Plus i want ones that are better for running.  Maybe that will make me go running more? Any workout clothes i haven’t worn in over a year: Donate. Unless there is a really great piece shoved in the back that i forgot about.
  8. Clean out your inbox- Do you really need those emails from 3 years ago? Do you really need to save that voicemail that is just”hilarious”? Do you really need to stockpile magazines? NO! and you can recycle the mags and feel good about yourself for saving the planet. Bonus.
  9. Volunteer your Time- It will make you feel good about yourself! I really want to help landscape the habitat house i helped build (and by helped build, i mean i went twice… next house i will do better!)
  10.  Eat better Now- One of my new goals for this spring is to get a new, awesome blender, so i can make those green smoothies.  I eat pretty healthy already, but i feel as though i am deficient in my fruits and veggies… so green smoothies it is.