05 Nov The Icelandic Adventure Travel Series: #TeamNOsleep
First off, I want to notion this series that I had claimed in my previous blog that this trip we would do a few things…
“I can promise you all a few things:
I will be taking WAYYY too many pictures (find me on Instagram and snapchat)
We will be drinking WAYYY too much alcohol.
We will be eating WAYYY too much food.
And of course, there will be WAYYY too much nonsense.”
And let me tell you all,
For my own sanity and yours reading,
I am breaking this trip up and making an Icelandic Travel Series over the next couple of weeks.
I feel overwhelmed with everything we did and trying to put it into words, because to be completely honest, some of it is unexplainable.
Mainly the Northern Lights portion.
Words just don’t justify it,
And pictures don’t either.
But I will try my darn hardest.
And let’s be real,
I know ya’ll are just here to look at the pictures anyways….
So, this is the first part of the series,
The part I am calling #TeamNOsleep
This is the part that lasted, well, pretty much the whole trip.
From our 7am flight from El Paso to Chicago, then onto Boston. We were up since 4am.
When we got into Boston at 5ish we were welcomed by a busy Saturday night, we hit the ground running and found our way into the Back-Bay area where our hotel was located and wondered around.
We had a late, but fantastic dinner at Abe & Louie’s, where we ate too much bread and our waiter gave us a history lesson about the revolving door.
We closed down the night after a few bar stops.
The next day which was Sunday, was left to us to explore because our our flight to Iceland wasn’t until 9pm.
I woke up early (cause that’s what I do)
And found myself watching the sunrise 20 some stories above Boston.
The one thing I can absolutely swear by is that I’ve never seen “autumn” where the trees look like actual paintings.
That was what Boston looked like and i couldnt get enough of it!
We spent the day walking…
Walking and looking.
Walking to eat.
Walking to bars.
Walking through the Boston Commons.
Walking through history without even knowing.
I loved Boston & I couldn’t wait to explore it more after our Icelandic trip.
(that will be in the last post of the series)
We arrived at the airport to the longest security line I have ever seen,
Like it might have been hours long, but we had a kind security guard slip us some knowledge about there being another security check point that nobody knows about.
Thank goodness for that sweet soul because we seriously just walked through.
We boarded our Icelandair plane, all with the thoughts that we would sleep over night on the 5-hour flight, to be refreshed and ready for our 6am landing in Iceland…
Boy, were we fucked.
The seats felt like actual cement.
I’m usually not too fussy in terms of how I can sleep,
especially when I’m tired.
But wow. That was terrible.
But the movies were on point, so that’s seeing the glass half full.
I spent about an hour ringing the stewardess button because one thing I forgot was that technology is cool and all, but the fact that the iPhone 7 doesn’t have a regular earphone plug really did me a disservice on this flight cause my earphones didn’t work.
Square plug, round hole…
When we arrived in Iceland it was 7am,
But 2am Boston time,
And midnight Las Cruces time.
Keep in mind we have only had one sleep since leaving Las Cruces Saturday morning.
It is now Monday morning.
After being greeted by our Gate 1 travel guide Eileen aka Ellen aka the best Icelandic lady there ever was, we loaded a bus to travel 40 min to Reykjavik.
Also- I need to note that our bus driver the whole time was named Ragnar, and if that’s not the sweetest name you’ve ever heard then I cannot be your friend.
Ragnar was my icelandic spirit animal!
Okay let’s continue…
This is where I got a quick 20 min nap and realized that Eileen would never stop talking.
We arrived at our hotel Reykjavik Lights, where we store our luggage and grab some continental breakfast that we were supposed to pay for, but we didn’t. Shhhhhh
Our City Tour started in an hour and a half and because like any normal hotel, you can’t check in till 2pm… we had to wait.
So, we just kept riding our #TeamNOsleep high and carbed up on breakfast cookies and coffee.
The City Tour took a small group of us, well… as you could assume it took us around the city.
Now that I look back it was all just a big blur because I had no idea what time, day or where I was.
But we got to see all the city pools, learned about how soccer fields are called courses and that the Icelandic national team made it into the world cup and the US did not…
We visited landmarks such as the Pearl, the Northern Lights Center, and the new Harpa Concert & Conference Hall. And enjoyed views of the Old Town Center, the Hofoi House, and Hallgrimskirkja Church.
It was so surreal being in Iceland finally,
It was nothing and everything I imagined it to be.
But ill touch on that later.
As the City Tour concluded at 1pm, we had the option of going back to the hotel and seeing if our rooms would possibly be ready or we could stay in town and gallivant till 2pm.
Like any sane and normal human would do, everyone else went back to the hotel and their rooms were ready.
Alanna and I? nope.
We were too amped that we were in Iceland, so we kept the party going.
We walked along the ocean front, took pictures by the huge metal whale,
Then we found a sky top bar where we had our first taste of a Viking…
We were looking for actual Vikings but as our luck goes, there were none.
As we unbundled and started sipping the beer, we had a beautiful view.
At around 3 we got a cab back to the hotel where our room was ready.
We unpacked and then unknowingly both passed out until a loud thumping at the door woke us up.
It was my dad dressed and ready for our Northern Lights tour.
Smooth move dad, but it doesn’t start till 7:30pm and its only 5pm.
He obviously didn’t listen to Eileen, who made sure to clarify every detail of the trip and the time,
About 20 times.
So, with a two-hour power nap we were up and ready to take on the rest of the night.
We found a little place down the street and like we read so many times,
Holy smokes is it expensive to eat, drink and basically do anything in Iceland.
A basic salad bar was $20 something dollars and if you actually wanted to eat some good food, you were spending easy $50-$60 a person.
Beer was $12 a pour and that was being conservative.
They pay in Kronas, which could be mistaken with Coronas,
but unfortunately 1 Corona wouldn’t be enough for a piece of bubble gum there.
We met back at the bus to head out to our first Northern Lights Tour.
So, I’m going to break this down:
A group of 30 something people loaded a bus, our tour guide did research for that day to determine where to take us to have the best possibility of seeing the sky dance for us.
They have different systems that they can check the activity level and rate it from a 1-10 scale, 10 being the best show you could imagine.
That night they had it at a 2.
A lot of things go into determining how active the geothermic activity will be and it happens very very fast.
So, we drove,
Under the ocean (that was really cool)
We drove to a convenient store for snacks.
No popcorn for the back of the bus…
Then we ended up in the middle of nowhere, with only the sky above us.
The stars so bright.
And then just as we got off the bus, the green appeared.
It was steady for the almost 2 hours that we stood outside.
Just a green sky, with slight movement.
It was amazing.
I mean amazing!
I had never seen anything like it and if I never saw anything more I would’ve been totally content.
It was cold.
But worth it.
To take these pictures i downloaded an app called “Northern Lights.”
you cant just take a picture of the sky with your phone camera.
This first night was a little test ride, i cannot wait for you to see the next two nights.
#TeamNOsleep got back that night around 1am
where we had a very important wakeup call the next morning to take a dip in the geothermic pools of the Blue Lagoon.
Now that was a magical adventure….
But it will have to wait till next time… #TeamNOsleep continues…
Stay tuned for the next part of my Icelandic Adventure Series coming very soon,
And you do not want to miss it!
Until then though keep in mind:
Spend more time with people that make even the littlest things, like going to the grocery store a wild and unruly adventure…
“She always wants more. not in things, but in experiences. she was made to learn and grow and that is wehre many men miss her completely. once she is in their life, they want her to stay the same and for her, that just isnt possible…”