Iceland: Days 7 – 9

Previous London & Iceland Recaps: 

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The last 3 days were the days we basically “crashed and burned”. As you saw in the last post about Iceland, we did a lot and covered A LOT in only 6 days. Honestly, we probably could have basically been done with Iceland at this point because we’d done what we’d come to do – drive the Ring Road!

Day 7

We woke up in the Snaefellsnes Peninsula to a very socked in / foggy day, which was too bad as we didn’t get to see the whole second half of the peninsula since we’d only drove around part of it the day before. Because of this we did the second half of it super quickly with no stopping and about 1.5 hours later we were back in Reykjavik. So we really did do the full Ring Road in 6 days, which some people thought was crazy but it worked for us!

First stop was Saegreifinn – The Sea Baron for Lobstersoup. Apparently they have the best lobster soup in the world, Eric watched a YouTube video about it. And he probably wasn’t the only one as when we got there at 11:30am, which was right when they opened, there was already a line up out the door!

The Lobstersoup was very good, I will admit and I was especially pleased about all the bread they gave us to go with it 🙂

Real life vacation talk here, after we were done with our Lobstersoup we decided to splurge and get a hotel room for the night. Don’t get me wrong, the campervan was amazing, and I’m so glad we did Iceland that way. BUT 6 nights of camping was beginning to take a toll on us, especially since – as I’m sure you can imagine – it wasn’t the *most* comfortable sleeping arrangements.

As mentioned a couple of times, Iceland – and especially Reykjavik – is very very expensive. So we ended up heading out of the city a ways to find somewhere reasonably priced to stay. I was super pleased with the hotel we ended up at. It was very cute, had delicious food (we ate both dinner and breakfast there) and was right on a pretty little lake. We stayed at Hotel Kriunes and I definitely recommend it.

To be honest, we didn’t do much while there – we were both really tired! So we basically just stayed in our room and napped and watched Netflix. The food at Hotel Kriunes was AMAZING, so we are so glad we ended up having both dinner and breakfast there as well. It was a really lovely and relaxing day after our super busy 6 days previous!

Oh and Eric ate horse meat, which is apparently a very common dish in Iceland. I tried a tiny bite of it, but couldn’t handle eating more than that as the idea of eating horse combined with being 13 weeks pregnant made me feel a bit too nauseous!

We had the MOST AMAZING sleep in the world – a solid 8 hours where we didn’t have to go outside in the middle of the night to pee. Luxurious I tell ya 🙂

Day 8

On Day 8 after an amazing breakfast we hit the road again, we were finally planning to drive the Golden Circle. Originally, we were going to do this at the very beginning of our trip but because of the terrible weather we bypassed it completely and just headed southwest.

First stop was Thingvellir National Park which is on the tectonic plate boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the North-American and Eurasian continents. The photo above actually shows the tectonic plates. It was neat to see, and I’m glad we stopped there, but it was also VERY busy and VERY touristy. Not our favourite! Especially since we’d just been spoiled by so much wide open space and beauty in Iceland!

Next we headed to Gulfoss Waterfall, one of the most famous waterfalls in Iceland, and also extremely busy.

The waterfalls in Iceland really are so so incredible though!

After this we powered through the rest of the Golden Circle (which was scenic but certainly not my favourite – I actually think if you only have a few days in Iceland you should SKIP the Golden Circle and drive around the Snaefellsnes Peninsula instead!) to get to Seljavallalaug, which is an abandoned pool in the middle of the mountains in Iceland. I read a few blog posts about it like this one and this one and was super excited to visit. Of course, since it was a hot, sunny day it was farrrr from abandoned. I would also say if you have done any kind of hiking at all, the walk there is NOT bad at all. Some blog posts and reviews online made it seem like the hike was intense or far, it was a very easy 15 minute hike.

It’s literally a geothermal pool in the middle of beautiful green Iceland hills. So pretty and neat! Eric and I actually hiked further up past the pool along the river and then came back and got in. We probably spent about an hour in it. It was super neat how it was geothermal heated by water coming from the mountains. It’s also almost 100 years old.

 

It was a pretty neat experience, especially on such a beautiful hot and sunny day!

Once we were done at the pool we backtracked a little as we were hoping to find some oceanside camping for our second to last night in Iceland. We ended up in the tiny town (village?) of Stokkseyri, which was super cute and right on the water. Sadly they didn’t have a camping site on the water, but they did have a really nice campground with awesome showers and a cute little kitchen that we basically got to ourselves for the night. We were the only ones there until almost 10pm when another campervan pulled in.

Day 9

For early May, we lucked out with incredibly beautiful weather in Iceland. We were in Iceland for 9 full days, and of those 9 days only 3 of them were foggy / rainy. The rest were beautiful with blue skies and sunshine. Unfortunately, our very last day in Iceland was one of the foggy and rainy days.

For our very last night in Iceland we drove to the very tip of the Reykjanes Peninsula and camped at Gardur Lighthouse. I am sad it wasn’t a clear night as apparently the sunsets from this point are absolutely incredible.

The Reykjanes Peninsula has the most insane landscape, like nothing I’ve ever seen before.

It basically felt like we were on Mars!

Last night in the campervan!

We just relaxed by the lighthouse all afternoon. I went for a long walk along the ocean, we had delicious coffee and date cake at the cute little cafe that was right there, we read our books, we got the campervan cleaned out and organized as we had to return it the next day. Nothing too terribly exciting for our last day. This was definitely one of those trips where we were sooo ready to go home a day earlier than we did.

The next day at noon (May 10) we returned our campervan and headed to the airport for our flight home. It was an AMAZING, once-in-a-lifetime trip, but as mentioned we were ready to get home. Two weeks of go-go-go, especially with me being pregnant, was a bit much. I do think maybe more relaxed / laidback vacations where we are only gone for 7 – 10 days and stay in one place the whole time (like our trip to Kauai over Christmas) are going to be more our style going forward. We will see though, never say never 🙂

What was the last vacation you went on where you felt like you needed a vacation from your vacation to relax once it was over? 

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Weekend Recap!

I had a great weekend so thought I’d recap it. I’m sure I will start doing more weekend recaps now that SUMMER is here. Oh how I love summer. I didn’t take that many photos though so I will just have to try to be really descriptive 🙂

Friday 

Friday night Eric and I got chinese food takeout and hung out on the couch together and watched The Great Wall – which was a super lame movie. How far Matt Damon has fallen!

Saturday 

Man, Saturday was a super busy day! My sister-in-law picked me up at 7am to head down to the Big Bam Vertical Slam Trail Race. You may remember my post from last year about this 10km race? I believe I used the words “never again” in that post. However, here I found myself a year later signed up again. Only this time I would just be doing the 5km and I would be walking/hiking the whole thing with my SIL. Let me tell you, walking this race is NO JOKE. It is friggin tough, and very steep. At least this year the sun was shining!

I was also 18 weeks pregnant on Saturday and feeling pretty grateful to be out doing such a tough hike. I truly have felt amazing during the 2nd trimester and very grateful for that as I’ve always wanted to have an active pregnancy. It took us 2.5 hours to do 5km, which I know sounds like an insanely long time, but this is the elevation gain of this route! You climb to the top of the ski hill TWICE.

A little crazy!

With my lovely SIL, Cheryl, after the race 🙂 As with all races, we felt super proud of ourselves and we were glad we pushed through once it was DONE!

After the race I picked up delicious breakfast and coffee from A&W, had a shower, and plopped myself out on our deck in the sunshine to read and eat and sip my coffee. I need to take a picture of our deck set up for you as I love it so much. We splurged and got a new pergola and new patio furniture this year and it feels like a real oasis out there. I love it.

In the afternoon I went to watch my adorable nieces dance at the pow wow – my SIL sewed all these dresses and was up until 2am putting the finishing touches on them the night before our race!

Then I went to my aunt’s house for a birthday lunch for my grandmother and had the chance to catch up with some family I haven’t seen for awhile. After that I picked up my cousins daughter for a sleepover. We had a lowkey night. We watered my garden, ate chinese food and went to bed early. Nothing too crazy 🙂

Sunday

We woke up to rain on Sunday, which I was SO happy about as my garden really really needed it! Normally I hate the rain, but I will take it because it was so hot and dry all of last week and I was having trouble keeping my garden wet enough since it’s in raised beds. Hopefully this good downpour of rain keeps it saturated.

Sunday morning I read my book and then my little cousin helped me tidy up our house and get our guest room ready as we have some family coming to stay with us for a few days to attend a funeral. It felt good to get another room done since honestly the 3 other bedrooms other than our master bedroom have mostly just been full of boxes and crap the last few months. Really need to finish unpacking and getting settled!

In the afternoon I went to a great flow yoga class with my aunt, picked up some groceries and video chatted with Lisa.

Then in the evening I spent a couple of hours in the kitchen. I made these super yummy chicken enchiladas from Peanut Butter Runner and also made my grandma’s banana chocolate chip muffin recipe.

These make the BEST banana chocolate chip muffins (it will vary per oven but only bake for 15 – 20 minutes). I also usually skip the walnuts.

And then I sat down to write yesterday’s May recap blog post and this blog post. And that was a wrap on my weekend! It went so quickly, but was a great weekend. I just love summer.

How was your weekend? What did you get up to? 

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Podcasts, workouts, books and looks of May!

Podcasts

So I’ve already mentioned The Chatty Sisters Podcast in a previous monthly recap – my long-time blog friends Kelly and Caroline host this podcast. However, I want to reference two specific episodes this time as I really, really enjoyed listening to their travel episodes! They did two, one about what they love about travel and one where they each list their favourite places they’ve traveled to. I got a shoutout in one of these episodes (can’t remember which one) and I listened to it while in Iceland, which was so fun. So check them out!

Workouts

Oh man, what did I do in May? Well, I walked and hiked a lot while in Iceland… I only went to 3 yoga classes and then started prenatal yoga on the last Wednesday of May.

Oh, I know something cool I did in May! When I was visiting my friend Robyn in Calgary on my way back from Lisa’s wedding she took me to a Surf set class at Studio Revolution. I had heard of these surf classes before from Alison’s blog and Instagram, and was excited to try one. It was a TOUGH workout. I was dripping sweat and I even modified everything to low impact. And balancing on those surf boards is WAY harder than it looks. I had a lot of trouble with the “pop ups” from my stomach to a side squat (surfing) position like in the picture below. I felt so shaky!

But I did love it and I wish there was a studio in my city so I could do these kinds of classes more often. I’ve done a ton of HIIT / Strength / yoga / pilates etc. etc. workouts over the years but adding in balancing on that board just added in a totally different element!

Books

I only managed to read four books in May despite all of my traveling. Between May 1 – 22 I was only at home for 5 days! But the reason is because I really had to force myself to get through two of them. Both The House Girl and The Poisonwood Bible were just “ok” reads for me. They were both very well-written books but the plots and the characters just did not grab me and I had to force myself to pick them up each time.

Her Every Fear (at the time of posting the kindle version was on sale for $1.99 — snap it up!!) was a VERY good edge-of-your-seat thriller that I read in two sittings. I definitely want to check out more by this author as this was a great read. And I really enjoyed The Miseducation of Cameron Post – it had been on my TBR list forever, however I was very very disappointed by the ending of the book. I felt like it wrapped up very abruptly after the entire novel was sooo detailed!

Looks

My favourite look for May would have to be the dress I wore to Lisa’s wedding! This is actually a dress I’ve had in my closet forever and have only worn a handful of times. It’s incredibly comfy – and stretchy – which was very good as my body has changed just a little bit lately 😉

Here’s a side profile showing off the bump, which was only 15 weeks at this point!

And that’s my May recap!

What were your podcasts, workouts, books and looks for May?

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