Sunday, 21 December 2014

Iceland Part 3

Sorry for the delay in getting Iceland Part 3 up but it has been more than hectic from leaving Iceland to unpacking and getting ready for Christmas!

So on the Saturday night we did end up venturing out to a mysterious lake in the middle of nowhere to see if we could spot the Northern Lights again. After sitting in the car for 2 hours and seeing nothing we took the icy roads back home to get into bed around 1am! I was getting exhausted. Luckily the boys are good and bare with us...they spent most of the time asleep. :)

On Sunday, we went back into the centre of Reykjavik as we hadn't really been able to see it properly. We explored some cafes, had more hot dogs and got to stop into the big Neogothic Church of Iceland. Incredible, this city just kept getting more interesting! It was also getting more cold (if that was even possible).
View from Church bell tower
Frozen lake (a little bit of it has geothermal water to keep the ducks happy)
Hot dog stand

On Monday, our last day in Iceland we drove out to the Blue Lagoon but decided not to pay the huge price tag to get in. We had already had a swim in the geothermal waters in our local pool and only had to pay £6. We did have some lunch there and had a walk around (it was a gorgeous spa!) and I spent a little money in the gift shop...I may have even picked up a couple of Christmas gifts. It was expensive but at least I spent money on other people and a little something for me for Christmas too! ;)

Geothermal waters at the Blue Lagoon

The silica in the water keeps in a nice natural blue

We continued on our drive and saw a lot more geothermal hotspots out and about in the countryside and we also saw a couple of silica turquoise lakes! Upon arrival back in the city we decided to have another dip in our local pool and then head out for a nice meal to end our trip.

The next day was spent packing up and travelling home (in a massive snow storm!)

I have to admit, I was really looking forward to our trip to Iceland but that country was amazing! It was naturally beautiful. Everywhere you looked there was something nice to see. The people and their history were so interesting and I just know I will never ever forget our time there.

Anyway, hopefully now we are back unpacked, laundry done and most of Christmas under control I'll be back to a more regular blogging schedule. :)

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Iceland Part 2

So, Thursday was day 3 of our trip in Iceland. It was definitely the coldest day so far! It was -4 degrees C but felt about -18 with the wind chill! We were freezing!

We ventured out on a Golden Circle Tour which was 8 hours long and went out to Gullfoss waterfall, the Geyser area of Iceland and we were supposed to stop at a famous National Park but due to the snow all roads were closed down. Instead we stopped to pet the famous Icelandic horses and visited an old Viking church. It was a long cold day but was so interesting. It was great to learn about Iceland, its culture and a little about its language. What a fascinating country!

By the time we got back and stopped at a restaurant for supper it was time for us to get back to the flat and get to bed.

Yesterday, we decided to hire a car since the weather has been so cold. We don't mind walking places normally but it really is getting to be too much for the little guys in -18 degrees...and today is even colder.

We took a little drive arounnd town and decided to stop in at our local swimming pool! It was crazy! Freezing cold and snowing and we were outside in geothermal water, what an experience! Later that night we got a famous Icelandic hotdog and then came back to get ready for our late night adventure to see the Northern Lights!

We didn't end up seeing the lights due to it being very overcast but it was still an interesting experience.

After a pretty late night, we woke up early this morning to head out in the car to see Skogafoss waterfall and a US military plane crash from 1973, still there in the middle of an Iceland beach! Both were awesome although the getting to the crash site is an experience I could have done without. My hands still ache from gripping my seat. We had to off road onto snow covered ice straight out to the ocean, and no, we did not have a 4x4!

Overall, it was a great last few days. Tonight we may go see if we can spot the Northern Loghts again on our own and then fingers crossed have a lie in while a huge snow storm takes over Reykjavik. :-)

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Iceland Part 1

Boy have I taken a break from blogging! I didn't really plan it but I was sick for awhile and really lost my writing mojo so I thought; better a break then a blog full of junky posts.

Anyway, this week we are in snowy and freezing cold Iceland! Today was our second day here but so far so good!

Day one involved a wake up time of 3:45am!!! To get our flights out of Manchester airport. The flight was good and not that long. We were flying for just under 3hours! The boys were well behaved and spent most of the flight watching films on the tablet.

Upon landing we grabbed lunch and got a bus into the city centre. It was snowing like crazy and the roads were icy from a bad storm they'd had the day before. We arrived in the centre of Reykjavik, stopped to put on wellies and hailed a cab for our apartment. This is the third time we have used Airbnb for accommodation abroad and really recommend it!

Our apartment is lovely with everything we could need and we even have an ocean view!

We only ventured out last night to get some essential breakfast things for today and food for supper. It was a frosty walk and the boys were tired so it didn't make for the best night adventure but it was necessary.

Then the boys and I went to bed while the husband ventured out to try a glimpse the Northern luck he saw them! Fingers crossed some photos to come!

Today we had a relaxing morning. The sun rose at 11am! At 9am it was still pitch black! Then we headed into town to wander around get our bearings and book some tours!

It was a rough venture into the centre as we didn't see any taxis nor did we see any buses enroute. There were supposed to be local buses every twenty minutes from right at the end of our street into the city. Hmm... It should have taken 15 minutes roughly to walk it but with two small freezing cold bundled up boys it was more like 35!! Plus we had melt downs and crying. Oh and that was just me never mind the boys ;)

We made it to the centre got lunch, booked some excursions, found the travel office and did another mini food shop. After 3.5 hours out in -2 degree weather with 40mph winds we were ready to head home.

Tomorrow we are up early for the golden circle expedition. Fingers cross the boys will be able to cope ok. Best be off anyway, early to bed and need to check the weather! Night :)

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is Thanksgiving. It is my all time favourite holiday! Even though I live in the UK and they don't celebrate Thanksgiving, I continue to celebrate it with my family and (sometimes) friends.

This year, I kept things low key so it is just me and my boys (husband included in boys!). So far it has been a good day!

We are all home now on this drizzly and cold day but it is warm inside and I have the turkey in the oven, all things prepped and ready to go (even the green bean casserole!!). Only missing out on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

This is my favourite holiday because it involves time with family and friends, good home cooked food, relaxing and just enjoying the day and being thankful. There is no stress about presents (giving or receiving) and it is just a feel good day! :-)

This year, I have a lot to be thankful for but especially for:

My whole family near and far
My boys
My trusty pooch, Tristan
My home
The fact we are all healthy

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it! Happy Thursday to those who don't :)

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

In a Rut

So, I have written three blog posts so far this week. However, after I'd written them I decided that they really weren't good enough to post. It appears as though I am in a bit of a rut as far as writing goes this week. :(

Now, I am not in a complete rut as I have loads of ideas and things that I want to write about (lots of posts in the works), but I just feel like I am really not in the mood (yesterday or today). Hopefully, I am not the only one who feels this way sometimes. I don't think it is writer's block. It is probably just general laziness or being in a rut.

Since I was so ill a few weeks back, I am still feeling a bit sleep deprived which doesn't lead to creativity or the will to do much of anything really! And of course there have been a few bigger changes in my life recently such as giving up personal training sessions, not being able to find a good Pilates class that fits my schedule and a few unexpected bills which has lead to a stop on the work in our entryway, etc..

It may also be that the year is coming to a close and I'm winding down 2014 (but busy ramping up for getting together with friends and family during the festive holiday season!).

It may be the weather. It is cold, it is wet and it is darker earlier. Although the plus side is that I have been having daily hot chocolates! :)

Whatever it is, I hope to be back in a few days time with a much more interesting and worthy post! Until then dear readers...hang in there! ;)

Friday, 21 November 2014

Friday Faves 21st November 2014

Wow! Is it me or is November just flying by?

I actually saw a widget thing on someone's blog that said 'Guess what only 34 more days till Christmas!' I'll admit although I love Christmas and can't wait for it to be here, I am simply biding my time. I feel like I am not completely through with Autumn and am so looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving with my family that I can't get into the Christmas spirit just yet. However, once Thanksgiving is over, I'll join the masses and join in on the Christmas celebrations! :)

I have to admit this week I have had some bummers (like no more tinned pumpkin in the store=no pumpkin bread, a sore back= no running my planned 10k this weekend, the boys having little colds, etc...), but I do have some faves so I'll look to those and not keep dwelling on the things I can't change. :)

1) Got some exercise in this week! I managed a 30 min yoga dvd and I went for a run on Thursday night. I felt good after the yoga but not as great after the run. Bad backs are no joke. :(

2) Despite not being able to make pumpkin bread this week even though I wanted to I did buy and drink (with coffee don't worry) a lot of this Monin Gingerbread flavoured syrup! YUM!

3) American Horror! Yes, Netflix had informed me that the 3rd season was up and it is good. It is pretty intense and a bit graphic at times but good scary stuff about witches.

4) Found out that in the space of 1 month I'll be cooking 3 turkeys! I love turkey so I will be in heaven! Even looking forward to the leftovers! ;)

5)  Just got my loyalty postcard from Yankee Candle! You can bet, I will head down there next week to partake in these offers and some Christmas scents! They had better have the Christmas Tree scent this year. :)

Hope you have had a good week so far!