What I did this weekend: 11/09/2014

  • Starting / in the midst of selling off all of the “stuff” we acquired while we were here in the UK since we’re 18 days away from getting on a plane to fly back to Portland, drove into / around London on Saturday to drop off a chair to a coworker who wanted it but didn’t have a car big enough to pick it up and then went to the Crystal Palace Park which was 10 minutes away and was a place on Karen’s list because it has the Crystal Palace Dinosaur Park and also turned out to have a mini-farm. Fun. Found 2 geocaches, couldn’t find another. BTW, driving in / around London is HORRIBLE, do not recommend.
  • Spent today (Sunday) getting the yard prepped which including mowing, weeds, leaves, sticks and anything else that needed cleaning up, then did a 5m run (good, not great, heart rate was up there but I felt good for the entire run) and then did dinner at Handmade Burger Company followed by ice cream at a new franchise thing called “Creams Cafe” in Reading, which seems like a place that’ll be out of business in a year but we had a good time. Family meeting night in the car and then family videos. Good weekend.

Links: 11-3-2014

  • On Kindness — Matter — Medium
    Quote: "We seem to reserve a special rage in this world for those whose ability to be unafraid in pursuit of something new extends beyond our own. We begrudge them their strange friends and strange experiences under the guise that we find those things to be dangerous or unclean. But really we resent those people because their courage reminds us of how common and terrified we feel inside. Bravery is a virtue people revere in dead soldiers and then turn to disparage in someone extending her hand to a weirdo."
    (categories: life values fear courage )

What I did this weekend: 11/02/2014

  • Saturday I mixed up some onions, yellow peppers and potatoes for breakfast with a fried egg (yummy) and then took the vikings to a National Trust house called Newark Park which was unremarkable except for the 7 geocaches we found (they did a really nice job with this) and then had a scrumptious English dinner at Costco, because cheap food on the way home.
  • Made pancakes and berries for breakfast, the vikings played for a couple hours after breakfast while Mommy and I made my favorite thing to make on Sundays (at least this year) and then we drove out to Goring (quick drive) and had a really nice walk along the Thames, finding 3 geocaches along the way (and our first Travel Bug!) and then had a nice lunch at a small cafe (Boat House Deli & Cafe) on the river before heading home. I got my long (only 4 miles since I’m building back up after hurting my calf a couple weeks ago) run in at night.

What I did this weekend: 10/26/2014

  • Littlest dude had his birthday this weekend so we went to Legoland, which was packed but we managed to have a good time, drove home, made my sausage / sweet potato / egg hash for dinner (adults only). Good day.
  • Mommy got sick and stayed in bed so we kept super busy today. Birthday presents kept the vikings satisfied for hours while I made breakfast, mopped, did dishes, bathrooms, mowed the lawns, pulled weeds and then we did a trip to the tire store (exciting!), dropped off the car to get 2 new tires, had lunch at The Griffin, got 2 geocaches in / around Caversham Court and then picked up the car and headed back home. Sort of the opposite of a weekend driving through Iceland.

Day 9 and 10: Borgarnes, Mosfellsbær, Bláa Lónið and Reykjavík: Iceland

Woke up not too early at Sundabakki Guesthouse, had a nice breakfast and enjoyed homemade “mama” cakes from the owner of the house who has 5 of her own children and 14 grandchildren, 13 of which are boys so we got extra special nice treatment. Hit the road at 8:30ish so that we could get back to Reykjavík with a chance to see some of the sights in the city.

First stop on way back was at a museum in Borgarnes called the Settlement Center which had two very nice walk through exhibits with audio guides which our band of vikings didn’t make it completely through. We did have a very nice snack break in their coffee shop while the vikings played on the floor.

Next, Karen really wanted to get an Icelandic sweater so she found THE place (called Álafoss) in a little town called Mosfellsbær, which turned out to be a really neat stop. She shopped while walked the vikings around and then we (the vikings) discovered a shop where a guy (Palli Kristjánsson) made and sold all kinds of custom knives, which was really interesting for me and the oldest, not so much the little ones who just wanted to put sheep horns on their head:

I ended up buying a really beautiful Santoku knife with a handle made from the horn of a reinder, the hoof of an Icelandic horse, ebony and marbled padauk. I’m keeping it in a box until we get back home.

We finally found Mommy, who got her sweater and then piled back into the car to drive the rest of the way to Reykjavík. The tunnel Hvalfjörður was closed for re-paving which added an hour or so to the drive but we got back to Reykjavík in the afternoon, checked back into our hotel, drove over to the Perlan to look out over all of Reykjavík:

and also had ice cream. :)

Finally, on our last drive we headed out to jump into the tourist trap that is Bláa Lónið (The Blue Lagoon) which is about 40 minutes from downtown but was well worth it for the weary travelers:

and then ended up back in the city for dinner at Íslenski barinn, which was fantastic.

On our last day (Sunday), we had breakfast, returned the rental car and then walked around downtown, checking out Sólfar (Sun Voyager):

visiting the Maritime Museum (free for adults with kids, not highly recommended but nice if you need to waste an hour before you have to get on a plane), getting hot dogs (which are apparently some kind of Icelandic specialty but weren’t any better than what you’d get in Chicago):

and then spending our last bits of cash at a crepe shop which just happened to arrive with a giant pile of ice cream:

All told, a great trip, highly recommended, even in October although I think we got really lucky with the weather. I’d love to go back in July or August and hike around some glaciers and spend some time in the highlands, maybe in a couple years.


  • Museums : 2
  • Hot dogs : 5
  • Giant piles of ice cream: 2
  • Geocaches: 0!

Now with 50% less caffeine!