Day 1: Reykjavik, Iceland

Somewhere during the last couple years I figured out that Iceland looked like an amazing place to visit and so as part of our year in England, I put Iceland on the short list of places that I wanted to visit. In preparation for the year, I bought a book at Powell’s in Portland before we left called “100 Places That Can Change Your Child’s Life”, which is published by National Geographic and probably isn’t worth the money to buy but is great if you’re looking for ideas on things to see with kids around the world. One of the suggestions in the book was to drive around Iceland on the Ring Road which turns out would have been really amazing during the summer but we had already booked a trip to see some parts of Norway with my parents in July, which brings us me today (actually day 3 of the trip) and this blog post.

On Friday (10/10) we got to Gatwick 2 hours early, got some sandwiches before got on the plane, ate them while waiting to board and then promptly sat on the plane for 2 hours while we waited for some weather to clear. This would have been a nightmare but Iceland Air has TV’s for each seat with lots of kids movies, so the 2 hours waiting was relatively painless, in fact my oldest turned to me while we were taking off and asked if we were landing. Regardless, we landed 2 hours later than we were supposed to and met the driver (Christian, super nice dude) who picked us up in a brand new van and dropped us off at the hotel, which was right across the street from Hallgr√≠mskirkja:

which apparently you can climb to the top of but we didn’t have time (yet) along with a recommendation to eat at a restaurant that was a block away from the hotel. I tried Foursquare for something really good but the really good place was booked and didn’t have a table for us so we ended up at Caf√© Loki. For dinner we got some Icelandic meat soup, a couple sandwiches and some fermented shark for dinner. Kai took a small bite of the shark because he was hungry and immediately put it back, Karen and I both ate a small piece. We all agree that it’s horrible and will never have it again. After dinner and dessert (Rye bread ice cream, really good), we broke out the headlamps (anything to get the 2 year old and 4 year old out walking) and did a couple mile walk around downtown and then headed to bed.

Stats:

  • Geocaches: 0
  • Waterfalls: 0
  • Ice cream: check
  • Fermented shark: check

What I did this weekend: 10/05/2014

  • Took off work on Friday since my boss was in town, I made one of my favorite things the night before and had it for breakfast. We took him to Bath, walked around the town a bit (boys had fun chatting with a guy dressed up as a Roman soldier, complete with sword and spear), tried to find a geocache or two (no luck), did the tour of the Roman Baths, had pasties for lunch and then headed back home, on the way hitting Stonehenge (English Heritage yearly pass gets us in for free) at sunset and did the walk over the burial mounds (which was gorgeous because the cool autumn wind was blowing and the sun was warm on our backs and there were long shadows, it was my perfect temperature). Beers at Nags Head and The Griffin.
  • Saturday we drove out to Warwick Castle after doing pancakes with berries for breakfast. Saw a great long bow demonstration, some beautiful birds (Steller’s sea eagles are amazing) and walked all the way around the castle, which I hadn’t done before. Didn’t get to see the flaming ball of fire fired off by the trebuchet but the boys did get to fire off a bunch of their own arrows and have their swords and shields, which always makes their day. Dinner on the way home at The Quince Tree, which is highly recommended if you’re ever around that area. Some of the best food I’ve had in England. Beers at The Griffin.
  • Today Beck and Sid and I got on an early train to London and went to see the Tottenham Hotspurs (English Premier League) play Southampton FC. We got to the game way too early but walked around the grounds a bit and then headed inside right when the gates open thinking that we’d be able to walk around the stadium a bit… no such luck (you’re locked down into just the area you were ticketed for), but we did end up lucking into great seats, 3rd row back, slightly to the right of the net on the north side of the field. Had a great view for the only goal of the game. Quite an end to the weekend.

What I did this weekend: 09/28/2014

  • Train into London on Saturday, then tubed it to St. Paul’s Cathedral, found a geocache at the top of the dome, lunch at a burger place next door and then tubed it to the Diana Memorial Playground or as the dudes call it, The Pirate Ship playground.
  • Got tickets for the Reading vs Wolverhampton Wanderers football match for all of us. Got to the pitch early… walked in the gate… went to our seats. Got settled. Went to get food. Cash only. No ATM’s inside the building. Tried to get out… can’t get out until halftime. Went out a bit after halftime to get ice cream for the little dudes (only way to convince them to attend a game, promise ice cream). Vendors inside the stadium have no ice cream (????), walked outside… ice cream that was outside is now gone. I miss a goal. Walk back inside cursing England, watch rest of game. Home team scores in the 88th minute to tie, fun! Takes 1 hour to get out of the stadium, no fun. Pub on the way home. Beer. Find 2 geocaches (1,2) with the boys on a cool woodlands trail right next to the pub. All is good in the world.
  • No long run this weekend because my left calf hurts, not sure what I did to it last week, probably need to incorporate stretching into the workouts.

Links: 9-21-2014

  • Fixed mindset vs Growth mindset | Derek Sivers
    Quote: "People in a fixed mindset believe you either are or aren’t good at something, based on your inherent nature, because it’s just who you are. People in a growth mindset believe anyone can be good at anything, because your abilities are entirely due to your actions." Need to somehow get this through to the little dudes in my life.
    (categories: life motivation thinking mindset change failure )

What I did this weekend: 09/21/2014

  • Did a long drive out to Offa’s Dyke (nice little playground and trail for the kids by the visitors center but otherwise nothing to write home about) and Croft Castle (more of a manor but had a beautiful garden, a nice playground and some cool WWI outfits to try on) on Saturday.
  • Took the boys geocaching around our house on Sunday, found our first five caches on a great 3.5 mile hike / walk we did right from the house. Have a profile now on geocaching.com. Looking forward to finding some caches on our trip to Iceland in a couple weeks. Bought a couple tracker bugs from Amazon that we’ll leave in Iceland.
  • Long run for the week (training for half marathon distance) was 8.3 miles this afternoon in beautiful weather. Was really interesting to see my heart rate (which seems to be relatively high on the other runs I’ve done based on the 220 – your age thing I’ve read in various places) for the first 45 minutes staying WELL below what it usually is, first time I’ve felt like the training (which is easy run on Monday, tempo run on Wednesday, interval / hill run on Friday) has paid off. I’m still super slow, but that might have been the longest run I’ve ever done in my life. Doesn’t look like tapiriik is syncing stuff from Garmin back to Runkeeper. :(

Links: 9-8-2014

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