Friday, August 23, 2013

5 Amazing Things I Noticed While Spending 1.5 hrs In Iceland

Photo by: Alex J White
6:00 a.m. sun came bursting through the window, as I craned my neck to see out Iceland Air's much too tiny windows. KeflavĂ­k International Airport's tarmac stretched out in front of us, black and shiny as we taxied to the terminal. 

I had landed in Iceland. 

This was a first for me (!), and I was thrilled to acquire a new stamp for my rapidly filling passport. 
Layovers totally count if one gets to actually walk on the "ground"—from the plane to the terminal and back again—totally legit.

Now, I've seen some spectacular images from Iceland skim past my eyes as I've scrolled through my Insta-feed, so I was ready to see something awesome.

We filled into the aisle; the passenger in front of me grumbled about having to walk down the plane steps instead of getting a ramp—#sorrynotsorry you can always tell the Americans on board—and proceeded to step backwards for some unknown reason, nearly obliterating my right foot in the process.

I swallowed back a high pitch howl, and refrained from loosening a string of less than savory words on them. They just kept moving, anyway.

Shaking it off, I finally reached the top of the steps and looked out the door, getting my first uninhibited view of the landscape. 

In a word, breathtaking! 

One one side - brown mossy flatlands and the other - the shimmering North Atlantic waters.

4 things that amazed me in the 1.5 hours 
I spent in ICELAND:

1. There were mysterious plumes of white smoke spiraling up from the ground all around the runway. I've never seen anything like it.

Iceland is known for some pretty crazy weather phenomena, in fact, it is one of the most geologically unstable countries in the world! It sits astride the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where the Eurasian and North American continental plates rub up against one another. These frequently occuring earthquakes force magma to be pushed up from deep underground, making volcanic eruptions a very common occurance. 

All of this underground churning causes steam belches to escape from the earth — which is what I was seeing all around the airport... Fun fact: Icelanders harness this steam for geothermal power; helping to make roughly 85 percent of their energy from renewable resources.

2. Upon entering the terminal, I felt like a swarthy, Italian-sized Hobbit discovering the land where Elves comes from.

Stereotypical or not, I've never seen so many tall, naturally blonde, blue eyed people all in one place together. Everyone was very polite, with excellent customer service, and the terminal was super easy to navigate around.

As a nation, their policeforce carry no guns and violent crime is almost non-existent.

3. I would choose a layover flight here and deal with all the multiple stops just so I could go back and use their amazing airport bathrooms. I should have snapped a pic, it was that awesome. You walked into the bathroom and were met with pristine white floors and individual compartment-sized bathrooms with floor-to-ceiling doors for each one. Inside, there was a toilet, floor-length mirror, and two sink faucets—one for washing your hands, the other for drying (!). There was lots of counter space to put handbags and overall space if one wanted to change or freshen up in style. For air-weary travelers it is #bathroombliss. 

4. Rumor has it, elves are known to be spotted here. Certain roads have been re-routed to avoid disturbing areas where elves are thought to live. Other random fact: It is also safe enough to leave one's baby outside for nap, in case one wishes to do such a thing.


Well, folks, there you have it. Interesting, random, unique and gorgeous—just a few adjectives to describe lovely Iceland. If you have a chance, put this country on your visit-list. I for one, look forward to booking a proper visit, next time around.

Now it's your turn! Have you ever traveled to this Nordic nation before? Any interesting airport terminal stories to share?

We'd love to hear!

Until next time, Cheers!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

This Girl's Flying Away

Tomorrow is the day.


I will be off to Derby, England.

I can scarcely believe the time has finally come.

My last couple weeks here in the states have been super busy.

Here's a quick recap!

Lots of loose ends to tie up at work and I'm pretty sure my 
awesome new replacement
was wishing I was a lot less scatter brained.

Sorry, girly!

Fun times all around though :) I will miss this crazy busy, lovely place.

I had a super time with coworkers at one last lunch together.

Stuffed french toast anyone?

I miss them all already.

And a spur of the moment dinner date with two loveliest of ladies :)

My aunt took me out for pedi's and a "sending off" Italian meal this past week as well. 
A cannoli was necessary to top the evening, 
and yes after all this eating I may have gained a pound or two :(


Packing really hurts my brain though.

It was not enjoyable. Not even in the minutest fraction of an amount.

In fact I get a headache just thinking about how horribly everything fit and what didn't fit :(

But it was probably God's way of showing me all the things that are simply things
that I don't really need so much afterall.


I was happy to share about this mission at my church today. It was quite nerve-racking to present it three different times but I was glad for the chance to meet new faces,
get lots of hugs and hear some great stories in return.

I'm so grateful for these 'lasts' before the new 'unknowns'...

I will remember these sweet, crazy days leading up though with much fondness
in the months to come :)

See you on the other side of the Pond, my friends!

oh...and pizza. Did I mention eating quite a lot of that?

 And like a ton of Sweet Berries Ice Cream :)

my wonderful grandparents, my daddy, brother and I :) last two pictures

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Cirque Loveliness

As a going away slash belated birthday present, 
my aunt took my sister and brother and I to see the show,
La Nouba - Cirque Du Soleil
 in Downtown Disney.

I had never seen it before and the show was outstanding.
The talent was unbelievable.
If you ever get the chance, see a performance by Cirque....
well worth it! :)

and thankful for the wonderful memory that it is for me to take with me
of much loved time spent with the Fam :)

I'm off to a church staff picnic today :)

Have a happy weekend friends.

T-Minus:9 Days until Departure :)

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