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ICELAND

July 29, 2016

We went to Iceland! Stefan's agency did a campaign with Icelandair, and we reaped the benefits big time. Also I'm pretty sure I'm going to throw one big Iceland post at you because I don't have the energy to split it up! For goodness sake, we've been home for almost two months and I'm just getting this thing up. So hopefully you have the energy to make it through this whole thing. If not, come back later and pick up where you left off. Okay, here we go!

Peter was just two and a half months old when we took off on his first airplane ride and first international trip. He was a total trooper on all the flights. He slept a lot, ate well, basically was his always pleasant self. [And yes, we did have to get his passport when he was still so tiny! He was probably two weeks old when we went to get his picture taken, and he did not love it. From now on I'll take baby passport pictures at home. Throw a white sheet over the carseat and call it good. Because that sounds better than lying a baby down at the counter at Walgreens, which is what we did. Plus their camera was old and junky so the employee ended up taking the picture on her phone! I 100% could have done the whole thing more easily at home.] 

REJKYAVIK

We flew overnight and landed in Iceland ready to start a full day. We decided to explore Rejkyavik a little, even though we were pretty exhausted. We found lots of colorful walls, the world's best cinnamon roll!, and that famous hot dog stand that we honestly thought was very average. [Seriously, the bakery with the cinnamon rolls deserves the fame, not the hot dog stand!] Rejkyavik had some really cool parts, and it was small enough to easily experience in just one day.

SELJALANDSFOSS

The next day we hit the road and saw some incredible waterfalls. You can "hike" up behind this one, which was really fun. Peter slept through the whole thing - aaand that basically sums up his whole trip. He slept really well in the wrap and in the car, and he was in one of those places ninety percent of the time. I love all the pictures with the waterfall, but I also love the one of Stefan making a bottle in the trunk of the car - I took it after I had just changed Peter's diaper in the backseat. Traveling with a baby was a new, complicated, sometimes difficult experience, but I think we started to get the hang of it! At the very least we can say we learned a whole lot.

SKOGAFOSS

These two waterfalls are really close to each other and can be seen from the highway. I guess we didn't get any pictures of them, but there were lots of sheep in the field next to this one. Sheep were all over the place in Iceland, and now I'm pretty sure Stefan wants to own sheep one day. Super.

VIK

That highway with the waterfalls took us down to a cute town on the southern coast called Vik. This might have been the thing Stefan was most looking forward to, so I'm glad I got some really cute pictures there of him with his boy! We climbed up this hill to get a good view and played with Peter because he was finally wide awake and happy. Also, LOOK at his cute sweatshirt! eee! And his little pants! Multiple times while we were driving to and from Vik, Stefan said he felt like he was driving in a car commercial - all the scenery was incredible. I also feel like this is a good place to mention that Stefan drove our manual rental car flawlessly the entire trip. That is a skill I have never come close to mastering, so he really did drive us everywhere.

A lot of these pictures look similar, but it was so hard to even narrow it down to these. Deal with it.

GULFOSS

I think I may be getting out of order here, but one afternoon we took off to see the Golden Circle. Our first stop was Europe's biggest waterfall! It really was incredible. You can't see it from the road like the others, you have to walk back along a little path. But then once you see it, you see it. It's huge. Peter was obviously thrilled in that third picture.. I remember this was one place where I really noticed everyone - ourselves included - had their cameras out, taking a million pictures of everything. So I forced myself to slow down, look around, and really enjoy what I was experiencing. We all need a little bit of that now and then, right?

THINGVELLIR

We drove right past the second stop on the Golden Circle because it's a geyser and nobody has time to wait around for that thing to shoot off when there are more breathtaking sights to see. So we were on to stop number three, where the North American and European tectonic plates meet. I thought this place was incredibly beautiful, and I wish we could have stayed longer. It's a huge national park, and we only got to see one tiny part of it. I'm sure my pictures do it no justice, but the water there was the prettiest, clearest light blue color. It looked unreal up against the dark rock. The only reason we couldn't stay longer was because it was somewhere near ten o'clock at night. 10:00PM! Look how light it is in these pictures! The sun literally never set while we were in Iceland. Even in the middle of the night it barely got darker than it is in these next pictures. It was nuts. 

HOT SPRING

The Blue Lagoon geothermic pool is all the rage, but it's also a little pricey and anyone younger than two can't get in the water. Someday we'll get to experience it, but this time we decided to pass and hike to a small, free geothermic stream instead! The hike was manageable for two fairly out of shape adults - although Stefan was the one carrying the ten pound baby so maybe I should just speak for myself here.. It was a beautiful hike! Peter slept in the wrap most of the way up, woke up to dip his toes in the water [don't worry, the spot where we dipped his toes was seriously the same temperature as his bath water], and proceeded to sleep through the hike back down. 

In the third picture, you can see some of the intense sulphuric steam. Those little springs were along the trail we hiked, but we definitely didn't tip our toes in them. They were hot. We had to run past some of them that were spraying a little. They also smelled terrible. That much sulphur smells like straight up rotten eggs. In fact, all the water in Iceland has a bit of a rotten egg smell/taste. The cold water is bearable, but even warmed up a little is pretty rough. I had absolutely no idea this was the case until we arrived... and started making a bottle for Peter. That kid drank bottles made with rotten egg water the entire trip and wasn't phased at all! Of course we did look it up, and it's all totally safe to drink. But still, I thought the taste would bother him because I honestly couldn't stand it myself! Nope. Our chill little baby was just happy to have a drink.

One more thought. Not long after we made it home from our trip, I came across a picture on instagram that a really popular blogger had posted from her own trip to Iceland. It was a beautiful picture. I went to look at her profile, and she already had a dozen incredible, seriously flawless pictures from her trip. It made me feel lame and jealous because as hard as I had tried, my pictures were nowhere near as good as hers. She had also gotten to visit a lot of places we didn't have time to see. It all made me feel so crummy, and I wasn't even excited to post about our trip anymore.

Eventually, I got over that. I realized that those pictures represent her trip, and her life right now. She's a professional blogger with an awesome camera, a lot of talent, and a lot of time. I'm a new mom with next to no photography skills who only had three days to experience as much of Iceland as I could. And I got to experience so much in the short time I was there! I saw incredible things and I did it all with my two favorite boys! So my pictures may not be perfect, but they do capture this stage of my life. They represent my trip to Iceland, and my trip to Iceland was really, really great.

Seriously, I would recommend a visit to Iceland to anyone - it totally lives up to the hype. I so hope we make it back someday! 

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