First I want to wish my hubby, Jason, a happy Vesuvio anniversary! On May 31st, 2011 he and I climbed to the top of the volcano, Mt Vesuvius, in Naples, Italy and privately said our vows to one another on a ledge overlooking Naples Bay as the clouds rolled over misting us with cool, wet air while lavender butterflies fluttered around us (no joke, it was truly epic). It was one of the best days of my life and I’m so grateful to somehow be even happier with him today than we were on that idyllic day. I love you, sweetheart! I am so grateful for your support and encouragement while I’ve been traveling and left you home with all the responsibilities. ❤
Now back to today: The weather in Reykjavik has turned rainy again. It’s a gentle constant mist that somehow soaks your clothes more efficiently than larger drops. At least the temperature has warmed up now. It’s been about 52-57 degrees during the day and only 48 degrees at night. It makes for much more comfortable car sleeping. 🙂
I’ve been ailing from harshly negative dreams this week. Generally, when I have an extraordinarily good day the following night’s dreams are the exact opposite. For example; if I have a fun-filled day with Jason I will then dream that he and I fight and call it quits over something awful. I wonder if it’s my mind’s way of balancing out my endorphins and stress hormones? I suppose since I’m having such bad dreams it must mean I’m having far too much fun here in Reykjavik!
Sigrun and Andy headed over to Cafe Babalu and I went downtown to return the camping stove I had purchased at the beginning of the trip. When I had realized it would be so expensive to buy one here I made a promise to myself that I would only open it and use it if I really needed to. I shouldn’t have even bought it because I had absolutely no need for it once my mind was set on returning it. Any time I made my little cup-o-soups on the road I was perfectly happy eating them cold because it meant I could still return the silly stove.
I went into the Marmot store and the man remembered me and asked how my trip has been. We chatted a bit and then I asked him if I could return the stove. He said I could only return it for store credit. I decided not to take no for an answer (you know, since I’ve been practicing being bold and doing things I wouldn’t normally do). I stood there and looked around then said “but my trip is over, there’s nothing else I would need here that I could fit into my luggage.” He stared at the receipt a bit and then pulled out the (fairly hidden) signage saying returns beyond 24 hours will result in only store credit. I mirrored his silence and read the sign for an uncomfortably long time, chewing on my lip with a worried look on my face. Just as I was about to give in, because I was getting so uncomfortable in the silence, he said “Okay, for you I will make an exception. Because you’re so nice.” I smiled as big as I could possibly manage and thanked him. I told him I will give him rave reviews online and he laughed and said “Good, but don’t tell people that I let you return this for money back.” I laughed and gave him my word (aaaand I’m just now realizing I’ll be blowing that promise…).
Because I was able to get the stove returned when normally I would have accepted the initial answer of no, and then would have sulked about it all day, I felt like I was queen of the universe! I walked back onto the street with my head held high and mentally added another item to my list of Things I’ve Learned and/or Done Out Of My Comfort Zone In Iceland.
I popped into a few chic art galleries along Laugavegur, chatted with shop-keeps and felt right at home in the city. I hadn’t realized how often I tend to create things at home until I have now spent so much time traveling. I think I’m having withdrawls from being handy! Each time I find something cute that I might consider buying my brain snaps and says “Oh hell no, you can make that for cheaper when you get home!” I’ve been taking photos of all the cute things I want to make and the list is getting frighteningly long. 😉
I stopped at a cafe-by-day bar-by-night called Tiu Dropar (The Ten Drops). I ordered a latte and tried an Icelandic donut. The coffee was not so good but the donut was really yummy. It tasted like a dense funnel cake without the powdered sugar.
I walked home in the rain and stopped in to a few more shops. I found an extremely cute teacup and saucer – it was so simple and white and elegant – but when I flipped it over and saw the price was close to $50 USD I boogied out of that store as quick as possible before I broke something I couldn’t pay for. If you ever go to Iceland know this: you will spend a fortune if you don’t want to live off of peanut butter and crackers nor forgo souvenirs. Even the crappiest, made-in-china-plastic-keychains are at least $15. I even found an 8” stuffed animal for $100 at a particularly chic store. Chic must be Icelandic for expensive. 😉
I ducked into Bonus, a grocery store chain, and picked up some milk, apples and tomato sauce. I was thinking we could maybe make pizza sometime this week with the leftover shredded cheeses from when I made the quiche. I really enjoy cooking at home and doing so here in Iceland for everyone has made me feel even more comfortable.
When I arrived back at the flat Stuart had joined Sigrun and Andy. Joanna had taken her flight out of the country that morning and now Stu will be living here for the next few weeks until his new place is ready.
Sigrun and I took the car to run some errands. It’s fun to be able to help in that way since they don’t normally have a car at their disposal. We dropped off the recyclables and collected the money for them – enough to buy a fancy bottle of wine! – then we went to pick up a loaned folding bed for Stu to use while he’s staying. We got a little lost at one point but it’s fun getting to see more of the rural outskirts of Reykjavik. It’s such a beautiful area, and the old apartments we visited were absolutely charming!
Back home we decided to rearrange the entire flat to fit Stu’s new fold-out bed and make better use of the limited space. We even moved the refrigerator to a new location! It was fun; like Tetris, but with furniture.
Once the furniture shuffling was completed we ran to Vin Budin to get our wine with the money from the recyclables, and we picked up some ginger beer that Sigrun had been wanting to try. Just like most everything else I’ve tasted here in Iceland, the ginger beer was delicious. We were all a bit tuckered out so we kicked back and watched the first Xmen movie, which I’d never seen before, and then Stu cooked us all an amazing asian inspired blackbean sauce pasta. I have to learn how to make that.
Though I’m really loving this slow-paced week of playing in Reykjavik it’s making me miss Jason all the more. I cannot wait until he arrives so I can show him all my favorite places and we can reconnect. My heart starts to pitter-patter just thinking about it!