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Showing posts from November, 2013

Northern Lights in Iceland - Day 4: Now Where Did They Put Those Pesky Northern Lights??

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November 17th, 2013
Back when we started talking about going to Iceland, we had one thing on our list of things to do.  The Northern Lights.  So while planning, we had to figure out the best possible Northern Lights options.  It actually worked pretty well for us since the Northern Lights are best seen starting in September/October and running through April.  Even better, the lower-priced deals from Icelandair were around this time anyway, so...Win!!
The package we ended up purchasing with the airline was pretty swell.  It included the flight, hotel and two days of excursions.  Today's excursion was a Glacier Hike and a Northern Lights tour.  It is possible that we went with this package because of the Northern Lights (or maybe because it was relatively inexpensive, but you know...tomato/tomahto).  We had high expectations for the lights.  High expectations.  (Come on...you just know where this story is going...)
We were starting the day a little later than yesterday.  This was gr…

Northern Lights in Iceland - Day 3: Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls

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November 16th, 2013
The world always seems better after a great sleep.  And passing out into a heap after being awake for 36 hours or so will make for a great sleep.  The bed at the hotel was fine enough, but the truth is I could have slept on the floor and woken up completely refreshed.  It was a new day and we were going to see everything.
I've gone on the record many times about my two expectations for staying in hotels.  Free WiFi.  Free Breakfast.  Because of this package deal, we didn't have much of a choice on hotels.  So I was delighted to see we had free WiFi.  Free breakfast...not so much.  Unfortunately, our hotel was just far enough outside of the city center that we couldn't run for a quick bite and return before our tour took off, which meant we were paying for breakfast.  
The breakfast cost 2500 ISK ($20 USD) for a really great spread.  Meats and cheeses, oatmeal with toppings, fruit, breads (the bread here...Jesus), eggs and sausage and potatoes and cereal…

Northern Lights in Iceland - Day 2: Wandering Around in a Haze

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November 15th, 2013
There's that moment when I land into a foreign country where I become slightly paralized.  I think of this trip non stop for weeks.  Months, even.  I have your ideas of how the trip is going to go.  How the country will feel.  How I'm going to manage.  And the reality is now on the other side of the jetway.  I always think I could stay on the flight just a little bit longer.  Those fantasies of the trip will be destroyed in an instant, replaced by reality.
The bright side of this flight was that we didn't have to worry about lost luggage.  We hoisted our carry on off of the plane and went along our merry way through the airport.  Keflavik Airport was beautiful.  We walked through the terminal into Duty Free Shopping nirvana.  Mental notes were taken and we figured out how to get out of the airport.  First stop was handing over our passport to the...not so happy guy manning the customs and immigration line.  He wasn't mean.  Just disinterested.  But…

Northern Lights in Iceland - Day 1: All Around the World

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November 14th, 2013
Danielle and I were ready to go to San Diego Comic Con this year.  Which is why I am in Iceland right now.  There's a path to this madness.  There is always a path...
In the conversations about SDCC (cause the cool kids always abbreviate), we didn't really discuss things like lodging.  Or airline prices.  Or the crowds.  It was just, "let's go to SDCC!!"  "Ok!!"  And then we started researching. 
Flight prices were stupid.  Hotels, even more so.  And there was a discussion...do we do the weekend pass for the convention or just a one day pass??  The prices started to add up.  Jokingly, one of us said, "We could go to Iceland for less money than SDCC."
Iceland, huh??  And with that, a concept was born.
Iceland has been on my radar for the past three years.  I'd been researching prices and packages and timing for all of this time, so I know about when the were good deals through Iceland Air.  Spring and Fall/Early Winter were t…

Wine Country Shenanigans - Day 4

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November 10th, 2013
At this point, I'm like a broken little china doll.  The Demon Cold is pretty much gone, but I have the back issue and have had intermittent headaches and...you really don't care one lick about this.  Do you??  You're here for one thing.
A story about flying in a hot air balloon.


A few days before we left for Napa, I was showing Mom the itinerary.  We had one day free to do whatever we wanted.  But I had gotten the itinerary pretty late in the game, so I didn't even research what we wanted to do.  As I showed Mom the hotel online, there was a link to a hot air balloon company.  "Haha!!"  We both pretty much laughed it off.  "It sure would be cool to do one day..."  We looked at the pricing.  Just cause.  It was in the low $200's.  Which...expensive.  No doubt.  But we kept it in mind.  Just in case.  Cause...it was something.
We were going to talk to the concierge on Thursday.  We didn't.  But we kept talking about a ball…