Northern Lights in Iceland - Day 1: All Around the World
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 the less expensive times to visit. It makes sense. The weather is more unpredictable and cold. Should I mention cold (cause I will thought the days)?? But I've dealt with cold before. I know about what to expect. And if I plan well enough...
Danielle and I had a general plan. Iceland during the Northern Lights season. Now all we needed was to figure out who wanted to go. We each had several people who were interested in seeing Iceland. So we kept everyone in the loop. In mid-summer or so, we finally said let's do this. And in the end there were three. Richelle joined us in our little adventure and we booked our package.
We decided on 4 nights in Reykjavik. The package we ended up with included a flight from Boston, hotel for four nights and two days of excursions. One was the Golden Circle tour with the Fontana Steam Baths and one was a Glacier Walk with the Northern Lights. We had two more days to figure out what we wanted to do. But we had plenty of time for that. A few weeks later, we settled on a flight to Boston. Danielle was coming from Minneapolis. Richelle and I were from Chicago. The plan was ready. We just had to wait for the big day.
Waiting for the big day was easier said than done. Mostly because I was completely losing my mind over everything. I need a new coat. I will these boots work?? How much should I have to pack?? Is this too heavy?? Is this not heavy enough?? I second guessed myself about everything. Mostly, it was the coat. I needed a new winter coat anyway, but I just had a nervous breakdown about what I needed. And I've never had a good winter coat to keep me warm in Chicago. So I priced out a few. I had an idea on how much I'd like to spend. Ultimately, I ended up with a coat which was double my budget, but it should last me for forever. And (Spoilers...) the coat is amazing.
The big day finally arrived. The decision was made to try to put everything in a carry-on (another stressful moment on my end). The flight to Boston was fine. We ended up sitting next to a guy who looked very much like the guy who plays Lafayette on True Blood. It wasn't him. And the flight to Boston itself was very quick. Richelle barely had time to finish her Starbucks before we landed.
Our idea was to meet up with Danielle at her gate. In another terminal at Boston Logan Airport. That was until we discovered that Logan is the most inane airport ever. First up...the food...excellent. There were tons of amazing choices. Including airport sushi. Well...we paused when we saw airport sushi. But otherwise, there was some good stuff. But the layout of the airport...there are five (I believe) terminals. But not one is connected to another. So we had to leave the terminal to take a bus to the other gate and then you'd have to recheck in if you had a connecting flight. Our gate and the International terminal...not so close together. Which will make for a difficult situation going home, but that'll be the story for another day. Literally.
Richelle and I boarded the bus for the International terminal, texting Danielle to tell her to meet us there as our plans to meet her at the gate were dashed quickly. The bus was fine enough, but it does take some time. Once we got to the International terminal, we realized we had a fatal flaw in our plan to arrive with plenty of time. The line to check in for Iceland Air didn't open for hours. Which should have been fine in theory, because we all checked into Iceland Air at home. Yeah...notice I said "in theory"...
We had all checked in. But we all had various forms of checking in. Danielle was the only one to do it right. She had a printed ticket with a bar code on it. I had a ticket with no bar code. I couldn't print from home, so I emailed my pass to Mom and Dad. It printed up weird. Richelle never got a boarding pass when she checked in, so she had nothing to use to go through security. We did think this was funny at the time and we still think this is all hilarious.
If I've learned anything from The Amazing Race, I've learned the hotels are always there to help you. The "Ask Me Anything" guy AT&T he airport said there was nowhere to print up boarding passes inside the airport. But there was a Hilton attached. And that was our only way of surviving the next few hours. So we walked. And walked. And walked. And we finally made it to the Hilton. Which did what we needed it to. The Hilton had several computers just ready to print out boarding passes. Which we did. Then we promptly scurried away. Yay, us!!
Our first stop past security was for some grub. While Richelle and I had grabbed a quick "snack" of a pizza slice in our terminal, Danielle had not been so psychic. She was hungry. So we found a place to dine. And of course it was the wine bar. We hung out at the wine bar for a few hours, then we made a lap of the terminal. After that, we had an actual meal at a lace with lobster rolls and clam chowder. It was fine. But we were all ready to take off.
None of us sat next to each other on the trip. We booked separately. We are sitting separately. Though Richelle was sitting behind me. Which then gave me a huge complex about trying to recline my seat on the plane. Boo. I did have a slightly smelly guy next to me in the middle seat. And a squalling baby in the row in front of me. Awesome. Even better, I couldn't find the headphone jack for the in flight entertainment center. Sigh. It's gonna be one of those flights, huh?? Food and wine is not complimentary, but the flight is only 4.5 hours long. I guess that's a good sign...