May 22, 2015

Countdown to Memorial Day

It's Friday and we made it through the week and there's a long weekend ahead. This makes me so happy. Also, it's birthday weekend and there are a few different people in town. I have tons of drafts about Iceland and baseball and all kinds of other stuff, but I want to keep it easy today so we'll stick with a countdown.

5 Things Happening this Weekend:

1. I turn 30 years old on Sunday. I love birthday weekend.

2. My Mom is in town with her friend, Rachel, and her kids who are celebrating their birthday. This means I get to hang with my mom and do some fun kid stuff around NYC.

3. Celebrate Justin's birthday on Memorial Day, although I let him open his present already.

4. Drinks with our Florida friends who are visiting the city for the weekend.

5. Eat dessert daily for the next 4 days - I love birthday weekend.

4 Things I Want:

1. Another Minnesota t-shirt
2. Something bright & shiny to hang on the wall
3. A fun polaroid camera - plus it's under $100
4. These RayBan sunglasses

3 Pictures I took this week:

2 Things I Liked on the Internet:

16 truths for Pizza Lovers Everywhere - so true.

Also, this Jimmy Fallon clip - what a class act.

1 song I'm listening to:

Have a very happy weekend!

May 20, 2015

Oh Canada: Our Day Trip to Montreal

People might think we are a little nuts that we returned from Iceland only to turn around and head to Canada, but I think the best way to beat vacation is over sadness is to take a little weekend getaway. Plus, this girl has little time left before I turn 30 and there were some things that still needed to be checked off the list. Bring Justin to Canada was one thing that I was super excited about.

We rented a cabin in Keeseville, NY near Lake Champlain as our homebase for the weekend. The cabin was perfect and we spent Friday night reading, eating, drinking and sitting in the hot tub (we might have been pretending that it was a geothermal pool in Iceland but at least there were stars.)

The dogs were loving the grass, the chipmunks and the fresh air. On Saturday, we woke up and headed to the border. I might have been a little over-served Friday evening, but I was determined to have a good day.

Montreal is a great city and I definitely want to go back and stay for a weekend. We had beautiful weather so we just strolled around the city. We made it up to Mont Royal and took in the views.

After our stair climbing, we had worked up an appetite so we found a cafe with outdoor seating in Old Montreal and enjoyed Sangria, Crepes and Omelettes. We walked some more and found a pub to watch the last period of the Ranger game. 

We left town shortly after and got stuck in traffic for over an hour due to a bridge being closed... that's the bummer of being a city on an island. We got back to the cabin and lounged while watching What About Bob?  I love that movie.

Sunday morning, we took the kayaks out on the lake, enjoyed coffee with a view and then slowly packed up to head home.

We took the long way home - no highways, just 2 lane roads. The sun was out and we drove with our windows down and the music blaring. So many drive-ins, ice cream shops, farm stands and beautiful scenery.

As crazy as it was to turn around and leave home again, it was such a good weekend with the pups away from the city. We made it to Canada and loved Montreal. We felt recharged again and ready to kick ass at work this week. 

Have you been to Canada? Where's your favorite weekend getaway?

May 18, 2015

Reykjanes Peninsula: Welcome to Iceland

Many of the flights from the United States to Iceland land early in the morning, including ours, so we landed and were ready to explore. Knowing that we would be tired, we didn't plan too much for the first day, but we had a few things we were most excited for.

Map of sights

We made reservations for the Blue Lagoon for the minute they opened, but we had a few hours to kill before then, so we took off to find the Bridge between America & Europe. It's a nice place to get out and walk around a little to take in the scenery. It's like you have landed on a different planet and it's amazing. Black sand, steam coming out of the ground and crazy rock formations. Plus, it was the best way to cross step foot on another continent off my 30 before 30 list.

We got to see Icelandic horses almost right away when we landed. They are every bit as amazing as I had read about.

The Blue Lagoon was a MUST for us on our trip. It's a big tourist attraction, but there's good reason. We got some advice to go right when they open and I'm glad we did. We showed about 20 minutes before the lagoon opens, but they let us come inside and check it all out before 10:00.


The Lagoon got pretty busy after the first 30 minutes or so because a tour bus showed up, but the first half hour was quiet and amazing. Even with more people, we enjoyed ourselves, but the lines for the swim up bar got quite long. Don't worry, I had already capitalized on my free drink.

They have everything from green smoothies to strawberry champagne. There is a deli with some snacks and a nice restaurant. You could end up spending half a day there if you take advantage of everything. We skipped the restaurant because we weren't super hungry at the time of our pre-booked reservation, but the menu looked great.

We took advantage of the views and the sunshine and put the mud on our faces to see if we had discovered the fountain of youth (we didn't.) We absolutely loved the whole experience.

Advice for the Blue Lagoon:
1. Put so much conditioner in your hair and don't get your head wet.
2. Bring a GoPro or a waterproof camera.
3. Take advantage of everything they have to offer - mud masks, algae masks,
4. Go first thing in the morning - preferably when you get to Iceland. It's the best welcome.

After the Lagoon, we were headed to Reykjavik to get checked in to our hotel and explore a little more. I wish we would have had a little more time to explore the Reykjanes Peninsula. It's so convenient from the airport, but we had so much to see that week, so we'll have to return.

More pictures to come. Do you love all the tourist stops or do you try to avoid them? Do you have a favorite in the world?

May 15, 2015

You asked, I answered

TGIF, am I right? Coming back from vacation can be tough, but I feel like our Iceland trip was really a time to disconnect, so I felt re energized this week. That doesn't mean I'm not happy it's Friday. I have just over a week until I turn 30 and there are a few things left on my 30 before 30 list that we need to take care of. One big one is happening this weekend - can you guess which one it is?

Since I still haven't finished organizing our photos and we are already hitting the road again this weekend, I wanted to keep today nice and easy. Plus, when a friend tells you to do something, you just do it. A couple of days ago, Samantha "tagged" me in a post to answer a few questions, so clearly she has a few things she wanted to know and I'm happy to help out.

What's one thing we will find in your purse (besides the basics)?

Well, lately I've just been carrying a little wristlet, so there isn't much there. Just some chapstick, credit cards, driver's license, metro card and cell phone. Could I be more boring?

Where do you see yourself in five years?

That's a pretty deep question. I would love to have sold our house in Minnesota and be somewhere on the east coast with J. Probably still eating lots of pizza and cheese and not feeling bad about it. Hopefully I can cook a little better (or at least more) and read more books. Honestly, I see myself in a pretty similar place to where I'm at now but just a little smarter.

Which show on TV should we all go binge watch immediately? And what is your favorite character on that show?

Oh, I have so many. We got rid of cable so binge watching is all we do now and it's amazing. I can't pick just one, so here are my recommendations:

If you want to laugh, watch Parks & Rec - I love the entire cast, but Ron Swanson always makes me laugh the hardest.
If you want to cry, watch Parenthood.
If you want to get intense, watch 24 or Breaking Bad.
If you want something completely mindless and wonderful, watch Hart of Dixie or Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. So cheesy and feel good.

Chicago Deep Dish or the New York Slice?

Duh, New York. Fold that huge piece over like a taco and shove it in (sorry that's a little graphic.) We tried the Chicago deep dish at multiple places and enjoyed it, but we would be living in Chicago if we liked it better than the good old fashioned Big Apple Pie.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and what would you go?

Since I just recently checked my number one place off the list, I think my next dream adventure is South America. Patagonia, Machu Picchu, Brazil, the list goes on. I would also love to travel the US in an RV. And I wouldn't mind spending some time in the lands of my ancestors - Germany, France and Scandinavia.

What's your favorite blog post you've ever written?

I have a few that I really love, but my 30 before 30 list has been my favorite. Working to complete everything off the list has been quite an adventure and as I'm nearing my 30th birthday, I'm so glad that I did it. If you are thinking about making a list, here are some tips and please share your list with me. I love reading people's goals and following along.

Anything else you're dying to know? Tell me your answers - at least answer the pizza question, because I'm curious. Happy Friday

May 13, 2015

My Iceland Top 3

Usually, the first question I ask people about their vacations was their three favorite things. Picking one is usually way too hard, but asking for three allows them to give you a little slice of their trip. Justin and I had that conversation about Iceland on the plane ride home and I was able to easily come up with my 3 favorite things.

1. The People. Every single person we encountered, except one airport worker, was extremely wonderful, friendly and helpful. The service we had was incredible. The Icelandic language is so cool and people were very gracious to help Justin learn how to pronounce Eyjafjallajökull (the volcano that erupted a few years ago.) He's got it 98% correct now.

2. The Water. The blue green clear water was so beautiful. Each time we caught a glimpse of the coast, it was a new breathtaking view. Then you add the waterfalls and the geothermal baths and the water here can't be beat.

3. The Colors. They call Reykjavik the rainbow town because of all the different colored houses and it is so fun and happy. The art around every corner has bright colors that help cheer up the long dark winter days. When you add this with the scenery of moss, volcanic rock and that beautiful water, it is obvious that this is one of the greatest things about Iceland.

Justin's answers were the same as mine, but instead of the colors, he pointed out the variety in landscape. In one day, we drove from the city, to glaciers, to waterfalls, to farm lands to the ocean.

I'll be breaking down our trip over the the next few weeks as we sort out our photos, but I can safely say that this is the best vacation we've been on and I can't wait for our next adventure.