Like the country itself, our reason for deciding to spend the holidays in Icleand is a bit obscure.
I wanted to kick 2016 out the door with an extra special bit of umph, because it was one of my worst years ever and then to bring in 2017 with a new twist.
I thought seeing the Northern Lights, something I've always wanted to do would be a great thing to do to make 2016 a bit less shitty. I thought that being somewhere "cool" for New Year's Eve would be a good way to bring in the New Year.
Oh, and I wanted to see polar bears, Santa's workshop and....
I can't even begin to remember all of the different scenarios and "tours" I was cooking up. I know St. Petersberg, Helsinki, Alaska, Banff, Quebec City and several others came up.
Cindy put her foot down and decided we had to keep our travels in one country. After I did some more research and found a great self-drive tour of Iceland, we were in agreement and booked the trip.
A couple of weeks later after we continued doing research, we both realized that there would only be a few hours of daylight each day and that therefore meant that we would be driving in the dark on icy roads every day for several hours and our window of oppurtunity for enjoying the sights would have to be precisely timed and mapped out.
After a couple days in Iceland and on said tour, we've come to realize that the drive times were based on Summer, Spring and/or Fall travel, not in the dead of winter where the daylight hours are the shortest and road conditions the worst.
Starting It Off Right...Or at Least Attempting To
We left our aapartment in Atlanta with plenty of time to get to the airport, regardless of holiday traffic, getting through securtiy (I usually breeze through security, but this time got flagged, my bag searched and a bottle of "Dream Water" confiscated) and get to our gate.
And we did it.
We got to JFK and managed to get our bags from the luggage turnstyle and get them rechecked in. (We didn't do a direct flight or even a connecting flight because of the outrageous expense.)
And then our flight was delayed for two hours which turned into almost 3.
We had a reservation at the Blue Lagoon at 8 a.m. which couldn't be changed. Thank goodness that Icelanders are a casual folk, because we rolled in at 10:30 and they had no problem with that.
ONE OF THE 25 WONDERS OF THE WORLD
Soak Your Blues Away
I was sleep deprived and somewhat delirious: add to that driving in icy conditions after not having been in snow for several years and growing up in So Cal and even the 20 minute drive was a bit stressfull.
It was a surreal and magical experience.
After the soak, we headed back to the capital and our first chance to get a good night's sleep. But first we would take a quick stroll, have a wonderful meal, and Skye and I would buy traditional Iceland wool caps.
And then off to bed....for 11 hours. The longest I've slept in years.
Jon Danniells is an adventurer and traveler, a teacher and student, a husband and a father, a cook and a farmer, a "week-end warrior" (very amateur athlete) and has not earned any money on these labors of love.When I googled myself what showed up first was my IMDB listing, which is basically a resume for my 20 and then some year career in film, for which I fortunately do get paid.