08.03.2017 - 09.03.2017
I genuinely struggled when reading about Iceland because every other word was an adjective and those that weren't were something like 'Reykjarfjaròarlaug' which I can't pronounce - let alone remember the first 3 letters of to look up. We were trying to determine which region was the "best" and where we should spend our time and every description was so full of adjectives that it seemed next to impossible to separate any of them and find a favorite. One message was clear: Iceland was full of adjectives; it simply depended on your preference for the flavor. With that in mind, we figured we'd go the safe route: rent a car, and drive the ring of the entire island to ensure that we sampled all adjectives from A to Z so we could make a decision for ourselves!
I knew as soon as we stepped off the plane in Reykjavik at 635 am that the Icelanders didn't take their adjectives lightly. My senses went on overload. The early morning sky was still dark but there was a crack of light on the horizon thinking about joining the day. There was a familiar smell - almost Hawaii ish - wet greens and the sea air, but it was terribly mismatched with the temperature. I wear swim suits in this smell - not six layers of pants. A misty fog put an unexpected Harry Potter touch on all of it.
We rubbed our (seemingly) hallucinating eyes and got in a car with a nice Icelandic stranger holding a sign with our name on it. Don't panic, Mom. Spoiler Alert! I totally survive this story and besides, he runs a "certified" business. Now, the fact that this business happened to be operating out of his garage might have been coincidental. We all go through tough times. He had several rental cars up for grabs, a boat that he was working on fixing in the garage, and a nice seating area with some free coffee and cocoa to sip on and keep us good and distracted while we signed our paperwork. Out we went - easy enough - and Icelanders even drive on the same side of the road here!
The warm sun came beaming over the snow-covered mountains as we headed 6 hours north toward the small town of Akureyri. Our car windows were filled with adjectives of all sorts, many of which were Dr. Seuss in style. There were fields of "burnt broccoli" scattered about, which happened to be valleys of lava rock smothered in electric green moss. We went over high mountain passes on snow packed roads and stared up steep white slopes that disappeared into the clouds on one side of the car while we gazed at the deep blue waters of the Greenland Sea on the other. Strange combinations, but oh so beautiful!
We had rented a small cabin in Brimnes, a village on the coast and off the radar. Luke and I hadn't slept much on the plane so after a full day of driving we were ready to call it a night / day - although it wasn't quite bedtime yet. He managed a reasonable nap and I'm pretty sure I growled every time the alarm went off and kept on sleeping. One of the kids came in to tell me they were all getting ready to get out of the hot tub that was on our front porch and head to bed. That was enough to move me... I didn't want to miss that moment. I vaguely remember a brief soak, cool night air, and another 12 hours of good sleep for everyone!