Wednesday, November 12, 2014

How To Get Over Jetlag

Made it to Iceland fairly easily. It was an overnight flight, so I landed in the city about 6:30 a.m. I didn't sleep much, and felt pretty slimy. Of course this is the time people seem to like to talk to me the most!

The airport itself is the most clean and mod one I have yet to be in. Immediately I had a feeling I wish I had booked more time here. To get from the airport to the city is about an hour bus ride. I met a young local farmer, who gave me tips and pointed out different things along the way. My local tour guide! We part ways once in town and I'm really hoping my hotel will allow early check in so I can shower. No such luck. :-/ Might as well hoof it and check out the city, no?

In the city center, almost no place is open until 11. I was able to find one cafe that was open and decided to have breakfast there. I was chatted up by a New Yorker who was leaving that day. My eyes were so bit bloodshot, and my greasy hair was plastered to my head, but this fella looked like a hipster, so I felt on trend. After some pleasant conversation I moved on and found the famous church whose name escapes me. I climbed up to the open tower to get my first view of the city. Absolutely beautiful. I spent enough time up here that I could no longer feel my face. I stopped at Reykjavik Roaster after. A quirky coffee shop where you can watch them roast coffee beans. Loved the decor, underwhelmed by the coffee.

By this time the Sun was up, so I walked down to the water and saw some of the most beautiful views of the countryside. My trip to actually get out there and see it is not until Friday, but it looks amazing. I pop into some shops on the main strip of Lauvager, and finally it is check in time!

My hotel is small and basic, but it serves it's purpose. I take a few hours to shower, unpack, and try and figure out what I want to see. My plan was simple...walk around the city some more to get my bearings, have 1 beer at some pub, then get to bed around 10. I'm dragging ass at this point, but just a few more hours and I'm in the clear.

My choice for dinner was Cafe Loki. I picked it because it has traditional Icelandic food, and my puppy is named Loki. The meal was amazing! I don't know what is in mashed fish, but I would love to have it again. Rye bread pudding is also to die for. After some more sight seeing I decide to stop at Lewbowski Bar, a bar dedicated to the movie. It is a few doors down from my hotel and 9 p.m. My plan is on track!

Definitely the most touristy bar I've been too! The bartender was nice and suggested I get the Winter Brew because it is strong. I'm only having one, and who doesn't trust a bartender? Within a few minutes a girl from Canada sits next to me and chats me up and a fella from England joins in. I try to tell myself to leave after an hour, but the Winter Brew convinces me to stay. We move on to Kaldi Bar, which is way more my scene. A classic pub with a piano in the middle which anybody can walk up and play. Several pints later it is 1 a.m. and closing time. Probably one of the few times I am thankful to be kicked out of a bar. Once again, I thank you, beer, for helping me stay awake!

Short summary of today...went to the Penis museum (it is as gross as it sounds), then found Baejarin's Beztu Pylsur after to eat the famous hot dog Bill Clinton was afraid to eat (kind of poetic after the Penis museum, I think). Just a hot dog with some sauce and crunchy bits. Hung at the Harpa, which is gorgeous and has amazing views, ate at Glo, Iceland's favorite healthy restaurant, sadly found my Northern Lights tour was canceled, so relaxed at a cafe since tomorrow morning I will visit a Geothermal Spa. If anyone wants to visit Iceland in the future, please hit me up! I am down to 2 full days, and there are so many more things I want to see/do!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Denver...The Cliff Notes version

-The weather can change from blue skies and sunshine to windy and snowy in just under an hour. What kind of sorcery is this?

- Breweries as far as the eye can see, named after random things such as a a circus elephant.

-Lincoln is one cute puppy.

-My frontier bruise is now a shade of black I didn't know was possible.

-Glazed and Confused > Voodoo Donuts. Samoa Donut ftw!

-Rooster and Moon has the best coffee so far on this journey.

-Alex (Tiffany's fiancé) is K.Love approved.

-Good luck on the final exam! See you in Iceland.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Hiking, Trains, and Automobiles

I've moved on to Denver, so a quick overview of the rest of the Portland trip. I apologize for how dry this entry, and probably how the next few entries will be. I seem to only find the time after a night of drinking. My body gets up in the wit sleeps in until at least noon.

Went on a hike, which ended up being a night hike through the rain and fog. I am not a hiker, so I was pretty impressed that I only cussed up one hill. We also went to see Gone Girl at one of those theatres that also serves beer. Lastly, I was able to meet up with an old coworker I haven't seen in 7-8 years. Mostly a relaxing trip. Not a bad way to kick off my travels.

Trying to catch my flight was a bit interesting. My host left before I did, so my task was simple. Catch a bus, then the lightrail, and then get on the plane. To get to the bus stop I had to walk with my luggage down a highway with no shoulder and 10 mph curves like a homeless. Once I arrived at the bus stop it was a few easy transfers to the airport. Now a world about the airline...

Frontier Airlines...they charge for carry on luggage(what??) AND they charge for soda. That's right, kids, you gotta pay to ride that ride. The kicker to this all was when I decided to get up to use the facilities. Usually a mundane task, but it was at this moment the plane dropped a bit. One of those dips that the entire plane says "whoa" out loud. I end up being launched sideways and my thigh slams into an arm rest. I recovered quickly,but am now sporting a nasty bruise that sits right where the barbell does for deadlifts, and also where I seem to slap myself when I'm excited.

Injuries aside,my first full day in Denver wasn't packed, but I will fill you in later. I have to enjoy the sunshine since they are few and far between!

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Welcome To Portland

First,let me apologize for any typos. I bought a tablet for my travels and it is tiny. This is my first attempt and really using it. That being said, my travel has officially begun!

Yesterday I arrived in Portland. Let me tell ya, Alaska Airlines is the way to go. I flew in a tiny plane that holds 76 passengers, but there were only 23 of us on board. I chose to sit way in the back because I thought I'd be near the bathrooms. Turns out they are way up front. However I was next to the flight attendants. One looked like my friend and landlord, and chatted my up the entire way. Not only was I delighted to have free beer on the flight. He served me first and kept topping me off as he passed by. Best flight ever!

Once in Portland my long time friend Rowan picked me up and showed me the Portland Japanese Garden. Really a beautiful place. Considering I hardly know how to type, pictures will have to come later.

In the evening we had a few cocktails I call The Rocky IV. It is more popularly known as a Whipped White Russian. If you still don't understand the movie reference there is no hope for you.

We carried some coffee cups with our drink and the city bus driver, of course, asks me where I got coffee so late at night. I panic and say I have no idea I'm not from there,to which he replies "oooh." Oh indeed. Only one day out and I feel like a high school kid already.

After a few bar hops we leads me to a place I have heard so much about...Voodoo donuts. I have been Psycho Donut fan for years, but I guess Voodoo is where the crazy donut craze began. I order 3 to try, and eat one on the way home. Even in my drunken state it was highly disappointing. Sober me will have to put in her two cents,but pretty sure this place is overhyped just like Sprinkles. At least it is off the bucket list.

Nothing too crazy, but it was a great first day AND I actually posted an entry. *Pats self on back.* Up next: hiking! Has lifting and running 5ks properly prepared me for this? Inquiring minds want to know.