Sunday, May 23, 2010

May 2nd: Zombie Attack

On my second day in Amsterdam, the weather was truly disgusting. Cold, drizzling, grey. But we had a tank of a tandem bike at our disposal and hot damn if we were going to let that go to waste. We bundled up, Matthias wore a slicker. We didn't stray too far from home. Grocery store, neighborhood, cozy cafe where we ate delicious Brodjes with salmon, cream cheese and dill (me) eggplant, mint and hummus (Matthias). We were so warm and cozy in fact, that when we exited the establishment to tandem home, it seemed exponentially colder and more miserable than before. Then we began riding, wind in our faces. "UGH! Eets like being born again!" Matthias exclaimed from the captain's seat and I wobbled with laughter all the way home, wondering if it could have really been this bad the first time.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

May 1st part II: For all the non-believers

I know many of you reacted with surprise and incredulity when you discovered those sexy acid wash jeans I had been sporting were meant for Matthias. "He will fit into THOSE?" You gasped. All I have to say to you is: BUH-lieve it.

Friday, May 21, 2010

May 1st part I: We're on Euro time now.

As we popped through the clouds on our descent toward Iceland, my stomach lurched. I had dreamt about Iceland several times in the months prior. I've never been before. AND IT LOOKED EXACTLY LIKE IT DID IN MY DREAMS. Moody, navy sea, reddish lava dirt, desolate. Landing at Keflavik was like rolling up the driveway to someone's well-designed summer home in the middle of nowhere. It was just a big house. With some tarmac for a couple planes. No big deal. I saw the volcano smoking out the window, but the picture from the return trip is far more impressive...

I wandered the wooden walkways and peered out the porthole windows at Iceland. I texted my brother. I boarded my ride to A-Dam, counting down the last three hours until go time.

On my final flight, I planned to use the restroom/freshen up and all of that before the seatbelt sign popped back on. I hadn't slept much on the 7.5 hour journey to Iceland (out of the ordinary, since I generally pass out on planes from takeoff to landing). I'm chalking it up to excitement and breathtaking view of Greenland through the clouds. Anyway, I read the entire euro Newsweek, stared out the window, drank my refreshment and then PASSED OUT COLD. I woke up to "DING! Please secure your tray tables and return your seats to the upright position for landing!" Come on. Wiping the drool from my chin and yanking the headphones out of my ears I scurried back to the toilet and managed to splash my face and swipe on some lipstick. Moments later we landed with a THUD that made our heads bobble and the sleepy Asian guy next to me giggle with fright/nervous surprise. The Netherlands. Holy crap, I am actually here.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

April 30th: Bags packed/Sea-Tac

After a longer drive and shorter sleep than I was expecting, I was finally off! After three months of staring at the itinerary tacked to my bedroom wall, I was finally in the airplane. Apparently Icelandair plays romantic saga-ish tunes gently through the cabin as passengers board and disembark. Maybe this is to calm fliers and distract us from the fact that a volacano is erupting at our destination and...Greenland is melting. I actually had this thought as we were flying over. "It looks meltier than the last time I saw it..." And then the June issue of National Geographic arrives yesterday and what's the topic? "Changing Greeland: Melt Zone." See for yourself:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

April 29th: Seattle-bound

24 hour delay? No big deal. I just drove up to Seattle the next evening instead to catch my Icelandair vessel to Reykjavik. The customer service agent I spoke to about postponing my connecting flight to the next day was super efficient too. Moments after I hung up the phone, the new itinerary chirped it's arrival in my inbox.

After some last minute errands, I was zipping up my suitcases when my roommate Katie popped in and inquired about my activity:
"You leaving today?"
"Yep. I'm driving to Seattle in about 20 minutes"
"Cool! I'll come with you."
"Uh...will you be ready to go in 20 minutes?"

It actually was really nice to have a driving buddy. We got Burgerville and ate in the car like real Americans (I managed to drip ketchup all over a shirt I'd bought for Matthias, I guess also in keeping with being a real American...), we sang along to the Glee Madonna episode CD Katie happened to have in her purse, we crawled through a night construction zone which had crippled I-5 to one lane. The Blazers lost and were eliminated from the playoffs as we stopped and started through several miles of highway. We finally arrived around 11:30 pm. Katie's friend picked her up moments afterward and I proceeded to drink Coors Light with my Aunt & Manpanion. We managed to wrap the night up by 4 am when I tucked into the hide-a-bed and hoped Eyjafjallajökull would not belch out yet another cloud of airplane hindering ash before things got underway the following afternoon...

photo by Curtis Gregory Perry
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