RandR Travels

Joined May 2018Living in: Chapel Hill, United States
  • Jun20

    Tulips, Delft, and Exploding Cheese

    June 20, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    Grammy’s post

    We’re back home now and it’s my job to try to recreate our last full day and trip back to NC. So here goes. Once Johnny was up in the late morning, we decided to check out a different pancake place—this one near the Leidseplein. While the service was slow with one poor guy serving all the tables, the food was great. We got a cheese and mushroom savory pancake and two sweet ones. Delish!

    Our main activity of the day was a little bit of shopping. We first checked out a Delft shop on the Leidseplein and saw a ton of gorgeous vases, plates, etc. Then we hopped on a tram to the flower market and Muntplein. The flower market is not at all what you would expect because there are only a few actual flowers there. It’s primarily a place to buy bulbs and seeds for tulips and other flowers. One side of the street is lined with stalls for the market and the other side is little shops selling cheese, souvenirs, and food. The number of different types of tulip bulbs on sale was amazing. I was particularly taken with a bucket full of blue/black tulips unlike any I have ever seen.

    At the end of the flower market is the Muntplein with an old photogenic clock tower. There’s a Delft shop in there as well so we checked that one out, too. Rich spent quite a while trying to get a photo of the tower while the sun played hide and seek. He finally prevailed! Then we wandered back to the tram stop by way of a waffle shop where we simply had to try a freshly made stroopwafel. For those who haven’t had this little delight, it’s two thin waffles sandwiching a layer of caramel. Yum!

    We headed back to the houseboat by way of the first Delft shop and started a hot game of Phase 10, pausing now and then to watch another game of the World Cup. In the late afternoon, we hopped the tram again—this time to the Spui stop where we had a dinner reservation at Haesje Claes, a traditional Dutch restaurant. It’s a beautiful place with dark paneled walls and dim lighting. Johnny tried a duck leg inspired by Jack’s blogging about “blame Abba’s duck leg” on the trip we took with him to Amsterdam. We all had a far too heavy, but totally delicious, meal and toasted our last night in Amsterdam.

    The next morning, Rich and I woke up early and walked down to our little corner café for breakfast and, most important, coffee, while Johnny slept late. It was a gorgeous day—sunny, cool and breezy. Than it was time to run clean-up on the houseboat as we stripped sheets and gathered up towels, took out the trash, and washed our dishes before heading out to the airport. We decided we could easily make the return trip via tram and airport train, so we caught the tram from Leidseplein to Centraal and then boarded a train to Schiphol airport. We had no trouble getting our boarding passes for the Iceland Air flights, making our way through security, and finding a spot for lunch. Everything went smoothly on the 3-hour flight from Amsterdam to Iceland and then on the 5-hour flight from Iceland to Boston.

    The Iceland flight had been late leaving, so our hour and a half layover in Boston was a bit tight. I checked Flight Aware and they said our JetBlue flight to RDU was late. Whew! The fun started when we had to wait in a long line to get through passport control. Then we had a terrible time finding our way to the domestic terminal where we needed to get our JetBlue boarding passes. We finally got there and tried to print passes at the kiosk—no luck. They sent us to the help desk which was overrun with large groups of people with huge piles of suitcases and badly-behaved children. No one ever seemed to leave the two clerks who were on duty. Finally, in desperation Rich went to a different line across the room. We eventually made our way to the front (where the clerk chastised us for breaking the line, which we hadn’t done!) and were told our flight was closed but we might make it if we ran. She gave us expedited boarding stamps on our boarding passes and we took off running to security. Rich made it through, but Johnny got stopped to take off his shoes because he put his boarding pass (the one with the expedited stamp) into the bin and couldn’t retrieve it. I waited behind him while he got his shoes scanned. We told Rich to go on to the gate to tell them we were coming. Johnny and I got through the metal detector and then my bag was pulled out for additional scanning. I told Johnny to go on to the gate while I waited to have the bag searched. It turned out to be a little ball of cheese that caused the problem. They found it and swabbed it for explosives!! Really?? By this time, I was somewhat frantic. I got my bags together and started running (Yes, running!! Me!!) to the gate with tears streaming down my face. I was almost there when I spied Rich motioning me to slow down. It turned out the plane had not yet started loading, so I had time to wash my face and pull myself together. Rich and Johnny were very sweet and helped me calm down. The rest of the trip was uneventful. We were so grateful to see Kenny waiting for us at RDU at nearly midnight to take us home to bed!

    Rich’s comments

    Except for that little airport drama in which Rebecca lost her cool (something that almost never happens), the return trip was smooth. In fact, the whole trip was smooth: we got where we were supposed to get in both Iceland and Amsterdam with no trouble, despite the fact that we spent better than half the trip seriously jet-lagged; we enjoyed moderate temperatures in both places and felt smug whenever we checked on the weather in North Carolina; we saw some remarkable landscapes in Iceland and Rebecca and I enjoyed the never-before seen sight of a sparkling clean Amsterdam almost completely free of graffiti and homeless panhandlers (unlike the Giuliani model for New York, the Dutch approach is to take care of their homeless rather than just forcing them to move somewhere else); we ate wonderfully well, including Johnny, who was totally open to trying anything put in front of him and liked almost all of it, including some pretty exotic dishes in the rijstaffel we went to; and Rebecca and I had the pleasure of introducing Johnny to the great pleasure of visiting new cultures and having unfamiliar experiences and the equally great pleasure of returning to the familiarity of home, which there’s no place like.
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  • Jun19

    You can't travel without a guide to life

    June 19, 2018 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Johnny’s post

    This morning I was woken by Abba again at about 10:30 from a fantastic sleep due to the much-needed help from a melatonin pill. Immediately we headed out to our little café near us for a lovely candlelight breakfast. I enjoyed a small meal consisting of a latte, orange juice, yogurt with berries, and a croissant. Abba had a bacon and cheese omelet while Grammy had some sunnyside up eggs. We were all worn out by our strenuous walk back to our houseboat (about 50 ft), so we decided to rest for the next hour or two.

    After our much-needed rest, Grammy and I decided to venture out to downtown as Abba continued to rest his bad back and needed recovery from being beaten so severely in Oh Hell the previous day. On our walk to the Jordaan, we stopped by a street vendor and picked up some famed Amsterdam French fries with mayo and curry sauce! After our snack Grammy and I walked in the direction of the Anne Frank statue. Grammy using her Rick Steve’s Guide to Life was looking all around on the map for the statue while I, being a person who uses my eyes and looks around, kept pointing out to Grammy that “It’s right in front of us, it’s right in front of us.” She says to me “One second, I’m looking for the statue of Anne Frank.” Finally, she looks up realizing it is right in front of her face. Me being a gentleman let it go. After this encounter, we decided to visit some little shops, a Delft pottery shop which had some beautiful pottery and a cheese shop where we bought some excellent goat cheese. We decided that it would be a good time to go back to our houseboat as we thought Abba might be getting lonely without us. We arrived and found Abba sitting at the kitchen table while a plumber tried to fix the heating to the shower, to no avail. We still have no hot shower. After getting that disappointing news, we decided to go to take a break and eat some of our delicious cheese while watching the FIFA world cup.

    After our snack, we went for another walk to the Leidseplein to get a canal tour. Sadly, there were no more tours there for the rest of the day, so we had to take a tram all the way to Centraal station to get one. During it, we viewed many a sight while trying to figure based on the flags on the machine what languages we could listen in. Some beautiful sights we observed on our tour consisted of a modern white building (I know, so descriptive), the Maritime museum which looked similar to a boat, and some boats and a bunch of bridges we were scared would destroy the top of our ship every time we went under them. After our lovely boat ride and lots of photo taking we decided it was an excellent time to head back to dinner near the Leidseplein. After looking around, we decided to go to a Mexican restaurant recommended to us by Paulo’s sister Melena (who checked us in). I got four delicious beef tacos, while Abba and Grammy shared some tortilla soup and chicken mole enchiladas. Stuffed thoroughly, we started our walk home from dinner just in time to catch the final game of today’s world cup matches, while I write this blog.

    Grammy’s comments

    I believe Johnny has my number with the Rick Steve’s “Guide to Life”—LOL. I do tend to travel with his book or map in my hand, pointing out sights along the way. And, yes, occasionally I do have my head in the book instead of seeing what’s in front of my face! It was great fun to go exploring with Johnny in one of my favorite parts of Amsterdam. The Jordaan area is one that we also explored with Jack on his trip two years ago.

    The homemade fries stand was a lucky find. The Dutch fellow behind the counter, sporting round red glasses, chatted with all of the customers. The woman ahead of us told him there is now curry flavored ketchup in the US. He looked at her disdainfully and said, “Anything you have in the US, we had here first!” We got our fries piping hot and perfect (topped with curry ketchup!). The little cheese shop was neat, too. We tasted pesto gouda that was bright green and truffle cow cheese, and we eventually decided to bring back an aged goat cheese, Johnny’s choice.

    The canal tour was a great overview of Amsterdam and had narration pointing out many of the interesting places we were passing. It’s got the added advantage of being completely relaxing—great for three jetlagged souls who want to see it all!

    Abba’s comments

    Johnny really captured the highlights—I can’t think of anything to add, except that we got real mole at that Mexican restaurant (Los Pilones), and this spoiler alert. It’s now the next morning, and we have hot water in the bathroom sink! (The shower hasn’t been tested yet—Johnny hasn’t gotten up, and we want to make sure he has hot water when he’s ready.)
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  • Jun18

    Showers are overrated anyway

    June 18, 2018 in the Netherlands ⋅ 🌙 16 °C

    Abba's post:

    This could turn out to be the worst day of my life. Grammy and Johnny and I are playing Oh Hell, and I bid 2 on a deal of 6 and I’m playing it perfectly, and it’s down to two cards and I’ve got the two of spades and the six of diamonds in my hand, neither is trump, and it’s Johnny’s lead. A round of diamonds has already been played, and the only way I can lose is for him to lead a diamond lower than the six, which the odds are heavily against…and he leads the three of diamonds. He’s definitely out of the will, and furthermore…oh yeah, Amsterdam, I’m supposed to be blogging about Amsterdam here…oh well….

    So we have some of our usual middle-of-the-night jet-lagged wakefulness, but we finally fall asleep and go until close to 9, and we’re hungry, but Johnny’s still sleeping and we don’t want to disturb him because he’s had to get up early pretty much every morning since we first got to Iceland, so Rebecca goes to take a shower and finds that we have no hot water in the bathroom, either in the shower or in the sink, although weirdly enough the water in the kitchen is plenty hot…seems like this may not be the B&B of our dreams after all…the guy who is renting it to us is also out of the will…you just can’t count on anyone these days, and…oh, right, Amsterdam.

    So we resign ourselves to going showerless and stinky today. Rebecca calls Paulo, the guy who manages the houseboat in the owner’s absence, and he’s at work but says he’ll get here at 4 this afternoon and see if he can figure out what’s going on with the hot water…he’d better if he has any hope of being in the will. We notice that it’s 10:30 am now and decide that if Johnny hasn’t caught up on his sleep by 10:30 am, tough, and I wake him up. He deals well with it. We decide on pancakes for breakfast, do some web research and locate a pannenkoekenhuis on the nearby Leidseplein, head out in a drizzling rain which after we’ve gone a block or so turns into a driving rain, but are we discouraged? No, we are not—we don’t even know the meaning of the word. After another block we’ve learned it, but we forge on, following Google Maps to the alleged location of this alleged pancake house and not seeing anything even close…if Google thinks he’s going to inherit a penny from me he can think again…we ask the concierge at a local hotel who points us in one direction, nothing…then we ask someone behind the counter at a tourist agency, nothing…finally we stumble on it right in the middle of the Leidseplein and go in and get a table and share a bacon and cheese pancake, a lemon and sugar pancake, and a strawberries and vanilla ice cream and whipped cream pancake. Rebecca and I have a vague memory of once having been on a low-carb diet, but decide that we’re hallucinating. While we’re at the restaurant Rebecca has a grueling online battle with the Van Gogh Museum, trying to reserve tickets for us this afternoon, and finally wins it. We finish our pannenkoeken and waddle back to the houseboat. (I’m guessing that after this trip I’ll never again have occasion to write that last sentence.)

    We hang out in the boat for an hour or two, watching Belgium beat Panama 3-0 after playing evenly for most of the game, working at our computers on this blog or whatever, or dozing off for brief periods, and then it’s time to head out to the Van Gogh. We find the closest #3/#12 tram stop, take it to the stop closest to the museum, get off, head to the Van Gogh, and see a sight I’ve never seen in the many times I’ve been to Amsterdam: all those iconic buildings—the Stedelijk Museum, the Van Gogh, the Concertgebouw, all sparkling clean! Even the venerable old Rijksmuseum down the road, which I’d only ever seen black with the grime of centuries, is shining with what looks like freshly sandblasted red brick and sparkling white trim. I’d previously noticed that the buildings in Amsterdam look cleaner now than I’ve ever seen them and almost completely free of the graffiti that used to cover almost every building wall and door, but this was high drama.

    We go through the museum and enjoy it as always, make our way back to the tram and our boat away from home, hang out some more, get a message from Paulo that he’s tied up at work but will come by to take care of the problem by 5 for sure, and we could head out to dinner with untroubled minds. We head out with deeply suspicious minds, walk to Leidseplein, catch a #2 tram to Spui (pronounced Spow with the slightest tinge of a U at the end) and walk to the Restaurant Kantjil en de Tijger for an excellent rijsttafel, that wonderful multidish Indonesian meal. Some of the seasonings get pretty exotic and I’d hesitate to subject many teenagers to it, but it’s no problem for Johnny, who has broader and more sophisticated tastes in food than most much older people I know. We order a rijsttafel for two and have more than enough food for the three of us, then tram back to Leidseplein, walk back to the houseboat, and find that our suspicions were justified and we still have no hot water in the bathroom. Paulo shows up after a while and says that there’s a problem. We keep our astonishment at this news in check and ask what happens next, and he says not to worry, he’ll show up with a plumber tomorrow and get it all straightened out. His assurances provide no relief at all. He disappears into the night and we settle down for the evening, entertained by Tunisia and England battling it out on TV and visions of cold showers in the morning dancing in our heads.

    Johnny’s comments

    As I write some comments Abba is off taking a nice hot shower (just kidding). Alas today we have resorted to turning into little babies and taking our showers in the sink as not to smell as the geysers in Iceland (sulfur). Since I have now been officially taken out of the will, it seems that the only just thing to do from here is to let you know how much Abba is afraid of bugs and bees! He is so afraid of these thing that at our lovely breakfast at the Café Toussaint he jumps out of his chair in fright screaming like a little girl every time a bee flies by. Whoops never mind that's me who does that. Abba may believe that when I woke up at 10:30 I was dealing with it well. He is so very wrong! He can just wait come 2:00 am when I am still awake, he might have me coming in his room telling him “it’s already 2:00 time for breakfast!” Hopefully that will show him not to awake me from a deep slumber.

    Grammy’s comments:

    Okay, those two are tough acts to follow, so I won’t.
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  • Jun18

    Wooden shoes, anyone?

    June 18, 2018 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Grammy's post

    Like all the days so far, today started waaaaay too early! Rich and I woke up at about 3:00, a few minutes before our 3:15 am alarm. Rich had arranged a 4:00 am taxi to take us to the BSI station to catch a 4:30 bus to the international airport. It’s about a 45-minute ride, so we needed to allow plenty of time for our 7:40 flight. Ugh!! It was not pleasant to get up so early with all of us still suffering from jetlag. But I consoled myself with the promise that this was the last day we’d have to do such a ridiculous start time (or even an early one) because there is nothing scheduled for the mornings from here on out. Johnny gets to sleep until the sun gets warm –something he is greatly looking forward to. I have to admit both Rich and Johnny were fairly cheerful even though there was no place to get coffee until we got all the way through security, an inhuman situation if ever there was one!

    The Reykjavik airport was sort of zoo-like—crowded and disorganized—but we made it through all of the hurdles and enjoyed breakfast and a quiet corner of the waiting room to regroup before boarding. The plane was about 45 minutes late departing, but the flight was smooth. One nice little surprise was that since today is Iceland Day (in honor of their independence), the flight attendants served everyone a little square of traditional chocolate cake with a tiny little Icelandic flag!

    We arrived at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport late and found the train to Amsterdam Centraal, the central station. Once there, we got tram passes for the week and caught a taxi to our Airbnb houseboat #511, across from 25 Jacob van Lennepkade. We love it! There are two nice bedrooms and a big living room-dining room combination, one bathroom, and a kitchen. The best part is the big windows providing us with great views of the boats and ducks on the canal.

    Once we got settled, we strolled half a block to a little neighborhood place called Café Toussaint. We sat outside and enjoyed watching a friendly gathering of Dutch families visiting, playing ping pong, and drinking while their children played together in the little playground area next to the café. We had a wonderful lunch! Rich ordered a chorizo and cheese toastie on brown bread (actually an excellent grilled sausage and cheese sandwich); Johnny had an open-face sandwich of thinly-sliced beef topped with capers and a delicious mystery sauce; and I had a quiche with a fabulous salad with grilled vegetables. We agreed to head back there for breakfast tomorrow morning.

    We came back and napped briefly while watching the World Cup game between Germany and Mexico. Germany is the defending champion, but Mexico beat them 1-0 to much celebration. By the time that game was over, it was time for dinner. Since we had had a late lunch, we ate light at a Vietnamese place called Miss Saigon just down the canal from us. We shared appetizers and all split one main dish.

    Then it was back to the houseboat to watch Brazil vs. Switzerland. It’s kind of nice to have the World Cup games today. Watching is a great activity to do together while relaxing and catching up on our blog!

    Abba’s comments

    It felt good to get back to Amsterdam, always one of my favorite cities. Staying in a houseboat on an Amsterdam canal has been on my bucket list for decades, and even though I have nothing to compare it with this one seems like a really good one. The little neighborhood café where we had lunch was a wonderful surprise, and just hanging out in the houseboat resting and watching a couple of World Cup games without feeling a need to Do Something was just what the doctor ordered. (Sadly, Brazil, whom I always root for, didn’t win—the game ended in a 1-1 tie, which was a dirty shame because the Swiss player who scored on a header clearly pushed off the Brazilian defender to give himself a clear shot…but I’m not bitter.) Tomorrow we Do Something—canal boat tour, Van Gogh Museum, rijstaffel, who knows what else…or we may just nap.

    Johnny’s comments

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
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  • Jun16

    Rocking the Golden Circle

    June 16, 2018 in the Netherlands ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    By Johnny

    In the morning we woke up at a bright and early 8:30 to go get breakfast and catch our tour bus. For breakfast we went to a lovely little bakery/restaurant called Sandholt. After breakfast we went to our bus stop and waited in the pouring rain for our little tour bus. After about 20 minutes we boarded and made our way to our first destination, Pingvellir, the canyon where the tectonic plates of North America and Eurasia split which also happened to be where the Parliament of Iceland was formed. Although it was an awesome view I believe the best thing we saw on the first stop was Abba almost walk into the women’s restroom instead of the men’s. A little fun fact about over here is that they call restrooms “water closets”. After a walk through the picturesque national park, we hopped back on the bus to our second destination, the Geysir Geothermal Field, with Strokkur, a geyser which was beautiful even though it smelled like rotten eggs. After watching it erupt a couple times, we made our way to lunch. We had a way overpriced yet tasty lunch, consisting of wings, lamb soup, and a burger. Fun fact: Gnats are the most annoying bugs ever. After a nice meal we got on the bus and we all took much needed naps. When we arrived for the first time in a while we were able to see the sun! There we spent about 20 minutes taking pictures of Gullfoss, a great waterfall, and we even got a glimpse of a rainbow or two. After boarding our bus, we headed to our final destination called the Secret Lagoon, although it seemed to be not so secret at this point. Grammy and I went into the lagoon for a lovely dip and beautiful scenery. Abba didn’t go into the lagoon with us but took the opportunity to take pictures of us. After our lovely dip we got a snack and drink and got ready for our 1.5-hour bus ride back into Reykjavik. After getting off our tour bus and thanking the guide we decided to get dinner at a lovely restaurant called 73. There Abba got a burger, Grammy got an Arctic Char and I enjoyed a lovely Greek salad. Although the dinner itself was wonderful I believe that the best part of the meal was dessert as we enjoyed a chocolate lava cake and delicious vanilla ice cream with homemade whipped cream.

    Grammy’s comments

    Getting out of Reykjavik and into the countryside is a must in Iceland. I was struck by the varying landscape—gorgeous soft mountains, lava fields covered with moss, waterfalls, fields with deep rifts formed by the movement of the tectonic plates (North American on the left, Eurasian on the right as we walked through the canyon), traditional farms and pastures, and every so often geysers and hot springs. Since there aren’t many trees, there is not much to block your view. I felt the vastness of the place and the wild nature of much of the country. Our guide, Iceland native Inga, spoke of the “interior” with reverence for its dangers, unpredictability, and beauty. I feel so honored to have seen at least a little bit of Iceland for myself and happy Johnny urged us to make this journey.

    Abba’s comments

    Johnny and Grammy pretty much said it all. The things that struck me were how little I felt like getting up at 7 a.m. to get ready to go, have breakfast, and catch the tour bus; the weird black volcanic rocks covered with bright green moss that we had seen a lot of from the bus from Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik and saw again from the tour bus; the high peaks in the distance with snow packs and glaciers; falling asleep on the tour bus every couple of minutes, waking up to be tourists, and then falling asleep again; having a nice long conversation about education over coffee with Inga while Johnny and Rebecca were lounging in the Secret Lagoon; and continuing to marvel at the prices of everything in the most expensive country in Europe and possibly the world, but still being really happy to be here.
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  • Jun15

    Sleepwalking through Reykjavík

    June 15, 2018 in Iceland ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    Grammy's Comments:

    We started our trip on Thursday with a 3:45 pm flight to Boston. Once there, we found a Legal Sea Foods and enjoyed a leisurely dinner. It was a good thing, too, because it turned out our 8:45 5-hour flight to Reykjavik on Icelandic Air didn’t serve any food…not even peanuts! Since we weren’t bothered with staying awake for a meal, we tried to make the most of our sleep opportunity. We each got an hour or two and then staggered off the plane at what they claimed was 5:45 am on Friday. We had pre-purchased a bus transfer to the BSI station—about a 45-minute ride. We enjoyed checking out the windswept landscape and noticing all the interesting differences from the US in houses and other buildings, cars, and vegetation.

    Once at the bus station, we got a coffee to try to get our brain cells working and then managed to figure out how to store our luggage in lockers for the day. Then we walked up a major hill to one of the icons of Reykjavik, Hallgrimskirkja Lutheran Church. It was finished in the 1980’s and looks a bit like a concrete space shuttle to me. It’s visible from many spots in the city and has a huge crowd-funded organ. There’s an elevator that takes you up 6 stories in the tower to a great outlook on the city. The weather cooperated, so we had some wonderful views of the colorful roofs and a nice view of the city. We also admired the large statue of Leif Erikson in front of the church—very photogenic!

    We took a short walk following our noses to the fabulous smell of fresh-baked bread in Braud & Co. where Johnny and I had caramel-filled croissant pastries to die for and Abba enjoyed a fresh-baked regular croissant. We ate our treats on a bench outside the shop and began to feel like we might live! We got all the way to the main shopping street and site of our Air B&B, Laugavegur, walked almost the entire length, and then tuned off into a windy path to the National Museum of Iceland. We were all so tired by then that much of the museum was lost on us, but we enjoyed what we could of the history of Iceland and rested in the museum café. At that point, the idea of making almost the entire circle again to reclaim our bags and get to our B&B was too much to contemplate, so we made our way to the bus station, got our bags, and took a taxi to the shopping street. It was still too early for check-in, so we had lunch at a cute little place called Mezze (pizza for Abba and me, avocado hummus toast and salad for Johnny). We visited the Icelandic Phallological Museum recommended by Johnny’s friend Josh and Rick Steves. Words can’t adequately describe what we saw there and we certainly don’t plan to post any photos of it, so look it up for yourself!

    Finally it was time to check in to the apartment which unfortunately was a third floor walk-up. Once there, we all collapsed for a much needed 1-hour nap, got up and showered to become humans again, and walked to dinner at Messinn, a good fish place. We had a great first dinner to celebrate our adventures. Johnny and I shared a delicious giant prawn appetizer with a lime aioli and arctic char made pan-style served in a sizzling pan with potatoes, almonds, honey, butter, and salad on top—amazing! Abba got a cream of lobster soup with cognac and a pan-style redfish made with a chili lime cream sauce. We waddled back to the apartment and are trying to stay awake until a decent bedtime so we might sleep all night. Tomorrow is our Golden Circle tour and we want to be awake for it! All in all a great start to the trip.

    P.S. We'll post photos as soon as we can figure out how to do it. In the meantime, we're posting a few on Instagram and Facebook.

    Abba’s Comments:

    I never heard of an airline not providing a crumb of food on a five-hour international flight. If we come to Iceland again, we’ll see if WOW airlines is a little more customer-friendly than Icelandic. Also, it’s worth noting that the prices of everything here are completely ridiculous. Calling Reykjavik Europe’s most expensive city, which Rick Steves does, is entirely justified. It’s fun to walk around though, and the view from the church tower is magnificent.

    What we wanted to do more than anything once we got to Reykjavik at around 8 am was go to the Air B&B we’re staying at and take a nap, but we couldn’t check in until 3 pm, so most of what Rebecca just described was done by the three of us in a pretty much zombified state. We still enjoyed it, but by the time we got to the museum a lot of vacant staring and putting heads down on café tables was going on. The 90-minute nap we allowed ourselves once we finally got into the apartment (one bedroom and a living room/guest room combination plus a kitchen) restored us to life, and we really enjoyed dinner.

    There actually are words to describe the Phallological Museum, but inserting them in a family blog makes pretty stiff demands on us, so we’ll just withdraw and let you follow Rebecca’s suggestion to look it up for yourself.
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