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Travel for Less

On the Way to Iceland

Typically, my trip begins a day earlier than my mother’s. I have to drive from my place to hers. This is a 500 mile trip that typically takes me most of a day driving. Since I’m doing it alone, I generally get pretty bored.

This year I got smart. I finally succeeded in setting up the app for my public library. I was able to download a combination of five ebooks and audio books.

I listened to Fifty Shades of Grey on the way there. I enjoyed to book, but didn’t want to drag it on, so set it for 1.5 reading speed and fast forwarded through some of the more repetitious sex scenes.

The picture above was taken in Idaho, about half way from home to Mother’s place.

Unluckily, I was too keyed up thinking about how well I might or might not have packed for the trip. Normally I’d give myself a day between as down time to sift through my suitcases one last time. This time I was working right up to the last minute and had to wing it.

Our plane took off in the morning the next day. Between the two hour commute to the airport and TSA regulations, we ended up leaving the house in the wee hours of the morning. I got about five hours of sleep after the previous night of about the same.

The first leg of the trip took us to JFK Airport in New York. I’ve driven through upstate New York, but have never been all that close to New York City. There really is a raw energy to the place as so many people shove their way through life.

I was feeling a bit ragged. I guess Mother was too, because she sprang for the two of us to use the Delta Sky Club during our layover. They provide a modest all-you-can-eat buffet, a bottomless wine glass, showers, and a calm comfortable space to sit, all for only a few bucks more than the highway robbery meal prices of an airport in NYC. It was a real good thing we did. Our three hour layover turned into over five hours due to flight delays. The sun had long since set before we hit the tarmac.

I didn’t sleep on the plane. I got caught up with watching movies. It’s only a five hour flight from NYC to Reykjavik. That’s like a movie and a half. I had to wait until the flight home to see the ending of The Founder.

My first impression of Iceland was pretty normal. It looked a little greener from the runway than I’d expected, and not as hilly. That would change the next day.

When we arrived in Iceland, it was already mid-morning. There was no emigration. We simply walked into the terminal, got a little turned around, then found baggage claim on our own. Along the way we rubbed elbows with people waiting for their flights. No gates or metal detectors or officials to be seen.

Our tour company was waiting for us after baggage claim and whisked us off to a bus that took us to a hotel that wasn’t ready for us yet. From there is was the first walking tour and the day ran from there. No sleep for hours and hours.

When it was finally bed time in Iceland, I was shocked to learn that even if you aren’t actually all the way in the Arctic Circle, you can be close enough that you’ll never see a sunset. Also I learned that block out curtains don’t actually block out all the light. It seeps in around the edges.


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