The Highlands

posted on: Friday, August 30, 2013

 a lava flow between mountains
The Icelandic highlands can only be reached during the summer months. Though they cover almost the entire interior of the island, the roads leading up to them are impassible nearly all of the year. Even so, when you happen to find yourself in Iceland at just the right time of year on the prettiest day of the month, it can still be a treacherously bumpy drive up, accessible only by a sturdy four wheel drive vehicle (ahem, below). However, be forewarned, when you think you've been stuck with the worst tour guide of all time, the voyage into the highlands will seem twice as treacherous once you come to find out it's just because it's his first day on the job. 
Rest assured, he will get you there (barely) and it will be absolutely worth it. Anything seems justifiable when you pass through miles of volcanic deserts and blackened lava flows and finally find yourself face to face with those sublime rhyolite mountians. Colors you didn't know existed on a mountainside. And what's more, you get to swim in the natural hot springs dotted around their base. This is Landmannalaugar, "the people's pools."
A point of note here, never underestimate the value of a used swimsuit rental. Pay the five dollars, sort through the box of discarded bathing suits, select a snappy BCBG number, push all thoughts of where it came from and where it may have been out of your pretty little head and strap that baby on. You are, after all, out of other options. Your own bathing suit is stuck in a suitcase somewhere between Pittsburgh and Paris. So, suck it up, call it another "adventure" and get a move on. Those hot springs aren't going to swim in themselves.
(Another tip here, they don't keep very good track of those rentals. So when you're finished if you were to, let's just say, ball it up, shove it in your knapsack and take it back down the mountain with you, they probably won't notice. And you probably won't need to buy another swimsuit while you're in Iceland either.)

What Time Is It?!

posted on: Monday, August 26, 2013

One more birthday post and I promise I'm swearing off birthdays for the next few months! We threw Wes his fifth birthday party on Sunday and I have to say of all the parties for the kiddos we've thrown so far, I think this one was my favorite. The theme Wes picked was Adventure Time (his favorite show) and it turned out to be a totally perfect choice. Only fans of the show will get these decorations at all, but I went with a Candy Kingdom theme for the cake table and it was almost too easy. Peppermints, lemonheads, bubblegum, I mean you can't go wrong. And what kid wouldn't love a birthday party all about candy? Marisa made the AMAZING party time sign and the cute little pie toppers. Abby made the apple pies and the homemade cinnamon buns. the way, how awesome would it be to go to a birthday party where they served up piping hot cinnamon buns straight out of the oven? I'm just saying, there's a reason this party was my favorite. And this year was the first year Wes invited a little friend from school to his party. I got a seriously cool Ice King pinata from Etsy for the kids to obliterate, and I made little Jake the Dog bags for the kids to collect their candy in. It was so much fun watching them tear that poor pinata apart limb by limb (or should I say beard by nose). Also, Wes might have his very first girlfriend because he let Soleil help him open all of his gifts and she told him she made him a "love card." It was almost too much for this little mama heart to handle. Best party yet.

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