Wednesday, April 10, 2013

London- January 2013

After Iceland Joel and I stopped over in London for a few days to relax and so he could have a few meetings for work.  London is one of our favorite cities, we even had our first date there!  So when we visit now, we don't really feel like tourists and we just get to enjoy the city.   We went to our favorite pub, The Three Tuns and visited our favorite museum, the Tate Modern and did a few other cultural things.  It was a nice time of year to visit, it was cold but there weren't many people around, so no big crowds everywhere we went. We took a few pics out and about, but not too many...

Joel at our favorite pub.

Obligatory tube shot.

With my pregnancy sickness still in full swing Joel nicely obliged and took me to Chipotle, not once, not twice but three times in the few days we were there.  It was one of the only things I could keep down for some reason and I was so excited that London has several locations now!

Oh yum!

We love strolling through the streets of London at night, down Oxford street and window shopping.  It was chilly but the city was still sparkling with Christmas lights!
They still had their Christmas decorations up!

Joel posing.

Our reflection.

Cold day on the Thames.

A highlight of our trip was getting to catch up with some friends that we had met at our hotel in Tokyo.  We stayed in touch since our trip so we met them for dinner and also got to see their beautiful town home in London.  Travel really does make your life richer!

After dinner.

Taking lemonchello shots.

Outside the town home.

Me with Sven and Chris.

Our big touristy thing that we did was visit the Tower of London.  Joel and I had both been before but not in years so we spent a few hours wandering around.  It was empty which was a very different experience than the millions of people that are usually there.  I really wanted to go to see the crown jewels, which I enjoyed and even pointed out a few things to Joel that would make good anniversary presents. Lol.

Heading to the Tower of London.

Wandering around.

Joel making a smashed penny for our collection.

Tower Bridge.

Still at the Tower of London.

Another fun thing we did while we were there was go to see the Phantom of the Opera.  It is such a great musical and Joel and I hadn't seen it in so long we decided to get discounted day of tickets and go.

Joel getting our tickets.

In front of the theater.

Ready to watch!
We had a great time in London, can''t wait until next time!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Our trip to Iceland- January 2013

On our way home from Christmas in Colorado we took a mini vacation to Iceland and London.  We really loved Iceland, it was so beautiful.  Not as cold as you would think in January, the average lows are in the mid 30's during the winter.  We were a little limited on some of the tours we wanted to do because I was pregnant (and still having some sickness) but the tours we did were really fun.

View of the city from our hotel.

The first night we were there we caught the tour to see the Northern Lights.  It was a little drizzly during our trip, so according to the weather that was going to be our best chance to see the lights.  They call it hunting when the guides take you out because you have to drive around to different locations to see if you will be able to view the lights.  I know that we probably didn't have the best view anyone has ever seen of the lights because of the weather but I was so glad that we got to see them!  When we pulled over and got off the bus the sky just looked dark and then the clouds slowly parted and we could start seeing stars come out.  It started to look like someone was taking a highlighter and scribbling in the sky.  Sometimes it was bright and sometimes it was a faint streak, always changing.  We didn't have a tripod so we had trouble catching a pic of the lights but we did get a few.  It was definitely something that was on my bucket list so I was so excited that we got to see it in person.  

One of our days there we took a day tour all around the countryside.  We took a bus to the major sights and got to see a lot of the landscape.  The bus ride to each was sight was a little long but the scenery was beautiful.  It was all open land, big mountains and wildlife everywhere you looked.  We also drove past several ranches and got to see the long haired horses that they have all over the place.  I would have loved to ride horses, there were many guided rides around but it is not recommended for pregnancy   Maybe next time!

View of the mountains, it looks like a black and white photo!

Our first stop was to see the geisers.  There were several small geisers and pools but the one big was was the coolest and erupted every few minutes.  The pools each were about 180 degrees, not great for a dip.  Lol.   The big geiser was fun to watch erupt.  The water would recede and then it looked like it was blowing a bubble with the water turing into a sphere over the hole before shooting up into the air.

One of the smaller pools.

Catching the geiser erupting.

Joel watching it erupt.  

After watching the geiser several times and touring around the rest of the area we went inside for a snack.  Joel decided to try the traditional lamb stew and he loved it.  Perfect to warm up after wandering around in the cold.

Joel and his stew.

Our next stop on the tour was the famous waterfall.  It was so cool.  Much bigger than I was expecting and I loved that it was iced over.  It was a little chilly on the viewing deck but totally worth it.

Joel at the waterfall.

View from the deck.

So many stairs to see the waterfall!

Our last stop on the tour was to see the continental drift sight.  It was awesome.  Unfortunately we didn't get any pics because it was getting dark when we got there.  We went to an overlook where you can see the two side separating with a big valley in between.  Pretty cool.

The rest of our time spent in Iceland was more just touring the town and hanging out.  We did a lot of walking and shopping around the main street.  It was a really cute city with walking street and nice restaurants.  We didn't sample too much of the local food, it wasn't too appealing to us (especially with my pregnancy sickness!) so we stuck with pizza and things along those lines.  One of the specialties they have there is fermented shark.  It is buried in the ground for 6 months and then eaten.  Not something I was willing to try.  One thing we did try was their famous hotdogs.  You have to try them with everything on it.  I can't remember everything that was on it but lots of sauce and fried onions.  I just had a bite of Joel's and liked it.  He loved it and probably would have had another!  Joel also sampled the local beers and something that they call Black Death.  I think it was like a licorice liqueur, Joel said it was awful and very strong.  Lol.  I will have to just take his word for it.

Main part of town.

Joel with the liquor.

We also toured the big church that overlooks the city.

In front of the church.

Inside the Church.

Main Street at night.

Joel with his hotdog

Funny hotdog wrapper!

Joel and I would definitely recommend a trip to Iceland if you have been thinking about it.  Especially if you are outdoorsy.  We had a blast and will probably plan another trip in the future!