One Ring to Bind Them …
Boy, when you compose a post in your head about your vacation, life has a funny way of changing it before you even land.
First off, the trip to Iceland to visit Frank, see where he’s been working and living and visit this gorgeous country was absolutely wonderful. We got to spend a lot of nice quality time together, we never felt rushed or bored or overwhelmed. It was just a really nice break from everything we’ve been dealing with the past few months.
That being said, given that it was a vacation I took, there had to be some snafus. They don’t call me Calamity for nothing. So, let’s get it out of the way.
1. I somehow lost the toiletry bag out of my carry-on. You know, the bag you put all your “important, keep on the plane with you stuff, so that you don’t lose it” stuff. Like your daily medications, your contacts and … I guess some other stuff. But those were the major things. So, I got the joy of participating in the efficient and inexpensive Icelandic health care system and got some crazy Icelandic replacement pills. And luckily, because I’m super neurotic, I threw a spare pair of (expired but usable) contacts in my luggage. Go, go neuroses paying off!
2. Frank lost his newly entrusted keys to the archaeology office. They were later found, but that was a bummer for awhile.
3. I broke my sister’s suitcase.
4. We got a speeding ticket.
5. Dettifoss was closed because Ridley Scott was filming. Apparently, you can close a waterfall. Good to know.
But really – as far as drama goes? Pretty lite on the normal Erica-scale.
And Iceland has to be one of the most absolutely beautiful places on earth. I’ll share some pictures in a future post (they are being really slow to upload), but honestly? It won’t do it justice. I took the pictures more just to remind myself of what I saw then to try to convey the beauty.
I don’t know how else to describe the country other than “Contrasting.” You can be looking out at a gorgeous rolling pasture, dotted with sheep, against a jagged, bare mountain. Next to it is an aquamarine lake with snow capped, misty mountains in the distance. If you turn to your right, or go around the bend, you’ll see a barren, Mars-like lava desert. It’s just wild.
Speaking of going around the bend, one thing I learned? Icelanders live on the wild side. We drove around a good portion of that country, and they apparently hate safety. Or guardrails. They just let you go running around the sides of mountains, or on cliffs all willy-nilly.
But I can’t be too upset. The guardrails would ruin the view. It’s really something else. You can absolutely tell that Lord of the Rings was inspired by Iceland. I think something like 70% of Icelanders believe in fairies or trolls or something, and after being there? That totally makes sense. There’s something just magical about the place.
I’ll do some future run-downs of the highlights tomorrow/later in the week (because I’m still uploading pictures and videos and stuff) but I have to tell you about Dimmuborgir. The Dark Castle. Nerdy and gothy, all at once. The summer home of the Yule Lads.
And it will forever hold a special place in my heart, because this happened:
It’s true! After about 8 years and change, Frank and I are going to get married!
It was so pretty and perfect and wonderful. Remember Calamity #5? That wouldn’t be that big of a deal, except apparently that’s where Frank had planned on proposing. When I noticed earlier in the week the signs about it being closed, he was cool as a cucumber. I had no idea that Dimmuborgir was an improvised Plan B. But it was perfect. And so very “us.
It was later in the evening, and we had just stopped for hot dogs (that’s all they eat in Iceland – seriously) and I was wearing all sorts of cold and rain gear and it was totally unexpected (at that moment) and deserted and wonderful. He did it in the middle of this crazy “ring” that was rumored to once have be an elf church.
He even got down on one knee. It was perfect. And I couldn’t be happier. I just wish my dad was here to enjoy it with us.