Blunt Bangs – Odessa

I am so happy to have a tiny part in the Blunt Bangs music video, which ALSO fulfilled my dream of having a private roller skating pizza party! The band’s new album Proper Smoker is great and available everywhere now!

Roller skating is my favorite activity at the moment… even though I’m not the best at it. Thanks to my friend Reggie for making this song/video and snapping this pic!

Iceland Diary: Volcanoes and Penises

Picked up a couple flakey pastries from Sandholt and headed toward the volcano.

The Fagradalsfjall volcano eruption started in late March, but it was having a calm week when we visited (new lava flow was spotted the night after we left!). I got a sudden rush of vertigo out of nowhere on the hike so we ended up spending most of our time at the base of the crater where you could see smoldering cracks throughout the lava field. Still truly incredible to see newly formed earth.

Pulled over to walk the boardwalk around the Krysuvik geothermal field. We never got over the sight of steam vents, mudpots and sulphur colorations. Just awesome.

Also pulled over to see more horses grazing by these barn ruins. They are so beautiful!!

Back to Reykjavik, stopped in the Icelandic Punk Museum- a former underground public toilet, now covered in photos, flyers, instruments and videos from Iceland’s punk scene 1970s up through the break-up of the Sugar Cubes in the 1990s. The owner let Jason play the drumset even though he warned, “it’s a piece of shit.” Hahaa, so fun!

Didn’t want to leave without trying a small dipcone! Another lesson that Iceland size large is JUMBO. Jason ordered a large Bragðarefur (it’s like a McFlurry) and it looked like they’d given him a bucket of blended ice cream and candy. Very delicious tho.

The Icelandic Phallological Museum- a collection of over 300 penises! OF COURSE we had to go.

Cafe Loki- Rye bread with mashed fish and smoked trout. Sheep-head jelly, mashed turnips and bean salad. Lamb leg and roasted vegetables. We cleaned our plates! They had a pretty wild mural on the wall.

Before bed, we hit the hot tub and sauna one more time. I can’t believe no one else was there.

Thanks for everything, Iceland! Hope we get to come back in a couple years.

Iceland Diary: Reykjadalur and More Reykjavik

Woke up on the horse farm and were greeted by some cuties.

We had a scenic hike through a smoky valley to Reykjadalur. The bubbling hot springs mix with the cold river to create a perfect, natural river to relax in. Lots of hot mud pools, steam, sheep and waterfalls to see on the way.

Settlement Exhibition- the exhibition is built on top of an old Viking longhouse, so you walk around the archeaological remains while reading about settler life. A gross fact that stayed with me was this- butter was traditionally kept in sheep stomachs. The butter kept for years under a thick coating of mold. LOL, Nordic settlers either had iron stomachs, or felt like shit all the time.

Fischer – This perfume shop is a true gem. There is a ladder near the entrance where you can climb up and watch video art. In the basement, there is a mini museum of aromas connected to Icelandic literature (not that I can read Icelandic…). I got Fischer no. 8: “Brand new sneakers crushing fresh flower stalks against hot asphalt. Mouth full of lemon candy and fingers sticky with motor oil. Stolen rhubarb from a neighbours garden, peeled, slathered in honey and chewed on. Orange cake crumble in the pocket of freshly washed clothes. Arctic wind blowing through hair in a damp pine forest.”

Dinner at Saegreifinn (or Sea Baron)- we tried cubes of fermented shark which reeked but didn’t taste as bad as we’d anticipated, and chased that with a shot (Jason n I thought the shot was harder to take than the shark was). We warmed up with lobster soup and blueling skewers. The sea baron mannequin!!!

Ended the day with the hot tub and sauna at our hotel. LOL, Jason in his hiking boots!

(Also, we got to see so many sheep this day!)

Iceland Diary: South Coast II

I didn’t take a picture but we went pretty nuts on the breakfast buffet at our hotel. Fruit, danishes, breads, pickled herring, smoked trout, cheeses and tomatoes, mmmm!

A good chunk of the road looks like an alien field of mossy rocks so we pulled over to a small walkway and learned this was part of the Eldhraun lava field. The eruption was a cataclysmic event lasting from 1783 to 1784; it caused widespread crop failure around Europe and may have contributed to the French Revolution. What the what?!

Stopped at a couple roadside waterfalls including Foss á Siðu, cascading over a farm hamlet. When we were planning our trip, I hoped to see waterfalls, sheep, and horses- I can’t even count how many of those we ended up seeing!

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon- an icy blue glacial pool created by Vatnajökull’s rapid glacial melt. We kept getting excited when the harbor seals popped up. We stopped at a small trail/pull off around the corner to get another view of the lagoon where Jason serenaded the seals with Seal’s “Kiss From a Rose.”

Diamond Beach!

Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon right down the road. It’s smaller than Jokulsarlon, but also less crowded which gives it a more meditative atmosphere. We saw a big chunk of an iceberg crack off here with a loud groan, like a tree falling.

Vatnajokull National Park- a relatively short uphill hike to Svartifoss (Black Falls, first two pics) with Hundafoss (Dogs’ Falls, third pic) on the way up. The types of waterfalls in Iceland are truly fantastic. This one isn’t one of the biggest, but it is the most elegant. I loved how it’s framed by geometric basalt formations.

Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon- I bet this canyon has been the inspiration for many high fantasy books- it is magical to look out from the ridges. The valley was formed at the end of the last ice age. More sheep at the trailhead!

Drove back to Selfoss and stayed at a different tiny cabin on a horse farm. Hahaaa- They really love horses in Iceland!

Iceland Diary: South Coast I

Started our day at the Keriō (the tub) Crater. It was formed about 6,500 years ago. We walked to the bottom where you can see small fish in the crater lake- the turquoise water looks so vivid against the red volcanic rock.

These horses liked the taste of Jason’s overalls.

Another majestic waterfall- Seljalandsfoss. The pathway goes behind the falls so you get a cool 360 view. While we were walking behind the curtain, we witnessed a proposal!

We kept following the path to Gljúfrabúi, a waterfall slightly hidden within a cracked cliff face. Our cabin hosts told us of another, more secret falls around there but we didn’t get to it this time.

Seljavallalaug is one of my highlights of the trip- the walk there is into a valley of waterfalls, little streams and lava ash. The swimming pool is built into the side of a hill. It’s old and slick with algae, but so awesome!

Caught a rainbow!

Pulled over to see the turf roof at Rutshellir. The plaque explained that man-made caves are specific to South Iceland. These were likely used for storage and a smithy.

Skógafoss waterfall is a big one- I got misted from quite a distance! Afterwards, I read that the Skógá river above these falls, has over 20 waterfalls. I’d love to explore that area more one day.

Sólheimajökull (home of the sun) glacier, an outlet of the Mýrdalsjökull ice cap. I couldn’t believe how accessible this was. We walked down, touched the glacier, and walked along the shallow ice caves.

Loftsalahellir cave was on the way to the beach and the short walk up was worth it for the view! It was very steep though; I crab walked out of the cave mouth and Jason laughed at me.

The first thing you see entering Black Sand Beach (Reynisfjara) are signs warning tourists about Sneaker Waves. No deadly waves on our visit but it was a fitting tone for the moody atmosphere- dramatic basalt columns border the shore. We had watched sunset over Dyrhólaey (the hill island with the door hole).

Iceland Diary: The Golden Circle

Breakfast from Brauð & Co.- the cinnamon rolls (kanilsnúðar) are a dream! We ate them walking around Hallgrimskirkja, its concrete exterior is inspired by Iceland’s basalt formations.

The rain was coming down hard when we got to Þingvellir National Park but it was incredible to walk the rift between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates.
I kinda rushed Öxarárfoss, a beautiful waterfall and an easy path to get there, the downpour was no joke!

At Lake Laugarvatn, we saw a pot of bread get dug up (from a mound named Sean), while another pot of bread dough was buried in there for tomorrow. It was so cool to taste a sweet rye bread, baked hot from the ground – delicious plain or with butter and smoked trout.

Afterwards, we hit the mineral pools and hot tub at Laugarvatn Fontana (the only photos that aren’t mine- took these off the spa’s site, didn’t want to forget how nice this was!). The steam baths were a really unique experience- natural hot steam simmers up through the grids of the floor. At first, it is overwhelming to be in a heavy cloud of heat and geothermal smells, but we got into it after a minute. We got so sweaty in there after just a few minutes, we took a dip in the cold lake. Jason got in there twice cuz he’s nuts.

Efstidalur II for vanilla and strawberry ice cream. We heard there were no dogs in Iceland and I was relieved to learn that is NOT true! The cafe is on a farm and you look out the window at cows.

The only thing we threw in the towel on was the Bruarfoss trail. Georgia has a lot of muddy hiking trails but this is on another level! There was no way to get through without fucking up our jeans and we wore our dirty-ass jeans the rest of the trip (lesson learned: pack at least two pairs of pants, LOL).

We watched the Strokkur geyser go off 11x- once while we were driving away. The field and hillside are covered in bubbling hot springs and mud pits, as well as Geysir itself which is mostly dormant. I loved spots where the ground is dyed white, mustard and turquoise.

I was wore out by the time we got to Gullfoss (Golden falls), however, I was struck by a little burst of energy in the face of those giant, roaring falls! They are MIGHTY.

My favorite lodging on the trip was this couple’s cozy cabin. The hosts were adorable and told us, “You will sleep like a baby after the hot tub.” And I did! We loved all the personal touches in their space.

Iceland Diary: Red Eye In!

After an early morning, shuffling through customs, our first stop was the Blue Lagoon. It may be expensive and touristy but since I’m a tourist, I thought this place was totally worth it! Nothing could’ve eased us into ‘vacation mode’ quite like sinking into warm, sapphire water with a cold drink in hand. I’d describe my first whiff of Iceland as a mix of firecrackers, egg farts, and fresh rain. It grows on you!

We got to Reykjavik and saw:
Kolaportið, a small but nice flea market, with stalls of meme t-shirts, lopapeysa (Icelandic wool sweaters), records, movies, old postcards…
The Harpa. I read that the Harpa was controversial in its creation. I can only comment on its unique beauty- colorful honeycomb glass walls looking out toward the harbor. It was a really lovely spot to look out at the harbor in the rain.
The sun came out as we walked to the Sun Voyager (Sólfar)!
Lunch was hot dogs w/ everything at Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur. Supposedly, each hot dog you eat takes 36 minutes off your life, but Icelandic hot dogs are DELICIOUS and I am OK shaving off a year or two.
It was empty when we arrived at the Kvika footbath to soak our sore feet but we were happy to be joined by a cool couple from Germany!
We all watched the sun go down over the ocean then Jason and I walked to the Grotta lighthouse in an eerie dusk.
Also!
•Iceland closes early- we were glad to get a late night dinner at Mandi. Hahaaa, the memory of the employee yelling, “Mandi lamb! Mandi lamb!” keeps cracking me up.
•Our hotel TV had a horror channel! So we went to bed watching Child’s Play 2. Perfect end to the day!

Mexico: Poolside Lizards

I wanted to post about the resort we stayed at because it was so MASSIVE and fancy and fun- it truly felt like a vacation. But almost all of my photos are at the pool! Hahaa. This place had the largest pool bar, surrounded by the ocean; there was a waterslide made to look like an ancient pyramid ruin; there was a lazy river around the resort. I loved seeing all the iguanas and kittens!

When the iguanas see unattended snax, they go for it. This dude’s face of guac! Haaaa!

We won poolside trivia 2 out of 3 times, in part because no one else showed up for trivia. By the third time they came up with actual questions for us. Was fun!

I went around the lazy river 4x and down the waterslide 3x. I could not get enough.

Kittens everywhere!

Lived my longtime dream of throwing a drink in someone’s face. Jason’s face. 3x cuz I had a hard time hitting him squarely in the face.

On our last night, there was a 5.6 earthquake! Sam and Mike felt it at the hotel and it broke the elevators for a min. Jason and I were on the beach and didn’t notice.