August, really?

It is already August. I’m not sure how that happened. It seems like we’ve hardly had time this summer to do anything.

My work friend is back at work finally after being out for 14 months and it was really good to see him today. I don’t think he’ll actually do any work this week with all the heart-felt best wishes to him. He’s the entire company’s good luck charm and we’re all so glad to have him back.

The better-half and I canned tomatoes yesterday. We decided to just skin the tomatoes and can them. No seasoning, no cooking, just tomatoes in jars. It was still tiring work. I don’t know how women put up enough food to feed their families back in the day. We do it for the gratification of eating fresh vegetables in the middle of winter, but thinking about row upon row of canned produce in cellars of bygone days is mind blowing. We didn’t even grow these tomatoes.

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Watermelon, Man

Someone in my household insisted on buying a watermelon last weekend and then proceeded to eat none of it. Which left us with a ton of cut-up watermelon. I hit it with a potato masher today and strained it.

Oh man, watermelon juice. It is a thing of beauty.

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Bermuda

Last weekend we were in Bermuda. I am sad that going to Bermuda every weekend isn’t a thing.

This was the view from our room. We were at Elbow Beach resort and, even though we were up the hill, we could see and hear the ocean.

I conferred with this creature each morning of our stay:

The resort had a signalling system from the beach to the bar. Much happiness is contained in a Dark and Stormy while sitting in a lounge chair:

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Bliss

I worked on July 3rd and had a less than 5 minute conversation with one person. Otherwise I didn’t say more than Hi to anyone. It was bliss. I cranked out 8 hours of work with no interruption and am officially ahead for July. It is amazing what one day of work can get you.

I borrowed a stack of books from my niece and then got two in the mail. One of the books I borrowed from the niece had been on my hold list at the library for months. I was tired of waiting. It is weird reading physical books since I am firmly into the Kindle app and on a no buy book ban. The better-half received a gift certificate to Barnes and Noble so that is how I ended up with two books in the mail.

We’re trying to figure out if we can slip down to the Outer Banks for a long weekend in September. We haven’t been in years, well, just to Duck. We’re missing our favorite spot. We’ll see how that works out. I need to figure out how many more vacation days I have this year and then we can make a firm decision. I should have plenty, but our system is so weird that it is hard to get a firm handle on that.

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Catching Up

My friend from Germany was here with her kids. We haven’t seen each other since 1997, before she had kids. We spent a day and a half with them in Washington, DC. It was a good trip because we visited monuments that the better-half and I haven’t visited since we were in high school. Oh yeah, and seeing them too.

Always impresses:

Unless you happen to be three teenage boys:

Honestly, I think they were worn out and just wanted some downtime.

To give you an idea of how long it had been since I went to the Lincoln Memorial, I didn’t even know the WWII monument had been built. My German friend asked me if she had just forgotten all about it as we walked from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial. I told her if that was true then so had I.

(It was dedicated in 2004–so there’s a reason why we didn’t remember it. Also, I hadn’t been past the Mall in ages).

We met up at the White House on Saturday morning and there was the usual milling around of supporters and detractors. Then as we walked to the Washington Monument, we came across the speech part of the March for Truth:

I was a bit proud that all of this was going on since it is a great example of what democracy looks like.

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Be a long time since the rock and roll

We went to a concert the other night and while there was only good musicianship, the show didn’t do much for either of us. I guess that happens on occasion. By the way, we’ve been to 14 shows already this year. We have a spree of them in the coming weeks and then we slow down a bit.

Yesterday we ate breakfast out since I had off from work. Can you make out the name on the wall?
CurlesNeck

This morning, we made a batch of quick pickles. Behold the curry cauliflower pickles:

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Iceland, part three

This is late going up and it almost seems like we never went, but then I remember things.

We visited Blue Lagoon on the Friday of our trip and went all in…silica mud masks, algae masks, drinks in the water, and dinner at Lava. It was super relaxing and completely full of tourists and we didn’t care.

Icelanders have a wicked sense of humor and as much as they love murals, they also love graffiti:


This was off in the distance and we had to find out what was sitting on top of a cupcake shop:

I seriously admired the official signs. Whichever branch of government issues these signs should get a pat on the back. The signs were on point from a design standpoint…do you need to read Icelandic to know what will happen if you stand here? Nope, you don’t.

The weather was miserable. It rained or snowed for the entire week. We may have seen the sun for 2 hours in the week we were there. Don’t get me started on the wind. Would I go back? In a heartbeat.

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Flying Home

When we originally planned our trip, friends were meant to go with us. Our friends had a death in the family and we scrambled to cancel their plans the night before we left. It’s pretty remarkable how much you can cancel at the last minute.

We sorely missed them on our trip and kept them entertained with photos and videos–lots of we are on a road trip and it is pouring rain. It was spectacular to fly home yesterday in the sun.

Our original plan was to upgrade our seats to a business preferred status. What that actually meant on the way over was no one was assigned the middle seat and we got food and booze for free. On the way home, it basically meant first class without the fancy cutlery. I didn’t mind, at all, that we weren’t behind the first class curtain because we had the big seats:

We flew over much of Greenland this time.
Ice:

Mountains:

We got home late last night and Lucy was thrilled. She has been like glue. I woke up today around 4:30 and have been laying on the couch. She was with me all night and is now cached out with me:

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Iceland, part two

There is a companion piece here in Akureyri to the one in Reykjavik. This one is on the Eyjafjordur (it’s a fjord):

We took a drive to Myvatn today and decided walking outside in a bathing suit was ridiculous, so we did not go into the hot springs. Instead we went to hike Hverfjall. It turns out this road was a good road:

Don’t worry that is not blue sky-it’s the polarizing on the windshield.

We didn’t actually go to the top, although there were some brave souls who did. Today is the coldest I have been. We admired the lava field and the shape of the crater.

We parked near a horse field and I presume English speakers have disrespected the rancher before because this was one sign not translated from the original Icelandic:

We stopped for lunch and enjoyed the heck out of the traditional meat soup and then headed back to Akureyri:

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Iceland, part one

We walked around to the other side of the Reykjavik harbor and were greeted by this:

The Harpa concert hall was beautiful and immense. Coincidentally, someone from my hometown was headlining a show there that night.

A short walk led us to this fierce ship:

Last night, we had a couple of drinks in the hotel bar. When I went into the bathroom, this guy was recycling:

After driving to Akureyri, the better-half asked the front desk guy about going to see Godafoss. The weather is going to be bad tomorrow and so we hopped back in the car and saw this huge and beautiful waterfall. My photo does zero justice:

The idea of the weather being worse is a bit funny since we’ve basically had rain and harder rain…I guess snow will be different.

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