The US portion of the trip has finally come to an end. After dumping all my new pictures on to flickr (be sure to check them out at the link at the top of the page) backing up my iPhone, and figuring out my new phone plan while I'm abroad, I'll eat a hearty pork chop dinner tonight thanks to Clara and her chef/beau, Micah and then catch my 10pm flight to Reykjavik tonight.
While my trip through the US really has been worthwhile, I've seen all this before. I'm ready to go do some real exploring. Like I outlined in my first post, I've designed this trip to slowly increase in difficulty as I go. Now that I've ironed out some of the kinks here at home, I think I'm ready for the minor leagues of English speaking western Europe. Biggest mistake so far: leaving my journal behind in New York. Thankfully, Melissa was able to overnight it to me so that I now have it, safe and sound, in Boston. Thanks Melissa!
Certainly NOT a mistake! First strike candle-pin bowling.
Boston has been a reunion of old college friends, for the most part. I haven't really felt the pressure to go out and explore Boston because I lived here during college. I've taken the opportunity, then, to work on logistics; like figuring out where and whom I will stay with in Iceland! So far, I've got it pretty well planned out through this coming Sunday. The blog entries from Iceland are going to be fun if only for the fact that I'll be typing in a bunch of Icelandic town names. I'll have to figure out how to attach a map to this blog so that you all will know where the hell I am at any given point.
So, to look forward for a bit, my plan is to land in Reykjavik tomorrow morning, 6:30, spend 4 days in Reykjavik and then take off on the main highway that goes around Iceland. I have two weeks in Iceland due to a misunderstanding of when the first ferry of the season leaves for Denmark (April 12) so I'll be able to REALLY get to know Iceland. If I can stay in some of the smaller towns for 3-4 days like I plan, I could probably manage to meet everyone in that town if I put my mind to it. I'm interested to see what has become of Iceland since their economic collapse in 2008. Already I know that they no longer have cheap and easy access to Oreo cookies. This tragic piece of information came to me via a request from an Icelander to bring her Oreos from the US.
Most of Iceland outside of Reykjavik has always relied on fishing and so probably hasn't felt the economic collapse quite as strongly since they never really had a bubble to begin with. It'll be interesting to compare the capital region with the far flung periphery - if my fingers don't freeze off in the process. Admittedly, late March/early April is not the best time to go to Iceland, but it's what I've got.
I'm currently reading "The Long Ships", a modern novel that has borrowed heavily from the old viking sagas talking about their exploits and adventures. Already I've learned much about how the vikings butted up against the Moors in Spain. I'll try to do a book review once I finish it.
Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears' Texas Pride
Finally, I had an appropriate "Good-bye, America" celebration last night going to see one of my favorite bands from Austin, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, who just HAPPENED to be touring through Boston at the same time I was. If you haven't ever heard of them, check it out. I was nervous for them before the show - they are definitely an ass-shaking band and Bostonians are decidedly NOT an ass-shaking group of people, but they managed to put on an awesome show. I felt proud to be a Texan as I was leaving.