Months are flying by and the holidays make them go even faster!
This was a busy month so I’ll get right down to it.
11/18 – After a couple of long overcast weeks, the sky cleared one afternoon so I took the opportunity to head downtown for some good old fashioned tourist stops. Finally got to the top of Hallgrimskirkja
and the aerial view of Reykjavik looked just as adorable as I had imagined!
11/22 – Had a successful Friendsgiving
with some fellow Americans and local Icelanders. I even managed to cook a turkey in our tiny European oven without burning the house down!
11/24 – Today the winter storm begins that will mark record amount of snowfall for Reykjavik since 1937. To me this was a typical amount of snow, and we took advantage of the winter wonderland by exploring a nearby park
. SO beautiful!
11/28 – Today on the first day of Advent, everyone heads downtown to watch the lighting of the Oslo Christmas tree. Norway has been donating a Christmas tree to Iceland for over 60 years. It was a really cold day, but of course fun to get in the holiday spirit.
12/1 – YAY December! I seriously love this month you guys. Lights, singing, baking, decorations, gift giving, my birthday, and fireworks on New Years. Can you even think of more fun wrapped into 31 days
12/4 – The snow continues to fall and this time in big fluffy flakes. I act like a super tourist and play in the snow for hours like a child.
12/5 – We met up with some new friends from Texas! We had a mutual friend that connected us and we had been helping them plan some of their trip, so it was really fun to meet up for a few hours. Its funny because we were basically neighbors in Houston but never knew each other! Iceland just bringing people together!
12/6 – We went to a place where you can cut your own Christmas tree outside of the city. It was probably the cutest place I had ever seen. There was a craft fair, hot chocolate, and a guy making metal tools by hand! Although the trees aren’t as big as the trees in the states, I kind of like our little Icelandic tree! (Don’t let the step stool trick you into thinking this tree is tall. It’s not, I’m just a midget.)
12/7 – I don’t know if any of you have experienced a hurricane, but Iceland had a hurricane warning for the whole country. This was the biggest storm to hit Iceland in 25 years. The map looked like the end of the world was coming and everyone was freaking out. The news advised people to not travel after 4pm as the storm was supposed to hit in the evening. Luckily Reykjavik is shielded by a huge mountain, so we were spared from most of it. There were parts of the country that did get hit pretty bad – roofs torn off and such. Crazy stuff!
12/8 – Ok, I have seen some pretty awesome Northern Lights displays since we moved here, but this was one of the most massive intense lights I had ever seen. The sky literally looked like it was on fire, and the colors were so intense! I’m not even kidding they were so beautiful I might have had tears come to my eyes.
12/11 – Today was International Mountain day, so I celebrated by heading out towards Þingvellir National Park to see everything covered in snow. This is a picture of Mt. Esja looking all beautiful and stuff. I love this mountain!
12/12 – We learned how to make Laufabrauð with one of our coworkers whole family. The grandmothers were working in the kitchen for hours preparing and cutting out the circles of dough. Then everyone pitches in by cutting patterns and then it gets fried in oil. This is an old tradition
in Iceland and is only served during Christmas time, usually with butter and smoked lamb.
12/15 – The Girl Gone International meeting event this month was at the outdoor skating rink. I am so thankful to know this group of amazing expat women! It definitely makes the dark days more fun!
Things that are getting better:
-Accepting that prices are what prices are…what am I going to do about it?! The answer is that I am making a list for the string of visitors that are coming starting in March 😉Things that are still hard:
-I got my first wave of expat sadness at Thanksgiving. It hit me out of nowhere, I had just come home from work when everyone started sending me pictures of the cooking preparations. It’s never easy to not do the traditions you are used to your whole life. I guess that stuff is bound to happen.-The darkness. Mornings aren’t as bad, but its the evenings that get me. I get suuuuper tired around 7pm. If I’m not actively doing something, I usually get tempted to just go to bed. Its a good thing all of the beautiful Christmas lights have been brightening everything up! AND, good news – the 21st is the winter solstice, so the days will start getting longer again! We are actually having a party this weekend to celebrate it!
Question: What have you been doing to prepare for the holidays?