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6 posts from July 2005

July 29, 2005

Bless, Bless

Today (well, yesterday) was the last day of our Icelandic classes. We took a 'test' and although it wasn't graded, I felt I did pretty well overall. And I will continue to do fine so long as I don't speak with anyone over the age of 7 - I have found out that young children are extremely to easy to understand. They are still learning and thus tend to pronunciate words correctly and don't slur their words or talk to fast like adults do.

The only problem with learning Icelandic is that it is begining to affect my English! I find myself talking differently, although that is mostly a reaction to trying to speak more clearly for Icelanders. Oh, and then the other issue is that the last language I learned was Spanish. Therefore, everytime my teacher asked a question, I felt myself nodding and beginning to say, "Si". Not surprisingly, Pete has noticed that he does the same thing.

So, now we have about 3 weeks of summer vacation before school starts. Yes, it starts early here, on August 22! I love the Labor Day rule and generally think it is an abomination to start school prior to Labor Day, especially when the summer heat is still overwhelming. However, my kids have been out of school since June 7th AND it is not exactly swelteringly hot here, so I guess I will be ready for them to start!

July 22, 2005

The Lellow House!

Yes, we have finally moved into the yellow house! Today was the big day. Caitlin, Kelsey and I went to school while Pete went back to the house to pack up and clean up. Unfortunately, due to road repaving crews, it took Pete forever to get back and he hardly got anything done.

So, he picked us up, we ate lunch at Grilhusid (LOVE their fish and chips!) . We then went to the yellow house and started unpacking our UAB (unaccompanied air baggage) and Pete went back to the "red house" to pack up. He came back with several loads and I actually was able to unpack two UAB boxes. No mean feat if I do say so myself.

We went to Pizza King for dinner and then headed back to the red house. We picked up the laptop and the girls and I headed to Ommukaffi to check email and have a cap/cup o'cocoa. We walked home around 8 pm (it was SO nice to do that!) and eventually the girls went to sleep while I tried to finish washing our sheets so we could actually sleep in a bed that night.

I went to bed terribly late and fell asleep thinking Pete would be home any minute now. I woked up at 8 a.m. the next morning only to find he had never come home. Well, he had, but just to drop stuff off, turn around and head back to the house.

July 21, 2005

This past week

I have been terrible about updating the blog, as I have been working on the web-site and trying to prepare for our next move! At any rate, last week was very, very good for us!

On Wednesday, I went out with the spouse of another FSO and we investigated a local mall. Not for shopping, really, as you won't find the neat Icelandic handicrafts in a mall, but to check out the produce at the Hagkaup and well, just get out of the house!

So, Caitlin stayed with Pete at the Embassy and helped him. It was a "Take Your Daughter To Work" day of sorts, since she had never really been able to participate before. "Here, honey, hold my radio while I cuff this criminal". Yeah, wouldn't go over to well with some, I am sure.
They had a great time while Kelsey and I discovered Kringlan.

I had not actually been to this mall before and while we were ordering lunch in the food court, my guide pointed out a play area. It looked just like the sort of play area one would find in Chuck E. Cheese, but very new. We went inside to investigate and lo and behold, you can pay these people to watch your kids!

You drop off your children, they get a "leash" and nametag and you get a cell phone (if you don't have one), so they can reach you in case of emergency. Well, I signed Kelsey up and that was that! She gave me a kiss good-bye and ran off to play. We then perused the produce section of Hagkaup (definitely the best and even better than the Smarlind Hagkaup), checked out some of the local stores (price gawking is always in) and walked around to see what else was there.

Not too much, so after getting Kelsey, the happiest child on the planet, we went off to Mosfellsbaer to Alafoss, a shop known for their handicrafts and wool for knitting. We found a nice gift for Nonni's birthday, petted some horses and decided to hit the bakery or bakari.

I had a great cappucino and Kelsey politely and neatly inhaled a chocolate frosted doughnut. On our way back to the Embassy, we stopped at Madur Lifandi (not really spelled correctly, but I don't have an Icelandic keyboard!). Great organic products, if not a little bit pricey a la Whole Foods, but at least it is there if you need it. Kelsey took this opportunity to nap and impress our friend even more by falling asleep without a whimper (and waking up without one!).

July 12, 2005

And The Winner is:

The Talbott Family! Yes, they correctly guessed the quote from yesterday as Rick Moranis in the movie Parenthood. A classic for anyone who has ever had or been a parent!

Okay, so those of you who didn't answer (or answered "Shakespeare") may still have an opportunity: simply send us some sunshine and summer-like warm weather and you, too, can stay with us. No, just kidding about the staying for free (we charge everyone -HA!), but seriously, we are freezing up here. And lest you call us wimpy, the ICELANDERS are complaining about how cold it is! Hey, they need their 69 degree sweltering days, too!

Caitlin and I are still enjoying our classes and she even made up homework to do last night! Now, really, why would my kids be bored enough to do that? Perhaps because we still have no toys and are living out of suitcases for yet another two weeks?? Nah...At any rate, we are doing well and I was actually able to apply my newfound language skills at lunch today.

Last but not least, our house is on the market and ready for renters! If you know of anyone who wants an inexpensive (relatively speaking, of course) rental townhome inside the beltway, let us know!

July 11, 2005

Eg heiti Jennifer

Yes, we started school today. Caitlin went to her class, I went to mine and Kelsey went to daycare. She was not too pleased at first, but decided it would be okay as long as I was "just down the hall".

Caitlin enjoyed her class and even made a friend named Tora. There are few and far between English speaking children here, so this is a welcome discovery. Caitlin and I can now say our names and a few other key phrases and I even have homework tonight.

Of course, we were both trumped by Kelsey. On the ride home (turns out the summer fun camp portion was full :-(, Peter, Caitlin and I were saying variations of "my name is" or "I/you/she is called". Caitlin had just finished saying "Hunn heiti Maggie" (she is called Maggie) for Maggie the dog and Kelsey bursts out with "Han heiti Bailey" with perfect pronuncitation.
"They are like sponges!" (name that qoute and get a free stay at Casa Dinoia in Reykjavik!).

In other news, some of you may have heard that my sister, Amanda, was a little under the weather. Turns out she had the same gall bladder problem that I had for so many years. Luckily, she was able to get hers removed right after the discovery of the stones as opposed to years later (some day I will learn!). She had the cholystectomy last week and is doing much better!

July 04, 2005

The Blue Lagoon

Yesterday we finally had the chance to visit the Blue Lagoon. It can be found between Reykjavik and Keflavik or at www.bluelagoon.com (for the English version). It is pretty much everything that it appears to be.

After walking through the front door and bypassing the groups of tourists (okay, other tourists), we paid for two adults (both girls were free!), two towels and two lockers. We then received rubber bracelets that we could swipe against a scanner and would allow us through the gate to the locker rooms.

We went to the upstairs locker room and had to take our shoes off prior to entry. The floor was relatively clean and dry and the locker room was very clean. There were plenty of empty lockers and they are all on the same scanner system as the front 'gate'. After choosing a locker, you close the door and 'scan' your bracelet. The system automatically remembers you. The fact that the bracelets are waterproof is an equally important feature.

After unloading our stuff, we had to take showers sans swimsuits. I wasn't sure who I felt worse for yesterday, the poor staff member trying to tell one group that they had to get completely undressed to shower, or the group, who kept thinking they understood her, yet continued to shower in swimsuits and bathing caps.

So, we then put our suits on and headed downstairs. Since Pete only had to get himself ready, he was already waiting when we arrived. The day was a little gloomy and drizzly, so we opted to enter the lagoon inside and then swim out.

It was heaven! We swam, floated, covered our faces in silica mud, stood under the massaging waterfall and (well, the adults) enjoyed the steam house. We spent about an hour in the lagoon itself, investigating the various coves and getting just close enough to the truly hot core of the lagoon.

I was not able to get a massage, but it is definitely on my list for next time. They have a "cove" cordoned off for treatments and basically, you float while you are massaged!

We thought about getting a bite to eat there, but the snack bar was overcrowded and the main restaurant was overpriced. Thus, we ended up at Wendy's at the base, which happily satisfied Kelsey's desire for a snack and ice cream and everyone (except Pete, thankfully) napped on the car ride home, happy and tired from a very pleasant afternoon.