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3 posts from June 2007

June 17, 2007

Catching Up

Another hiatus due to general business and a small amount of illness (on my part, nothing big).  School has been out for Caitlin for just over a week now and Kelsey's last day of leikskola (complete with cake) is tomorrow.

I finally gave in and ordered a hugely expensive (but ready to go) Icelandic cake as I just didn't want to try to cram one more thing into an already crowded day.  We did make Peter a cake for his birthday on Wednesday, so we aren't complete slackers.  The kids even came up with the decorating scheme, using their favorite nammi. 

So, Kelsey's last day is tomorrow and I have been ready to cry about it for weeks.  She has grown so much while she was there and I have been told many times how much they are going to miss her.  I am consoled by the fact that two other children have left recently and her favorite teacher will not stay past September.  She is also starting kindergarten in the fall and while I know she will miss her playschool, kindergarten will be fun and exciting in and of itself. 

Last but not least, Happy Father's Day to all fathers out there.  While we are celebrating Father's Day in our house, most Icelanders are celebrating National Day.  There was a parade that marched right past our house and the kids were very excited til they realized it consisted of one (small) marching band and a bunch of people following behind. 

Caitlin commented, "The parades in America are much bigger!".  Well, yes, they are.  Not to say that the participants didn't enjoy this one, as well as the onlookers, but there is something to be said for the rousing excitement found in the typical Fourth of July parade.  And, hopefully, we will see one soon!

June 09, 2007

19 Days Later (fewer than we thought!)

and the house is under contract!  It went for a tiny bit under the asking price, but we are extremely pleased.  Considering there are almost 400 houses for sale in Annandale right now, we are quite really quite happy.  In fact, many of these homes have been on the market for a while and a good portion are town homes.

We think the fact that only one other home was for sale in our neighborhood  at the time really helped move things along.   We had a lot of traffic, although, oddly enough, had just taken the house off the market to do a few updates and painting.  Without warning, we had an offer Thursday night, made a counter-offer and they came so close to the counter-offer it would have been ridiculous to refuse.

We are even more excited as we will actually be able to participate in the closing as Peter will have just arrived in the country.  Did I mention that we also sold before our tenants moved out?  To anyone who thinks it is not possible to sell with tenants in place, it is a risk worth taking.  Otherwise, we might have had to wait til August to market (the tenants are moving out early) and the process could have taken much longer.  We are saving on mortgage payments (without rental income to offset), updates we don't have to do (except the painting) and the general frustration that comes with a slower moving housing market.

And, no, we are not jumping right back into the housing market.  While prices are low, we know they may fall more.  Considering we have no idea where we will be, oh, next year at this time (once Home Leave is complete), we feel our best option is to simply enjoy the savings of the temporarily mortgage-free life!   

June 01, 2007

The countdown begins soon or the

Top 10 Reasons to Visit Reykjavik before 7 June 2008

10.  Day flights *(new) from New York and Boston!
9.   Listen to Kelsey have fluent yet convoluted conversations in Icelandic with native Icelanders.
8.   Have a pylsur med ollu** at the Bill Clinton hot dog stand, only blocks from our house.
7.  Battle real Vikings for a seat in the heitur pottur at one of Reykjavik's famous pools in rain, sleet, hail or snow.
6.  Sidewalk parking in the Odyssey, almost as much fun as Zayre driving.
5.  The trampoline is always open at Sudurgata 14.
4.  Nammi** is 50% off at Hagkaup on Nammidagur. 
3.  Visit the lava fields only kilometers away and feel as though you are the only person on earth.
2.  Enjoy a bike tour of Reykjavik led by crazy (in a fun way) scooter riding Caitlin

and the #1 reason to visit Reykjavik soon....

1.  You have only 372 days (possibly fewer) to enjoy tax-free, oh, wait, totally free accommodations in Reykjavik!

*Arrive at night and do away with the jet lag and exhaustion from the alternative (NOT recommended) 6:30 a.m. arrival.   

**Translations available upon arrival