Our Honeymoon

 

Tennessee to Washington, D.C.
to Iceland

Landry and I got married on October 2nd, 2017 in my hometown at the park I'd been dreaming of since I was in 5th grade. {Hopefully one day I'll blog about our special day and share some of our favorite photographs!} Originally the plan was to take a mini honeymoon directly after the wedding and then wait until late spring to go on a grand US road trip. We dreamed of journeying to several national parks across the country.

Well, we took our mini honeymoon - stayed a few days on the beach - and it was wonderful and serene. We returned home to Tennessee and I guess somewhere along the line we started to daydream about a foreign adventure, as opposed to a domestic one. One day an acquaintance at Landry's office mentioned this super cheap airline she had used previously. Landry looked into it and it seemed legit enough - the airline is based in Iceland, meaning tickets there are even cheaper, so that destination was on our minds. We had seen pictures of Iceland and talked about going one day and blah blah blah. I signed up for the airline's email list, just for fun, and not long after that Cyber Monday rolled around {you know, that day when everything on the internet is on sale}. I got an email that tickets were 40% off and texted Landry immediately. We talked through dates that night. And then we just did it! We bought the dang tickets. Listen. Our airfare, round trip, total, including both of us, was a whopping $514.86. Thanks, WowAir. I can't make that stuff up. We were going to Iceland in April!

The only catch was that our flight departed and returned to Washington, D.C.. Not exactly a stone's throw from Nashville, Tennessee. We decided, "What the heck?! Let's drive all the way to D.C. A road trip was the plan, anyway." And we did it. We drove from Nashville to D.C. in one day, with one detour to Richmond, VA to grab dinner with one of my very best friends. Then we had a day and a half to explore our nation's capitol! It was Landry's first time in D.C. and only my second, so we had a blast. We ate great food - a couple of our favs were Daikaya (ramen), Duke's Grocery (English pub), and Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe (bookstore and dessert). Some highlights: We got to see the Obama presidential portrait, along with several original presidential portraits, the only piece of da Vinci artwork in America, a few Van Gogh pieces, and the Constitution. 

Next up on the agenda was a red eye flight to Keflavik! We landed in Iceland just before 6:00AM, picked up our rental car, and the adventure began. Unfortunately, neither of us slept well on the plane and our first day was not as exciting as we had hoped it would be. We decided to spend it in Reykjavik, the country's capitol, and then drive a couple hours to our first AirBnb, but we were too exhausted to really do much of anything. Had we played our cards right, we would have used part of the day to venture to the highly acclaimed Blue Lagoon. We didn't realize until it was too late how close it was to the airport. Bummer! For the next trip...

From there on, over the course of seven days, we drove north, then east, then south, and finally west to complete a full circle around the whole country. It was amazing, to put it in simplest terms. Iceland is often described as "other worldly." I absolutely agree with that description. I didn't know landscapes and ecosystems like those that exist in Iceland even existed anywhere on Earth at all. I think I'll leave it at that.

We thoroughly enjoyed our adventurous honeymoon. We made memories that we will hold dear for the rest of our lives - like seeing the Northern Lights for first time together. These are the stories we'll tell our children one day. And I am so, so thankful. I can't wait to see where we go next!

Note: I may end up writing a "Tips for Traveling to Iceland" blog as a continuation to this post. I'm not sure yet, though. Thoughts?

 
A map of our journey for reference. Each pin and date is a destination for every night of the trip.   Press play below.

A map of our journey for reference. Each pin and date is a destination for every night of the trip.

Press play below.

 

It's surprisingly easy to find natural hot pots (geothermal pools). We lucked out with this one - not another soul in sight!

Landry's 23rd birthday happened to fall on the second day (April 19th) of our time in Iceland. That also happened to be the night we saw the Northern Lights... Happy Birthday, my love.

The Westfjords were both remarkable and terrifying. We were scaling these gravel mountain roads in a Toyota Corolla. Are you kidding me? I don't know how we're alive.

We hiked up Hverfjall - a formerly explosive crater - the evening we arrived in Mývatn. The next morning it was snowing, so you know we hiked it again...

About an hour outside of Mývatn, as we entered the tundra, my eye happened to spot two reindeer in the brush. Almost no one was on the road, so we pulled an illegal u-turn and went back to see them. They only tolerated our stopped car for a brief moment before dashing away.  The sighting left me momentarily speechless. We saw so few mammals during our travels, so it felt special to have seen them, if only for a short time.

I will always find the kitties. Always.

My personal favorite AirBnb we stayed in - a guesthouse just outside of Höfn, tucked away on acres of meadowland. You could just barely see the horizon of the coast. Mountains stood tall in the distance. Somehow we lucked out and were the only guests the night of our stay, which was both peaceful and a bit eerie.