First of all, Brugge is amazing. It is everything people say: charming, quaint, old. I had waffles and frites for dinner and didn’t feel guilty at all. We stayed in the old section of town with narrow, cobblestone streets winding this way and that. We also explored the city in one day and had almost three full days to spend so we decided to rent bikes and head north to the beach. Continue reading “Brugge on Bikes”
Getting settled in London was more involved than anticipated. Our flight landed at Heathrow in the evening but we’d made arrangements with our Airbnb host to pick up the keys from a bar near the flat. We stayed in Hackney, a neighborhood on the west side of town that our rowmate on the plane described as “edgy.” Being the master navigator that he is, Mark knew exactly what tube (British for subway) to take, where to transfer, and all that. Unfortunately, they were doing work on the line we needed so we had to deviate off course. No problem. We got to the station closest to where we needed to be and hoofed it from there. It’s 11pm on a Saturday and the neighborhood is bumpin’. There were people everywhere – drinking and peeing all over the place. The streets are littered with trash and the walls with graffiti. Maybe “edgy” is a British euphemism for rough around the edges mixed with public urination.
We eventually find the bar and introduce ourselves to the bartender. He removes an envelope from beneath the register, slides it across the table, and gives us a nod. It felt very James Bond. We proceeded to walk another 6 miles (a slight exaggeration) to the correct street but, of course, can’t find the flat. I’d failed to get the flat number from the host. I must interject here that despite being lost, hungry, and tired, also known as the trifecta for causing a couple fight, we managed to keep our cool with each other and soldier on. Go us! Continue reading “Arrival hiccups in London “
My favorite two days in Iceland were spent driving around the Golden Circle. The GC is a loop that takes you to Thingveller (national park), Gulfoss (ginormous waterfall), and Strokkur (active geyser).
Iceland is ridiculously expensive. Our rental car was $75 per day and turned out to be an older model of the car Mark drives at home, which we found hilarious. Same color and everything. It was beat to hell (broken tail light, rusted bumper, missing back windshield wiper) and the rental car agent told us they don’t care about dings and dents so long as the tires and windshield aren’t damaged. He also warned us to be careful when opening the doors because the wind can rip them off the hinges. Duly noted! Continue reading “Ice Ice Baby! (Part 2)”
First stop on our European tour is complete! We wrapped up four incredible days in Iceland. Well, if I’m being honest, the first two days were mediocre compared to the last two days. We hung out around Reykjavik for the first two and explored the Golden Circle and more rural parts of Iceland the last two. Continue reading “Ice Ice Baby! (Part 1)”
Being unemployed/on sabbatical/retired early is the best thing ever! Don’t get me wrong. It’s not all Netflix binging (ok, there is some of that going on), napping (though I do indulge a few times a week), and golf (literally no golf at all). We’re still productive. In fact, we’ve been pretty busy since we stopped working at the end of June. Continue reading “Life on Sabbatical “