Tag Archives: travel

The (mostly concrete) churches of Reykjavík

So when we were in Reykjavik we looked at a lot of churches, Whoa—plot twist! Didn’t see that one coming, did you? For a brief look back at Iceland’s church heritage, here’s a turf church from 1842 that we saw in the Árbær Open Air Museum. The wooden Mosfell Church in South Iceland was built […]

Cooking (and a magic refrigerator) in Reykjavik

Not to ruin my budget travel cred or anything, but I didn’t try super hard to have a cheap trip to Iceland. (And by Iceland, I mean Reykjavik, because we didn’t leave the city other than a couple of day trips.) The last minute nature of the travel, plus the Covid situation meant I tried […]

A scooter-riding diva at Reykjavik’s Harpa concert hall

During the 1990’s through the early 2000’s, splashy museums and concert halls were popping up everywhere. Not that I’m a hater of this trend—after all, I enjoy Frank Gehry’s Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago’s Millennium Park, built during the height of the building-as-spectacle orgy. Sometimes, though, these can seem kind of dated. And if something seems […]

The corrugated iron houses of Reykjavik (plus—wait for it now—cats)

These days I’m less excited about traveling for sights and more interested in experiencing uniquely specific culture. In Reykjavik, its corrugated iron houses are just this special sort of thing I love. These houses started out as wood and then they were covered with sheets of corrugated iron. I’m sure you’ve gone out on a […]

Picnic at the volcano of Iceland

If you’re an Icelandic person right now, here’s how you spend your Saturday; get the whole family dressed in hiking gear topped with wool Icelandic sweaters, and head up a mountain to look at the volcano. When we got here, everyone we met said “When are you going to see the volcano?” and at first […]

How to use the public pools in Iceland

My laptop apparently has kicked the bucket, after considerately surviving one whole night on our first trip since covid times. Can I blog from my phone? Hmmm….if you can believe it, this is the first time I’ve traveled abroad with my smartphone, never having signed up for an international calling plan before. While I don’t […]

How to be briefly quarantined in Reykjavik

Oh hey, we’re in Reykjavik! And once again we are wearing dorky matching backpacks!!! First of all, nobody freak out. We are VACCINATED. The generous citizens of Iceland are letting in vaccinated tourists, so we jumped. Normally I laboriously plan our trips, but I didn’t do any of that this time. I never thought much […]

Coronavirus work-around plan: send travel advice (I already have the face masks)

So what do you do when you’re about to visit South Korea and the CDC puts out a AVOID NON ESSENTIAL TRAVEL red alert?  Well obviously you put on your good citizen pants and cancel your trip. Back in 2009, HOB and I came down with the swine flu at the peak of the pandemic.  […]

A bento box of Japan tips

  One of our hotels in Japan served breakfast bento, which was perfect for me as I adore both breakfast and eating a variety of foods.  Since I have no business claiming to be an authority on Japan, I thought it would be fun to share a variety of bite-sized tips which might be useful […]

Ryōan-ji Zen garden: 15 rocks and a 15 year marriage

As a young woman I thought a typical marriage was this: the wife thanklessly plows through endless chores while her husband, planted in front of a television, yells at a sports game as piles of empty beer cans rise up around him.  I never wanted to be married. HOB and I met at a bookstore […]