Did You See A Ninja Turtle Run By Here?

Normally at the end of a travel day, words and thoughts are bursting from my mind, fighting to be put in a sentence, a paragraph, a story. This time was different, I can’t  quite figure out why. I’ve been telling myself it’s because I was having too much fun. Visiting in Iceland, Finland and Estonia with some of my favorite people in the whole world…maybe I was having too much fun to switch my brain to blog-mode. There was no down time at the end of each day; it was go go go then crash. Do it all again the next day. This trip was loud and exciting and hilarious and sentimental and beautiful and… everything.

The first day in Iceland was a mishmash of flights, meetings, food, naps and onesies. Myself, Sydney, Trinh and Jayson arrived at the Keflavik Airport in the early morning (although everything seems like the early morning when sunrise is at 11:15 AM). We took a bus to the Kex Hostel, checked in, claimed our bunks and headed out in search of food (all the while texting Rich and Tina, who were becoming increasingly more upset that we were “doing Icelandic things without them”).

Much needed airport coffee while we wait for Jayson to arrive.

The Laundromat Cafe! Perfect! I had read about this place a few times throughout my research of Reykjavik, so with tummies grumbling, it seemed like as good an idea as any. Iceland is expensive. The coffee is good. The coffee is also expensive. I knew this going in but it was a shock nonetheless. Bacon and eggs and lattes consumed, we wandered slowly back to the hostel (photo ops along the way), where we promptly laid down for a nap.

I don’t know how long we slept or what hour we woke, but it was onesie time. We all packed a onesie to wear on our first night in Reykjavik while bar hopping. I cannot think of a better conversation starter that also keeps your warm… although I’m sure if you asked Rich, he would happily give you a list of things better than wearing a onesie. He still did it though…grudgingly.

Lucky for us, Kex Hostel is also a popular bar with live music and karaoke! We were voluntold for karaoke and we sang Britney Spears in our onesies and that’s all we need to say about that.

First drinks consumed, we headed out to the next spot. I think it was called Boston Bar, but I’m not sure. Doesn’t matter much anyway. We drank a beer, made some friends, moved on. Next bar! I do not know the name of it. What I do know is that after a quick appearance, we headed out and that’s when Jayson ran away. Just bolted!

If we had been in any other city than Reykjavik, I would have been more worried. But this place is small and next-level-safe, so Rich, Sydney, Tina and I went on our merry way. Well, I guess we half-ass tried to find Jayson; I asked one person “Did you see a Ninja Turtle run by here?”. At some point or another, the remaining four split up – me and Tina ended up running into our new friends from the first bar, who invited us to another bar that played house music. They paid our cover and even bought us (another) beer, which was extremely generous of them. Eventually Tina and I were on the move again, this time in search of hot dogs. Icelandic hot dogs are a thing! And for good reason! They are cheap and 1000x more delicious than North American hot dogs (or maybe it seemed that way because we were mildly intoxicated).

Either way, after a ridiculous phone call, Rich and Sydney found us and we all had hot dogs together. Jayson was still M.I.A at this point. We didn’t see him again until we arrived back at the hostel. Reunited!

To summarize, our first night in Reykjavik was a hilarious gong show and I wouldn’t change a thing. If you plan bar hopping in Reykjavik, don’t plan too much. Surrender and go with the flow, because it should be a completely spontaneous and organic experience.

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