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When planning out our trip, we opted to stay in Reykjavik the entire time. Originally we planned on driving around the entire island, but when we did a little more research into it, we decided it may not be the best idea to waltz into such unpredictable circumstances with a baby. So instead, we mapped out all of the big places we wanted to visit and discovered that everything on our list was within four hours of the capital city. This plan obviously required lots and lots of driving, but we weren't complaining. 

Reykjavik is actually insanely pretty. It's got this mellow, small-town vibe with pops of color around every corner. I'm not really a "city girl" myself, so for me to say that about a city is kind of a big deal. We only spent a day exploring Reykjavik (we didn't spend much time there doing much other than sleeping), but even on a Saturday it wasn't busy or overcrowded-- it stayed pretty mellow throughout the entire day. 

We strapped Billie into our handy-dandy baby carrier yet again and set out on foot looking for a place to buy some food. We didn't eat out much during our trip. Instead, we headed to the closest grocery store and loaded up our fridge with various drinks (guys, they had this one that tasted like a cactus cooler and I was obsessed), water bottles, cheese, bread, and sandwich meat. We also got a couple of frozen pizzas for good measure (you can't go wrong with frozen pizzas). We saved a LOT of money by opting to feed ourselves this way (at our airbnb) rather than eating out a lot. But we opted to "treat ourselves" on our last day in Iceland.

While we were strolling along the stone sidewalks, Billie dozed off into a quiet slumber. She actually stayed asleep for a decently long duration of time. I was impressed! And my heart was melting just from hearing the soft snores rising from the sleeping babe strapped to my chest. 

When Taylor was in Norway he had to opportunity to try whale steak. You actually can't eat whale in many places in the world because it's illegal. When we went back to Norway, we intended to eat whale... but I was pregnant and not feeling too great (food was not my friend at the time) and we weren't able to locate a restaurant that served it. 

We talked about it a lot, though. I'd always wanted to try it because Taylor would go on and on about how good it was. We looked up "whale steaks in reykjavik" on a whim and ended up finding the cutest little bar down the street from us who served whale! Taylor was SO excited (who am I kidding? I was too!)

Even though we were at a bar, the waiter managed to find a little baby seat stashed away somewhere in a closet in the back and he was kind enough to bring it out for us. We plopped Billie down beside us and patiently waited for our food.

Before long, our Icelandic waiter (who had quite an impressive mustache) reappeared from the back wielding a plate of whale steak and a hamburger. He placed the plates down on the table in front of us and Taylor's eyes lit up with excitement.

He didn't say many words after that (he was too busy eating his steak). I was actually very impressed with the whale steak, if I do say so myself. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect, but what I ate exceeded all of my expectations! It's one of those things I'd really recommend trying if you ever find yourself at a restaurant in a country that actually serves whale!

After we ate, we visited the huge church known as Hallgrimskirkja (try and pronounce it, I dare ya). We sat inside for a while and listened to the organ sing to the heavens above before we boarded the elevator that would take us to the top of the building. From the top you can look out and see the whole city spread out before you in every direction (the photo at the beginning of this post was taken from the top of the church). It was beautiful (and also very cold). 

We headed home that night, cuddled up close after putting Billie to bed, and watched our favorite movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, together. We've wanted to go to Iceland for a long time and for a variety of reasons, but one of the biggest reasons was because it was so beautifully portrayed in our very favorite movie. It was actually so surreal to sit IN Iceland and watch the movie we'd watched a million times before while dreaming of going to Iceland someday. Cross that off our bucket list, I guess.

Leaving Iceland was hard for us. Never before had we ever felt so at home in another country before (including the countries in which we had served our missions). There's something very, very special about Iceland. If you ever have the opportunity to go, GO. Don't even think about it, just buy your tickets and go. You won't ever regret it, I promise. 

We had our bags packed and ready to go the night before we headed to the airport. Because of that, the morning of our departure was slow and relaxed. We lounged around in the living room of our airbnb for a while, soaking up the last moments we had in Iceland and taking some time to breathe before the long travels ahead of us.

There are a million more things I could write and a million more photos I could share but sometimes it's best to keep things short and simple, I think. So, instead, I'll just end this by sharing a video we created as a family to document and preserve our first international trip together as a family of three. Iceland, we love you. I hope we get to comeback again someday soon.


xoxo

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