"" Writer's Wanderings: Off To Iceland--Long Day, Short Night

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Off To Iceland--Long Day, Short Night

We try to save money when we can as we travel and when we found the cost of a plane ticket from CLE that connected in Toronto would be more than $600 cheaper if we drove to Toronto and just took a direct flight from there it was an easy decision to make. A drive to Toronto takes about five hours so we were saving about $120 an hour minus the cost of gas and then the $165 for parking for our two weeks in a Toronto Park N Fly. But what made it a really long day was our eagerness to get our trip started.

Our flight was at 9 PM and rather than leave at noon or one we were sitting around twiddling thumbs wanting to get started. We finally gave in and left a little before 11AM. That got us into Canada way before necessary so after crossing the Peace Bridge in Buffalo, we exited a little ways up the Queen's Express Way to Niagara on the Lake. A December visit had been our last experience but I remembered it being quaint with a lot of shops and restaurants. It was still quaint but the snow and ice was replaced by sunshine, warm temps and tons of gorgeous flowers.

It was a busy place and every other shop it seemed was selling their brand of ice cream or gelato. Groups of people clustered together licking dripping cones. For a lactose intolerant gal who loves ice cream it was a real struggle not to give in. I just couldn't afford to sit on an airplane with a stomachache. Instead I opted for a berry sangria tea at Starbucks, better known by my grandchildren as the green mermaid.

After a walk and a check in with Facebook at a free WiFi, we started back toward Toronto and of course by then it was rush hour. What an oxymoron. Nobody rushes during rush hour. On top of the heavy traffic we passed one accident that had everyone rubber necking. There was no way we were going to get there too early. I could see my Wahlburger getting farther and farther from my hungry little grasp.

Canadian Maple Leaf
Finally the traffic eased and speed picked up and we made it to the airport only to find a horrendously long line for security. It kept moving but there were just so many people that it took a good fifteen to twenty minutes to make it through--even with my shoes on.

Once on the other side, we searched for the Wahlburger restaurant that had delivered such good hamburgers the week before on our way back from Japan. When we finally looked it up online we found that it was in terminal one and we were in terminal three. While I desperately wanted another good burger, there was no way we were going to go through security a second time and still make our flight. We settled for a burger on a weird bagel bun that wasn't nearly as good but at least fed our hunger.

Iceland Air is one of those airlines that charges for everything. WiFi on board--if you pay for it. Snacks--if you pay for them. Ear buds to watch movies--$$. I.m not sure if they charged for soft drinks because by the time they came around, I was enjoying some sleep compliments of the two Tylenol PM I took. Just when I was into a nice deep sleep despite my upright position, a baby let out a screaming wail that about sent me out of my seat. Tylenol PM couldn't even repair the damage. I was awake.

The flight was relatively short, five hours fifteen minutes, but I was lucky to spend a couple of hours drifting in and out. So, arrival at 6 AM Reykjavik time (2 AM at home) and we were about to hit the ground running: Car rental, sim card to install, GPS to get up and running. We muddled through. The bright spot was seeing Roger Moore, AKA James Bond, or rather his double at the car rental place filling out our rental agreement. He took the time to hit some of the highlights of the country as well and we were off. It was only 8 AM and we had a whole day ahead of us to use exploring before we could check into our guesthouse for the night. I kept hoping for a spot to nap.

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