It’s been a busy month getting festive with friends and Christmas markets. I’ve not had time to pop in and show you the Christmas markets in Brussels, Mons, Aachen, Durbuy and Brugge. So here’s a quick blast of some of it.
Aaron got here on the 16th, and Kaylene and her family arrived a week later, so we’re inhaling time with two of the kids — and the grandbaby!
It’s Christmas morning and everyone is still all snuggled up in their beds, while I slowly wake in my big yellow chair. It’s good to have my children here. I wish Kyle and Kendra were here as well, but we’ll all do Christmas together in Arizona next year.
Tomorrow we do a family road trip to Normandy where we’ve rented a lovely farmhouse. I can’t wait to sip wine in front of its fireplace. So, all is well with my world. The next time I post it will be 2020 (unless I manage to fit in some time to write before then), so here’s a very Merry Christmas to all of you and a Happy New Year! May you all have some blessed quiet time and a little bit of chaos with your loved ones.
We’re in our little cottage, although it’s listed as a studio apartment, made of rock and driftwood, nestled up against a mountain listening to the wind batter our Christmas home. Way up the mountain is a waterfall that I’m sure is blowing horizontal at this point. We’re on a farm that has been run by the same family for 200 years. It’s ice cold water comes from the water behind us, as does the electricity.
The information flyer tells us to keep an eye out for elves because they exist here, and I’m sure they do because something is banging the dwelling we’re in, and right now we’re the only guests. Oh those wild tiny people are whooping it up, and who am I to break up their party. The flyer also states that this is one of the windiest places in Iceland and assures us our place is built to withstand it all, so Joe and I are quite safe and snug in our comfy bed.
We didn’t stay in bed all day though. We drove to one to the two famous waterfalls near us (Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss). One of them is lit up at night, and we drove there for Christmas Eve, but forgot to bring our flashlight, so we admired it from our car. Today’s waterfall was bigger, but the winds kept whipping our faces with snow, so we didn’t last long.
We’re in an area called “under the mountains,” which is near the Eyjafjallajokul (a glacier) and I believe near where the 2010 volcano eruption happened. I cannot imagine a more perfect place for us to celebrate our holy day —- God is certainly with us (plus the elves). I’m in love with where we’re staying, The Garage in Holt (by all means book here if you’re looking for a cozy escape near Vik and all kinds of things to explore). The family who owns the place has been nothing but welcoming and accommodating, even sprucing up our place with holiday touches including gifts and a crispy candle wafer, which went well with the soup I made last night.
There is so much more to tell you about our trip: The Blue Lagoon, a ribbon of the Northern Lights (we tried to catch them again last night but no luck), a harrowing drive to a remote resort, our drive to here, the people, the land. But, those stories will wait for another day because today is all about our Christmas and how very blessed we are. Of course I wish my children were here experiencing this with us, but being here just gives me more stories to one day share with their children —- oh what a lucky life we lead.
Day after Christmas
Oh my goodness the family invited us over for Christmas dinner, and we had a fabulous time. We feasted on smoked lamb, potatoes in white sauce, red cabbage and grapes, and a certain brand of peas for Christmas, plus more of that crispy thing, which I learned is traditional bread. A lot of wine, Viking beer, laughs and good stories were shared. We hope to one day do this again with them.
Joe was even treated to a hidden cave on another family’s land (I chose to remain warm). I’ll post pics of that in another post.
There’s so much to share, but we just finished a long drive. Tonight we sleep near another glacier and tomorrow we hike it and crawl into an ice cave. I promise I’ll eventually post more about all of the other cool stuff we’ve gotten to do, but for now I’m off to get some more Icelandic food in my belly.
Merry Late Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you —- may you all be safe, loved and warm wherever in the world you are.
The view from our front door.