Making the leap

Tomorrow, the plan is to make our announcement to my employer and start the process.  We returned yesterday from a week-long ski trip to Sun Mountain Lodge near Winthrop, WA.  Talking about our plans with the kids.  Initial trepidation, followed by some creative ideas of travel destinations.  Spending the day today writing resignation letter, notes to schools (looking for help and flexibility for the following year) and looking into medical insurance and storage options for our belongings.  Off to Beauty and the Beast playing at the Paramount Theatre tonight.

Things are coming together

I announced my departure to my company.  The reaction was initially shock, then jealousy, but overall positive.  We’re working through the logistical details of my separation.  We also accepted an offer for our house in a private market transaction which surfaced when we briefly listed the home late last year.  If this closes as planned, we’ll be homeless beginning April 30.  Both the home sale and separation from my company have brought the reality home.  I had some good news from a long-time client who wants to keep me engaged with their family.  Seems like this might work with agreement from my company (you know, non-compete issues and all that), overall could be a win-win.  The few clients who know at this point have been embarrassingly complementary of me.  Nice to have clients and friends.  Anyway, the stone is rolling – no moss gathering (at this point).

Jet lag and surreal landscapes

Arrived at 7am in Reykjavik on July 8 and met my in-laws Helen and Norm at baggage claim.  Found our rental car after initially wondering why Dollar Rent-a-car didn’t have a airport kiosk (missed the guys holding the sign with our name – such service).  None of us could sleep on the plane, and we had a 3-hour drive ahead of us to Hellnar. Wandered around Reykjavik with the help of Janell and Helen on map and a GPS (which wasn’t much help) until we found a place that was open for breakfast (the Laundromat).  Fun place.  Got back in the car and made it to Hellnar by 2.30pm local.  By the time I went to bed, I was pretty shot – no sleep in 38 hours a bit too much for me.  Up again at 3.30am, so it will obviously take a while to adjust to the time changes. I’m writing this in the van because the place we’re staying is so small, I’m sure my typing will wake everyone else up (I’m hoping that won’t be too long from now because I’m freezing!)  I wrote up some homework assignments for Aidan and Willem to work on for the next several days.  We’re staying in one of a series of newer cottages that overlooks the sea and a small church – very pretty.  I can’t wait to get out and take some pictures.

The country is filled with volcanic images – rocks covered in a bluish green moss that looks like an alien planet, waterfalls down cliffs and seaside caves.  Really wonderful.  Also really windy.  Norm and I wondered why there aren’t any wind turbines – but maybe this is because geothermal is cheaper.  Not that many tourists up here in Hellnar.  As we were driving to Hellnar, and while the others slept, Helen and I saw lots of sheep alongside the road that were outside the fences.  Never got too close to the road, but it wasn’t obvious why they’d have all the fences and then not worry about the livestock when it got out.  Clusters of houses with bright colored roofs (red and green the most popular, but a few blue one’s thown in) and tiny churches.  Agriculture pretty sparse.  Constant wind reminds me of the trip to the Netherlands we took as kids.

Oh, and there won’t be a problem having enough time for photographs.  It basically is light 24 hrs a day now (the 4 hours the sun is “down” it’s still very light out).  Sun just crawling across the horizon.

Fishing villages

Janell and Aidan were not feeling well on Tuesday morning so Helen, Norm, Willem and I drove along the northern part of the peninsula, through the small fishing villages of Hellissandur, Ólafsvík and Grundarfjörður. Pretty small and hardly any shops.  Interesting mountain of Kirkjufell (“Church Mountain”) in Grundarfjörður. Bjarnarhöfn (boy these accents are tough) is a Norwegian settlement from 900AD and is surrounded by huge lava fields through which a path called Beserkjagata runs, creatively named after two berserks who built the path, but who were then were killed for their efforts and are buried under a nearby mound (that’ll teach em).   Last stop of the day was Budir Nature Reserve.  We are discussing returning there on Wednesday.

Going Berserk

Going Berserk

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