2015.08.08

We were ready. When it came time to call a cab, we'd packed eight suitcases and documented every item that went into each. I gave the herbs a good last watering, and Chewie dropped off house keys for the cat lady. At the airport we met up with our first guest and dive buddy Matt, whose flight was according to the airlines, uncharacteristically delayed. Chewie thought it a bad omen for rest of the guests coming on the same flight a week later -- but what was the sense in worrying when we didn't have contingency plans anyhow?

And so our trip began. We were assigned exit row seats across from the door of the plane, just the two of us to the row. I was pleased by this trivial convenience, and pretty certain that Chewie thought nothing of it. Four-and-half sleepless hours later we landed in Reykjavik, almost four years after our first trip here. At 6:30am the sky already flushed a gentle white from the northern sun diffusing through clouds. We counted all eight bags, picked up our car (a silver Mazda CX-5), and swung back to pick up Matt, whose flight had finally landed.

By the time we got to downtown Reykjavik I was rueful for having scoffed at the idea of bringing a down jacket in August. While Chewie and Matt fooled around, morning high unabated by the persistent wind, I huddled underneath a stairwell to wait for the landlady to come and let us into our rooftop studio. The rest of the morning was a blur. I know that we met up with Jona, a lady from Etsy who knitted a Icelandic wool sweater to go with my wedding dress. I may have passed out both before and after the encounter. The comforter. So soft.

We woke ourselves up by the mid-afternoon and sleepwalked through part of the annual Pride Parade to Hallgrimskirkja before wandering off to Harpa, a large, honeycombed glass building by the bay. There we started taking the first of many tripod-assisted selfies and met Theresa. She was on a dancing exchange from Germany, and sashayed across the hall with unbridled glee:

Theresa from Germany. Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik.

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