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Published: September 9th 2019
We started planning this trip about a year ago. Mom needed to scratch another item off her bucket list and I have always wanted to go to Norway. It was an easy decision because The Travelling Professor has a tour that includes Denmark, Norway and Iceland. We had joined him and his partner, Linda, for our adventure in France two years ago and decided that we would take the leap and go.
Originally, I wasn't sure I'd be able to join for the entire trip but when we found plane tickets for $800, I asked my boss if I could take two weeks, she said yes! My ticket on Delta for just Denmark and Norway would have been $1500 but by flying Icelandair I was able to save $700 AND include Iceland in my travels. The only catch is that Icelandair flys out of New York, so we ended up using Skymiles for that leg of the trip.
Our last hurdle was packing. We've been known, on occasion, to drag along way more than necessary and we both thought that if we packed intelligently, we would only use carry on luggage. THEN I read the Iceland air carry on policy. TWENTY-TWO pounds. (Mind you that if you check your bag, you are allowed 50 pounds.) Everything I need for 2 week of traveling abroad must be 22 pounds or less....plus a personal item.
Have you ever weighed your clothes? Your shoes? Your flat iron? Additionally, we needed some warm clothes as it gets chilly in the evenings. Let's face it, it could snow in Iceland. My alter ego, Ranger Rita, is all about being prepared for all situations. Time to dig out our more "techy" clothing! Pants, tops, socks, a rain coat, a few jacket options and Uniqlo winter coat that smooshes down into a little sack. Don't forget toiletries, phones, chargers, external batteries, camera, Ipad/Kindle (Mom) and Chromebook (me).
Well, guess what?! The good news is that it all fit and we were under our weight limit! The bad news? We have second guessed and third guessed ourselves since we left home. I have no idea if we brought the right clothes to wear. The only thing I'm sure of is that I brought old panties to throw away each day. **Don't think "old" panties. Think "not my favorite" panties and I wouldn't mind parting with them.** They also pack into a Ziplock bag. Gotta save space!
Before too long, the time for this trip snuck up on us!
Sara dropped us off at Detroit Metro and we hopped our flight to the Big Apple. We were hoping for a few hours in the city but since we were flying in and out of JFK (which is outside of the city) we weren't sure exactly how long we might have. We were gonna play it by ear. The plane from Detroit was tiny! It's been a long time since I've flown in a 75 seater but the flight was only an hour and before we knew it we were schlepping our bags to try to find the place to store them for the day. While the place was easy enough to find, getting there was slow going.
I thought life in the big city was supposed to move fast. Well, certainly not in our case. A slow shuttle bus to the main part of terminal 4, waiting our turn to drop our bags, the AirTrain to the metro lines and an hour subway ride down to the World Trade Center meant that a 10:30am arrival in NYC meant a 1pm arrival downtown.
The World Trade Center memorial was beautifully done. I just needed all the people to go away. I wanted quiet solitude. For the most part, it was respectful and lovely but I wanted to ruin the selfies.(tourist, "and here I am with the fountain memorializing the 3,000 people that died on 9/11.") I wanted to trip the people talking on their cell phones as they paced around the Memorial Glade.
We wandered down to Battery Park so I could see the Statue of Liberty and then walked up to the Brooklyn Bridge before heading back to the Oculus so we could catch our subway back out to the airport. It was nice to see some of the places I've long heard or read about but New York proved to me that I really am a small town girl at heart. Too many people and not enough space.
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