Day 1: Overnight Flights And Getting Set Up To Cruise The Island

We suckered my mother-in-law in to taking us to the airport. We had to catch our midnight-thirty flight to Chicago where we would then catch our flight to Iceland. We had survived the always-stressful, last-minute packing frenzy and were just relaxing on our way to the tarmac.  We rolled up to the Oakland airport, and didn’t see United on the terminal sign.  And then it hit me.  WE WERE FLYING OUT OF SAN FRANCISCO!  So our relaxing ride quickly turned into a ’round-the-bay dash!  We made it, luckily, because my mother-in-law can drive like nobody’s business!

We spent most of the day in Chicago where we stopped by my sisters place where we were able to take a quick nap. Theo also got to hang out with his cousin for a bit. We snagged another piece of baggage – Good to Go Foods provided us with our food support for the whole trip, so we packed 42 pounds of freeze dried food along for the ride!  It is a beautiful thing… all that food in one place.

We made it back to the airport and met Jace, Giddi, and Juniper at our gate. The flight was long.  Not in the normal, hours-and-minutes type of long, but more so in the way of I-am-that-guy-with-the-screaming-kid-on-the-plane type of long.  This was Theo’s second overnight flight in a row.  Yeah, we didn’t really think that one through.  It was pretty rough. But, long story short, we made it, and I am sure that everyone on that plane hates us.

We shlepped our baggage across town to the CampEasy HQ.  We were ready to get set up on our They were SO incredibly helpful!  We were able to get into their 4×4 van rental for the whole time!  They have literally everything you would need – table, bed, kitchen, storage – it’s perfect for a mobile base camp for our time here.

We were SUPER tired from the longs flights, so after getting situated in the vans and grabbing some bread and cheese, we opted for a little nap right there in the grocery store parking lot. It felt good to just crash for a couple hours… especially after battling a baby for the entire flight over. Oh the parent life.

We toured the city a little, went to the famous Hallgrímskirkja. Apparently the architect who designed the church took inspiration from the columnar basalt and the waterfalls on the island.  Pretty cool, huh?  Geology inspired design.

We drove out of town towards a hot springs we had heard about.  Our main goal of the trip is to soak as frequent as possible, capture the northern lights, and not freeze while doing it all.

We were surprised as we pulled into the pull out to see that nature was already putting on a light show for us!  We backed the vans up together and enjoyed the spectacle.  I really believe that the Northern Lights are one of natures most beautiful displays.

We were feeling all the feels from the lights, so instead of waiting until morning to go and soak in the pools, we decided to brave the cold and go for it.  Theo was WIDE awake (yay jet lag) so we brought him along for the journey.  In our minds, we though, “oh, this will be so romantic!  Get the whole family out in the springs as we watch the northern lights together!  It will be fun!”  It went a little differently than planned.

At first glance, you would look at this photo and think, “How beautiful!  How peaceful!”  But no – as soon as we got Theo out in his suit, he was not having it.  He was screaming bloody murder!  I was worried that the Iceland Child Protective Services were going to track us down cause EVERYONE could here this little dude screaming.  Long story short, we bailed on the idea, and took Theo back to his snuggly jammies.  Once in the warm van, he was just fine. We need to work on this kids temperature sensitivities.

It just goes to show, that kids don’t always know the plan, and don’t always cooperate.  But, that’s alright.  I will take a few missed adventures for the little guy.


  1. Kristen Zarella

    A friend recommended I follow you as I am currently planning a family trip to Iceland with a 13 month old and was actually considering the camping van route as well. We will be there 7 nights and plan to drive the whole island circumference. Would love to hear more about your trip if you get around to blogging it more! Thanks, Kristen

    • Cees

      Hello Kristen! We are finishing up the rest of the posts right now actually… sorry its taking so long! haha Based on the trip, driving the whole loop would be a lot of driving in 7 days… but it would be EPIC driving! haha

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