My very slow weight loss program

WW success storyI’ve lost 9.6 pounds in a mere six months, that’s a whopping 1.6 pounds per month. Dr. Oz will cry when his viewers hear reports of my miracle program, which, by the way, puts a little less weight (pun intended) than his plan on the role of green tea in helping those pounds slide off.

Much earlier this year, I decided to lose ten pounds. I just wanted to turn the fist-sized love handles around my middle into small bulges more the size of love knuckles.  Not a big challenge, I thought, just cut back on sugar. In the two months following this resolution, I added a few more pounds. “That’s it,” I told my husband.  “I’m rejoining Weight Watchers.” He decided to do the same.

I know the Weight Watchers’ approach works. It has every time I’ve tried it. WW employees spend their working lives examining fat, sugar, and nutrients in anything you can put in your mouth and chew. They then assign points to these food items and advise participants to eat anything they want within a thirty-point limit.

The cornerstone of the WW program is counting the points for everything you eat in a day, even if the total comes to more than 30. They convince you to eat many fruits and vegetables by assigning these zero points, and proteins, most of which are low-point items. One possibly unwanted boost to your protein points is the 6 oz. T-bone steak which provides more than one-third of your daily total. (Since 6 oz. seemed small, I checked the menu of a local steak house for weight of the smallest steak on their menu. It’s 8 oz. and the largest is 24 oz. No worries if you need bypass surgery following the larger meal. Whatever they feed you in the hospital will have very few points.)

After my first WW session, I read over the Pocket Guide and made a quick decision to stay away from certain choices, such as,”restaurant-type grilled cheese sandwich” (20 points), accompanied by 8 oz. of prune juice (10 points), on the grounds that I prefer to eat several meals of many foods every day, and not a single 30-point meal consisting of two items, one of which is prune juice.

The other times I participated in WW, I didn’t mind writing down my points, but this time after two or three days I quit counting.  It’s obvious that eating a pound of nuts will delay your next meal for a week. What more did I need to know? Instead of counting, I looked up some items, weighed some, and decided to wing it.

I didn’t stress out if I gained weight one week and lost some the next. I enjoyed every dinner out and every party, but controlled my portions.

I reached my goal yesterday.  Our leader said, “Now we have to talk about how many points a day you will have on ‘maintenance’. What’s your average now?”
“Uh. I don’t know. I didn’t count.”
“We’ll you’re going to have to count for a few days so you know how much more food you can add to maintain your weight.”

So yesterday I counted. Wow. Forty-five points. Today I was a pound higher. At this rate I won’t have to worry about maintenance.

PS In all seriousness, there are women in our weekly weigh-in who have dropped more than one hundred pounds using this system. The program works…if you count your points.

 

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French bread-making as an Olympic event

bread.JPGYesterday , when I turned on the TV to record something scheduled for later in the day, I encountered the PBS program, the “Great British Baking Show.” It’s a reality show like many American cooking competitions, but with a name more polite than “Cutthroat Kitchen” or “Throwdown.”( It’s true that in 2013, an American show modeled after the British baking program aired for a short time. It was replaced by “Big Brother.” Need I say more about American reality TV audiences?)

The British contestants were charged with making French bread, real French bread, which I consider a food group in its own and, undoubtedly, the most important food group. The recipes I’ve used before, including the one I blogged about earlier that required nine days to produce bread, all make decent-tasting bread. None, however, lead to the kind of bread you’ll find in every Parisian bakery. With help from the British bakers, finally I could produce authentic French bread.

I found the recipe on the show’s website. Four ingredients. A lazy baker’s dream.

I scanned the rest of the page. Oh, there was a second page and a total of thirteen steps.  I looked at the clock.  My husband would be home in a few hours. Surely enough time to bake the bread, and enjoy a lunch to remind us of the City of Lights. I started to work.

Hmmm. Fifteen minutes to work in water by hand, another fifteen to knead in the yeast, and another fifteen to add the salt. After forty-five minutes I knew I’d stayed away from the gym too long. What a relief to have arrived at step four: letting the bread rest.

Wait!  I missed step three. “Grab dough at one end and lift shoulder high. Slam it onto work surface and roll dough over on itself. Give dough quarter turn, grab one end and repeat slamming and rolling.” And I have to slam and roll for how long? Another fifteen minutes? My arms were already hanging limp.  Was bread-making now an Olympic event? An hour after I began, the recipe mentioned a fifteen-minute rest.  I raced to the couch and stayed there until the timer went off.

My husband walked in the door, and we ate open-faced sandwiches on the last of the two-day-old bread from the grocery store.

At least I have help now, I thought, for the eight remaining steps. I turned to page two of the directions. No. Really? Steps six through twelve direct the shaping of the dough before it, and the baker, have a two-hour rest.

The final line of the recipe, and the only one we ignored, said, “Cool at least 20 minutes before cutting.”

bread 2

Bread straight from the oven is always good and this was no exception. In minutes, we’d finished half a loaf. We tapped the loaves and the crust was hard, though it didn’t look gnarly like real French bread. We broke the loaf open by hand to examine the inside texture, like the judges did on the British show. It looked perfect. But the flavor? Was it any better than the loaves we’ve baked before using other recipes?  Hard to tell, but the house smells great, much better than the gym.

 

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Suddenly I’m a fan of Chick Lit

editors

Sample bios of editors from PNWA conference

I’ve pitched my novel to literary agents and editors for the past five years at the Pacific Northwest Writers’ Association conference.  Over time, these professionals have been gracious, and most asked me to send them something, sometimes only a synopsis and the first ten pages of my novel and other times the first fifty or one hundred pages.

The beauty of pitching the same story again this year to a different set of agents was that for the first time I was pitching a completed novel.

But this year the experience wasn’t beautiful.

First, the setting.  Picture a long, narrow windowless hotel conference room. Rectangular tables in the rear, pushed end-to-end, stretch across the length of the room.  Two chairs sit behind each. Agents and editors fill these chairs in alphabetical order. In front of them is a row of blue tape, the starting line for the race. At the pitching hour, the doors open, writers storm the room, choose an agent or editor who represents the genre they’re writing, and stand single file behind the blue tape until the bell rings and the announcer says, “Let the pitching begin.”

Each author pitch, including time for questions from the agent, can last no more than four minutes. When time is up, a bell will ring, the agent hands the author a business card and asks him or her to submit something, or the author walks away empty-handed, eyes aimed toward the floor, away from other writers who have pitched successfully.

This year, I found myself in the latter group.  I heard, “It’s a great topic, there’s a market for it, but I’m not interested;” “It sounds too complicated;” “It doesn’t sound like anything I’d like to read;” and other variations on these themes.  What’s going on this year? I asked myself.  I pitched well, didn’t read my notes, didn’t stumble. I’d rehearsed it before other writers, and they had pronounced it and me ready. The subject has been well-received for four years. Why wasn’t it likeable now?

I’ve always had trouble deciding on the genre of my novel. Mainstream fiction? Women’s fiction? Mainstream commercial fiction? Upmarket commercial fiction? (Yeah, I don’t know what that means either.) To cover all bases, I picked agents who specialized in at least one of these and chose whichever genre title they wanted to hear most.

On the second day of pitching, I chose a friendly looking editor whose bio said she was looking for mysteries and women’s fiction.

I introduced myself and my genre — women’s fiction for her — and gave my pitch.

“That was a good pitch,” she said.  “I’m looking for Chick Lit. Is your story funny?”

Oh my god, I thought. She wants stories about female airheads looking for rich men. My protagonist is seeking social justice, not a date. How did I end up with this editor? Her bio should have been clearer.

Then I thought about her question.  Now that she mentioned it… “Yes,” I told her.  “It is funny.”

“What percent is funny? Think, “The Devil Wears Prada.””

I started running through the chapters in my mind.  There were obviously funny ones, but percent?  “I don’t know. It’s not funny at first, but midway…”

“Here’s my card. You can send it all.”

“But I don’t know if it’s really Chick Lit.”

She shrugged and pulled her card away.  “It’s up to you.”

“Wait! I reached for the card and took it, not yet entertaining the idea I might use it.

Later, I shared the experience with a friend who knows my story. She said, “That’s great. It’s perfect.”

“But my character is smart. She’s not chasing after men. She’s saving the world.”

“I know your novel. Without much effort you can make it funnier. If you want, I can help you decide where to insert more humor. It will work. Do it!”

I thought about this for a while. My character was funny.  She did get herself in embarrassing scrapes. What did I really know about Chick Lit? Had I written in this genre without even realizing it? I hadn’t ever felt comfortable with whatever genre du jour I’d chosen. None seemed like quite the right fit, but agents always want to know where a novel belongs on a bookstore shelf.

The next morning, my former teacher of Popular Fiction echoed my friend.  “Make a few changes. It will work.”

Minutes later, I saw the editor sitting alone drinking coffee. I walked over to her and sat down. “I pitched to you yesterday,” I said.  “Later, I realized I have never been confident about whichever genre I tell people I’m writing. Thank you for helping me see my story in a new way. Whatever happens, I appreciate your challenging me about the box I’ve put my story in. It’s a message about other boxes too.”

“It’s always hard to put some books in categories,” she said and smiled. “I look forward to reading your manuscript.” I floated away.

P.S.  I found a website that helped me put Chick Lit in perspective.  The protagonists are not all airheads.  And as one writer friend told me, “It’s stories about bad-ass women.”  Not quite my protagonist, but maybe with a little editing…

 

 

 

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Too many friends or not enough books?

bookshelfWhile complaining to a friend recently that I had no free time, she reminded me of a very old song — the title sounds familiar though the tune doesn’t — called “Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer.” I don’t think there is such a thing as a lazy day anymore, summer or winter. Hazy days, occasionally. The day after joining friends for “Happy Hour” this week, my memories of that experience were very hazy, though the word doesn’t characterize most of my days this month. Crazy, however, fits July perfectly.

Lunches out, a wedding, a birthday party, dinners out, more lunches out, more dinners, multiple “Happy Hours,” volunteer jobs, out-of-town visitors, and a four-day conference. I’ve even seen a friend from elementary school and a college roommate this month. I told my husband that based on the number of social events, July and December are remarkably similar.

We cancelled a trip scheduled for today to dine with friends in another city. We still want to see the friends, but what a relief to have a day at home to work on our own things-to-do-lists and not have to socialize.

Even if I feel too busy, warm summer days are a premium in this area and cannot be taken for granted, nor can friends.

I have read one novel this month, when usually I’d have completed four by now. Nothing is more satisfying than getting lost in a good book, ignoring everything but mealtimes, my husband and the cat. I opened a new library book yesterday and realized I’d read it. Following that I opened a book I bought. After 30 pages, I knew it would not be a favorite. Maybe my issue is not so much about too many social engagements as it is about not having a good book to read.

 

 

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Dress Codes

office wearA friend and I meet often at a Starbucks in an office park and enjoy the parade of office and tech workers coming in for their morning coffee break. We first revel in the fact that they’re working and we’re not and then turn to examining their work clothes. We check out the six-inch heels on the women and are thankful we’re not wearing them. Beyond that, there is little uniformity: slacks, mini-skirts, long skirts, dresses, tunics, jeans. Styles include high collars and no cleavage, low-cut and lots of cleavage, loose, and tight. Anything goes. Then we move to the uniforms of the men: shorts and t-shirts or jeans and t-shirts. Oh yeah, and athletic shoes. Backpacks are the most common accessory.

Thinking about today’s work clothes took me down memory lane. When I was a university student, women could only wear skirts or dresses. My second job after graduating was in a community college, where again we were not allowed to wear pants. A few of us “rebels” complained to our boss and said we would like to propose a new dress code, one that would allow for certain tasteful trousers. He told us to form a committee and develop a proposal.

About the same time, Yves Saint Laurent was designing the first pantsuit and the idea caught on fast in the ready-to-wear world. Our committee went through catalogs and magazines and cut out samples we thought the boss would accept, pasted them on poster board and presented them to him. After he approved, we shared our pictures with the rest of the staff.

I’m confident that what Laurent designed was not the pantsuit our committee came up with. Most of the ones on the market were one color, made from cheap material, and without any redeeming flourishes. I remember proudly wearing my first outfit that passed muster with our boss: a maroon polyester pantsuit. The pants were baggy by the end of the workday, but wearing pants represented victory.

Now, the thought of going through what we did to be able to wear pants in the office makes me cringe. But I researched the issue and found that our experiences were not unique. We argued for change and were successful in the 70’s, but “until 1993 women were not permitted to wear pantsuits (or pants of any kind) on the United States Senate floor.” I wonder if they had to form a committee and cut out clothing ads, then plead to their colleagues for permission. Or was the Supreme Court the final arbiter?

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A wedding gift for eternity

bouquetBeen to a wedding recently? My husband and received an invitation to a wedding this summer, our first in several years. Our friends are either long-married or confirmed singles. Given the infrequency of the invitations, we don’t know what’s in and what’s out for weddings, or more precisely, wedding gifts.  Actually, we never did know.  We were married by a judge in the county courthouse. We didn’t know about gift registries then, and even if we had, we never considered owning china, silverware or crystal. (Years later we inherited all these things.)  It was the seventies. We had little money and our lifestyle was simple.

Thankfully, the recent invitation directed us to a couple of wedding registries, so we knew choosing  a gift would be easy. A few days before the wedding date, we visited Macy’s and typed the bride’s name in the store’s wedding registry computer. We tapped our toes and checked our watches as we watched the gift list grow to the point it reached the floor. As it got longer and longer and began making its way toward the housewares department, we expected to see the message, “This machine is experiencing technical difficulties.” But the message never arrived. Eight feet and three inches of paper later, it ground to a halt.

Reading the 93 items on the list reminded us of two wedding gifts we received (the only ones we could remember): three stainless steel serving trays, which we still have, and a hideous bouquet of plastic flowers which we didn’t keep for more than a few minutes. We only received about seven gifts.  Imagine trying to remember 93.

Despite the length and depth of the gift wish list, it still signified that not much has changed from the past. When I mentioned this to a friend, she updated me on something that has: the addition of honeymoon registries. She knows two attorneys who are getting married and have added honeymoon options to their gift list. I’m imagining the choices:  hotel room upgrade: $300 a day; room service —  three dinners, $450;  private surfing lessons, $300; and new warm-weather wardrobe, $4,000.

Wedding customs vary from culture to culture. In many cultures, money is the preferred gift. This saves a trip to the registry and the time required to pour over the list. But even this practice has its drawbacks.  A Romanian friend said that guests put their cash donations in envelopes, which they set in front of them on their tables during the reception.  They then hold their breath as the emcee moves around the room, chooses some envelopes to open, and reports their contents to the larger audience. The stingy donor is soon exposed, much to the pleasure — and relief — of others who have given more.

The more I think about these changes, the better our wedding sounds.  We’re still married after 44 years and only have one bad memory of gifts. We still laugh about the plastic flowers. In a charitable moment, my husband said, “Plastic lasts for eternity. Maybe the sentiment behind this gift was, ‘May your marriage last as long as these flowers.'” Nice try.

 

 

 

 

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Getting soaked in Iceland

Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon

Who visits the saltwater thermal pool — a giant hot tub — in Southwest Iceland known as the Blue Lagoon? Tourists like me, who believe they’ll be sorry if they travel all this way and miss out on the most well-known destination in the country.

I say tourists because of the high admissions fee;  it cost us 60 Euros each, while there were seven public pools in Reykjavik with entrance fees of about $5.  Also, the number of selfie sticks or phones bathers carried into the Blue Lagoon in clear, waterproof bags seemed inordinately large for local residents looking to relax after a day at work.

Whatever the cost or clientele, I had to go.

As it turned out, the kind of adventures the seven of us from our group experienced weren’t quite what I imagined.  Getting to the pool was the first challenge.  The transport we thought we’d arranged turned out to be a free mini-bus that drove us two miles to the Reykjavik bus depot, thus giving us the opportunity to board another bus and pay about $40 each for the round trip to the lagoon.

Because rush hour and freeway construction were causing a traffic jam, the bus took a colorful alternate route, winding through neighborhoods and small towns at 20 miles per hour. We arrived at our destination 45 minutes past our appointed time.

As we checked in, we each received electronic bracelets, different colors for different fee levels that would permit us to open and close a locker and charge for other services. The clerk warned us that we’d pay a hefty fee if we lost the bracelet. Our pink bracelets labeled us ‘economy bathers.’

The three females in our entourage found an available locker in the darkened changing room only after peeping like voyeurs into a series of small rooms filled with naked women. We changed, showered, and dripped our way out into in the chilly evening light.  “Ah,” we said as we shivered, “So that’s why the lifeguards walking around the swimming pool are dressed from head to toe in winter wear.”

Once accustomed to standing in neck-high bathtub water, we checked out our setting. Why were the faces of the cluster of bathers standing nearby painted in white? And how could we achieve the look of geisha or Kabuki actors too?

In the center of the main pool bobbed a man balancing a tray that held several containers.  He looked like a butler about to deliver a meal. We slogged over to him and held up our pink bracelets. “You’re eligible for a silica mask,” he said, a treatment we hoped would tighten our skin and erase wrinkles. He scooped a handful of white mud, which we slathered generously on our faces. Our expectations plummeted as we spotted the facial for people wearing green bracelets: algae. If only we’d paid another 15 euros, we could look so young that bartenders would be asking for ID.

We walked around and tested the water temperature in different areas, which were separated from the main pool by bridges, lava rock buttresses and other geologic formations. We stopped at a wet bar and used our bracelets to charge Skyr smoothies (Icelandic yogurt) and continued to wander around.The water temperature was perfect, but after an hour, though our faces felt taut, the rest of our bodies were wrinkled. Buses back to town left infrequently and we intended to be on the next one.

Everything went smoothly until I’d changed my clothes and walked into a restroom. Shortly after I’d shut the door, I saw a pink bracelet on the floor.  I checked my wrist. Gasp. My bracelet was missing. I held onto the one I found as I searched futilely through the changing rooms. I was going to have to exit with someone else’s bracelet and pray they hadn’t charged too much for which I would be billed.  I explained my problem to the young woman at the checkout stand.  “What did you buy while you were here?” she asked.  I answered and she confirmed that what I’d charged matched the charge on the bracelet, “so it must be yours.” I felt like Winnie the Pooh and his friend, Piglet, who decided their own footprints belonged to a wild animal.

My husband (who had been patiently waiting for me to exit the dressing room) and I made it to the bus — to the cheers of the folks we had come with — one minute before it departed. Though the driver had promised us he’d drop riders off at their hotels, after stopping at five in the heart of Reykjavik, he took the rest of us to the bus depot where we caught another ride to our hotel.

I’m glad I went to the Blue Lagoon.  After all, I had to. But if we ever return to Iceland, one of those $5 community pools without tourists and cameras sounds like a perfect place to bathe but avoid getting soaked.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Iceland: It’s the landscape

In brewing Olympia Beer, “It’s the water.” Touring Iceland, you’ll also learn that “It’s the water,” from snaking fjords, to boiling springs and spouting geysers. It’s also much more.

In what other country can you see the sights above along with volcanoes, glaciers, and lava fields, and most of these sights from the roadside? Not that I’d recommend staying in your car. If you did, you’d miss being covered by spray from Europe’s largest waterfall and jets of steam hissing from hot springs, and you’d fail to see the Strokkur Geysir spurting 66 feet in the air every four to five minutes. Take your own armchair tour with the photos below.

rainbow

Gullfoss waterfall

peninsula rock

Snaefellsness Peninsula

 

 

 

 

 

glacier that erupted

farmhouse below Eyjafjallajokull: site of 2010 eruption

geezer2

Strokkur Geysir

 

lavafield

moss-covered lava field

mudbath

boiling mud

 

 

 

 

 

Crater

Crater

volcanic colorscape: Nordurland Eystra

 

 

 

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More adventures in Iceland: eating putrified shark

I can’t write about Iceland without talking about the food. Fresh Arctic char, perfectly prepared lamb, creamy yogurt, roasted root vegetables, tasty ice cream, every kind of homemade bread, fish soups, smoked fish and meat, were on the menu every day of our tour. However, talking about gustatory pleasures will only make readers feel hungry, bored, or resentful that they aren’t eating this well. So I’m going to write about a simply awful food experience that will produce immediate feelings of relief for anyone who escaped it.

DSC01900

drying strips of cured shark meat

According to Insight Guides, Iceland, “One of Iceland’s most notorious food rituals is the ceremonious intake of rotten shark and schnapps.” Not only was our tour group invited to take part in this ritual, but we got to do it on the farm where the shark meat was cured and dried. Margret, our guide, told us that according to Icelandic tradition, everyone must eat this delicacy(?) on Christmas Eve.  She assured us we would be more likely to appreciate it, as her grown children did, if we had started eating it as children, though she admitted that living here most of her life hadn’t yet made her a fan.

The challenge of preparation starts with the local Greenland sharks themselves.  Having small kidneys, their urine spreads throughout their bodies making fresh meat poisonous to the eater. From the farmer’s smiling, exuberant son, we learned all about the process of removing the poison. As our induction into eating putrefied shark, he directed us to a table laden with bowls of small chunks of white flesh, tiny pieces of rye bread and toothpicks to skewer the two together, plus an array of small shot glasses of brennivin, the local, high-octane liquor.

greg eating shark

My husband smiles BEFORE he takes a bite.

Margret demonstrated the process and in doing so set the bar high by eating her sample without curling up her lips or squinching her face. While some fellow travelers jumped in, I hesitated. Why? Rotten shark stinks. Surprise, surprise.

One fellow traveler prepared her shark snack. After taking a whiff of it, she lowered her arm and paused to get up her courage. The family dog came up behind her and took a bite, leaving her with the empty toothpick and an end to her distress.

I too, hesitated. But the samples in front of me were tiny. How bad could eating one be? I dove in. The fish didn’t have much flavor and the first few chews did nothing to alarm my taste buds. What was the big deal about eating putrefied shark? Only after I finished swallowing, the after-taste of ammonia flooding my mouth and overpowering the brennevin, did I understand how big a deal it was.

 

 

 

 

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Adventures in Iceland: Part I

I’m not a travel writer, but I had to write about my recent 10-day vacation, a tour of Iceland.

Iceland is unlike most tourist spots.  Weather is unpredictable, cities are few and far between, and the things to do there probably don’t include any of the top ten items on many U.S. vacationers’ lists, such as visiting amusement parks, sunbathing on sandy beaches, or bobbing in the ocean.

Part I focuses on preparing for the trip. Don’t laugh. Before leaving home, we suffered mightily over how to prepare for a visit to a place so unfamiliar. We knew it wouldn’t snow, but what about rain, cold and wind? After all, “Ice” is part of the country’s name and one northern town we were to visit was located about 24 miles south of the Arctic Circle. The tour company recommended we bring hiking boots and poles for rough and muddy terrain; waterproof pants, coats, and hats; warm gloves, flashlights and umbrellas…but also swimming suits.

I sent several emails asking for advice from friends who had been there. I quizzed another friend who had just returned from Norway. Did we really need all this stuff? Would it rain every day? Would the wind blowing off the North Atlantic turn us into Popsicles? Should we have gone to Hawaii instead?

Practicality entered into our final packing decisions. Our hiking poles didn’t fit in the suitcase. When else would I ever need waterproof pants? The umbrellas also stayed behind. No room. And even if they did fit we could picture them whipped inside out with the first Atlantic gust. A friend donated two Seattle Seahawks rain capes, which we took, along with the swim suits and a flashlight. The latter was to aid us finding our bathroom in the middle of the night.

As it turned out, we used much of what we had packed. But the Seahawks rain capes never came out of their plastic cases. That’s because it was sunny nearly every day we were there. The two photos below, which were taken from our hotel room, show why we needn’t have brought a flashlight.

dayrekjavik

7:30 am

night reykjavik

11:30 pm

In the summer the sun sets very late and rises again a few hours later. It never really got dark. No matter how tightly we pulled the curtains shut, our hotel room had plenty of light.

We were thankful we hadn’t brought the hiking poles or the umbrellas, or any of the other recommended items more appropriate for navigating in freezing rain than strolling in the sun. We did have several opportunities to use the swimming suits as we soaked in different pools fed by geothermic springs. Hot pools are an Icelandic tradition. Our guide told us that friends soaking in a public pool after work was her country’s equivalent to meeting in a bar at the end of the day. The same hot water piped in from below the earth’s surface provided us with very warm showers in the hotels we stayed in.

So why did we think we had to prepare for life at the North Pole? As our guide said, “When people ask me what the weather will be like tomorrow, I tell them I can’t even predict what the weather will be like later today.  It’s always changing.” And even she was surprised by our days of fair weather.

The other reason for our uncertainty about what to pack is that Iceland is an island obviously named by a Viking with a bad sense of geography.  We bused 1,300 miles around this plot of land the size of Kentucky and saw snow-capped mountains looking down upon  a mostly-green landscape. (The mountains are not high enough to loom.) Coming home, we flew over a completely white Greenland accessorized by icebergs along its coast.  Whoever named the two countries got it all wrong. Or was that the whole point of the naming?

 

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