Sadly, as you all probably guessed, we won’t be going to Iceland this year. By March we knew the original May trip dates wouldn’t work but thought maybe late June had a shot. By May were were thinking maybe July could work; Iceland planned to open tourism back up since they a) had handled the pandemic brilliantly and were down to two active cases in the entire country and b) were testing tourists at the airport before letting them proceed into the country. I researched the heck out of air travel precautions and had everything planned down to the smallest detail…when Iceland, along with the rest of the EU, decided not to let Americans in after all since our case numbers and handling of the situation have been so atrocious. I can’t blame them in the slightest, but it was a bit of a blow. We didn’t get the final word until about 24 hours before our flight was set to depart, so adapting plans was a whirlwind.

Since we were not, alas, able to spend our fifth anniversary in Iceland, we instead went for a hike in Umstead State Park, where Ross had proposed to me, got takeout from Sitti, one of our favorite restaurants, and dressed up to eat it at home.


Haven’t worn this dress since senior year formal!

We also decided to take a few weekend trips around the state. We spent a hiking weekend near Blowing Rock and enjoyed some beautiful views in between rain storms.


We explored a lot of historic bridges in Chatham County, poked around the abandoned town of Coleridge, visited the Devil’s Tramping Ground (which turned out to be extremely anti-climactic–I wasn’t expecting to meet the devil, but was expecting something a little more exciting than a tiny clearing in the woods with a lot of trash), and finally went to the NC Zoo, which both Ross and I had never visited.

We visited on one of the days we should have been in Iceland, so it was particularly ironic to see this poor arctic fox, struggling in the North Carolina heat and probably wishing he was back in Iceland. Me too, buddy.


We also ran into this exhibit, which felt like piling insult on top of injury. Not only am I not in Iceland seeing geysers, I can’t even see the prairie geyser? Sigh.


We still had a fun time in spite of the heat, though, and we’ve been working hard to find the silver linings of staying home more than we had planned. Our Iceland trip is tentatively rescheduled for next summer; I’m sure that trip will be all the sweeter when we finally do go!