FINALLY. I know!!! I’m the worst.
I assumed I’d annoy you guys with incessant vacation posts, and I haven’t posted half of what I’d intended. But what better time than Blogmas to catch up on a few?
Starting with the most important one – THE FOOD. I actually did a really damn good job of photographing my food during our trip, so I am only missing a couple meals. (And a handful of pretzels, candy bars, and beers, but I had so many of all of those that I still have loads of photos to share.)
SO we’re jumping right in. In a fairly chronological order, here’s (almost) all the food I ate on vacay….
Our first meal was perhaps our best meal of the whole vacation. We got into Reykjavik, quickly settled into our Airbnb, and immediately headed out to walk around town. We walked and wandered and took note of restaurants. Once we were hungry, I pulled up a list I’d made of restaurants I might want to try. I was really happy I’d kept a list of restaurant ideas and I had a few notes about some of them, but I didn’t write down WHY I wanted to try any. Wish I had. I saw that we were super close to a restaurant called Snaps that I had listed as a good idea for our first night there (but didn’t write down WHY) so in we went!
It was crowded and chaotic and had the absolute best decor (i.e. a TON of plants) and an insanely long wait, but two empty seats at the bar that we could sneak right into. Since we had only been in Reykjavik for about an hour, we still had no idea how difficult it would be to get by with our nonexistent Icelandic skills (it was SO EASY. Everyone spoke fantastic English and every restaurant we went to had an English menu, usually out or just on the other side of the Icelandic one.)
We decided to go big for our first meal there (and Preston knew he would be proposing that night, so he was all for making it a special night.)
I won’t write an essay about all of the food, but since that was our first and (maybe) best meal of the trip, it deserves a little something special.
Now onto the next…
This was a breakfast for one person. Thank goodness we decided to split it.
Can’t see but that’s an amazing coffee concoction of some kind under there…
And THIS is a really interesting rye bread ice cream. Yeah, like crumbled up rye bread in ice cream. Totally bizarre but AMAZING. Iceland has rye bread all over the place (which I normally don’t like, but theirs was different than ours and I loved it.)
I think I am going to do a longer post this month about the Blue Lagoon in particular (and I’m working on a homemade bath salt recipe to take me back, which I’ll share! It’s almost there….) So I won’t share the long version of this story just yet, but: the Blue Lagoon lost power while we were there. Which was mostly not a problem at all (and even had some perks), except we had dinner reservations while the power was down. The restaurant at the lagoon is suuuuper nice, but you get to wear your bath robe to dinner in between soaking in the lagoon. So we didn’t get to go. And we were STARVING by the time we left. Except you’re supposed to really thoroughly wash your hair upon leaving the lagoon because the silica in the water makes hair stiff. But the power being out meant the hot water was out, and I was way too big a wimp to stand in that cold water long enough to thoroughly shower and wash my hair. So we had to drive back to Reyjkavik, shower (and double wash my hair), and head out into the town all while we were already starrrrrrving before we could eat dinner. We were a little cranky and couldn’t decide what to eat, but when we saw ramen that sounded SO WARM and comforting. And honestly it was one of the best meals we had. Hahahha. Who knew! Amazing ramen in Iceland.
Fun fact: I became obsessed with the candy in Iceland. I just wanted a sweet treat one night and the market across from our Airbnb had a bunch of fun candy. I wound up trying a lot and loving it. Overall their candy is certainly sweet but a little less sweet than American candy. And they have some weirder combos that I actually loved. Plus a lot of black licorice which, like rye bread, I usually hate but theirs was different and I loved it.
Obviously, Iceland isn’t exactly known for its produce what with the climate. But this restaurant is located in a tomato greenhouse and is known for its tomato soup. It was good and comforting in the cold, but Northern California tomatoes can’t be beat.
The BEST fish ‘n’ chips ever. There’s a little hot dog stand in Reykjavik that is incredibly popular, so I knew we had to take Preston so he could try it. He was a little too hungry for a photo op, and the only pic I snapped was a pretty unflattering one of him scarfing it down so I’ll avoid posting that on the internet 😉 Since the hot dog stand didn’t have anything I eat, I searched for an equally quick lunch for me that day and found a highly reviewed little fish ‘n’ chips stand at the harbor. We lucked out and went the LAST DAY of the year that they’re open. And it was the best fish ‘n’ chips I’ve ever had.
Also had the best chai latte ever. And with oat milk in it!
Absolutely fitting: my first meal in Germany was a gigantic pretzel and an even more gigantic beer 😀
I was most excited to try kaesespaetzle (cheese spaetzle – cheese dumplings) at Oktoberfest, and it did NOT disappoint. I wound up having it three times over our trip and it was fantastic!
Did you know that during Oktoberfest, the waiters and waitresses have to work full days every single day of the celebration? And this year was two days longer than usual. So that means 16 hours a day for 18 days straight. INSANITY. We were there the last two days of Oktoberfest, so every waitress we saw was pretty exhausted. On our second day, I asked the waitress what a breakfast item was (because its translation to English sounded bizarre), and she had a hysterical and endearing brain fart and had to take a second to think. I told her to forget it and bring me her favorite sweet breakfast. She brought me THIS amazing creation.
It tasted like cinnamon roll dough in a hot vanilla custard. And that is SOOOOO my kind of weird treat. She was the sweetest.
I was really proud of myself for this meal. We found ourselves in a restaurant where the staff barely spoke any English. So ordering dinner was a gamble. I recognized the words for “vegetables,” “potatoes,” and something that HAD to be “Mediterranean,” so I just ordered it and hoped for the best. I got a fantastic huge dish of hot baked potatoes and veggies in some kind of broth. It was stellar.
I had soooo many pretzels in Germany. It was a planned attempt to try as many real giant soft pretzels as I could 😉 they’re one of my favorite things ever and I can’t resist them. Even snacking away at one as we hiked up to a castle… 😉
I didn’t think we’d be there late enough in the year to try Gluhwein, Germany’s hot mulled wine, so when I saw some for just a few bucks at a shop outside a castle, I HAD to have it. It was so fantastic and perfect since we worked up a sweat walking up a huge hill to the castle only to sit outside in a breeze and wait, so we got a little chilly. Only regret was not buying the mug to keep.
My farewell meal at the airport the morning we left… a breakfast bagel. Preston grabbed food while I staked out the luggage and figured it would be a safe bet to get me a “butter pretzel.” They literally sliced the pretzel in half the long ways like a bagel and smeared it with butter inside! No complaints from me 😉
Well DANG that was longer than I expected! And just in time for me to go to bed.
Happy Tuesday night (if any night owls are up reading) 😘