Memory #18: That Time I Went to Iceland…Twice

When I was in the 5th grade, I remember reading a fact somewhere that Iceland had been voted the “happiest country in the world”. Wait, what? A whole country full of the happiest people in the world living a dreamy, nordic life together on an island in the middle of the North Atlantic? It was almost too much for my little 10-year-old brain to handle. Through the bewilderment grew a romanticized fascination though, and I vowed then and there to visit this enchanted place someday.

Flash forward 10 years and a Björk obsession later to my parents asking me if I’d rather have a trip or a party as a college graduation gift. Was it even a question? The trip instantly won over the party and I got my college bestie Jocelyn on board to map out a 10-day journey for us to the land of fire and ice: Iceland.

I’ll be the first to admit that I overuse the word magical, but honestly, if you had to sum up Iceland in one word this would be it. The unspoiled and resplendent beauty of the country was unparalleled to anything I had seen in my life and it was equal parts the most beautiful and bizarre place I had ever been. We spent 7-days driving the ring road through the farmlands, into the mountains, and alongside the breathtaking fjords, and topped off our tour in Reykjavík, the shockingly hip and unexpectedly rowdy capital city where the majority of the country’s population resides.

It was kind of awesome (do you sense my sarcasm?)—so awesome in fact that the following year I returned for a 4-day music festival called Iceland Airwaves with my boyfriend at the time Tim, and one of my best childhood pals, Jenny. Though the theme of that trip was a bit different—all-night Icelandic dance parties, crazy hipster outfits, and $12 draft Viking beer took precedence over geysir-seeing and elf-hunting—it was a pretty incredible trip as well, and one that I’m glad I took when I was in my early 20’s because whether I’d like to admit it or not, this side of 25 looks a whole lot different than the previous one.

So, moral of the story? Go to Iceland. It’ll blow your mind. And if you’re at the age where staying up all night furiously dancing around to crazy Icelandic dance music sounds appealing, go to Iceland Airwaves. That’ll blow your mind too.

 

The first trip looked like this

The first trip looked like this…

the sedodo

…and the second trip looked a little more like this (p.s. this band is called FM Belfast, they will blow your mind too)…

This is how much fun an Icelandic dance party is

…and also kind of like this

 

Memory #15: 14T Does NYE or, The Most Epic New Year’s Eve Party of All-Time Ever

It’s time for another favorite life memory involving a New Year’s Eve Party—if you thought my Y2K NYE Mocktail party was wild, get ready for this one…

2007 was one of the best and most filled-to-the-brim-with-fun years of my life, so it only made sense that the New Year’s Eve party that my roommates and I hosted that year would cap things off with an undeniably epic time (and I’m not one to use the word epic lightly). Having grown tired of the post-college, stupidly expensive and crowded NYE bar scene, we decided to throw our own shindig and invite all of our favorite people over to ring in the new year with us.

At the time, I was living in a house lovingly referred to as “14T” with my boyfriend Tim, a good-friend Kim, a friend-of-a-friend Mike, and Lindsy, one of my all-time favorite Craigslist roomies. The 5 of us had collectively amassed quite an eclectic group of friends over the years, and for this party we pooled our friend resources to create a guest list that pretty much guaranteed the best time ever. The days before the party were filled with last minute shopping and decking the 14T halls in metallic gold New Year’s glitz, and when the night finally came and we put on our party dresses and tiaras, we were perfectly set up for party perfection.

The pre-midnight portion of the evening consisted mostly of mingling amongst friends—both new and old—and consuming the fancy, grown-up appetizers and holiday cocktails that we had prepared. When the time came though and Dick Clark counted us down to midnight, we all gathered in the living room to watch the ball began it’s descent to 2008. At the exact moment—literally, the timing was beautiful—when the clock struck midnight, Tim cued my NYE dance playlist, cleverly titled “Danceachusetts”, and all of our attempts at feigning adulthood went out the window as a wild dance party ensued.

Before I knew it it was 6am, we had listened to Danceachusetts probably a dozen times (putting Synthia by FM Belfast on repeat for at least an hour), our futon—not to mention the majority of the living room plants—was in pieces strewn about the living room, the house was littered with abandoned champagne corks, I had somehow obtained a serious injury to my right big toenail (read: the majority of it had mysteriously disappeared), and I was covered in a mixture of sweat and Pinto Grigio. Success.

The next morning I woke up with one of the most “that was totally worth it” hangovers of my life and went downstairs to assess the scene of the crime. I was met in the kitchen by Kim, whom I found examining a carton of orange juice that had clearly been the victim of some serious arson. After we gave each other the “are you serious? I don’t even understand what just happened” look, we rounded up the remaining party survivors and made our way to Ihop, where we spent the entirety of breakfast recapping the best of the night and reliving every single amazing moment.

It. Was. The. Best.

and there are far too many pictures to post so this one from when the ball dropped will have to do:

happynewyear!