Sunday, June 17, 2012

Two tiny minutes ten years ago

Ten years ago today, I walked into La Griglia, a nice Italian restaurant in Houston, for a blind date that my sister-in-law's aunt had set up. As I walked in, the maƮtre d' walked up to me and said, "Ms Lunt, Mr Hooper will be here in just a couple of minutes.". Being a freak about timliness, I almost left. After all, our date was supposed to be at 7pm and it was 7pm! However, because I was still in shock that the host seemed to know who I was even though I had never been there, I decided to wait. True to word, Mr Hooper walked in at 7:02pm. (I know as Scott reads this, he rolls his eyes. Ha!)

We sat and had dinner and wine and visited for several hours. We went from the up-scale Italian place to an old hole in the wall beer and jukebox joint (Kay's) down the road. There we sat, drank beer, played music on the jukebox, and talked for several more hours until the bar closed. I think "Me and Bobby McGee" by Janis Joplin was played more that night by us than it has ever been before or after that date.

About a year and a half later, we married at the ranch. We have had wonderful adventures and two kids. I simply can't imagine how dull or unhappy my life would be if I hadn't waited those two tiny minutes. Ten years later, my partner in crime still makes me laugh hysterically and is the most involved father and husband in the world. He always has my back. Always.

So here's to the ten wonderful years with Scott. I can't wait to see what the next ten years will bring, but I bet it is wild, fun, and entertaining!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Exploring Iceland... an outdoor family adventure.

We had a very exciting six day trip to Iceland last weekend. We took advantage of the Queen's Jubilee four day weekend and scooted off to Reykjavik. What an amazing place!

Our first day we strolled around Reykjavik. We visited a cool cathedral that overlooked the entire city. We ate some good food and generally enjoyed the 22 hours of daylight. It was surprisingly warm and wonderfully sunny.

Scott lined us up on a couple of tours of Iceland. We saw everything from where the american tectonic plate joins with the eurasian plate, to a glacier, to a waterfall that would give Niagra Falls a run for its money, and more.

Some of the most interesting things were the geysers and random heated natural spring pools. The kids loved pretty much all of it. Having worried (needlessly) that the trip wouldn't be kid friendly, I was surprised how great of a trip and learning experience about nature it ended up being.

Most of Reykjavik is powered by harvesting the geothermal energy right under the island. They drill down and pull up the steam which is then used for heating. One of the "by products" of the steam is water. At one of the big steam sites, there is so much warm water produced directly from the earth, that they have turned it into the Blue Lagoon. The water is replaced every 40 hours through sinking back down into the earth. Rich in minerals, it is rumored to cure skin ailments and to make you look younger. We took a swim in it but I don't think we look any younger! It is a beautiful site to see though with volcanic rock everywhere and this bright blue chemical-free pool out in the middle of it.

The video highlights can tell the story far better than I can:

Honorable mentions:
This is a picture where just 10 months ago an earthquake moved the earth so much that it destroyed an overlook walkway.

Our cheeky kids:

Of course the snowmobiles were a huge hit!

This was a great trip. It ranks up there with my favorites! For any friends flying over to Europe, I heard that Icelandair (GREAT AIRLINE!!) will fly from the USA to Reykjavik as a stop over on the way to Europe. They don't charge extra to extend the layover by up to ten days. So if you are heading over, consider this route and stopping over in Iceland for a few days. It will improve your overall trip (unless there are any volcanoes of course...)!