Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge

I am following Cee now and think this challenge will be fun.  Let’s see what photos I can come up with.

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Soldotna, Alaska walk along the Kenai River.

 

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Road in Iceland

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I could go on and on with this challenge but I will call this good.  I hope you enjoy the photos. Let me know what you think.

Thanks for stopping by.

Day 7 Leaving Iceland

I got most everything packed yesterday, but we needed to check the weight again.  We did a little moving around and got all three bags under 23 kilograms.  We are probably up to 60 pounds of beer now.

We cleaned up everything at the apartment and left for the airport.  On the way we stopped for gas and I took a couple of photos of our dirty car.  It is a little bit cleaner than it was at one point.  Might have been the trip through the river.  Did I  say that?  We didn’t drive through any water with the rental car.

 

We then went to turn in our car at Sixt.  They were the really busy again but could be because they are the cheapest place to rent a car.  So if you want a cheap rental be prepared to wait a couple hours. Our car was the dirtiest one that was turned in. I guess the people didn’t have as much fun as us.

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Now time to catch the shuttle to the airport.  There was some interesting art outside the airport.

When we went to check in I told them that we had paid for a bag in London and they told us that it was paid all the way through.  She wanted to see my receipt which luckily I had on my email.  Glad I don’t get rid of that stuff until the trip is all over.  We loaded our luggage on the weighing belt and we had 1.4 kilos to spare.  Yeah! We passed the weight allowed.

Then off through security where I managed to set the bells off as normal.  After getting patted down and having the wand run over my body, to bad it wasn’t a guy doing the patting down, I was let through.

We picked up some licorice in the duty free.  I was going to get some whiskey made in Iceland and smoked in sheep dung but thought $89 was a little much.

We found a place to sit and had a sandwich I had packed.  Now we are waiting to see what gate we go to.  Then we will be off to Anchorage and our own bed for the night.

 

 

 

Ole Flat Hippies Day 6 in Iceland

Well this is our last day before we head home to Alaska.  We enjoyed a couple of breweries, met a new friend, Donbird, went looking at the boats and had one last meal with our friends the Crewdsons.

 

We know this adventure is coming to an end but are sure we will have many more great times with the Crewdsons.

Day 6 Final Day in Iceland

We decided to just hang out in Reykjavik today because we hadn’t really checked the town or the breweries out yet.

Our first stop was the Bryggjan Brugghus Bistro & Brewery.  We met Arturo Santoni a Brewmaster from Argentina who gave us a tour of the most beautiful brewery we’ve ever seen.  We then enjoyed a flight of the their beers which we really enjoyed.  Sorry guys we couldn’t bring any back because the liquor store we stopped out didn’t carry any.  We will check at duty free on our way out though. Arturo even gave us a sample of his red ale with cherries and coriander.  That was our favorite.  When we told him that he gave me a cap.

To Fred I think these people started with a little more than 5000 pounds since they have only been open for two years.

 

Then we looked at some of the boats and the ducks with one duckling in the harbor.

 

 

We then stopped at the Sun Voyager to take a couple of photos.

 

Then we were off to meet Alyson Hartwig the brewer at RVK Brewing Company.  Alyson is an American from Colorado. They are not open to the public yet but if you contact them you can go for a tour. We really enjoyed her beers.  I think she will really make a name for this place in the future, so be watching for her.

 

We did find some interesting buildings today.

 

We then went to eat at Le Bistro.  We ate here our first night but couldn’t remember the name or where it was.  At that time I had some wonderful mussels and David had a very nice lamb shank.  They had an Icelandic sampler that we wanted to try. We had the goat’s cheese, carmalized onions and dried apricots baked in a filo pastry served with beetroot and a French vinaigrette.  This was very nice.  Then we had the Icelandic sampler which was black pudding made with lamb, pickled herring, smoked salmon, dried cod, smoked lamb, dark rye bread, rotten shark and a shot of Brennivin.

Kæstur hákarl or Rotten Shark is a national dish of Iceland consisting of a Greenland shark or other sleeper shark which has been cured with a particular fermentation process and hung to dry for four to five months. Kæstur hákarl has a strong ammonia-rich smell and fishy taste. Kæstur hákarl is readily available in Icelandic stores and is eaten year-round, but is also served as part of a þorramatur, a selection of traditional Icelandic food served at þorrablót in midwinter.

I was also told that the reason the shark has to fermented is because it is full of toxins.  The ammonia smell is because it looses its urine through its skin.  The closer the skin the worse the smell.  We didn’t think it was as bad as everyone said but the waitress told us this is because it was not from close to the skin.

 

We highly recommend this restaurant if you ever get to Iceland.

Our last day was a nice relaxing day.  Now time to start getting packed for our trip back to Alaska.

 

 

Day 5 in Iceland

This was going to be our last road trip of our vacation.  I decided we needed to go to another geothermal bath.  I knew I had read about one so I located it and marked our route on the map.  This time I didn’t have to find back roads because that is what you had to take to get there.  I packed us a lunch and had in may mind this nice private place to enjoy our last soak.

we took about a two hour drive down gravel roads some of which are called F roads, which weren’t as bad as some we have driven down in Alaska, not sure what the F stands for.  You can imagine though we did have fun with it.  We were saying things like I will drive down any F-ing road I want.  We finally reached Fjallabak Nature Reserve where the hot bath is supposed to be that we are going to.  Off we go to drive down another F-ing road.

Fjallabak Nature Reserve was established in 1979. The Nature reserve is 47.000 hectares and is over 500 meters above sea level. The land is mountainous, sculptured by volcanoes and geothermal activity, covered by lavas, sands, rivers and lakes.

https://www.nat.is/travelguideeng/fjallabak_nature_reserve.htm

 

 

I have to say that on our road trip so far we had only a couple of cars that passed us.  Then we hit the top of a hill and around the corner there were several other cars stopped to take photos.  We did the same and while we were there even more cars came and stopped.  I am starting to thing these people had the same idea I had about getting away from the people and having a nice soak.

 

We made it too Landmannalaugar in the Highland.  I was in for a big surprise when we got there.  The place was packed.  There were cars and buses all over the place.  I was thinking it was a whole river that you could use but it was just a small spot where the hot water mixes with the cold.

Landmannalaugar (the people’s pools) is a geothermal paradise, replete with rainbow-colored rhyolite mountains and bubbling hot springs, where wispy plumes of steam rise off the volcanically heated waters. It has been a resting place for travelers for many centuries and Icelandic people have traditionally used it as a stop off point when they cross the highlands, which is where its name originates from.

https://www.extremeiceland.is/en/destinations/landmannalaugar

This makes it sound so romantic.  I wouldn’t call it that because to get the warm water you have to be in the area where the river runs into the small pond. This is the point that everyone gathers.  It was a beautiful setting though.

When we got there the first thing I had to do was hit the toilet.  It was becoming urgent.  We got to the bathroom and we saw a sign that you have to get a day pass to use it.  After paying our 500 Krona or $4.68 and getting our wrist bands I could have some relief.  We enjoyed our picnic lunch outside at a picnic table, a first for us because we had been eating on the road.  You could eat inside a clear plastic, covered area.  We then noticed that if you wanted to shower after your soak you had to get a ticket to scan which was another 500 Krona.  We decided we were going to go for that too, so our free soak cost us a total of 1000 Krona or $9.36.  We changed and headed for the bath down the wooden walkway.

At the end of the walkway was a platform where you can leave your things while in the pool. Some of the people were changing out there, so if you want to save the 1000Krona you can do without the toilet and shower.  We climbed down the few stairs to the water which was very clear, cold and had a gravel bottom. If you have tender feet like David you may want to wear water shoes.  The water was about thigh deep.  it is just a short walk to the where the warm water flows into the cold pool.   We sat amongst the people who were from many different countries.  We enjoyed listening to the many languages.  As people leave you move closer to where the hot water pours into the cold.  You can feel when the heat comes up from the ground because the stream will get hotter.  I have to admit that the scenery is beautiful.  This is not one of our favorite hot baths but it was unique and well worth going to.

Landmannalaugar (the people’s pools) is a geothermal paradise, replete with rainbow-colored rhyolite mountains and bubbling hot springs, where wispy plumes of steam rise off the volcanically heated waters. It has been a resting place for travelers for many centuries and Icelandic people have traditionally used it as a stop off point when they cross the highlands, which is where its name originates from.nt countries.  It was fun listening to all the different languages. As people leave you move closer to the hot stream.  We enjoyed it but we would not call it the best one we had ever been too.  It was the cheapest though.

 

There were  some beautiful flowers and some cute little birds in the creeks.

After our shower we headed home a different way.  The way we came home was quicker but I could see why they recommend a 4X4.  There were a couple of water crossings but nothing bad.  I do imagine that in the spring it can get really bad.  I now see why there are so many trucks with the big tires on them now.  They must spend time in the highlands.

 

It started raining on us again on the way home.  We got up in the clouds as we climbed over the mountains back to civilization.  We stopped in Selfoss to get to get some supper and headed back to the apartment to call it a night.

 

Flat Ole Hippies Day 4 in Iceland

Once again we are off on another road trip with our friends.  We can’t wait to see where we go today.

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Our first stop was at a lake.

 

Next we saw a lighthouse.  Could we be going to the beach?

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Yes it was the beach we were going to.

 

Then we started home and came across this amazing pipeline.

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Of course we had to end the day with a couple of beers at the Micro Bar.

 

Then we went to the tapa bar where we just had a drink while our friends ate.  We do have to watch our figure.

Brennivin

Brennivin is an Icelandic schnapps made from fermented potato pulp and flavoured with caraway seeds. The word brennivín literally translates into burning wine, and it certainly has a strong and distinct taste.

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Well we called it a day then.  Looking forward to tomorrow.

Day 4 South Coast of Iceland

We decided to go look at the south coast of Iceland.  Of course, we didn’t get to do the whole thing because of time.  We headed out on this beautiful sunny day, our first, to find a nice sandy beach to walk on.  We didn’t find any sandy beaches but we found volcanic beaches which were still just as amazing.

First stop before we even got into the car I wanted to get photos of these pretty flowers. I had been looking at them and today I took the time to smell the flowers.

Then off we went on our next road trip.  If you haven’t notice we try to take all the back roads.

Our first stop was a nice lake.  I had to take photos of some the hills that surrounded us because lines in the rocks are amazing.

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We went looking for a lighthouse which meant driving down this old dirt road and never found it.  What we did find though was well worth the trip because I had never seen so many sea birds nesting in the cliffs before.  Iceland claim to have more birds nesting in their cliffs than anywhere else.

 

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Off we went to find another lighthouse.  This one we did find and a church, which are all over this country.  Most of them seem to be built pretty much the same and a lot are on people’s farms.  Also, I just could not get over how such tiny flowers can grow in all the lava rocks.

Our next stop was at the end point of the greatest lava flow on earth since the end of the last Ice Age.

Then we found another lighthouse and a road to the beach.

We saw all these white birds in a field, which we think are some kind of goose due to all the honking.  I also finally got a couple photos of the Icelandic horses, which are the size of a pony.

We decided we should probably start heading back.  So we stopped to take a picture of one last river flowing into the ocean and off we went home.

 

We of course found a road we had not been on yet.  We were following along the bottom of Lake Pringvallavatn.

Before we hit the main road we found a dirt road we had not taken.  As we rounded a bend we saw in the distance steam coming up from a valley.  As we got closer we noticed it was a geothermal plant.  It was pumping hot water down to the cities and towns.  The pipeline was quite interesting compared to the one in Alaska that we are used to.  We followed the pipeline most of the way back to town.

On our way back to town the traffic was the worst we had seen.  Everyone must have had our idea and left town for the day or the weekend and were going home.

We decided to leave the car at the apartment and walk downtown to find something to eat.  We came upon a huge screen showing the world cup and people were sitting or standing watching it.  I guess they are really into soccer over here.

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We then headed to the Micro Bar because we had met the manager at one of the breweries we visited.  It was well worth the stop.  They have 14 taps and had about 5 pages of fine print bottle beers.

We also made a new friend there named Tobias from Sweden. Hopefully, he will bring his family to Alaska some time.  He did say it was on his bucket list.IMG_1037

Then off to dinner.  I wanted to eat something truly Icelandic, Tobias recommended a tapa bar right by us.  They had Icelandic food tapas, puffin, whale, lamb, lobster, blue ling, and char.  Some of the food looked so good when it came to the table we started eating before I got a photo.  Sorry about that.  I do think that the food was probably a little more fancy than the normal Icelander would cook it but it was delicious.

After we ate we started our walk home.  I took a photo of this building across the street because I just thought it was cute.  Then along came a mother and her two kids crossing the street.  They walked with us a way.

 

We stopped at a store because I still had not had any dried fish.  I am wondering how it compares to our squaw candy.  I will let you know when I have tried it.

There was this interesting van we kept walking by, so we decided to take some photos of it.

 

Another wonderful day in Iceland has come to an end now.  Wonder what our adventures will bring tomorrow.

 

Flat Ole Hippies Day 3 in Iceland

We took off with our friends today and they said we were really going to have a great time.  I guess they knew where they were going this time.

We did have a great day! We saw some great rivers and waterfalls, played in the snow, went down a long gravel road, checked out some tomatoes and stopped at a brewery for a couple.

Can’t wait to see what adventure they come up with tomorrow.

Day 3 Brewery, Geitland Nature Reserve and Pringvellir

Another rainy day but that won’t stop us.  We are off on another road trip.  First stop is to find the brewery, but first we had to take pictures of this cool car, an Opel.  It has been parked on the road that we park on and thought some of our friends, Fred and Dan, might like to see it.

 

We went through the tunnel once again.  We stopped at this beautiful river by Fossatun. Fossatún is a settlement located on the banks of the river Grímsá in Borgarfjörður along route 50, just 90 km from Reykjavík. The area is known for its beautiful surroundings and there are many marked hiking paths to enjoy the sites.  There is supposed to be a beautiful waterfall a short hike but the bugs were terrible, so we didn’t go. You can’t miss the place because of the huge troll face along side the entrance.

 

As we were standing on the bridge taking photos of the river a tractor came by pulling a trailer full of sheep.  I hope they were moving them to another field but I think they may have been going to the slaughter house.  I think they knew what was going on because of all the baaing.

 

We found the brewery but it didn’t open for another hour so we found a small road that looped around. We decided to take that and found Deildartunguhver Hot Springs.  This was well worth the side trip.

Situated on a beautiful farm, Deildartunguhver is the largest and most powerful hot spring in Europe with a flow rate of 180 litres (50 gallons) of water per second at a piping hot 97°C (200°F). The scalding water bubbles out of an algae covered rocky outcrop creating a steamy source of power.

Most of the water heating homes and businesses in the towns of Borgarnes and Akranes comes from Deildartunguhver. It travels through a 64 kilometre (40 mi) pipeline, the longest of its kind in Iceland. So, if you take a shower anywhere within a 65 km radius of Deildartunguhver, you have already bathed in the hot water from this powerful spring!

They have a hot tub and huge greenhouse.  It cost about $40 to go to the very fancy hot pool.  They sell tomatoes for 300 Krona or $2.84 that were grown in their greenhouse.

 

Now it was time to head back to the brewery.  On the way we crossed this very narrow bridge.  It was really cool to drive across.

 

We made it back to Stedji Brewery which is not hard to find due to the big beer bottle at the entrance.  We went in the tap-room  and there was only one other couple in there.  They were from Kentucky and they had rented a camper to travel around in for 2 weeks.  They were coming to an end of their trip.  Then another couple came in from Dallas, Texas of all places.  They were leaving when we were on July 4th.  They both got good deals with WOW airlines, so it might be worth checking into.

Anyway back to the brewery.  The are located on a farm named Stedji, Anvil, this is where the name came from for the brewery.  We had a flight of 5 beers which were all very nice.  Then one of the owners came out and said you have to try this one.  We brew it with whale testicles which are smoked in sheep dung.  David and I, of course, said bring it on.  We loved it.  He brought out another one which was not smoked, though good we preferred the first one.  Don’t worry we are bringing back a couple of bottles of the first one to share with the Midnight Sun Beer Tasting Society.  I think my 50 pounds of beer is growing.

 

Here are a couple more tractors for Fred and Dan to check out.  Fred maybe you can get Sam to pull the one.  The other one looks like you should race it.

 

 

We decided to take some back roads on the way back to Reydjavik, so we headed to Geitland Nature Reserve.  I am not sure why they call it a nature reserve because it is really barren, but the glacier is there.  We did take a wrong turn but it did look like the main road. I found out where the huge buses go now, to the glacier.  We drove to where they start but couldn’t go any farther.  If you look close at the one photo that just looks like snow go uphill you will see one of the buses stopped.  David went in the shop to check where we were.  He pointed on the map to the road we were on the guy says, “Your not lost, you know exactly where you are.”

I decided to let the Flat Ole Hippies go play in the snow.  I figure it is all rocks so it will be easy going.  Then I stepped off a larger rock on the gravel and my toes went into the mud.  No big deal I will wash them off in the small puddle over there.  Then the whole top of my foot was covered in mud.  I decide that was not a good idea and just kept my foot muddy.

 

Our next stop was Pringvellir, where we walked up to Öxarárfoss waterfall along the fault lines.  The waterfall was stunning.  You could see this wonderful green color in part of it.

I did get my feed washed at the waterfall because I found a place I could get in.  I wanted David to join me for a footy picture but he said no, so we found another place.  Of course, his idea did make for a better photo.

https://guidetoiceland.is/connect-with-locals/jorunnsg/ingvellir-national-park

 

Now it was time to head back home.  We could see it looked like it was trying to break up over Reykjavik.

Next stop was downtown to find some food.  Driving in circles trying to find a place to park we realized it is Saturday night.  We drove past this huge screen outside where people were watching the World Cup.  We actually drove past it several times as we were making our circle.  I guess it wasn’t actually a circle because we kept hitting one ways that were going the wrong way.  We finally found a spot by the harbor.

Not far from where we parked we could see a place that looked more our style than the fancy ones around.  It was call Reykjavik Fish Restaurant.  The fish was great.

 

With our bellies full we headed back to the apartment and to bed thinking about our next adventure.

 

 

 

Day 2 Golden Circle and Brewery

Well we started off today turning right and heading out in the right direction.  We got a lot earlier start today.  The fog was really bad most of the way out.  We couldn’t see any of the scenery it was so bad.  We made it to the Geysers a little before 10.  David wasn’t that impressed by it.  I think it was better last time I was there, maybe because it was winter.

A favorite stop along the Golden Circle is the highly active Geysir Hot Spring Area with boiling mud pits, exploding geysers and the lively Strokkur which spouts water 30 metres (100 ft) into the air every few minutes. The newly opened Geysir Center offers exhibits and informative presentations year round. Geysir Hot Spring Area is one of the most popular tourist stops in Iceland.
The geothermal field is believed to have a surface area of approximately 3 km². Most of the springs are aligned along a 100m wide strip of land running in the same direction as the tectonic lines in the area, from south to southwest. The strip is 500m long and culminates near what once was the seat of the lords of Haukadalur.
The area became active more than 1000 years ago and comprises more than a dozen hot water blow holes. Although the geyser is less active these days, it did lend its name to hot springs all over the world. It was the first geyser described in a printed source and the first known to modern Europeans.

We found this tractor inside the visitor center and store.  I had to take a picture of it for Fred and Dan, my son in law.  They both like the old tractors.

 

After grabbing an ice cream cone, which I had been wanting for days, we headed off to the Gullfoss Waterfall.  When we arrived there was the best tourist bus I had ever seen.

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Gullfoss (“Golden Falls”) is a waterfall located in the canyon of Hvítá river in southwest Iceland.
Gullfoss is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland. The wide Hvítá river rushes southward, and about a kilometre above the falls it turns sharply to the right and flows down into a wide curved three-step “staircase” and then abruptly plunges in two stages (11 metres or 36 feet, and 21 metres or 69 feet) into a crevice 32 metres (105 ft) deep. The crevice, about 20 metres (66 ft) wide and 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) in length, extends perpendicular to the flow of the river. The average amount of water running down the waterfall is 140 cubic metres (4,900 cu ft) per second in the summer and 80 cubic metres (2,800 cu ft) per second in the winter. The highest flood measured was 2,000 cubic metres (71,000 cu ft) per second.
As one first approaches the falls, the edge is obscured from view, so that it appears that the river simply vanishes into the earth.
During the first half of the 20th century and some years into the late 20th century, there was much speculation about using Gullfoss to generate electricity. During this period, the waterfall was rented indirectly by its owners, Tómas Tómasson and Halldór Halldórsson, to foreign investors. However, the investors’ attempts were unsuccessful, partly due to lack of money. The waterfall was later sold to the state of Iceland, and is now protected.
Sigríður Tómasdóttir, the daughter of Tómas Tómasson, was determined to preserve the waterfall’s condition and even threatened to throw herself down it. Although it is widely believed, the very popular story that Sigríður saved the waterfall from exploitation is untrue. A stone memorial to Sigriður, located above the falls, depicts her profile.

The weather was rainy today, so the photos do not do the Gullfoss justice.  David says it is world class.IMG_1018

 

After we got all the shots we wanted at Gullfoss we headed to Fontana Geothermal Baths for a nice soak.  I have been to the Blue Lagoon before but I found this one a lot more relaxing and cheaper.  David and I both enjoyed the couple hours we spent there. We came out refreshed and relaxed.

Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths is located in the center of the most popular tourist route in Iceland, the Golden Circle.

A unique experience of the healing powers of the geothermal springs, one may soak in a natural pool, listen to the bubbling hot spring in the steam rooms, or for the venturesome, take a dip in the refreshing lake.

https://www.fontana.is/

I went in to shower and was having a hell of a time trying to get my swimsuit top off.  I was fighting and fighting with it thinking why can’t David be in here to help me.  I was beginning to think I was going to be stuck in it when it finally decided to let me go.  Finally, washed and dress in my street close I was ready to leave.

 

Next we headed towards the Olvisholt Brewery.

 

There was no sign on the road we had to turn on but we headed down what we were hoping was the right road.  We were looking for a Old Dairy Farm.  That was a joke because that was all there was out there.  Our luck was with us because lo and behold we came up to a driveway with Olvisholt on it.  There was only one car there.  We parked up and a guy walked up to us.  He said, “Can I help you?” I replied, “We are looking for beer.”  He told us that he had just closed but he would serve us a beer if we didn’t mind sitting in the tap room by ourselves because he had just got a load of barrels in he had to deal with.  We told him no problem. We got a flight of the 7 beers he had on tap.  We were very impressed with the beer.  Alysnn who we met at Skuli the night before showed up and Steinn gave us all a tour of the brewery.  There are only 3 people that work here, so they stay pretty busy.

OUR Journey
Ölvisholt Brewery is a microbrewery located at an old dairy farm in south Iceland, near Selfoss. It was founded in the year 2007 by two neighboring farmers who had a true passion for beer. This passion is the not-so-secret ingredient in all the beers Ölvisholt brews today.
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​An old barn was re-purposed to house the small brewery and this is where our skillful brewmaster conjures up some of the best beers Iceland has ever produced. Right from the start the aim was to produce beer of a quality that Iceland was not used to, thus starting the popular microbrewery trend that now is evident in Iceland. The popularity of the microbreweries makes sure that everyone at Ölvisholt keeps pushing themselves to the highest standards of quality and entrepreneurship.

You can find our beers in all premium bars in Iceland and Vinbudin, the government run liquor store. In addition our beers are exported to USA and Sweden with more countries lined up to experience our beers in the months to come.

 

After spending time with some great people we headed back to the apartment.  I was falling asleep and my feet were really hurting, so after a nice nap David went to get us a pizza for supper.  I have such a wonderful husband!