The Amazing Race: Toddler Edition

Whew. It’s been a busy couple of days. Yesterday we flew from Reykjavik to Akureyri in Northern Iceland. We settled in a bit, then wandered around the town. We also went to a movie at the theater. We saw the Lego Batman movie since it was in English and across the street from our AirBnB. D loved it.

Akureyri is second largest city in Iceland, and has about 18,000 residents. Even though it’s small, I really like this town. It’s easily walkable, and has a free bus that goes all over town. It’s also very beautiful and sits right in the water. 

A view of Akureyri


The main church in town.


Today we adventured around town and checked out the library, botanical gardens, and swimming pool. The library was small, but had a few toys and some books in English. The botanical gardens were very quiet, and not too exciting since it’s wintertime. We absolutely loved the pool though. It had a great kids area and there were paddle boards, which D was thrilled with. Again, I couldn’t believe how wonderful it was to swim outside, even though it was about 35-40 degrees out. The warm water is wonderful. 

Hot dog (pylsur) and potato stix. A very Icelandic meal.

Playing in the Botanic Gardens.


Our big adventure for the day was going to the grocery store. You read that right. The grocery store itself was fine, it was getting to the grocery store that had me questioning my sanity to travel solo with my toddler. Within a span of 15 minutes, we:

-walked to the bus to wait to go to the grocery store 

-realized D had pooped, and backpack with diapers/wipes was at the apartment

-raced back to the apartment, with about 10 minutes until the bus left

-tripped out the apartment door, lost my boot in the door, and dropped D, who then screamed about his back

-raced back to bus station with screaming toddler (his back was fine, no marks or lasting injury)

-changed poop diaper on a bench in the bus station, didn’t have time to get D’s shoes back on

– ran on to bus and put D’s shoes back on, since he was screaming about his lack of shoes 

-collapsed for 5-7 minutes until it was time to get off the bus

During this chaos, it occurred to me that the tv show The Amazing Race should do a season of parents traveling the world with small children. I’d watch that. It would be ridiculous. For example: at the pool, D was pretending to save a cat from a tree, and yelled when I didn’t “get the ladder.” I tried everything I could think of to “get the ladder.” After distracting him with something else, I raised my legs out of the water a few minutes later, and D clapped and said “you raised the ladder mama!” Ahh. Ok. See? No challenges required for the tv show. Just survive being in another country with toddlers. Entertainment is built in.

Cool American Flavor Doritos. American, ranch, same thing.


We also had a glamorous evening of doing laundry at the hostel in town, which required me using a pair of scissors to get a stuck coin out of the slot so the machine would work. At least I got a beer while we waited for the laundry.

Tomorrow we are going to do a day trip to see some of the land features and natural baths in the area. Hoping for more fun adventure, less chaotic adventure. We will see!

A view of the harbor in Akureyri.

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