Tips on Traveling in Iceland, Part 1: Driving/Renting a Car

So, I’ve had a lot of people recently mention they are planning a trip to Iceland soon and are looking for recommendations for when they travel. I figured it might be best to blog about my thoughts/tips instead of writing to each individual person. I was going to try to do one big ol’ blog post, but then I ended up writing nearly 2,000 words on just driving alone, so I figure I’ll split these up and spread them out (making them more digestible AND making me feel more productive on the blog front)!

Hopefully this information will prove useful to people, though definitely keep in mind there is much more to consider beyond my experiences and opinions. Also keep in mind that I am currently traveling during their spring/summer period, so the weather conditions are considerably different than if you are planning to come here in the winter. I’ll try to note some additional considerations you’ll need to make for other times of the year, but since that falls outside of my own experience, you’ll probably want to do some additional research if you’re coming here during the winter months.

For a little background on me for those who might have found this blog through a friend or an independent search: I’m currently in the middle of my 2nd trip to Iceland. The first one was more of a quick, tour-heavy, pre-planned excursion, which was perfect for the 4-day venture me and my travel companions had set out for (we found a pretty reasonably priced deal through Travel Zoo that include airfare, hotel accommodations in Reykjavík, and a Northern lights tour that brought us here in November 2013).

The trip I’m currently on is a month-long tour of the country, though I am primarily based in Southern Iceland, fairly close to Rt. 1, the main road in the country, also known as the Ring Road. Although one of my main intentions while being here is to write, I’m also trying to see as much of the country as possible. And considering that Iceland is about the size of Ohio, there’s plenty of opportunity to achieve this in the time I’m here!

This particular blog deals with getting around in Iceland, specifically with my experience of renting a car. I know many people debate doing this, both because of the fear of driving in a foreign land and because of the price, but based on my experience, I think having your own vehicle is worth the expense. Continue reading

Good Grief…

Alright, another shameless plug/plea…

I posted about Grief: A Life in 5 Stages last year when the first volume came out, and now we’re at it again…


Peace, by Heather Shaw

Because I paid for that one out-of-pocket, and can’t really afford to do so again this year, I launched a Kickstarter in the hopes of raising the funds needed to come out with vol 2.

So, if you liked what you saw last year, please consider donating to the cause this year. And if you’d like to be a part of the project, send your submissions my way! Looking for original art, photography, and writing (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, essay)! You can send submissions (jpeg files for art or Word docs for writing) to sara @



When they love you and they will, tell them all, they’ll love in my shadow…And if they try to slow you down, tell them all, to go to hell

The past couple of months have been such a crazy whirlwind, and although I’d like to believe that will slow down soon, with the holidaze almost upon us, so I’m finding that hard to believe. Continue reading

YOLO, mutha truckas.

Hello Friends of the Internet!

I realize that I’ve been doing so much stuff in connection to the blog that I’ve actually been neglecting to WRITE in the blog. D’oh.

Apologies for the cliché, but I really hit the ground running in 2013. As I’ve noted earlier, I feel that, although good things did happen in that time, the past 2 years have been a bit stagnant for me and it was time to start really getting my shit together. My friends are half-amused, half baffled by my only-sort-of joking adoption of the now-passé adage of YOLO (or “You Only Live Once” for those of you not into silly Internet slang). But I appreciate the sentiment, and instead of using it to create silly internet memes or drink to excess, I’m using it as a light-hearted reminder that life is indeed short and there’s a lot of shit I still want to get done before my time is over.

Original image from:

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It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas…

Well, there’s still a lot more to go, but Phase 1 of the ornament wreath is complete! Thank you, Pinterest, for compelling me to enter a craft store during the holiday season. I guess it at least helps to earn me ovary street cred.

Hopefully I’ll be able to wrap this project up before the holiday is over…

Naše lomenice je mezi lomenicemi ta nejlomenicovatější.

Not a whole lot going on right now, aside from the fact that it’s once again snowing… (Oh snow, how I’ve come to loathe you, especially since relying on public transportation 5 days a week…). Trying to get back into a “normal” routine post-holidays isn’t easy, especially when dealing with the mounting fatigue from the past few months, the snow days, and the still-new, considerably earlier weekday morning routine finally taking its toll.

The biggest excitement to report is that I finally bought my plane ticket for my Eastern European adventure this March!! I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to pull it off this paycheck, especially since rent was due, but I was able to *just* scrape by with enough to get me to next week. SO excited! And happy too, since I got a better deal than the prices I saw this summer when we first started looking (looks like Kate and her article were right: you should wait until about 8 weeks out before buying your ticket). Now that the dates/airfare are settled, it’s just a matter of determining hostels/transportation between cities. So much to do, so little time!

So, that’s really it for now… aside from that, D and I have been watching the last season of Reno 911 on Netflix and I’ve been trying to ignore the fact that the Christmas Tree and decorations are still patiently waiting to be put away. I love how I’m justifying not actually physically taking the tree down by not plugging it in anymore… “Well, at least it’s a step…” Sigh. Who said I could be an adult?

Anyway, I should really get to bed…actually, I should have really gotten to bed 3 hours ago. Even though the chances are high I’ll be working from home tomorrow, I still need to be up and ready to work at 8:30 a.m…although I am admittedly tempted to take a PTO day and take advantage of free mimosas at PYT. Oh work, won’t you call it a snow day? For me?

‘Til next time… Goodnight, dear readers!

park that car; drop that phone; sleep on the floor; dream about me.

A quick recap/brief highlight reel of this weekend:

-Partook in my Friday ritual of sushi lunch at Kabuki. I was anxious to get down to Maryland, but I was starving.
-After finishing up my “Midnight Train to Georgia’ mix CD for Parr’s fundraising efforts, I was out the door and ready for some Kingsville adventures! I made good time, despite some pockets of traffic on 676 and 95S.
-Night out with Parr and Momma P.! We made our way to the local bar, which is always our destination when we’re at Parr’s parents’ house. Although the name/ownership has changed, the sentiment is the same: cheap booze, decent eats, and a guarenteed good time. After stuffing myself silly with just about every crab dish on the menu (cream of crab soup, crab dip, crab sliders), we made our way to the bar to play some erotic photo hunt before choosing to switch to regular photo hunt (this erotic photo hunt was much more scandalous than the one from our college days!). The switch proved a good move: we ending up rocking the game and placing 1st and 3rd (so if you go to the Horseshoe Bar, look out for PaaarrrrrrrSaaaarrrrr or something to that effect). A good send off to my dear friend. Here’s hoping the wolves don’t get you in the Republic of Georgia, Parr!
-Now that the cat is out of the bag, I can announce on the internets that Parr is engaged! We spent a good portion of my time there looking at wedding dresses, planning the wedding, and determining what elements important to a Jewish ceremony I could decorate with glitter (her fiance told me I could make him a Yarmulke and I am holding him to it :))

-Although I couldn’t stay for the goodbye/congratulations party, I was able to spend a little more quality time with the Parrs Saturday morning and even got to see Norris for a little bit. After greeting some arriving guests, setting a date to go dress shopping for when she returns (in April! :(), and getting some broccoli cheese casserole for the road, I was off.
-I hustled back to Jersey (less than an hour and a half–w00t!), unpacked and repacked my overnight bag, and burned a new batch of CDs (this time an 80s playlist), and heading down to Margate to celebrate a final “girls night out” before Jillian officially becomes ball-and-chained!
-The night started off at Steve and Cookie’s, where we had a delicious meal (I had flounder-stuffed with crabmeat, smashed potatoes, and roasted asparagus. YUM). The owners sent over a dessert sampling for the bride-to-be, so I also got to sample some of the banana cream pie, also amazing.
-After the meal, we headed back to the hotel room for the 80s-themed sleepover. There was dancing, there was blue eye shadow, there was gorging on junk food, and yes, there were rousing rounds of Never Have I Ever. A good time was had by all, and I am still amazed to have met someone who managed to truly shock me with the shit coming out of her mouth. For those who know me, you know this is no small feat. I think I finally experienced what most people claim to experience with me on a regular basis: “here’s the line, and here’s you.” I tip my hat to her!

-After a weekend chocked full of traveling, socializing, and grazing, I was beyond exhausted. After cleaning up the miscellaneous beer bottles, balloons, and neon bracelets, we all kind of sat around and vegged until checkout. Since D had dropped me off and taken the car (he had also been down in Margate for Tim’s bach-party), I caught a ride back to Hammonton with Jill to meet up with our men.
-We decided to grab breakfast at Mary’s, one of D’s favorite haunts from our Hammonton days and we were once again reminded why we can’t live there: within the course of the meal, I must have seen/had awkward small talk with at least 4 people I knew. Don’t get me wrong, it can certainly be nice to go home “where everybody knows your name,” but I definitely appreciate the option of anonymity.
-After breakfast, we went back to Jill & Tim’s and spent the afternoon being lazy, watching football and napping. It was a nice way to spend the day after running around nonstop for the past week.
-Jill & Tim needed to head to the mall late in the afternoon to make a return, so D and I headed to my parents for a visit. The whole crew was there and we hung out for dinner and then stayed ’til late evening. As always, it was good to see my family. I miss being closer to them, especially my parents and really need to make a better effort to try to get down a couple times a month.

So, that’s about it, although I’m probably forgetting a thing or two. Monday was Monday: I was tired, but productive. Spent most of the day with my face buried in my monograph, which needs to get out to the client ASAP. I stayed ’til about 7 tonight to get that ready for my manager to review. I also got the materials together for the BELS exam. I hoping to take it in November so I can become ELS (Editor of Life Sciences) certified and then have fancy credentials after my name. Here’s hoping that I a) get the application back in time (I thought I had to go to NYC for a work trip, but ending up not having to go, so I’m kind of slapping this together last minute) b) I actually pass if I can take the test. I’ve heard mixed things about its difficulty. I took out the old AMA book tonight to start brushing up and got overwhelmed (can you blame me when it’s a 1000-page  manual??).

Interestingly enough: I took my diploma out of the paper tube I received it in 5 1/2 years ago for the first time today (I needed to send a copy of it for my BELS exam review). I’ve never actually looked at it before. It’s HUGE and completely in Latin. So weird such an important document in my life has been essentially useless all this time…

I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more.

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I’m so stoked that we’re so close to our goal of $500–thank you SO much to all our friends and family who have already showed your support. I am truly so thankful to everyone who has helped us–but there still a ways to go!! Help Team Nay Nay reach $500 before The Memory Walk on Nov. 14th! Let’s go the distance now so future generations won’t have to…

In 2005, my mother was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's, at the age of 54. Help me help others not have to see their mothers, father, brothers, sisters, or other loved ones go through this.