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Updated: Nov 4, 2022


Our first “real campsite” one might say. I was actually still a little chilly last night, and Iti is a good sleeping buddy and quite warm—her duvet is DIVINE. So kind of her to share it with me. Whatta buddy. 11/10 stars. We slept until about 9 today, and then when Iti got up to be adultish, Axelle crawled into bed w me for our 5 more minutes. We tried to make Iti jealous with our spooning, but she had bigger plans trying to figure out how to singlehandedly take on the largest glacier in Iceland. Much to her and Nathan's dismay, we decided not to try driving straight over it—but rather around as every good tourist should do. I'm the voice of reason I've come to realize on this trip--plus apparently I was the only one who knew we only got the basic insurance coverage. That's my adult-ish contribution for the trip.

Breakfast was minimal, and honestly, the instant coffee isn’t as bad as I originally thought. Time will tell if it gives you as bad of sh*ts as normal instant coffee, but my hopes are remaining high in the spirits of the day. After packing up and rolling out (lol literally at first), we went to a mushroom shaped waterfall to throw some rocks and take dramatic sweater photos, then onward towards the national park. It’s key to note that at this national park, Axelle almost killed over from heat stroke and migraine, my fingers swelled up so much that I had to force my rings off, and Iti nearly ate complete sh*t running down the hill. Apparently the waterfall hike we picked was featured on some Estonian tv show where they struggled to hike in the elements. I’m sure Iti could have handled it with ease.

Keeping the habit, we tried to find some Estonians to chat with—Iti yelling out several phrases and such—but no luck. We got some ice cream and watched multiple school groups set off on various trails from the visitors center before deciding what our next move would be. It was around this time that Axelle decided tomorrow would be the ideal day for her and Nathan to book a FOUR HOUR GLACIER HIKE. Iti and I took the news well, and later that evening with campsite selected and hotdog in hand, we figured we’d just simply **bond** for the entire day tomorrow. That being said, it made sense for the rest of our day to be filled with localized smaller attractions, glacier lagoon, and of course diamond beach.

We giggled and climbed around a hidden falls and napped and read alongside the river overflow, enjoying Iti's new found proficiency in "google maps attractions." We committed to making the drive to glacier lagoon and I couldn't be more thankful we did--as the afternoon sun cast a golden hour across the mountainsides and glacier run offs everywhere we looked. The drive towards glacier lagoon we kept to our mission and just admired the view in awe while Of Monsters And Men played in the background, but on the drive back towards our campsite we stopped and enjoyed the everlasting glow by taking some photos and videos, all the while halfway bent over from extensive laughter.

It was around this moment that I realized Iti was not camera shy towards art photos, and I ended up having to calm my little pitter pattering heart for the rest of the evening as I looked through her photos. Love a model on a trip, especially a model that's really a buddy. More on that later. At glacier lagoon we took one of the earlier pull offs and ran around rabid so as to not disturb the tourists too much at the end of the day. Iti played Bay-Watch, Nathan drank the glacier KoolAid, and we thoroughly enjoyed just being children alongside a big pond with ice cubes in it...essentially.

At diamond beach I impromptu proposed to Axelle (hey, I have green cards to acquire and I only have less life to be lived each day!) with the biggest ice I could find, and then she later pulled her pants down in front of 50+ tourists for a snapchat video (rethinking that proposal). We had found the cutest campsite, so when we finished our diamond beach scampering and golden hour photo shooting we pulled in absolutely exhausted. It 100% showed, as we tacked each other to the ground like absolute children and laughed until no understandable sound came out.

I have no list of reasons as to why this occurred, just that it was the funniest thing that had happened all day--and that's saying a lot. The old people around us didn’t seem to mind, which was a good thing as we continued on like this for a good bit until we determined eating would be both a responsible and intelligent move. I also had heaps of photos to work on—so I left the crew to their shenanigans while I got to work.

What a joyous space—groups of people piled into this dining hall, playing cards, laughing, singing ABBA, sharing family meals. If this is what heaven looks like, I’ll consider it the grandest place in the world. Iti joined me to see the photos early, and of course I made her stare at the most BEAUTIFUL photos of her own face forever as I fangirled over them. She was definitely pleased and agreed to watch my tech as I showered in the push-start shower and proceeded to cry at how much I already missed my life here in Icelandia. It truly has become home, and won’t be easy to leave in my next season of life. I don't know whether it was the lavender body wash, or the joyfulness I had witnessed in the dining hall, or the sheer tranquility of this campsite, but the tears just fell and I just let them. I believe it was just one of those days that your soul realizes is a gem to be treasured for the rest of your time, and I can allow myself to be grateful at emotional depth at this point.

Fast forward after the shower and the photos are set to start uploading--AXELLE AND NATHAN’S DINNER WAS DISGUSTING. Whatever they did with the pasta was beyond vile, and if we all weren’t so hungry I’d fire them right there ESPECIALLY considering their detour tomorrow—so we sent them off to bed early and Iti and I went to the picnic table outside the check-in house to watch euphoria off the weak wifi, midnight sunset blazing around us. For the next hour we messed around, probably making too much noise and learning too many dance moves as the photos loaded, because we were tired of hiding the euphoria screen from the lingering check in lady. Not for any reason of course other than to shield her pure mind, obviously. :) When we finally retired at 1:30am, we deiced it better to sleep until Axelle woke us so she could take responsibility for her booking actions. I’ve always considered Iti my friend this summer, but whether it be the crisp glacial air or promise of tomorrow, I feel like we really became friends for a lifetime tonight. It seems almost strange we didn't click sooner, but I suppose we are all a bit more ourselves here--away from the stress of the work we did and the confinements of the days we shared. Here she seems like someone I’ve known across many lifetimes, and I’m so thankful for the midnight hours of tonight. It's comedic now running through my journals with Iti in them that my first impressions were of initial intimidation, but I love seeing the character growth there. The writers really popped off in this chapter :)

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