Thursday, September 25, 2014

New York is new again!

My friend Xiang is in town and everything seems new again! From the old school post office beside our building to our subway entrance, everything is seen in a different light and I just gotta learn to appreciate it all with the help of Xiang.

This is what happens when you fall into a routine and everything becomes mundane and boring! I guess I still think that subway entrance is creepy and the post office is old but she sees it as an experience! Love it!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

nykeiko travels: Day One in Reykjavik in Pictures

Day one in Reykjavik started when we landed just a bit before 6 a.m. Like I mentioned before, we were stuck on the tarmac for more than an hour due to hurricane Cristobal's high winds. When we finally escaped, we picked up our rental car, grabbed some breakfast and coffee at Reykjavik Roasters, checked into our apartment we booked via Airbnb, napped and had lunch at Dirty Burgers and Ribs just before driving out to the Golden Circle for some geyser action. For dinner, we checked out a local fare, Snaps which was just a few minutes from our apartment. A jam-packed first day but totally worth it!

Watching the movie that inspired our trip to Iceland on the plane: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Weekend snapshots and oh, I'm one year older!

At Harpa in Reykjavik
I'm still in an Icelandic state of mind and haven't had much time to write here. My birthday, visits from family (my cousin from SF and Dave's cousin+mom+baby+husband!) and a wedding last week has made our being back home quite hectic. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

In pictures: Snapshots from Betsey Johnson's Spring Summer S/S 2015 "Pre-Nup" Runway show

Betsey Johnson 'Pre Nup' Spring 2015 NYFW show
Iceland was amaaaazing and it was a bit sad to leave the ethereal landscapes and come back to a bustling city with no mountains, glaciers or roaming wild sheeps in sight. But what made it a bit easier for me is to have a seat at the Betsey Johnson's NYFW show waiting for me (Thanks T.Y.!)

I was ready for NYFW but not my feet. First day back from Iceland. 

This would be my first time attending a Betsey Johnson fashion show and it is probably the most entertaining fashion show I have experienced thus far. I mean you've got drag queens, real housewives and a transgender model (from America's Next Top Model) taking the runway; Christina Milian in front row (what is she up to nowadays?), cameo by Dancing with the Stars' Tony Dovolani (Betsey's partner on the show), a dedication to marriage equality (yay!) and finally, seeing Betsey's signature cartwheel split (with her granddaughter!). All there. Am I missing something? Probably. There was so much going on. I'm happy to see first hand why there's always a buzz echoing from NYFW's most eclectic show. I wouldn't necessarily wear any of the clothes because you know, I'm married and not because I would dare wear a sheer wedding dress with furry pom-poms covering my lady bits. I was trying to figure out which items are the buyers interested in. Her clothes are just a tad too crazy for me but fun to see on the models. I caught myself giggling a few times. Some of the models were just so quirky. Actually, all of them.

Who goes to a fashion show and forgets her camera? Me! But handy iphone in hand, I got some pretty decent pictures from second row. Enjoy!

First Look

#TBT=#ThrowbackTravels #22: Jökulsárlón Lagoon, Iceland

This is throwback to last Thursday (okay, Wednesday)... 
There's going to be a ton of posts about Iceland. You have been warned...

Monday, September 8, 2014

nykeiko travel: Instead of the aurora borealis, we saw this... [Bárđarbunga, Iceland]

Red glow from Bardarbunga volcano seen from our campsite by Lake Myvatn  
(Tomorrow is our last day in Iceland. Feeling pretty darn sad right now).

After almost a week of rain and cloudy skies, we finally enjoyed some sunny days and clear(er) skies north of Iceland. That's also when I started waking myself up at random times during the night in hopes of catching a glimpse of the aurora borealis. At our campsite by Lake Myvatn with minimal city lights, I was hopeful to see some light action. I peaked my head out of our tent at random hours of the night (1:00, 2:00, 3:00 a.m.) but saw nothing. Just plain old boring shiny stars (no, no, they were also pretty especially the shooting stars.) At around 3 a.m., I decided to make a trip to the bathroom to make good use of my time and that's when I noticed a bright red glow from afar coming from the direction where Bárđarbunga is suppose to be. About 110 km away. You know Bárđarbunga, that volcano on the news you surely heard about and that has made many people question why we were still going to Iceland for our vacation destination. The fact is, we knew (hoped) that the volcano would not affect much of our itinerary and it really didn't. 

As you can see on the map below, everything north of the volcano was closed off due to the potential risk of flooding, but we had no plans of going there at all. Lake Myvatn falls right on top of the closed off area and that's where we spent one night close to "danger". Just close enough for me to get these pretty cool pictures. It's no spewing lava or anything but that's perfectly fine with me. (If you want to see spewing lava, click on the volcano's live webcams here!)

More pics..

Friday, September 5, 2014

nykeiko eats: New in Iceland! Dirty Burger and Ribs [Reykavik, Iceland]

Dirty Burger and Fries opened in August in an old gas station in Reykavik
Dave wanted me to blog about Dirty Burger and Ribs because he is proud to be in the know of what's new and hot in Iceland even though we're just here for 10 days. What's hot in Iceland right now is Reykavik's newest burger and ribs joint, Dirty Burger and Fries, opened by Iceland's only Michelin-starred chef, Agnar Sverisson. This is where we went for lunch on our first day in Reykavik. There was a short line inside when we got there but it was not too bad. We were probably the only out-of-towners and the menu was in Icelandic. I was going to give up at first and just ask what they offered but after reading the menu over and over and seeing what was churning out of the kitchen, the words hamborgari, franskar, grisarif and gos became obvious. This place only served hamburgers, ribs, fries and soda (oh and beer too!)

Dave ordered ribs and fries while I ordered the burger and fries. We both thought the burger and ribs were finger lickin' good  (We didn't lick our fingers though because they were pretty dirty from our travels.) The best part of the burger was obviously the meat and then the sauce and the pickled onions. It tasted clean and wasn't greasy at all. I said it was better than Shake Shack burgers only because there was no grease soaking through the bun making the burger too soggy to enjoy. It was just a plain delicious burger made with 100% Icelandic beef. Dave's ribs were also excellent. They were so tender and fell right off the bone. The BBQ sauce was also good and there was more of it in a bottle if you wanted to soak each bite with sauce which is exactly what I did. The only thing we thought we could have passed on was the fries which was a bit stale for our taste but maybe that's just how Icelandic fries are and we don't know any better since it is our first time in Iceland. There was indeed a cheaper combo where you can get both a burger, ribs and fries plus soda which is what we should have done (and a bit cheaper).

One combo with one burger or ribs plus fries and soda is 1380 ISK (~$12). Burger, ribs, fries and soda combo is 2380 ISK (~$20).

Thursday, September 4, 2014

nykeiko eats: Reykavik Roasters [Iceland]

First meal in Iceland at Reykavik Roasters

Currently writing this in our rented Airbnb house in Seyoisfjorour right beneath a beautiful waterfall. We have been in Iceland for 5 days now.

On the first day we arrived to Reykavik, we landed just before 6 a.m. but waited for more than an hour and a half on the tarmac to debark due to heavy winds from the remnants of hurricane Cristobal (The captain confirms it was over 56 knots and although I don't know what that meant, it was just too windy to do anything.) We had a pretty turbulent landing so I'm just happy we landed safely. There was also some heavy rain which was not the best welcome from Iceland we could wish for but as soon as we hopped into our rental car and started driving, the vast beautiful landscape made it all okay.

We arrived in Reykavik still bright and early and our first stop was at a coffee shop Dave read good things about, Reykavik Roasters. I needed some coffee and we were both really hungry. I knew European croissants would be different so I got one of that and Dave got a scone with jam and butter. My croissant was so flaky and good. The coffee was strong. Perfect to start our day but with only a couple of hours of sleep on the plane, even the coffee didn't help.

The prices in Iceland are shockingly high. My latte was 560 ISK (just a bit less than 5 bucks), croissant was 360 ISK (~$3 USD) and Dave's scone was 600 ISK (~$5.20 USD). Well now that I wrote it out, it is not too far from New York city prices...

Update: On our last day in Iceland, we returned and I got myself a super nice smooth cappuccino and a 'pain au chocolat'. Both I would recommend!