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Iceland Trip

In August, Anjali and I went to Iceland.  This was a last minute decision to go to Iceland.  I was changing jobs and had a full week before my new gig started.  Iceland had been on our shortlist and the timing worked out great with tickets, hotel availability and the fantastic weather in Iceland at the time.

We started our journey in Reykjavik.  The trip from the airport to downtown is about an hour drive and right away, you can start to see the volcanic terrain of the island.

We spent a night in Reykjavik and did some local sightseeing, before heading out in our rental car along the northern coastline.

The main church of Hallgrímskirkja was right next to our B&B.

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The next morning, we began our drive to the volcanic Snaefellsnes peninsula.

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There were so many beautiful waterfalls along the drive.iceland003 - 1.jpg

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The drive ended at the ocean and the Londragar lava formations.  One can follow the lava flows from the mountain all the way into the ocean.  Fantastic!

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As we drove further into the northern part of Iceland, we ran across a seal “crossing” near Hvammstangi.  The seals were lounging in the sun and there were dozens of them. Look closely – there are three seals in the foreground and six in background.iceland1002 - 1.jpgiceland1003 - 1.jpg

On day 4 of our trip, we made it to the northern city of Husavik.  This is known as Iceland’s whale watching capital.  We took an all day boat tour on a a viking sailing vessel from North Sailing.  I’d highly recommend their tours as you will see from the below pictures.

On the way to the whale site, we ventured past Puffin Island – a natural habitat for the puffin birds.  There were tens of thousands of the birds.

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Finally, we got to the whale site and after about two hours of seeing humpback whales from a distance we finally got “lucky” and had one come up right along side the boat.  What a thrill!  We also saw a number of Minke whales – these whales are much smaller and faster.

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There was one whale that played along side our boat for at least 40 minutes.  According to the captain, this was quite an unusual treat.  Must have been the fantastic weather!

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Definitely the highlight of the trip and ingrained in my memories for life.

From Husavik, we drove a couple of hours inland and saw a pair of waterfalls called Dettifoss and Selfoss. Dettifoss (which is a short distance downstream from Selfoss) is know to be the most powerful waterfall in all of Europe.

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Next stop and a bit further inland is Lake Myvatn. The area surrounding Lake Myvatn has the highest concentration of volcanic and geothermal sights in Iceland.  In a single day, we were able to explore pseudocraters, rock formations, lava fields, see mud pools and steam vents and eventually relax in a volcanic steam bath.

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These are photos from the Hverond Mud pits and Steam vents – a little off the beaten path but so eerie and quite smelly. Definitely worth the drive!

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iceland1022 - 1.jpgAfter Hveraond, we went a short drive to Dimmuborgr Lava formations and explored the natural lava formations.

 

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In the distance, you can see the Hverfjall Cinder Cone.  We spent a couple of hours and hiked to the top of the cone.iceland1024 - 1.jpg

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At the end of the day, we went to the Jardbodin Nature Baths.  It’s the northern Iceland equivalent of the Blue Lagoon Spa.  The water is heated and regulated by the steam vents.  Kind of an odd experience – probably would not go back to do this.

From the Myvatn area, we headed back to Reykjavik to catch our flight back to LA!

What a fantastic, experience and highly recommended!  With less than a week between booking our tickets and beginning on our journey, we leveraged the expertise of a travel planner from Kim Kim.  I’d highly recommend it as our planner Chris McCarty pointed us to so many sights we would not have known about.

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Luna doesn’t quite know what to make of the big waves and she approaches them quite cautiously.Puppy16 - 1Puppy13 - 1Puppy18 - 1

Once she wet, she’s all in!Puppy14 - 1Puppy15 - 1

Cute Luna

Luna has been keeping us busy.  She enjoys digging in the yard.Puppy17 - 1Puppy11 - 1

Here is Luna playing with her fried Shelby.Puppy10 - 1Puppy12 - 1

Luna Puppy

We just got a new Golden Retriever and her name is Luna.Puppy003 - 1

She is named after a character from Harry Potter named Luna Lovegood.

She is two months old,  11 pounds and so very sweet.

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She’s got quite the personality so far.

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Mexico Vacation

We just got back from our vacation to Mexico City and Huatulco.

We landed in Mexico City and spent the first few days seeing the sights.  We took a day trip to see the pyramids in Teotihuacan.  These are the Sun and Moon pyramids and we got to climb to the top of both of them.

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The ride back from the pyramids is about an hour and a half and we pass thru the mountain ranges and see the the most colorful houses.

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On Day 3, we went to a small town on the Pacific side of Mexico about a 1 hour flight from the city.  We rented a nice beach house right on the sand on Playa Bocana just outside of Huatulco.

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We had the most amazing sunrise every morning.

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Here is a picture from the pool deck.

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About a 10 minute walk up the beach, there was a reservoir with pink flamingos!

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All day long, we would see the pelicans fishing in the ocean.

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On one of the last days in Huatulco, we went for a river rafting excursion.

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It looks pretty scary but wasn’t too bad.

Check out this amazing photo of an eagle we saw on the river.

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We are now back from vacation and getting ready for school after a long summer!

High School Graduation

Nikhil and Vikram both graduated from Beckman High School in June and will soon be on their way to UC San Diego (both of them).

Here they are in the procession line.

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Here is Nikhil receiving his diploma.

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Here is Vikram after receiving his diploma.

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And finally the boys with their grand parents.

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Annika’s Promotion

Annika is starting high school now.  Here are some pictures from her Promotion ceremony in June.khare-blog-331

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Here she is with Mom and Dad.

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