More Jack on a Map – Time to be a kid in Iceland’s capital city!
Not Another Tour
The grand South Coast tour the day before had been jam packed. Jack didn’t seem too keen at the prospect of doing another one. “Damn, what would his mom do?” I pondered, “Think Dad, think!” My inner “Jenny” voice came through loud and clear—“Just let him be a kid!”
“More snow!” Jack squealed as he tore aside the curtains in the morning. He downed his usual Skuggi breakfast feast of watermelon and bacon and then, with a sunny day ahead of us, we set off to visit the Reykjavik Zoo.
The two mile walk should’ve taken about forty minutes but thanks to Jack’s snow obsession it took twice that. Part of the delay was enduring a ten-minute snowball assault, although Jack wasn’t wearing his gloves. “I can make better snowballs this way,” he reasoned.
Damnit, I should’ve known better! His reddened, icicle fingers shook as I warmed his hands in mine. The numbness wore off and the California Kid’s eye’s welled up as he experienced his first freezing burn. “Keep your gloves on,” Dad gruffed and Jack skipped away to do a snow angel (he’s a miraculous healer).
Fun at the Zoo
Almost there, we just had to follow the sign to “Fjölskyldu-og húsdýragarðurinn”.
Entry was about $15 USD for the two of us. The zoo’s slogan suggested a fun visit: “Not the biggest but definitely the cutest park in town.” The animals are mostly native to Iceland (there’s plenty of farm animals) which Jack loved see up close and was often able to pet.
Jack even made some friends—a group of school kids by the seal pool. They tried their hardest to communicate despite the language barrier, which didn’t prevent them from having some laughs.
For me, the best part of zoo was putting together this compellation of “Dad Jokes.”
After seeing all the animals, Jack sprinted to the pirate ship playground! It even boasted a sandbox with motorized kiddie excavators. Another glorious hour fizzled away.
Jack’s only been ice-skating a couple times since the rink closest to our home is a good 45 minutes away.
He loved the chance to skate in Iceland, albeit inside. The experience wasn’t much different than Santa Barbara’s “Ice in Paradise” rink, except for when…
…the lights went out…
…disco ball lights speckled the ice with rainbow beams like a wintery Saturday Night Fever (on a Monday afternoon)…
…Justin Bieber began pumping through the speakers…
…all the kids cheered!!!
I stood tall on my blades and began a respectful slow clap. Iceland, you have recreational ice-skating totally dialed in!
Instead of walking back (with probably more “snow delays”), a city bus stopped 20 yards ahead of us. I prompted Jack, “Hurry, let’s get on!” His first experience with public transit, yay! Unfortunately the couple bills I had were the equivalent $20 each and the driver stated they don’t give change. But, all was not lost or too pricey. Our driver told me about the Strætó app I could pay with instead.
God bless you technology (and international roaming!). Soon Jack and I were square with the Reykjavik Transit Authority and moseyed to the back of the bus for the remainder of our 10-minute ride.
Get Out There!
What a great compliment to our extensive tour the day before – just getting out and being a dad in one of the coolest cities (in both senses of the word) in Europe. But Iceland’s not done yet – join me for the final story about the country’s arguably biggest attraction—the Blue Lagoon.