Iceland Summer Travel

Captain and I went to Iceland for New Year’s this year and enjoyed a beautiful wintry landscape. We loved it so much that we decided to visit again this summer!

In January, we rented an SUV and drove counterclockwise from West Iceland to the southern coast, ending around Jökulsárlón.

This July, we set the loftier goal of touring the whole island by car. So we continued our counterclockwise agenda and left Reykjavík the moment we arrived.

Old turf house/storage

We nicknamed these areas “Troll Dunes”

Beautiful Icelandic horses at every turn

One of the many falls we came across

Little hidden waterfall in Skaftafell – Vatnajokull National Park

Svartifoss

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

It is possibly the most beautiful sight in all of Iceland 💙

Diamond Beach

East Iceland – random stop along our drive

Hverir – geothermal spot near Lake Mývatn

Fishing for brown trout at River Laxa

Charming guesthouse at Blönduos

Seal watching commonly done from Hvammstangi

Hólmavík

Western fjords

Wildflowers everywhere! Heydalur Country Guesthouse

Soaking in a hot pot is heavenly

Ended our trip in the lovely city of Reykjavík

We had an amazing time and loved every town we visited. Icelandic folks are kind and welcoming… and made of steel. I don’t know if there are tougher people around!

Eight days is ambitious to drive the whole country but since it was our second visit, we avoided some of the spots we’d visited already. If we return one day, I would love to take my time in the western fjords. So much to see and not enough time to do it all!

Many bloggers helped influence the decision to visit this magical country. So thank you for sharing your travel photos and stories! Feel free to share more Iceland recommendations and thoughts…

Bless, bless!

💙 Athena

Advertisements

Family Engagement

When you have kids from a previous marriage, dating is not often the easiest thing to maneuver. You come as a package deal… kids are still attached to the idea of you getting back with their father… different personalities… wariness of adults around your kids, etc. So when I met Captain, I made sure I took my time, looked left and right, and left and right again, checked for any dangers or blind spots, and then truly crossed the road. Four years later, I’m glad I did because this man is truly a blessing.

I could sit and list all his wonderful qualities but I think his approach in asking me for my hand in marriage shows the kind of man he is. 💖


Upon arrival in Iceland, we took off for the town of Vík, where Captain had scheduled a horseback riding tour for us on Reynisfjara Beach. Knowing that this was one of my favorite spots from our last visit, he made this special place the background of his proposal. He expressed his love for me and shared beautiful observations and thoughts of my family and our life together. It was very humbling to hear his words and so satisfying to be able to echo the same love back.

But that’s not where he ended. He asked me to keep the engagement quiet until our return because he wanted to talk with my kids and involve them in what would be a second proposal.

So when we returned to Miami, I left to run some errands while he had a heart to heart with my kids. Captain shared how he adored them and wanted them to be part of his declaration of commitment and love to me. They came up with a crafty little scavenger hunt that I would find on my return.

Little cards with clues and messages were spread around the house leading me finally to my bedroom, in which a final card and my ring were displayed on my bed. My babies were dressed up, grinning from ear to ear, and waiting with champagne to toast to this moment. They showered me with kisses and affection, while Captain again repeated how he loved and wanted a life with us forever.


There isn’t a single thing in this world that means more to me than my family. He gets it- and embraces it. Can you kinda see why I think he’s so marvelous? 💗

I’ve come such a ways since my divorce….

Love, Captain Athena

How you doin?

Been a minute since I’ve been on here.

How you doin?

I’m good! Finished another school year teaching rugrat 5th graders (that I love). I see myself becoming a better educator and feel proud to have the relationship I do with those kids. 💗

My own kids are getting big! 7&10! Yikes! We are having a fun summer spending lots of quality time and doing fun rambunctious things.

I’m still co-parenting fairly well with my ex, Grayheart. Hiccups along the way, of course, but I’d give it a ratio of 90/10 in terms of the ratio of our positive to negative interactions. I marvel at how little I actually think about my marriage to him. Almost 5 years later and I don’t remember the details I used to. He’s dating a woman that will soon be moving to Miami with her two kids… in with him. She’s nice. I wish them well. I hope he does her better. But I know who he is. And chances are he’ll screw over another nice woman. Oh well.

As for me, I am still in a wonderfully committed relationship with Captain. We continue to drive the hour regularly between Miami and the Keys to see each other. I continue to count my blessings because he is an excellent man and partner.

We have a busy summer planned… Captain and I are going to Iceland, then I’ll be traveling to Nashville for my sister’s bachelorette party (millennials, sigh),  then taking my kids to see my brother in a California, and finally doing a lovely beach holiday weekend with my closest girlfriends. Just writing it down intimidates me! But it’s not a bad problem to have. 😉

Would love to hear how my friends in the blogosphere are. Sending you all lots of cariño.

xo Athena

Marriage after Divorce?

I’ve been with Captain for 3.5 years and have experienced nothing but the best of the best in my relationship. This man has nursed my emotional wounds, treats me like a queen, and loves me down to my soul. Add to it all that he is fantastic with my children, is crazy handsome, and a hard working man… well, I’ve hit the love lottery. I have never been so fulfilled and emotionally complete in my life.

So it’s natural that we discuss marriage and our future together. I only see a future with him. I would love to call him my husband and live a long, beautiful life with him. And he is very much on the same page.

But I do not want to move an hour away to the Keys where there is absolutely nothing to do but drink and go boating. Fabulous if you’re on vacation, dull and slow for a full time experience. I cannot picture raising my children there. I enjoy the network I have here in Miami. My job, my family, my friends, my things… If I was single without kids, I’d just move and suck it up.

The other obvious option is that Captain could move to Miami and just do the hour commute each morning for work. Except it’s draining. He fishes for a living. And getting up at 4 am to get back that way in time to gear up and meet his clients… not very sustainable. It’s not that it’s impossible, but we’ve done it many times over and it’s very challenging. I can’t imagine he would be able to do it full time without wearing himself out. (And just to be clear, the distance is close to 60 miles. It’s not the “hour” that’s the issue, it’s the traffic depending on the time of day that makes an hour anything from 1-3 hours depending which direction you’re heading and time of day. And luck, of course.)

Captain says I talk about marriage and seem all excited but when he starts to get ready to pull the trigger, I give him the big block. I’m not ready yet. (He’s never proposed but I guess I’m inconsistent in how I approach the marriage thing.)

I think I hesitate because our marriage would be “unconventional.” It would be two households, sharing time, going back and forth, etc. We’d be 100% committed and probably do a great job at keeping it exciting and happy because we’d never get tired of each other. (He thinks it’s the perfect setup!) I worry that I would eventually become resentful of having to “rough” it a good bit of the time on my own, even though I wouldn’t be alone. If I was just plain alone, there’s no one to be annoyed with that I had to on my own manage a dinosaur-sized iguana found entwined in the soccer net of my backyard as the maggots and other neighborhood scavengers picked at his dead body. (Yes, true story.)

I’d prefer a more traditional set up. And I know he would, too. But that’s not an option right now for me. So maybe now is not the time? There certainly is no rush.

I know every other aspect of being with him would be perfect. I trust and believe in him… in us. I love him and know we will figure it out, but I’m also at a point in my life that I know Love is not always enough when it comes to marriage.

It would be nice to hear if anyone has experience with or knows of any successful untraditional marriages.

❤️ Athena

Southern Livin’

Captain and I road tripped through the South last week and had such a lovely time! We got our fill of good eats and just truly enjoyed the quality time (sans kids). My man’s been working like crazy so it was nice to see him not exhausted from the physical labor of his job (fishing in 100F weather).

So we left Miami and headed to our first stop…St Augustine, FL:

Then, we hit Beaufort, SC:

Next stop was Charleston, SC:

And our grand finale was Savannah, GA:

Loved, loved, loved every moment of it! I’m still dreaming about the food…

Your biscuit-and-fried-chicken-loving friend,

Athena xo

Too Quiet?

My kids have been on vacation with their father in the northeast for a week and there’s one week left to go. I’ve had a hard time being without them. You’d think I’d be thrilled and make the most of my alone time and appreciate the quiet, right? Ugh. Kinda.

I have enjoyed spending the week in the Keys with Captain. Snorkeling, biking, walking, reading, etc. Alone time with him. We rarely get uninterrupted time so it’s been fantastic. But holy hell is it a quiet life without kids! Too quiet.

I have the summer off and spend loads of time with the kids. So having them gone for so long is rough. And not just because I enjoy them but also because I am neurotic and worry endlessly about their safety while they’re gone. I hate to even put it into words but I have nightmares about kidnappings, trafficking, drownings, car accidents, etc. I try to keep it under control and not be crazy… but man. I’m crazy.

I am not crazy enough to not recognize that I’m lucky they have a father that’s involved. His new girlfriend is with them and she’s been fantastic keeping watch and updating me about them. And at 6 and 9 years old, my kids are very fortunate to visit New England and family all along the northeast US. All good stuff.

So I’m just having a moment. One of those self pitying moments where I hate what comes with divorce with young kids.

On another note, I have realized that I need (A) some other teacher friends that are chilling this summer or (B) unemployed and adventurous wealthy friends, to hang with while Captain is out working. Day drinking is no fun alone. (I kid. Kinda. But, seriously, any volunteers?! 😜)

On a positive note, Captain and I will take a road trip tomorrow! We’re going to drive up to Charleston with several stops along the way. Lots of good eats! I’m currently working on my southern drawl. Saying “reckon” just doesn’t sound right yet with my Miami accent. I’ll get it!

xo

Athena

Oh, who are the people in your neighborhood?

Growing up, we watched Sesame Street. There was a song that went something like:

Oh, who are the people in your neighborhood?

In your neighborhood?

In your neighborhood?

Say, who are the people in your neighborhood?

The people that you meet each day.

Nowhere there do I see that your ex-husband should be the people in your neighborhood. 😑

I nearly had a heart attack when my 9 year old daughter mentioned something about Daddy checking out a house for sale in the next cul-de-sac. They toured an open house on my block!!

Made me sick to my stomach. Want to throw up, queasy, oh hell no, kind of sick.

Sometimes I ask myself how it can be fair that you can still have to see someone you cannot stand on such a frequent basis? If Grayheart could just consistently be nice or normal (or just consistent) then I wouldn’t have to want to punch him in his smug face so often.

Don’t exes want to avoid each other? I don’t want to see him more often than I have to! No one loves their kids enough to want to move 5 houses away. Just leave me alone, dude.

So I asked him about it. Claims they stopped by on a whim just for fun while they happened to drive by. That there’s no way he could even afford a house in the neighborhood. I’m calling bullshit. He can’t afford it is right. But that it was a chance thing? Nope. I think he’s just trying to mind-f*ck me. Make me crazy.

And it’s almost working. Almost.