’22 February

From Les

Les sent me kindle versions of these books. I asked for recommendations because the Icelandic Sagas are among his many specialties and he sent me the books instead. I’ve started with The Story of Burnt Njal. (Hope against hope…) this trip is beginning to feel like it might be really real!

Here’s a map of where the story is set. I can’t read a thing but it is Iceland…

And so you can get a feel for the characters in this Icelandic Saga written in the late 1200s telling a story that describes events between 960 and 1020 (I copied this list from the internet):

Njal, a man of law. His sons kill his foster son. In the resulting feud, his house is burned. Njal and his wife and sons die.

Bergthora, Njal’s wife. When the other women leave the house before it is burned, she stays behind and dies with her husband.

Gunnar Hamondsson, Njal’s friend. After Gunnar’s first manslaying, Njal predicts truly that Gunnar will be killed if he slays another man in the same family.

Kolskegg Hamondsson, Gunnar’s brother.

Hallgerda, Hauskuld Heriolfsson’s daughter and a hard-hearted woman. Her third marriage is to Gunnar. There is much conflict between her and Bergthora, but the husbands remain friends.

Hauskuld Thrainsson, the foster son of Njal, who gets him a priesthood so that Hildigunna will consent to be his wife. Hauskuld Thrainsson is killed by Njal’s sons.

Mord Valgardsson, who sows discord between Hauskuld Thrainsson and Njal’s sons.

Hildigunna, the daughter of Flosi and the wife of Hauskuld Thrainsson.

Flosi Thordsson, Hildigunna’s father and Njal’s enemy. After his son-in-law’s death, he attacks Njal’s house and burns it.

Helge, Njal’s daughter.

Kari Solmundsson, the husband of Helge. He escapes from the fire, but his son is killed. After Flosi has paid atonement for the fire, Kari agrees that the burning is avenged, but not his son Thord’s death. After both Kari and Flosi return home from separate pilgrimages, they are fully reconciled.

Hildigunna, the daughter of Flosi’s brother. Kari’s wife Helge having died, Flosi gives Hildigunna to Kari after the reconciliation.

Thord Karisson, who is killed in the fire.

Skarphedinn Njalsson, who is killed trying to escape from the fire.

Helgi Njalsson, who is killed trying to escape with the women before the fire is set.

Grim Njalsson, who also is killed in the fire.

Thorgeir Craggeir, who becomes briefly involved in the post-fire feud between Kari and Flosi.

Thorgerda, the daughter of Hallgerda.

Thrain Sigfusson, who puts aside his wife to marry Thorgerda. He is killed by Skarphedinn Njalsson.

Kettle of the Mark, Thrain’s brother and Njal’s son-in-law. He and Njal make atonement for Thrain’s death, and Njal takes Hauskuld Thrainsson as his foster son.

Hauskuld Njalsson, a base-born son of Njal. He is killed by Lyting.

Rodny, the mother of Hauskuld Njalsson.

Lyting, Thrain’s sister’s husband.

Aumund, the blind and base-born son of Hauskuld Njalsson. His eyes are opened just long enough to enable him to kill Lyting.

Otkell Skarfsson, who is killed by Gunnar following a discord beginning with Otkell selling Gunnar a deceitful thrall.

Thorgeir Otkellsson, who is killed by Gunnar when he attempts to ambush Gunnar.

Starkad, an enemy of Gunnar.

Thorgeir Starkadsson, another enemy of Gunnar. He and his father are with Thorgeir in the attempted ambush of Gunnar.

Geir the Priest, who gets up a band to slay Gunnar. The plot succeeds after much slaughter and difficulty.

Hogni Gunnarsson, who, along with Skarphedinn Njalsson, avenges Gunnar’s death by slaying Starkad and Thorgeir Starkadsson.

Bork the Waxy-Toothed Blade, the father of Starkad.

Hrut Heriolfsson, who had come to Norway from Iceland to claim an inheritance.

Harold Grayfell, the king of Norway.

Gunnhilda, the mother of the king. Hrut sits in her high seat. Before he returns to Iceland, Gunnhilda puts a spell on him so that he will never have pleasure living with the woman on whom he has set his heart.

Unna, whom Hrut marries after his return to Iceland. The marriage is unhappy, and she leaves him. She enlists Gunnar’s aid in getting back her goods from Hrut.

Fiddle Mord, the father of Unna. He asks Hrut to return Unna’s goods. When he refuses Hrut’s offer to fight him instead, Fiddle Mord gets great shame for his suit.

Hauskuld Heriolfsson, the brother of Hrut and the father of Hallgerda. He makes Hrut return Unna’s goods and dowry.

Thorwald Oswifsson, the first husband of Hallgerda.

Glum, the second husband of Hallgerda. He is murdered.

Thiostolf, the foster father of Hallgerda. He kills Thorwald Oswifsson. Hallgerda sends him to tell the news of Glum’s death to Hrut, who strikes him dead.

Olof the Hall, the father of Glum.

Olaf Tryggvisson, a later ruler of Norway.

Thangbrand, who is sent by Olaf to preach Christianity in Iceland.

Thorgeir of Lightwater, who challenges any man who speaks against the new Christian law.

Skapti Thorodsson, who, at Lawman Njal’s suggestion, brings the Fifth Court into law.

BELARUS August 2019

I spent some time in Belarus in 2019 and in light of current events it was very interesting to me to look back at this experience.

Maybe you’d be interested too: Belarus August 2019

As It Turns Out

You can’t get around Iceland on public transportation. You can join a guided tour, pay for a self-drive tour, or rent your own car. That’s it. So I’ve rented a car and made accommodation reservations in approximately the order shown here which is a map from one of the self-drive tours.

I’ve got a few more nights in my itinerary. This tour is really only 11 nights since 1 and 13 are arrival and departure days and my plan is for 14 nights on the road, 4 nights in Reykjavik before heading out to get time changed and look around, and 3 after the drive to relax and absorb the experience. Fingers Crossed!

And If You Believe This

Ok, I didn’t reeeally catch the ball…but I was there…Ken and I did the SoFi Stadium Tour. The time on the field was a highlight for everyone.

Ken did catch the ball, and here he is throwing the ball and executing a kick to the goal post!

This is the guide for our very large group.

It was a gorgeous day.

We saw the dressing room, the media room, and the various types of boxes and party rooms.

I’ve got many more pictures of the stadium when I went to a Chargers game with Carl. You can click here – SoFi Stadium for a game!

The Genesis Invitational

Lill and I were going to go to the Getty Center but Tony had extra tickets to a PGA golf tournament at the Riviera Country Club and asked us to come along and I, never having been to a golf tournament, said sure let’s go.

The logistics were impressive, they had rows of buses picking up ticket holders at the Promenade in Santa Monica and once at the venue every station, immunization card check, bag check, ticketing, was well-manned and smooth. The return was equally easy-peasy.

We went early, before the contenders even teed off so it was amazing to me how uncrowded it was and how we could walk right up to a tee or the putting green or position ourselves at the spot where all the tee shots were landing. We walked the whole time, around the entire course. By the end contenders were on the field and the growing crowds started to sit in the stands built at most holes.

There was plenty of swag, some complimentary snacks and beverage, and a few golf-ish games for the guests. There was plenty of trash receptacles and toilets too, and food and drink and souvenirs to buy. All in all a most commendable day out.

A view back to the club house at the Riviera Country Club.
They played in groups of three. Tony said this is a hard course with sand traps surrounding all the greens. It was so interesting to see the players work out the short game because nowhere was flat.
Ingalill and Tony. Tony is a passionate, weekly golfer so I could ask any question and he would have the answer.
Here’s Tony playing one of the games on offer.
One of those board carriers walks with every group showing the name of the players and their overall score in red (under par), black (over par), and ‘E’ is equal to par. This is the fourth and last day of the tournament and at this point the leader is 19 under par.
Check out that huge drone catching shots for the tv broadcast.
We were looking one way and all of a sudden there was a huge commotion behind us…one of the golfers hit a ball that ricocheted off a snack building and landed inside that circle. Much to-do ensued which included moving the ball a bit based on some rule about buildings.
I didn’t want to get in a thick crowd so I just zoomed in to a guy who was holding up his phone to video the shot. Rory made it within a foot of the green. And the crowd went wild.
On the way out, thanks guys, it was fun!

Bon Voyage Amy

Amy is leaving my little studio for her new assignment in Denver. Here’s Olivia and Amy at Socalo where we enjoyed a delightful and delicious Happy Hour. Amy is leaving in the morning on February 28th and the new tenant (another traveling nurse) will come in March 1st leaving the day of the 28th busy busy to get everything ready.

Thanks Amy, it’s been a pleasure having you around!

Happy Birthday Molly

Nancy’s daughter Molly would have been 50 years old on this day. She passed several years ago and Nancy treated me to an oow la la lunch at The Ivy in honor of Molly. Happy Birthday Molly!

A Bench and Catalina

The palm trees are the view, looking up, sitting on a bench, on the edge of the rose garden in Palisades Park.

Below is a view from near the same spot looking out toward the Palos Verdes Peninsula and in the photo we can see what we so often ask ourselves, is that Catalina? It is usually far hazier so I took the opportunity of this clear day to check if we even could see Catalina from Palisades Park. We always conclude that there is nothing else out there for it to be…still…


LARR (Los Angeles Road Runners) was doing a very well attended run today, group after group passing by just having fun.

It must have been a Fun Run!

Farmer’s Market

I just looked it up, in LA County you don’t have to wear a mask outside unless you are in a group of 5,000+ people. So here at the farmer’s market it was optional but probably a third to a half of the people were wearing masks anyway, myself included, because why not.

Welcome Home Muriel

Muriel took a tumble while she was visiting relatives in Seattle. She fractured her shoulder and then stayed on there for six weeks to get some healing done, and now she’s Home! Yay!

For Four Hours

I googled away. Then I put together this idea for three weeks in Iceland in May. I’m so curious to see how long This idea persists. I sent a message to the TripAdvisor forum for some confirmation about the possibility of doing it independently and without a car. I hope it could happen!

‘Tis The Season Kinda

I’m thinking it’s not as bad as it seems, that we watch so many movies at home. TVs and even laptops can fill your whole field of vision and although it takes me more discipline to not get distracted, it’s still possible, and wonderful independent entertainments are available to everyone not just we city folk.

Here’s where we are so far, click on the link Oscar nominations to watch online. ENJOY! Sorry, everyone knows by now but anyway, you can order a pay service then cancel as soon as the subscription registers. Assuming you’ve already used your free week, now you’ve got a month to see whatever you want, and you can move on to the next service whenever you’re ready.

Mine Came Yesterday

From covidtests.gov. I got two boxes with four tests just like all the other households no matter the number of occupants. I think they made the system easy so it would work, which it did – easy to request them, then bam, there they are.

I took my first at home covid test back before I first saw Dave and Chris wanting to be extra sure for their visit, and I had no idea how DELIGHTED I was going to feel when the test came out negative. I was 99.9% sure I was negative and yet I was so pleased to see the outcome. Now that I know what a rush a negative test is I might do it more often.

Solvang (3 of 3)

These birds hanging around the dining patios are highly entertaining.


For the pleasure of one more Solvang experience..
..we had the must-have breakfast at Paula’s Pancake House..
..and found our favorite bakery so far, Olsen’s Danish Village Bakery.

On the way home we took a little detour to visit the Nojoqui River Park and take the easy 10 minute walk to the falls.

You can see those two white lines in the middle of the photo. We obeyed the sign and went no farther.

Solvang (2 of 3)

Bakeries, so many bakeries, a highlight of Solvang along with the restaurants, shops, and wine tastings. We did notice that the bakeries all had basically the same items on offer and it would be fun to buy the same thing in each of them for a blind tasting.

These guys said they were the first bakery in Solvang and all the others were opened by people who worked here first.
Early-ish, meaning before 10 when the shops open, this is the main pedestrian drag, Copenhagen Street.
A view from the edge of town. It’s wonderful countryside living and the weather has been perfect.
Approaching Mission Santa Inez (19th of the 21 California missions).
A mission has gotta have bells.
Not much original left here but this is a piece of one of the original arches.

Lunch at Coast Range.

We enjoyed a visit to the Elverhoj Museum of History and Art.
We also had a swing through the Hans Christian Anderson museum.

We’ve walked everywhere since arriving yesterday but now we picked up the car to drive to this Must Do bakery (oh my oh my we had a delicious treat!), then a buzz through Los Olivos and Santa Ynez, and then we stopped at a market to pick up some dinner. What a lovely day.

Solvang (1 of 3)

The view out our living room window.

Windy and I are making a little outing to the Santa Ynez Valley, staying for two nights in Solvang.

The most photographed corner in Solvang.
Google Solvang and then do images, you’ll see. The wikipedia article is very good too.

On this day we mostly wandered around the streets looking in the myriad shops that make up the core of Solvang since I am after all with my little sister, a shopping maven of the first order. Shops, restaurants, wine tasting…we didn’t go to any of the fancy-pants wine tastings but at the end of the day we enjoyed a mulled wine at the High Roller Tiki Lounge across the street from our hotel.
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