Meet the Cast

Trip Start Jan 22, 2009
1
5
Trip End Jan 26, 2009


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Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Thursday, January 22, 2009

Since most of you reading will probably not know all or even any of us, here is a quick blurb about the four of us who braved the economic and weather conditions of Iceland in January.  

Dave:  Writer and photographer of this blog.  I have been trying to make it out to Iceland for a few years now, but decided to finally book when the price decreased all of a sudden (thanks to the misfortune of 40% of the Icelandic people who are unemployed).  Due to a new interest in photography, you will find a lot of out of focus and poorly composed pictures on the blog.  I also enjoy trying new foods, using parentheses when writing, and Icelandic rock versions of Britney Spear's songs.  Please forgive my poor grammar and writing skills throughout the blog.


Amy:  My wife, she is the brave soul who puts up with me 24-7.  For the last few years she has been telling me she has no interest in going to Iceland and I should go with my friends.  Right when we were about to book, she decides that she wants to come along for the ride, which worked out quite well for me since she is an absolute pleasure to travel with.  Amy and I come from Philadelphia.  She enjoys shopping, taking pictures in front of everything (you may notice this by looking through the pictures), and sheep's balls.


Ken:  A college friend of mine who was quite excited to venture to Iceland when he found out we were going.  He was quite instrumental in a lot of the planning of the trip and really knows the ins and outs of google spreadsheets.  Ken lives in the UES of NYC in a cozy studio.  He enjoys sports trivia, eggplant, and all things British.  




Jon:  A high school friend of Ken's,  I had never met Jon before the trip, but he was a good addition to the crew.  He jumped at the opportunity to fill the crucial role of Ken's roomie.  Rather than doing any statistical analysis, he would rather write a program and run the results a few thousands times to find an outcome.  Jon currently lives in Astoria, Queens, but can often be found back in Boston where he recently relocated from.  He enjoys searching for swimming pools, sleeping, and geology.  




So now onto the trip:

Noon came along so it was time to leave work and finalize the packing.  Once we were ready to go, Amy and I hopped in a cab and made our way to 30th Street Station to catch the Megabus to NYC.  The megabus is possibly one of the best values in transportation.  We booked  at the last minute and it cost $10 per person to ride on a clean, fast, and safe bus from Philly to NYC.  They also have free wifi on the bus, which I didn't take advantage of, but a nice perk nonetheless.  

Due to heavy congestion, we were dropped off at 28th and 7th instead of Penn Station, the normal dropping off point.  Ken was there waiting as Amy and I debussed.  After a quick stop at Chase Bank to get some money (one day Chase will buy some bank in Philly), we headed towards Mustang Sally's for some drinks.  Since we arrived at 3:45, and didn't have to leave for JFK until 5, this seemed like the logical time killer.  Jon, who was coming from work, met us at the bar at 5 and we hopped in a cab on our way to JFK (you will notice throughout this blog that I don't just step into vehicles, I "hop" in them, just some OCD thing I guess).

You are probably thinking that driving from the city to JFK at 5pm is probably not the best idea, but we had plenty of time, and the fare was a flat rate.  The drive actually went by quickly thanks to TAXI-TV.  We saw the loop three times which included a clip from the office and a Jay Leno bit.  Ken also told us a good story about his friend Moose who happened to go out drinking the night before and woke up in the hospital unsure of what happened.  Jon decided to call Moose, and the story was confirmed.

We arrived at JFK and checked in for the flight.  This was no problem, even for me since I am on the government's "No Fly" list.  No matter how many times I try to get off the list, I end up right back on it.  We are flying Icelandair which has a strict carry on luggage policy.  All items over 6 kilograms have to be checked.  This was disappointing at first, but was actually pretty nice when we got on the plane and the overhead bins provided adequate space for coats and smaller bags.  Jon was able to carry on both of his bags as they were each under 6 kilos (now that was some efficient packing).  

We got to the gate and decided to have a drink before getting on the plane.  Tall beers at the airport were just under $10.  Just the start of expensive alcohol throughout the long weekend.  Amy felt like it was a good time to go duty free shopping as well.  She picked up some celebrity mags, another hobby of hers, and a black satin eye-mask for me (I look hot in it). At 7:20 they started boarding, and our 8:00 pm flight actually was lifting off the ground right on time.
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Where I stayed
Parc Rittenhouse

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