Ever since Kyle and I first road tripped together in 2009 we have collected magnets from each place we go. Usually the magnets fade into the background, but occasionally, I will be getting something from the fridge and will take a moment to remember a trip to Mackinack Island or Cabo. The search for magnets often brings us into tourist trap shops, but sometimes treasures can be found in these.
Yesterday we travelled the Golden Circle route to see some of the sights in Iceland. After seeing the gorgeous Gullfoss waterfall, we stopped in the nearby shop. While we were looking around Will started to point at the stuffed animals. I took him out of the stroller so that he could look. First, he picked up a stuffed sheep and gave it a hug. I asked him “Will, do you want the sheep?” He shook his head no and I put it back for him. Then he pointed to where there were more stuffed animals. They were kindly on the bottom shelf, so he walked over and inspected each one. He examined a puffin, then put it back down. He moved onto a stuffed horse. Then he walked to the left and noticed a bear. He was then looking back and forth at all of them with a smile on his face. When I asked him, “Which one do you want?” He moved back to the stuffed horse. A fitting choice given the number of horses we had seen during the drive.
He spent the next half hour of our car ride stroking the horse’s mane and saying, “Nnn,” when we asked him, “What does a horse say?”
At around 7:30 we stopped for dinner. Will quickly became impatient. We tried distracting him with a drink, playing with a cloth napkin, and even giving him his pacifier. Nothing helped, he even threw his pacifier to the floor. At Kyle’s suggestion, I took him for a walk through the restaurant’s lobby. I found a bookshelf that said that it was a book exchange and you were free to take one from it for your travels. After Will flipped through some hardcovers in Icelandic (again, bottom shelf), I started to look for a book with pictures in it. Eventually, I found something promising. It was a MasterCard promotional book from the 1980s, written in Icelandic, but it did have pictures. Will proudly carried the book back to the table and sat in Kyle’s lap. The book had many pictures from locations around the world, so Kyle happily “read” it to him. “Will, here are some pyramids. They are in Egypt.” Page turn. “Here’s the Statue of Liberty. Oh, is there a car on this page? Can you point to it?” Now to those without kids fifteen minutes may not sound like much, but for the rest of us you know that keeping an impatient little one occupied for fifteen minutes in a restaurant is a major victory.
Will really enjoyed looking at the waterfall and geyser, but it was a great bonus that we found these two travel treasures along the way.