It's not every day that an entire country organizes to celebrate your birthday with you. But it did happen for me. Iceland pulled out all the banners, bands, and beasts to help me celebrate my birthday on June 17. It was a very generous gift and I'll remember it for many years. Besides, what other country can boast about having 55 active volcanoes, 3 major glaciers, whales that perform right before your eyes, horses that have not changed since the 12th century, and a population of only 320,000 people? Yes, there will be a test on this.
The only real way to see Iceland is to get out there and enjoy it. From snorkeling between the tectonic plates of Eurasia and the Americas to riding ATV's on beautiful black beaches to taking the helicopter to see the breathtaking remote locations before landing on top of one of the glaciers for a little champagne break. Of course you'll also want to get on the Icelandic Horse and make it Tölt. But if you think Iceland is only about the landscapes that are made for movies & television shows like Prometheus & Game of Thrones you'll be pleasantly surprised that the cuisine has moved into the future and is both inventive and delicious. Sure you can find the odd rotting shark, fresh whale, reindeer, or puffin but the real gourmand is tasting all their amazingly fresh fish, beef, and lamb prepared with unique combinations - don't laugh, fish and gelato could be having a moment.
Not sure you need to go? Watch the slide show and get inspired.
And if your birthday is on June 17th they'll through a great party for you too. So get ready it's time to go.
Polo, the sport of kings, has changed a bit since it was first played. It started as a training game for Royal Calvary units in Persia and has become an international sport still enjoyed by Royalty but now has a larger following by people that simply have the title of Mr or Ms.
For the last five years Veuve Clicquot has been hosting the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic charity game in the NY area. New Yorkers and the international jet set put on their summer best and head out to the event for a bit of picnic and polo. It has become such an event it is hard to tell if the game or the crowd is more fun to watch - particularly with Nacho Figueras charming the crowd. Of course with all that Champagne the crowd does put on a good show. Either way it is something to add to your social calendar for next year. Not sure what to wear? The below should provide some inspiration:
Most likely you were told some important advice as a child. "Don't point" and "Don't pick your nose" are two examples that parents and grandparents are often found saying. But in some cases it really is necessary to violate this sage wisdom and just go for it. Yes, I'm putting my fingers to good use and going to point at Belgium. What? You were thinking something else. Don't lie...that's another one of those smart pieces of advice.
But this isn't about you -- it's about Belgium and what a wonderful place it is. A country full of bragging rights with its rich history and fantastic treats such as Belgian fries, beer, chocolates, beer, and of course waffles. And those are not just for breakfast anymore. They're available all the time. Antwerp and Brussels are the major towns but Ghent and Bruges seem to hold bragging rights on charm and medieval architecture. See for yourself:
Now don't you want to go? Well then put that waffle down and start figuring out what dates work for you.