Baana, San Francisco

Baana San Francisco | J for Jamie Blog

I first met the creative mind behind Abacus Row, Christine Trac, through Blog Party a couple years back. I was immediately drawn to her jewelry because of the simplicity in her beautiful designs and the materials she uses. We got together for coffee with our S.O.s after we exchanged emails and became instant friends. 

Late last year, she debuted her new studio space in the heart of the San Francisco, fittingly called Baana, the Swedish word for "rails", since it's located directly across from the San Francisco Trolley Museum. I swung by for a visit this week to catch up and see her "Wishes for the New Year" pop-up, featuring treats and traditions of the Lunar New Year. The space itself features a store front, meeting and event space, and her production studio and office. It's full of light and creative energy and I'm just so excited to see what Christine has in store for the space in the future. Be sure to stop by if you're in the city! (Baana | 1256 Mason Street, San Francisco 94108)

Baana San Francisco | J for Jamie Blog
Baana San Francisco | J for Jamie Blog
Baana San Francisco | J for Jamie Blog
Baana San Francisco | J for Jamie Blog
Baana San Francisco | J for Jamie Blog
Baana San Francisco | J for Jamie Blog
Baana San Francisco | J for Jamie Blog
Baana San Francisco | J for Jamie Blog

Ion Adventure Hotel, Iceland

Ion Adventure Hotel, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog

We ended our trip in Iceland with a few nights at the Ion Adventure Hotel, a boutique design hotel. It's about an hour away from Rejkyavik and is known to get amazing views of the Northern Lights since it's in the middle of nowhere. The hotel has about 30 rooms so it was intimate and quiet with amazing customer service. It's also located next to a geothermal power plant so there is a geothermal river that we snuck down to in our hotel robes for a dip. It was one of my favorite experiences because finally it was just us a random hot river - no other tourists and no lines.

We also got massages, admired the beautiful view, and got a faint glimpse of the Aurora Borealis at about two in the morning (which we watched on the hotel deck with a certain Breaking Bad actor that was also staying at the hotel). The Ion was the perfect way to end the trip and we couldn't have been more pleased with our experience!

Follow our travels on Instagram with #chrisandjamietravels.

Ion Adventure, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
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Ion Adventure, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Ion Adventure, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Ion Adventure, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Ion Adventure, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Ion Adventure, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog

Glacier Cave, Iceland

Glacier Cave, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog

At the request of Chris, we booked a private tour to trek up a glacier then into a manmade glacier cave. We went with the tour guide called "Into the Cave" which is one of the only ones that does this type of tour. We took a special snow bus up and our coats and shoes had to be approved for wear in the cave as it can drop below zero degrees. 

We were able to walk around the cave, explore the different caverns and learn about its history. There was even a chapel built inside for people to get married in. This is also where we learned that due to global warming, this glacier will completely melt in less than 150 years. It really made us think about the choices we make and what we can do to help slow the rapid warming of the earth. I highly recommend doing this kind of tour while in Iceland to learn about the glaciers from a very different perspective.

Glacier Cave, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Glacier Cave, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Glacier Cave, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Glacier Cave, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Glacier Cave, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Glacier Cave, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Glacier Cave, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog

Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Blue Lagoon, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog

The Blue Lagoon is probably one of the most famous destinations in Iceland so we had to experience it. The lagoon is runoff from a nearby geothermal power plant (doesn't sound so romantic now, does it?). The water is rich in sulfur and silica minerals that supposedly help heal many types of skin diseases.

That being said, here's my honest review: I didn't love the Blue Lagoon. It was definitely interesting to see but the whole experience was tainted due to the number of people at this place. In all the photos we were seeing online, the Lagoon looks peaceful and serene but really we felt like cattle being herded from one place to the next. Of course, this is to accommodate the drones of people that want to see this place but it takes away from the natural wonder of the lagoon. Also, if you're not into bathing in lukewarm water for 4+ hours with hundreds of strangers, then this isn't the place for you. If you do skip out, here are some photos from our experience. ☺ 

Follow our travels on Instagram with #chrisandjamietravels.

Vík, Iceland

Vík, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog

After driving around the Golden Circle in Iceland, we headed east to the little town of Vík, best known for its black sand beaches. We stayed in a cute hotel across from the beach and took a horseback riding tour on the beach. Afterwards, we headed to Reynisfjara where there are basalt sea stacks piled agains a mountain along the beach. We also went down to the famous Sólheimasandur plane crash site which I'm not sure was worth the 4 kilometers there and back. Although we only stayed one night in Vik, this was probably one of my favorite days of exploring in Iceland. 

Follow our travels on Instagram with #chrisandjamietravels.

Vík, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Vík, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Vík, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Vík, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Vík, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Vík, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Vík, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Vik, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Vik, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Vik, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Vik, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Vik, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Vik, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog

Jökulsarlón Glacial Lake, Iceland

Jökulsarlón, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog

After driving the Golden Circle, we headed east to Jökulsarlón, the deepest and largest lagoon in Iceland, formed by melting water from the glacier. It's also the only one that feeds into the ocean so it has both fresh and salt water. We took a boat out on the water where we were able to learned about the lake, Iceland and even tasted some of the ice. Ice formations that have broken off from the glacier float on the water and make such a serene and beautiful scene. 

One of the takeaways after visiting Jökulsarlón was learning about the impact global warming (yes, it's real!) is having on Iceland. The glacier is melting so fast, the lagoon didn't even exist 60 years ago. It's devastating to know that this beautiful natural wonder will soon be gone at this rate. Read more about this issue here.

Follow our travels on Instagram with #chrisandjamietravels.

Jökulsarlón, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Jökulsarlón, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Jökulsarlón, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Jökulsarlón, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Jökulsarlón, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Jökulsarlón, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Jökulsarlón, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Jökulsarlón, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog