the cruise was awesome and i definitely couldn't complain about being out of the office for over a week on an all expense paid luxury cruise...it's a tough job but someone had to do it! the only downside was dave wasn't with me and 10 days is a long time to be apart (although i am sure i won't be getting pity from too many people). even though i was working, it was everything a cruise is supposed to be: relaxing (i got an hour massage and what made it better...dish network picked up the tab), plenty of time to read (i read "breaking dawn"), great food (i tried lots of different kinds of fish: mahi mahi, salmon, halibut, swordfish), all the virgin pina coladas i could drink (and i can drink a lot), meeting new people and seeing incredible places (in this case, lots of cool wildlife like bald eagles, whales, sea otters, puffins etc.) more than once i wished i had a big fancy camera because my point and shoot just couldn't capture how breathtaking it was everywhere i looked.
our logo made out of white chocolate (on a table full of desserts...yumm!)
our first stop was KETCHIKAN and despite the rain i loved it! it was a darling town. we walked creek street, a boardwalk in the old "red light district" of ketchikan where dolly's house is located, one of the towns most infamous brothels from back in the day. we also ate the "burger queen" which was awesome. i have to admit that sometimes after a couple days of fancy food on a cruise, a greasy cheeseburger really hits the spot.
we also attended the great alaskan lumberjack show in ketchikan and it was awesome. those guys do some crazy things and they totally look the lumberjack part..short stocky guys wearing flannel!
another stop...another rainy day. WRANGELL. i'll be perfectly honest, there wasn't much to do in wrangell...it was kinda a podunk little town...and not in a cute way. i don't recommend it. i did take a nice long walk (as in multiple times i thought i had missed a turn because it took so long) to the petroglyphs, followed up by a long walk back to the ship in pouring rain. on the way i passed a house decorated with buoys. never seen that before.
we finally caught some beautiful weather in JUNEAU! and apparently it was pretty rare because they only get about 90 days of sunshine a year (and not usually in august). i took the tramway to the top of mt. roberts where there are tons of trails winding through the southeast alaska rainforest. it was absolutely beautiful and i wish i had had more time to hike around and explore. i would definitely love to go back to jueau because our time there was so short.
we left juneau early to head to TRACY ARM FJORD, a narrow slice of ocean surrounded by 3,000 foot high granite walls that weaves through the tongass national forest. we were trying to make it to sawyer glaciers, known as one of alaska's most dramatic glaciers. there were tons icebergs that the captain had to manuever around and eventually the fjord was too ice packed that we couldn't make it to sawyer's (at least we wouldn't have been able to turn the ship around once we got there, which would have posed a problem). we did get to see some beautiful landscape...icebergs and glaciers...and this was the day that i really felt like i was in alaska. about half the ships' guests crowded into the observation lounge at the front of the ship, drank hot chocolate and watched the scenery for hours. below are a few pictures. they really don't do it justice. the only word i can think of to describe it was breathtaking. alaska is simply breathtaking.
about 20 miles beyond this spot was sawyer glaciers. we just couldn't get there.
iceberg...that is a serious chunk of ice
if you look closely you can see a glacier (it is a bluish color). so cool!
our last port was SITKA. we were lucky enough to have another beautiful day. we wandered through the town before our "sea otter and wildlife" excursion. you never know what you will find. that is a furry tiger print jock strap. what you can't see is that it has a raccoon tail attached on the back. no i didn't buy it for dave. it was $34.99.
pictures from our excursion
that night starting at midnight they were opening the area for king salmon fishing. so all the fishing boats were staking out there area. it was really cool to see. definitely a different way of life.
our cruise ended in SEWARD. it was a 4 hour train ride to anchorage where we flew out of. the train ride was fantastic! i don't think i've ever been on that long of a train ride. and one last chance to see beautiful alaska.
hallelujah! i FINALLY posted about alaska and that is a great feeling (i can finally cross it off my to-do list)! i know others don't really care, but i wanted to make sure i recorded the experience. plus now my family can finally see some of the pictures! congrats if you made it to the end of this post!