Sunday, September 23, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
After leaving Skagway, we cruised all night toward Tracy Arm Fjord, arriving around 6am. It was the first day of the cruise where I was actually "COLD." There was a misty fine rain falling, and whenever your surrounded by ice water the air is bound to be chilly. It was worth it though, because the views were spectacular. The fjord was steeply surrounded by mountains and was over 1000 feet deep. There were many small waterfalls snaking through the rocks; the result of glacial melt. At first, there were only a few ice bergs floating. As we neared the end of the fjord, the ice thickened. Some were a bright blue; heart ice they're called. Similar to the blue of the Mendenhall Glacier. We rounded a tight corner, and we could see two glaciers. North Sawyer Glacier and South Sawyer Glacier were responsible for all the ice bergs we saw. Sipping on excellent hot chocolate while watching glaciers pass by on our private balcony was the most relaxing thing I've experienced. Once we had seen the glaciers, the ship turned about and we headed out toward Ketchikan.
I loved Ketchikan. It was a small city, with a bright and busy wharf. Definitely the best shopping on the trip. Sadly, we only had a few hours in port so I did not get to do much exploring. I hit the shops early, leaving the husband on the ship to sleep in and get breakfast. Then, I returned for a bite of breakfast myself (salmon scrambled eggs, yum!) and we took a horse-drawn trolley ride around Ketchikan. The tour guide had lots of interesting stories about the history of the city as well as the local wildlife. We saw salmon jumping up a waterfall at one point! We learned about totems, saw a lot of the back streets and the creek, and petted the resident husky that rode along with the tour guide. After getting back, we had no more time to explore. After snapping a few photos of the local flora, we jumped aboard ship and began our trip back to Seattle.
On our way back to the States, we briefly stopped in Victoria, Canada. Since we were already exhausted, and somewhat broke, we decided to stay aboard ship. We left Victoria around midnight and arrived in Seattle early in the morning. After a not so terrible disembarkation adventure, we picked up our rental car. Advisory: never rent from Thrifty, ever ever ever. It was one of the worst rental experiences of my life. That said, we checked into our hotel and took naps (being exhausted from the day's frustrations). We got in our car and drove around a bit, to get a feel for what Seattle was like. Then we ate dinner and passed out. The next day, we celebrated my birthday at Pike Place Market. It was overwhelmingly awesome. I definitely want to go back when I have a day or two to explore. We walked the market and found the Pan African restaurant where we had Ethiopian food for lunch. Then we got some very tasty mini-doughnuts. The husband bought me the most beautiful bouquet of flowers I've ever seen, and I felt like a princess carrying them. We saw fish markets, produce stands, artisan stands, bakeries, coffee shops, import stores, oh so many things. We left tired, full, and happy. We decided to take it easy that afternoon, and spent the rest of the day watching movies in our hotel room, and packing to be ready to fly home the next day.
I can say this was the best honeymoon anyone could ever have wanted. First class airfare, cruise to Alaska with private balcony, and time in Seattle. We both agree, Alaska had a special pull on us and we want to return someday. Seattle was also a special place we both loved, and we hope to relocate somewhere around it in the future. Thanks to all of those who worked to make our honeymoon possible. We love you, and we loved our trip!
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Monday we arrived in Juneau. Absolutely beautiful city. We definitely love Alaska, and now are more intent on moving there. Juneau had lots of shopping, and the deals and coupons we got on board the ship meant we got a lot of free stuff! Even free jewelry! We spent the second half of the day visiting the Mendenhall Glacier. It was truly breathtaking. I never knew glaciers could be so blue. We also saw salmon spawning in the river, and some folks even saw some black bears. We didn’t catch a glimpse, sadly. Still, the trip was lovely even though my feet hurt terribly and I was getting tired and cranky. We ended the day by coming back to the ship and just relaxing. We had to rest up, because our next destination was Skagway and more shopping and sightseeing.
I got up very early the day we arrived in Skagway, and dragged the husband shopping with me. There were, again, a ton of jewelry stores. Skagway was very small, with only about 800 permanent residents. The main street was only a couple of blocks long, and we did our shopping and sightseeing quickly. I think we got back to the ship around 10am, and as we didn’t have any shore excursions planned, we just relaxed. It was nice to sit on the balcony and watch the water and trees. We even saw a little seal swimming by. Skagway was beautiful, but I didn’t like it as well as I liked Juneau. It was just too small for my taste. We left Skagway in the evening, bound for Tracy Arm Fjord and then Ketchikan.
Next up: Honeymoon, pt. 2