Mother: As you may know this posting was to have been about the third part of our Panama Canal cruise. Well my computer crashed and I lost all of my pictures and the ones from the Panama Canal were the best. I don’t have a lot of patients with electronics and my computer going down made me a very unhappy camper. But as luck would have it we were looking for an sd card to put in a camera we had gotten for one of the grand daughters and low and behold one of the ones we found had pictures from our cruise to Alaska on it that hadn’t been down loaded. The cruise was in July of 2012. We went with four other couples. They all were retired and did the land part through Denali National Park, but being as husband and I were still working we could only arrange a week long vacation, so no Denali for us. lol
I have to say this was probably my favorite cruise. I loved Alaska. The people were so nice and the views were spectacular. We left a day early as we usually do when we are cruising and it was a good thing we did, we ended up spending 6 hours sitting in the Chicago airport waiting on a plane to either be fixed or a new one brought in. Which, even though we were not happy about the delay it turned out to be a real blessing. I started looking for my medicines and found out I had forgotten to pack them. I had to contact our hotel in Anchorage to find a pharmacy that I could have my doctor call my meds to. For once I actually got someone in my doctors office, instead of voicemail, so they checked my chart and called them to the Anchorage pharmacy. We finally got into a cab at 8:15p in Anchorage and made a dash to the pharmacy, they were closing at 9P. I had ask the hotel for the closest pharmacy to them but not sure what happened but it was a 30 minute taxi ride. And of course we passed a WalMart and a number of drug stores on the way. My insurance wouldn’t pay for the medicines because it was too soon for a re-order. It ended up being a $110 mistake on my part.
Our first day in Alaska we took a train from Anchorage to Seward where we would get on the boat. We saw a moose walking down the middle of the street right by the train station. The train was a wonderful experience. It was the GoldStar Domes adventure class and well worth the cost. It was a little better than a 4 hour trip and through wonderful country. When the train was leaving Anchorage it went by a parking lot that had a huge black pile of something in the middle of it, it was snow from where they had scrapped the streets and other parking lots. I bet it was a good two or three stories high and remember we were there in the middle of July.
Seward is a nice little town with a bus that takes you, for free, around the whole town. Brewing beer is big in the part of Alaska we were in and there was a nice little bar right beside of the port that had their own brewery so of course we had to have a glass, not bad at all.
Our first day of cruising was by the Hubbard Glacier. The Glacier is six miles long and something to look at. Glaciers do something that is called calving, this is when a piece of the front of the glacier breaks off and falls into the ocean. It makes a sound that you have to hear, I can’t explain it.
Our next stop was Juneau. The only way to get to Juneau is by either boat or plane, there is no road in or out. You would think there would be as the capital of Alaska but there is not. We did a tour of the Mendenhall Glacier. It is part of the Tongass National Park and open year round.
Next place was Skagway. We did the White Pass and Yukon train ride. I wasn’t overly impressed with the ride. By now we had seen a lot of Alaska and this was more beautiful scenery. It was kind of scary at times because you are looking out over a gorge a lot of times and you take some sharp turns where you can, if sitting at the front, see the rest of the train almost beside you. We spent a lot of the afternoon going to bars and saloons trying the different beers.
We next visited Icy Strait which is a newly constructed stop for Royal Caribbean and a few other cruise lines. We took a tour through the area. It was so interesting to see the Bald Eagles, they are as plentiful as pigeons are in the USA. It was amazing to watch them. We got to a small river where the salmon were running and the eagles were swooping down and grabbing the salmon. We saw an eagle pick up a salmon and fly off with it and the salmons egg sac fell out and other eagles flew in to eat it. The guide told us to watch for bears because there was a lot of skat around and they like to come down to the river to feed.
Then we spent a day in Ketchikan. We started with a trip to the totem heritage center. There were totem poles every where and they were all different ages. They are slowly refurbishing some of the older ones. We then did a walking tour of Creek Street. It is full of old buildings and you walk around it on a wooden side walk. I visited Dolly’s House. She entertained the gentlemen and sold boot leg whiskey. Dolly’s story is an interesting read.
Our cruise ended in Vancouver and we spent a couple of days there before flying home. We also loved Vancouver. It is a city of young people or at least it seemed to us they were all young. And they come from every ethnic background . The restaurants were wonderful and again you could find any food you wanted. We would like to do a four or five day stay in Vancouver if we get the chance.
I am posting the pictures I could find, most of them were on the crashed computer. But if you get a chance to go to Alaska or Vancouver go, it is an experience you won’t forget.
Till next time.
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