Friday, July 5, 2013

Wanna go to Alaska?

Last week, Steve and I took both sets of our parents on a 7 day Alaskan cruise with Holland America. Most people, upon hearing this, thought we were crazy. I have to admit, I was a little worried too; but everyone got along famously and were on our best behaviors. I mean, we were in Alaska, what is there to be crabby about? (Haha...see what I did there?)

So, here are our pictures. Prepare yourself...there are a lot, but I'll try to keep you entertained along the way. 
Vancouver. What's that you say? Vancouver isn't in Alaska? Am I stupid and went to Canada thinking it was Alaska? Well crap....I should just end this post now. 
Just teasing, the cruise left from Vancouver. Gotcha!
The man. The myth. The legend. Tim. 
My lovely parents. 
Tim thinks he's Zoolander. (If you don't know Zoolander, google it. I don't have the time to teach you everything.)
My fabulous in-laws. 
The people who created us. You're welcome, world. 
Our first port was Ketchikan. We told our parents we would treat them to one excursion each and then they were on their own after that. The guys went fishing this day and we ladies did what we do 

 In the background is the salmon market where a great salesman slipped me a roofie and made me buy 4 cans of expensive salmon.  Steve doesn't even like salmon and was pretty mad at me, so that's my story and I'm sticking to it. 

No explanation needed. 
Our home for the week.

Those last two pictures, that's the whole town. 

Some of their catch. Steve had the meat shipped back to Texas, so if anyone has a good halibut recipe, let me know. 

Welcome to Juneau!!

That's basically all of Juneau. The only way in or out of the city is by boat or plane. The road just stops after 40 miles. 
Bald Eagles anybody?

My parents and I went whale watching this day for my mom's excursion. We tacked the visit to Mendenhall Glacier on to our excursion for $10 and it ended up being one of my favorite parts of the entire trip. Who says I'm high maintenance?!?!
Ahhh, to be young and in love again. 

I was by myself that day so my parents did their best to keep me from feeling like the third wheel. :)

Chunks of ice from the glacier. 

I feel so tiny. 

That is one lucky man. 
One of the coolest things I have ever seen. 

This picture shows how big the waterfall actually was. I don't normally allow strangers into my photos, but these serve a purpose. 
She hates nature and was miserable the entire trip. 
I'm tiny again. I need a waterfall to follow me around all the time so I will look petite. 
Iceberg! Straight ahead!!  What???? Too soon?

I mean, what is there to say. Wow.  Just wow. God is an artist. 
So after the glacier, we went on our whale watching tour. My mom is obsessed with sea mammals, so this was right up there for her with the birth of her grandchildren. 

Whale tail!  If you just checked your pants....two things: wrong kind of whale tale, and pull your pants up. Please and thank you. 

The whales really liked this boat. 
I mean, really liked it. 
Could you...

We were able to observe something called 'bubble net feeding'.  During this type of feeding, the humpback, who is usually a bit of a loner, gets together with some friends and pushes the fish up to the top and goes to town. I switched my camera to sports mode and held down the button, so you can get a true play by play. 
For the full effect, I recommend you turn your A/C down to around 55, turn a fan on (cause it was windy), and aim a lamp at you (because it was also sunny). 
This guy went up a little early...greedy. This shows how wide their mouths open though; 
over a 90 degree angle. 

Ok, that's all for the made it. 
The Red Dog Saloon in Juneau is a replica of the actual saloon that was around during the gold rush days. There was the funniest old man singing dirty songs, and the waitresses dressed in saloon appropriate clothing. Too bad the food wasn't very good. 

On the wall under the stuffed bear, is a pistol in a case. Back in the day, men used to have to check their guns at the door. This gun was never claimed and turned out to be....
Wait for it....
Wyatt Erp's. 
Steve wanted a picture outside, and because he NEVER wants to take a picture, just like good ole SP, I said, "you betcha!"
We were referred to Tracy's Crab Shack by several people since the boat served zero crab (I'm not happy about it).  It was conveniently located right next to the boat, so we stopped by. The crab legs are shockingly expensive all over Alaska, but omgeee were they good. 

Tracy noticed my dad's Gator shirt and said "I love the Gators!" and gave us a free crab leg. I love the Gator Nation!

On to Skagway:
I thought the painting on the side of the mountain was probably something really cool and historic, so I took a picture. I later learned that it was just an advertisement for a shop in town. Douped again!
This town was founded by the men going up the White Pass Trail to find gold. Steve got in the spirit. 

That is essentially the entire town. All 7 blocks of it. 

What's that you say? You'd really like some more nature photos? Well, you are in luck. For Steve's mom's excursion, she wanted to take the train up the mountain along the trail.  All aboard!

This old bridge kept getting compared to the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower. I don't remember why, but I was sure to take a picture. Someone look it up and get back to me. 

Very few men died building the railroad, and this grave was to mark 2 of them. I don't remember how many actually died. Someone look that up for me too please.

This part of the river, called the whirlpool, has never been sucessfully navigated. 

Mama's boy. 

Next was Glacier Bay. This was, hands down, the most beautiful place I have ever seen. Except for maybe Florida Field, but it's a close second. 

My favorite picture. 
Steve was into it. 
See? I told you she was miserable. 

Bear!!!!  (Ps, I have already asked for a zoom lense for the next gift-giving holiday.  Don't we get gifts for 4th of July???)
The black glacier straight ahead is responsible of the creation of this entire bay. Want to learn more? Visit'm not your teacher. 

This glacier was the size of our ship. 

Glaciers are constantly changing.  As more ice is becoming compacted on the back of it, chunks of ice are breaking off the front. Can you see the chunk that just fell off?

Zoolander needed a solo shot. 

Hitching a ride. 
This was my view for lunch that day. Rough life.

Wine on the bow of the boat was a great idea!
The two dark spots on that big chunk of ice are harbor seals. You would be able to see them if I had my new lens. Guess you just have to take my word for it. There is also a wooly mammoth in the picture. Let me know when you see it. 

Sea lion islands. Say that 3 times fast. 
Ready? Go!

He's so versatile. 

Our view at dinner. Another awful one. 
The Crow's Nest. We were here a lot. 

Our drinking buddies. 

Well, you made it! Welcome home from Alaska! Think about how much time and money I just saved you. 

You are welcome!

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