Monday, August 29, 2005

Victoria



From Ketchican we said goodbye to Alaska, and moved on to Canada Eh?

In Victoria we went to the Church and State Winery, where we sampled some really great wine with some AMAZING Chocolates. It was a delicious and educational experience. Here is a shot of their recently planted vineyards.



After the Winery we rode through Victoria for a really long time seeing the sights. The most interesting part of the tour was the University which has a surprisingly large population of rabbits. And not the normal grey wild rabits, but the colorful domestic ones. They are everywhere. Someone dumped some there and now they h ave bunches, because well, they breed like rabbits. They were everywhere, just hanging out in the middle of the grass, chillin. It was pretty neat.

But then it was time to say goodbye to all our new friends and our lovely ship and return to the land of normalcy.


Goodbye 4 course meals, goodbye drinking every night, gooddbye towel animals on our beds! Hello real life.

Kechikan

Kechikan was a fun day. Dad and my Sister went off on a Harley Ride through the area. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of that, but they had a really great time on the tour.

Mom and I went to the Saxman Native Village, where they have the Worlds largest collection of Standing Totem Poles. This picture is from the front steps of their meeting house.



The villiage was settled by the Tlingit people in 1894 upon the recomendation of the School Teacher Samual Saxman. To the right is a picture of some of the natives and the audience members dancing in their meeting house which was made entirely by hand. It is an amazing peice of craftsmanship, all of the planks were hewn by hand and you can feel the rough textures on the walls. It was a really neat experience.




This is the top of one of the totem poles, it is in fact the Image of Abraham Lincoln. The original was carved in the late 1800s, this is a replica. I thought it made sense that they would honor him by putting up a totem pole. But in fact they were honoring a ship called the Lincoln that helped the two Tlingit clans to resolve hostilities between them. Because they can not put inanimate objects on totem poles they had to send out for a photograph of Lincoln and then used that to put his image on top of a totem pole.

After the tour we went and saw the lumberjack show. Burly men chopping wood, I couldn't take pictures, but you could probably see most of them on ESPN anyway.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Sitka

In Sitka we got up super early to go on another wildlife cruise.

We saw Otters. Dad got all the good pictures of them.


We also saw a bunch more humpback whales. There were about 6 around the boat at one time.

And then we went shopping, which was fairly uneventful. They had some expensive jewlery stores and some VERY espensive fur outlets. It was a nice litte town. But we only had a few hours there so it wasn't the most memorable.

Glacier Day!


On Tuesday we cruised the Hubbard glacier. We were awoken early by the noises on the ship. And my sister and I enjoyed the view from our balcony until the ship turned tw hours later, and then we went upstairs.It was an amazing experience to see the things that shaped our world up close and personal. And yes, they are blue, that is not just the way the photos were taken.


Before this trip if someone had told me that watching a glacier would be one of the most enjoyable mornings of my life I would have laughed in their faces, but it was fabulous.

Every time a partof the glacier fell into the water or "calved" as they called it, you could hear sounds like a thunderclap and then watch parts of it fall into the sea. It was amazing.

The sheer size of this glacier is really hard to comprehend from the pictures. You can see here, this ship is about halfway between us and the glacier, it helps give you an idea of the hugeness. We had to be careful sailing near it because apparently sometimes parts of the Iceberg under the ocean calve and then pop up to the surface like giant Ice dagger thingies.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

BACK!

I have survived the cruise.

Sadly I failed in my mission to actually post fron the boat. Since every picture upload took 5 minutes and internet cost $.40/min I decided my time would be better spent drinking myself into oblivion and singing Kareoke.

But I have my pictures and I will try to post on the other ports we visited tomorrow.

It was freaking AWESOME!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Juneau

On Monday we spent the day in port at Juneau. It was a lovely little town surrounded by huge mountains.

Mom and I went on a whale watching boat. We saw a killer whale pod. (Apparently this only happens once in a while) they were teaching their young to kill sealions. It was amazing and sad to watch.


Here are some unsuspecting sea lions, they were being lazy since they are nocturnal feeders. It is possible the sea lion the killer whales were attacking came from this colony.

Later we saw a hump back whale, here is a good shot of its tail. This wasn't the best view but it was the best shot I managed to get.

Ater the wildlife cruise we said farewell to our captain and visited the Mendenhall glacier. It was huge and gorgeous. The pictures could never do it justice, but here is one anyway.


Sunday, July 24, 2005

All Aboard!

Our Ship Sailed from Seattle on Saturday. It was a long line and lots of waiting around. But we got to skip most of it because mom needed a wheelchair. Bonus!
We ended up in different staterooms that we had originally booked, but it turned out to be an upgrade. The staterooms are NICE, but the ship is smaller than others we have sailed on. Everything is very elegant and richely decorated though.

Here's little sister enjoying the lovely view from her and my balcony. The sea is stunning.

I took a martini bartending class today, at noon, and I had 4 martinis, at noon. It was a little silly. But so far things have been layed back and fun. Time to get ready for dinner!

Monday, July 18, 2005

5 days and counting

5 days till my family and I leave on our Alaskan Cruise! We're all very excited. I hope I will be able to successfully photoblog while I am on the ship. If not I will post pictures and stories after I guess, but that wont be nearly as much fun. :-(

For now let's just hope everyone gets safely to Seattle on Saturday.