Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Next stop: Juneau
Population: approx 30,000
In this port we went whale watching. We were fortunate enough to see a pod of about 12 or 13 humpback whales bubble-net feeding. This behavior has only been observed in humpback whales in a few places in the world, and south-east Alaska is one of those places. It was amazing. The whales go down and blow bubbles in a circle, which traps the krill and other little critters they eat, and then, all at once, they come up with their huge mouths open and come out of the water to about their eyeballs. You could see their baleen and their stretchy under-throat things full of water. And one whale even breeched (jumped all the way out of the water). It was one of the most exhilarating things I've ever seen.
On the bus ride to our whale-watching boat we passed Mendenhall glacier. I wish we'd had a bit more time in Juneau so we could have taken a tour up closer to the glacier.
After whale watching we had a little more time to walk around the tourist trap shops in Juneau. It's a neat city and we met up with a neighbor and friend of ours. Just before we got back on the boat we had a huge Alaskan King Crab leg at a little crab shack. Mmmm-mmmm-mmmm. Divine. Then back to the ship and on to the third and final stop.
Friday, August 03, 2007
My grandparents rounded up their kids and grandkids (that means NOT my kids) and took us--21 in all--on an Alaskan cruise. It was sublime. Here are a few photos and highlights from the trip.
On the ship in Vancouver, Canada just before leaving port
At the mandatory safety-and-where-to-go-if-the-ship-is-sinking meeting
My cute parents on the observation deck as we were leaving Vancouver
My 2 brothers and me
We played on the boat for a day while we cruised the inside passage up to our first stop.
Dallas: 13, Lewis: 2
First stop: Ketchikan
Population: approx 8,000
Temperate Rainforest (alder, spruce, hemlock)
annual rainfall: 13 feet--yes, FEET!
access: airplane, boat, birthcanal
Who knew there were rainforests in Alaska? I'm embarrassed to say I didn't. Ketchikan is beautiful. The little town has about 40 miles of road, and then nothing but wilderness from there on. We went out of town about 15 miles and went sea kyaking.
This is the group who went kyaking: Guy and I, Monica (my sister) and her hubby Jeff, and my darling cousins Brett and Andi. Bald eagles were everywhere and the kyaking was lovely.
The old red-light district in Ketchikan (now little tourist shops)
The weather was cool and beautiful and due to the humidity, my skin has never felt better. There was, however, one really big, pus-filled zit on the face of the trip. Grandma's Meniere's disease acted up and she got really sick and so she and Grandpa had to get off the ship at Ketchikan. How sad is that? And to add to the disappointment, my aunt Jeannine and Dan had to go with them to help them get home. Jeannine was the one who had done all the leg-work putting the cruise together--all the way from coordinating the dates we could all go to arranging flights and cruise stuff. So that really sucked. We had fun anyway, which is what Grandma and Grandpa wanted, but it was such a bummer that they weren't there to enjoy it with us.
I've got more to report on, but it will have to wait for another post. Until then, enjoy this sunset.