Day 1 - Making it to the boat
My best friend, Patti, and I had an early flight from Memphis to Seattle. After a connecting flight in Charlotte and a bus ride to the dock, our long awaited girls trip was about to begin.
For some reason, whenever I go on a cruise, it always seems so stressful to get to the dock, stand in line with the masses, get checked in, and finally walk up the gangway to the boat.
Maybe it's the anticipation of the adventure that awaits...or maybe the fear of getting left behind.
No matter...we had made it! It was time to celebrate!
Day 2 - Day at Sea
Today wasn't very exciting. It was too chilly to hang out on the deck so we spent the day exploring the ship and window shopping. Luckily, we found the Martini Bar pretty quickly.
Day 3 - Ketchikan
There was perfect weather today. It was in the 60's with clear skies in a town that has rain 360 days of the year. We met a retired fishing boat captain who had great information on the town's history and the local wildlife.
After exploring Creek Street, watching for salmon and harbor seals, and shopping, we stopped at the Halibut Hole for lunch. We sat outside on the deck which had great views and ate the crab cakes and fries. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed in the crab cakes. Don't get me wrong...they were sufficient. I guess I just expected them to taste better than the ones I've had at home in Memphis since we were at the source.
Day 4 (AM) - Tracy Arm Fjord
This morning it was freezing cold & raining. We sat under the covered deck bundled up in coats, gloves, and blankets and sipped on hot chocolate while taking in the mountains, waterfalls, and icy water.
Day 4 (PM) - Juneau
This afternoon, I went on a whale-watching excursion and it was incredible. It's hard to imagine how fast these giant creatures move. They would jump out of the water, with their entire body in the air and my poor little camera wasn't fast enough to capture them. Instead, I got a lot of fin pictures but I was still pretty excited. Time to start thinking about a DSLR...
The tour also made a stop at Mendenhall Glacier.
Day 5 - Skagway
Skagway is known as the home of the North Wind. Today it was mid 50's and WINDY.
The tour took us to the Gold Rush Cemetery,
Lower Reid Falls,
And White Pass Summit where we crossed into Canada and then came back into Alaska.
After returning back to town, I met up with Patti and we ended up at the Skagway Brewing Company for lunch and their beer sampler. My favorite was the Spruce Tip Blonde Ale. It's made from Sitka spruce tips and was very good...light colored with a slightly sweet nutty taste.
Afterwards, we walked along the main strip before returning to the ship.
And for the people on your list that are hard to shop for...
Tonight we decided to visit our friends at the Martini Bar and continue our "Sampler" theme. The bartender was amazing. He mixed up each martini separately, stacked them up, and poured them all at one time. So cool!
Day 6 - Victoria, British Columbia
It was late afternoon when we arrived in Victoria so we just caught glimpses of the Parliament Building & the Empress Hotel on our way to Butchart Gardens. The city is beautiful with hanging baskets of flowers EVERYWHERE.
Butchart Gardens was absolutely stunning. I wish we had more time and daylight to take in its beauty. We arrived at dusk so we saw most of it in the dark illuminated with spotlights and lighted paths. It was a very romantic setting.
I will definitely be back to explore this city when I can spend a few days.
Day 7 - Back to reality
Today, it was time to catch our flight back home and I have to admit I was ready. It had been a great trip but 7 days on the boat was a little too much for me. Alaska's landscape was beautiful and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to experience it.