Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Alaskan Cruisin'

 The first week in September, Brad and I were able to go on a cruise to Alaska! My wonderful mom came up to our apartment to watch Katie for us so we could get away on our own vacation. Can I just say that until we left for the cruise, I had never been away from Katie for more than 8 hours?! And the one time I was away from her for 8 hours was when I was working on the Extreme Makeover house and she was asleep at home the whole time. Anyway, it was pretty difficult to be away from her for so long, but I knew she was in good hands. We left on Friday evening and stopped in Rigby to see Brad's good friend Bary and his new-ish baby. We spent the night with my best friend Daryn and her hubby Mat in Rexburg (where we enjoyed some Happy Birthday cupcakes for me), and then went back down to Rigby in the morning. Bary and his sweet wife Vicky took us out to breakfast and then Brad and I set out on a 12 hour drive to Portland. We stayed with my sister Karli and her boyfriend Jonathan on Saturday night, asfter playing a good round of Apples to Apples, and then they drove us up to Seattle in the morning, where we got onto our cruise ship!
Here I am in our cabin. :)
 We left Seattle around 4, had dinner and then went and played a round of free Bingo. Of course, being the youngest couple on board (Holland America is famous for being 90% old people. Lol! I made up that statistic) we got picked to go onstage during the show after Bingo. We played a little game and won a free bottle of champagne which remained in our mini-bar for the reminder of the cruise and we left it there after the cruise. We don't drink and no one we asked wanted it! Haha!
Anyway, the next day was spent at sea, heading up to Alaska.

 Monday night, we found this little guy o our bed,
 Tuesday, we were in Glacier Bay National Park. I can't remember the name of this glacier.
 Alaska sure is beautiful though, right? It was a little cold in Glacier Bay, probably in the 40's, but most of the trip was in the 60 degree range.
 A little family of seals!
 Lots of Harbor Seals.
 On Wednesday, we were in Alaska's capital city, Juneau. Quite the tourist attraction, with about 30 jewelry stores in our face the second we got off the ship. Haha. We were lucky though because about a dozen locals told us that it was the first sunny day in weeks! (Some people said 2 weeks, some people said 5 weeks.)
 The tramway that was too expensive for us to take. The illusionist on the ship actually made a joke calling it the Mt. Roberts Scamway, because it's $27 to go up, and there's nothing really to see at the top!
 We decided to shell out $32 to take a shuttle out to Mendenhall Glacier. It was 5 times the price of the city bus, bus twice as fast. It was worth it anyway. As soon as we got off the bus, we walked over to a little pathway over a river full of salmon, and look what was right below our feet!!!!
 This is Mendenhall Glacier. We decided to be awesome and go on a 3.5 mile hike up in the woods. It was a beautiful day and there was a nice look-out point at the top.
 Just off the hiking trail was this waterfall. I went right up to it. :)

 On Thursday, we were in Sitka. Here, we had to take tenders to get from the boat to the dock. It was a really rainy day unfortunately, so most of the things I wanted to do were taken off our list. I had planned on quite a bit of walking up to the forest, but there was just too much rain. Here's our ship once we got to the dock! We didn't do much in Sitka other than walk around town a little bit.
 Friday, we were in Ketchican for only a few hours. It really wasn't enough time to do anything (not that there was much to do unless you septn hundreds of dollars on shore excursions) but it was another beautiful day and we explored the town a bit, bought some souveniers, and just enjoyed the town.
 Friday night was a Dessert Extravaganza on board. Lots of cool creations made from breads and chocolate and fruits and things.

 Saturday night we arrived in Victoria, British Columbia. Beautiful town! There were two other cruise ships there at the same time.
 We took a 30 minute walk to downtown and passed by the legislative building, which was all lit-up and lovely! We walked along the waterfront and then watched some street performers and decided to take a taxi back to the pier when we were done.
Also during the cruise, we dressed up for a couple of formal dinners, got our pictures taken, did some souveneir shopping, saw an illusionist which was amazing and funny, also a ventriliquist who was funny, singers and dancers, got lots of free jewelry in the different ports of call, ate WAY too much, met some nice and funny people at dinner each night, spent a little extra to eat at the steakhouse on board one night, saw some newer movies we'd been wanting to see, and just had an overall amazing time
Sunday morning, we were back in Seattle, got off the ship, Karli picked up us at later that day, we drove the 12 hours back home to Utah and got in at 4:30 in the morning. Katie was so happy to see us and it's nice to be home. While it was sad to be away from Katie, it was so great to spend time together, just Brad and me, as a married couple. Brad loved it and was pretty bummed when the cruise was over. I'm sure there will be more in our future.

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