Friday, December 11, 2009

Flashback Friday: Alaska

We've done the proposal, the bachelorette party, some wedding photos and reflections, so now on to the honeymoon!

I haven't mentioned much about our wedding theme: Winter in July. You may have noticed some elements of it in the pictures, but it actually holds quite a bit of significance.  To add another layer, we chose to take the Alaska Inside Passage cruise for our honeymoon. Gary is not a lover of tropical destinations, but we're both wild about outdoor adventures, so this was a great choice. Here are some random memories and experiences from our trip.

1-Dinner guests
On this Holland America cruise, we were assigned a dinner time, and a dinner table in the main restaurant. On the first night, when we were guided to our table set for six, I was slightly disappointed.  Why would they seat the honeymooning couple (yes, they were aware) with a group of strangers?

As it turned out, our dinners with these two Texas Ranch couples were a highlight of the whole vacation. They were a lot of fun, and let's face it: no matter how much you love your spouse, when you have 7 days straight to spend together, occasionally enjoying the added company of others is welcome.
I used to scoff at people who feared getting seasick on a cruise--I mean those ships are so huge compared to waves, right? Our first day of sailing was spent in the open Pacific Ocean along the western coast of Canada, before reaching the calm Inside Passage. I could not believe the tempestuous rocking and rolling we experienced that day and the first night. I went to one of the sundry shops and purchased some Bonine tablets for motion sickness. They cost $6.99, which I know because I just looked at the box that is still hanging out in my medicine cabinet since I only needed them that one day.  Later that same day I told someone--probably one of our new rancher friends at the dinner table--about picking those up.  I was then swiftly informed that those tablets are available at the concierge desk for free. FREE. This brings up two pertinent questions: 1) Why do they even stock them in the store then? 2) Why didn't the cashier tell me that I could get them for free by stumbling a few more feet down the hall?  I remember distinctly waking up in the middle of the night feeling as though I were riding inside a front loading washing machine.

3-Once in a lifetime opportunity, missed
We saw many beautiful glaciers on our cruise and learned a great deal about them too. Some lucky people get to witness glacial calving, where huge pieces of the ice break off into the water. Gary was one of those people, but due to a poorly-timed restroom break, I was not. Thankfully, he knows how to use a camera.

Can you see the big chunk breaking off?


4-Deceiving distance
I found it fascinating to comprehend that Johns Hopkins Glacier is about 8 miles from our cruise ship as pictured below. Perspective is strange.

I couldn't be more pleased with each of our choices of excursions in port. In Juneau, after riding the Mt. Roberts Tramway up a mountain and taking a short hike, we boarded a float plane for a bird's eye view of some amazing scenery, including glacial formations.

I had no idea glaciers were so dirty. The ice at the forefront originated from snow that fell in the mountains 75 to 200 years ago.

This looks like meringue.

You must believe me on this one: all three of the colors around the trees in the above photograph are water. So close to one another, and yet all so different.

By the way, did you know that Juneau can only be accessed by plane or boat? I didn't know that before we went there. Although debate surrounds the current project to build a highway connecting Juneau to the Alaskan road system.

6-Bear pee delight
The float plane delivered us to historic Taku Lodge for an amazing Alaskan salmon feast. After dinner we had the distinct pleasure of witnessing a black bear climb atop the grill which had prepared our feast, lick it clean, and pee all over it.


7-Bike, hike, kayak

A great way to get off the beaten path and experience some natural parts of Sitka that the less adventurous tourists won't see.

Kayaking from Ketchikan, we were lucky to spot a few bald eagles catching prey on the rocky shore.

This trip truly was incredible. Gary and I agreed, however, that one day we must tour Alaska in our own vehicle so that we can see more and take everything in at our own pace--as opposed to that of the sailing schedule.  I would certainly recommend an Alaskan cruise as well, though. It's a great way to see a lot in a short amount of time.


Bridget said...

I loved seeing all these pictures! I love Alaska, too.

Emily and Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emily and Mark said...

How funny! I went on the same cruise for my HS graduation with my parents. I remember there being only 1 guy that was under 20 and he was engaged. My dreams of a cruise romance were dashed, but it was awesome!

maria said...

This are really cool pics as
i like ice and i always wanted
to go for a cruise in Alaska.
Lets see when it will be true.
alaska cruise


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