Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Day 503: Birthday at Sea

How does one celebrate their 47th birthday while on a cruise ship? You:
  • eat a bowl of Special K at breakfast. Alone.  
  • thank your room steward for the birthday decorations out your door.
  • have a pepperoni and red onion pizza for lunch and eat it while watching the ocean waves. Alone. 
  • stand in the “Dessert Extravaganza” line by yourself to snag the desserts you missed getting to taste last week.
  • think the vanilla cake is going to taste the best, but it doesn’t. 
  • take the jello dessert back to your room and stick it in your fridge but find out later your husband ate it. 
  • look forward to a nice sit down dinner in the dining room, but knowing you’ll be alone it’ll probably be the buffet line instead.
All these wonderful experiences I’ve had these last couple weeks – all the confidence I’ve built, the things I’ve done and seen – it’s not enough to get me out of the funk (yes, I’m being selfish right now) of not hearing Happy Birthday from my husband. Here’s hoping I hear it from him before the day is over. If not, I have a cake Princess sent my way that will have to do.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Day 502: Ketchikan

Today should have been the day my husband was taking the pictures. The day he was going to catch a salmon, a day he was going to put all that physical therapy to good use.

Nope. Still not feeling well, he cancelled his salmon fishing trip. I’m certain he will regret that decision, but my hounding him to get out of the room for the last two weeks has gotten me nowhere so I’ve given up.

With his absence this vacation has turned into a solo one. Dinner alone, swimming in the pool alone, traveling the towns alone, trips to tops of mountains and across canyons, all alone.  

But today I had someone to talk to, someone to spend time with. The school secretary where I work just so happens to be on a cruise to Alaska this week. Not on our ship, but in the ship sitting at the docks with us here in Ketchikan today. So I got to tag along with her and some of her family on a walking tour of Ketchikan. We went to jewelry shops, souvenir shops, t-shirt shops, Walmart, and even the quilt shop.

This quilt shop is the largest in southeast Alaska and pretty much takes up half the second floor of a building. Look at just one of their quilt displays. 
 I did snatch up some 40% off fat quarters. Another batch of fabric for my next batch of Alaska-bound quilts.
We also took a taxi-tour out to…
Where we got a glimpse of the Tlingit and Haida Indian culture through the 14 totem poles and a clan house. 
And saw wildflowers and berries…

Their ship left before ours so I had a bit of extra time to head out to Creek Street. The historic boardwalk was a Red Light District during the Gold Rush. I walked the area, hoping to catch the spawning salmon. I never saw any, but I heard others talk of seeing some moving upstream. 
I did however, stop for lunch out on the boardwalk. Look who peeked up at me as I was eating…
Such a great day. A gorgeous, sunny, walk-filled, fun-filled day.
Thanks ladies, for letting me tag along.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Day 501: Juneau

Today was the second attempt at getting up Mt. Roberts Tramway in Juneau. Last week it was rainy, today it was not.
From the top of mountain I could see everything. The town, mountains, the cruise ship.
I even saw a bald eagle that had been shot in the beak and has a torn retina. The bird has recovered all he can, but is unable to be released back into the wild. He still can fly though, and gave me quite a start when he headed toward me as I was snapping a picture.

After coming down the mountain, I found the quilt shop I was looking for. No sale items (which means no purchase for me) but I discovered buttons. They had two separate cases of buttons of all shapes and sizes. I wonder what my mom would think of all these.
These last few days I’ve put quite a few miles on these feet. I’m quite surprise that I’ve kept my stamina up with all this walking. A long day, a full day, another day of pushing myself beyond what I thought I could do. Who knew I really would go up and down in a tram, look out over (and down) viewing platforms with absolutely no fear of heights? And who knew I could walk this much? Although, I have to admit today I had to take quite a few sit down breaks on my way back to the cruise ship. I wasn’t the only one taking a break.

The ravens sure seem used to people.

A nice sunset out our balcony is a good way to end a day. Full disclosure, though – I took this picture last night as we left Skagway and passed by Haines, Alaska.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Day 500: Old time Skagway

In August of 1896 gold was discovered near where the Klondike and Yukon rivers joined in northwestern Canada. Skagway became the major gateway for the Klondike Gold Rush and tents lined Broadway Street as the town grew by leaps and bounds. But by December of 1896 wooden buildings replaced the tents and then, less than two years later, Skagway had boardwalks on both sides, brick chimneys, railroad tracks, and utility poles. 80 saloons, three breweries, and many brothels occupied the town.

Many of those original buildings have been restored to exact standards including historical paint schemes and sign fonts. As I meandered town today (wanted to get to the quilt shop again) I took some pictures in black and white. I did take one in color of such a pretty car.
Just imagine what life was like just over 100 years ago…

Friday, July 13, 2012

Day 499: Glacier Bay Birds

I’ve got my sea legs back thanks to the patch. I’m wondering if it was seasickness or just a little stomach thing. Hubby didn’t have problems even without the patch – and he’s one that has to take Dramamine before even a short one hour flight.

So I’m back to myself and the ship is back to Glacier Bay National Park today. Today’s weather for it wasn’t nearly as nice as when we were here just a few days ago. And for some reason, this time the seagulls were flying all around the ship when we were viewing the Margerie Glacier. So instead of taking more pictures of just the glacier again, I went with the birds and did some little fancy edging to the pictures.
Gotta make it interesting somehow!