Alaska Cruise – 05/16/11

May 17, 2011

Our last day afloat, traveling from Ketchikan back to Vancouver. A chill out day, packing our suitcases.

The hi-light of the day was the show called Dreams, an enchanted classic. With a little Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust, a young girl’s which becomes a dream come true.

We were told that we might see Orca’s, as they had been seen just ahead of us. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any.

We are all backed up. Lot’s of pictures, lots of stories of our own. I’ll post pictures when I get back home.

Early to rise in the morning, in Vancouver, then a long flight back to Philadelphia through Chicago.

This blog certainly didn’t do justice to our experiences. Each of us will share our pictures over the next coupled of days, when we get home to our own computers and a hi-speed connection.

Thanks for following our journey.

Alaska Cruise – 05/15/11

May 17, 2011

Ketchikan was our next stop. Today we were able to go on the same adventure. Lighthouse, Totems, and Eagles, not necessarily in that order. This was a great trip, but for some reason, Jenn’s camera lost all of her pictures for this trip. devastating to say the least. We saw many Eagles, flying, sitting in trees, sitting on nests, most pointed out to us by our tour guide, we found a couple ourselves. One light house, and a Totem village. Of course, local stories as we traveled on a boat.

Carrie, Patti, and I walked around town. Carrie and I walked on Creek Street. It is a creek that has stores on both sided of this creek.

Alaska Cruise – 05/14/11

May 17, 2011

Arrived in Juneau. Originally, Juneau was a fishing outpost for the local Tlingit Indians until gold was discovered by Chief Kowee of the Auk Tlingit Tribe. More stories about gold and a town that sells diamonds.

We had to split up again. Jenn, Patrick, and Carrie went on an early Mendenhall Glacier and Whale Quest. Patti and I went on the next tour. In fact we passed on the dock as they were getting off and we were getting on. Two very different experiences, however. They had am up close and personnel view of a humpback whales. They saw a number of whales, including one with a calf.

Patti and I saw Orca’s, two or three pods of them. Another awesome experience. We went a little further and saw a her of seals just hanging out on the shore line. We later saw two humpback whales, perhaps a couple of the ones that the rest saw.

After the 3 hours jet boat ride, our bus took us the Mendenhall Glacier. Wow. One of the rangers told us that some of the local fishermen would come up to the glacier lake that is there, pick up some ice, and use it, as it would last a couple of days.

Back on board the Disney Wonder, we saw Toy Story, the Musical. Very cool show.

Alaska Cruise – 05/13/11

May 17, 2011

Up early this morning as we arrived in Skagway early.

Today Patti, Carrie, and Patrick go on a float trip, Jenn and I take a train ride. My folks talked about this train on one of their trip. Jenn and I were on the Yukon Suspension Bridge, City and White Pass Railway adventure

On the way out of Skagway, we passed a cemetery. All of the headstones are posted on Find-A-Grave. If we have time at the end of the tour, I may go back and take some closer pictures.

Everywhere you go, there are stories. The cemetery is one of them. About a gun battle between 2 gentlemen, both were killed in the gun fight, one is buried within the boundary of the cemetery and the “bad guy” is outside.

As we climbed the mountains, we ran into more snow. We made two stops, both of which passengers got off to take a “hike” up to one of the nearby (miles away) Glaciers.

A couple of tunnels, round some curves, over some not so new bridges, and looking “over the side” it was a very steep drop down into the valley below. We continued to hear the stories of the “gold rush”.

The higher we got, the more snow we saw. You could reach out the window or on one of the platforms of the train and you could touch the snow and you had to look UP to see how high the snow was. We would later hear that there was about 6 inches of snow the night before.

We stopped, in Canada, in Frazer. Population 13. The population walks to work at the border crossing.

Back to the bus that took us from the Disney Wonder to the train, and now on up to the Yukon Suspension Bridge. Wondering what the bridge was there, it had the answer to the question “Why did the chicken cross the road?”. The suspension bridge was over a gouge, so the bridge was to get to the other side.

The land in the other side had been a place for trapping, but that hasn’t happened for 100 years. The river below will start to pick up in a couple of weeks it will become a category 5 rafting spot.

The “Welcome Center” and gift shop was built-in the tradition of Canada, that is Open Hands. The building was in two pieces, with the open hands welcoming visitors to the suspension bridge.

Time to start back to Skagway.

Lots of snow, roads clear, but beautiful. Stopped at the summit of the mountain (3,200+ feet). Re-entered Alaska and stopped to take a Welcome to Alaska sign.

The road down the hill was on the far side of the train tracks that we took up to Frazier. On we way up, we were told that the difference between driving a car or riding a bus up the mountain is that the Train does not stop to take pictures of the Buses.

Back to ‘sea level’, Jenn and I had lunch at the Red Onion in Skagway and walked around town. All of the stores seemed to be selling diamonds.

We caught up with Patrick, Carrie, and Patti. Just hung out in town. No rush to get back to the ship, but don’t want to be late.

Alaska Cruise – 08/13/95

May 16, 2011

SUN. 8/13 We arrive in Vancouver, B.C. at 7 AM after going through the Straits of Georgia and under the Lion Gate Bridge. It was neat to see Stanley Park and the bridge from a different angle. The sight of Canada Place made you realize this great trip was almost over. Canada Place is considered to be one of the best places to embark or disembark.

Everything is so well organized. We were directed to our bus for Seattle. From there on, mass confusion at the Seattle Airport. We went round and around before we could park the bus. It was even difficult to get on the plane. We made it and had a stop at Denver’s new airport. We arrived home at 1:15 AM and the little car was still there.

The ship and the crew were just great. The food was superb. We have fond memories of Youngkie, our Indonesian dining steward. His service was excellent and he always had a smile. This was his last trip on the Rotterdam in his apprenticeship as a dining steward. He is going on the Statendam for further training. Good Luck.

Our cabin steward, Bang Bang, would come and go into our cabin and have it in apple-pie order any time we went back. He must have had magic eyes to know when we would return. Many thanks to Marilyn and her group for taking such good care of us.

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