Monday, September 30, 2013

Victoria, BC

The last day of our cruise, we stopped in Victoria, British Columbia for the evening.  Bryan and I made no plans other than to wander around.  After we ported, we discovered it was a couple of miles to the historic downtown area.  We saw people lining up to get on the shuttle buses when I saw a little trailer off to the side, renting bicycles for a few dollars.  So we gave the boy our money, I ran back to the ship and changed out of my little flats and into my sneakers, and then we rode off into the sunset.  I don't think I'd been on a bike since my early college days, and well, it's just like they say.

I'd been to Victoria as a young girl with my family, and I have vague, fond memories of the city: high tea at the Empress Hotel, and a bagpiper street musician in his kilt.  It was fun seeing those things again.  Bryan and I even wandered through the Empress Hotel, and little flickers of memories would return. 

We stopped in at Darcy's Pub, and I ordered my favorite British hard cider.
Then we bumped into our friends again (Lindsey, Ben, Tanner, and Alexis), and had a drink at a lovely little restaurant.
Then we wandered back to our ship through the historic downtown.

The next morning, we were back in Seattle.  We met up for a lovely coffee date with my cousin Erin, whom I hadn't seen since we were teenagers. Then we drove home, and were reunited with our girls!  It was so good to be with them again.  We had such a wonderful vacation, but we couldn't stop talking about how much we missed them.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


It was raining a little bit when we pulled into port.
But I wasn't going to let a little rain put a damper on the adventure we had planned.

I have wanted to go zip lining for a very long time.  So when I saw that there were several zip lining options in our various ports, I started doing some research.  I discovered that the Alaska TourSaver coupon book had a buy one get one free coupon for zip lining at Alaska Canopy Adventure.

So that's what we did in Ketchikan.
The awesome red helmets kept the cables from zipping our heads open while we zipped along at 40 or so mph. 

Colby and Jen were our fun and competent instructors.
Did you know that the 17 million acre Tongass National Rainforest is the largest temperate rainforest in the world?  I didn't.

Overlooking the inlet we sailed to get to Ketchikan.

This slide at the end of our zip lining course was actually pretty awesome.

Our rig back down the mountain.

Some video of us zip lining!

Back at the headquarters, we had a picnic lunch, and then it was back to the cruise ship for us.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Glacier Bay

When we booked our cruise, we chose the one we did because our ship cruised through Glacier Bay.  It was spectacular.

This was Margerie Glacier; by far the bluest and most stunning of all the glaciers.

It was taller than our 14 story ship.

This one is what gets called a "dirty glacier."  Lots of dirt and rocks mixed in with the ice.

We spent a good portion of the afternoon on our friend's private balcony.
Lindsey, Ben (with his eyes closed, sorry Ben!), and Alexis.

Bryan and Tanner.

Just hanging out, watching for whales.  We saw lots, actually.  Over the course of our cruise, we saw orcas, sea lions, and lots of humpback whales.

See the tiny little splash?  This is the closest I came to photographing one of the many whales that made it's appearance.

So a little back story regarding our new friends.  On the second day of our cruise, we ended up sitting in a hot tub with some people that looked about our age.  We chatted, and really hit it off.  Alexis and Tanner make amazing art.  Alexis' brother Ben works for Apple, and his girlfriend Lindsey is at Yelp.  We kept bumping into them, and finally just started meeting up. 

We met up for some shuffleboard.  The wind gusts and ship rocking really challenged our technique.

But we still had fun.

Saturday, September 21, 2013


When we were hiking in Skagway, I starting noticing lots of mushrooms. I was fascinated by the variety, so I started taking pictures.  I was wishing I had a little mushroom guide book, but I didn't, and I still haven't done any research to discover what all of these types of mushrooms are.

Such strange beauty in fungus.