Well, I finally used the Ulu knife, we bought in Alaska on a Christmas Cheese platter. This is our previous post on our Ulu purchase.
If you have followed us for even just a few posts, you have noticed we like to keep our posts nice and short and to the point. On our recent trip to Alaska we enjoyed these three things the most:
1- The peaceful, spiritual feelings when out in nature. Whether we were staring at a glacier, hiking thru the woods, or out in the bay watching whales. We loved the outdoor time. Alaska is truly the last frontier feeling for us and we absorbed it all in. So the walk over to the Mendenhall glacier/Nugget fall, the Whale watching tour and the time off the bus ride that took us up the mountains – were all the best. Laura was truly not interested in going to Alaska, and agreed for David, who wanted Alaska for years, but Laura became a true believer in Alaska and we both cannot wait to return.
2- The Ruby Princess Cruise ship was beautiful with many high end accents everywhere. Compared to Holland America it was decadent. There was a greater cross section of people on the Princess Cruise, all age ranges and style and we preferred that over Holland America significantly older cruise ages. The Food was superior on the Holland America Ship, but both ships were really tasty.
3- The time together. We are still really in love and find each other interesting to be around, we are each others best friends and playmates. When we are at home, we are so busy with work and kids and household chores. It was nice to enjoy each other again.
We are back to real life, and going to catch up on a few posts, but still enjoying our trip and the memories.
Were back on the Ruby Princess Cruise ship and having a date night. We are celebrating our Anniversary on Board, before headed over to Vancouver, British Columba. We buy the upgraded King Crab dinner for $29.00 each.
Having crabs for dinner
We did think the upgrade pricing was worth it, and enjoyed the nite celebrating!
We walked around the corner and – there was a bald eagle, sitting in the enclosure. We are from Michigan and have seen maybe two bald eagles in our life time (outside of a zoo). In Alaska, it is more like – there is an eagle, there is eagle, there is another. This location, took in injured birds and gave them a home if they could not be returned. I consider that one of the highest honorable things a person can do, care for those who cannot. (guess that is why I am in medicine). Check out these wonderful birds.
After our delicious crab early lunch, we headed over to check out some totem pole carving at the Alaskan Rainforest Sanctuary.
We walk over to the totem carving shed to see this beauty in progress.
The Totem artist explaining what step he is on now.
He says the whole process will take him about 4 months and he is 3 months into it right now, and this is his first independent project, but has been an apprentice for many years now.
David and I are both amazed and while we have no real artistic capabilities, we feel inspired. This totem is planned for the raptor center, which is next door and where we are headed next, the bird sanctuary.
So we wanted all you could Eat Crabs – David wanted King Crabs, but was perfectly happy with these tasty Dungeness Crabs. Guess how many servings David Ate?
Check out this huge giant bowl filled with steamy delicious crab. I have honestly never seen this many crab, or eaten this much ever before. I felt like our waitress, dressed in this cute little fisherman wharf outfit was tossing them out – You get a crab, you get a crab, you get a crab…..
This is my second post on License Plates, I have a few I have been collecting during my travels, but feel free to post your collection too, lets start a new trend!!!
This is a school bus in Skagway, Alaska. But it looked it was currently being used as a tour bus.
This is a 1400year old tree, maybe not old to you, but we were impressed.
We are going to try and start something new – post license plates from places we have gone, so here is ALASKA! Who knows maybe we will start a trend! Like posting beautiful Doors photographed on Travels, we will post Travel License Plates!
I did check and see if this is allowed, and a lawyer commented this is because they are public and there is no malleus or personal information attached.
This location was so incredibly beautiful we had to make it into two posts. We heard Princess Cruise line is the only cruise line to float into the Bay and get a close up view of the Glaciers. Glacier Bay is a National Park with seven glaciers to view, we saw two and they were amazing!
Check out this link for more details on this incredible location:
We did not have a balcony, but if we did we would have had gotten a room on the port side – as the boat enters the bay, stays there for about 30minutes, then completely turns around 180degrees and takes off.
TIP: Get a balcony for this cruise to Glacier Bay on the Port side for the best views!
There are several glaciers on the way floating in, but our favorites and best to view are at the end of the bay, where there is an ice glacier to the left (Margerie Glacier) and a glacier in the front (the Grand Pacific, but it is covered in dirt). We were on the deck and it was almost silent, as people stood, stared, took pictures and admired the glaciers. It was brilliantly sunny, and crisp in temperature, the very perfect day to sip on hot chocolate with rum and lean into the deck overlooking what felt like a spiritual site. Every once in a while there was a crash of ice falling into the water and a loud thunder roar to follow. Birds and sea lions were in the bay, unaffected by our presence. It was Magic!
Boating toward the end of Glacier bay, the pinnacle of the views on the way!
“It’s an irritating reality that many places and events defy description. Angkor Wat and Machu Picchu, for instance, seem to demand silence, like a love affair you can never talk about. For a while after, you fumble for words, trying vainly to assemble a private narrative, an explanation, a comfortable way to frame where you’ve been and what happened. In the end, you’re just happy you were there- with your eyes open- and lived to see it.” – Anthony Bourdain.
Say goodbye to Glacier Bay!
These were our views from the deck of the Ruby Princess, it was so breathtaking, I am posting in two parts. Few words, mostly pictures
Just a few pictures of the town of Skagway. After our Helicopter tour was cancelled, we walked to town and did some shopping while waiting to go on our Gold Panning Tour. We also thought about doing the railway Yukon route – but there was a landslide, and the railway was shut down for the day, and we learned some were stuck up on the mountain waiting for bus trips back down. So we learned this town has ~500residents during the winter, and ~1500 during the summer, the local campsite is booked two years out during the summer and empty in the winter. We really enjoyed just hanging out in town. These are some of the high lights.
Some signs in Skagway.
Ok, most probably only I find this interesting, on the bus ride back from the boarder, we stop at customs and I “detect” some radiation detectors as we drive through. I work in Physics and Radiation Safety, so this to me is awesome cool. I completely understand if it is not for anyone else. Radiation Nerds in the house, speak up!
The yellow and white panels are the detectors.
Were at the edge of Alaska and Canada on a bus tour. We make a quick stop to take a picture of Welcome to Alaska, and Welcome to Canada!
A view from the bus up the hill.
Stop at the side of the road.
A series of unfortunate events = Glacier Gardens, Juneau Alaska. This is how they described it in our tour. An interesting place, so lets check it out.
We take a ride up the mountain to see the recovered garden from the landside (unfortunate event) and have a wonderful tour from our guide who wishes us the best in his native language which is not a written language. There are least 17 original major Tribes that are Native to Alaska and of course, over the centuries they branched apart into separate Tribes. Some of the predominant Tribes are the Inupiat, Yupik, Aleut, Eyak, Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian and the Northern Athabaskan. Today, there are 227 Federally recognized Tribes in Alaska that live in separate Indians Villages as opposed to the Reservations in the lower 48 States.
Our Guide speaking the unwritten language of his clan.
Gardens at the base.
We were only here a short time
Sharing a few pictures of our visit to a Salmon Hatchery, they hatch baby chum Salmon and then release them into the wild and after years of living out there, they return to the hatchery and mate and then die. The guide we had said their death is the beginning of new salmon and they fertilize the ground. Plus they are food for so many Alaskan wildlife, including this cute sea lion, eating his fill.
These are the Salmon returning to spawn.
A million baby salmon in the hatchery – jumping out of the water.
A bus ride from the cruise dock to Mendenhall Glacier and Nugget Falls was only a few minutes from our Port. We had three choices when we arrived at our destination, check out the small museum movie and gift shop – walk over to the river to watch the salmon spawning, or a hike over to the Mendenhall Glacier & Nugget Falls. We choose to hike over, just over 20mins one way. We were really glad we did.
I must admit, on the hike over, I kept thinking we could be eaten by a bear. We had a saying – Bears don’t like surprises, so we talked while walking, nice and loud.
Smells like Heaven
On our tour in Juneau the bus driver told us about the one and only road that leads to no where in Juneau. The road only goes from one side of town to another, and connect to nothing, the only way in our out of Juneau (the capital of Alaska) is by boat or plane. He laughed when he told us, they always recover a stolen car, because there is no where to take it.
Were in Juneau Alaska – On the excursion agenda – Whale Watching, with Allen Marine Tours – and guess what we saw …Whales, lots of them. First lets set the stage, they pick us up in a bus from the pier, and it is overcast and raining – a lot of rain. But when I see the boat I am excited, it is covered and at least we can stay inside. I am not a cold weather girl, so am dressed warm and ready for this.
Heading on to our ship for whale watching, lets Go!
Inside the boat it is warm and we are headed out to look for some whales…
Babe did you get that, nope missed it, but here is a great picture from my husband!
There was a guarantee, if you do not see a whale you get back $100, no worries there, we saw lots of whales.
We also had a wonderful buffet dinner on the whale watching boat and it was all Alaska based locally made foods, we loved it!