Alaska Day 4: Mush! Mush!

My entire family (me, mom, 2 aunts, 2 uncles, and 1 cousin) all took a cruise recently to Alaska. Now that we are home and have a stable internet connection, here are long travelogues from the trip, complete with pictures.

~Lynda

Today was FAN-FREAKIN’-TASTIC. Today was the one excursion I was DYING to go on. The Dog Sled Experience. I had to be on the pier at 7:20 to meet my group, and, once again, no one at Princess or with the tour groups had ANY idea what the heck is going on or where anyone was supposed to be. 

Once on the tram though…

I met Tim. Tim was our driver. He was funny and friendly and made everyone feel comfortable and welcome, and gave the impression he really loved what he does. He picked us up in the tram, and we headed to “base 1.” 

 

Base 1 is the lowest of the area owned by this dog sled group. It is a small camp with pens for the puppies (OMG THE PUPPIES!), a lecture area, and a small gift shop, and a couple of bathrooms. That’s pretty much it.  From there we took this weird vehicle. I never got the name of it, but it looks like all those military transport vehicles you see in movies. You know the ones. Where the Big Evils go and pull back the tarps to reveal the crates of guns, but instead…BIG DAMN HEROES WITH GUNS! Yeah, that. But without the tarps. And OMG was it COLD. So up another 900 feet of altitude, to the next area. 

 

From here we get off the off-road vehicle and get into this thing that looks like a 6-seater dune buggy or golf cart, but without the engine. Attached are 16-17 dogs. SMALL dogs. I KNOW! I was as surprised as you, but these dogs only weighed about 50 pounds or so EACH. My aunt’s Springer is probably larger than these dogs. I KNOW my uncle’s Goldens are. But these dogs just whipped us around like we weighed nothing. And they did it laughing. These dogs wanted nothing more than to RUN FAST! RUN FAR! CAN WE PULL SOMETHING?? HUH?? HUH?? CAN WE?? PLEEEEEEEEEEASE?????

 

After the run, we got to meet our dogs, and they were beautiful, and you could see such personality in their eyes. I do have to say, though…it was FREEZING!!!! And after the ride up the hill, I was already cold, so this didn’t help. LOL. 

 

Once back down the road, again freezing my butt off, we got to hear one of the women talk about the Iditerod and what equipment they’re all required to carry, and what the dogs eat, how often they rest, etc. I also got to “meet” an Iditerod veteran. He was very sweet and willing to pose for pictures.

And then the puppies. OMG THE PUPPIES!!!! SO FREAKIN’ CUTE. They were about 8 weeks old, and into EVERYTHING. If they could reach it and bite it, they were gonna keep it, even if they had to pull it off you to do so. LOLOL. At one point I had a dog chewing on each leg of my jeans. LOL. They were adorable, though. The whole litter (5? 6? of them) were named after chess pieces. So we had Rook, Bishop, Knight, King, and (the only girl) Queen. I think that’s all of them. I may have missed one in the OMG THE PUPPIES!!!! frothing. 

 

Here’s Tour Guide Tim with one of the puppies.

On the way back to the ship, I saw a few interesting things. One is this street sign. Apparently when you pay for a street in Alaska, you get to  name it. This one was done years ago, and, unbelievably, the sign isn’t stolen that often!

Then a little bit farther down the road we saw this guy. All I could think was how much he looked like Sam the Eagle. LOL 

I was back on the ship by about 11:00. We waited around and all went to lunch, then back to the cabin for a well-deserved nap. 

Once again we ate in “our” dining room (Bernini) and once again I’m kind of unimpressed. The selection is decent, they have interesting things, and the wait staff is unparalleled, but the problem is almost everything has nuts (which will kill me) or chicken (which will make me wish I had eaten the nuts). Tonight was the spaghetti & meatballs which was okay. Liked the pasta at Sabatini’s so much better. After dinner it was another pina colada for me, and back to the room for a bit.

The ORIGINAL plan was for Aunt K and Uncle J and Uncle Dr J to meet us in front of the Vista Lounge for this song and dance muscial thing. Sounded like fun! Until…Aunt K called our cabin and said something to mom about Cousin A falling getting out of the jacuzzi and she had to go to medical. That was it. All we heard. So Uncle Dr J and mom and I went on to Vista ALLLL the way at the very end of the ship. Our rooms are near the FRONT of the ship. It was a long hike…only to find out there was no second performance of the show. 

Greaaaat. I called Uncle J and Aunt K and Cousin A’s room, but no answer, so I left a message and we went on to the comedy show…which was in the Princess Theater…2 floors directly under our stateroom. *sigh* He was funnier than I expected, even though he, like most male comedians, think the best jokes are centered around dicks or Viagra.

We cut out a few minutes before the end, because we knew from experience if we didn’t get to the elevator right away we’d be there for another half hour at least. When we got back to the room, I called Cousin A’s room, but no answer, so I left a message for them to call no matter what time. I called down to Medical and she said she left a few minutes ago.

I hang up the phone, and it rings immediately. My Aunt K. Apparently my Cousin, Miss Grace herself, was getting out of the jacuzzi and walking down the wooden stairs next to it, when she tripped or slipped or something on the last step. Now, for most people, this wouldn’t be a problem, but she managed to step on something and slice open the bottom of her toe, scrape up a few other toes, and even break one of them. Two days before she’s supposed to go salmon fishing. LOL. She’s mobile and okay, which is why I can mock her mercilessly.

But you can bet her mother, who broke her foot on the last cruise they went on together, will have one or two things to say to her as payback for all the rude comments and lack of sympathy Cousin A gave Aunt K back then. LOL

Okay, it’s now 11:30 and I have to get up at 5:45. *gulp* Glacier Bay tomorrow, so it’ll be worth it, but still…5:45!!! AM!!!! That’s MORNING!!!!!! I’m so glad I bought an extra Diet Dr Pepper the other day. It’s gonna be one of those mornings. LOL.

Lynda the Guppy
aka Fish Out Of On The Water
aka Fish With Sticks 

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Alaska Day 2: A Day At Sea

My entire family (me, mom, 2 aunts, 2 uncles, and 1 cousin) all took a cruise recently to Alaska. Now that we are home and have a stable internet connection, here are long travelogues from the trip, complete with pictures.

~Lynda

Today is our first full day on the ship, and it’s a day at sea. We don’t get to Juneau until tomorrow, I believe, but I’d have to check…and right now I’m nice and cozy sitting on the bed. LOL. 

Mom and I got up early and had croissants in our room, and just slowly took our time getting ready. No rush, and, in fact, I actually went back to sleep for another half hour. LOL. We finally got a call from Uncle J and Aunt K that they were heading up to breakfast. Uncle Dr J had already left to go take photos, although, with the weather, there really wasn’t much outside to take pictures of. Aunt J was reading, but said she’d go up with Mom and me. A family breakfast it is!

Uncle Dr J took a break from taking photos to join us, and after breakfast we all wandered around the ship a bit. Got to see the tail end, and went up into the Skywalkers club to see the views from the highest public point on the ship. Beautiful. Would have been spectacular if we had seen any sun.

We found our embarkation photo. Well, sort of. Mom and I went in a different way separate from everyone, so they didn’t take our picture. I bought one of the group of Uncle J, Aunt K, Cousin A, Aunt J and Uncle Dr J. Between them they’re holding a 24-pack of Bud Light and 6 bottles of wine. We won’t talk about what’s in the “water” bottle. *grin* Let’s just agree that everyone knows it’s not really water. We also saw the photos the photographer took at dinner last night. Mom’s wasn’t very good, and Uncle J looks like he should be twirling his moustache talking about the dastardly deeds he’ll be doing later. Aunt K’s picture was beautiful, but she photographs well anyway. I picked up my picture, because it wasn’t too bad. Mom really loves it. I wish I had the time to remove my glasses.

We wandered in and out of some of the shops, and it ended with everyone going their separate ways. Cousin A went with me to one of the bar areas and I FINALLY got my first drink! The Ultimate Mai Tai. Now, I’m not big on mai tais in general, but this one is AMAZING. Too bad the server tried to kill me with nuts. LOL

We’ve made reservations to go back to the Crown Grill on the night we’re in Victoria. I’m already planning my meal. LOL And wondering if I can get 2 S’mores desserts. *grin* I bet I could.

I’m doing TONS of walking on this cruise. I’m trying to not say no to something just because I’d have to walk there. Although, I AM tired of being hot and sweaty. LOL. Later this afternoon is Bingo, then back to the room to get dressed for Formal Night. We’re taking pictures. I’ve insisted. 

****************

L-Y-N-D-A and BINGO was her name OH!

Yup. That’s right. I won Bingo. $200, baybeeeee! My cousin won $400, so YAY for Team FishWithSticks! My Uncle J and Aunt K…Zippo. Uncle J says every time he plays with Cousin A, she wins and he loses. LOL. Bingo again in a few days. Maybe I’ll try my hand at Roulette tonight. I do well with Roulette.

After Bingo was Trivia. Yeah, we sucked. Did you know a baby porcupine is called a porcupette? Who knew? Well, apparently the team behind us, because they got it right. LOL. We got 15 out of 20 right. Would have been 17 (and the winning team) if we had only listened to Uncle J. LOL. Ah, well. Next time.

Formal night was tonight, so before we went in to dinner we got our pictures taken. I really hope they came out, because we all looked gooooood. Our dinner was at our “regular” dining room, Bernini. It was good. Crown Grill was better, of course, but still tonight was tasty. Most of our table had Shrimp Newburg, and it was good. I OD’d on shrimp, as I had the Shrimp Cocktail appetizer, too. 

Then at 9:30 at night we went back to the room where I took a picture of the sky before sunset. When I travel north I’m always amazed at how different the light is. Pretty chilly out there on the balcony, though. *grin* Especially as I was not wearing a jacket. Brrr.

Lynda the Guppy
aka Fish With Sticks
aka Fish Out of On the Water

Alaska Day 1: Bon Voyage

My entire family (me, mom, 2 aunts, 2 uncles, and 1 cousin) all took a cruise recently to Alaska. Now that we are home and have a stable internet connection, here are long travelogues from the trip, complete with pictures.

~Lynda

Today, a day of travel, has been an excruciatingly long day, and it’s only 5:30 pm. LOL

It started out with my alarm at 3:45 in the morning. Any day that begins HOURS before the sun rises is sure to be long. LOL Luckily mom and I had packed, and packed well, and were on the road by 5:30…exactly when we said we would. We met Aunt J and Uncle Dr J at the airport. I was worried my luggage was going to be WAY over weight, as it felt really heavy, but when Uncle Dr J took it out of the car, he commented on how light it was. Turns out: 37 pounds. WHOO HOO! We had to laugh when we got to the dock, though, because we thought we lost mom’s suitcase. Turned out it was so small we couldn’t see it behind everyone else’s.

We got the wheelchair for mom, and headed to the gate. These airline escorts go through that place like they’re in a race! Cousin A upgraded herself to first class…the brat…Mom, Aunt J and I were on one side of the aisle, and Uncle Dr J was in the window seat across from us. Uncle J (not to be confused with Uncle Dr J) and Aunt K were WAAAAAY in the back.

The flight was uneventful, and then…SeaTac. Ahh, SeaTac. How I loathe you so. It took a couple long walks, and 2 stops on a train, and then another LOOOONG walk before we were able to find the taxi stand. 

Next dilemma: 7 people…8 large suitcases…6 decent sized carryons…and a Prius taxi. Umm…No. So we got them to send a Yellow Cab van, and while I wouldn’t want to take a road trip this way, it wasn’t bad. From the airport we headed to a state-run liquor store for the booze. Unfortunately, it’s May 26 and on June 1 Washington is doing away with state-run liquor stores and allowing the grocery stores to carry hard liquor. So…no one has any. LOL We got some wine and some gin at the liquor store, then headed to a Safeway for the beer. Cousin A emptied out 2 large water bottles and filled them with the gin. *grin* That’s one water bottle you DON’T want to gulp from. At some point we started referring to it as the Holy Water. 

Check in on the ship was relatively smooth. Aunt J and Uncle Dr J have the room next to us, and we had our Stateroom Steward, the fabulous Rosalie, open up the door between the balconies. We’ve Mustered ourselves (security lecture/life-preserver lessons), obtained our souvenir glasses for our drink packages, and we’ve been to the cafe for a little snack. By that time it was 4:00 and the last thing we ate was breakfast sandwiches at 6:30 am. We were STARVED.

Everyone’s in their own staterooms now. Mom’s napping on the sofa. We have the sliding door open and the water is beautiful. We’re still within sight of land, and I believe we will be most of the night. Well, I’m off to nap for about a half hour before we have to get ready to go to dinner. 

Later: Crown Grill for Dinner.

Next Up: A day at sea. Should be wonderful and relaxing. I can’t wait.

Lynda the Guppy
aka Fish With Sticks
aka Fish Out of On the Water