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Sunday, 11 July 2010

Alaska Vacation | Alaskan Cruise

This trip was unlike any others that I have ever taken. ever. Typically one enjoys the summer with a tropical vacation, while seeking some sun rays.

That is exactly why we were so hesitant when booking our vacation to Alaska.

We both knew that it would be a one of a kind trip, however the weather left us doubtful.

We were right and right.

The weather WAS rainy, but it was worth every single second because we had a blast.

Looking back at this trip it sort of reminds me of the end scene in the movie Titanic, when Rose is in her death bed and they show all the picture frames of her accomplishments, and simply her living life at the fullest.

We experienced new things, a new part of the world, and it was as exciting as it sounds. I am so glad we didn't do the typical tropical summer vacation after all; rather that we went out of our comfort zone and went to such a surreal place.


Our journey began in Seattle, they don't call it the rain city for nothing! Despite the weather, we loved Seattle and its rich public market. Full of flowers, fish, scents, and people, this place is colorful every day of the week.

In Seattle we purchased a gigantic vintage-looking world map. We are planning to frame it, and update it with all the places we've visited! By the name of this blog, you can understand how exciting this project is to me!

For starters, here are some pics from our day in Seattle. We, ok I had to visit the first ever Starbucks, aka Mecca. We also stumbled upon this super-delicious, super-popular hole in the wall called Piroshky.


The Cruise was through Princess, and we loved everything about it. Really, the ship itself was classy, full of entertainment, extraordinarily delicious food, constant food for that matter, a steam room, sauna room, casino, 4 pools, comedians, and shows.

If I had to complain about anything, it would be that the crowd was well over the age of 50. However we kind of saw this as a pro as well, since things were more refined and classy, also it was nice that there were no kids screaming or teenagers "teenaging".

The food. OY, I could write a whole post about how fragrant the bread and how creamy the butter was. We visited the buffet at least 5 times a day. no joke. Many of those times I had to have that wonderful fruit pie that was always just so free and available. I swear it LOOKED at me. Now, you're probably wondering if I gained like 10 lbs. but I can reassure you that we did visit the gym almost as much as the restaurants! Food is one of the main reasons I love cruises, and with Brian around, we are sure to get our money's worth! There is just something about free lobster tails...

The comedians on the ship were really very great! especially one of them: Troy Thirdgill

One of the many memorable things in Alaska was the freshness of the AIR. I need to write AIR all caps because when I think about it, I take in a deeper breath. Alaska smelled like a pine scented man's body wash. at all times. SO CLEAN, SO FRESH, SO GREEN. It really smelled as green as it looked, and trust me AK is quite green.

The rain was rather charming and fitting (no humidity!). I had absolutely no problem with it, it may have been that I was too happy to care.

Some facts about AK:

Alaska is about twice as large as Texas.
The population of the entire state is about 500,000
One city, Anchorage, holds about 300,000 of those.
Juneau is the capital and inhabits only about 30,000.
The rest of Alaska is made of small small towns such as Ketchikan, Sitka, and Skagway who only hold about 8,000 people or so.
What overpopulates Alaska are spruce trees, glaciers, seals, bald eagles and brown bears.


This was one of my most favorite experiences ever! I loved my horse, Patches! He was calm but jolly. Yes, I admit I had no idea what the hell I was doing on a horse when first prompted to get on it. I even got called out by the guide! because my horse ventured further; but in my defense, no one had told me how to use one! :P

Once I realized that squeezing its ribs with my calves would make the horse "go", and pulling the reigns would make the horse "stop", I was good. At first, I was too shy with it, afraid I may squeeze or pull too hard and hurt him, but then me and my horse Patches got things figured out and it was a dream!

Brian and I trotted on a 2-hr trail though unreal sights on horses. I am actually not able to describe this experience with words nor pictures.

You'll see in one of the last pictures in this section, a photo of the cow-lady (guide)
gluing back some torn pants. Here is the scoop: At one point while trotting around, we hear a big "CRACK" noise, and immediately saw that two horses (with no riders) spring forward. I, imagining the worst told myself that I would not turn around and see what had happened. My biggest fear was to see someone with a cracked leg, or even skull. Once Brian told me it was ok to look, I learned that two people had fallen off their horses! One of them had ripped his pants wide open on the outer thigh! they were both fine thank goodness, and we kept on trotting through heavenly sights.


This was Brian's idea. I clearly remember when he asked me if we could/should do it, I answered "hell no" but then quickly after, I admitted that it WOULD be fun, and that we do only live once. So that was that. This was our very first excursion and oh my goodness what a rush it was! Brian ADORED this ride. I had been nervous about how landing on water would feel. In my mind I was sure the plane would skip on the water. But it was smooth and peaceful. I will admit that I WAS QUITE NERVOUS during the flight though. The sights were even more surreal from atop than they had been on the ground. Now, I realized just exactly how emerald it all was.
This was no excursion, but an adventure. A once in a lifetime feeling. Brian sat upfront as the co-captain, and I in the very back of the plane all by myself in what the pilot claimed was the "national-geographic-seat for photographs". He had been very impressed with my lens and insisted I sit there to take the best photos! ;)

I was praying for dear life TWICE on that little plane:

1. when the pilot got so freaking close with his wing to the mountain I almost passed out. And

2. when he almost twisted us upside down. The body doesn't realize what position it's in, rather just feels the g-force pushing down. So when I felt this, I knew we had to have been doing some acrobatics. OYOYOYOY! Again, it was an incredible RUSH! no other words to describe it.

To make things even more exciting, as if that wasn't enough, we landed unexpectedly once because 6 ORCA WHALES had been spotted in the wild, just splashing around! I busted out my zoom lens and captured as best I could standing on the floating landing gear (aka the plane's skis!)


On the way to the horseback riding excursion we spotted 2 bears: one black & one brown! no worries the pics were taken from inside the van, with closed windows and no food near-by!


We then stopped in Canada on our way back to Seattle for an evening in charming Victoria. This city looked like one of those happy Christmas villages. We took several self timer portraits. I literally had to SPRINT to the ledge on the water, SO GLAD I didn't fall in, although that picture would have been majorly funny!


And last but not least, we cruised through a glacier from our boat. The naturalist on board said that we were very lucky as this day was one of the clearest she had seen in a while, and that we were able to cruise very very close to the glacier. My most favorite photo was taken by this glacier, two cuddling seals staring straight into my camera! best picture ever!!

All in all this trip was surreal, satisfying, adventurous, spontaneous, and even very relaxing. How lucky we are to have been to this spectacular place on earth.


A Very Berry Blog said...

did no one ever tell brian not to stand behind a horse? ;)

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