Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Home Again

Did you miss me? After a week of bumming around Southeast Alaska, we got home yesterday morning. We'd taken the red-eye from Anchorage so I didn't have enough brain power left to write this yesterday. For those of you who didn't know, I just got back from a week long cruise of Alaska's Inside Passage. I was traveling with Jeff, my parents, my aunt and uncle, and my sister and her fiance. So for the next week or so I'll be talking Alaska and salmon and bears and boats.

We sailed out of Vancouver which has to be one of the prettiest cities in the world (it made Forbes top ten actually). We met some old family friends in Vancouver and spent the first day with them wandering through the city and eating way too well (a trend that would continue). Vancouver is a young and very vibrant city. I have to admit that I thought about moving there and still do. A city filled with flowers and promise. Wonderful.
Port of Vancouver
The next day we had breakfast with our friends and then Jeff and I headed for the ship. Our luggage was already handled so we walked down to the harbor. We sailed on the Island Princess, which is one of the oldest boats in Princess's fleet but a beautiful ship. By the end of the first day we had walked every deck and had seen the entire length of the ship. We'd also spent some time checking out the city from the balcony in our stateroom and taken tons of pictures.
Island Princess

I have to start by saying this about Alaska, and even Vancouver; everywhere you looked it was like a postcard. The landscapes were amazing. Everything was picture worthy. And I ended up taking well over 300 pictures.
View from Vancouver Harbor

At 3:45 that afternoon we had our Muster Drill, a safety briefing that all boats are required to do. And at 4:30 we pushed away from dock and set sail. Our group stood on the balconies and talked as the boat sped out of Vancouver Harbor and headed out into the great unknown.
Jeff clowning around after the Muster Drill
My mother had said before that she never wanted to take a cruise. She doesn't swim and isn't a huge fan of boats. But she said that she'd go to Alaska on one, and that is how the trip began. She was okay with an Alaskan cruise because you are almost always in sight of land. And that proved to be the case for the first two days at least. After leaving Vancouver, our next day was a day at sea. I woke up insanely early (stupid time change) and spent most of the morning watching the sunrise and the land go by. I ate too much, read a lot, saw a naturalist talk on whales, and learned one very important fact about speeding boats and Alaska. They are cold. Very cold. Here is your humble narrator dressed up in her typical Alaska costume. Once the boat got going, it was too cold to stand on the balcony without gloves.

It's funny. I hardly took any pictures of the boat this trip, as opposed to our last cruise. The boat was just as beautiful as our previous one but it was well overshadowed by the natural beauty surrounding it. I'll try not to post too many photos but I want you to have an idea of just how incredible Alaska can be.
Lighthouse at Vancouver Harbor
Tomorrow...Ketchikan and the Notorious Creek Street


QoE said...

I can't wait to hear more about your trip! I will go there someday -- for sure!

Keith said...


Cat B said...

QoE, It's a beautiful place. Well worth the trip. You'll get there some day. Perhaps a motorcycle trip? In summer of course.

Keith, It's a place filled with wildlife and adventure. Although the cruise part tames down the adventure a bit. I'll post more pictures.