At last I'm able to post a blog about my vacation to Alaska. ( I've been under the weather since I returned eight days ago.) Most of my life I've dreamed about the days when I'd be able to travel to all the wonderful places of the world. During my early days at the University of Illinois at Chicago, I used to make the travel arrangements for the Research Services Program Coordinators (late 1980's). Back in those days we had to pick up the airline tickets at Hobbit Travels. With each visit to Hobbit Travel I would pick up a different brochure about an exotic place to visit.
On August 24th, eleven of us set out to visit Alaska, the beautiful. We flew to Seattle, Washington. The very next day, we set sail aboard the Explorer of the Sea (Royal Caribbean). I was super excited and each time I thought of how grand it was to go to Alaska, my heart was over-joyed. It felt like Christmas morning. I also recognize not many people of the world get to vacation very far from home.
But we did eat at a great little mom and pop restaurant called "Mecca Cafe and Bar". Mmm, Mmm good food at a reasonable price. Unfortunately, we did not make it to the Pike marketplace. But there is always next time.
Our first stop in Alaska was Juneau. From a distance, the mountain sides appeared to be covered with grass, instead of endless rows of evergreens.
We all booked an excursion for Mt Robert Tramway. The tramway takes you high up the mountain side where you can shop and hike the trail. I was scared to ride the tramway, just a few cables to hold the car as it ascended way above the evergreen canopy. Lucky me, we had a singer aboard to help keep me distracted. It worked for a little while..,
At destination, I breathed a sigh of relief and hoped to see an eagle or some majestic wild life. No sightings, but I had a good, short hike up the mountain.
Our next port of call was Skagway, Alaska. We chose to take the White Pass train up the mountain. For three and half hours, we learned about the railroad, the search for gold, and the lives of the people who came to Alaska in the early 1900's. I couldn't imagine life back then, harsh weather and harsh living conditions.
|My Cousin Gerri|
|Retired section of the Railroad|
For those days at sea it was festive aboard the ship. There was plenty to eat and drink around the clock. There were shows, shopping, music, and dancing.
|Trina and Me|
Enough fun to be had by all. From the dining areas and from our balcony we saw whales. And there were sea loins swimming near by.
We arrived at 6:30 am. Out on the balcony, I was able to behold the beautiful of this most frigid part of the world. It was amazing beautiful. How could it be. It was like a movie.
Our final stop, before heading back to Seattle, was Victoria, Canada. Lovely, clean, and quite the touristy location. We took a tour bus through the town, did some shopping, and eat at the "Dog Gone It" hot dog restaurant at Government and Humboldt.
The weather forecast was between 52 and 76 degrees. We were lucky to have a sunny day at Juneau. There was rain and overcast in Skagway and Victoria. This time of year, a coat was certainly needed. Layering was the best approach to prepare for the Alaskan weather conditions.
I'm very pleased with my little tour of Alaska and hope I get to visit the other side someday.
|Cousin Train and Me Again|