Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Here we're in Ketchikan in the totem park--tall trees with totem poles interspersed. A beautiful walk, quiet, dewy, inspirational. At the same park we spotted two bald eagles just sitting in the tree, high above it all. A native flower in its glory and another kind of glory as we saw in Victoria BC--this is a government building, lit up at night. Awesome!

Juneau was our first stop and opportunity to get off the ship. The first picture is the sight we saw from the top of the tram, 1800 ft straight up the mountain. We had time to hike, shoot pictures and take in all the mountain beauty. A stream flows down the huge mountainside where we also caught a glimpse of a single mountain goat. Lots of green and lovely flowers.

Here is the group at the Italian restaurant with Jon and Rebecca in the foreground. The next picture is the illustrious gang of ten in our matching T-shirts which Andrew was responsible for drawing. Great job Andrew--they looked very professional. Lastly, here's the birthday girl with cake-one of the many luscious desserts we indulged in (this huge one I shared).

Andrew and Maren enjoying a snack on the verandah (sorry Andrew, not your best picture :) Maren is standing next to Sarah Palin (poster) and Ryan with Glacier Bay at the backdrop.

Here are some of the fun things we did. Picture 1 is salmon spawning in a tiny area where fresh water mixes with sea water. Just in front of Brooke there are a bunch of salmon laying their eggs. They look just like the rocks Brooke is standing on, but they wiggle back and forth and when finished swim back out into the sea water. Next picture is the "aquarium" a one-room tank with an exceptionally large number of sea life. We also played a bit of ping pong. Since I'm not accomplished at this sport (I don't think any really) I asked to just volley back and forth with everyone. It was a lot of fun, and Kate was always there to go running after the ball for us. Thanks guys!

This is beautiful Glacier Bay. The white pieces in the first picture are icebergs. They are small and not dangerous, but they surrounded us. As you can see it was a beautiful sunny day. The water was clear as glass in the bay, here with not so many icebergs.

Of course, the scenery was fabulous! The weather was cool, but most days were sunny. Sometimes we had fog and clouds, even a tiny bit of rain, but mostly it was just gorgeous as the following pictures show.

Here are some cute pictures of Kate. She was too young to leave home, and I thought she might have a hard time on the trip. But she surprised us. Except for not wanting to have her picture taken, she was perfectly agreeable the whole time. Notice the confidence as she drags her little monkey suitcase. In the first picture, she is dancing all by herself on the dance floor. The last picture is in Sitka.

There were many fun places to gather. Early mornings found many of us in different places working off the delicious food we enjoyed everywhere! The first photo is the gym which included a giant view of where we were traveling. The middle picture is our first dinner at a table for 10. We celebrated my birthday, even though it was a month earlier. Nice thought though! The next picture shows us relaxing in the Crow's Nest, high above the front of the ship. This was an exceptional view and great place to read, listen to music, chat and "hang out."

In the center picture, we're all waiting for the van to pick us up at the airport in Seattle. It's about 2:30 pm and we're supposed to be there at 3:30. We are thinking we have plenty of time, but when we got to the dock at 3:30 and got on--we had about 15 minutes before the ship took off. Other pictures are the infamous guys of the family and a look at one of our many get togethers in the bigger cabin. We enjoyed room service quite a few times--most of the time ordering our favorites--hot chocolate and cookies. We also celebrated Ryan's birthday here with cake and ice cream. Lots of chatting, joking and just happy being together.