Sunday, July 24, 2011

Heading North

As if Seattle were not a respite enough from the heat of Texas, our vacation took us further north. On Saturday, July 16th, we boarded the Norwegian Star heading toward Alaska. Besides eating and sleeping excessively, we managed to get in some good quality time with J's entire family!
On day one, we rode the waves... took in the beautiful mountains... ate some yummy food that came in a minimum of three courses... played some games... went to a Newlywed Show... and relaxed.
Day two was our first stop: Ketchikan, Alaska. We shopped in some of the stores and went to a lumberjack show. After enjoying the hazy day in Alaska, we boarded the boat... ate another yummy meal fit for about four people and then went to the Dating Game Show. One of our friends, Mark, was the contestant who asked three single girls questions and then got to choose one of them for a special date later on in the week. It was quite fun and funny!

After Katchikan, we headed toward Juneau, Alaska. It was a really foggy day and SO cold! I wore four layers of clothes (a short sleeve shirt, a cardigan, a thick jacket, and then a rain jacket). After a while, I warmed up or I just forgot about being so cold because of the beautiful scenery around us. We took a bus to Mendenhall glacier and hiked until we got to a rushing waterfall right next to the glacier. It was BEAUTIFUL! After that, we took a tram up to the top of a mountain (which was quite terrifying for me because I have a fear of heights). After a little shopping, we boarded on the boat. We ate lunch while we watched the boat pull away from the dock and head towards Skagway.
In Skagway, we took a bus into Canada along the Chillkoot trail. It was very interesting to learn the history of the location... how thousands of people crossed that rough terrain in search of gold. I could not imagine the bravery that it took to go through that area without a vehicle and having to carry everything you owned on your back. We ate some BBQ chicken for lunch and then got to see some cute huskies who participate in the Iditarod race. We got to see them pull a sled... talk about strong animals! Afterward, we took a train on the way back and we went through mountains and across valleys. Sometimes, it was very scary because the valleys were so deep and the mountain dropped off right along the tracks, but the terrain was breathtaking!
Our final port was Prince Rupert. J's family decided to go on a whale watching tour, but J and I decided against it. It was a bit expensive and we were craving to spend some time alone together. We walked outside in Prince Rupert, stopped in the little shops, got some coffee from a cute place called Cowppuuccinos. We boarded the boat again in time for our dinner reservation at the tex-mex place on board, Endless Summer. I ate SO much! I ordered some mexican spring rolls, nachos, black bean soup, this amazing meat and veggie dish served hanging on a mace, and then some chocolate-cinnamon cake to wash it all down (no, I was not able to eat anywhere near all of this).

We spent another day at sea, but by this time, I had caught a cold. I did not really feel up to doing much of anything expect sleeping, eating, resting, and going to shows. I really enjoyed this cruise although I was very grateful to get off the boat and have some room to move and spread out. It was cramped quarters sharing a very small room with three other grown adults!
And here we are back in Seattle. It has been another day of relaxing. Yesterday, we took a hike along a trail in Redmond. Today, I got to take another walk and sit outside reading The Help. Generally, I like being really productive, but it has been a gift to just get to sit, take in the beauty of God's creation, and catch up on some reading.

Loving the little moments.

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