Sunday, January 24, 2010


Finally, the last of the Sunday Night Travelogue. Alaska the largest of the U.S. States.  For my parents 50th wedding anniversary they took the family on a cruise to Alaska. My sisters family, my brothers family, my parents, my other brother and myself all met in Seattle for a couple of days before the cruise.
Mom and Sister touring Seattle

Mount Rainer (I think) in the background
On our bus ride to Vancouver to catch the ship. Again the mountains in the background. After we went through customs into Canada our bus driver informed us that we were lucky. His brother owned the food stand on the Canadian side and we would be stopping for Tube Steaks!  Something we had never heard of. Some in our party chose to indulge and some did not!

Once on board we traveled the Glacier Bay Inside Passage from Vancouver to Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan and then back to Vancouver. We were aboard the Holland America Zaandam. This was my first cruise and it was incredible.

This was the Crows Nest. A bar and great place to watch the scenery.

This is one of my brothers, his wife, and one of my nephews.

These are the kind of views we had from the ship. It was like watching a movie go by.

What looks like a small ice berg is usually very large underneath.

We did see some wildlife. Lots of whales, orcas and a brown bear along the shoreline. I couldn't get a picture of the bear but it was out there for quite a while. The ship went into an inlet and when we came back out the bear was still browsing the shoreline and so we got to see it again.

Of course we celebrated the Happy Anniversary on board. We started celebrating the moment we left home, I snuck over to my parents and decorated their car during the night before we left. I wrote "Honk if you like Gold" "Happy Anniversary" on it. Other cars on the road saw it on the way to the airport and played along so it was quite a fun ride.
The festivities continued with surprises all week.

We put their wedding photos on T-shirts and each member of the family wore a different photo shirt all day on their anniversary. We surpised them by wearing them to breakfast in the morning. They also had their wedding date on the back so people on the ship inquired about the date when they saw us on the ship. My parents received many "Congratulations on 50 Years" from strangers.

The decorations for the table. We ordered personalized M&M's and brought them to Alaska with us.

Here is the happy couple now.

When we came back to our cabins the towels were always made up in some fun animal shape.

Sister and brother on the deck watching the scenery with the ever present Latte in tow.

One of my brother and my excursions was a helcopter ride in Skagway up to the glaciers.

The scenery was incredible from up in the helicopter. I took these shots during the flight.
Mike next to the helicopter when we landed on the glacier.
A crack in the glacier.
Glacier ice absorbs all the colors of the spectrum except blue. Which is why glacier ice appears blue.
A hole in the glacier.

The happy hikers.
You can get an idea of how big the glacier is when you look at the size of the helicopter in the background.

This sailboat was anchored in one of the inlets the ship went into. The people on it were tooling around in a zodiac in the water.
If you look closely in the picture above you can see the glacier start to calve. Calving is what it is called when a chunk of the glacier falls off  into the water.
Down it goes.
One of my brothers below me on a lower deck of the ship.

One of the outside pools.
Inside the ship.
The library with games, books, magazines and computers.
For those that have not been a cruise. Each day they would put a rug with the day of the week in the elevators so you would know what day it was. It seemed silly at first, but after a couple of days everything did start to blend together as we were so busy.

Some more random shots of the inside of the ship.
Mom in the turquiose jacket in front of the saloon.

I loved our trip to Alaska. The state is beautiful and there is so much to see. The only thing bad about seeing it in on a cruise is that you don't get to be as close to the nature Alaska has to offer. That said we never would have seen as much of Alaska had we not been on the ship. So if you go I think a cruise is a great way to see Alaska for the first time. A cruise was a great way to have a family reunion too, as there were so many things to do on the ship and we could visit with everyone so easily. Of course there was the food too. My neice walked around the whole week saying, "Did you know the average person on a cruise gains 15 pounds!"
One of the dinner entrees
Dessert anyone?
The deck where we walked off the food each morning.
The ship head on.
Looking even larger.

Thank you to Mike for allowing me to post some of his photos here for you all to enjoy!

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