The man and I are just back from Alaska and we’re sad. Sad to be back that is. Despite missing the greatest dog EVER , we were very reluctant to come back. It’s 104 degrees F here (that’s like 50 degrees C or something ) and we were living it up in 60’s during the day and 40’s at night. We really took it easy on this trip and marinated in ourselves in the spa and red wine. In that order. The only things I saw of the ship (which in fairness I have been on before) was our cabin/balcony, the Spa and the restaurant. Our ship left from Seattle and we were lucky enough to fly in one day early to explore the city. Did I say fly? Oh yes, I meant FIRST CLASS!! Woohooo! Frequent Flyer Miles ROCK! Yes I was drinking complimentary champagne at 8:45 AM. And if they were serving complimentary crack at 8:45am I would’ve had that too. Why? Cause it’s free.
Back to topic – Seattle was beautiful and yet surprisingly full of homeless people and cokeheads (maybe they all fly first class?). I think I’ve been spoiled by Dallas who I’m convinced round them all up at 3am and bus them to Mexico. Despite that, I really liked the vibe and “artsy-ness” of the city. We saw all the main sites (Pikes Market/Pioneer Square/Space Needle) and managed to fit in some nifty little restaurants (Kems I lost your email!) and also experienced some great seafood and local wines. We boarded the Infinity Friday morning and checked our brains in at the door. Our stops were: Sitka , Hubbard Glacier, Ketchikan, Juneau and Victoria (British Columbia). The highlights:
Sitka – It’s the farthest north of the trip, on an island and has a very heavy Russian heritage that remains still. It’s the most remote of all stops and boasts large numbers of sea otters and grizzlies. We saw otters, no grizzlies. Also saw seals and bald eagles. It’s up by Baranoff Island and surrounded by glacier covered mountains and the Tongass National Forest. Someone once described Alaska to me as “God’s Country”. Seeing Sitka confirms this for me.
Juneau – We took a helicopter and flew over several glaciers. We were able to land on two of them (Herbert and Mendenhall) and walk around! This experience was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done. The beauty of the land and the glaciers just takes your breath away and at the same time the deep crevasses and moulins (holes that form that extend from top to bottom,to fall in it is instant hideous death) is some of the most terrifying things imaginable. I can’t truly describe what it was like to walk on one, but I know from our guide that they are melting fast and I’m sad to think one day they will be gone.
Ketchikan – We hired a private guide and were taken to some great non-touristy areas where we saw loads of Bald Eagles and black bear. We even saw eagles fighting with locked talons in mid air as they spiraled quickly toward the ground. This is apparently rare enough to witness that even our seasoned guide nearly ran off the road in excitement. Unfortunately it was too exciting for neither Keith nor I to grab a camera, we just sat wetting ourselves.
The ship itself was a great get away and we really were able to lose ourselves in the sound and the smell of the water just a few feet away from us. We slept every night with the door to our balcony open and despite the sun setting at 11:30pm and rising at 4:15am we slept for long, undisturbed hours that rejuvenated us. Then the obnoxious Mexican nationals 2 cabins over woke up and their damn brats of devil-children spent a great deal of time yelling “arriba” and some such shit until I told them where to shove it much to their parents disgust. This also went for the American couple next door, I am a multi-cultural brat disliker. The spa was terrific! We spent great deals of time in the sauna (Turkish, dry and herbal) and even treated ourselves to a couples Razu treatment. During the Razu we were left alone in a room and ordered to strip to our birthday suits. We were given a whole basket of goodies (face masks, Salt Rubs, Aromotherapy Oils etc.. ) to rub all over ourselves/each other which after applying each treatment we retreated to a small 2 person sauna to let all the mojo sink in. We both walked out over an hour later looking 10 years younger and smelling like roses! It was wonderful.
All in all, it was a wonderful, wonderful trip that was 1 and ½ years in the making and I’m ready to go again! A special thanks to Mom and Dad for disrupting their schedules to take care of the doxie!