Tuesday, July 29, 2008


It is Tuesday afternoon. We were in Ketchikan yesterday where I was able to log into a wireless network and upload all the pictures. So needless to say, the time I would be blogging was the time I used to upload a whopping, what, 5 pictures? Oh well, it was free and I wanted to show everyone at home.

So yesterday in Ketchikan was ok. We hit terrible weather and it POURED for the whole day. Zipline was in the morning which was very cool but by the afternoon, the weather was so bad our floatplane to view the Misty Fjords was canceled due to bad weather. So Heather and walked around town and shopped. It’s a cute town, lots of homes nestled in the side of the mountain. But again, the weather was horrible.

In the evening we ditch the assigned seating and ate a very nice dinner with Kenny and Shanon. I’m sure you are getting sick of me mentioning it but I once again had the melting cake. I ate every last bite and let me tell you, I was sick as a dog! I had the worst stomachache but it was worth it! ;)

It was another rocky night as we entered into the open sea again. Over the past few days we were able to get some more information on the storm we went through. We found out that we were battling 40 foot waves. Looking back we really trip out at how rocky the boat was. I can see now that the whole ship was a ghost town that first day. I think of Heather, Shanon and I walking through the halls and how we stumbled with every step just trying to keep up with the boat’s jerks. Overall, I think the weather has really put a damper on the whole trip. We have seen some beautiful landscape but I’m sure it is not even a drop in the bucket had we seen Alaska’s land on a cloudless day.

We have been given our departure information and Heather is trying to pack. I have been packing over the past day or two. So we are counting down the hours! Tonight is our last evening at dinner. I have really enjoyed all the people at our table so I’m a little sad that this is our last together. I will snap a picture of the famous dessert. I’m really hoping all those bakers out there will be able to mimic something close to it.

We arrive in San Diego around 2:30 PM tomorrow. Speaking of San Diego, there is a rumor going around that we had an earthquake???? Can’t wait to hear all about it. For some reason I always miss the ground shaking. I’m not looking forward to the flight home, I just want to close my eyes and be home. I’m ready. It’s been a great trip and I am so thankful I had the chance to go but I’m done.

As Heather is packing I’m writing what she is saying. She is also ready to be home; to sleep in her own bed and to see her puppy and to talk to her Russ for hours on end. She wants to tell everyone about our stories. She is totally ready to stop eating too. ;) This all-you-can-eat 24/7 is not natural.

So I guess that is it. In the words of our Captian, "Arrivederci". Thanks for reading! Signing off from Alaska for the last time.


Day 5 via Alison-na-na-na

Today was Glacier Day. We arrived at Temsko Helicopters a half an hour early. They had to verify our weight (embarrassing) and gear us up. In 30 minutes we were climbing into the helicopter. Our pilot Paul took us over the Mead Glacier and then landed towards the base of the glacier.

First let me say that I do not feel that I have an adequate amount of time to properly put into words what this was like. I hate for me to just ramble on quickly for the sake of letting you know what we did. There was nothing blasé about walking on this glacier. I would love the pictures to speak for themselves but you know how that is going.

The sky was cloudy so the blue in the glacier was vibrant. Some of the crevasses were deep and you could hear the sound of water draining from deep inside them. I think what struck me the most was how hard the ground/ice was. When I see glaciers, I think of snow but then you’re told it’s ice. Ice to me is still soft. I’m sure you and me both have seen glaciers fall from the face into the ocean. Those to me, still look snowy-like. Let me tell you, there is nothing soft about a glacier.

The vastness of the glacier is also note worthy. Even if I could show you pictures, they could not clearly show you how humongous it all is and the fact that it’s a living piece of ice dying a slow death. It’s always moving, shaping the earth beneath it. The idea that something that big actually moves stretches your mind. I try to picture God at the top of that glacier pushing on it with His finger and I cannot get my brain around it.

After the glacier we shopped in the cute town of Skagway, Alaska and then headed “home”. While I was downloading my pictures of the day on to the laptop, my eyes became very heavy and so I took a nap. After my nap I got a surprise phone call from Kelley which topped off my day. Tonight is our last formal night and don’t you know, they’ll have some unbelievably amazing dessert that I will not be able to pass up, putting that darn melting cake on the back burner. Kelly, I will ask the waiter if I can start with dessert. Usually they hide the dessert menus till after the meal.


PS – It is now Monday morning and I’m getting ready to post this. Just wanted you to know that I had escargot! It was disgusting but when ever will I get another chance to try such a delicacy. AND I got the melting cake which was TO DIE FOR! Made personally by the devil. Guess what? I’m ordering another tonight!

Monday, July 28, 2008

More Pictures!

Getting ready to board the helicopter: Kenny, Shanon and Alison hanging out at the base of Mendenhall Glacier:

Heather and Alison standing out on the deck of the ship our first morning. We were in the college fjord:

Sitka and Helicopter

Mendenhall and Mead Glacier

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Day 4 via Alison in Wonderland

The morning started with sweet Heather going one floor up to the all-you-can-eat buffet and getting us breakfast. I had my usual fill of carbs and coffee. The ship is docked in Juneau, Alaska. This is our longest docking, 7AM – 9PM so we had plenty of time to explore. We actually saw patches of sun today!

Juneau is a pretty big city compared to Sitka. We took a tour bus to Mendenhall Glacier and on the way we saw a big part of the town. They have a Costco and a WalMart, proof that not only are they civilized, they are a good size too. ;)

Mendenhall Glacier was beautiful. Heather took off down the path to get a closer look while Kenny, Shanon and I sat at the base of the lake and just took in the scenery. It was really nice. At one point Kenny tried to teach me how to skip rocks but it’s a total boy thing. My rock went kurplunk every time.

We did some shopping in town and ate a great pud that Heather talked about, the Red Dog. Believe it or not I ate a pulled BBQ meat sandwich, almost as good as Pastor Steve’s! It was good atmosphere and entertainment. There hung a sign that said if you think you are receiving bad service then lower your standards. To the contrary, our waitress was friendly and fast. There was also an old gun encased that said it was the gun of Wyatt Earp, checked at the bar in 19-something or other and never checked out. It was a very popular hang out and I can see why.

Heather’s company sponsored a salmon bake but I will not waste precious blog time AND bore you with the details. It was lame, the salmon tasted like it did back home and there were bugs everywhere. End of story.

When we returned to the ship we could not eat another bite so we skipped dinner, including another opportunity to eat melting cake. ;( Maybe tomorrow night.

Hugs and Kisses!


Day 3 and 4 via Heater

Today is Thursday. My intention was to sleep in. Get all rested for the week ahead. I found myself jumping right out of bed and staring out the window listening to a voice on the overhead about 6:30am. We had just entered the College Fjord. An amazing inlet that had several well known tide water glaciers. We saw the Yale and the Harvard. The one that Alison and I got a picture with was different. I don’t know the name but cool none the less.

We had a very rocky day on the boat. Rumor has it we had winds 60-70mph. The swells were pretty big too. We guessed about 10ft. I didn’t get sick but by late afternoon I started to feel pretty queasy. Luckily Alison had Bonine to save me.

Shan, Alison and I were the only ones in the hot tub that afternoon. The water was rolling right out of the hot tub and down the stairs because it was so rocky. People walked past us and just stared. Of course we’re out there trying to take pictures of ourselves like it’s any other day. LOL. The water wasn’t really hot enough so we moved inside to the hot tub in the gym. We squealed and giggled like little girls running from the hot tub back inside. (I screamed like I was being tortured.)

After our hot tubbing Shan and I sat in the steam room and then I went for a nice massage. It was very relaxing. Then we went to dinner, watched some people do Karaoke and headed to bed.

I am not much of a blogger, if you can’t already tell. That was Thursday and here it is Sunday and me with no entries. It’s not that I didn’t’ think of it we’ve just been on the run I didn’t really make much time for it. So a quick catch up:

Friday= Sitka. Rainy and cold but really cool. We took a long boat ride on a wild life quest. We saw whales, bald eagles and sea otters. The boat took us right back to the ship. I started to feel queasy again but made it through dinner and felt better. Alison didn’t make it to dessert. She was ok but went to bed earlier so she could feel better for Juneau.

Saturday= WOW! It was a great day. We woke up early and watched as we docked in Juneau. FINALLY we saw the sun. It was gorgeous. Really with a few scattered clouds and the bright sunshine on the sides of the green, green mountains it was amazing.

We picked up Kenny and Shan and headed into town. We found a bus ride to the Mendenhall Glacier. While we waited we shopped in this very cute, quaint little town. It resembled an old mining town. Except the buildings had lots of color and many of the store fronts we jewelry stores, I am talkin bling!

We jumped on a school bus that took us over the Glacier. I think it was about a 12 mile ride from town. When we arrived it was cloudy but still bright and completely beautiful. This glacier was huge. There were two waterfalls to the right. One was all the runoff from the melting glacier. The other was rain runoff and melting snow from the mountain. Apparently the salmon just started spawning that morning! The visitor’s center said the bears will be close behind. We didn’t get to see any but man I was looking!

We headed back to town and ate at a good ole Saloon! Saw dust on the floor, dead animals hanging every where and even a piano player up front. It was called the Red Dog Saloon. It even had the swinging doors on the front. We threw back a couple of pints, ate some lunch and headed back to the ship for our Salmon bake.

Unfortunately that’s all the Salmon bake was, a place for dinner. They bussed us just down the road. It was a little outdoor BBQ next to a creek. We thought it was going to be a hike with a little food. It was a lot of food with a little walk up the creek. The girls and I were full. We ate our fill at the Saloon. Of course Kenney still had room in his legs and maybe his big toes because he ate two more plates!! We eventually headed back into town to shop some more.

That’s all for now. I’ve got to get ready for our big helicopter ride! More later!!


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Day 3 via Alicomicom

What an exciting day we have had!! Sitka, Alaska is a very small very beautiful fisherman’s town. We had a late start and it was time consuming to get on the tender so we only had about an hour and half to explore the town before our big wildlife excursion. It was just enough time to souvenir shop and eat a “reindeer hot dog”. Don’t ask me what the difference was.

Our wildlife cruise was awesome! Let me say that again. Our wildlife cruise was AWESOME! It was so rocky, a good handful of people got sick, but not Heather and I. Yes, we have sea legs. ;) In the middle of this rocky sea we saw whales, about 3 different “herds” or what ever a flock of whales is called. They put on a show for us because we saw on more than one occasion their big dive which resulted in their famous fin spectacle. I could have stood out there all day and watched those whales. It was pretty cool.

We also saw my new favorite animal, sea otters. I want to live my life like a sea otter. They just kick back on their backs and go wherever the tide takes them. They were really cute too. At first they looked like seaweed but then Heather kept insisting they were sea otters. So I got out my binoculars (thanks Mom) and sure enough there were a ton of them. I wonder how baby kitty would react if I brought home a sea otter. It could live in our pool. Kelley, I promise to feed and clean up after it. Can I please have a sea otter? ;)

Anyway, I’ll let Heather tell you more about the adventure. We came “home” pretty tired and HUNGRY. Don’t think we will have any trouble finding something to eat. So we are off to our 8:15 PM dinner. I’m getting the melting chocolate cake for sure tonight. It has been calling my name for 2 nights and each night I find something better to order. The black forest cake, cherries jubilee but tonight I will put it off no longer.

If you are wondering, Kenny is feeling much better. He didn’t miss a beat with the rocky excursion. Shanon on the other hand had a little sickness but all is well now. The ship is moving through the Sitka sound but the only thing you feel is a light vibration every now and then. Let’s hope it stays that way.

Tomorrow? Juneau!! No excursions planned but there is talk of finding some glaciers and shopping. We are debating on bringing the laptop into town. Maybe we can get a better connection and upload some of these pictures. Good night!


PS – It’s Saturday morning and I’m getting ready to post this but before I did that I wanted to let you know that I started feeling ill at dinner last night. I made it up to the point of ordering my Melting Cake but then had to excuse myself. I only felt sick a few times but I did not want to take a chance so I came up to the room and took some medicine. I fell into bed and did not wake up till this morning. My dinner mates apparently shared my melting cake and of course the word on the street now is that it was fantastic.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Day 3 via Alison

Hello All! It was a rough night, for the ship that is. Thank you God, Heather and I are still ok but we are the minority. Closest causality of war for us is poor Kenny. He could not even sit through dinner. We have spoken to some of the crew and they say this is one of the worst they have experienced. Late last night they made an announcement over the PA saying because of the 10 foot swells the ship slowed it’s speed which now makes us delayed porting in Sitka. The Captain said that if the weather subsided he would speed up in the night to make up time. I was shaken awake once in the night. Everything that we put on our little coffee table is now on the floor. I woke up at 6:30 AM and took another bonine and I am tempted to wake up Sleeping Beauty so she can take another.

I will update you on our adventures later tonight. Internet café is offering 2 minutes for the price of 1 so I will be a posting fool! Love to you all!


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Day 2 via Alerino

We had an early wake up call, 6:30 AM. A calm soothing voice came over the intercom announcing that we were wading in the College Fjord and we had a small window of opportunity to see all the glaciers that surrounded us. Heather and I jumped out of bed, threw on a hat and some shoes and went to the top of the ship. Both of us were speechless. We certainly were surrounded and it was amazing!

Each of the glaciers were named after a college hence the “College Fjord”. It was very cloudy and raining but it did not stop us from snapping a bazillion pictures of all the glaciers. The same soothing voice schooled us in glaciers. We found out that when we see blue in a glacier, it is simply the light reflecting from deep inside the glacier. Because the weather was the way it was we saw a lot of beautiful blue in all of them. We also learned about the different kind of glaciers. It was very cool.

At first we did not want to take pictures with us in them. We were in our PJ’s for crying out loud! But then we realized that this was possibly the only time we’d see something like this again. So here we are in all our morning glory. For the record, we were not the minority dressed in bed clothes. Most passengers that were out on the deck had bathrobes on! I’m so glad we got up. We were in the College Fjord for about a half hour and then we headed out. After seeing all those glaciers I thought, if I had to go home today I would be satisfied. The pictures do not give the glaciers justice. They are massive and beautiful.

The whole entire sound, fjord or whatever that alcove is called was covered with chunks of ice floating in the water. I wonder how much damage the ship incurs by sailing into these ice chunks. As soon as we were out of the fjord, the ship picked up speed.

At one point the voice pointed out a bald eagle but it was on the starboard side of the ship and by that point we were already in our room eating breakfast and trying to warm up the tips of our noses and hands.

We had a Muster Drill this morning. We had to walk like cattle through the stair ways. A very nice middle aged Australian couple were exiting in front of us. She turned to tell Heather and I “That sound was so loud! It nearly knocked me out of the bed!” Her husband responded “Ya, considering what we were doing”. The four of us just laughed and laughed. We sat next to another couple from Louisiana. I have yet to meet an unfriendly person on this ship.

We took a scrapbooking class in the afternoon. We bought a kit that was made just for the Alaskan cruise. It’s only 22 cents to print photos from your camera so when we get a significant amount of photos we will begin our scrapbook!

As I look outside my window right now the water seems choppy. The ship has a heavy vibration and I can feel myself sway slightly side to side. Scratch that. I wrote this late morning and it is now around 4PM. The ship is battling 10 foot swells. You cannot walk without stumbling. I now sway side to side HEAVILY and the ship is constantly vibrating. Things have fallen off our shelves because of the swaying. Many people are sick. Please pray that Heather and I do not get sick. The crew will not allow people to walk outside. The wind is so strong it’s howling. It is now 6PM and the waves have calmed a bit. I still sway and the cabin still vibrates but we do not have to Velcro down things on shelves. Heather, Shanon and I decided to go sit in a spa. The pools are completely drained but the spas are up and running! There were people out on the deck sick as dogs! The whole entire ship feels deserted. The buffet is one story above our room so I had to walk through it to get to our room elevator. Well, the buffet area had maybe 15 people in it. I would venture to say that there are a ton of sickies out there.

Tonight is our first elegant night. I’m excited to get dressed up. One of the crew was telling us how tonight is going to have some gourmet food. Being that I eat like a 4 four old, this gourmet stuff may not be the thing for me. Don’t worry Kelley, I will order and not make faces.

Tomorrow we port in Sitka, Alaska. If I can get through the next 12 hours without getting seasick, I will be one happy Alaskan princess.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Day 1 via Alibaba

My morning started at 3 AM. I took a nice long shower, dressed and did my final packing. Thanks to Pastor Dave, we were able to borrow the big van to transport 4 people, 6 suitcases and 4 carry-ons. We picked up Kenny and Shanon at 4 AM and then headed to Mission Valley for Heather. We got to the airport 15 minutes to five. Checked our baggage at the curbside and headed to gate 18. Kenny gave me hard time that we were an hour early and he could have slept in more. But he ate crow because by the time we got our coffee it was time to board the plane.

Heather brought this sleep neck brace thingy and we all teased who would have to sit next to her while she wore that thing. This time I ate crow. Heather slept soundly as I struggled to keep my eyes and mouth closed.

Traveling to Seattle, I got the window seat and Heather got lucky sitting next to a very nice lady. Perfect plane neighbor; not too talkative but friendly. Unfortunately for Kenny and Shanon, they both got middle seats and didn’t even get to sit together.

We had a short one hour layover; just enough time to get a disgusting overpriced tuna sandwich and a bottle of water. At takeoff I applied my seasickness patch. Soon I was drowsy and was able to sleep fairly soundly for about an hour, hour and half. I brought 2 books, Beth Moore’s “Get Out of That Pit” (thanks Kate) and Stephanie Meyer’s “Twilight”. The latter (and against Kelley’s opinion) is turning out to be pretty good. It’s easy reading so I’m already a third of the way into it.

Heather and I had a long discussion about the face that is printed on every Alaskan plane. If you ask me, he looks like he has an afro mane. If anyone is interested in googling this guy, can you please let us know who he is and leave a comment?


We traveled a total of 8 and a half hours, including the one hour layover. Once we landed in Anchorage, we were shuttled to Whitter where the ship was docked. It was over an hour ride but a beautiful ride it was. We saw our first glacier. It was a beautiful blue color.

We sat next to the cutest old man and his wife. They held hands the whole ride down. He was a talker and asked everyone around him “Where are from?” and “What do you do?”. Eventually, whe there was no one else he could ask about, I asked him “Where are you from?’ Him and his wife had the best accent. He said he was from Texas. Then I asked “What do you do?” He said that he was a Pastor, in ministry for over 35 years. Two weeks ago he retired and his church family bought this Alaska trip for his retirement. He knew I worked at a church (he inquired not only about me, but my husband too) so we talked for awhile. He knew John Maxwell, therefore knew Skyline so it was very easy for me to explain the location and denomination. He was very sweet, reminded me of Pastor Bob.

Once we went through check-in through the cruise I was ready to call it a day. And the patch took a toll on me. I could barely keep my eyes open and I had an unquenchable thirst (a side effect that I was warned about). I was miserable so I took it off. The risk of me being seasick is slim to none, I just wanted to take it as a precaution. Well, I was so uncomfortable and exhausted, at that point I would take my chances.

The company who is hosting this trip had an early cocktail hour to socialize and schmooze. It was nice but I was so tired I just could not get into it. We left the cocktail party and went strait to dinner. I had the chicken with white rice and a black forest cake. Not as good as mom’s but it was good.

We are ordering breakfast for tomorrow morning, They have supplied us with thick bathrobes, so Heather and I will be eating out on our balcony.

I am now sitting in our cabin desperately wanting to climb into bed. We did not have enough time to set us up on the internet so whenever I decide to wake up tomorrow I will add my first post to you.



PS - I am having trouble uploading my pictures. I think I know the problem but it will have to wait till later. I am late to my scapbooking class. :)

Day 1 via Heatherly Love

Good Morning San Diego! And Chicago, Oklahoma and any other cities reading this blog. :) We’re off to Alaska!

Last night I wanted to get out of work by 4pm; logically, I knew I wouldn’t get out till 5pm; I finally made it out just after 6pm. Par for the course I completed my packing and headed to bed about 12:50am. I called my boyfriend who was not so sleepless in Seattle but actually sound asleep in Oklahoma, 2:50am his time to say my last goodnight. We are living a long distance relationship so the phone is our life line. It will be hard to “be apart” due to the coverage I will likely not have on the cruise. (But this story is another blog in itself) Patch (my dog) and I took a nap and woke up at 3:00am.

Alison and Kelley showed up bright and early in this big van. You would have thought they were taking a bunch of kids to camp. We piled in and listened to Kenny’s morning laugh. Picture it: two techy guys one reads the other ones T-shirt “I am only here because my server is down” AHHHHH it was a knee slapper (for Kenny). We all made fun.

We checked our bags, grabbed some coffee and breakfast and had to board the plane. It’s great traveling with a man. Kenny dragged my carry on and made a place for my bag over head.

Alison and I were able to sit together some people weren’t so lucky. We’re 10A and 10B.

We’re headed to Seattle where we’ll stop and likely change planes. Yeah, we don’t even know. The itinerary was lacking that minor detail. I think I’m still in shock. I am going to Alaska for a week! It’s crazy. I don’t think I am prepared for what is likely going to be a life changing trip with two of my favorite girls and our and Kenny too!

We arrived in Whittier. Our 1.5 hour bus ride from Anchorage to Whittier was amazing. We drove down one of the 10 top scenic highways in the nation. There is only one way to get to Whittier from Anchorage by land and that’s via a two and a half mile tunnel that was originally built for train travel. Our tour guide was funny. He said does this ride remind you of anything? He then proceeded to play the theme song to Indiana Jones LOL!

Once on the boat we went to our reception where Shan and I enjoyed some rum punch. Alison and Kenney had a couple of beers, free I might add! NICE! Then we went to dinner. After a ridiculously long day of travel and few drinks we started getting punchy. The kind where you laugh at anything. Plus Kenny, being the only man, entertained us with his vision of boobs- two butter dishes with pointy lids.

My poor Alison, her sea sickness medicine was doing her more harm then good. She ripped that baby off before bed and passed out. I went up top to the back of the ship and watched us take off. I am going through withdrawls (from my boyfriend) so I took one last opportunity to call him before I would no longer have any reception. I walked around in the rain checking out the boat, talked to Russ and watched the breath taking scenery slowly pass by. There were so many waterfalls coming off the sides of the mountains it is just amazing! Well off to bed. I need to get rested up for the rest of the week. Night, night.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pack Rat

So I am in the midst of packing and I think I have all that I need. I was able to borrow a pair of binoculars and Kelley got the laptop all hooked up for me. I found a proper jacket and the cutest Alaskan hiking boots! Heather got the same. It's going to be funny, I can see it now, "No we are not lovers, we just shop the same online stores." So now it's just a matter of figuring out what goes where.

Still don't have the flight information. Heather says they are telling her tomorrow.

5 and a half more days... 3 more days of work!


Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I get the flight information some time this week. I hope all 4 of us get on same flight AND that we can all fit in one car with our luggage!


To do list

So much to do, so little time. Atleast the blog is done! :)

  • We have to pick our excursions soon because they will sell out.
  • I need a cocktail dress.
  • Must find a good pair of binoculars to borrow.
  • Will I need a haircut?

I'm so excited I can barely contain myself!