Friday, August 3, 2012

Alaska Vacation Days 1-3

So, we (Georgie, Shirley, Lynn, David and I) took a 10 day trip to Alaska. The first 7 days were on the Radiance of the Seas cruise ship, the last 3 were on buses and a dome train. Here is the first part of the story, in photos. Click photos to enlarge.

David at our traditional
road trip starting point,

Me, in the bathroom
of the Orlando airport.
I take these photos for the
sole purpose of bugging

David, having lunch
at the MN airport.

Us, waiting for the last leg
of our flight to Vancouver.

Story here: The night before the
cruise I had a dream that when we
got to the ship, it was just a barge
and people kept falling off into the
water. When David and I walked
down to the pier, this was the first
boat we saw. I took this picture and
told Shirley the ship was everything
I dreamed of. She wasn't amused.

David and I at the pier in
Vancouver. This was really
the only day it rained the
whole trip.

Shirley made a new
friend. These were
all over the city, I think
it's a similar project to
the sea turtle one here
where local artists paint
them for charity. 

Waiting in the hotel lobby for
our bus to be called.

The hotel was pretty fancy and nice
until we opened our drapes and
saw a guy peeing in the alley.

Still waiting for our bus to be called.

The pier was only about 1/2 mile
from the hotel, but we had a ton,
you might even say "a boatload"
of luggage.

David looking for birds
while we were still in the
Vancouver port.

Vancouver was a neat
city. Many buildings
had grass or trees
growing on them. Click
to enlarge this picture
to see the forest on
this building. 

Georgie, photographing

The port building was neat, it
reminded me a lot of the airport
in Colorado.

It took a long time for the boat to
actually leave the port, and a short
time for the Blanchard contingent to
find the alcohol! Here are Shirley
and Lynn with fancy drinks, and
David drinking a $2.00 ginger ale
(surprise! "all inclusive" doesn't
include soda or bottled water)

We finally started moving, here are
David and Shirley giving the
thumbs up.

Lynn and Georgie giving the
thumbs up. I was too, but I was
taking the picture.

This is a big bridge we
went under leaving

This is my first picture of Alaska.
This is Ketchican, the first port we
stopped in. 

Me and Shirley on deck waiting to
disembark at Ketchican.

Georgie, Shirley and
David on deck.

Georgie, Shirley and Lynn.

It was way colder than I
was expecting. I bought
myself a sexy new hat.  OK,
not really sexy, but it
kept my little ears toasty!

One of the dining rooms on the
ship had a kitty in it that
reminded me of Barty!

Another view of the
area from the ship. Been
a while since I've seen
snow. Haha! Turns out
I don't really miss it!

Our first critter, a bald

Our second critter,
a freaking HUGE eagle!

This was a weird little
bar in Ketchican. The
Jack Nicholson in the
window was kinda

This was living on the dock in
Ketchican. I don't know what it was.
It had too many legs to be an
octopus. Maybe a squid?
Update: According to Heather and
John, this is a sun seastar.

We couldn't get onto the trip that
Shirley, Lynn and Georgie did, so
David and I took a city bus to
Ward Lake to hike. This was a sign
on the trail that someone defaced
with what appeared to be poop of
some kind.

A townsend's warbler.

A banana slug. This was a life
critter for me. I really liked the
slugs here. I tried to find an ID
guide for them, but couldn't find
one. I guess I'm the only one who
wanted to know!

Hmm. Some kind of sparrow or

Another terrible
picture of a kingfisher.
This is my nemesis bird,
I don't think I will ever
get a good picture.

David, e-birding.

Us, waiting for the bus
back to the boat. 

David, in front of
the eagle statue.

This was kind of cool. Every night*,
the stateroom attendent left our
towels in the shape of a critter.
*Well, every night up until the
"incident" after which, I think she
was afraid to enter our room. What
was seen can never be unseen. I
hope she didn't go blind or insane.

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