Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Back from Alaska...

A few months ago my mom suggested that we take a family vacay. Perhaps a cruise to Alaska? I nodded in silent agreement, thinking hells to the yes, I need a break. After the year I've had, planting my arse in a deck chair for a week and whittling away the hours with needles/hook and/or book in hands sounded nothing short of heavenly. As a result, my mother, younger sister and glorious offspring boarded the Star Princess in Seattle a few weeks ago bound for the wild north.

Now, let me tell you all right now that this was my first cruise and I would be lying if said that I was anything but skeptical about the whole notion of cruising upon accepting my mother's suggestion. It's not the sitting on the boat for seven or more days with which I had an issue (after all I do have a penchant for all things seafaring...Argh!). Nope, it was the fact that cruising just seemed so typically tourist to me...you know, organized shore excursions, 24 hour a day buffet, gold sold by the foot on the Lido Deck...because of this I just didn't consider myself to be the "cruise type". I mean my idea of a vacay is flying to some exotic destination, getting the lay of the land and traipsing about the alleyways and interstices of a city or some other random environ, soaking up the local culture like a sponge. Conversely, a cruise just seemed like it would sanitize my travel experience and, well, I like to get dirty. *wink*

Despite my reservations, I relented and told my mom that the offspring and I were in. I'm glad I did because it turns out that I rather liked the whole cruise experience as did my child. Most of all, I loved seeing the daily smile of delight on my daughter's face as she indulged her senses and discovered a part of the world she had only previously heard about...



My daughter's smiling face!

Speaking of discovery, onto Linoleum's look at Alaska!

As I said, we began our journey in Seattle...



We boarded the ship around noon, dropped our stuff off in our cabins and of course headed to the buffet for the first of many shipboard meals. The fact that I did not gain any weight on this vacay was nothing short of a gift from the gods because I can assure you, I never missed an opportunity to tie on the feedbag during our trip. Hey, when in Rome...



Anyway, we left port at around 4:00 pm that day and sailed northward on calm seas to our first stop Ketchikan, Alaska...



Located on Revillagigedo Island, in the southeastern part of the state, Ketchikan is a town with a year round population of about 7,300 residents. Their economy is based primarily on fishing and tourism. Yep, every couple days during the summer months three or four cruise ships pull into port and dump 2,500 people per boat onto the docks for some serious shopping and sightseeing. Actually this is true for all of the Alaskan cities/towns on the cruise ship route...It's nutty.

Not in town to purchase a Rolex (oh yes, jewelry stores abound in these little hamlets along the cruise routes), my little landing party opted for a more cultural experience...Totem Bight State Historical Park. My child is a totem pole aficionado...



The tour about the park was awesome as our tour guide was a lifelong Ketchikan resident of Tlingit ancestry. He led us about this rain sodden environ through spectacular scenery while simultaneously giving us his insights into his culture's mythos.


Oh fungi, how I love thee oh so orange-y.



A rad clan house.


Spookerific branches.








More spooky branch action. It's pics like these that inspire my designs.



Okay, so that shore excursion was well worth it. Next destination? Tracy Arm for some glacier action!

So, Tracy Arm is essentially a fjord. We didn't actually disembark from the ship. We just sailed up the fjord and the pilot maneuvered the vessel as close to Sawyer Glacier as possible, weather permitting, so that we cruisers could catch a glimpse of nature's retreating glory.






I found the color of the blue ice captivating.


My sister (left) and daughter bundled up against the cold.


Oh, the cruise ship traffic abounds...

Later that day our ship arrived in Juneau and we readied ourselves for another shore excursion, the Mendenhall Glacier.



More Alaskan photo opts...


My sister (left) and daughter hamming it up.


I love this pic of my mom and offspring.

Needless to say, we had a great time despite the cold and cloudy skies. Oh, but wait! There's more...after hanging out at the Mendenhall Glacier we were bused back to the boat in order to sail to our next destination.

Stay tuned for more Alaska peeps...

Missed you guys!

20 comments:

Kelli said...

Great photos! What the heck is that fish thing though?

(I also am recovering from a divorce - best of luck to you!)

Tari said...

Wow, Love the photos. Looks like you had lots of fun. Glad to have you back.

ladylinoleum said...

Thanks guys!

Kelli - I can totally relate. Hang in there.

I think the fish is supposed to be a salmon. I don't know exactly what it's function is though. I just thought it was cool.

Deneen said...

You didn't miss us one bit (LOL). Cruises are fun-no worries about driving anywhere, no pressure to "do" anything. We went to Nova Scotia and had cold, rainy weather, but we still had a blast. Nice, no cell phone coverage, limited internet (unless you want to pay a fortune to read blogs)-truly getting away from it all plus the added bonus time with Lena and your family.

Welcome home :)

Ellen Bloom said...

Wow! Looks like a way cool trip....very "Twin Peaks" and "Northern Exposure" - like. (All my references are pop-cultural).

When are you crocheting a totem pole?

Susan said...

Hi!

I just love the pictures... And the glaciers look SO NEAT!!! And your daughter is so pretty!

I agree with another poster... When are you crocheting a totem pole...;-)

My Mom & Dad have been to Alaska... maybe we should too...:-)

~ Susan

myhokkandI.blogspot.com

SlipStitchWitch said...

Ahhh seattle..my home...where are you from? I live near seattle...

woolanthropy said...

What an adventure. Love the spookerific forest and totem poles. Your mother looks like she could be your sister! Can't wait to see more.

Caroline B said...

Looks like just what you needed! Must have been amazing - can't wait to see the rest of the pics.

Ana Petrova said...

I went on a similar cruise last year SeaSocks to Alaska. A knitting excursion, seeing your pictures took me right back and remembering how much fun cruising is. I am fairly new to cruising too always thought it was too "touristy" but now I love it.

Batty said...

Wow, what a great time! I'm so glad you got to relax, see fun things, and be with your family. Just seeing all these pictures of happy, relaxed women is a great inspiration to get my butt in gear and go someplace fun. Not on a boat, though... I turn green on boats.

Mrs D said...

Great pictures! It was like a mini Alaskan vacation in itself -- looking forward to the rest.

Joanna Boyer said...

I love the branches. Good nature shots :).

Shelley said...

Looks like you had a great trip. I really should sign up for a cruise since I live so damn close.

kathy said...

Here's hoping Alaska imparts some healing to your life. You picked a good place to cruise. Southeast Alaska will make your creativity flow as well.
Prayers,
Kathy

Liz said...

What amazing photos!!!! It looks beautiful - the blue ice was incredible!

Jimbo said...

Hay Lady!! You went on the very same cruise that Karol and I did a few years back... and I LOVED it. Didn't think I'd ever want go be cooped up on a boat (I still have to say stuff like the "casino" and the beyond silly "cruise director" lived up to my skepticism) But the scenery along the shoreline!! Oh, and I hope you took the bus tour from Skagway into the Northern Territory. Carcross is now one of my most favorite places short of the ranch.
Miss you, Kido!! Wisht you could visit our neck of the woods sometime!
Jimbo

Sara said...

Looks amazing!!! I like how you captured some great spooky tree shots.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the very late comment, but I had to concur on cruising, Alaska, etc.

Husband and I did Alaska on Island Princess 8/10-8/17/2009 and I really loved it. The glaciers were awesome, the towns had some weird charm (we got stuck on a local bus by mistake in Ketchikan, and enjoyed sitting among the locals), and we ended up in Vancouver, which is now MY FAVORITE CITY!!

We have done a couple of Mexico cruises, and didn't find them to be that much fun...but somehow I enjoyed the Alaska one. I guess it's my thought that this is the easiest way to see the glaciers.

Cheers!
Christine G.

Magdalena said...

Oh mother of mine....
i love how you decide to put the most heinous pictures of me.
thank you