Expedition Alaska

Posted: July 6, 2008 in Misc.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

So looking down a post you may realize that it has been over a week since my last contact with the outside world. That is because we have been on an Alaskan Cruise since last Saturday (we just got in about thirty minutes ago). My grandparents carried my family and my aunt’s family all on the cruise for their fiftieth anniversary. In short…. it was tons of fun!

Now for the Details—- (And this will be long with TONS of pictures, but I’m going to try and make it comical and worth reading… so hopefully you will tag along on this journey we call…. Expedition Alaska!)

 
Expedition Alaska

3am- The alarm begins ringing. Surly not! Already? I just fell asleep! It is time to begin the journey into the furthest reaches of the United States, a land so untouched by Human Civilization that the entire population of the last frontier could fit into a city bus.. (Ok, maybe that is over exaggerating, but it is completely wilderness! Imagine, it is half the size of the continental United States and has only the population 670,000 people while the CITY of Chicago has over 2.8 Million!)…. Anyway, back to the story, the caravan arrives at my Atlanta Apartment to pick me up at around 4:15am, our flight is at 6:30.

6:30am-Our plane departs Atlanta on its journey to Minneapolis Minnesota. A little over two hours later we land for a two hour layover. Although it is only 9am, we are starving and some of us embark on eating lunch!

9:20am-Our plane for Anchorage Alaska departs for a six hour flight! It felt forever long! We arrived in Alaska at 12:30pm (3:30 our time) and boarded the buses for the Cruise Ship.

And so begins our Exploration of Alaska!!!!!

 
No Wait….. Let’s try that Again…..
Our Exploration of Alaska

No, No… One More Time>
Our Exploration of Alaska!!!!

After a little over an hour bus ride to the boat (and through a REALLY long tunnel that was single lane and had safe houses every couple hundred feet in case of a cave in), we arrived at the Ship. Did I mention we were wearing shorts and t-shirts…. Oh, and did I mention we were the only family wearing shorts and t-shirts at the port? I guess we were the only ones that didn’t get the memo we were going to Alaska?
Anyway… We boarded the ship and basically explored all day while all the other passengers loaded. We ate the buffet and that night had a wonderful dinner! If you’ve never been on a cruise you have to know about the food! It’s unlimited! I believe our server quickly decided to name us the doubles, the reason being, if we saw two items for an entree we liked, we would get both! And they did five courses! Appetizers, Soups, Salads, Entrees and Desserts! Different meals completely every night.

 
Just to give you a taste of some of the weirder things I ate (hey, it’s free):
Rabbit, Duck, Duck Liver (Gross), Snails, Fish Eggs
and Octopus among Many, Many Others!

Oh, here is Joey, our Sever for all the Dinners (In the American Jacket)

And our other Server Jose with the Baked Alaskan on the last night

Now that we have talked about food, let’s get back to the story at hand, Expedition Alaska:
On Sunday Morning we were in College Fjord, which is a glacier heavy area. We had to rise by 6am (which is really 10am our time, so not a problem) to see the Glaciers.

 

(Grandmother, Katie Ann, Papa, Will, Me, Emily.. And I think this is actually Glacier Bay 🙂

The rest of the day was spent cruising down toward Glacier Bay National Park, so we basically hung out on the ship. Some swam! (Not I!) Though the pools were heated really hot, and looked nice. That night was FORMAL night in the Dining Rooms. Well, we dressed in Georgia Formal! Khakis and a button up. In our defense we didn’t know Formal night actually meant “Formal” night! When we arrived down next to our Dining Room everyone was in complete Suits and Tuxes! We felt really awkward and felt like we may get kicked out… then, like a superhero in the midst of a dark night, a middle aged man approached the dining room wearing non other than the T-Shirt with a tuxedo printed on it! I’m sure most of you know what that is! After that we felt much better! The nights entertainment consisted of The Piano Man, which was OK, though quite comical at most points (even though it wasn’t suppose to be)


My “Formal” Wear

Monday was Glacier National Park Day. Park Rangers boarded our ship around 10am to give us a guided tour of the park… it was breathtaking! The Glaciers were HUGE, and numerous times pieces of the Glacier would cave into the ocean and create the Ice Bergs.

That is a Glacier in the background, that giant sheet of ice! And that one is over five miles away! WOW!

That nights dinner was only Smart Casual… which for us was the same type stuff as the night before 🙂

Followed by a Comedian who…. was not good at all! We left pretty quickly!

Tuesday was Skagway. A tiny Mining Town where miners use to pass through on their way to the Mountains to Dig for Gold. We did a breathtaking Train Ride up the mountain to the Canadian/American border. It was some of the most amazing views, although fog did roll in quite heavily toward the end of the ride.

 

 

Emily thought it was a good idea to stand outside in the rain and freezing cold the whole time to snap pictures! Others joined her throughout the day.

 

After the Train Ride we headed back to town for the Day of 98′ Show. It was set in a “house” where girls resided… Hence the Picture that was at the top of this post! :). It was really funny throughout the show, especially when they would pull people up on stage to get involved! After the show was shopping and hanging around town until 7:00.

Will and I lending a helping hand to the Train Co.

Heading back to the ship
(Katie, Emily, Me, Will)

That night was another “Smart Casual” meal followed by I’ve Got the Music In Me. A show on board. Still another comical, though not meaning to be show 🙂

Wednesday was Juneau Day (Capital of Alaska). We started off the day with Whale Watching… which was Phenomenal! We saw several whales, one time seeing three together! (Thanks to Emily for these pictures)


 

And Seals!!! As well as tons of Eagles

After the Whale Watching tour was a trip up to Mendenhall Glacier. A HUGE Glacier that you got to get almost right up against…. And there were several people swimming in the water! WHAT! Its a huge chunk of Ice!

 After the Glacier was more shopping in Juneau and eating off the boat for lunch! A welcome change from the constant flow of buffet food!
That night was another Formal Night! After Dinner was Dance or something like that at the Theater. Another good but comical production. Don’t get me wrong, they were all good productions, but after doing the Disney Cruise last year nothing compares to their productions!

Thursday was Ketchikan Day! The south most city in Alaska.

This is my attempt at a Panorama Shot. I edited it in Photoshop from a bunch of pictures I took. You can somewhat see the lines, but not bad for a first attempt 🙂

In Ketchikan we first embarked on the Saxon Indian Village Tour. They performed dances for us and then showed us how they made the Totem Poles. Pretty cool, though you could tell they didn’t enjoy it to much. Not bad though.

 

That afternoon was the Lumberjack Show! Wow! This was very entertaining! You haven’t seen a man climb a tree and descend faster than gravity itself until you’ve seen this show! (granted I don’t know where else you might have seen such a spectacle). The guy who did the tree climbing is fourth in the nation! He was crazy fast!

That is him jumpingg down from 50 Feet in the Air!

And who can forget the log rolling! They face each other and basically start spinning the log in the water until one falls down! Very Funny!

 

Shopping again this afternoon. (See a pattern here?)

The night followed with Dinner and another Comedian, who was actually VERY funny! It was extremely enjoyable.

The next day was all at Sea crusing back to Vancouver B.C.
Oh, and don’t forget the cool Towel Animals! Custom creations every night in your Stateroom! (Oh and the service was amazing! When you left in the morning she would come clean the room, fold the clothes left on the floor, then when you left for dinner she would come turn down the beds, fold more clothes, put chocholates and the towel creatures!)

Saturday (Today) was fly home day. We departed the boat around 9am, stood in line at the airport for about two hours, and then almost missed the plane! We were all sitting in the terminal, eating talking etc. We never heard them call out Atlanta for boarding. Needless to say we here “Paging Adams and Morrison, please come to the plane”. And we were all later for the plane, but at least got on!

All in all a WONDERFUL trip! Thank you to my grandparents for carrying us! I look forward to many more (hopefully I’ll be able to pay in the near future!) And here are some pictures to leave you with!

The Boat

Another Boat from our Boat

Overlooking Juneo

Papa and I

What I did to Will after a week of putting up with him! Haha, Just Kidding

And Last but Not Least…. WOW

 

Thank you if you read through this! I hope you enjoyed it! I will get back to regular posts on Monday!

-Blake

 

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Comments
  1. Sany Martin says:

    Can you say “jealous”? Yep, that would be me. I am glad you guys had a good time. One day I’ll be special enough to go on a cruise. LOL! Glad to have you home. Love the narration to the trip by the way!

  2. Bobmike says:

    Hi,
    I was just going through some blog and accidentally I got into this site. Hey I saw the photos, it was cool. I always wanted to go to some places like this during my vacation. so where is this place ?the photo of the train going into the tunnel was awesome.
    ====================================

    Bobmike

    Alaska Drug Treatment

  3. Alaska is considered the last frontier in extreme climbing. It is a remote and inaccessible area, where many of the most beautiful and impressive mountains on our planet are located. McKinley, known as Denali by the Native Americans, is the highest mountain in North America and attracts hundreds of climbers every year who try to climb this impressive and difficult mountain.
    ————————–
    williamgeorge
    Alaska Drug Addiction

  4. […] Expedition Alaska- July 6     Expedition Alaska is the Recap of my families cruise through Alaska. A wonderful trip with beautiful sights and amazing people! Climbing Mount Yonah – December 22      Climbing Yonah is a recap of our trip up the side of Mount Yonah during Christmas Break. Freezing, Dangerous… and Fun!  Career Changing Trip to Disney World- June 15      A look at the trip that changed my career outlook.  Christmas at Metro Church- December 18      Traveling to Metro Church to visit Scott Smith and help with his Christmas Service. Road Trip to Alabama and Metro Church- August 28     My first trip to visit Scott at his new church in Birmingham Alabama. […]

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