Sunday, August 31, 2008

I Know It Has Been Awhile ...

... but I've been busy Baby!

Jason and I were so lucky, we got to go on an ALASKAN CRUISE with my family. The modes of transportation that were involved were plentiful and diverse, and so I'm going to list them (in a brief outline of where we've been which I hope to fill in with more detail later):

We drove in our vehicle from Saskatoon to Calgary on August 14th:

In Calgary, we had a few days to get some things done and connect with some people. We got to spend some time with Jason's family in Canmore, which was a real treat, for his cousin's 30th B-Day:
On August 17th, we flew to Vancouver:

We had a nice breakfast (all 8 of us) at the Vancouver airport, and then we took a limo to the Canada Place Pier:

At Canada Place, we boarded the Norwegian Cruise Lines ship, the Norwegian Sun. It was bright and sunny onboard, and we were docked at Vancouver until about 5:00 PM.

From Vancouver, we sailed for a day and a bit and arrived in Ketchikan, Alaska on August 19th:

Ketchikan was pretty busy with cruise ships ...

... so we got to ride tenders in to the actual port:

In Ketchikan, some of our party were bussed to the Rainforest Ropes & Zipline Challenge Course, and the rest of us walked to the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show:

We all grabbed a nice lunch overlooking the harbour, and then got back on our ship to sail to Juneau. We arrived in Juneau on August 20th (NOTE: I take liberties with marking the pathway of the cruise ship, I just wanted something to illustrate where we ROUGHLY went, I didn't look up our exact path through the inner passage):

In Juneau, our entire group did the Juneau and Mendenhall Glacier tour, where we all boarded a bus driven by a tourguide that we dubbed "Carefree Carol". First, we stopped at the Mendenhall Glacier:

Next, we stopped at the Macaulay salmon hatchery:

Some of us were traumatized when we witnessed the following:

The mature salmon are clubbed so that their eggs and sperm can be harvested to create the next batch of hatchlings.

After "Carefree Carol" dropped us off, we walked around Juneau a little bit, and dropped into the world famous Red Dog Saloon for a beer:

After leaving Juneau, we sailed through the Tracy Arm and took in some AMAZINGLY SPECTACULAR scenery, definitely a highlight:

We spotted a scouting boat from our ship that went ahead to see how dire the ice situation was ...

... unfortunately, there was too much ice in the water and we had to turn around about 2 miles away from Sawyer Glacier.

We arrived in Skagway, arriving on August 21st:

Here, the whole crew partook of the White Pass Scenic Railway tour, where we took the White Pass and Yukon Rail train ride.

And then had lunch and walked around Skagway itself.

From August 22nd - August 24th we sailed back to Vancouver.

On our first at sea day (August 22nd), Kristin celebrated her 26th birthday on the roughest sea day we had for the whole trip. Most of us retired to our rooms for a good portion of the afternoon, but we had a great b-day dinner celebration in the Seven Seas dining room. That evening, we also got to check out the chocoholic buffet (HAPPY b-day for Kristin).

When we arrived back in Vancouver on August 24th, we took a limo ride to our downtown hotel. We spent the afternoon trying to get our land legs back, and dined on Granville Island , at Sammy J. Peppers, with family friends who live in the Vancouver area.

After dinner we took a water taxi back to the downtown side of False Creek, and got to watch the sunset over the water. Sigh:

August 25th it was an early taxi ride to the Vancouver airport for all of us, and an early flight back to Calgary (Kristin and Julie both had to go to work that day ... yikes):

On August 26th, Jason and I drove up to the Edmonton area to visit with his family (it was his Mom's B-Day), and so that he could play in a hole-in-one tournament.

On August 28th, we drove back to Saskatoon.


Here's the whole trip on a map. So ... you can see ... I've covered a lot of ground:

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