So, time for the Alaska write up....
We cruised with Holland America on the Westerdam. It left out of Seattle and returned to Seattle. This is the same ship we sailed on just ten days after Allie died. That time, we left from Lisbon, Portugal and ended in Rome, Italy. I have to tell you, I was really happy about getting back on this ship. When we were on it the last time, people would excitedly ask us "are you on your honeymoon?" (seeing as we were the youngest couple on that cruise by more than twenty years). We would lower our heads and mumble no, or sometimes we would tell them we were grieving parents. I hated that feeling. This time, I was happy to answer the question if we were celebrating anything special. YES! As a matter of fact we were--our tenth wedding anniversary!!! Finally, it was the honeymoon I dreamed of (our first one was three days in San Antonio because we had no money).
Here are a few of the trip highlights:
- The Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle. This was a last minute decision we made when we went to the Space Needle. We loved it and especially loved the Science Fiction Museum that was there as well.
- Brunching at the top of the Space Needle. The restaurant rotates all the way around every 47 minutes. This was such a cool way to see the city. The food was surprisingly good too!
- Cruising Glacier Bay. The ship cruised through Glacier Bay in Alaska for more than five hours. From any spot on the ship, the view was breathtaking. They opened the bow of the ship which is normally closed to guests.
- Whale watching in Juneau. One of my favorite childhood memories was whale watching in California. I loved it. I think I drew a whale's tale coming out of the water for more than a year. When we were looking at excursions for the trip, this is the one thing I insisted we do. Before we got on the ship, I got a little anxious. I was so worried it would be like those experiences where you loved something as a kid that turned out to be totally lame as an adult. Thankfully, it wasn't. I loved it.
- Ocean rafting to the volcano coast in Sitka. This was my FAVORITE thing we did the entire vacation. It wasn't what I was originally envisioning--just so much better. We rode a ocean raft that has six seats that look like you have to stradle a mechanical bull. The seats are padded and you have a metal bar to hold on to. Your wearing a big old red jumpsuit and then a big hood tight on your face to protect you from the cold. The driver goes 45 miles a hour jumping the waves on the water. It is exhilirating! We laughed, screamed, and bumped along the water. We were flying through the water! He slowed us down after about 15 miles and took us to the volcano coast. All inactive volcanoes. Amazing. We saw otters floating around us, sea lions that craned their necks to see us, and a giant bald eagles nest. All of my pictures of that were corrupted, so I don't have any to share from this. It was so fantastic. We loved it.
- Snorkeling in Ketchikan. Yes, we snorkeled in Alaska. No, my pictures aren't corrupted from this one. I just refused to take a picture of us in wetsuits!! It wasn't quite as much about what we saw but the fact we did it. The water was 40 degrees. The wetsuits (only our lips and cheeks were exposed in the end) helped keep our bodies at 98 degrees. It was very fun.
So, it only took me two hours to write this because I've been distracted.