Sunday, September 21, 2014

Ketchikan


The first thing I did each morning (ask Mark) was open the curtains and every time there was a spectacular and different looking scene. It was like a unwrapping a gift or finding the treasure. 

Good Morning Ketchikan!

 A house, a dock, a boat.  We're getting closer...........  
On our way to Ketchikan, first of 4 ports. 

 Ketchikan is on the island of named Revillagigedo. 
FYI.  My parents flew into Ketchikan by float plane back in 1965 on their trip to Alaska. While there my father shot a bear where it has been part of our family for almost 50 years! 


I really love these photos!
  

 Although it was rainy and drizzly most of the day we still found Ketchikan our favorite port. The town was small and quaint and very colorful. 

 Home away from home for 7 nights.  She is just waiting patiently while we visit Ketchikan.

The wildflowers are pretty much gone, but I did manage to find some flowers that were planted here and there while walking around the town. 

 A stained glass banner.  This would NEVER work in Alberta.

 We bought some teriyaki salmon jerky and it is delicioso!

Can you believe this? Look, Mark is wearing red in Rudolph's honor:)

Love the name of this candy store.  Just guess what they had there that we had never seen or heard of before?  Chocolate covered Oreos.  I was never a huge fan of Oreos, but I sure am now. 


This green house is a tourist spot. Read below to see who it belonged to back in the day.


 Because this is the salmon capitol of the whole entire world this mosaic salmon makes total sense.  
See the direction it is facing and see the direction of the water? Yep, the salmon run up this creek and let me tell you there were hundreds of thousands of them doing just that. 


Those little black dots are the salmon pushing forward. I know this picture does not do justice at all, just believe me, it was crazy.   Notice the ladder in the picture to the right?  The salmon climb that during peak season.






Just a little backyard art in Ketchikan.  This sign on the right brought back a memory of when I did volunteer work in the hospital a few years ago.  I was like a candy striper and delivered cookies and drinks.  One man there was a master poet kinda guy.  I was visiting he and his wife one day and he rattled off a poem for close to 10 minutes, all from memory and this verse was part of it.

Ketchikan must not get severe weather.  I guess with it being an island with other bodies of land surrounding it the weather must be mild enough to keep these buildings on their stilts.   

I was so excited to see totem poles in Ketchikan I had to get a picture of me in front of one.  
I know you can't see the whole totem pole, but it was either me or it. 

 These are totem poles that were taken from their sites before they were totally ruined. There are 5 in this display with a few more in the back encased in glass.  


  "Native American Totem Poles are one of the most popular Ketchikan Alaska attractions and Pacific Northwest or Alaska native art. Ketchikan Alaska has the largest collection of totems found anywhere in the world – over 80 poles scattered throughout the city - from ancient poles kept in climate controlled protection, to standing poles raised almost a century ago, to more recently carved poles that reflect the continuing deep respect for traditional values."
Click here for more information on totem poles.


 Same totem pole as above. 

The whole totem pole and all of us in one picture, how about that? 

I could live here for a year. 
Really.

I was on the top deck just enjoying the view before heading out and look what happened.
The rain stopped, the sun came out and a rainbow appeared!

                            
The view leaving behind Ketchikan.

We are now on our way to Juneau.

                            

The setting from our balcony, of course, at the end of another fun day!

Highlights of Day 3- Being in Ketchikan, but this same evening Mark visited an acupuncturist for a consultation.  He looks at your tongue and can diagnose you.  He could tell that Mark had back pain. I then asked him if he could look at my tongue and  he said it looked like I had low hemoglobin which causes cold hands and feet due to poor circulation. Bingo!  
Lowlight of Day 3- As we were getting in line to board the ship after having a terrific day there was a lady that was clearly drunk who had no problem sharing her colorful language for all to hear.   

Friday, September 19, 2014

Alaska Here We Come!

 Here is the low down or down low about this 7 day Alaskan cruise.
Brad and Kelly mentioned they wanted to go on an Alaskan cruise in August and invited us. Mark and I knew that if we ever did a cruise it would be this one, but there was one stipulation: we had to wait until September.  You just don't leave southern Alberta in July or August, or even June because these are the months we all wait for all. year. long. 
They agreed on the first week in September and we booked the cruise.  That was that.  Excitement was in the air and then the sad news came.  Kelly was too far along in her pregnancy and they had to cancel their cruise. A real bummer. 
Long story short, they got reimbursed and will go when the time is right.  You can bet your bottom dollar that we will join them. There is so much to see in Alaska!

You might think this is Alaska. It's not.  This is in the Crowsnest Pass in western Alberta, just an hour or so from the BC border on our way to Seattle.

 Yep, we were total tourists on this cruise and who really cares if we stopped to take a selfie in front of the ship before loading.  I had to document this trip of a life-time. 

 I mean, really. A spectacular September day in Seattle.


The Celebrity Solstice was so big.  There were 14 decks.  Crazy.
Oh yes. We did not take the elevator once while on this cruise.  We used the stairs the whole entire time and even had races up and down.  We boarded the ship pretty early and had to wait for our room to be ready so we just "cruised" around the ship and took pictures. 




 Brad said to get a cabin with a balcony so we did and man oh man are we glad we did. 
Why would you cruise any other way? It was worth every single penny.
This moment was heavenly!
We. Took. A. Cruise. To. Alaska. 


Sunset from our balcony on Day 1.
Highlights of Day 1-Enjoying the sunshine and view from our private balcony along with the evening weather from the top deck.  The forecast for this cruise was cloud and rain most of the time so to be surprised with great weather was an added bonus. 
Lowlights of Day 1-The dessert at the buffet was kind of bland. Pretty, but bland and Mark's luggage took forever to be delivered to our room. Oh, we can't forget the annoying man we sat next to for lunch. He was a fast talking car dealership owner who tried to impress those around him with a wad of $2 bills for tipping. 

Day 2 was a "sea day". 
We thought for sure we would go to the gym a lot, but only managed one day.  Yes, I posed for this picture. I'm telling you, this balcony was the cat's meow!
This cruise had every thing you could think of to keep everybody busy and happy.
A library. A game room. Stores to shop in. A full size theatre with nightly shows. A gym. A spa. Three pools. Grass. Real live growing grass. Ping Pong tables. A casino. Art auctions like you see on Tv and even glass blowing demonstrations.  Mark tried out acupuncture and I spent three times too much on gel nails. Super fun.

 Sunset from our balcony on Day 2.
Highlight of Day 2- While on the treadmill I saw Orcas, a whale and a school of porpoises all within 30 minutes.  It was so exciting! But what made this extra nice was that I had downloaded songs specifically for this cruise with feel good thoughtful songs so I was already on cloud 9 and then to spot the sea animals? It was great!  Another highlight was I tried frog legs! Tasted like chicken :) 
Lowlight of day 2- I won playing Scrabble, but it was a downer because we stopped before the game was finished. I would liked to have won fair and square.  

Monday, September 8, 2014

Many Glacier/Red Rock Falls Fun

I sure hope this is not the last hike of the season because I have reeeeaalllly been enjoying the
 out-of-doors this summer. I have loved the weather, the hikes in Waterton and Glacier and taking pictures in the sunshine. 

About a week or so ago Lou Lou, Dixie and I went to Many Glacier to do a little hike to Redrock Falls.  It wasn't very long, but what fun it was. 

 I took this picture while sitting in the front passenger seat of the car. Border line-ups and road construction can sometimes make for long waits so I figure since I have my camera on my lap I might as well see what I can find through my camera lens. 

 Old Chief.  I'm contemplating hiking this next year. Thinking, just thinking.  You climb it from the backside where there is a lot of shale.  I hear it's like taking two steps forward and one step back.  

 We took a little detour off the highway to find a little picnic spot and we kinda found a cool little spot if I do say so myself. 
See Old Chief towering over the trees? He's everywhere in these parts. 

 It was a potluck picnic and it was mighty tasty.

 I don't really know what Lou Lou is doing. I guess she is just posing with an orange peanut M&M.  Nothing more, nothing less. 

 Yep, a cabin where anyone is welcome.  The door was unlocked.

 This note was just on the counter.


 Thank you notes from past visitors. The latest date was in 2011.

 A horse jawbone? I really have no idea. 

Who could resist a 2 sided outhouse?  
We did. No way Jose'.

 A real live toadstool.  The biggest one I've ever seen. 

 Here is a different view of Old Chief. 

They have the greatest antique store in downtown Babb, which is right on your way to Many Glacier.   You can always find a treasure of some sort.  (that's lou lou)

 Dixie was hanging around the religious part of the store.  Ok, not really hanging around it.  She stopped to look around.  That's way different. 

 Lou Lou found this sweet pink dish that she is using as a butter dish. (she is little bit of a copy-catter cuz I did the same thing back in June with a dish I bought at a second hand store)

 Lou Lou is looking like a totally legit hiker with 
her hiking boots and bear spray.  Crazy tree trunks.  Not sure why that happens.  We didn't need the bear spray because when we saw the bear it was already passing in front of us.  He had no interest in us at all. 

                                                       
Indian Paintbrush

 See our matching knapsacks? 

The Happy Wanderer

 


I love to go a-wandering, 
Along the mountain track, 
And as I go, I love to sing, 
My knapsack on my back.

Chorus:
Val-deri,Val-dera,
Val-deri,
Val-dera-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha 
Val-deri,Val-dera. 
My knapsack on my back.

I love to wander by the stream 
That dances in the sun, 
So joyously it calls to me, 
"Come! Join my happy song!"


I wave my hat to all I meet, 
And they wave back to me, 
And blackbirds call so loud and sweet 
From ev'ry green wood tree.


High overhead, the skylarks wing, 
They never rest at home 
But just like me, they love to sing, 
As o'er the world we roam.


Oh, may I go a-wandering 
Until the day I die! 
Oh, may I always laugh and sing, 
Beneath God's clear blue sky!




 It was hard to pick a sunny spot on an edge.

 Lou Lou likes to take selfies so any chance I get I like to do bunny ears or a peace sign which is the same thing, but this is a peace sign because it is not directly behind her head.  

I just can't help myself.