Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016
God Bless Our Troops

Click on the cabin below to see our family website.

Click on the cabin below to see our family website.
We love what we do!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Here are the logs I have sent the kids so far.

Monday - Sitka
Today we docked in Sitka. At this port there is no dock. The ship is anchored and then we get on small boats called “Tenders” which ferry us to the mainland. It’s about a 10 minute ride. We boarded ours at about 8:30. When we came on deck, there was a girl selling boat tours to see whales, puffins, sea lions, hopefully a bear or two. We didn’t see bears, but we saw lots of the rest of the stuff. Our tour guide took us inside the magma chamber of an old volcano. The tide was low and we could see orange and purple starfish on the “cave” walls. The were sponges and anemones in layers of colors - pink, purple, red. It was really cool. Unfortunately we only got them on the flip video because the batteries in Dad’s camera died.

After the fishing boat tour went to a drug store for ice cream. Earlier in the day we had been there while waiting for our fishing boat tour. We watched them make their own waffles for the waffle cones. We had our ice cream in those handmade waffle cones. After that we watched a Russian folk dancing group at a nearby museum. It was really great. Then we crossed the street to the Russian Orthodox Cathedral. It is a beautiful church.

We got back to the ship at about 3:00. Jean didn’t join us for dinner. She overdid things a bit and needed a rest. Dave, Dad, and I shared a table with a couple from Florida. They were very interesting to talk to.

Dad’s getting ready to head down to the black jack table. I am reading a great book and I think that’s what I’ll be doing tonight. Tomorrow morning we have a disembarking meeting. It’s hard to believe that tomorrow is the last full day of the cruise. Today was our last port of call.

Love you all,

Tuesday: No Port of Call - 36 hours of sailing
As I write this, we are near the glaciers. I just saw a beautiful ice blue glacier outside the window of our state room.

I started off today by packing my stuff. I like to get that out of the way and not have it hanging over my head. At 10:00 this morning we went to a presentation on disembarking. Tomorrow the cruise is over. It went by at lightening speed.

After the presentation we went to the “up close magic show” and Dad learned some cool tricks that I bet he can’t wait to show you.

Tonight we have to have our large suitcases tagged and outside our door to be picked up after midnight. The rest we will carry. We will probably mail home our used clothes the day before we head home. That way we will have room for any stuff we collect along the way.

Melisa, the duffel bag you loaned us will become a carry-on for the trip home.

We will probably get on tonight and try and send some glacier pics to you.
Wednesday - - Anchorage

We got up at our wake-up call - 4:30 - and ate breakfast in the dining room. We shared our table with Margaret and Tom, and with Dorcas and Bud - both couples were from California. We were told we would be disembarking at around 9:00. We got back up to our room around 7:30 and Dad just happened to hear an announcement outside the room. They were calling our group to disembark. We headed off the ship for the last time and boarded a bus that would take us to the airport in Anchorage.

At the airport we collected our bags and waited at the departure terminal for our ride from ABC Motor Home Rentals. While we were waiting, we witnessed two prisoners accompanied by wardens who would be flying out. When they emerged from the van they were wearing yellow jumpsuits with "Prisoner" printed on the back. They were handcuffed and then they were chained. Next they were dressed in jackets that hid the "Prisoner" and their handcuffed hands. It was interesting to say the least.

We spoke briefly with a young couple from Ireland who had just returned from a motor home trip. The general consensus seems to be that Denali is cool - Fairbanks sucks.

We went to the motor home rental place and picked up our wheels for the duration of the trip. We tried to call Sarah Sparks, but got their answering machine. Hopefully we will be in touch with them soon.

Next we went to Fred Meyer (sp?) - a lot like Meijer’s at home. Stocked up on food and headed to the Laundromat. In the mall was a JoAnns. We also passed a Michaels. We went to McDonald’s to see if we could connect there, but they charge $2.95 plus tax for 2 hours. Not bad considering what we paid on the ship, but we didn’t want to hang around McDonald’s for 2 hours. After leaving McD’s we went to the Native Alaskan museum but got there just as they were getting ready to close.

As I write this we are in the motor home and the generator is charging. Dad is going to check to see if there is a charge for internet access here. If so, you will get this in a timely manner. If not, it will be old news. LOL!

Love the pictures of Maddie. You guys CAN email us. We may not see it right away, but a note when we can would be really great.

Okay, Dad just came back. We signed up for a day for $10.00. Cool beans. However, it is midnight where you are so you won’t see this until you wake up.
Thursday - Day 2 in the motor home

Traveling in a motor home is interesting to say the least. We started today with a shower.
Okay, do you all remember the scene from Everybody Love Raymond where they are in Italy and he is taking a bath and his old aunt comes in and starts washing him with the handheld shower? It’s pretty much like that without the bathtub. Well, there is a bathtub, but I wouldn’t call it that. The attached pic makes it look a lot bigger.

We talked to Sarah Sparks this morning. We will probably stop by and see her next Monday. We got on the road at about 9:00 this morning. Our first stop was at the Mat-Su Valley visitors center. Dad wanted to see the research farm but it is no longer operational. They used to grow 18-20 pound cabbages, 160 pound watermelons, 300 pound pumpkins because of the long hours of daylight. While he was talking inside, I went outside and explored the grounds. There was a beautiful memorial to the area vets. I was also able to connect this morning so you got a short email.

After leaving the center, we went to the Iditarod Headquarters. It was quite interesting. For ten dollars a person, you could ride on a sled for a quarter mile. We passed on that. There was a really cool video about Lance Mackey, cancer survivor and 3 time Iditarod winner. I took Dad’s picture with his dad who was also an Iditarod winner.

We went to lunch at a Mexican restaurant. The owner would break out in song every few minutes or so. The food was really good.

From there we went to the Wasilla museum. There is a quilting group that meets there. The picture I’m sending is of a quilt that one of the members pieced and and quilted. We saw a lot of antiques and another video of the Iditarod. This one was much more interesting because you got to see the race up close and personal from the viewpoint of the “mushers.” It just so happens that Sarah Palin’s mother-in-law works there as a volunteer. Remember I told you we had Mexican for lunch? It came home to roost just as Mrs. Palin was coming down to leave. I was making a beeline for the bathroom so there went my chance to meet her. Darn!!!

From there we headed out to find a campground for the night. Had to stop for ice cream of course.

And that brings us here in Talkeetna where we are getting ready to turn in for the night.

So far we have been lucky to have access. When we get to Denali, we probably won’t, but then I didn’t expect to have it as much as we have.

Up here in Alaska there is 18 ½ hours of daylight per day. The weather is like June back home.

I will be back to my regular blogging schedule when we return home.

blessings to all!

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