This post may get lengthy, and will contain a bunch of pictures. That is the way it goes, when you are giving a photo tour. Click continue reading to see the tour. I also wanted to get this out earlier, but it is better late than never.
Monday we drove the entire Olympic Peninsula loop. We loaded up the dogs for the trip. The dogs did not like the first part of the trip and really really really wanted to play with the bomb sniffing dog at the ferry terminal. After that they settled in and were pretty good.
Our real destination was Ruby beach, out on the Pacific Ocean side of the state. We went up to Edmunds, across the ferry to Kingston, and then drove highway 101 through Port Angeles, Forks (of Twilight fame), and over to Ruby Beach. After that, down south around the mountains, through Olympia. The rest of the trip was highway, up I-5. We made a special stop of UPS (to pick up Cortny’s new iPhone) and then home. Fun trip.
And… (if you click continue reading) here is a video of Matilda meeting the ocean for the first time. Ruby had been to the Atlantic ocean, so she wasn’t quite as funny this time.
This morning we went to Vespa Seattle to pick up some gear for Cortny. She got a jacket, helmet, and a pair of gloves. All of it is cute, as per her requirements.
When we got back home, we geared up and headed out on the Vespa. We went to U. Village, to get new iPhone cases. Of course, this is for our new iPhones that are arriving on Friday.
It was a lot of fun! Driving with a passenger wasn’t hard, but we should go out and practice some low speed turns.
A milestone has been reached! I passed 1,000 miles on my Vespa on the way to work.
And… I have spent less than $45 on fuel to get there!
So all non-US-flagged ships have to stop in Canada when transporting passengers from the US to the US. Therefore, we made a port call in Victoria, B.C., Canada. This was actually the third time we have visited Victoria (in the last year for that matter). We went once with my parents and once when I attended a conference there. Originally, we were planning on staying on the ship and enjoying it while other people were ashore. Well, it turns out that this was totally unnecessary. The ship NEVER felt crowded, Celebrity does a really good job on this front. And it was a beautiful day in Victoria, so we had to walk around a bit. (All pictures from Day 7)
We started the day with a galley tour (we were very lucky to get this tour, it is not often given). I’ll have pictures of this in my next post. After lunch we both had massages (that we scheduled the first night). I had the 4 hands massage (2 massage therapists). Since they are working at the same time, for the same length as a regular massage, you get double the massage! Totally awesome. Since it was a port day, our massage treatments were discounted. It makes a lot of sense to save your spa treatments for the port days.
Ok, so Day six was a lot of fun, but it doesn’t have a lot of pictures to go with it. We left Juneau around 6pm the day before, and day 6 was spent cruising in the open water. It was a long way from from Juneau to Victoria, we didn’t really hit the Canadian inside passage until day 7. (All day 6 pictures – http://picasaweb.google.com/mike.helmick/AlaskaCruise2009InsidePassageDay6)
There was some beautiful scenery along the coast, but mostly we just enjoyed the ship. Day 6 was the day that we made reservations for our 2010 trip to the Galapagos, and also the day that we took our photo tour of the ship (a future blog post).
In the afternoon, I participated in the ship’s version of The Weakest Link. I did pretty good, making it to the finals, but I lost (got second, whatever).
This day was also our second formal night. It was fun to get all dressed up, since it is something we don’t do very often. So not much to say, but we had fun.
One more day left to write about, and then I’ll have to find something else to say.
Ok, so I’ve got to be one of thousands of people blogging about this today. Apple announced the iPhone 3G S, and we have decided to upgrade. We have had first generation iPhones since August of 2007. We have had iPhones so long that the 4GB version cost of $499 each and then we were given a $100 rebate for each one since the dropped the price later that fall.
Anyway – my current iPhone is great, and it looks like the new one will be even better. I am most looking forward to some of that 3G speed! And almost as exciting, we’ll be getting 32GB iPhones, that is 8x the storage that I currently have I my iPhone. It will be really nice to be able to put movies on the phone for our long flights across the country.
Short delay between posts, but here we go. After our at sea visit to Hubbard Glacier, we docked the next morning in Juneau, Alaska. Alaska’s capital city is a pretty small town, only 30,000 residents. Our highlight here was visiting the Sled Dog Musher’s Camp. As usual, if you just want to jump to the pictures, they are all just below this sentence, or viewable on picasaweb.
The skyline of Juneau is quite similar to the skyline of Ketchikan. Old west looking storefronts that cater to tourists. Lots of jewelry stores again, so we just bypassed those again.
Our sled dog excursion was about 2 hours after we docked, so we did our walking around the town first. Shortly after debarking in Juneau, we saw a sign for the state capital and the governor’s house, so we decided to head up there. To prove it, here is Cortny in front of the Alaska governor’s mansion. Of course, nobody was home.
On the way back to the pier (to catch our excursion) we went by a Subway. You know Subway, the home of the 5, 5 dollar, 5 dollar footlong. Well in Alaska, that would be a 7 dollar footlong. Now, I’m not surprised that subs cost 40% more in Alaska (everything has to arrive in Juneau on a weekly barge), but the advertising is funny. They still have the same picture, a guy holding out is hand with 5 fingers extended… and a 7 in the middle. Well, being form the lower 48, thought it was funny.
After arriving back at the pier, we met up with our excursion group (2 other people). We took a short ride to the musher’s camp. It was a nice little bus ride, very scenic.
Immediately on arrival, we boarded the wheeled cart and were pulled through the woods for about 10 minutes by a team of 16 dogs. The cart weighted 500 pounds and was holding 6 people. These dogs are strong and use these summer tours as their training for winder sled dog races.
Rather than blabbing on about it – I will say that it was awesome! The dogs are amazing, and it was cool to see a real training camp, and not some commercial tourist trap (they didn’t even have a gift shop). I put together this view to show how cool it was!
I scanned the daily newsletter, “Celebrity Today”, from our cruise. Each night, they publish a newsletter for the next day that contains all kinds of fun information. Anyways – here they are. I will try and get back to describing the trip and sharing pictures tomorrow.
Download the PDF (15mb-ish)
After leaving Ketchikan, we headed further north to view Hubbard Glacier. So, technically, this was a “sea day” since we didn’t dock, but the glacier is a major attraction of the cruise. It is impossible to describe in words, so I will just lead in with a picture.
This is just one of the many pictures we took on glacier day. All of the pictures are available on picasaweb.
The glacier as well as the approach to the glacier are simply amazing. The bay is surrounded by snow covered mountains, and at least one other glacier stuck in there. As we got closer to the glacier, we entered a huge ice field (ice that dropped off the glacier). The captain brought the ship within 3/4 of a mile of the face of Hubbard Glacier. This allowed for spectacular viewing from right in the middle of the ice field! It was totally awesome. I’ve put together the below video, made up of clips that we took over a period of about 4 hours while near the glacier. Enjoy!