Saturday, June 19, 2010

Well, Back from Vacation

Hey you! We're back from the Alaskan wildes and very glad to be home. Pictured here is my little husband with his pride and joy, pirate King-style rum bottle. He bought that on the MS Rotterdam along with several other bottles of liquor, which, as it turns out is the only thing on a cruise ship that you can buy that isn't a carnival-style rip-off. I think they feel like they have to give you something so you can tell all your friends what a great fdeal you got on something. And what better thing to brag about than bringing back a buncha cheap booze?

We had a pretty good time on our vacation cruise to Alaska. That is, after all of the gail-force winds, sea-sickness and barfing up of the liver. That happened the first full day we were on the water. It started on Saturday night but by the time Sunday morning came along, it was like an episode of the World's Deadliest Catch. We missed our first formal night because of this, along with approximately half of the other guests on the boat and about half the crew as well. But the next day was much better and we made our first stop of the trip in Juneau. This is a picture of the dock as soon as we got clear of the boat. there were all kinds of people out there selling tours to one thing or another. And the main street was lined with jewelry stores of every ilk.

By Tuesday everyone was feeling much better, and we stopped to look at Hubbard Glacier. I don't have any pics of the glacier because my husband hasn't given me any from his camera. Bad husband! (Right now I'm having my third Captain Morgan and root beer. Can you tell? So please excuse in advance if this blog entry becomes unreadable. However, I am going back to school on Monday and intend to milk every moment of freedom from homework and scholastic responsility that I can between now and then. And I couldn't drink on the boat. After Sunday, well, I just didn't have the stomach for it. Literally.) Anyways, the glacier was a thing of beauty and maybe a little bit scary because you could hear the ice grinding against the hull as we approached the face of the thing, but we got a really up-close and personal look at it. I didn't see any big hunks breaking off of it, but the National Forest Service guide that the boat picked up and brought along with us said that most people saw big hunks falling off of it. They call it "Calving" - but I didn't see it. And that's despite the fact that I went in and got my swimsuit on and sat in the hot tub on the outter deck and stared at the glacier for another hour after everyone had gone back to their staterooms or other locations on the boat. It's really hard for me to believe it now, but I didn't get a singlle picture of the interior of the boat. Again, Sunday kind of set the pace for everything. So, I guess I'll have to just get some pics of the interior of the next ship we are on. If, in fact, there is ever another time. So what am I up to now, oh, right, Juneau. We went right away to visit the oldest Russian Orthodox cathedral here in the US and that was St. Nicholas'. Not much as cathedrals go, but it was pretty cool to see. A bunch of people evidently got together at the end of the 19th century and built a church here in this very, very rustic gold mining town, and it is still standing today. I think the priest said that they could fit approximately 50 people in the structure at a tight squeeze. But that at festivals such as Easter, it was likely that some people would have to stand outside. I'm sure that doesn't strain the imagination when you look at the picture.

Then we went to a little museum there run by a retired couple. It was pretty cool. They had these little Juneau High School diplomas that we made out for ourselves and stamped, but we left them behind. Anyway, after that, we went to the famous Red Dog Saloonand had a couple of beers and some potato skins. Here's a picture of us there and a picture of the piano player.

After that, I went and haggled with some diamond merchants. Check out the ring that got away. I told the jeweler at this establishment that I wanted him to quote me a price on this ring that would make a Jew cry....and he did. This ring, with a one karat center, princess cut diamond and a full Karat in baguettes below it was $4,400 out the door. No big deal to leave it behind. But now I know where to go and get the deal when it comes time to shop for the 10 year anniversary ring. After that, we went to the Alaska Tee-shirt company and had a good time shopping for souveniers for the peeps back home. Outside, Kristopher fought a bear.

But then we got back on the boat and had a pretty good day. This was the first time we got to have a formal dinner. It was very nice and we had a good time. Late night, but still no drinkie...and we got up the following morning for an excursion to Sitka. Sitka, as it turns out, is a big Russian-American community there in AK. Lots of Russian Orthodixy and fishing, and that's about it. I bought a Metreshka dollie and an amber bracelet there and Kristopher didn't buy anything. It was a fun stop though. We stopped also at the library where I found out that a former co-worker of mine had died of natural causes at the age of 45. I knew this guy pretty well, and he wasn't in any better or worse shape than I ame, and he dropped over dead. the net effect of this news was to make it where I didn't care how much money I spent! I didn't go crazy though. My feeling infected my husband though and he bought himself a hella nice watch on board the ship. As it turns out,l he got about a hundred bux better deal than he could have gotten off of Amazon or from Macy's for the same watch.

We had a pretty good time the rest of the evening and went to bed tired like we had every night up 'til then. Next day was Sitka. Sitka was nice and we saw a Russian Orthodox church and met a nice man at a Russian trading post.

Thursday night on the boat was the chef's special dinner. It was pretty cool. The wait staff danced through the dining room and put napkins on laps and brought salads and desserts to songs and other fun stuff. It was a good night and we sat with some really nice people and had a good meal. We tried a show that night, but it didn't work out. The staqe show was completely stupid. The guys were more womanly than the girls and it was completely terrible and cheesy. We then tried to go to the ship-board movie, and the screen was broken so they were showing it on two plasma screens on either side of the large central one over which the curtains were still drawn. We made it just a few minutes through the Harrison Ford movie, "the Mosquito Coast" and then gave up and went back to our room.

Okay, that's enough vacation talk for now. We are watching Battle Star Gallactica, and it is getting very, very good. I will continue this saga later. I hope.

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