Saturday, May 31, 2014


Today we landed in Ketchikan, The Salmon Capital of the World.  Which is great, if you like salmon.  Which I don't.  Nevertheless, it does have a Starbucks about a mile and a half from the cruise port.  I wanted to get an Alaska Starbucks mug to go with my other mugs, so Maribeth, Mathieu, Everley and stroller, and I decided we would trek down to the Safeway/Starbucks to attempt to accomplish this task.

We made it to our destination, only to find no mugs.  Mathieu took the lead and inquired about our quest.  The barrista said they were out, but expected more in, and if I gave her my name/email/phone number, the would contact me when they came in and mail me one.  So I did. 

We started back to the ship when we got a message that Steve wanted a bottle of Propel water, so we left Mathieu to attend to that task while the girls went ahead - with his speed and long legs, we figured he would quickly catch back up with us.  He didn't, but Everley fell asleep in the stroller on the way back, so all was good.

We got back to the ship in time to have lunch and then go back out for our Duck Tour.  Which ended up being a Dud Tour (yes, Molly, I should have expected it).  The "narrator" apparently was more interested in honing his stand-up comedy routine than dispensing with actual facts about Ketchikan.  After what seemed like 90 hours instead of minutes, we were deposited back to the ship.  Steve, Maribeth, Everley and stroller, and I did a bit of shopping while Mathieu went hiking.

Eventually everyone ended back on ship before we left Ketchikan.  Thanks Ketchikan for a great day, and Duck Dude - get some new material!!

Everley ready for bed.  And adventure ...

My injured toe.  Yes, it's a bit painful ...
Off to Starbucks!!!

On the lame duck tour, we saw an eagle.  High point of the tour ...
On top of the ship mast.  No, that's not me with the blue earring ...
Duck Tour.  Big Whoop ...

Apparently the best way to see what's going on in Studio Sea is to lie down.
I must try it sometime ...

Someone was a bit cray-cray during dinner, so LaLa's dinner got delivered to the room.
Of course, Cray-Cray wanted some ...

Which she got ...
Today was a great day because:  beautiful sunny warmer weather in Ketchikan; Starbuck trekking with Mathieu, Maribeth, and Everley; Mathieu getting the mug situation remedied; lunch on the ship; stupid duck tour with the fam; final port shopping; dinner with E

Friday, May 30, 2014


Today we landed in Juneau.  Everley spent last night in our room so that her parents could see the midnight premiere of "Maleficent" (they slept through it).  So, this morning she was ready (in Everley terms) for our trip to the Mendenhall Glacier. 

We boarded the bus and headed off.  Soon we were at the glacier.  I decided to leave the backpack in the bus, since we were going to be there for only about 90 minutes.  Of course, Everley decided to have a poopy diaper.  Oh well, it didn't seem to hamper her seeing a porcupine in a tree or touching the touchable exhibits or seeing the glacier. 


Our next stop was a salmon hatchery (NOT A FISH FARM).  We learned about harvesting salmon eggs (AND THAT IT'S NOT A FISH FARM) and how salmon come back to get their eggs harvested because of the smell they remember from when they were babies.  Everley got to see (and touch) fish and other marine animals and had three servings of crackers and salmon dip.

We boarded our bus once more and were dropped off downtown, where we walked around a bit and bought some Del Sol princess fingernail polish for Everley (duh) and then boarded the ship.  After lunch and a nap, we headed to the Pixar Party to see some characters, but not before I managed to drop the stroller on my toe - it's purple now.  My toe, not the stroller.

After dinner, we headed back to our room where we found our room steward had changed the sheets to princess sheets!  Everley was thrilled, and decided to sleep in our room again.  Who wouldn't!!  Another great day in Alaska (well, except for the killing my toe part).
Today was a great day because:  glacier and hatchery tour with Steve and Everley; Everley singing happy birthday to moo; sheets on Everley's bed

Thursday, May 29, 2014


Today we landed in my favorite city, Skagway.  I like it because it's small and quaint.  And totally a tourist city (as our tour guide told me today).  Normally it has 900 citizens, but more come in for the summer.  This year's high school graduating class had a total of four.  All these facts were brought to you via our tour guide.  You're welcome.

Anyhow, while Maribeth and Mathieu were out on a hike/bike/boat excursion, Steve, Everley, and I went on the White Pass train ride.  This is a train that follows the trail that folks went on back in the day to get to Canada to the gold rush.  Or something like that.  We boarded the train right by the ship and headed up the mountain - and up and up.  We passed lots of landmarks along the way (you really should come and take the train if you want to hear about them all) and at some points, you could look over and straight own - wayyyy down!  At the top, the engines unhooked and hooked back up at the other end of the train for the ride back down.  All in all, a pretty cool ride!

Getting ready to board the train!  Did I mention it's a bit chilly here?

Studying up on our excursion materials ...

That's the view of the ship from the train.  It's down there somewhere ...

That's the old train bridge.  We went across the new one, thank goodness!!

We made it to the top!  Those are the Alaska, America, Canada, Yukon Territory, and British Columbia flags.

Train rides can be exhausting!

You can rent this to spend the night in.  I prefer something with indoor plumbing.

Meanwhile, back on the ship, Everley meets up with Daisy.

And then Cinderella ...

And then they take a stroll ...

Today was a great day because:  train ride with Everley and Steve; shopping in the train store; meeting Daisy and Cinderella

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Now That's A Big Piece Of Ice!!

Today we spent getting to, looking at, and leaving Tracy Arm.  Basically, it's a glacier.  In other cruises, we've gotten closer, but apparently (according to my overhearing a crew member) the ice today was much thicker than expected, and perhaps it was a little early to be trying to get there.  At any rate, it was a beautiful day to see the ice.  It's always cool to see small chunks of ice that become more and more numerous as we get closer to the glacier.  Steve jokingly asked if people would think he was crazy if he went to the open decks in his life preserver.  Everley and I spent most of the day together, so that Steve and Mathieu could take in the glacier, and Maribeth could have a spa day.  Then tonight, Maribeth finally saw her first whale sighting - she wasn't so impressed, as she wants to see one leap up in the air as if it was auditioning for Sea World. Anyhow, it was a most wonderful day in the ice box!!

The glacier - that blue ice cube triangle in between the mountains.

Everley and Pluto playing ball.

The obligatory port hole shot.

Everybody gets an obligatory port hole shot.

Somebody wasn't all that impressed with Tracy Arm.

Today was a great day because:  beautiful weather; chatting on the veranda with the dude from next door; glacier viewing; whale watching; Everley playing with her new basketball all over the ship and playing with cast members and characters

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sea Otters and Whales and Bears - Oh My!!

Today we landed at Sitka.  Steve and Everley and I went on a Sea Otter and Wildlife Quest while Maribeth and Mathieu went on a rainforest hike.  We loaded up and got on our "catamaran" (that's Alaskan for boat) and off we went.  We saw everything!  Lots of whales and tons of sea otters, along with three lone bears (seen from a great distance, but supposedly the three dark blobs were bears).  We also saw puffins and seals and bald eagles - which  were beautiful.  After our tour was over, we spent some time in Sitka to shop, and met up with Maribeth and Mathieu.  Then it was time to return to the ship for lunch and a nap!  A wonderful day in Sitka!!
Hot chocolate and a cap - helps to keep one warm!!

Clearly a tour guide in the making ...

Some light reading before we leave port...

The Wonder in Sitka!

Sitka's volcano

Today was a great day because:  seeing all the wildlife on our tour; lots of Everley time; walking with Everley after dinner and her getting hugs from Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto

Monday, May 26, 2014

Sea Day - And Whales!!!

Yes, I saw whales today!!!  At dinner tonight, when we listed our daily high/lows, my low was that I hadn't seen any whales.  Steve saw one this morning, and Mathieu saw one while everyone was in our room before dinner.  Maribeth didn't care unless the whales were doing Sea World-type jumps and twists, so she didn't count.  But I hadn't seen nary a fin.

Fast forward to after dinner.  I was walking with Everley back to the room.  As we walked past the row of full-length windows, I noticed cast members and cruisers gathered at the windows.  On an Alaska cruise, it could mean only one thing - WHALES!!!  And sure enough, there were three just outside the window!!  No, they were not flipping , but you could see them blow through their blow holes and their backs and then their back tails as they swam alongside the ship  And as we went down the hall, we saw more and more, so it must have been a pod of whales!  I give all the glory to God, who must have wanted Everley and me to see the whales - and provided them in multiples!!  So I guess I'll have to change today's low to a high - isn't that just the way God works?

As far as the rest of the day, it was beautiful.  And it was also very cold and windy.  Steve and I were babysitting Everley while her parents ate brunch at Palo.  We decided to walk on the top deck, and it was so windy, we were walking at an angle so we wouldn't get blown over.  It was also very chilly.  But the sun was out and the views absolutely breathtaking.   Tomorrow we actually get off the ship - we arrive in Sitka!!

Today was a great day because:  beautiful mountains and trees; beautiful cold, windy day; seeing Mathieu and Maribeth as we walked past Palo; Everley time; whales!!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sea Day

Today was a beautiful day on the water.  The weather got a little chilly, but sailing in this part of the country is absolutely breathtaking.  We had some fun with Mickey at breakfast and ate a bit too much.  But all in all, a wonderful day at sea!!
Today was a great day because:  character breakfast with Everley; brunch at Palo with Steve and Toni; Everley entertainment

Saturday, May 24, 2014


This morning we sailed into Vancouver.  Since we are "back-to-backers," we were part of a group that met in a lounge, waited for everyone else to get off the ship, and then would get off the ship to check back in and reboard the ship.  We waited for quite a bit, mainly because there seemed to be a couple that wouldn't get off the ship (you have to swipe your key card when you debark).  There was a very stern announcement for "Dude and Dudette Jones" to get their carbuncles to the exit.  I guess they finally came out of hiding or somebody found them, because eventually we did leave and do the necessary steps to get back on.  While we were walking off the ship, we saw Steve and Mathieu in the port terminal.  After completing our paperwork, we waited a bit in the lobby and soon they joined us and we all boarded the ship together!   We went straight to lunch and then Steve and I lolled on the deck a bit (the weather had warmed up and calmed down quite a bit from yesterday).  When our rooms were ready, we headed there to get things settled and perhaps take a nap.

Tonight at dinner, we managed (with a little help) to keep our same dining team from last week, so it was just another dinner for us - although we had to introduce Steve and Mathieu, and they had to get used to the dialects from our team!

On to Alaska!!
Today was a great day because:  getting off/on the ship; seeing Mathieu and Steve in the terminal; getting back on ship together; lunch and seeing our dining team; getting tea party tix; meeting our stateroom hosts; beautiful scenery as we leave; Everley time; seeing Molly's reports from 24 hours at the Magic Kingdom (and happy birthday to Molly!)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Sea Day ...

Since I'm playing catch-up and today was a sea day, there's not much to report (or that I remember).   We mostly spent the day playing or sleeping or eating.  What else would one do on a sea day when it's cold and windy out on the deck?
Today was a great day because;  rocking and rolling on the seas; Everley time; boiled shrimp for lunch

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Slow Day At Sea


Since I forgot to post some pictures of us sailing under the Golden Gate yesterday, I thought I would share them today.  I know - you're welcome.  It was early in the morning, but when I went upstairs to the top deck to take some pictures, there were lots of people already there!  It was really cool.  After we passed under it, I saw the area at the foot of the bridge where our Udderly Pink 3-Day spent our first day at lunch.  And I remembered the 87 stories of steps it took us to get up to the bridge to walk over it!  Happy times ...

Anyhow, today we just spent time watching the water.  It's a bit cool outside and the water is a bit choppy and the winds a bit windy.  But it was great for rocking one to sleep!!  Tomorrow is another sea day, then we dock in Vancouver on Saturday.  We'll pick up Steve and Mathieu and head on to Alaska!!
Today was a great day because:  great day for a boat ride; E and her captain hat; watching "Toy Story" show with Maribeth and Everley

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Streets Of San Francisco ...

... are stupid.  Or maybe they’re only stupid when you are old and overweight, pushing a baby stroller, and trying to follow Google maps to get to a Target. Let’s examine this concept …

So today Maribeth had an excursion planned. I decided that Everley and I would get off the ship and walk around. After all, Molly and I had walked around this same area only a few days ago, so how difficult could it be? We needed a few things from Target, and I was pretty sure I knew where that was, so no problem. After all, Maribeth said (or at least I heard her say) that it was only a mile or so away. And so I didn’t bother to map it on my phone.

The first hurdle was to get off the ship. I heard the announcement that the gangway was going to be on Deck 1, blah-blah. Blah-blah means I heard it was aft or fore or port or there or here or somewhere or nowhere. To put this into perspective, we are midship (which will come into play later). Anyhow, Everley, her stroller, and I got on the elevator right outside our room and headed down to Deck 1.

I also heard (or sorta heard) the announcement that the only way you could get to the gangway part of Deck 1 was to ride the front (whatever that is in ship terms) elevator down, since Deck 1 did not have a corridor the length of the ship. So, Everley and I headed down in our elevator to Deck 1, only to realize that there was no gangway. Of course I was thinking I had taken the correct elevator. So instead of realizing that I had taken the incorrect elevator, I decided I was at the wrong end of the ship. So we got back on the elevator, got out on Deck 9, headed to the other end of the ship, got on that elevator, and headed down to Deck 1. Where we promptly saw a sign that said the gangway was on the other end of the ship. I remembered about the no corridor thing, so we got back on the elevator, headed to Deck Who Knows, and proceeded to walk the length of the ship to the forward elevator, went down to Deck 1, and found the exit route. Whew! And now we were out on the street, headed for Target.
It was easy enough to get to our hotel from the weekend (notice I said easy, not fun). Everley decided to nap, which would end up being a huge plus. I then proceeded up to where I thought the Target would be, only to realize I had no idea where I was headed. So I decided to pull out my phone and do the Google Map thing, which kept me walking and backtracking for a bit, until I wised up and picked the “walking” route rather than the “driving” route. Eventually, 2 or 3 or 17 miles from the cruise ship, we entered Target. Everley, fresh from an hour+ nap, woke up, and we spent some valuable Target time getting our supplies. And a crown, magic wand, and markers.

After we paid for our stuff, Everley was not so keen on getting back into the stroller, which I decided was a must if I was going to get her back to the ship in one piece. So we hung around the elevator lobby until I convinced her (with who remembers what) to get back into the stroller and get strapped in.

I started the Google map thing again, and kept retracing my steps, attempting to get the walking route rather than the driving route. At some point, with a baby treading water because her diaper was so wet (yes, I had a change in my bag, but there was no way I was letting her out of the stroller for a diaper change and then having to do the “get back in the stroller negotiation” thing again), it being lunch time all over San Francisco and lines a mile long in any eating establishment and a baby that probably needed to eat, and the ship being possible 652 miles away, I somehow ended up in front of a Westin hotel, where there were several cabbies looking for employment with their vehicles. I promptly commandeered one and off we were to the port. I have no idea which route Mr. Taxi travelled – but I think we detoured through Los Angeles. At any rate, we were soon back at the port, where Everley got a clean diaper and we both got lunch.

After that, it was time for a nap (for everybody) until Maribeth came back from her field trip. Then Everley spend a few hours in the little kids club while Maribeth and I had dinner at Palos – a nice ending to a super fun (whatever) day!!

Today was a great day because: Everley time in the big city; strawberry soup for lunch; Everley enjoying the kids club; dinner with Maribeth at Palo; our server at Palo


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Hugs On The High Seas

Okay, so maybe the seas weren't so high, but we were in the water on a sea day.  And we saw princesses and Mickey and played Bingo and ate snacks.  So all in all, it was a pretty good sea day!!

Today was a great day because:  breakfast and lunch at Triton's; pictures with the princesses and Mickey; playing Bingo but not winning; afternoon napping; gold and platinum reception