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Taking time off in Alaska

Just returning from a vacation in Alaska. Vacation is not something we get to do and this one was very special as we spent it with our daughter Andrea, her husband Tim and most importantly with one of our granddaughters Avery. We spent a whole week away from the heat in Houston to spend in chilly Alaska.Our trip started in Seattle to catch a cruise ship to sail for 1 day from Seattle to Ketchikan, Alaska. We arrived and went directly to our “shore excursion” which was to go fishing for Halibut or Salmon or Rock Fish…whichever one would hit our line.Fortunately we got all three or should I say the boys in our group got the fish. The girls sat in the front of the boat and the boys in the back, but when all the fish were being caught in the back, Andrea decided that she and Tim should change seats. You know what happened then, Tim caught a fish from Andrea’s spot. Oh well, that is why they call it fishing not catching. We then went on shore for a “shore lunch” of the fish we or should I say the boys caught. What fun and Avery walked along the beach and collected the 2 shells she could bring back. Back to the boat and on to our next adventure.Juneau was our next stop for a day of whale watching. We were very fortunate with the weather there. Juneau gets a lot of rain as it is in a rainforest but our day was beautiful. We were also fortunate to be able to see how whales get together and round up the fish then eat them. It was great to see nature in its own habitat and see 4 whales come to the surface and smash into the fish they had just herded in a circle.We learned how these whales were here in Alaska eating a lot of fish before they made their way to Hawaii to have their babies: as the water in Alaska (surprise) was too cold for the babies to survive. Hawaii sounds like a better and warmer place to have a baby whale that is 14 feet long. After all the sightings we then moved to see a real glacier…the Melenhall Glacier was incredible to realize how old it was and how blue it was. This is one of the U.S. Forest parks and had park rangers there to explain how it all works as well as walkways to get as close as you would want to get to a block of ice that is ……-wide and length________.Back to the boat and off to cruise the Sawyer Glacier…incredibly beautiful mountains with glaciers on many of the mountains and with ice blocks floating in the water. Very weird for a girl from warm Texas to see ice blocks floating in the water outside our balcony but also very incredible. We toured the mountains till dark which is really late as there is 17 hours of daylight and very little night. Thank goodness for really heavy curtains in our room to block the light out.Skagway, Alaska was the next stop and of course the gold miners train trip. Next time we will take the float plane to the Yukon to see the bears, but this time we chose the train. Wow the scenery was incredible as we went up on a train on tracks that were over 100 years old through a very primitive land in which the Klondike Gold Rush took place. Another trip to learn the history of the gold rush and the hard life the miners had. The trail that the miners had to take to the mines was straight up 2,300 feet on a path that was only 3 feet wide with the miners having to carry all their tools with them. No stopping on that track.Made me tired just thinking about it.On to the boat for 1 1/2 days of cruising to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada to the beautiful Bouchert Gardens. Bouchert Gardens is 55 acres of flower gardens and fountains are over 100 years old and still run by the family who started it. We also got a tour of the city with the last stop in front of the __________ Hotel. A big beautiful OLD Hotel that refuses to air condition the original part of the hotel as it would take away from the original hotel. We got to the boat and realized why this is called the windy city, oh my the winds came up and were gusting so bad that one of the cruise ships could not come into port as the waves were too large to let the ship get into port safely so they spent the night on the ship in the middle of the bay. We talked to some folks on that ship and they said it was a little rocky all night. We were lucky enough to get away and cruise to Seattle to arrive safe and sound at 6am and get off on off to the airport and home.What a great time…seeing places we had not ever seen before and spending time with our daughter and her family. We would recommend this trip to anyone…what a great time…just remember to take your coat and rain gear. We were lucky to have beautiful weather the whole time but the week before was not as good. Call for shore excursion ideas!!Going home to await a new little Ash…Joseph James Ash will arrive sometime this week and add to son Brian’ crew of Rayden and Emma. Looking forward to holding a new baby and being a grandma one more time.

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