Radiating Sunshine: Planes, Trains, Automobiles, & CRUISES

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Planes, Trains, Automobiles, & CRUISES

Less than 8 hours after I returned from Austria, I was on to my next adventure. My family and I traveled to Seattle to board an Alaskan cruise for a week. I had never been to Alaska and I was really excited to knock off no. 8 on my 101 in 1001 while over there! So, after flying for 20+ hours, doing three loads of laundry, repacking, and getting a few hours of sleep I was on my way to Alaska with the family. 

After an exhausting day of traveling
I am so glad I got to spend an entire week with my family. Not to mention while cruising we didn't have access to cellular reception or wifi so, it was like an unplugged vacation that I really enjoyed. We sailed on the Celebrity's Solstice which, is a beautiful ship. The ship had several different restaurants, two pools, a spa, theaters, a wonderful workout facility, and observation deck, casino, shops, wineries, gelato stands, purell stations, and great outside seating. My parents have done a few cruises and they said that the Solstice was the best boat they have ever been on, so if you're looking for a vacation of a lifetime check them out!

When I went to college I didn't realize how much "family time" would be cut down! For the past two summers I have lived in different places, so this was the first time in awhile where I got to truly spend so much time with them. I've missed my family so much and now that my younger sister is going down South for college it is even more crucial that I squeeze in as much family time as possible. 

The first port we stopped at was Ketchikan, Alaska! I think this might have been my favorite city out of all the Alaskan cities I saw. It was just so quaint and homey.
There were so many totem poles all throughout Alaska and it was awesome hearing about the stories and customs that come with totem poles. Totem poles are very expensive and depending on the quality of wood and how big they are they can sell for several hundreds of thousands of dollars. One nice thing I like about the traditional aspect of totem poles, is that the creators believe that you should honor and use what you take from nature. So, if a totem pole falls down they are not to be touched and (or) repaired.

And while in Alaska I managed to send a post card to J! I wanted to make sure he knew his pen pal wasn't gone. He has really been so supportive and nice about me being gone on different adventures. J has even had to deal with all of my time zone changes (Austria: +6 , Alaska: -4 , Texas: -1). I'm glad I'm currently in the States with access to cellular service and wifi so, we can talk more regularly. But, thankfully we only have 2 more weeks until we see each other next. 

While in Ketchikan, we went on a crabbing and wildlife adventure. We saw bald eagles swoop down and eat fish out of the water. We did a little whale watching and saw some cute little seals sunbathing. I even got a chance to do some actual crabbing. And on a side note, who knew crab cages were so heavy. It was the struggle to pull that crab cage out of the water. I definitely do not have a career on The Deadliest Catch or anything like that.  
Eating delicious dungeness crab! I think it actually beats Maryland's blue crab and that is saying something!
Killer Whales!
So many beautiful bald eagles!
One morning on our way to Juneau we woke up bright and early and saw the giant glaciers and icebergs. Thankfully we didn't have any titanic moments (too soon?) but, I was able to catch some really nice pictures of the bluish/green glacier fed water with ice caps floating around. 

And boy were we cold! Honestly, the hot chocolate was the only thing that inspired me to not crawl back in bed! After we arrived in Juneau we went to a dog sledding camp and got to see sled dogs. We learned how much they cost on average ($3-4,000), what maintenance they need, iditarod (dog race), and help puppies. Needless to say out of all the above, the puppies were my favorite activity. I mean seriously just look at the cuteness of that puppy. 

After I bid farewell to the puppies and got to call J! We headed back to the ship and cruised up to Skagway, Alaska. This was our last Alaskan port and we decided to do zip lining. This was another fun adventure and it was awesome to watch my mom overcome her fear of challenge courses.

Our final port that we sailed into was Victoria, British Columbia. I absolutely loved Victoria. It was the perfect temperature and had zero humidity. We got to the port in the early evening so we go to have dinner and watch the sunset in downtown Victoria.

Obviously, I can't share every moment of the trip! I didn't even tackle all of the delicious food that they served on the ship (lobster, creme brûlée, beef carpaccio, shrimp cocktail, etc) Oh and it would be unfair for me to not mention the molecular drink bar, where I tried the famous "Coming Up Roses" drink and (or) the other molecular creations. I loved the Alaskan cruise and I really loved being able to spend so much time with my family.


  1. Wow! What an amazing trip!! I've never been to Alaska but all of that amazing scenery, animals [that eagle!!], and even that crab feast is definitely making me want to plan a trip :)

  2. This looks awesome!! My husband and I are planning on taking an Alaskan cruise on our fifth wedding anniversary, one down 4 to go lol. I love all your pictures and that is wonderful that you guys got some quality family time in!


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