Alaskan adventures

Same writers block, different adventure. Last Friday, I got back from an Alaskan cruise with my roommate from college, and since then I have been trying to summarize my experiences into something eloquent. As with Montreal, I fall short.

So, in lieu of something more creative, and with no attention to grammar, sentence structure, and tense, and in not particular order, here is a list stuff experienced and learned on my Alaskan adventure:
  • We started the adventure by flying up to Seattle, where we would board a boat for a 7 day cruise through the Inside Passage.
  • Accidentally left my Mathieu Schneider jersey at home. It is a key part of my flying superstition. Luckily, had a Brad Richards jersey in my luggage. Not the same, but at least we didn't crash.
  • Southwest Airlines lost Alisha's bag. We bought 7 days worth of clothes as a back up, but luckily it was found and returned... at 2am. Alisha spent the next morning returning her purchases.
  • Visited Archie McPhee, superstore of the odd, unusual, and totally awesome. I bought pickle shaped band aids. It was awesome.
  • The Underground Tour of Seattle was really cool. Learned all about Seattle's early days of sewage disasters, excessive drinking, and whores.
  • Our boat, Holland America's "luxurious and elegant" Zaandam, was awesome. And christened by the Olsen twins when they were young and cute.
  • Formal nights were cool. Gave me an opportunity to dress up and try out real table manners.
  • Full body exfoliation and other spa treatments are amazing, and I could really get used to that.
  • The hugeness of Alaska, while cliché, is simply awe inspiring.
  • The wilderness is breathtaking.
  • The glaciers... what can be said really? You have to see them to believe it. Our last remnants of the Ice Age, and disappearing rapidly.
  • Rented the original Poseidon Adventure from the ship's library. It is even better than watching it at home.
  • Saw a submarine.
  • I really, really enjoyed the solitary walks around the ship at night. A welcome and needed break from the never-ending socialness.
  • Saw a momma bear and her two cubs at the Mendenhall Glacier.
  • Watched the sun set into nothing
  • Got blown over, literally, by the wind on the bow of the ship.
  • Lounged by the pool while we were cruising around Glacier Bay. Ice filled the bay, but the weather was sunny and warm.
  • Saw more salmon then I'd ever imagine. It was prime spawning season. You could grab the suckers out of the water with your hands there were so many.
  • Ate a lot of salmon. (Wait... that's bad juxtaposition)
  • Bald eagles are like pigeons up there. Everywhere!
  • Ate a baked Alaska every night, save for one, for desert.
  • Had a beer in the famed Red Dog Saloon in Juneau.
  • Learned that shaving one's legs in a rocking cruise ship is not an easy task.
  • Was going to wave bye to Sarah Palin on her last day in office while in the capital city, but she was in Anchorage giving that bizarre, rambling farewell speech.
  • Bought cool Russian stuff in Sitka, including an awesome hat for the eldest nephew that he still hasn't taken off.
  • For the first time in my life, I look out and saw nothing. It was a weird feeling.
  • Never did get used to the getting dark at 11pm thing.
  • Saw more stars than I ever knew existed.
  • Spent a good 30 minutes looking over the side of the boat, yelling "jellyfish!" every time we saw a jellyfish. We are easily amused.
  • 7.5-12 foot swells on the way to Victoria. Whoa...
  • Got nauseous a couple times, but never too bad. I did kind of like being rocked to sleep at night.
  • Saw Victoria, B.C., from the boat. We never got to dock there, but it was only supposed to be a 4 hour stop anyway. I'll just need to go back to Montreal for a Canada fix.
  • The bus taking us back to the airport in Seattle broke down on the side of the road, proving Seattle hates us.
All in all, it was a fabulous trip and another amazing experience. I'd love to do it again, and the other cruises mentioned in the brochure they hand out sound intriguing: Baltic states, Scandinavia, South America. But then I come back to reality and look at my bank account. Maybe I can hope for a Caribbean or New England/Canadian Maritimes cruise some day.

If you want to see the rest of my pics, check them out:
Part 1 (Seattle, Juneau)
Part 2 (Glacier Bay, Sitka, Ketchikan)

I took over 500, but I narrowed them down quite a bit.


Anonymous said...

So keeping a hockey jersey keeps your plane safe? Cool! I guess we've all go to have some irrational superstition....

Sarah said...

Aren't all superstitions, by definition, irrational? =)

Really, it started as a joke that if I was going down, I was going down in my Mathieu jersey. Now it is mostly habit (and a little irrational fear) that keeps me wearing it.

Plus, it has a happy side effect: I'm easily recognizable on the curb outside the terminal when my ride comes to pick me up.