Friday, May 31, 2013

Skagway and the Yukon

Skagway, Alaska and the Yukon territory were our next stops after Juneau.  We had some time on the ship between ports so I attempted to rock climb.

 Feeling somewhat confident at the beginning.

Um...this is definitely harder than it looks.  I promise I did get a little higher (and by a little, I mean two inches).

Defeated (especially since after I descended, a 10-year-old boy climbed straight to the top in under five minutes).

I quickly got over my defeat and put on my excited face for the Yukon!  On our way to the Yukon, we saw so many gorgeous sites.  Truly breath-taking!  

We have arrived!

Once we made it to the Yukon, we headed for a suspension bridge.  But, first, we had some awesome vegan chilli.  After all, walking across a flimsy bridge that spells certain death if it were to snap calls for some serious face-stuffing. 

Note to self: eating spicy chilli + a fear of heights isn't the best combination.

Although getting myself to walk onto the bridge was scary, the views were incredible!

We did it!

After the bridge, we took a scenic railroad from high up in the mountains to downtown Skagway.  Again, my little point and shoot camera didn't do justice to what we saw, but here are a few shots from the railway.

Oh wait, did I forget to mention I had to battle a bear in order to board the railroad?  Wow, is Alaska ever rustic!

I have now been to eight provinces and one Canadian territory. If only that entitled me to being an honorary Canadian and finally getting some healthcare...

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Juneau, Alaska

When we awoke from our champagne-induced slumber, we were in Juneau!  I didn't think there was anything more beautiful than watching drunk retirees attempt to dance (as we did the night before), but alas, I was wrong!  This is what we saw upon exiting our room:

After disembarking, we immediately boarded a bus to check out the Mendenhall Glacier.  Pictures don't quite do its beauty justice. 

After walking around a bit, we headed to our whale-watching cruise.  Unfortunately, whales are quite unpredictable and don't respond to bribery so you can get a good shot of them (imagine that).  So sadly, no pictures.  But, we did see several blue whales.  I couldn't get over how graceful they were.  They're absolutely enormous but move with such peace.

I did take one of some sea lions though (who knew that they do in fact respond to bribes and twenty bucks is all it takes for them to pose?):

And one of my mom and me on the boat (guess which one of us responds to $20 bribes):

It was quite an eventful day, and rather than joining the aforementioned drunk retirees on the dance floor in the evening, we hit the buffet (of course) and went straight to bed.  Do we know how to party or what?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Headed to Alaska

After spending the night in a Vancouver hostel, my mom and I set out to board our home-for-the-next-week, Rhapsody of the Seas.  When we headed to the port, we realized that three other cruise ships were leaving at the same time ours was.  That meant 6,000 people in one room, all waiting to board.  Holy long bathroom lines, Batman!

Despite it looking rather chaotic, we were able to board fairly painlessly.  This may or may not be due to my mom tripping several passengers in front of us and paying off the boarder guards.

As soon as we boarded, we got acquainted with the ship (read: located where the buffet was and promptly stuffed our faces).  

The views as we set out for Alaska:

The pool deck:

The main lobby (wait, do ships technically have lobbies?):
 Our room (spacious, no?):

Oh, and the best part?  Free champagne at the welcome aboard reception. It's not weird to pound three in secret and then go back for your "first," right?

That's right, that is me in a dress.  A sure sign of the apocalypse.

Another sign?  I actually pulled myself away from the buffet for 45 minutes and worked out.