Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Never A Dull Moment

We haven’t been keeping up on our blog lately and it isn’t because we have any shortage of things to write about but rather that there has been so much change in our lives that we would have had to update every five minutes to keep you in the loop! I truly do not know how to shorten the details of the last few months of our lives and quite frankly, I’d rather forget they ever happened anyhow, so lets skip to the good stuff shall we?

For those of you who are confused about how we ended up back on a ship and will insit on asking a zillion questions (bu bu bu but what about all the moral depravity of ship life? An an an an and didn’t you guys want to move back to Pennsylvania? Oh, and didn’t Kelly have a job at a seminary for like a second? Uh don’t you think you should settle down? Are are are aren’t you going to have kids?), this is for you: God’s plans got in the way of our plans and well, here we are. Enough said.

Sailing on the ms Zuiderdam has been a remarkably different experience from the Eurodam. We won’t get into the details about why exactly, but just know that we are both very happy with this new contract. It’s awesome! We feel totally blessed to be here.

Ron left for the ship two weeks ahead of me and I embarked for the last run of the Alaska season. We sailed out of Vancouver, BC, a day at sea, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay scenic cruising, Ketchikan, day at sea, and back to Vancouver. This was the last week in the Alaska season so it was cold and we had high seas any time we were not sheltered by land on both sides. Much of the crew was sea sick so you might imagine that the guests were in bad shape.

In Juneau, we took a shuttle around town, past the Governor’s Mansion and other local iconic sights to the Alaskan Brewing Company which brews the very popular Alaskan Amber as well as other micro-brew varieties. We enjoyed free samples and a tour of the facilities and while we enjoyed the beer, we agreed that we haven’t found anything as yummy as The Breuery. We might be ruined for life!

The next day found us in Skagway which we liked better than Juneau. Skagway is a very cute and tiny town with plenty of charm. We had lunch and wandered in an out of the shops until we got too cold. 

Here are a few pictures of our scenic cruising and our ports of call. 

Ron and his "Duck Fart" shot at The Red Door Saloon. 

Alaska is cold and I packed for Panama heat. Good thing Dam sweatshirts  were on sale!

That is a snow plow on the front of that train. Can you imagine?  That  pink box Ron is holding contains cupcakes from Sugar Mama's - the crew's favorite Alaska treat. 

The following day was scenic cruising which is a sea day with the added bonus of stuff to see from the decks. We cruised through Glacier Bay National Park where we got to view glaciers from a short distance. Marjorie Glacier is the largest of the three we saw and truly the most spectacular. It really is as blue as it looks in the pictures below. That's because the red part of white light is absorbed by ice and the blue light is transmitted and scattered. The Longer the path light travels in ice, the more blue it becomes

We were even lucky enough to see it calving twice as we watched from the deck. Calving is the term used for  a chunk of ice falling off of the glacier.  If you look closely at the picture below you might be able to see that I captured a chunk of ice falling off into the water.

Ketchikan was our last stop in Alaska. It rains over 300 days every year. We were lucky to happen upon a relatively nice day in Ketchikan as it sprinkled off and on and the sun hesitantly peeked out from behind the clouds for a few minutes. We took a Trolley Ride around town which included a stop to see these totems.

Such a cute little town!

We ended up at Creek Street which is a darling little village with a seedy history of being a red light district.

From there we wandered around town and stopped to goof around a little before heading back to the ship.

We agree that while we’re glad to have had the opportunity to see Alaska, we wouldn’t want to spend an entire 16-week contract there. It’s very cold and gloomy and we much prefer sunshine over rain.

After another evening of “high seas,” we arrived back in Vancouver, BC on Saturday. We had the opportunity to wander around the Gaslight District which is beautiful and full of fun shops and restaurants.

The Gaslight District in Vancouver

Chinatown in Vancouver

We really enjoyed seeing the Gastown Steam Clock. The clock covers a grate in the sidewalk and uses the steam coming up through it to power the clock. Every fifteen minutes it whistles a steam powered tune. 

The following day we were scheduled to dock in Astoria,Oregon which we were looking forward to because some of the film The Goonies was filmed there and really, who doesn’t just totally love that movie? But the wind conditions prevented us from sailing in and instead we have enjoyed (read: endured) three days at sea. Thankfully the sun has been out and the decks have finally dried out from the months of endless Alaskan rain so I have been able to run every day and Ron and I get to enjoy our after dinner ritual of watching the sun set with our respective cups of coffee and tea in hand.

Today we are in San Diego which we think is really weird because we’re so close to home. We're enjoying a beautiful sunny Southern California day today and are excited to sail off to Mexico tonight! See you all in Cabo! 

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