Skag the Wag
So we did the Skagway train ride today, ‘cause that’s the excursion I always do with my dad when we’re in Skagway. It was awesome as always. Pictures!
Also, it really makes me happy to see people being nice to each other. The stairs to exit the train are relatively steep. After we had exited out of our own car, we passed this one older dude trying to get down the steep stairs from another car. There were like five people—probably all complete strangers—helping him out, making sure he made it to the ground safely.
That kind of stuff really makes me happy.
We’s in Juneau today! Rather than do any sort of excursions, we decided to just get out and walk for a bit, which was nice.
My leg is still being twingy, but walking outside is much easier than trying to walk on the treadmill while the ship is moving.
(And is also a lot more enjoyable than 4 hours on a treadmill).
I’m not good at pictures, sorry.
Edit: holy hell, the hot dogs on this ship are FANTASTIC.
Today was an “at sea” day on the ship, and GUESS WHO GOT SEASICK?
(hint: it wasn’t Nate)
I’ve done this cruise four freaking times before and have never gotten seasick, but the ship was rolling on the waves just right this afternoon to cause my brain to freak out and made me dry heave over the toilet multiple times.
But things got better in the early evening. Nate and I ordered cheese and crackers for dinner and they were the best cheese and crackers ever.
Then we played war with two decks of cards. Nate happened to get six aces by the deal, so I was pretty much screwed, but I had the magic of the ace of spades (who I named JesAce…like “Jesus” but with “ace” instead of “us” because I’m made of blasphemy) and was able to stay alive until we got bored of playing.
I hope this sickness doesn’t return though, ‘cause gross.
Off to Alaska!
It’s time for our Alaska cruise! This is the fourth (I think?) time I’ve done this cruise, but it’s different every time and is really enjoyable.
Some pics from our departure from Seattle:
We all know that planning for the future is sometimes the only thing that can make me happy. Luckily, tonight Nate and I got to engage in some future planning. Specifically, we bought our tickets for our honeymoon cruise!
I mentioned a few days ago that we were likely going to try to do this this year, and the timing seems like it’s going to work out the best this year, so why not? We’re doing the 7-day inside passage with Glacier Bay cruise to Alaska in late August.
It’s been a while since I’ve been on a cruise (the last time was in July 2011), so I’m super excited! I really hope Nate likes it.
Check out our ship. We’ve got a balcony room.
Remember a while back when I was talking about how Nate and I were planning on doing our honeymoon cruise next year?
Well, we’re changing things up a bit and hope to do it…this August instead!
We have to move fairly quickly to arrange everything to make it all work (and to, you know, make sure we can actually get tickets), but we think it will happen. Super exciting!
Also, I might be coming back down for another Moscow visit in early August. My April/May trip wasn’t as long as it was supposed to be and I feel like this might be the last summer I’ll really be able to hang out with my mom in the ‘Scow, so get ready for (possibly) more Claudia, you lucky Idaho fools.
So because I had scheduled my thesis defense a week after my wedding*, Nate and I never really got to go on a honeymoon. We got to stay at the super fancy Kensington Riverside Inn, courtesy of my mom, but that was just for the wedding night.
So we’re going Delayed Honeymoon Style™ and are planning to do a cruise to Alaska next summer!
I’ve done the Alaska cruise three times**, but each time has been different due to differing weather/stops/shore excursions, so I’m super excited to do it again! I’m also excited to be with Nate on his first cruise. I think he’ll enjoy it.
This is the one I think would be nice. My mom, dad, and I went on this specific one back in 2006.
Hopefully we can make it all work!
*Pro Tip: don’t do that
**God, doesn’t that sound snobby? *sticks nose in air* “I’ve gone on this cruise three times already, but I’ve only ever had Jeeves and the other butlers to keep me company and only eight credit cards with $50,000 limits, so I never had much fun.”
Hob-Nobbing with the Elites of the Ship
So apparently on every cruise, Princess picks out the 40 people who have logged the greatest amount of cruising days, gathers them in a room for a super deluxe fancy luncheon, and thus creates a super concentrated cluster of snobbery at sea.
This time around, my dad was invited (he’s gone on 13 Princess cruises, somewhere around 130 days or so) and took me as his guest.
These are people who have traveled the world via cruises, and they were exchanging all these stories about the African Cape, South Asian adventures, language mix-ups and faux pas in Europe, and airport disasters.
At one point, one of the ladies at our table turns to me, looks at my obviously inferior gold card*, and goes “and where have you cruised, young lady?”
I was like, “uh…Alaska.”
Lady: “where else?”
Lady: “Oh. Well, that’s nice.”
She’d been cruising for like 200 days total or something.
Anyway, it was this super swanky thing at which I totally didn’t belong, but it’s interesting to see how people with the means to spend
that much time cruising actually interact with one another. Some were total snobs about it, others seemed like perfectly reasonable and nice people.
Ooh, and I also went to see a cooking demonstration put on by the head chef and head Maitre d’. Picture!
They were funny.
Tomorrow: Victoria, BC!
*You get a blue card if this is your first Princess cruise, You get a silver card if you’ve cruised twice, a gold card if you’ve cruised more than twice but less than 15 (I think) times, and a black card for 15+ cruises. There were like three gold card people there.
So because I suck at life, I totally forgot to take a video today before it got dark. But I did bike (stationary, of course) 10 miles and ran 5 miles early this morning. I would have run for a longer stretch of time, but the little recreation center on the ship was getting super crowded and I figured I should give up my treadmill to someone else.
And today they had CANTALOUPE out, which made me super happy ‘cause I had trouble finding fresh cantaloupe in Vancouver and I freaking love it.
Tonight was formal night. Here is a pic of my pretty dress that I bought for $7 at Goodwill. Goodwill rules.
THAT IS ALL! Ketchikan tomorrow.
When it reins it poors
I actually had a dream last night that while on the ship, there was this outbreak of a new strain of disease that had never been seen before. It was acting quickly, killing passengers within 5 hours of contraction, and no port would let us dock because we would spread the new strain. We were forced to float around aimlessly while we all died off from this disease.
OKAY PLAN CHANGES
OKAY PEOPLE, it looks like my plans for the second half of July have drastically changed. As you may know if you keep up with my blogging, my dad’s father (my grandpa down in California) died in January. Due to the suddenness and unexpected nature of his death, we were unable to procure me a ticket to go down and be present for the funeral. Because of this, my dad and I promised my grandma that we would find a time this summer to go down and be with her for a few days. Therefore, my dad informed me today that from the 19th to the 22nd, we will be heading down to Brea to spend some time with Grandma Mahler.
THEN he informs me that he was able to snatch up two last-minute tickets on the Sapphire Princess for a week-long cruise to Alaska. He wants to get his Princess black card (you get super perks if you’ve cruised for a certain number of days) and I freaking love cruising, so that was a nice and unexpected surprise. We’ll be flying to Seattle straight from Brea on the 22nd, spend the night in the Emerald City, and then board the Sapphire Princess and be cruisin’ from the 23rd to the 31st.
Awesome? Hell yes. Though I am a bit upset that such a large chunk of my time in Moscow is being cut, who the hell can complain about getting to travel? I also want to see my grandma; it’s been a long time.
OH LOOK A CRUISE
Hello from the ocean, ladies and gentlemen! Well, actually, not yet. We’re still chilling in Seattle right now, but we’re on the ship. Safety drill thingy will commence shortly.
Blisters from hell
We were at sea all day today, and I didn’t really have to walk anywhere. Which was good, considering that I have blisters all over my feet from dancing last night. A good piece of advice: never do The Twist for three hours barefoot on a glass floor unless you want to feel like you’ve just gotten your feet amputated. Ouch.
Plus, it was the second formal night tonight, so I had to wear my high heels again, which I started to call “high hells” because my feet hurt so awfully bad!
Blisters suck. But I rocked at dancing. People told me that they wanted me to dance again. I told them I would…if I didn’t have blisters.
Pretty slick for a white chick!
Let’s start with the beginning of the day. We got to Skagway, which is a little bitty town which seems to have constant wind. We took this awesome dog-mushing ride through the woods with a team of 16 sled dogs. ‘Twas much fun.
Here’s something I’ve noticed at every place we’ve docked so far. The ship from the Norwegian cruise line has, each time, had to tender their passengers (that is, take them by lifeboat to the shore because there’s not enough room for them to actually dock). Poor Norwegian. They’re ships have to compete with Holland America and Princess–two much bigger lines. Oh well.
Now on to dancing! I rock. That’s all there is to say. I got applause by all these old ladies who were there. It rocked.
Ner-her! I’m a prospector!
In the early part of the day, we sailed up a stretch called Tracy Arm. We were going to see some huge glaciers, but the water was still too full of little glaciers to go far enough up the Arm to see the bigger ones.
There’s this little inside joke thingy that we came up with that I’m going to put up here even though none of you will probably find it funny. My mom does surveys for the U of I, and once she came across this guy whose name was G’Tracy. Yeah, G’Tracy. So we all started calling it G’Tracy Arm and kept laughing.
Then we got to Juneau, and dad and I went gold panning in a river. I got a vile of gold (and some garnets) but not even close to the ounce needed to get $600. Oh well. It was fun. Cold, but fun.
Tonight, there is 50s and 60s music in the Starlight Lounge on the ship, and I think I’ll go there and dance.
…You all know how I dance.
Ketchikan, a weird dream, and pain!
First the dream. It was probably caused by the rocking of the ship, but who knows. Apologies in advance to Jacob’s mom, and keep in mind, this is just a dream!
All of us (Aneel, Candida, E’raina, Jacob, Shannyn and I) were at school. At lunch, we all went across the street to Jacob’s house. There, we went into his garage. I started digging around in an old dresser and found an old bra. I put it on and started dancing around the garage and doing other weird stuff. Then, I turned around, and saw my mom, my dad, and Jacob’s mom all glaring at me. I didn’t really care, until my parents told me that they had compiled all the bad stuff I had ever done (holy crap!) and were disowning me.
Eh…that’s about all. It seemed really weird the day after, but now that I’m typing this nearly a week later, it seems like a fairly normal dream for me.
Now on to Ketchikan! My mom and I did this really cool four hour adventure cart thingy in a private park. We got into these ATVs and drove them around on rough roads and over bridges and through streams and all sorts of cool places! And they gave us goldfish crackers! Yummay! Plus, the bumpiness didn’t even hurt my butt. Ketchikan gets a freakin’ lot of rain, but it didn’t rain today.
Finally, the most interesting (and funny) thing that happened to me today. I had already taken two rolls of film by this point, and my mom and I took them to one of these little wooden boxes where you drop off film. I put the film in those little envelopes and wrote down my name and room number. Then I dropped them in the box. Then I realized that I forgot to mark the little “doubles” box on the envelopes. So, being me, I stuck my hand into the box. There weren’t too many film thingies in there, so I found one envelope quickly, marked the “double”, and put it back in. Then I reached back in to find the other. I couldn’t quite reach it, so I stuck my arm in up to my shoulder to find it. By this time the box was starting to cut off the circulation to my arm, so I tried to pull it out…but I couldn’t. My mom’s standing there going “pull harder!” and was trying to shield the whole thing from the little security camera that was above us. After about three minutes, I finally maneuvered my arm around so that I could get it out. However, I left in the box about three layers of skin from my arm, which was all cut up and bruised. I shall never do that again. At least, with that specific box.
Hooray! Now off to Juneau!
Today is an “at sea” day, meaning that we don’t stop anywhere. I can really tell that the ship is rocking…the waves are coming at us from the side, so it’s pretty rocky. Not rocky enough to cause me to get nauseous (which is pretty easy to do, unfortunately), but rocky. I find it funny that Magellan named the Pacific ocean “El Pacifico”, or “the peaceful one”, when it, in fact, is quite torrent. Just a thought.
There’s this one wide hall on the 7th deck, and my mom and I and a bunch of older ladies were walking. As we were walking, the ship kept rolling back and forth, and we all kept swaying in the hall. It was amusing–I now call it “The Swaying Hall”.
Tonight was the first of two formal nights. I wore my prom dress and my blinky-blink kick ass shoes! However, I found it very difficult to walk–I can hardly walk in heels, and it is much harder to do while the ship is rocking back and forth.
Mom and Dad went to a show thingy later tonight, and I stayed in the room and watched cartoons. Life is good.
Though I feel like I should still be doing government or something.
We took a taxi today from our hotel to the dock where about five cruise ships were docked. The process of actually getting on the ship seemed a lot more complicated than I remember it was (getting on to the Norwegian Wind, I mean).
Our ship is called the Sun Princess, and it is huge! Holy crap! If you walk around the outside of the 7th deck three times, it equals 1 mile. We are on the 6th deck, so at least we’re low enough so that we don’t have to stare at the lifeboats outside our window.
We had to back out of the harbor and turn around while several other cruise ships were passing us. It was strange.
I can’t feel the movement of the ship much, but maybe that will change tomorrow, when we’re at sea all day.
So today we got on the plane and flew to Seattle. I love flights; they’re very fun.
In Seattle, we walked around downtown. I found a store that sold only maps and I stayed in there for about an hour. Map geek.
Then we went back to the hotel. It was pretty uneventful for the rest of the day, but I can’t wait until tomorrow. From what I remember, the Princess line of cruiseships are much bigger than the Norwegian ones (the type of ship we took last time when I was in 7th grade).
And we’re off!
Tomorrow we leave for Alaska. If you’re reading this, we may already be gone, considering I didn’t post this until pretty late. Anyways, I won’t have access to a computer, but I’ll keep a little journal doodad and blog it all in when I come back.
Because I have no life.