I am doing something a little different today and linking up with Momfessionals for “Show and Tell Tuesday” on a Wednesday. This week is about your favorite vacation, and since I have been meaning to blog about mine for a year now… I figured let’s get to it! I did write this post on Tuesday, but I had technical difficulties getting my pictures to upload!
While our trip to Austria and Hungary last Summer was one of our most spectacular vacations ever, I have already blogged about that (in detail), so today I thought I would share my favorite trip prior to Europe…. our Alaskan cruise!
I had always, always wanted to go to Seattle and Alaska, so when Chad told me that he had earned the cruise in 2012 I was ecstatic! The ship left from Seattle, and because of flight availability, we were able to spend a few days there before and after the cruise.
Our first port on the cruise was in Juneau. We did an excursion to see Mendenhall Glacier and go whale watching. Side note… in the 3rd grade I distinctly remember writing that I wanted to be a marine biologist when I grew up. So I have always loved sea life! Mendenhall Glacier was breathtaking, and so awe-inspiring! They also showed us around the town where the glacier used to be, and how much it has melted. I highly recommend seeing it! I should also note that we just happened to be in Juneau on one of their very few sunny days a year. It was perfect whale watching weather. We saw a whole pod of humpback whales doing something they called “bubble net feeding”. Apparently it was quite the rare treat! I would really love to go to the San Juan Islands off of Washington sometime to go watch Orcas too.
In Skagway we rode the train up to White Pass. It was a gorgeous ride with lots of waterfalls and even a bear cub! The town was really cute too.
I was super excited about the ship going by Sawyer’s Glacier in Tracy Arm Fjord, but I remember there was something to do with the weather, so we weren’t able to get as close as they had planned. It looked like a really tight spot anyways! It was still beautiful, though, even from a distance! I was also fascinated with the prehistoric blue ice floating around it.
I haven’t been on as many cruises as Chad, but we both thought the captain of this ship was hilarious! You could also understand all of his announcement’s over the PA, so that was a plus! We had a lot of fun on this ship, especially since it was too chilly to hang outside much.
Our final stop was in Victoria, BC. We did the Butchart Gardens and the Butterfly Gardens. It was our only rainy day of the trip, but the gardens were so incredible! We went in June so everything was blooming and gorgeous! I think we could have spent all day at Butchart, but our time was split with the Butterfly Gardens. That was also cool, but super hot temperature wise! To go from being freezing to sweating was kind of crazy! We were not able to go in the famous Empress Hotel, but it was pretty from the outside! We also had fun just walking around Victoria! The sidewalk art was amazing!
After Victoria, our ship headed back to Seattle. Once Chad and I realized how close the two are to each other, we felt like the ship just drove in circles all night to keep moving! As I said before, I was super ready to explore Seattle!
We were fortunate to stay close to Pike’s Place in Seattle. We were able to walk there several times. I had no idea how huge it was! We did get to see them throwing fish, but my favorite part was all of the fresh flowers including peonies! We also saw the original Starbucks! If you ever go, and the line looks ridiculous, never fear! It moves fast! The other highlights of Seattle were the Space Needle and the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum. We bought the pass for the Space Needle so that we could go during the day and at night, which I recommend. It was so fun to see the town both ways. I also highly recommend, no demand, that you see Chihuly if you make it to Seattle! I would have never known what I was missing if we didn’t stumble on it. Seriously, mind. blown.
While we also did one of the boat tours around Seattle, I would suggest you do the Underground Tour. Our concierge at the hotel recommended it, and it was by far the best way to learn about the city! The history of it also helped me win an intense Trivial Pursuit game later on! Basically, Seattle as we know it today was built on top of the ruins of Seattle’s former existence. Think “skid row” era. Very interesting tour! I will add that Seattle has or at least had back in 2012, a very large and aggressive homeless population. As a former social worker, I am not intent on discussing the politics; however, I have never seen so many fights break out on the streets! They were also very vocal and yelled at everyone walking by. I would not have gone out without Chad right beside me.
Unfortunately, I can’t remember all of the places that we ate at on this trip. I do know that we ate crab cakes in every town, though, just to compare! I also know that Serious Pie in Seattle was delish enough to post on Facebook!
So there you have it! Our adventures in the Northwest, and I can’t wait to go back someday!