Monday, September 29, 2014

Surviving a Cold

P9210024(Jan) There is life after a cruise but it’s complicated! Our plan was to spend one night at the casino in Tulalip, drive to the Elks in Burien to do laundry since they have FHU sites, visit Chuck’s mom & sister’s family and then go to visit Josh & Sarah and family on the week-end before heading to the Washington coast. The first three went just as planned. And then one by one we succumbed to a horrible flu/cold. First Duane, then Chuck, followed by me & Betty. Our visit to see the kids & grandkids was not going to happen as we did not want to pass on this sickness. We did get some laundry done amongst fighting fevers and coughs along with lots of sleeping and napping. Sunday was Betty’s Birthday so we celebrated as best we could with a chicken casserole and carrot cake and a couple of games of Pegs & Jokers.IMG_20140923_135643_874

 

 

IMG_20140923_142329_926Monday we decided to drive over to the coast and boondock at the Quinault Casino near Ocean Shores. If we had to be sick and out of energy, we might at least do it where we could park near the ocean. The world here by the sea was pretty grey & rainy for much of the week. We did drive to Ocean Shores and drive out on the beach a couple of times. We saw this beautiful 6 point Black-tailed Deer posing on a sidewalk near town and watched a man & woman feeding the seagulls on the beach. We had breakfast at the casino and Chuck went up to the Copalis River to try a little fishing.P9260043IMG_20140927_133952_643

By Friday our energy was beginning to return and the beautiful sun came out to once again color our world. Walking on the beach is marvelous. Watching the waves rolling in fascinating. Many people were out for the week-end enjoying the sunshine; flying kites, watching & listening to the birds, walking on the beach and splashing in the surf.

On Saturday afternoon our friends Betty & Duane came to join us. They had been visiting in the Port Townsend area. This called for more walking on the beach, an incredible Sunday morning Omelet breakfast at the casino, fishing for Chuck & Duane and of course, more games of Pegs & Jokers.  We’re all recuperating and doing much better.

One last photo; these horse & riders were on the beach on Sunday. Lovely!

IMG_20140927_162433_300 - Copy

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Alaskan Cruise Nature Adventures

IMG_20140911_132901_749s (5)s(Jan) Cruising to Alaska is special because of the magnificent natural beauty of this land. The cities, such as Juneau, above, are perched along the water at mountain’s edge. High lights of the trip were cruising Glacier Bay National Park, Hubbard Glacier and Tracy Arm Fjord.

P1230347s

 

When we entered Glacier Bay National Park a NP Ranger came on board our cruise ship to talk about the area and narrate as we cruised up the Bay. This area is rich in marine and land mammal life but because of the rainy, overcast weather we missed seeing any. We were treated to a magnificent view of Margery Glacier which flows into the Tar inlet from it’s start in British Columbia, Canada.

P9060146s (1)s

P9090191The following day we were able to view Hubbard Glacier. Both Hubbard & Margery are tidewater glaciers meaning that their terminus is at water’s edge. Hubbard Glacier flows 76 miles from Mt Walsh & a shorter tributary from Mt Logan, Yukon Territories, Canada to Alaska’s Disenchantment Bay. At it’s face the ice of the glacier is 7 miles wide and 100’s of feet tall and is the size of Rhode Island. At it’s terminus it is joined by the Valerie Glacier, also flowing from the Yukon. We were able to visit this area on our way north to Whittier and again on our way south.  It was quite rainy and overcast northbound so our cruise ship was unable to get very close. We were blessed with better weather on our way south. Our ship’s Captain got up quite close, turned the ship 360 degrees and we stayed at the site for over an hour. We were able to watch the calving of several icebergs and hear the mighty thunder of them hitting the water. It truly was an astonishing sight.P9090186

 

 

Cruising the Tracy Arm Fjord (below) was something we did not expect. Our 848 ft. long, 108 ft. wide ship cruised 27 miles up the narrow fjord with the walls close beside us on either side. We cruised to with in sight of the Sawyer Glacier. At that point, in a wide place in the Fjord near Sawyer Island the Captain turned the ship around we headed back out to sea. Amazing!

P9110230 P9110234Deck 12 – looking down the side and Jan on the back deck. P9110227     Cruising past ‘the wall’ in the Tracy Arm.

P9040065s (2)sP9040065s (4)sWe spent many hours both on the ships decks and lounges enjoying the ocean, shorelines, mountains and waterfalls. It was one of the most beautiful places we have ever been. We saw a bear, sea lions, whales and porpoise.P9060146s (2)s

P9150401sAt 7 A.M. on Monday morning September 15 we docked back in Vancouver, BC, Canada. We were quite sad to leave the cruise ship but ready to take the Sky Train back to the Raddison Hotel in Richmond P9150303where our Jeep was parked.  Our BC Boomer friends Bruce & Dee met us at the hotel for our first visit in a couple of years. We drove over to the seaside community of Steveston for lunch and strolling along the Fraser river. It was so wonderful that we could see them for this brief time. From there we headed back across the border to pick up our Motor Homes in Ferndale, Washington.

This cruise was everything we wanted and more! We will never forget all of the fun and laughter shared with good friends Betty and Duane, the beauty of Alaska and the joy of cruising on NCL.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Alaskan Cruise on NCL

IMG_20140910_141119_139sP1230255s(Jan) Our cruise to Alaska on Norwegian Cruise Line was everything we wanted and more! Going north from Vancouver, Canada our Ports of call were Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and cruising Glacier Bay NP & Hubbard Glacier before docking in Whittier. Going south we cruised to the Hubbard Glacier, ported at Icy Strait Point and Juneau, P9090207s (2)scruised up the Tracy Arm Fjord to the Sawyer Glacier and then ported at Skagway and Ketchikan before docking back in Vancouver.

Casual cruising on NCL was a definite hit for our friends Betty & Duane and us. There were several ‘formal or not’ evening meals which P9140392we did dress up for but for the most part it was jeans & khakis and knit tops. We had two main dining rooms to choose from for eating as well as a main buffet area and several bars and delis.

Our inside cabin on Deck 4 worked well since we were rarely there except to sleep.P9120257 Our cabin steward extraordinaire, Kadek, was friendly and took care of us well. Our usual meeting places were on Deck 11 in the Sports Bar for breakfast and lunch, Deck 5’s Main Dining Rooms for dinner, the Observation Lounge on Deck 12 for sight seeing or the Atrium on Decks 6 & 7 for Pegs & Jokers playing. One Sunday at noon we went to a Murder Mystery Dinner in one of the Specialty restaurants, Charlie’s Steakhouse. We all had a character to play and then had to figure out who the Murderer was. It was our friend Betty’s character! Along with going to the daily evening’s entertainment in the theatre, we really enjoyed the Crew’s Sing-a-long & Balloon drop in the Atrium and the Crew’s Welcome Back Party after our Skagway port call.

P9130348s (1)sBetty & Jan at the Welcome Party. P9130332s (1)sThe Atrium P9120292The Observation Lounge
P9040065s (3)sP9130348s (4)sOn the way north our stop in Juneau, Alaska’s Capitol, gave us an opportunity to take a City Tour and visit the Mendenhall Glacier (left) with M&M Tours. The picture from Douglas Island (right) shows Juneau in the back ground. We stopped again in Juneau on the way south. It was a shorter port call but the weather was much nicer and gave us the opportunity to stroll some of the streets in Juneau, tasting salmon samples & t-shirt shopping.

Ketchikan & Skagway were shopping and walking stops for us both days.  We did visit a good Museum in Skagway about the Gold Rush and WWII days in Alaska and stopped for a beer at the Red Onion, a notorious turn of the century brothel that is now a tavern.P1230417s

Our northern port of Whittier marked the half way point for our cruise.  Friends Jack & Robin, whom we met last summer while in Alaska, met us at the cruise ship and we were off along the beautiful Turnagain Arm to Anchorage.  We had lunch at the Great Harvest Bread Company, saw some amazing Native Alaskan Art and Artifacts and did a driving tour of Anchorage. Back near Whittier we drove through the 2.25 mile long Anderson Memorial Tunnel. The one way tunnel is used by both car and train traffic. IMG_20140911_132901_749s (6)sWhat a fun day for all of us.

We also made a stop on the way south at a new Cruise ship port at Icy Point Strait near Hoonah. It was much more of a natural rather than commercial setting IMG_20140910_140121_239and is owed by the Alaskan Natives. The Hoonah Packing Plant has been turned into a Museum & shops. This stop also featured the world’s longest Zip-Line.  We chose not to do it but sure enjoyed watching. Here we are (left) enjoying a great walking trial along the strait before tendering back to our ship.

Next up; the beautiful natural beauty we experienced along the way.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Family Time!

P8210023(Jan) We were welcomed to Josh & Sarah’s house last week Thursday with hugs.P8210025 It’s was so good to see them and of course, the children have all grown inches. Luckily, they have room for us to park our MH next to their garage so there was lot of coming and going between our two front doors. We were in time to join a Neighborhood Potluck on Thursday and got to meet new neighbors and again see some of those we had met before. Friday morning started the tradition of the kids coming over for breakfast followed by coffee and conversation with their parents. One morning Chuck got Ali, Isaac & JJ involved in making sourdough bread. In the afternoons there was time for Bocci Ball & lawn games, a walk to the park for Sarah, Isaac, JJ & I and a trip to the shooting range (below) for Chuck, Josh & Ali. Sat. evening Sarah hosted a BookIMG_20140823_143924_603 Club with some her girlfriends (at right) which I P8230018got to join.

On Friday and Monday afternoons, Chuck & I made day trips down to Jackie & Butch’s to visit with them and Joanne. We picked blackberries together & had a good time chatting. Joanne is doing well. We had a lovely picnic on the patio among the plum & apple trees. Jackie’s fresh Peach/Rhubarb pie was delicious! So good to see everyone. Here’s Chuck with his mom & sister.

P8220028

On Tuesday it was time for the Moore Family Camp-out at Fort Flagler State Park on the Olympic Peninsula for a couple of days. The kids got to ride in the MH on our drive down around the Puget Sound and then stayed overnight with Gramma & Grandpa. Josh & Sarah chose a tent site not too far away.P8280020During the day we enjoyed kite flying, bike riding, seeing the old artillery bunkers & guns at the fort and playing at the beach. There was time for walks, grilled burgers & hotdogs, picnics & yummy walking tacos. We had great times and again gained a deep appreciation for the busy-ness of being with kids and what a great job parents do parenting. 

P8260032 P8270053 P8260020

All to soon it was time for the kids to head back home. What a delightful time was had by all!

Chuck & I drove a short distance to the SKP Park at Chimicum to stay one night.  We chose a FHU site so we could do laundry. On Friday we drove back around the Puget Sound and up to the Tulalip Resort Casino where we met up with Betty & Duane, There was time for packing and planning for our cruise…. with a Happy Hour, a game or two of Pegs & Jokers and Burgers & Fries at the Casino.

Today we four are in Richmond, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada at the Raddison Airport Hotel. The ocean and airplanes taking off & landing at the near-by airport can be seen from our 12th floor windows. At night the lights of the city around us are lovely. Last night after drinks and appetizers at the Bar downstairs, we walked across the street to check out the Sky Train. Today the train will take us down to the pier for our 14 day Alaskan Cruise on the Norwegean Sun.

 
room reservation in London