We just got home from the most fun adventure! Thanks to my Stampin' Up team, shopper friends and followers, Mike and I earned a free Alaskan Inside Passage cruise for two. And thanks to my parents, who joined us, our kids got to come, too! I won't bore you with ALL the pics, but here's a good sampling of what we saw and did... and ate and ate...
it's probably not that common to go to Alaska and get a sunburn, but I managed it. The weather was HOT--we were so glad we'd packed shorts and short sleeves! We barely wore our light sweatshirts or jackets in the mornings and evenings. We only had one day of fog and no rain at all.
My parents wore the shirts I bought them for Father's day... they're so goofy. It was so awesome to see them. We'll miss going to Wyoming to visit this year, but an Alaskan cruise together ALMOST makes up for it. Both of them have leg injuries currently, so since they've been on this particular cruise before, they just relaxed in the ship while we went out and we met up for meals, shows, and games in the library.
Mike and I had also been on this cruise before with Stampin' Up in 2011, so we had fun remembering all the things we wanted the kids to experience. Some of that worked out and some did not... but one thing that did stay the same (albeit not covered in snow this time!) was the incredible scenery! Everything was so PURE and PRISTINE... just gorgeous. And the air smelled so good and fresh. It was a wonderful restorative.
No one got seasick!! Hooray! That was one of my main fears. Everyone was fine, even when Mike and I went on a catamaran to see whales (something we neglected to do our first trip). We were rewarded with several separate sightings of humpback and a very active pod of orca, including two babies. It was one of the coolest things I'd ever seen! What a magical evening.
My absolute fave moment of the trip, though, was getting to hold the sled dog puppies!!! They were so warm and cute and cuddly! I had a hard time not putting one in my backpack. I would have been quite ok with the rest of the fam going gold mining and train riding without me.
The train ride into Canada, however, was a delight. The weather was so different than our previous trip. It was such a treat to see Alaska in full bloom, so teeming with wildlife. We saw a bear (on the shore, whew!), harbor and stellar seals, sea otters, eagles, orca, humpback whales, lizards and even a deer. Oh an salmon slapping all over the place. Alas no moose, Michael's favorite... maybe next time!
Another favorite moment was getting up early to slip through the fjords to get up close to the glaciers. It was so silent except for the slight wave washing over the icebergs. It was hard to walk away from the view. So nice to have our own balcony to sit on and watch waterfalls slide by.
The kids enjoyed seeing a little bit of Canada from the train and then later on in Victoria where we rented a vehicle and struck out on our own. I was so proud of them. This trip was massively out of their comfort zone and they did so well. Natalie got quite adventurous with the menu, but Dan ate the same thing, steak and a baked potato and chocolate cake, every night except the one where I made him get a chicken breast. And that was ok. We all had a really good trip.
Well, I could go on and on... I just wanted to give you a short taste of what you enabled my family to do with your support of this blog. And I haven't even talked about the Stampin' Up portions of the trip yet! I promise to share photos. And all the sneak peeks from the Holiday mini catalog, too! Woo hoo!!!
Thank you again, so much, for making this trip possible for my little family. We loved it, start to finish.