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parentsof5

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About parentsof5

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Kansas
  • Interests
    reading, scrapbooking, photography

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  1. I haven't seen those reviews, I would be curious what they found even better. Then maybe I can judge. What I can share, I didn't have any complaints about being starboard. We had great views. When we were in Glacier Bay, we did approach Margerie from the Port. This worked in our favor. I wanted to see from up top as we arrived, and even thought it was drizzly and colder, we continued with that plan. We watched for a quite a bit, went down to the Promenade to get a little lower, and protected. Then when the ship flipped, we went to our cabin. It was so nice to still be able to enjoy her, but be on our sheltered balcony for the last hourish we were there. It seemed like we always had a view of something. And that was always beautiful.
  2. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2641378#
  3. Just back from AK and it was worth it for us. I think I counted the other day 40 some portraits, of we which I really like 10 (that would be 250 right there), plus embarkation, port, dinner pics. The port days are a print where you can cut it a part and it is actually 3 pics of different sizes. The other 8×10's arent horid, just not my fav, so can give the kids one, my mom, my husbands dad. One thing that did hapoen two port days we did not see a photog at the exit. There were two exits, and one photog.... and second formal night didnt see a photog in our dining room.
  4. I forgot my chapstick. And my husband his dress socks. Neither of which we could get on the ship. There isn't anything I regretted bringing.
  5. That is so the area we would have done if we hadn't done Palmer! I would have done the same rental car situation. One way is so ridiculous. Fishing was one thing I would like to do, too, if we can come back again some day. What a great trip you will have. Maybe double check with the guides you chose for the glacier? I know ours had different options for different levels of comfort.
  6. What have you decided to do? It is hard to think about not coming here constantly in case there is something knew to be found!
  7. Well folks, half of my laptop keyboard just quit working. While I am sad to stop storytelling, it is good we are almost done. One more comment about the Ulu factory. They have a seconds area, with small imperfections. I went that route. I spent 22 on a knife and cutting board. There was a small knot in the board, and the knife had an incomplete decorative impression on one side of the handle, the otherside, is perfect. We then headed to check in at the hotel. We hung out there for a bit all of a sudden the husband was ready to relax. Before we knew it, it was dinner time. The climbing guides had told him about Moose' Tooth Pizza (which I had read about here), so that's where we headed. They were packed. They have an awesome outside waiting area with a fantastic very large fire feature that kept it warm if you were close. We waited maybe 15 minutes. We had one with everything. Honestly, it was ok. I have had better, but it was fun to watch the booze counter. They have a walkup counter so you can buy a beer while you wait to be seated. We interesting were all the people that can up with their maybe half gallon, refillable jugs. It was a fun place. We found the Tony Knowles trail after dinner and went for a walk. Then took the car back and turned it in. We called the hotel for the shuttle to pick us up. Back to the hotel, where of course I couldnt go to sleep!! I did get about 4 hours. The hotel clerk scarred me into thinking we should leave for the hotel at 3, two hours before our flight. Nope. Could have slept atleast another half hour. We had prepaid our luggage, so only had to print the tags. And she said she put us on the shuttle list for 3. Not sure what happened, but the clerk had to call him. I think he was asleep in the van, so there was no delay, but he did say we weren't down. Our flight home was uneventful. Even with the long layover. We enjoyed some live music at the Seattle Airport, window shopped, and dog watched. There were a lot of people traveling with their dogs.
  8. We got to our first stop, Independence Mine State Historical Park. Now, some of you readying may be laughing right now, because you know what this area is like in May. Here it is. And here is the road to get to it. Needless to say, these Kansan's were not prepared with cross-country ski's, so we admired from afar. This also meant we were not going through Hatcher Pass, but would be heading back the way we came. That is ok, though, would not have done this differently - it was beautiful! And we got to see this guy! I haven't done my research to confirm, but believe he is a marmot. We headed to Anchorage through Wasilla and arrived about lunch time. While this was not how we had planned our day, it allowed time us to arrive with plenty of time to take in the Outdoor Market. It was early in the season, and I think it may have been a little smaller than later in the year based on the signs. There were still about 30, maybe more, booths. There was dried salmon jerky, clothes, honey and jams, among other things. The best of all, however, was a picture booth! Ever 5 years since our honeymoon 25 years ago, including our honeymoon, we have taken an old time photo. You know, where you dress in cowboy clothes, or civil war clothes. I had tried to find one. Someone on a thread found a webpage for one in Skagway, however, it appeared they were not open this year, or at least for the season, yet. Then I found one in Wasilla! Sadly, they only setup for the State Fair, in Palmer in August. (She was very nice, and prompt to respond, though!). I had actually stepped into the rest room, and found the husband waiting for me instead of me catching up. He was very excited to show me what he had found - he knew I would want a picture. The them was heavy winter AK Clothes with huskies - think an Eskimo picture. I asked if he could shoot in black and white, to help with it look "old", and he was able to. So now I have my picture at year 25! We had lunch here as well. The husband found some Asian that was pretty good, I had a Salmon burger that was good. We also found a unique Christmas Ornament (that is one of my souvenir's I look for. It is made from clay from the silt left from a Glacier. I love it. I think I forgot to mention when we arrived in Anchorage originally, we hit the Ulu factory up. I wasn't sure what this day would bring, and wanted to make sure I went there. It is not large at all. There is a gift shop, and on either side are windowed areas where they make the knives.
  9. Here we are everyone, our last full day in Alaska. It was time to head back to Anchorage. We had ended up with flights that left at 5:00 am on Sunday. I had reserved a room at Springhill Marriott. (Actually, my daughter did, at her rate which saved us a little, although not as much as in Vancouver). I did this, rather than flying out at midnight, etc. so we could get a few hours sleep. We would be flying from Seattle straight home on Alaska Airlines, and that flight didn't leave until 11:30. Unfortunately, AA changed the flight about a week and half after I booked, and it wouldn't leave until almost 2! Had I known, I would have paid a little more and had a bit later flight from Anchorage. I am getting ahead of myself again, let's get back to a little more good stuff! We started the drive back to Anchorage, with some detours. We drove towards Palmer. Along the way is a Musk Ox Farm. The husband had pointed it out, and was interested, but I think he thought I wasn't interested and didn't stop. It wasn't that I wasn't, I just wasn't necessarily excited about it. I would have been perfectly ok if we had stopped. Our goal was to go to Hatcher Pass. We saw some beautiful country on the way!! We ran into this little guy, not literally. And we started seeing less green, and more snow.
  10. The husband arrived back a little after 4, right on time. After talking for awhile, sitting in the Adirondack Chairs on the "porch" of our tent, it was time or dinner. After all that climbing, the husband was hungry! There isn't a lot around, so we chose to head back to Sheep's Mountain Lodge again. There is a place to eat right before the ATV tour. And we also noticed the Food Truck at the ATV was open another day, so may have been this night too, however, we didn't go that way. I think I had a salmon quesadilla that was quite tasty. Of course there was plenty of light in the day, so we went on the hunt for animal life. We never did see another bear. However, we did see some other wildlife. Coming from Mica Guides, on the curve that puts you in front of Sheep's Mountain (not the lodge) - there is a little pull out that I think is a dirt road that goes down to something, it is right at a guard rail. This is a good spot to stop when trying to get picks up the mountain. It is so amazing how far down you are, how far up things are! And how hard it is to get a good picture (with my lens capability that is). We also saw several Moose! I neglected to mention all of the moose poop at Alpenglow. Like all over. They warn you to be aware, as they like to use their trails. Well, evidently not for us, as we sadly never saw one walk by. We sure did enjoy looking for and finding them everywhere else, though! When we were done driving, we enjoyed relaxing back at the tent. We played cards for a long time, enjoying our surroundings. They have other games down at the kitchen, as well as corn hole. The first night we were the only couple, two others (there are currently 3 tents) came the second night. We saw one from a distance, and the other a bit more including visiting at breakfast the second morning before heading out. BIG sad face.
  11. I have posted a trip report on our cruise that started off in Vancouver with a couple days before setting sail. The first few days are about our time in Vancouver. Hope you enjoy. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2641378
  12. I have my Trip Report posted in AK. Vancouver before, cruise to Icy Straight Point, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, College Fjord with Heli Tour, Dog Sledding, ATV, and Ice Climbing. Pictures included. Hope you enjoy. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2641378
  13. It was about 6 by the time we got checked in and took a tour of the area, our restroom (aka outhouse - don't be too concerned, there is a flush toilet a short walk away, maybe 50 feet), dining, etc. We were ready for some dinner. Tommy had recommended a restaurant at an RV Park down the road (I can't recall the name, and can't seem to find it online) or Sheeps Mountain Lodge has a restaurant. We chose the latter. They have a nice selection of appetizers, that we didn't have, sandwiches, burgers, and dinners like haddock and salmon. We chose a good ol burger and it was good. The also had dessert, and didn't pass it up. No foo foo, just good. The way we really like it when we indulge. We shared. Afterward, we decided to head the other direction on Glen Highway to check things out. I am glad we did, we saw beautiful sights, including some totally different topography. We were several miles in when we could see up ahead looked funny. It took us several moments to figure out we could actually see a wall of rain dividing the highway, horizontal to the it, from a rain storm. I have not seen something like it before. When we hit it, they were huge drops, and was a beautiful rain. We then headed back to our tent for the night, where we settled in. I have no idea what time it was by then, but we had checked out the area for quite awhile. I was cold, and tired, and full after a long day and climbed into bed. The next morning, after breakfast, it was time for Roger to head over to the MICA Guides side. He would be going Ice Climbing this day. This is a 6 hour adventure. There were two climbers this day, and 4 guides. It may have not been that high of a ratio normally, however, when I had booked - early, because they say you should do that, no one else had booked yet and you could only book 2. So I booked myself and was willing to pay that so the husband could go. I had checked a few weeks out, and no one else was booked. I was glad to find someone had not long before the climb, and received a refund before the husband left. So, even though someone there was aware I wasn't climbing, they had planned on me. After some safety talk, and getting some gear packed up that is provided, they have you take everything out to make sure everything is packed and nothing was dropped. If you don't have tall hiking boots, they have some you can borrow. (Husband was good, however, the other climber had short hikers.) They provide the climbing boots, crampons (spikes that slip over your boots), and climbing gloves (a cotton insert, and rubber gloves - think washing dishes - seriously, they say they do the best at keep your hands dry - makes sense). Layers are definitely good. One of the guides used our Go Pro and took pics of husband and the climbing companion. I have to laugh, because the other climber was a women. He took some awesome photos of her. The one of the husband are "ok". While he climbed, I hung around the tent and just enjoyed. I went out to lunch. I was going to go to the RV Park Restaurant, only to discover it wasn't open for the season until Monday. That was ok, I just headed a little further down the road to Sheep's Mountain Lodge. I was glad I did, I heard the owner telling a local about the bear that had been hanging around the last couple of days. It was young, and a bit brazen. One of their workers had been out a trail, and here comes charging a moose and her baby. He got out of the way quick, to see a bear chasing them! This was right near the Lodge! Sadly, he/she didn't show up that day, at least while I was around. I had a nice lunch of Seafood Chowder that was tasty. I also did some exploring via our rental and took pictures of all the beauty that surrounded us everywhere. Relaxing. This is that area past Sheep Mountain with the different topography. I loved all the shades of green. We were about a week out or so from having everything greened up still. I would love to be there with that, and all of the flowers out.
  14. Next up, Glacier View ATV Tours. Let me tell you, Tommy - one of the owners and our guide, was so much fun! He is full of energy, does a great job easing you in for those without ATV experience. Then assesses your capability and ramps it up accordingly. He did a great job about stopping along the way to point out things, like a huge Beaver Dam (the Beaver is still one of the few elusive animals we have not seen in the wild), and the best photo op locations, taking pictures of us as well, so we could both be in the shot. I had so much fun! I felt like I was a teenager again, riding 3 Wheeler's (they don't make those any longer, these are modern 4 Wheeler's) down by the river! There were 2, 20 something women along with us. They were fun, and sweet, the one in front of me consistently checked on me....ha. She had never ridden one before, but I am 50 - which = 100 when you are 20. We rode on all kinds of terrain, crossing the highway, to go up in mountains (so, I am from Kansas remember, I am pretty sure it is really a mountain). We rode through puddles, saw moose, and kicked it up a notch, speeding along an old stretch of highway. Unfortunately, any action shots are video clips on the Go Pro that haven't been uploaded yet. Would choose this again, too. This was a 3 hour ride (my bum was a bit sore the next day). It is now after 5, once we stood around and talked a bit. Taking a right out of the parking lot, we took a short drive down the highway to Mica Guides, and our location for the next two nights. Mica Guides does Glacier Tours on Matanuska Glacier. For tonight though, we were guests of Alpenglow Luxury Camping. Everything is booked through Mica Guides. And this was our view: The accommodations are wall tents, with a memory foam mattress on a frame. They have (or at least the one we had) a queen size and a twin bed. Covering the bed are very warm comforters. And with temps at night in the 30's, that was a good thing. The first night was a bit cold, I got cold in the evening, and it was hard to get warmed up. We should have gotten in the "soaking" hot tub. (I didn't know that was a thing. Soaking that is - no jets.) This is your "teeth brushing" station as I called it. Breakfast was included, and was made from scratch (except the yogurt) and delicious. I felt like I was having my grandma's granola. And that breakfast view - awwwww. I miss that! But I am a little ahead of myself. Next up, let's talk about dinner first, and some how we spent our evening.
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