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Special Gift ideas from Alaska

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Going on my first cruise to Alaska later this year, and my mom is almost 89 (will be by the time I cruise.) Legally blind, losing her hearing and now has dementia.  My cousin is so sweet to be coming to stay with her while I take my cruise.  I want to bring something special back for my cousin.  She is in her early 60's, I don't know if she likes seafood so I wouldn't want to send her fresh salmon or something and I know she doesn't wear jewelry.  Anyone have an ideas?  Just trying to get an idea of how much money I need to plan on.  Thanks for any ideas you have!

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Most likely you'll be stopping at Ketchikan. There is a store on Creek Street called Fish Creek Co.  There I bought one of my favorite souvenirs on my first trip to Alaska.  It's a jigsaw puzzle in the shape of a bear and the pieces are made from thin wood plywood. The pieces aren't shaped like regular jigsaw puzzle pieces but things like a hunter, bear, hawk, etc.  It's very cool and pretty difficult because the edges aren't straight like a regular puzzle either.  I think it took me about 3 months to complete working on it off and on.  The flip side of the puzzle is where you can see the different shapes clearly - they sell frames with for the puzzle that are glass on both sides so you can hang it either direction.  They have other puzzles to pick from that are Alaska themed.  I think I paid around $125, which made me pause when I was looking at it, but I don't regret buying the thing.  Very, very cool!

grizzly-bear-puzzle-500_03.jpg

grizzly-bear-puzzle-500_02.jpg

grizzly-bear-puzzle-500_01.jpg

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One of my favorite souvenirs was in Ketchikan also (Creek St).  Small wooden carvings of whale tail and bear.  Going to get moose this year. 

 

A lot of people buy those ulu knives.

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How about an Ulu (a native Alaskan knife)? Make sure you buy one made in Alaska. I bought one last year and it is one of the handiest knives I own.

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If you want something authentic, be sure to look for the official "Made in Alaska" sticker.

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Just pay attention for the “Made in Alaska” polar bear label rather than “Made in China”. Lots of the trinket stores don’t sell authentic stuff. In Juneau you can visit a little shop near the food trucks called The Port. It sells only locally made stuff, including locally harvested kelp made into salsa. 

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On ‎1‎/‎8‎/‎2019 at 4:01 PM, cruiseguy1016 said:

How about an Ulu (a native Alaskan knife)? Make sure you buy one made in Alaska. I bought one last year and it is one of the handiest knives I own.

If you do buy an Ulu, put it in your checked luggage.  You can not bring it back in your carryon if flying.  I saw a couple lose two knives at the Vancouver airport four years ago.  In a fight it would be one mean weapon.  It is a nice gift and they do vary in price. 

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Never saw the Ulu design I wanted. Three or four fingers through the LARGE opening. By "opening" your hand, the knife flips to the outside or top of the hand. It frees the hand to continue working with the blade out of the way. All I could find were mass produced Chinese souvenirs

image.png.aaa13b4b3014be35b71ca94ca22ab623.pngimage.png.b0988818a5544851ead3e6397af005b4.png

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On 1/8/2019 at 2:40 PM, SuperCrewBear said:

Most likely you'll be stopping at Ketchikan. There is a store on Creek Street called Fish Creek Co.  There I bought one of my favorite souvenirs on my first trip to Alaska.  It's a jigsaw puzzle in the shape of a bear and the pieces are made from thin wood plywood. The pieces aren't shaped like regular jigsaw puzzle pieces but things like a hunter, bear, hawk, etc.  It's very cool and pretty difficult because the edges aren't straight like a regular puzzle either.  I think it took me about 3 months to complete working on it off and on.  The flip side of the puzzle is where you can see the different shapes clearly - they sell frames with for the puzzle that are glass on both sides so you can hang it either direction.  They have other puzzles to pick from that are Alaska themed.  I think I paid around $125, which made me pause when I was looking at it, but I don't regret buying the thing.  Very, very cool!

grizzly-bear-puzzle-500_03.jpg

grizzly-bear-puzzle-500_02.jpg

grizzly-bear-puzzle-500_01.jpg

 

Thank-you so much for this suggestion, this is such a unique item.  I cannot wait to visit and choose one.

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19 hours ago, jlp20 said:

Never saw the Ulu design I wanted. Three or four fingers through the LARGE opening. By "opening" your hand, the knife flips to the outside or top of the hand. It frees the hand to continue working with the blade out of the way. All I could find were mass produced Chinese souvenirs

 

Not sure what design you are looking for but this place has plenty of nice ones: http://www.theulufactory.com 

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5 hours ago, Coral said:

Not sure what design you are looking for... 

See the above photos.

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59 minutes ago, jlp20 said:

See the above photos.

Sorry - I thought the 2 were so different that these were ones you didn't want to buy. 

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23 minutes ago, Coral said:

Sorry - I thought the 2 were so different that these were ones you didn't want to buy. 

Top photo shows original ulu with opening for hand. Manufacture of both blade and handle very labor intensive. Bottom photo is that of a mass produced stamped stainless steel blade model. Other than the edge they can be slapped together in seconds. 

 

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