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Ak4n3

Carnival Legend Alaska Cruising with the Olds (August 27-September 3, 2019)

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I thought I would write a trip report although not as intensive as @trippingpara one.  (Big thanks to @trippingpara who graciously answered my questions about his Alaska trip).  It took me months of intensive research to get the most cost effective (or should I say cheap) cruise to schedule the most touristy things to do in Alaska.  

 

My husband and I decided to bite the bullet and go. Plus, I decided to take the parental units, Popsie (73) and Monami (72) also known as “The Olds”, with us.  They’ve never seen icebergs nor been this far up north from the equator so it will be an adventure for them.  I was a bit hesitant at first to take them with us since my husband and I are a bit more on the active side and don’t know how they can keep up.  I mean, they can still walk, though Popsie is a bit creaky.  My sister said “just go and take them, it’s not every day you can go to Alaska to see glaciers.”  So, leaving behind my 2 kids to her care, I clicked “book” on the Carnival website to place my deposit and the rest is history.

 

I booked our trip for August 27-September 3 because it has 2 SoCal holidays and I won’t have to use more vacation days than necessary.  I was a bit worried about it being almost the end of the cruising season but it was slightly cheaper than going in June – early August.  Normally I’ll book an ocean view in the lower decks but I decided to snag 2 interior cabins with obstructed windows on deck 4 (nice view of the lifeboats).  I decided I’ll just go to open decks at lido and deck 3 to view the wildlife and we won’t miss not having an actual window with a view.  As long as we have natural sunlight in our cabins, we’re happy.  We enjoyed the extra space.

 

With regards to the things we want or needed to do, I heavily relied on the trip reviews in CC (Cruise Critics rock!).  I have a list of the things we absolutely, most definitely, things we need to do or else.

1.        Small boat excursion on Tracy Arm Fjord day

2.       Rent Cars to drive in Skagway and Juneau

3.       See Emerald Lake

4.       Ride on dogsled at Tutshi Dog Kennels

5.       Hike Mendenhall Glacier

6.       See whales

7.       See salmon

8.       The Olds and hubby eat king crab (yuck on the crustaceans)

9.       Cross fingers and hope to see the northern lights (oh please, please)

10.   Do NOT meet moose or bears (me is terrified)

 

I’ll try to post pictures next time once I fiout how to upload pics from hubby’s brand spanking new DSLR that we have for two years but never actually used it. 

 

Popsie, me, and Monami at  the Legend Atrium

 

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Hubby and I

 

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Edited by Ak4n3

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Great start Ak4n3, can't wait to read the rest!!  Glad I was able to help you out some.  "Popsie is a bit creaky"...I love it!  I can see Lady Trip starting to say that about me pretty soon!

 

Cheers,

Trip

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9 minutes ago, trippingpara said:

Great start Ak4n3, can't wait to read the rest!!  Glad I was able to help you out some.  "Popsie is a bit creaky"...I love it!  I can see Lady Trip starting to say that about me pretty soon!

 

 

We say it with love.  😉 

 

I just realized my trip and yours are one year apart, considering.  We're not that good in taking beautiful pictures, but I hope to make you proud.

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Packing and Equipment

 

We are not cold weather people.  I like the tropics better.  I love snorkeling and beaches and would gladly live on an island with coconuts and a hammock.  That said, why did I pick Alaska since our travel history is the Lower 48 and the Pacific?  We wanted to see glaciers while they are still majestic (another rant for another time) and enjoy the time with the Olds while they are still able to travel. We want an adventure that we only read from books and watched on the travel channels and vlogs.  The memories we gained will be etched forever in our brains and in social media.

 

It took us a grand total of 10 hours the day before our flight to pack.  It was so stressful. I never like to cruise with more than 2 luggage for our family of 4.   Tropical cruising is doable with a backpack by yourself.  But not with kidlets.  And especially not with the Olds who wear sweaters in 80 degree Cali weather.  Still, I was optimistic.  

 

I was counting on the weather to be warm and sunny.  However, the weather in Alaska the week before was cloudy and a bit rainy.  Weather gods, don’t fail me now! I told hubby and the Olds to make sure to include the following in their packing (in addition to the regular cruising stuff like enough clothes for a week, elegant night stuff, toiletries, and medications):

 

1 pair of sneakers (hopefully they are waterproof enough)

1 pair of longer thicker socks to layer over regular socks for the Tracy Arm day

1 thermal leggings or exercise leggings/tights

Light sweater

Waterproof jacket (layered jackets like NorthFace ones, best decision ever)

Warm Gloves

Beanies

 

 Popsie complained "You and your mom pack and shop like old men.  Why don't you bring that cocktail dress I know you have?  Make your mom bring this dress I got for her. And the shoes--."  Monami looked horrified and whispered to me that she refuses to wear the long dress gown.  He wanted to bring a complete suit and tie for elegant night.  I told him no. 😛 A collared shirt, jacket, and pants will do nicely.  Besides, I knew that we will be too tired to change into something fancy after an excursion.

 

Now, Hubby bought a Canon EOS Rebel SL1 18.0 MP CMOS Digital SLR Full HD 1080 Video Body with EF-S 18-55mm  with some bells and whistles as a gift to himself back in 2014 and never actually used it because he felt it’s all clunky.  I mentioned it was two years ago, but a trip to the Amazon website showed we bought it in 2014.  😛  It' s as old as our daughter.  and we never used it. A month before our trip, he went on a crash course self-training from Professor Y. Tube regarding all you need to know about photography.  That camera better be worth it on this trip. It ate a lot of luggage space! As of right now, I still haven’t seen what he took during our trip.  I was perfectly happy with my smartphone.  Anyhoo, I was sure there are a lot of cruising photographers on this cruise so he can always bug them for tips.

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Binoculars are a must.  We have a rinky dink binocular that fits in the palm of my hand.  We never thought about buying a new one until we were on the ship.  We did end up buying on the ship from Pixels.  I thought it was alright.  I’ll post the picture box once I find it…it’s somewhere….

 

All in all, we have 4 large luggage and each of us has one carry on. If needed, we included laundry pods in our luggage.  Everything else can be worn twice or washed or layered if you're that cold. I wanted us all to pack as minimally as possible.  I think I can  do the Alaska Cruise  with a backpack..if the weather gods like me...and if Popsie didn't insist on me bringing a dress with the stupid shoes...or if my hubby didn't bring the camera....

Edited by Ak4n3

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I gave up figuring out hubby's camera.  I'll just post pics of what I have from my smartphone.  Onwards!

 

Pre-Cruise Day August 26

 

Since I was paranoid of spending oodles of cash for this vacation only to be left behind, we decided to fly in the day before. 

 

We gave my sister a list of instructions about the kids:

            1.  Keep the kids alive until we get back. 

            2.  Refer to Number 1 

 

We bought the premium internet package so we can always be in contact once at sea.  We’re not so bad parents after all.

 

We booked Southwest from Burbank to Seattle on Monday, August 26th.  After saying goodbye to the kidlets before they were off to school grumbling that we like cruising more than we like them, we took an Uber to Burbank for our 11am flight. Checking in is a breeze as they have curbside luggage check. We deposited our 4 luggage and the porters handed us our boarding passes for Burbank and our connecting flight in Sacramento.  Easy-peasy.

 

On a clear day, it was a good day to fly

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When we arrived at Sea-Tac closer to 5pm, I told my parents that we will walk to the hotel.  Our hotel is the Clarion off 176th St. just across the Airport.  It doesn’t look so far as there is a pedestrian overpass and an elevator going down…WRONG!  The elevator at 176th St has been under construction since July-ish and is not operational until October!  My bad, my research didn’t take me that detailed. 

 

So, I carry Monami’s luggage along with my own and down the stairs I trudged….argh!!! Hubby carried the bigger luggage and his carryon with all the camera equipment and laptop.  Popsie has his own luggage to deal with. The walk from the corner to the hotel is not that bad.  Bonus points for the hotel for giving us a street level room.

 

I plunked down the bed while my parents freshened up to meet a high school friend of theirs at the lobby.  Hubby set up the laptop so I can go on my online class that started the same day as my Alaska vacation! After dealing with my online class, I discovered that I didn’t need to crack open my book during vacation after I take the first quiz.  Yay! And in goes the books in the luggage.  I never saw the books again until after we returned.

 

After my online class, hubby and I decided to get dinner from 7-Eleven a block away and get sodas and some supplies for the cruise.  It’s a bit uphill and after our adventure down the stairs with the luggage, our legs were wobbly.  I was just happy it’s not too far away.  Selections are not too bad, they have wine and stuff for those who want to bring wine on the ship.  Now we know where to get some decent coffee and easy breakfast for the next day.

 

The hotel was as basic as it gets, no complaints here.  Since it was only one night, my parents shared the hotel room with us.   The beds were comfy and it suited us.  However, I will probably not do the whole extended family sharing of one room in future vacays.  Despite me being so tired, I ended up being the last person awake, which means I was serenaded by a cacophony of snoring from the parental units on my left and my hubby on my right.  I don’t know if I managed to get any sleep at all.  According to my Fitbit, I was restless most of the night with a lot of red marks showing when I was awake until I finally gave up at 630am.  As much as I love the Olds who birthed me to this world, never again.  At least I can always smother hubby with a pillow, right?

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Cant wait to hear more about your adventure!  I hope the "OLDS" had a great time with you!  

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4 hours ago, ktbraun said:

Cant wait to hear more about your adventure!  I hope the "OLDS" had a great time with you!  

Thank you so much for following.  Yes, they had a great time.  All tired but very happy.  I hope to do more trips with them in the future .

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Embarkation day August 27

 

Yay! I woke up everybody so they can start preparing.  No way am I going to let them sleep in after all.  It’s cruise day!  I booked a one way shuttle from the hotel to Pier 91 with Seattle Express with a pick up at 9am.  I believe it was $15 per person. 

 

There was a bit of traffic on the freeway, but after the driver got off the freeway and took the surface streets, we managed to get through the worst of it.  

 

The Starbucks building

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The shuttle drove beneath the Space Needle.  We will revisit the place at the end of our cruise.

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Our home away from home

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We arrived at Pier 91 a bit earlier than 1030am, the terminal wasn’t opened yet but there were a couple of lines already forming.  We didn't wait too long. The terminal let us enter by 1030am, it wasn’t that bad even though there were a lot of people.   

 

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Our boarding number was A01 so we were one of the first people to board (after the Plats/Diamonds, FFTF, of course). 

Protip:  once you step into the ship (any ship), go aft and take the elevators to the lido deck (or wherever the buffet is served).  This completely gets you away from the first bank of elevators you see where most of the people would fall in line with their carry-ons and wheelchairs.   We found a table and we’re enjoying our first Guy’s burger by 1130am.

 

Follow me, my little ducklings!

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My traditional Fun Ship and Guys burgers in the background

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As soon as it was ok to go to our cabins, we deposited our carryons.  Our luggage didn’t arrive yet, if I remember correctly, they arrived sometime 3pm.  After freshening up, I dragged everybody for the obligatory ship tour.  Since the Legend has the similar layout with Miracle (and the rest of the Spirit Class ships), hubby and I were familiar what to do.  We started from the top to work our way to the lower decks.

 

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I do so love a good shot of the Olds with the whale tail

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After going though all of the public places from the top deck,  Popsie had enough of touring and the obligatory photo-ops because the next he asked me was “What channel is ESPN?” 

 

The cruise doesn’t have ESPN in the cabins, I told him, knowing full well what his next question was.

“Where is the Sports Bar?” 

 

I hear a collective sigh of surrender from Monami and Hubby before we marched to the Sports Bar located in Deck 2.  Popsie is notorious in our family for being the only one who liked to watch ANY and ALL organized sports.   Popsie doesn't drink alcohol anymore (doctor's orders) so he just parked himself where he won't be a bother to the other patrons who were watching some sort of sporting event on several of the tv screens.  

 

Popsie now made this place his base of operations. He's not very difficult to lose track of.  As long as the TVs are on, he is there, even if the bars are closed.  After breakfast, he is there...after dinner, he is there....after losing in the casino, he is there... A big shout out to the bartender Carmelo at the Dream Team Sports Bar for being a friend to Popsie. 

 

Since tomorrow is a sea day, I told the olds to do as they pleased until our dinnertime where I will brief them on what we plan to do for the next day.

 

I'll try to post fun times later...probably on the carnival page if anybody is interested.

 

Until the next installment...

 

 

Edited by Ak4n3
trigger finger.

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Fun times are up in the carnival forum.  Link below

 

 

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Sea Day August 28

 

I already told the Olds to have breakfast by themselves wherever they liked so we didn’t see each other all morning.  It felt good to sleep in FINALLY!   

 

Okay, I forgot my timeline.  Its a good thing I had my Fun Times to remind me what we did...

 

After dinner embarkation night, Nancy, the naturalist, gave an interesting talk about Alaska.  I tried to absorb all that she said.  What stuck in my mind was there is a high likelihood of seeing northern lights this far south of Alaska!  According to the website, the northern lights will appear as far south as Juneau on Sept 1st with a five hour window about midnight UTC, which is about 5 hours ahead of Pacific Time.  I set my alarm for August 31 at around the 10pm to 2am window the next day.

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I'm glad I purchased a premium internet package and I made use of it researching the heck out of when and where we would most likely see it.  My son facetimed me to let me know that the announcement was all over the news and he will be disappointed in me if I don’t have a picture.  I tried to facetime him while on the outside deck, but he couldn't see anything...

 

Well, I did see it. And I want a re-do!  More on that later.

 

Fast forward next day...

 

 So after brunch, hubby and I head to the sports bar where, surprise surprise, Pops was in the middle of watching the US Open.  Monami was there looking at the TV.  But I know by the glassy look in her eyes that she was probably daydreaming of being anywhere else but here.  I guess that she's already there for a good two hours.  She was happy like a puppy when I finally showed up to take her out of her misery....

 

Since it was a sea day, we spent it doing the usual cruise-y things to do (casino, eating, spa, drinking, etc) because I know that we will be up and running once we get to port.   There was another talk at  around 9am from our naturalist about animals and volcanoes.  I think we were late for this one but no worries, the talks were shown in the cabin tv on a constant loop.  The naturalist also informed us that if there are anything interesting outside, she will make the announcements in the stateroom hallways and through the tv channel that shows the ship forward cameras. 

 

I don't know how many times that whenever we hear her announce "Whales starboard 3o'clock!" that hubby and I would stop what we're doing and barrel down toward Deck 3.  Imagine when my mom, husband and I would be chatting in the areas and we will hear the "bing-bong" of the PA, hubby and I would just stand up and just run out.  Monami knows where to follow us, she's a quick study.

 

 So after brunch, hubby and I head to the sports bar where, surprise surprise, Pops was in the middle of watching the US Open.  Monami was there looking at the TV.  But I know by the glassy look in her eyes that she was probably daydreaming of being anywhere else but here.  I guess that she's already there for a good two hours.  She was happy like a puppy when I finally showed up to take her out of her misery....

 

Sunny day in the somewhere North Pacific

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We just enjoyed the calm open ocean.  I was afraid that we might encounter rough seas for the first time in our cruising history.  I lucked out.  In this cruise I really lucked out…too much luck.  Be careful what you wish for.  On hindsight, I wish the sun wasn’t out in full force that made the pictures of the glaciers too washed out (be gentle, we still don’t know how to deal with the camera.)  Like I said,  I need to have a re-do trip back to Alaska 😛 

 

Please enjoy the outdoor pics that we practiced with the day before

 

This is my house...in my dreams

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As we were leaving Seattle embarkation day

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Sunsets...so prettu

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Tracy Arm Fjord Day August 29

 

This has got to be my most favorite day cruising ever!  We all had breakfast together in the MDR, since I don’t want to deal with people without being fortified with caffeine and carbs.  After prepping for the morning, we grabbed our gear to set out base of operations at the serenity deck.  It was perfect, the restrooms are there, food is just around the corner.  There, we patiently waited for the “bing-bong” of the Nancy the Naturalist’s announcement about wildlife and such. 

 

Now, Pops would rather watch the US open all day if he had his way.  I dragged him with us to the Serenity Deck, no way I’m going to let him leave his beloved wife on her own since hubby and I were busy running port to starboard and back again.  I got him situated with food (breakfast burritos, arepas, coffee, fruits) near the couch so he can nap and Monami could sit with him whenever she’s tired of looking at the views.  He’s a simple man.701249344_IMG_54501.thumb.JPG.f4c104b18a3cd5131414e65289011630.JPG

 

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The views were wonderful, and again it was sunny and clear.  I could just stare at it all day.  The whales were cavorting and there were sea otters floating as the ship passed by.  A

 

At deck 9, the wildlife looked tiny.  On my re-do Alaska trip (please let there be a re-do!), I'd rather be at the Promenade deck forward or directly aft since it is wrapping all around the ship and it's closer to the water.  Towards the forward area, it's easy to pop from port to starboard because of the doors into the ship.  Unfortunately, there are not seating areas outside for the parental unit to rest.  

 

Since I booked the Tracy Arm Ford explorer excursion for 11am, I made sure everyone was nice and warm and camera, batteries, and binoculars were packed before we went to the Follies Theater (comedy club deck 1) for the assembly area.

 

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We chose to hang at the top deck of the boat.  Popsie and Monami decided to keep warm when the boat is traversing the fjord, the wind is blows bitterly cold.  My eyeballs hurt after the excursion because of the chilly wind, it dried my eyes.

 

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More views going to Sawyer Glaciers

 

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Craggy rocks

 

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More views of Tracy Arm Fjord excursion

 

Enjoy my shots of the fjord.  Oh, if I didn't catch the calving on video, did it really happen?

 

North Sawyer Glacier

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I missed the calving by one second...

 

 

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More cascading waterfalls

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Glacier Ice

 

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The Legend stalking us

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First views of the South Sawyer Glacier

 

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I thought I didn't have videos of the seals.  I found it!

Edited by Ak4n3

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I hope everybody had a good weekend.  

 

Skagway August 30

 

After yesterday’s tiring adventure, I know we are going to have a long day.  I got everybody ready and went to the MDR again for breakfast.  We need to get out of the ship at 730am to pick up the rental car from Avis. 

 

The wall of ships just when you get off.

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So, with our passports and equipment in hand, off we go to get the car to beat the rush of everybody wanting off the ship.

It was foggy and cold but that quickly dissipated.  I know that  later the sun will be out again and it will be a beautiful day.

 

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The olds...yep, Pops is wearing a beanie, a scarf, a jacket, a sweater, a long shirt, and a tshirt...never liked the cold...

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Bye, train!  Maybe next time, we'll try you.  Monami was actually looking at the thing forlornly.  I think she wanted to get on the train.  We told her that we want to be able to stop and take pictures along the way and we might see wildlife.  (Nope, not happening on this trip.  Nancy the naturalist said, you don't need to run fast from the bears.  You just need to out run your slowest person.  I was already thinking how to  ditch Popsie to the bears...)

 

Now that she's happier,   we continued a not so far walk to Avis.

 

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Here are some of the highlights of our drive from Skagway to Emerald Lake and back again.

 

Yay, we found it!  My mom's favorite stop.  They take credit card, so we were set.  There wasn't much of a wait.  We spent the time playing and cuddling with the pups.  We were in doggie heaven.

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Doggies happily mushing away

 

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Carcross Visitor Center.  Here we bought maple syrup.

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Carcross Dessert.

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Emerald lake.  I wish it wasn't this sunny, but the lake was breathtakingly beautiful

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FInally got to this sign on our return.  Yep, it was HOT!

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Edited by Ak4n3

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Enjoying the review! I hope the kids are alive at the end of the review 🙂

 

Glad you were able to take your parents!

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6 minutes ago, Coral said:

Enjoying the review! I hope the kids are alive at the end of the review 🙂

 

Glad you were able to take your parents!

 

Spoiler alert:  The kidlets are alive.  Though, Sissy spoiled them rotten by the time we returned a week later.  Introducing Bren(14) and Aria(5).  They may or may not be featured in future cruise reviews depending on how they feel or how hammy they get  in front of the camera...or if I feel like writing one.

 

Aria and  Bren sending off their aunt at the airport.  See how Baby girl doesn't want to let go of her leg. 😑

 

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The parentals are at the age that my siblings and I decided to take them to vacations to far away lands so they can enjoy it while they can still walk whether the want it or not. I'm glad we can do this for them.  💖  

 

 

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Juneau August 31

 

One more car rental to go.  The roads are flat they said.  You can walk to the Avis rental place, they said.  Yep, I forgot to take in consideration that I should’ve gotten a trolley for Pops to ride on since he was sooo slow and everything is uphill.  I did ask if they wanted to get a taxi or an Uber to the place, they said they can walk.  So after breakfast…walking we went…for twenty minutes. 

 

It's too early for this!

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Anyway, Juneau was where hubby’s cousin lived for years.  Unfortunately, by the time we decided to visit, they already packed up and left for SoCal.  I asked for recommendations on what to do for the time that we were there (7:00am-3pm) and where to eat and where to go since we have a rental.  Their top to do list  was go to the Mendenhall Glacier, drive to St. Therese Shrine, and eat crab at Tracy’s crab shack.

 

Once we got the car, it was a nice relaxing drive to Mendenhall Glacier.  There weren’t many tourist buses at the time we arrived at about past 9-ish.  Again, another bright sunny day but it was still cold.

 

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After going to the visitor center to get day passes, off we went to the Photo Point and Nugget Falls Trail.

 

Yep, his ensemble is complete.  He is still cold.

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It’s a nice and pleasant hike.  ALL FLAT.  There weren’t that many people walking this early so there were spots that it was only the four of us.  While hiking, we spent the time telling scary stories like how easy it would be for a serial killer to be hiding in the thicket and wait for the unsuspecting hiker.  Yep, scary stories before 10am…

 

Squirrel!

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Nugget falls lake was clear and cold.  I know because I tried reach for a nice shiny rock I saw submerged in about a foot of water.  When my finger touched the water surface, my leg hair curled from the cold.  I asked Pops if he can get it for me, he told me no.

 

Me: “But I am your daughter!”

Popsie: “You’re too old for rocks.”

Monami:  “She’s planning to push you in.”

Me:  😈

 

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We stayed for about two hours at Mendenhall.  It wasn’t as spectacular as we thought but it's still beautiful.  Like the Sawyer glaciers, Mendenhall receded so much in the last 10 years.  They didn’t look like anything in the pictures or the documentaries I watched.  I asked the ranger if there is still a chance for the glacier to recover and look like what it did in the past. The ranger said that ten years ago it was predicted that the glaciers will melt in a 100 years.  However, the new calculations show that the accelerated warming will melt the glacier so much by in 25 years from now.  It’s already past the point of no return.   It was that hot in Alaska.  The snow doesn’t have a chance to compact itself into glacial ice so It just melts.

 

I’m sorry it took us this long to visit.  Even sadder as what was going on in the planet…I just hope when we do visit again, I still have glaciers to see.

 

After Mendenhall, we drove to St. Therese National Shrine.  This is the most peaceful place we’re ever been.  The other sights we went to, you can hear the boat engine, cars, the rush of the waterfall.  St. Therese’s peacefulness was only broken by the squawk of the crows.  It looks like a good place to have a retreat and meditate.  I felt bad to yell at Popsie in such a place so I refrained from doing my regular annoying child nonsense.

 

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The chapel is on the forest-y area at the end of the path.  The crows were noisy.

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At this point of the day, it was getting late and we we’re kind of hungry.  All we had was breakfast at the MDR and waters all day.  Hubby, Monami and Pops were looking forward to…drumroll, please…Tracy’s Crab Shack right on the dock.

 

We dropped off the parental units near the cruise port before we returned our filled up rental car back to Avis.  No way Pops is going to trudge back from the rental place, even as solidarity to me.  Besides, they need to buy an additional luggage from one of the shops for all their souvenirs to take back home.  We returned 10 minutes later, after running from Avis back to the cruise port area so we can have our  lunch.  It was now getting close to boarding time.

 

I’m not allergic to seafood, but I never did see the appeal.  Since I am an agreeable person who doesn’t want to be such a buzzkill in this bucket list trip, I agreed to eat there.  Steamed or boiled seafood I don’t like, but the deep fried crab cake and bisque appealed to me more.

 

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They happily attacked the large bucket of crab legs and claw.  I happily ate the rolls, crab cake, and bisque.  They had good spice, and bonus points for not tasting like crab.   Will I eat there again?  Probably, if only for those two not the crab legs.  I am a very cheap date.  Now if it was Japanese A5 wagyu on the other hand...

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PS.  Now it was Northern Lights night.  We decided to park ourselves starboard side at Deck 10 near the slides at about 930pm.  It was so cold and windy I used my cabin bathrobe on top of my cold gear.

 

Remember I told you earlier that we have no idea what we are doing with the camera?  Well, I was in tears for not being able to get a decent picture.  If you squint just right, you can see a smear of green in a background of dark.  Fail!    😢  I want a redo.  All I have are the spectacular memories of that moment.  Too bad I don't have a decent picture to prove it.

 

The northern lights are beautiful...honest!

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Edited by Ak4n3

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43 minutes ago, Ak4n3 said:

While hiking, we spent the time telling scary stories like how easy it would be for a serial killer to be hiding in the thicket and wait for the unsuspecting hiker.  Yep, scary stories before 10am…

 

Scary stories...Ha....the day we were there we heard about a mama bear and her cubs very close to the trail!  I don't know if I was happy or sad that we missed that!  We did see a bear...far away...when we took the tram up Mt. Roberts.

 

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10 minutes ago, ktbraun said:

Scary stories...Ha....the day we were there we heard about a mama bear and her cubs very close to the trail!  I don't know if I was happy or sad that we missed that!  We did see a bear...far away...when we took the tram up Mt. Roberts.

 

 

Happy we didn't encounter any bears.  I am ready and willing to outrun Pops at that point.  Every man for himself!

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Your dad definitely mastered the concept of "layering of clothes" which seems to confuse many people on this board. Kudos to him.

 

Loving the review and pictures! I have also been underwhelmed by Mendenhall. It probably is different if I landed on the glacier but going to the face of it is just OK for me.

Edited by Coral

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Wow - Northern Lights. I have been to Alaska a ton and have never seen them!!!!! Congrats!

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Love the review!  I leave for my second trip to Alaska on Sunday - last cruise of the season on NCL Jewel.  So sad to see how far Mendenhall Glacier has retreated.  Attached is what it looked like last time I visited.

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12 hours ago, Coral said:

Your dad definitely mastered the concept of "layering of clothes" which seems to confuse many people on this board. Kudos to him.

 

Loving the review and pictures! I have also been underwhelmed by Mendenhall. It probably is different if I landed on the glacier but going to the face of it is just OK for me.

 

Yep, he is a champion at layering.  You should see him when the weather is a cool 85 degrees. 😁

 

I thought about getting on the glacier by helicopter but its too expensive for me.  Probably when I win the lottery

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12 hours ago, Coral said:

Wow - Northern Lights. I have been to Alaska a ton and have never seen them!!!!! Congrats!

 

Thank you.  We were lucky and blessed on this trip.  Calm seas, great weather, during the day,  and a clear dark sky with lots of solar activity.  And I was joking with my friends that I want to see northern lights, even if I know that we were too far south to see them.  I never knew there was a prediction until the naturalist talk embarkation night.

 

If I want to see them, I'll probably go further north (Fairbanks) in September-ish.

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2 hours ago, mgasaway said:

Love the review!  I leave for my second trip to Alaska on Sunday - last cruise of the season on NCL Jewel.  So sad to see how far Mendenhall Glacier has retreated.  Attached is what it looked like last time I visited.

 

 

Alaska is really beautiful.  Thanks for sharing the before pic.  Now I'm sad.

 

If you're going anytime soon at Mendenhall, please take another pic.  I want to see if there is any difference from my trip.

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