This is the longest break I’ve ever taken from LJ. It’s the longest break I’ve ever taken from my writing, too…I haven’t written a word (well, that’s not entirely true…I have journaled. I just haven’t done any “real” writing) in three and a half weeks. We were on vacation the first couple of weeks. College Student turned 18 this summer (last week, as a matter of fact). I don’t know how many more family vacations we’ve got ahead of us (though my husband used to work with a guy who still went on family vacations with his parents even though he was in his 30s), so we wanted to do a “special” vacation this summer. We told the kids we’d take them anywhere they wanted to go this summer…for a while we considered London (though I’m going to be taking College Student to London next May), but in the end, they decided they’d heard so much about our anniversary trip to Alaska last summer that they wanted to do an Alaskan cruise, too.
I was THRILLED to go back to Alaska this year (so was my husband…he had a broken collar bone when we went last year, so he got to experience more this time around). I’ve seen beautiful places in Europe, but nothing I’ve seen there compares to Alaska. I LOVE Alaska! I keep saying I could live there…even though it rains a lot on the coast (I like rain)…and it’s cold (I don’t mind cold — it’s driving on snow/ice that I have issues with…and yeah, there’s plenty of snow/ice, too…but I know someone who lives in Juneau who doesn’t drive at all…she does just fine!)…and it’s dark most of the day in the winter (again, I LIKE those short winter days…I get to stay in my pajamas all day and turn on the fireplace…).
We went on a different cruise line this time…one that caters more to teenagers. And we had one different port, too (we visited Prince Rupert, British Columbia rather than Ketchikan, Alaska). Cruising is nice, but next time (there WILL be a next time!), my husband and I are going to take a month and drive. We’ll probably ferry from port to port and drive into the interior. We want to have an opportunity to see more of the real Alaska, away from the cruise ships, and we want to be able to stay somewhere for several days.
We got to go into the Yukon Territory this time around, which I loved, loved, LOVED!!! And we got to spend time with another dog musher (a female musher this time)…in fact, it was just us and her, which was really nice. We got pretty lucky everywhere we went — we managed to avoid all pre-packaged tours and get individual attention everywhere.
In Juneau, I met an e-mail friend, and her husband drove us all over (and wouldn’t even let us fill up his tank with gas at the end of the day). There’s nothing like seeing Alaska (or anywhere, really) with the locals! And I had researched what we were going to do in Skagway before we left home (that was the day we went into the Yukon)…we managed to get a private, all-day tour, which was really nice because we could stay longer in some places and skip over others (and our driver even drove us back to the ship to get our camera when we realized we didn’t have it — long story!). And in Prince Rupert we took a taxi out of town and hiked in the rainforest (we figured we’d have to walk partway back to town to call a taxi to bring us back to the ship, but the driver offered to come back for us in a few hours — and he did!). It was a wonderful, wonderful trip!
I won’t bore you with all my pictures (I only took 1,154…and I only posted my favorite 589 on my website!), but I have to post a couple of my favorites here. This is Bove Island in the Yukon (and if you click on the picture, you’ll get to see it enlarged, and then you’ll be able to see the rainbow. I swear that rainbow is REAL.. I didn’t photoshop it in. That rainbow followed us that day…everywhere we stopped on the way back to Skagway, the rainbow was there):
Hmm…so which other vacation picture should I post? How about this one of all of us in front of Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau (and yes, College Student really IS that much taller than I am — he’s standing on the same rock I’m standing on):
Okay, just two more pictures…I promise. I’ve never seen slugs like these anywhere other than Alaska. Isn’t he cute? He’s longer than my index finger…fatter, too.
And this is the Carcross Desert in the Yukon (when you think “desert,” you don’t think of the Yukon, do you?):
But now it’s back to reality. School started today…well, it started for Junior High Kid. College Student doesn’t go back until a week from today. But I have a bike ride scheduled this morning, lunch with a friend, and then I need to bake cookies (I always bake cookies on the first day of school). So maybe I’ll get back to my routine tomorrow?