We walked around the tiny town of Talkeetna today and saw lots of moose. Not the real ones, but the wooden kind. The town is having an auction on the fourth of July for these moose designed by local artists, schoolchildren and businesses. They are yard art. Some of them are quite cute.
This one was outside of the flight place.
This was a restaurant, wildflower cafe.
The northern lights.
Elementary kids did this one.
It's too bad these are so big or else I would have found a souvenir to take home.
Who can resist baby animals? Especially when they were rescued from the wild. We stopped at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center today. They had several animals (I'll write more later) but I just had to show the babies. We got there in time for a moose feeding.
They went through a bottle in about 20 seconds so if you weren't there you missed it. There were also baby muskox in the pen but they didn't get fed for a few hours and they knew it so they just kept laying down. The moose got up as soon as they heard the gate.
This was our third time cruising. Each one has been a different line. As always I research the heck out of it before going.
The island is a smaller ship (small is all relative). It only can have about 1,900 passengers. Mega ships nowadays can have up to 4,000. It was easy to navigate. We had a balcony room in the aft (back) of the ship starboard (right) side. It was a really nice location.
There are two pools. One indoors and one outside. We didn't use either but with the sunny weather the outside one did get some use.
The demographics of this cruise were very different from our past ones. Not a lot of children and definitely skewed to the retired crowd. We felt really young. One benefit of this was it didn't seem like there were all the waiters walking around trying to sell you drinks. We walked the stairs almost exclusively which was probably good given all the food they have on the ship.
They have an ice carver and several vegetable carvers. Look ehat they can do.
What a trip! After the rough start, things got so much better.
This was the first time we had gotten a balcony. It was nice to be able to see some things without having to fight people for space.
The seas were calm. If anyone had problem with motion sickness, they must get sick just walking. The only movement I could feel was the engines. We were on the second highest deck so I was a little worried about that.
The weather was great. In fact they were having record heat and I got sunburned after one hour in Juneau. I don't even do that at home.
We zip lined in Ketchikan. What a neat experience. The guides were super nice and helpful. They knew how to work with people. We were with another family and the mom was nervous. We also saw a bear on the drive up to the zip line.
I bought the photo they took of me so I'll have to scan it when I get home to post. You end this particular adventure with a 250 foot slide. Dan picked up a lot of speed and almost went to the end.
In Juneau we went on a helicopter ride to a glacier to dogsled. I had never been in one and I can't wait to do it again. I got to sit up front with the pilot on the flight there. WOW!
At the dogsled our guide had raced in the Yukon Quest and had 40 of his dogs there. When the dogs hear the helicopters they get excited because they know they get to run.
In Skagway we had a small bus with two other couples and drove up to Canada to catch the train back. Our train car only had eight people so we got to sit anywhere and saw so much.
Did you notice how sunny all those pictures are? That's the first real sun all those places have had since last summer. They were thrilled. I just wanted a little relief. It was 87 in Juneau for goodness sake.
When we got to Glacier Bay I got my wish. It was in the 40's and foggy and we were worried we wouldn't see anything. But the fog lifted and there were lots of icebergs. It took us longer to get to the Marjorie Glacier but it was worth it. In the hour we were there, we probably saw 15 calving events. That's when the glacier breaks off and falls into the water.
When we left the bay we saw about 15 humpback whales and a few otters. Add that to the bear, mountain goats and eagles I had already seen and we were doing really good in the wildlife department.
I have lots more pictures but figured I could right more details about each day later. Who wants to write a big blog while on vacation! We still have another week to go!
So today's start to the vacation is off to a rocky start. The early morning flight (I really hate these) combines with lack of sleep to create a bad situation. The small carryon bag got left at home. Which we didn't figure out until we were unloading at the airport. So a trip home and a quick reschedule of flights means we are leaving a few hours later today. Let's just say the morning wasn't too great. But the good thing is we got rescheduled at no cost and even have seats together.
I ended my pity party pretty quickly when I saw a soldier who was obviously going back to war leaving his family. Kissing his brand new baby girl and wife goodbye brought tears to my eyes. My problems are easily solved.
So I did something silly and went and got a new phone yesterday...two days before I leave on a vacation. Luckily it is almost exactly like my old phone. But I had to go download ringtones (does anyone else think the standard ones they put on the phones are stupid). I also have to get used to the keyboard. I like the phones that slide out and have a real keyboard and this one is much stiffer to use than my old one. The space button is especially hard. So I get lots of run on words.
The poor Thunder lost last night in a tough game That's two tough losses in a row. Here's hoping that Tuesday night will be better.
Church for Father's Day was interesting. They had monster trucks, semi trucks, big pickup trucks, miniature golf, free tshirts for dads that said "Journey Up". (The name of the church is JourneyChurch and Thunder Up is the big basketball slogan). I was going to take a picture of the trucks but my camera battery was dead.
Which led to my trip to Best Buy to get a new one and then the new phone (which was free). So now I have two batteries charged up, three new sets of earbuds for ipod/ipad, and a new phone. I also bought a pair of waterproof pants in case it rains on the trip. I wasn't going to do that but then I thought about when we go ziplining and I didn't want to be caught in lots of rain with just my jeans on. That would be miserable. And if I don't use them, I'll return them.
The plane leaves early tomorrow morning (6:45 am) blech. I hope we can get into our hotel room early because otherwise we will have a long wait. I may need a nap.
Hope everyone has a lovely week.
Had to add in the video they played at church for the dads yesterday. These guys are all associate pastors at church.
Friday Fragments time with Mrs. 4444. Last one for me for a couple of weeks since my blog access will be limited while on vacation. I'm too cheap to purchase a blog ap and working on my blog on the ipad makes everything be a big run-on paragraph. But maybe you'll get to see a few photos from my trip.
The only drawback of my trip is I'm going to miss my blog friend Sarah as she comes back to town for some work. I so wanted to hear about the Love Museum but hopefully she'll have to come back again and we can talk about everything.
Last night's basketball game was killer. One bad goal-tending call (which the play-by-play people said was wrong) and then a last-second non-call of a foul led to a four point defeat. Which is sad because they were down so many points and came back. Here's hoping that game 3 in Miami has a better outcome.
I have purchased a new memory card for my camera. It is supposed to hold 1600 photos. I hope that is enough for two weeks. I also hope that my battery will stay charged every day. I didn't want to shell out $40 for a new one. I could half buy a new camera for that price.
This week at work has drug by so slow. My boss has been out of the country and I've got my desk cleaned off pretty good. I even got a couple of projects done that didn't need to be done for awhile. However I did get a not-nice surprise earlier this week and had to rush to get something submitted. Unfortunately it won't be done until after I leave so I've left multiple contingency letters to go with the proposal.
I have to renew one of my work ID cards and I found a flaw in the application process. I would be the only one to notice it because it is a contract number. We are waiting to hear if it really needs to be changed. If so, it will affect 100 people's application.
I'm trying to decide if I should get a new phone before my trip. Part of me would like an iphone but I hate to pay for the data plan. How many times would I use it? I could get a phone pretty similar to my current one for free. Mine keeps turning itself off for no reason and I have to take the battery out and smack it around. Otherwise it is in great shape. The screen is still really clear without many scratches.
One week and this is where I'll be.
Doing these cool things.
Real pictures will be coming soon. But these get me excited!
Linking up today with this week's Hodgepodge questions from Joyce From Across the Pond. I won't be answering the next couple since I'll be on vacation.
1. In what way are you your own worst enemy?
I don't think I'm my own enemy at all. I can't think of anything.
2. Jacques Cousteau's birthday was Monday, June 11th...ever been scuba diving? Is that something you'd like to try? What's your favorite 'under the sea' creature?
No I haven't scuba dived and no I don't want to. I've snorkled a couple of times and I can't get the whole mask/breath through your mouth thing down. And then I don't want to get anywhere near the fish. I'm afraid they will touch me (very irrational).
Favorite under sea creature would have to be coral. So pretty.
3. On a scale of 1-10, how comfortable are you in and around the water? (1=not at all, 10=very) Do you know how to swim and if so how and when did you learn?
I'd say a 5. I know how to swim but I don't really like to. It just doesn't appeal to me. I don't want to go to lakes because you can't see what's in them and I don't like things touching me (see number 2). It took me two years to get out of beginning swim lessons when I was 5 because I wouldn't put my face in the water. I did get better and can do all the swimming strokes now but just don't do it.
4. What's something you do to motivate yourself to tick an item off your to-do list?
I've got to get going first thing in the morning and if I stop I'm dead. If I finally get to the point that I can't stand looking at the project then I'll do something. But I'm a terrible procrastinator.
5. What makes a good neighbor? Are you a good neighbor?
Keep your yard mowed neatly, don't have wild loud parties, don't turn your garage into a living room with the couch and door open, don't cover your windows with newspaper for over a year (get a blind), let your neighbor know if they forget to close their garage door and its 11pm. I have to say I'll do all those things so I guess I qualify.
6. Who loads the dishwasher at your house? Is there a right way and a wrong way?
I load the dishwasher mostly and yes there is a way to do it. We got a new dishwasher in January and Dan doesn't even know how to turn it on. Its got all sorts of settings and delays and I just want to make sure everything gets cleaned right. I did have to put the screens in for the silverware because things weren't getting cleaned without it but other than that it works great.
7. You know it's summer when_________________________.
You don't want to bake anything in the oven even for 10 minutes because they house will take another hour to cool off with the air conditioning running. I know I have to turn it on sometimes but I hate how fast it heats up the house. Our air has been for a month already.
8. Insert your own random thought here. This summer is starting off much better than last summer. We've had rain (thank you) so our drought is over and we haven't hit 100 degrees yet. I doubt it will stay like that but it sure has been nice to not start sweating the instant you walk out the door.
Figured I would satisfy Whitney's need for a weekend wrapup blogpost. She can be pretty insistent about me blogging.
Haircut went ok at the beauty school. Took two hours and cost $10. That saved me $15 from what I normally pay but 1 1/2 hours longer. I need to balance that out in my head if it is worth it. The good thing is that it is an easy haircut and there were two supervisors making sure the all one length cut really was all one length. I still had to trim my bangs when I got home because everyone always misses some of them.
Returned a raincoat I had bought in February to Kohl's without a receipt and got the full amount back. Nice to use their credit card and they can look things up. I ended up spending about half of what I got back at the store that day. So its a win for me!
Bought a pair of binoculars for the trip. We had a pair but when I was at Academy with Whitney last week I realized how cheap you could get them. So we bought a nice pair for $25. Also some rainproof pants for Dan and some waterproofing spray. I really need to find a pair of tennis shoes I can waterproof because my trusty Keds have air holes in them. It took me four months to find a pair of Keds that fit so I'm on a terrible countdown to find a pair of shoes in a week. I'm super picky and nothing seems to fit my feet.
Went to the art museum on campus for their FREE family day. They are having an exhibit of Disney animation cells which was very nice. Most of their other art I'm not a big fan of, but it is nice to have a fairly good sized art museum in town.
Finally I leave you with a video for "Beard Like Harden". Yes James Harden's beard has its own music video now. Last week it was just decoration for a building but now a full-fledged song.
Joining up with Mrs. 4444 for this week's edition of Friday Fragments.
Dan fixed the garage door all by himself! One of the wire things that help guide it down had come unwound and the door wouldn't go down. I saw that it could be unhooked and then he had to wind the cable and rehook it. He also tightened up the chain. It works great now.
Had to take Whitney to urgent care on Friday because the ball of her foot hurt too bad to walk on. The doctor there took xrays and there was something on it but he wasn't sure it was a crack. So he gave her a boot to use over the weekend. Tuesday went to the orthopedist and it isn't broken. He didn't know what it was either (great use of medical degrees guys). She feels better so is going to try to work without the boot and see how it goes. Unfortunately she had to miss going to Tiger Safari yesterday for the field trip at summer camp and she was sad. She loved it last year and got to feed a tiger.
I've spent my week cleaning out files at work. So far I've gotten rid of about 4 feet of paper. Much of it has to be shredded because it has social security numbers and salary information. I can only do that in batches or I'll blow out the shredder. I've filled up the recycle bins 3 times with stuff. And there is more to go through if I feel up to it. Amazing how we are supposed to be "paperless".
The Thunder rolled on Wednesday night. It was a great game with a comeback from 18 points down to win by 8 and go to the NBA finals. We get to host games 1 and 2 on Tuesday and Thursday next week. A funny photo this week was a building put out a big beard to mimic James Harden's beard. Everyone says Fear the Beard. Pretty funny.
I realize that if the finals go more than 4 games I won't be home to watch them. So the Thunder needs to win all four so I don't have to wonder about it while on the cruise ship.
I'm going to try out the local beauty school to get my haircut on Saturday. Whitney has gone there a couple of times and its turned out well. I haven't had it cut since my groupon disaster so it really needs it. My poor bangs have been hacked at by me a few times and it really is time to get it done right.
1. How many students were in your high school graduating class? Did you know most, if not all of them?
My class had 475 and I was ranked number 3. I moved to Texas in the middle of my junior year so I only knew a handful of kids. Let me give you a piece of advice...never move your child to a high school that close to graduation. Scars them for life. Talk about insecurities. Blech. But anyway having to transfer from a Florida school to a Texas school was interesting. Quarter vs. semester system. Different grade points for honors classes. I had to take health class by correspondence because it wasn't required in Florida. I've never been back for a reunion and I doubt I ever will. Why when I only remember a couple of people's names. I have one as a friend on facebook. And forget the high school in Florida too. Nobody there remembers me either.
2. What was the last thing you photographed?
I took a picture of the hail falling on our hot tub cover to post on Facebook. Very exciting I'm sure.
3. Pickles-love 'em or loathe 'em? If its love what's something you eat that needs a pickle?
I usually put a dill pickle slice on a hamburger but that's about the extent of my pickle eating.
4. What's a stereotype you seem to perpetuate without meaning to?
The man of the house does the yard work. And I mean to perpetuate that one because you aren't ever going to see me outside mowing a yard.
5. Ever been horse back riding? If so is it something you enjoy? If not, do you have any interest? Did you watch the Kentucky Derby? Will you be watching the last leg of the Triple Crown this weekend?
I've ridden a horse a couple of times. We went horseback riding in Oregon at the Pacific Ocean. Whitney was quite the happy camper then. She even took riding lessons for a couple of years until her allergies and dance got in the way. I haven't watched any of the horse races this year nor for many years. And I haven't been to the track here in years.
6. What's your favorite 'wedding' movie?
This is a tough one. I can think of several movies but I wouldn't say that any of them are a favorite. Maybe The Wedding Planner?
7. What is one 'tourist attraction' in the USA that you'd like to see in person?
I've seen so many of them but I would say the Empire State Building. I haven't been to NYC yet and that's on the list.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
We've been enjoying watching the NBA playoffs and everyone here has Thunder fever. In case you didn't see the game Monday night, OKC went to San Antonio and held off the Spurs to win in a very exciting game. Wednesday night is game 6 and if the Thunder win they will be going to the championship game! OKC is the perfect example of why smaller market teams thrive. They are the only game in town (other than OU football) and they are young and nice boys. Kevin Durant hugs his mom after every game. How can you not like that? And the area is so rallied around them that 5,000 people went to a playoff game just to stand outside the arena and watch on big screens. Take a look at the game and you'll see every fan in matching shirts (they give them out every playoff game) and they stay until the end of the game.
Has anyone been looking at their blogger stats now that they changed the look? I am finding it very humorous and interesting.
The number one post that trends every single day is the one called Rain Conspiracy. This was a silly little post about a conspiracy theory that we wouldn't get any rain ever and if I said that we wouldn't someday it would rain. It gets at least 30-40 hits a day. Mostly people searching for the word rain or a photo of kids playing in the rain. I'm sure they are disappointed when they get to the blog because it probably isn't what they are looking for.
The next one is my thoughts on Fear of Dentists. This is the story of my problems when I was a child and how I've over come them to be able to get my teeth cleaned twice a year without laughing gas. Once again, I doubt its what people are looking for when they search for dentist.
Obviously the United States is the most popular country people visit from. But you would be surprised to find that Russia is number 2. Maybe they are searching for conspiracies? (see above paragraph)
Another interesting trend is that more and more people seem to be switching to either Firefox or Chrome for their browsers. Guess people are finally realizing that Internet Explorer has too many problems.
Labeling in your blog makes google pick up those words for people to search. That's why I keep getting most of my hits from the google search engine. So the lesson to all bloggers is if you want to have people visit, make sure and label your posts.
Yes it is June 1. That means we are close to halfway done with another year. Wow. Time flies when you are having fun. Of course time flies when you aren't having fun but no one ever says that.
This week's stupid criminal is actually four people. These people decided to go out on a double date and then skip out without paying at the restaurant. (BAD DATE). When they got to their car, they had locked the keys in it. So one of the girls went next door and asked the police to help. They gave her the number for a towing company. In the meantime the restaurant called to notify the police of the theft. It didn't take long for the police to arrest the group.
There was a bad hailstorm just a little north of us this week. Entire car lots had all the windows broken. Baseball size hail can do that. Of course when weather like this happens, the weather guys are on the news constantly instead of regular programming. Everyone has their favorite station. One of the ones I don't watch has the most excitable people on it (reason not to watch). The weatherman always seems to have flashy ties (Whitney actually said it looked like it had rhinestones this time and he has a facebook page dedicated to his ties). But I saw this video when the big hail was hitting the news station and just laughed.
I continue to have new birds come visit my birdfeeders in the backyard. This year I've had both red and green finches along with some scissortails. I also have more of my "big birds". I think they are pigeons but I will refer to them as big birds. Unfortunately we also had a bird die in the backyard. Abby found the body and tried to investigate. We are pretty sure she didn't attack it because Dan said there were four birds on the ground within four feet of her eating birdfood. If anything, Abby would be afraid of them. My brave hunter dog. If you knew her you would be laughing right now at that description.
Speaking of Abby, I think as she gets older her sense of smell gets better. She has an uncanny ability that the moment meat comes out of the fridge to be there. You can open the fridge multiple other times and not get meat and she just stays sleeping. But you get a piece of ham out of them and then BAM she is waiting wanting a piece. Not that she gets any but she sure is hopeful.
That's it for my Friday Fragments. The lists have started and I've been printing out directions for all of the hotels we will be staying at. Also making a list of days that things happen at our house so Whitney can take care of them (like trash day). 18 days and I'm on a plane!