June 2012

  Friday morning we checked into the Marriott Waterside in Seattle for the weekend.  We have a very nice room and out our window we are able to see the ocean.  We are so happy that we get points with our Visa card which allows us to stay at Marriott for free.  We were close enough to most things to walk so walk we did.  Susan and Emily joined us for the day and what fun we had.  First stop was the Starbucks, the first one to open.  Next stop was Pike Place Market.  What a wonderful place – so much fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, crafts, candy, and flowers.  It was just amazing.  I got a huge boquet of flowers for $5.  I would spend alot of money here each week if I lived in the area – everything is so fresh and beautiful.  We watched the guys throw the fish around, watched people and just enjoyed the whole scene.  I was very surprised in how hilly Seattle is – climb hills we did but found one street where the hill was not bad at all lol. 

We rode the Ducks of Seattle which is a WWII amphibious landing craft and it gives you a tour of the city and then into the water you go.  We had a 80 minute ride on Lake Union and the streets of Seattle.  It was okay – not something I would do again.  Tim and I had done it in Portland, Maine and got a kick out of it – guess the first time is fun! 

At night Susan met a few friends so we took Emily (our granddaughter) and met Jeff (Tim’s brother) for a nice dinner at P.F. Chang’s.  Great food and enjoyed talking.  After Em and I checked out the stores and she had to have a big huge piece of cake lol.  Once we got back to the hotel I went with Em to the indoor swimming pool.  She enjoyed swimming and I enjoyed watching her. 

Saturday found us meeting Lucille and Vinny, friends from South Carolina, at the Pike Place Market.  We then took the monorail to the Space Needle.  This was built for the 1962 world’s fair and this year they are celebrating their 50th anniversary.  The needle is 600 feet tall with an observation deck which gives you a wonderful view of Seattle. 

Next stop was Nordstrom’s main store which was built in 1901.  I love that store and Susan was looking for shoes so we enjoyed our visit. 

At night Susan, Emily, Tim and I went to Anthony’s Pier 66 Restaurant for dinner.  It was okay but I would not return.  Then we walked to the arcade where we rode the merry go round and played somegames.  Then ice cream for Em and I.  Another wonderful day.

Sunday morning up early and down to the coffee shop for a cup of coffee and a muffin.  Then packed up all our stuff and headed for the cruise ship the Norwegian Pearl.  The NCL ships have freestyle dining which Tim and I enjoy best.  We like to eat when we get hungry not at an appointed time like most ships.  We checked in and went to see our room which was on the 11th deck forward.  Really nice room with a balocy which I know we will enjoy.  We then met our friends and family for a nice lunch and then touring the ship.  Cocktails, talking, laughing and watching others for a wonderful afternoon.  At 5PM we attended a cocktail party and met some really nice people. 

This ship is amazing – 12 dining options, 13 bars, spa, beauty salon, fitness center, sports court, teen club, internet cafe, bowling alley, casino, library, theater, 3 pools, 4 hot tubs and gift shops.  Floating city.

The weeks was amazing visting so many ports and seeing such wonderful sights.  Alaska truly is a wonderland!

Monday was a day at sea and also Tim’s 69th Birthday.  That night we all had dinner together and he was presented with a cake.  We then went to the show “Oh What a Night” which was a tribute to Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons.  They sang all the old songs, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Walk Like A Man, Sherry, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You and many more.  Great show.

First port was Juneau which is the capital of Alaska.  The only way to get here is by boat or flying which I found very interesting.  We went to the Mendenhall Glacier first and could not get over how beautiful it was.  Next stop was our whale watching cruise where we got to see humpback whales and sea lions for 3 wonderful hours.  The experience was wonderful.

The sun rises about 4 AM and does not set until almost 10 PM.  Really cool to have so many hours of daylight.

Skagway means Home of the North Wind and is the northernmost point on the inside passage.  Here we rented a van and Jeff offered to drive.  So Jeff, Tim, Lucille, Vinny and myself loaded into this huge van and off we went to do the Klondike Highway.  This highway links Skagway to Dawson City.  We drove as far as Carcross where we enjoyed looking in the little shops.  The scenery was just breathtaking – did see one bear – crossed into Canada and just had a beautiful day.  We returned the van and went into a restaurant for a drink and some snacks.  We then looked around in the stores in Skagway.  At night after dinner we attended the show “The Second City” which was comedy and very enjoyable.

Glacier Bay National Park was spectatular.  We saw snow capped mountain ranges, coastal beaches, deep fjords, tidewater glaciers, lakes and protected coves.  In 1925 it became a national monument and in 1980 became a National park.  You can only reach the park by boat or plane.  It is the world’s largest protected marine sanctuary and covers 3.3 million acres which makes it larger than our home state of Connecticut.  A National Park Ranger was on board to describe the wonders that we would see which made it so interesting.  Loads of pictures and loads of beauty.  Great time.  At night we went to the comedy show with Jeff Hobson which was great.

Ketchikan, Alaska was a really fun town.  We were picked up and taken to Seawind Aviation where we boarded a float plane for a trip of a lifetime.  The wildlife, waterfalls, wilderness and the misty fjords were spectular.  The pilot saw a bear but I could not see that.  The plane held 6 of us plus the pilot – super trip.  At the dock waiting for the flight we must have seen 20 eagles – it was just a super experience.  Once back in town we shopped at Tongass Trading Dock Store which was established in 1898 – such good prices.  Ketchikan is considered the salmon capital of the world – really neat town.  At night we saw the show “Encore” which was wonderful.

Our last stop was Victoria British Columbia which is considered one of the most picturesque cities in North America and I must agree.  I only wish it had not been so windy and cold cuz I really think we would have enjoyed it more.  We did walk around town and shop in Rogers which is a candy store in business since 1885.  I also bought a pair of earrings in one of the Jewelry stores.  Wonderful evening.  Back on the ship we attended the Farewell Variety Show which was super.

Sunday morning we got up and had breakfast and departed the ship around 9 am.  It was a wonderful cruise with great food, company, entertainment, drinks and shore excursions.  We love cruises and hope to do another one someday soon.  After picking up the truck we dropped Jeff at his hotel and then dropped Lucille and Vinny at their hotel.  Tim and I decided to stop at the Coast Guard Base in Seattle to see what they had – very small base with an exchange.  Then it was back to Fort Lewis and our little home.

Monday was spent shopping and doing laundry.  We bought Tim an IPad for his birthday present which he loves.

Tuesday morning we started our drive south and stopped for the night at Umpqua Golf and RV Resort in Sutherlin, Oregon.  It wa
s a beautiful campground and we had a good rest.  Oregon is another beautiful state, so green and lush.

Our next stop was Sharp Depot in Lathrop Ca.  We will be here for a few weeks to visit with our daughter Amanda and her family.  On Thursday we went to their homeand so enjoyed visiting with them all.  Our grandchildren are growing so fast and we did enjoy them.

Friday we took the Bart into San Francisco and met Lucille and Vinny at their hotel down near Fisherman’s Wharf.  We went to China Town, went into some of their markets and then ate lunch in a true Chinese Resaurant where all the diners were Chinese.  Great food – I am not a chinese eater really but I had sweet n sour pork and it was wonderful.  We took the bus and then took the cable cars.  We went back to their hotel and took a ride to the Presidio, Golden Gate Park and around the city.  Tim and I then said goodbye to Lucille and Vinny as they will start their journey back to South Carolina.  We wish they safe travels and hope to see them again soon.

Amanda has a beautiful inground pool in her back yard so with the temps 100 degrees we were up to a good dip.  Felt so wonderful – the water does not get really hot cuz at night the temps drop down into the 50’s.  California has different weather that is for sure.   Most of the month we spent quite a bit of time with Amanda, Tim and family. 

One day we rode around Stockton and went down by the river and just walked around.  It is very pretty under the highway with pretty plants and boats to look at.

On the 29th Amanda had to go to the hospital and have a kidney stone broken up.  She has been in alot of pain and hope this works.

On the 30th we went to Delta Shores RV Resort in Isleton with the Vogel’s.  It is a private membership park and they are members so we are allowed to go also.  Very nice campground and the price was just right.  Amanda still was in alot of pain so it was not an enjoyable weekend for them.  I played with the children and we enjoyed the playground greatly. 

Stayed tuned for next month.