At 2:30 this morning, after a long and frustrating day of travel, my parents and I arrived home after spending the week exploring the inside passage of Alaska and Canada. We left Philly early on July 2nd, and landed in Seattle around 11am pacific time. After catching a shuttle to the port, we met the magnificent Disney Wonder ship and one of our Disney Adventure Guides, Robyn. We got a couple of hours to enjoy the view of the Puget Sound from the ship’s deck while our state room was being prepared. Later that evening, it was “bon voyage!” as the Wonder set sail for the Inside Passage!
This was our third cruise as a family; we took two others, both on the Disney Wonder, when I was in elementary school. Those were 4-day Bahamas cruises, which were great fun, but now that I’m older, we wanted to explore a different part of the country where I could really appreciate the beauty of the land and the simplicity of the ports we visited. I don’t want to write a huge, long post that shares every little detail of our trip, so I will share the best highlights. I’m more than happy to share more if you ask!
TRACY ARM: This was our first “stop” on the cruise. Tracy Arm is a series of fjords along the inside passage that ends with the Sawyer Glacier and its accompanying ice field. What amazed me most about this was the quiet beauty of the passage. The water was greener than summer grass and still as glass. Icebergs floated along in the water; they looked stunning blue against the green water. If you looked closely, you could see a harbour seal chillin’ on an iceberg, or a bald eagle flying from island to island. It was worth being nearly frozen in the wind and light rain for the sights!
ROBYN & KRISTIN: Our wonderful Disney Adventure Guides! They were so full of energy and smiles, and were always willing to tell us a story or share some interesting facts about the places we visited, or their past experiences working with Disney in LA. I’ll never forget Kristin’s story about how she met Johnny Depp, and how my dad made them both almost hysterical with a comment about one of our tours (Robyn and Kristin, if you’re reading this: “Hot Dog!”). The most awesome part? We all had these awesome animal hats. We even talked my mom into buying one, too.
THE MEALS AND FOOD: Every night (except the last night, more on that in a bit), we ate dinner at one of three amazing restaurants on the ship: Triton’s, Parrot Cay, and Animator’s Palate. We had two servers that rotated with us each night: Sedat, from Turkey, and Nyoman, from Indonesia. They were both really great and always had smiles on their faces. Sedat even gave us a puzzle every night! Watch out, my engineering friends…I’ll be showing those to you once we’re back at VT! I tried to branch out and try some new foods during this trip. My favourite “new” food was elk. I had it the first night at Parrot Cay. I really didn’t know what it would be like, and all I knew about it was that it was red meat. It was incredible! Elk is very lean, and it tastes a lot like beef steak, but it’s not as fibrous as beef steak. I also tried reindeer and venison. Unfortunately, I couldn’t push myself to try any of the fish…I’m just not a seafood person at all. Aside from dinner, every morning at breakfast, they had this all-natural, low-fat yogurt. I know it sounds really plain, but it was delicious, especially with some almonds and strawberry compote on top!
WHITE PASS RAILROAD: After venturing up to the Yukon Suspension Bridge in Canada, we took the White Pass Railroad back down to our port in Skagway, Alaska. This train followed the White Pass, which many used during the Yukon Gold Rush of 1898. For a good chunk of the hour-and-a-half ride, I stood out on the platform at the front of the train car for the incredibly fresh air and breathtaking views of the mountains and falls. I don’t even know how else to describe it. It was just beautiful.
ZIP LINING IN THE RAIN FOREST: It’s been on my bucket list for a few years now. Our last port in Alaska was the town of Ketchikan, which is one of, if not the rainiest city in the country. We took a bus ride into the rain forest, which is absolutely nothing like the rain forests you see in textbooks. I was a little nervous about zipping, but I was determined to at least give it a try before I turned around. I went all-out and chose to go on the Eagle Creek line, which is the more advanced line of the two (the other was the Bear Creek line). I had a little trouble breaking, or slowing down to land, at first, but after the second line, I got it down almost perfectly. Zip lining is the scariest but most awesome thing I have ever done. I think I would do it again, especially if I’m doing it somewhere it’s not raining and there’s some sun.
VICTORIA, BC: As a final stop before we returned to Seattle, we stopped in Victoria, British Columbia for a few hours. We were on our own, but we met up with Robyn and Kristin, and another family in our Disney Adventure group, and we went to this wonderful little place for dinner called The Local Kitchen. Robyn had been there before and suggested another visit. At her recommendation, most of us ordered their “fall-off-the-bone” BBQ ribs with mac and cheese. Oh my goodness. They are very true to their name! My fingers smelled like the maple glaze for a day after. The mac and cheese was so rich and creamy. I also learned that Canadians make their Shirley Temples with orange juice and lime with ginger ale instead of grenadine and cherry. I’m not complaining, though; it was still good! We had a little time to explore downtown Victoria after dinner. We couldn’t see much, but from what I could see, I want to go back. Downtown was really cool!
|If you look closely, you can see the snow-topped mountains in the background!|
Overall, our trip to Alaska and parts of Canada was a success! I wish I could tell all of my stories, because there are plenty to share! I will end by saying this: if you’ve never been to Alaska, go. It’s truly beautiful. And Seward was an idiot for buying and selling it so cheap.