Thursday, June 30, 2011

Alaskan Adventure Part One: Goodbye Seattle, Hello Ketchikan

After all the hoopla in order to make it to Seattle, we left the city nearly as quickly as we arrived.  Early Sunday morning we boarded a shuttle, headed to the dock, and had no problems at all making it on board with plenty of time.  We enjoyed a delicious lunch and a view of the city, and Connor got a chance to check out his new surroundings.

view of the city from the ship while at lunch

our only glimpse of the Space Needle
loving his new home for the week
setting sail for Alaska
The remainder of Sunday and all of Monday were spent at sea, exploring the ship, letting Connor run around (We did have an adorable bat wing "leash" for him which you will see it photos.  He surprisingly loved it, despite it limiting his ability to climb on the rails or leap down the stairs.), eating lots of great food, reading, lounging, and enjoying the onboard entertainment.  Monday evening was a formal dinner, so we were able to get all dressed up and take some family photos.

Vergel, one of our nightly waiters -- Connor loved him.

about to enjoy an onboard show with Cheryl, Andrea, and Aunt Linds

I think he loved the entertainment more than anyone.  He clapped and danced the whole time.

Tuesday morning brought us to our first actual port of call, Ketchikan, Alaska.  Based on the weather as we departed the boat, I was honestly dreading the rest of our Alaskan adventure.  It was cold, raining heavily, and dismal.  We quickly found a free shuttle to take us into town where we looked around at some of the local shops, consulted our maps, and decided what we most wanted to see: Creek Street, totem poles, and lumberjacks, an interesting combination.

greeted by rain in Ketchikan

I was unaware until arriving in Ketchikan that this part of Alaska is a rainforest, and I was pleasantly surprised by all of the beautiful flowers growing everywhere.  Beautiful totem poles also graced the entrances to the park.

Of everything in Ketchikan, the most beautiful to me was Creek Street.  The creek itself was amazing, covered with the brightest moss I have ever laid eyes on.  The shops were adorable, and walking down the wooden walkway above the creek instantly lightened my mood after walking in the rain all morning.

The final outing in Ketchikan was to see a lumberjack show.  It sounds rather strange, but these guys are the real thing, some of them competing on ESPN in some pretty instense events.  I wasn't expecting to be impressed, but all of us (Jason, Connor, Linds, Jordan, Dad, and Randy) walked away having had an amazing, entertaining time.  The skills and strength of the men was astounding, and after each event, Connor would yell out, "Again! Again!"  He was the most enthralled of all and stayed attentive the entire time.  I loved seeing him so excited, but will not be necessarily encouraging him in to the world of lumberjack sports.

By the time we made it back to the ship, got dry and headed to the top level of the ship, things had cleared up enough to truly appreciate the beauty of Ketchikan.

gorgeous Ketchikan

Despite the ominous start, our first real day in Alaska was amazing, preparing us for what was to come the next day at Tracy Arm, truly one of the most breathtaking sights these eyes have beheld.  Lots of photos of the glacier and surrounding mountains in my next post!

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