Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Burgers are Cruisin', Day Eight

On day eight we packed up and left the ship behind in Seattle. As you can see we had a little time to kill before our flight back to the east coast, so we visited a couple of famous spots. First was the space needle.

We stopped for lunch at a local sports bar so we could sample a couple beers and my wife could get her Tour De' France fix (the ship didn't get the Versus network).

Then we headed to Pike Market.

It was packed.

Look at the king crab legs. How crazy are they?

How about the lobster tails? Those are bigger that my forearms!

Still alive? For real?

And finally, our last stop... Shorty's. A pinball bar with no air conditioning. It was an absolute blast, though.

So that's it. That's our Alaskan Cruise. What do you think?

The Burgers are Cruisin', Day Seven

On our final day of the cruise we ported in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Wow. We had an absolute blast. This was, by far, my favorite part of the entire cruise. Take a look at what we did...

We were provided with a quick lesson that consisted of a couple of spins around the parking lot. After my wife watched me give it a try she said, "I think I'll ride with my cousin." What can I say, I've never driven a scooter or motorcycle. She ended up riding with me anyway. :)

Lookin' like a natural.

Those helmets cracked me up.

Great picture taken by my wife.

The traffic didn't bother me as much as the cars parked along side the road. You never knew when someone would throw open a door or dart into traffic. I guess that's part of it, though.

We rode through neighborhoods, parks and along the shore. The temperature difference was crazy between the shore and downtown. At times you'd go through a pocket of air that was 20 degrees cooler than the rest of the town. Refreshing!

Scooter riding cousins.

Speedy Purpand.

Check out the double-decker bus. From what I've been told, Victoria is very British and very much like London.

Victoria is the capitol of British Columbia. Here is their capitol building.

Here's the Fairmont Empress located in downtown Victoria. I hear it's famous.

We worked up an appetite.

The Burgers are Cruisin', Day Six

Day six was a travel day. We didn't get off the ship. I took advantage of this and watched Spain versus Germany in the semifinals of the World Cup. There were people from all over the world on this cruise so watching with them was an interesting experience.

Cousin Purpand climbed the rock wall located on the back of the boat.

I stuck with table tennis.

The wait staff in the dining room performed a little song and dance for our entertainment on day six. They really seemed to have a great time doing it.

Lawrence was all smiles.

Towel animal 4: a monkey

The Burgers are Cruisin', Day Five

Day five started at 5:30 in the morning. The captain navigated us through ice and mountains to a place called Tracy Arm Fjord to see the Sawyer Glacier. The further north we went, the more ice appeared in the water.

More ice.

You can see the glacier in the distance.

A close-up of Sawyer Glacier.

Sawyer Island. I'm not sure who this Sawyer guy was, but I can only assume he discovered the glacier.

Here's a big piece of ice that recently fell from the glacier. Notice the bright blue color that covers much of the chunk. We were only able to get about a mile from the glacier. Too many chunks like this one prevented us from getting any closer. Global warming anybody?

Day five was our second formal evening in the dining room. We got all prettied up and took a few pictures.

My wife and father-in-law.

My wife and mother-in-law.

Cousin Purpand gave all the ladies in the family a rose at dinner. He's nice.

My uncle-in-law just retired and brought this jacket with him as a joke. I had to get a picture in it.

Our waitress also liked the jacket. Her name was Rosemarie and she was from the Philippines. Our assistant server, Lawrence, was from India and took great pride in the Indian food he served my wife every night (she loves the stuff). Speaking of food... it was pretty good, but it wasn't spectacular. I never had a bad meal, but I never left hungry, either. You could order as much as you liked. If you wanted two appetizers, two entrees and three deserts, you were allowed. Crazy stuff.

Towel animal number three, a bulldog.

The Burgers are Cruisin', Day Four

Skagway, Alaska... population: 750

Our cruise ship holds over 3000. Needless to say, this town thrives on tourism. It's quite obvious, too. There was so much to see and do.

I chose to take a train from Skagway to Fraser, British Columbia on the White Pass Railway. National geographic recently rated this train ride the 9th best in the entire country.

The trip took about three and a half hours. The scenery was outstanding. This picture was taken near the bottom of the mountain.

Another picture from the train. Notice that the elevation is slightly higher.

This tunnel marked a noticeable change in scenery... before the tunnel, mountains and cliffs. After the tunnel, ponds and meadows.

A pond in the meadow on top of the mountain.

Fresh off the train, here's a picture of my father-in-law and I on top of the mountain in Fraser, BC. Directly after this we boarded a bus and made our way back down the mountain.

On the way down the mountain our tour guide made numerous stops. The first was slightly random, and at first, I didn't really see anything abnormal. It looked like a field of rocks to me. But as I looked closer, I could see what the guide explained to us as Inukshuks. These were rock formations made to look like humans. They're obviously man made, but super cool when there are thousands of them staring at you all at once. No joke, there really were thousands of these next to the road. The guide told us Inukshuks were a welcome sign repopularized by last winter's Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia. And since we were on the USA/Canada border, it made sense to see quite a few of them.

Self explanatory.

There are waterfalls all over the place in Alaska and the surrounding area. The mountains are so huge that snow gathers at the top of them. As "summer" progresses, the snow melts and forms some pretty powerful falling water.

Once we made our way back to Skagway on the bus, I stopped to have lunch with my wife and two of her cousins. The three of them went ziplining through the forest. I don't have pictures of that yet, but will post them as soon as I do. Anyway, we went to a pizza joint, had a beer and a pie. The beers were six dollars and the pizza was 27. That's right, a 27 dollar pizza. Ugh. You see, Skagway produces none of its own food. Everything is flown, boated or driven to Skagway from the closest market... 110 miles away. Better be rich to dine out in Skagway!

Here's downtown Skagway. Quiet and simple, eh? Looks a movie set at Universal Studios to me.

Here's the Red Onion Saloon and a couple other buildings. Apparently these are a few of the oldest buildings in Alaska. Notice the jewelry store. There were 27 of them in Skagway.