Wednesday, August 31, 2011

But wait, there's more!

I bet you thought I was finished with my documentation of our trip to Alaska, but I couldn't leave you hanging, wondering what exciting thing we did next. I would never do that to you. I haven't even shown you the whale!

We saw a whale.
Actually, we saw several whales, none of them particularly close up, but I'D never seen a whale before, so I thought it was pretty cool. See?

Cool, huh?

Anyway, the morning after Ketchikan, I woke up cold. Like, winter, I need another blanket, can someone please light a fire in here cold. I got up and looked out the window, which explained everything.

We were floating through icebergs. We were doing some "scenic sailing" up the Tracy Arm Fjord, which, I must admit, was probably my favorite part of the whole trip.

It was stunning. The water really was that blue green color.

And there really were icebergs. Not huge -sink the Titanic- icebergs, just lots of little ones.
Either way, it was cold.

Painfully cold.
Or maybe I'm just a wuss. In this photo, I'm wearing a shirt, sweatshirt, down coat... and a blanket.

We were on our way to see this. The glacier. Apparently the ship broke a record that morning and got closer to it than they ever had before.




The crew seemed to get a little giddy about it and opened up the helicopter pad so that we could go out and have a little look-see.

It was pretty deluxe. A couple of Brent's sisters and their respective husbands came out with us (one of the is behind the camera)

After that, we docked in Juneau, which was also quite amazing.

It rained ALL day, which gave me an opportunity to walk around with my cute, dainty umbrella. The locals didn't seem to mind the rain. They were ALL wearing big rubber boots. Our tour guide said they call them Juneau tennis shoes.

Just like Ketchikan, we got to see a lot of things...

We got to see another glacier. It's back there, I promise. I didn't have any other pictures of it on my computer, Brent must have taken them with his phone.

We saw more salmon. Lots and lots and lots and lots of salmon.

Brent's sister saw a bear, but no one else did. :(
I wouldn't have been particularly interested in seeing a bear, except that everyone who lived there seemed to think that it was perfectly normal to run into bears, like it was no big deal or something. They actually recommended that we fight them, if we felt threatened. I'm kinda giggling just thinking about it. Like, they seriously said that you should punch a bear in it's face and charge at it and stuff.
Ya, I'm not going to do that. It's probably best that I didn't see one.

But we did see a Bald Eagle, sitting there all majestic in the tree tops.

It was the icing on the cake before we hopped back in the tour bus and headed back to the ship. For the record, I loved Juneau.

Friday, August 26, 2011

I just want one room

Today, I was on the phone and in an effort to escape the mayhem that my children are constantly creating, I ducked out of the room they were in and sneaked into my front room to finish my conversation. I haven't finished decorating the room yet, but it has a couch now, and some chairs, and it is clean an peaceful in comparison to the rest of the house. It's my little sanctuary.

See? No toys. No crayon on the walls. No scraped up furniture. Just a couch, but a nice, clean couch that is void of finger smudges and cat hair.

Anyway, it only took a minute before the kids were on to me. Of course they followed me in there and immediately started doing acrobatics from the couch. Argh! I kid you not, within in moments of their arrival there were little feet hitting the wall and the pictures on the wall and chairs crashing into windows. They were opening the doors of my antique cabinet and slamming them closed and every other destructive thing a kid can do.

I'll admit it. I started yelling....

"Why! Why can't I just have one room? Can't I just have one room in the house that is pretty and clean? I just want a place that you don't destroy, that looks like a picture that you can see but can't touch! You have the ENTIRE house to tear apart and all I'm asking for is JUST ONE ROOM that belongs to ME!!!!!"

At that moment, Lizzy looked at me. She was the only one of them who was brave enough to speak.

"Not two?"

Apparently I aim low these days.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Let's Cruise!

Last week, Brent and I had the really cool opportunity to go on a cruise to Alaska with his family. I'm not gunna lie to ya. It was pretty freaking rad. If you were on the fence, wondering if maybe you should go on a cruise to Alaska, allow me to persuade you to do so.

The cruise we took was of the inside passage, which is that little stretch of Alaska right down at to the south and next to Canada. Apparently Canada is only about a stone's throw away. One of our tour guides said "you could just walk over there really quick, except that it's on the other side of the ice fields, which are impassable, so you can't get there."

Here, let me show you...

Our first stop was just barely in the state at Ketchikan, which kept making me think of Catch me if you Can, which reminded of the movie wherein Leonardo DiCaprio pretended to an airplane pilot. Back in the days when flying was glamorous. Not like today. Not. Like. Today.

But I digress.

Here are some photos of our first day back on land.

This is a photo of me and my husband, the talented and handsome Brent, in front of their cool sign. Yes, I am wearing a coat. It was like 50 degrees. It only rained a little while we were there, which apparently is all it takes to make a lovely day in Ketchikan. I think they get something like 13 feet of rain a year, so only raining a little looks pretty good in comparison.

This is another view of the town. It reminded me a lot of Park City, only, you know, next to an ocean.

This is a view of Creek Street, which was built over this here creek.

I think there might be a significant gap between their idea of a creek and mine.
The buildings are so high up because when high tide comes in, the water rises like 2500 feet. Or something like that.

All those bushes are berry bushes. They had wild raspberries and blackberries and blueberries and elderberries and probably a lot of other kinds that I don't know about. The bushes were pretty bare by the time we got there, but I did find one wild raspberry. And then I ate it.

This is a photo of a park. Brent loved the moss everywhere.

This is a photo of a freakishly large slug. We saw these more often than I was comfortable with. Snails are bad enough.

This is a photo of all the boys, save one, in front of Married Man's Trail.
As the story goes, the married men would sneak out this back trail to a brothel at the end of Creek Street so that their wives wouldn't know where they were going. Methinks it probably worked about once before their wives figured out what was going on.

This is a photo of a cool lighthouse on a cool island in the ocean. Anyone else sing Candle on the Water in their head every time they see a lighthouse? No? Just me?

And last , but certainly not least, THIS is a photo of a dog that looked like he was driving a van.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

... and another.

Today was Lizzy's first day of her second year of preschool.

She got up, got dressed, ate her Cocoa Puffs, strapped on her shoes, grabbed her tote and off she went.

I'm not exactly sure what it is about preschoolers, but it always makes me a little teary-eyed to see them hop out of the car that first day. Maybe they are just a little too little or maybe it's just hard to let my babies grow up, but you will generally find a stray tear on my cheek as I drive away.

It doesn't seem to bother her at all. Let's just say that the day... went well.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Grade Dos

Yesterday, it happened.

School started.
I'm only slightly panicked about it. I'm that mom who's always ready for her kids to get back into a routine as quickly as possible, which eases the pain of sending them off to school for the bulk of their day to be taught and influenced by a group of relative strangers.

Towards the end of last year, Jane decided to transfer to a different school where she started a Spanish immersion program. As a result, she was a little more nervous about her first day than I thought she'd be, hence the nervous looking photo.

I should have broken out the camera this morning, she was much more cool and collected.

Lizzy doesn't start her first day of Pre-K until tomorrow, but I think we're all looking forward to it. Let the structure begin!