Honest, this is going to be the last post about my vacation. I swear. Promise.
As you may remember, my wife and I have recently returned from an Alaskan Cruise. It is the best vacation that we've ever had, although, that's not really saying that much.
When my wife was a child, her parents, two sisters and a brother would hop into the car and drive to Panama City Beach, Florida. Once there, her dad would drive up and down the beach trying to find a hotel to stay in because they never made reservations. Something about long distance phone rates and it makes way too much sense to make reservations.
My vacations as a child were spent in either: Johnson City, Tennessee (where Old Man Manis' people settled) or Grenada, Mississippi (where Inez's kin settled). Fireworks were legal in Mississippi so I spent our vacations dodging firecrackers thrown by my brothers.
Our cruise was The Tracy Arm Fjord Cruise. This is basically the southeastern part of Alaska. It has four stops: Ketchikan, Juneau. Skagway, and Victoria Canada. The stops are where you go on your excursions.
It may not come as a big surprise, but the more expensive the excursion, the cooler it is. If you want to see a whale (and not just those at the buffet, ho, ho) you are going to have to spend some cash.
Our excursion in Ketchikan (which is sort of like an Alaskan version of Gatlinburg, Tennessee except diamond stores replace chocolate makers) was to ride on a fishing vessel that was in the TV show "The Deadliest Catch". It pretty cool because we saw a real live squid. We also saw a ton of Bald Eagles.
As far as I'm concerned, our country has the best bird on earth: The Bald Eagle. It is the meanest motor-scooter and the baddest go-getter of all of the birds. But, in Juneau, we saw the baddest of the bad: Lady Baltimore.
|Her Name Should Be "Lucky"|
Skagway was the scene of a little vacation hiccup.
My wife had talked with some friends who did the same cruise the year before. When they were in Skagway, they did a musher camp. That is, they went to a camp that taught you all about dog sledding and let you ride in a sled pulled by a dog team. Then you get to hold some puppies that will eventually pull a dog sled.
When we were purchasing the excursion, our salesperson was Natasha Fatale, who used to be a spy with Boris Bodenov. My wife specifically asked for the musher camp so we could ride in a dog sled and so we could hold the puppies. Natasha said, "Oh, darling, you can do that but you can also do this one and take the train into Canada". Again, my wife asked if we would get to ride on a dog sled and hold puppies. Natasha said, "Oh, darling, yes and for $80 more you can do both". Hey, for $80 extra we could ride on a dog sled, hold puppies, and ride on a train?! Sign me up.
|Open Your Wallet|
Well, in Skagway, we spent maybe 45 minutes in the musher camp. It was very interesting mainly because my only point of reference with dog sledding is Yukon Cornelius. They only had two puppies, which had to be passed around like a hot potato because our bus was going to leave at any second. Then we took we seemed to be the longest bus trip in the history of mankind to hop on a train. But we were in the prettiest part of the world.
|There were no poodles in the musher camp we were at|
Our last stop was Victoria, Canada. It is a beautiful town. But it was cold. So cold, the Canadians were shivering.
Even though it was our best vacation ever, this trip was to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Like I said at the outset of this series, I never thought I'd be married thirty minutes much less thirty years.
Last year, they found a lesion on one my wife's vertebrae. As you know, she is a cancer survivor. As you know, cancer never gives up. The doctors feared the worst: bone cancer. My wife had a deep core biopsy of her T-7 vertebrae and she was in a lot of pain for several weeks. Then came the news: the lesion was benign. Another bullet dodged.
Instead of terrible trial, we had in incredible trip. That's what made this vacation special.