Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Honeymoon part 4 - Juneau, Alaska

Juneau was awesome. So crazy that it's the capital and it's such a small city! Our guide told us that they had one of the, or maybe THE, ugliest capital buildings in the country. It was pretty terrible, but I liked it all the same.

 The view from our balcony in the morning. Mountains!

 Coming into Juneau. Our ship, and the Disney ship that was cruising the same course, were the first of the season. These Alaskan cities thrive on tourism, so it was neat to be there on their "first day" of the summer season. It definitely wasn't quite summery yet, it was still pretty chilly.

 Okay, those specs on the water? BALD EAGLES. Like 6 of them just flying around catching fish. Alaska has so much wildlife everywhere. So wild!

 For our first excursion we went to see the Mendenhall Glacier. I took a geology class a year or so ago, so I was nerding it up. Although it may not look very big, this is just the terminus (end) of the glacier, it actually goes miles and miles back like a giant frozen river between mountains. It was unbelievable to actually be standing in front an actual glacier. These things are lean mean eroding machines, they create mountains and valleys! They are the reason areas like this are so beautiful.

 It was chilly at first but after hiking around, we were sweaty!

 The lake was still half frozen and there were icebergs floating around!

 We hiked down to check out the water fall.

It was so loud, such a beautiful sound.

 It was huge. That red thing is a lady standing below it.

 We got really close! Our butts got soaked from all the spray.

 I'm sure it gets larger and larger as the snow continues to melt. Can't imagine what it would look like at it's peak!

 Icebergs! The ice gets that bluish tint after being compacted after decades and centuries by tons of ice and snow on top of it.

 The view from the visitor center.

 Next we went and checked out the Tongass National Rainforest at Glacier Gardens. There are something like 17 million square miles of this particular rainforest. Later on in the summer it is much greener, we were still a little early. We took one of those long golf carts up this crazy windy path from sea level to 580 feet.

 Blurry views along the way, everything was so green and mossy!

Very damp. A mudslide a few decades back had done an extensive amount of damage to this area, so there were lots of trees that had fallen over.

 Once we reached the top there was an amazing view of the Mendenhall Valley, which was actually created by the Mendenhall Glacier that we saw earlier. That body of water way near the back is were our ship was docked.

You can see some of Juneau behind me. And I look ridiculous.

The guy who built the gardens created these series of connecting pools and streams to prevent mudslides. This one was shaped like a heart. How very appropriate for a honeymoon.

One of the many streams.

 Their gift shop had some cool animal hats, of course Brendon had to try them on. He does a convincing bear.

 Once we were back in the city we wandered around, explored a little, and did some souvenir shopping. And I found this cute bear!

 Look at our ship looking all snazzy and majestic! I couldn't get over how beautiful the mountains were at dusk. They glowed! Can you imagine seeing this everyday? I don't think I could ever get used to it.

And of course, our nightly towel animal. I felt so bad taking them apart. I though seriously about hiding them all in cabinets, but that would be a little ridiculous.

Part 5 will be our stop in Skagway, my favorite day of our trip. So many magical mountains!

Honeymoon part 3 - Sailing days 2 & 3

Leaving Vancouver was a little sad. That city is amazing! But we were very excited to get on board our ship and get on our way to Alaska. And we were VERY ready to check out of that hotel.

View of Canada Place from our balcony! Canada Place was neat-o. Not only does it look cool, but it is highly organized. Getting onto the ship and going through customs was so easy. These people have got it down.

 One of the first things we did when we got on the ship was get some beer. Don't judge. I was so excited to find some Miller Lite (I know, such a classy gal, I blame it on my father). In Canada, beer was outrageous and our domestics were hard to find. A 30 pack of Budweiser cans was $52 Canadian. Whaaaa??

Just chillin' at the bar.

 I'm so good at posing awkwardly.

 Although it doesn't look like it, it was insanely bright outside. We tried to get this shot like 4 times, but I couldn't keep my eyes open long enough. I think our final result is pretty cute.

We bought the snake that is chilling on our beverages in a joke shop in Vancouver. You'll see more of him, because we're weird like that. He's currently on my nightstand.

 Farewell sweet Vancouver!
That huge bridge! I didn't think we'd make it under it, but we did. And there's Stanley Park again, see the little trail around it? We biked that bad boy!

 Stanley Park and Vancouver!

Cute little husband. The ship had the best hot chocolate ever, actually it may be tied with the hot chocolate from Taos Ski Valley.  But it was really good. I had a lot of mugs.

Stanely Park, again. Can you tell we are fans?

 Sail boat race! It really doesn't look like it in the pictures, it was kind of hazy, but it was a really nice day out. Warmest day while we were there, I think it was in the mid 60's. Everyone was out enjoying the spring weather.

 Mountains, mountains, and more mountains! I'm obsessed. I'd say 60% of all our photos are mountain shots.

As corny as it may be, I loved our little Carnival towel animals. They're so cute!

The next day we cruised through the Inside Passage, a sheltered waterway with mountainous islands on one side and mainland Canada on the other. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL. Although it was extremely drizzly and foggy, it was still breathtaking. So wild. Nature at it's finest.

 Doesn't this look like a scene from Twilight? Haha. There were TONS of streams and waterfalls everywhere you looked, they look small in the pictures, but a lot of them were very large. You could hear the water rushing.

Thank goodness for waterproof jackets! Even with them we were ended up pretty soggy.

 Approaching the narrowest part of the passage. It looked so small, I didn't think we'd fit!

 When the fog lifted enough you could see the snowy tops of the mountains.

 One of the many amazing streams.
Waterfalls galore! 

Soggy but extremely happy honeymooners!

One of the bigger waterfalls. It was all so beautiful. I'd never seen anything like it.

 That night was our "formal" night on the ship, so we got dressed up. Apparently this is how the cool kids wear their ties now.

I was a mess. After leaving the passage we were in open water for a bit and I got sea sick. So I took some Dramamine which made me pass out. I had such a hard time getting up, we almost missed dinner!

 Wine helped the situation.

 Dinner time! The food was great! And all you can eat.

We had the best waiters, they were always bringing Brendon extras of everything.

Dancing at dinner. Can't remember the song, but afterwards they sang us a honeymooners song and put napkins on our heads.

Our doggie and our snake!

Next post we visit Juneau and see a glacier! Sick of seeing mountains yet? Just wait! :)