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June 20, 2013

Alaska Vacation and Pictures

I'm back everyone!  Wanted to let you know that I am SOOO relaxed at the moment. I mean other than the overwhelming amount of laundry to still put away.  5 loads washed, still another 3+ to go...

Here's a summary of the trip :)

Ten days, traveling over 3,000 miles, 5 of us in a small cabin, 15 family members, tons of family time...

I read 7 books on my Kindle. 

The boys loved kids camp.

I ate too much.

In Ketchikan our adventure was the lumberjack show. Our team won the first competition and the lumberjack (on the right above) gave my youngest the first wood chip. We carried the big thing home with us.  It's still drying out now in our backyard.  We also wandered around the town - it's cute.  My husband has one of their childhood neighbors living in the town, so we met her for lunch - she told us the summer months are the best, though it's hard for her own little kids to adjust to the 18 hour sunshine days.  Summer is supposedly horrible with the 18 hours of darkness, not to mention the crazy amount of snow and cold.    

In Juneau our adventures included whale watching (hubby and older boys) and visiting the Mendenhall Glacier (above).  While hubby was whale watching, I took my youngest on a long walk in the town.  They have this crepe stand that was wonderful!

Yes, lots of walking - I had my pedometer going nonstop during port days - 7 miles one day, 6 the other days... no wonder my feet hurt!!  Proud of myself though for not giving up - I'm sure it counteracted all that food I consumed.  :)  

In Skagway we went on a 3 hour shuttle bus tour up to the summit and into Canada - Yes, I'm standing on the ledge looking down, I'm afraid of heights... We also took the boys mining for gems (since this is where the Alaskan Gold Rush started) - just like the olden days using a sluice box.  

Our tour guide was super cool and took us through the Gold Rush cemetery to see this awesome waterfall.  The cemetery was interesting.  I'm not someone that enjoys walking through cemeteries, but seeing the dates on the tombstones reminded me how young many of the gold rush miners were in both California and Alaska.  They have quite a few graves with fences around them to keep the bears out (not enough dirt on the rocky mountain to dig down deep).  Yuck!  

The waterfall made it worth it though.

Port days were full of education, but they were also full of mosquitoes.  Came home with too many itchy bites...

Our sea days were almost all fun - some sea sickness in the rocky waters. 
We loved Dramamine and the sea bands.  The kids played in kids camp almost non stop (well the stop was when it closed at lunch, for dinner, and when it was bedtime).  This was the first cruise that the boys wanted to be away from us - it was a nice break, got a lot of reading done.  

Since we were in the Inside Passage, we saw a lot of animals swimming by - dolphins, seals, whales... eagles taking off from ice bergs, bears swimming for their dinner.  So many animals to be seen just from the ship.  With the 18 hour sunshine, there were so many opportunities to keep looking at the water.  :)  

We did play a game of Bingo with my brother in law & his wife - we lost, they won $400.  

Dinner was wonderful - some interesting food choices though - our youngest son did a great job with his potty training, average of 3 times per meal of leaving the table to walk up a flight of stairs for him to use the restroom.  

The tooth fairy also had to make a visit for my middle son.  :)

In Victoria we visited the BC Royal Museum - the one right next store to the Empress... 

and the Government building.  Of course I forgot to take a picture of it.

So wish that we had more time to explore the city... I think the little bit of time we did spend there convinced hubby that we need to make another trip.

These were just some of the pictures that I took on my phone, hubby took around 800 on the camera - so you will probably see more of our trip popping up.  Between leaning about rocks & minerals, glaciers, fossils, the gold rush, etc. it was a totally educational 4th grade trip.  So many things to bring into my lessons next year.  :) I keep telling hubby that some of those receipts could be educational expenses - he isn't buying it though.   

I'm glad to be home though. Now it really feels like summer! :)

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