mothers day

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

North to Alaska - Thursday, Friday and Saturday

I've mentioned the cooler temps on this cruise compared to the other two cruises we have taken. It was not cold but it wasn't warm either. This is a picture Ed got of me on Thursday afternoon before we arrived in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. The ship docked at 4 pm and left at ten that night. So about 1 or 2 in the afternoon we decided to sit and relax and enjoy the sun a little bit.
No swim suits here, thank you - socks, shoes, long pants, and coat all helped to make it a cozy sunning session! It was probably in the low sixties but when you are on a moving ship that is making about 20 plus knots the wind chill cools things down. Of course, Ed was in his shirt sleeves!! I don't have a sweater on under that coat so I wasn't tooo bundled!! We stopped in and saw the doctor one more time to get enough antibiotics to last until he could get back to our doctor at HAFB. We explained to the doctor that we wouldn't have access to Dr Anderson for another ten days at least as we were headed to Boise the week after we got home. So at $15 per pill we got ten more pills to make sure Ed wasn't gonna get sick again. Actually that was the only time the costs were high - everything else they did for us was a quite reasonable charge - everything on those cruise ships are so expensive and we were quite impressed with the medical care Ed got.

Prince Rupert was another small town on the edge of the continent between the mountains and the sea. As you can see, it was a colorful little town. It only gets 94 inches of rain annually so they weren't surprised at the sunshine, although it does hold the title of the rainiest citgy in Canada! We saw this canoe nestled up next to a dock when we were unloading and thought it was fun. 25% of the population are indigenous peoples, but the majority of the inhabitants are of British descent. We had to show our passports to exit the ship today as we were no longer in the United States. But they didn't stamp them for us!! :-(

We watched the ship dock (one of the few times we docked when we were awake !!) and I thought I wouldn't want to be one of those men standing on the dock as this huge behemouth got closer and closer to that flimsy little dock!! But the captain sidled right up to it, maybe 2 feet away and stopped !! What control!

We didn't have any outings or tours planned for this day and we had been running poor dad nonstop for days so he opted to stay onboard while Ed and I headed into town.

When we got off the ship I had Ed take this picture of our staterooms. The four square windows above the star was our deck. Dad was in the one on the far right and we were right next to him (3rd from the left). Just to the right of Dads room you can see a 'door' - when the tides were right we were able to exit and enter at that door.
This picture was taken from the ship as we were docking. We got off the ship and walked up the sidewalk (where the long line of cars are) and around the corner and down the whole grassy area looking for the shopping district.

This Canadian Mountie was there to welcome us all as we got off the ship and so Ed got a picture of me. He was very friendly and greeted us warmly with a very British accent!
Just past the grassy area they had some lovely flower gardens - we really didn't know where we were going but decided to just follow the people. We didn't find any cutesy tourist traps in downtown Prince Rupert but after about 1/2 mile we did find a grocery store!!! HOW FUN!! We went in and compared prices to our stores and the items on sale were about what our prices are normally ($3.33 for a 12 pack of pepsi) Milk was four something a gallon and we bought me a pint container of orange juice for my nightly medicine that I had been gagging down with water that cost us $1.49 and we bought some herb pills that the doctor suggested Ed take to help his body not suffer with another episode of prostate infection. When we priced the same stuff here in America it was about $3 cheaper. So the prices weren't to bad for being in the middle of nowhere. The people in Prince Rupert aren't totally dependant on shipping by sea or air to get their supplies like the people in Ketchikan were. There is a major Canadian highway that links to Prince Rupert. We asked where the tourist stores were and she had to think... she said at Cow Bay and told us how to get there. I had also heard there was a farmer's market in town that day and she told us how to get there too. She was really helpful. So we walked several more blocks up and over and found the farmers' market only it was mainly homemade jewelry that was really quite expensive. They hold this on Thursday's when the cruise ship comes to town!

So we headed back over to Cow's bay which was near where we disembarked in the beginning and sure enough there were several fun little stores that we wandered through but I didn't see anything I wanted to buy. There were several English pubs up and around the corner but we didn't stop at them.

This telephone booth is soooooo English. Around the corner there was a plain old American Telephone booth but it was so boring. This one has class!

Across the street from one of the pubs was a huge pine tree with two eagles just sitting there way up high. Ed got some great pictures of them. I think its funny - we went all the way to Alaska to see eagles and don't see a one until we get to Canada!!

We got back to the ship by 6pm and picked up dad and headed for dinner. Ed and I went out to the Star crew show at 10:00 - and then we went to the big fantastic chocoholic buffet afterwards. They held the chocaholic buffet at the Versailles Restaurant and they had gorgeous ice sculptures and fantastic chocolate sculptures. I googled this picture as we didn't think to take a camera to the buffet!! It was a feast and I was amazed at how many people heaped chocolate cakes on top of chocolate pies on top of chocolate ice cream on top of chocolate bon bons and ate it ALL!! The Japanese were the most amazing. Here are these little short skinny people and if I ate like that I would be 400 pounds!! They even took all the sugar free treats!! The very best stuff was the chocolate fountain with all the nummy dippers.

Friday was an at sea day as we traveled back down through the inside passage to Seattle. We sent Ed to the meeting on disembarkation in Seattle - and then we all three went to a really interesting digital slide show on the 'behind the scenes of the norwegian star'. It was held in the Spinnaker lounge which was one of our favorite spots on the ship. We would sneak in there all week long when they didn't ruin it with bingo games and sit in the comfy seats with a view off the front of the ship on the 12th deck - it was a great place to watch where we were sailing (plus a lot warmer than out on deck in the rainy weather.)

That evening after dinner we went to the Cirque Pacific with acrobates and some beautiful dancers. After the show we headed back to our staterooms to pack. Since we were hauling our own luggage off as soon as we docked the next morning we didn't set anything out for them to haul for us. We had a flight to catch at 11:10 Saturday morning back home. It was kind of sad to leave the ship and the excitement of the week behind. It seemed like we had to hike a full mile to get off the ship and through customs and outside and over where the cabs were.

We got back to the airport and again - walked and stood forever until we finally got checked in and checked out and up to the gate.

Shortly after the plane took off the captain announced that he had received permission to do a fly by Mt Rainier as it was a sunny day and clear...but of course that was on the opposite side of the plane and so we didn't get to see if. Five minutes later though I saw another beautiful mountain out of our side of the plane and so I took a picture of it.
I don't know what mtn this is but I snapped it through my little window out of the plane - and I was tickled at how clear it turned out. When we landed in Utah the heat hit us hard - after a week of high 50's it was in the mid 90's at the airport in Salt Lake. Welcome HOME!!

Ed and I were home for 24 hours - long enough to load the trailer and go to church and hit the road again. After a wonderful week in Boise we were glad to get back home though. Ed says he is out of vacation days until our trip to Arizona in January so I guess I'm home to stay for a while!!


Kristanne said...

wow - he is out of vacation time - I thought he had a 1/2 year of vacation time - with all the trips you guys have taken this year!! In face the WIlliams-es from Vernal who kept calling while you were gone, wanted to know if Ed was retired as you guys were gone so much!

Sound like you guys had a wonderful time. I've never really wanted to do a cruise, but maybe to Alaska.

Dirk said...

My guess is just about every pilot heading east out of SeaTac manages to "GET" permission for those fly-overs. When I flew home for Simon's birth, my pilot got permission. And I was in the window on the right side of the plane. But I didn't have a camera handy.

I think your mountain is most likely Mt. Adams, but there is a whole string of them so it could be another one. And if it was Adams, too bad you didn't look a little earlier, it's 30 miles due east of Mt. St. Helens.

Oh and I'm glad you were ready for the pictures. I have a very good friend who didn't really prepare as well as she should have. She has pictures of herself wearing socks as mittens since she neglected that aspect of cool weather gear.

Susan said...

Actually I didn't mean to make it sound like we got special treatment....I figured that they always got permision for a fly over. I would imagine they only worry about it when it is clear - of course most of the time they are above the cloud level so they can still see the top of Mt Rainier. I would have loved to see Mt St. Helens. I think the pilot would have said some something if we had gone over Mt St Helens also.

Melinda said...

It sure has been fun reading about your cruise. What a beautiful and interesting place.