Yes, I readily confess that the recapping of the vacation has taken four times as long as the vacation itself. I think subconsciously I didn’t want to reach the end, because then I would have to admit it was over, and give up on the fantasy I still have that someone will show up at my house, as if I were still on the cruise, and bring me food and put my napkin in my lap and make my bed and leave little chocolate mints on my pillow. Alas, it’s not to be. It appears that I don’t have Blaine trained well enough, and sadly, I can’t afford a valet of my own.
So, I concede defeat, and am sharing the pictures of our last day of vacation. Well, technically, not the last-last day, but I doubt you want to see pictures of us driving to Anchorage and stopping for pizza and sitting in the airport waiting for our flight, going to the airport gift shop when we remembered one person for whom we forgot to buy a souvenir. Or, pictures of the mess the stewardess made when she dropped the tray of ice cream toppings on the floor of our first class cabin and suddenly, our first class “ice cream sundaes” were downgraded to “a bowl of vanilla ice cream”. I mean seriously, when am I EVER going to fly first class again? And she DROPPED the chocolate sauce???? Geez. The injustice of it all.
Our last day in Seward, we took what was supposed to be a nine-hour boat tour of the Kenai Northwestern Fjords. This was the trip I affectionately refer to as PukeFest 2007, and because of the bad weather and rough waters, they had to re-route our tour and cut it short a bit. We weren’t complaining, however, because everything we saw was beautiful, AND they reimbursed enough of our money (totally unnecessary, in my opinion, but appreciated nonetheless) for Blaine, Keith, Renee and I to treat ourselves to a lovely dinner out that night.
We drove ourselves to the harbor and parked the car, then waited at the tour offices until time to board the boat. It was a pretty good sized boat and I’m sure could have held around 100 people (?) In the inside cabin, there were benches along both sides near the windows, and movie-theater like seats in the middle. Up front there were more seats, and I think on the top as well, although I never ventured up there. I’m all about the view, but I’m also all about staying warm and dry. Although once the people around us started in with the retching and gagging and heaving into little bags, my sympathetic-gag-reflex and I were out on the open back area of the boat, in the fresh air, for most of the remainder of the trip.
We did see some great scenery and wildlife, though:
Had the sun been shining I’m sure it would have been even more beautiful, but even overcast, the views were gorgeous.
Alice Glacier. I think …. Is that right? Alice?
Well, whatever it was called, it was pretty. No calving like we saw at Glacier Bay, though, so a bit of a disappointment. Funny how quickly you become immune to it all ….. like, “Oh, *only* a glacier? No active calving? Don’t waste my time…. Hey, are those complimentary cookies I smell baking?”
We saw lots of wildlife this day, as well:
A mama otter with her baby on her back. I know the image is pretty crappy, but you’ll just have to believe me, it was neat to see.
Sea lions swimming.
Ooh, look! A whale flipper!
Ah, yes. Yet another of the 800 shots I took of whale humps.
This was my beautiful-moment-view. The moment on the back of the boat when the sun peeked out for just a brief minute, and the sky was blue and the white birds were all over this rock, and Trans-Siberian Orchestra was playing on my ipod, and all was right with the world.
Lastly, the money shot. The one I was hoping for the entire cruise, which I didn’t get until the very last day --- a whale breaching the water. I did crop and zoom a little for this picture, but I would estimate the whale was no more than 100 feet from our boat when he put on this show.
It was amazing. The entire trip was amazing. And now, with this entry, it's officially over. I guess I need to buck up and remind myself of one of my favorite phrases, which sums up this vacation that we saved and planned and waited so long for:
Don’t be sad that it’s over, be glad that it happened at all.
Or something like that. You know when I plagiarize people I never get it exactly right.