Our Alaska Adventure: Anchorage, Whittier, & Alaskan Cruise

Home renovations were put on hold for a while as Jim and I took a vacation in September!

We went up to Anchorage, Alaska (via plane) and sailed south along the coast to Vancouver (via a Princess cruise ship). We were there for a week and a half and had a (mostly) wonderful time.

Downtown Anchorage:

Where I ate reindeer every time I got hungry (SO GOOD!!!!):

The weather was nice during our one full day in Anchorage, so we rented bikes and biked the trail along the coastline:

Here’s a dorky victory dance I did after I was the first (between Jim and I) to successfully throw a pebble through the ring in the tree leaves:

Alaska is pretty much mind-blowingly gorgeous everywhere you turn.

Our cruise boarded in Whittier, where we stayed for a day prior to boarding. Whittier itself could be its own post, that town is AWESOME. This one pic will have to suffice for now:

The cruise itself was… an experience. We’d never cruised before, and we weren’t really ready for how much they try to annoy pamper you. The excessive attention from waitstaff and room stewards trying to get in to “straighten up” all the time was too much for us. Seriously, I can tidy my own room, I’m an adult… thanks guys. I guess we are DIYers to the bone!

The cruise took us to the glaciers, Skagway, Ketchikan, and Juneau.

Glaciers are awesome:

Cruising was a great way to see these otherwise inaccessible cities, but I didn’t like how crowded the cruise was.

I was all expecting a week of this:

But it was more like this:

The cruise lines will never show you photos like these, with ass-tons of people crowding everything and walking at a turtle’s pace. But I will! Here’s me and like, a hundred people:

And then when the cruise ship (plus three of four others) come into port, this is what they do to the tiny town waiting to receive them:

I’m a crowd-hater, totally miserable at places like IKEA and Disney World, so being surrounded by so many people drove me nuts. We ate at odd times (dinner at 9:00!) and did everything we could to minimize exposure to massive loads of people, but they were truly everywhere.

The excursions, while pricey, were the highlights of the cruise. We did a terrifying high speed tear down a mountain on a bicycle while I struggle to maintain control of my bowels in the torrential rain scenic bike tour in Skagway, whale watching in Juneau, and ziplines in Ketchikan. I highly recommend the whale watching and the ziplines. Here’s Jim incoming via zipline:

And that’s when I started coming down with something bad. By the time we arrived in Vancouver on Saturday, I was feverish and nearly bedridden with plague. We cut our trip a day short once we arrived in Vancouver, BC, skipping our plans for seeing the city. We rented a truck and road tripped it back to Seattle. My bed never felt so good. (And after that, well… I was ill with bronchitis and missed a week of work, about 5 weeks of the gym, and am STILL – in December – trying to shake a lingering cough despite a hearty regiment of inhalers and rest.)

All in all, I can’t WAIT to go back to Alaska! I loved the scenery, meeting the people, and the way they put fish graphics on EVERYTHING. (If you know me, and you probably do if you’re reading this blog, I’m totally batshit for FISH!!!). I don’t want this post to end on a downer about how sick I got, so here’s some pics of how much fun we had:





Jim made a point of eating pizza every single day:

And I ate ice cream every day (sometimes twice a day):

Okay, one more whale:

We must go back!

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