Saturday, Aug 1, 2009 – Back to NYC
I woke up at 5:00, stuffy-headed, sneezing, and coughing, and discovered a voice mail from American Airlines stating that my 7:00 flight was delayed five hours until noon, so I happily crawled back in bed for two three more hours until it was time to catch my Airporter bus to the airport.
The funny story here is that – with our purchases of oil and gifts that I couldn’t bring on the plane – my suitcases were well over the 50 pound limits. So I packed a third bag with the intention of paying the extra baggage fee rather than an overage fee. But when I checked in I discovered that a 3rd bag was $100. $100!!!!! But the weight overage was only (“only”) $50. So I pulled my suitcases to the side and repacked into two bags, bringing the grand total of my Samsonite to 67 pounds.
The flight was uneventful except for the fun of watching “17 Again” with hottie Zac Ephron. I was home by 9:30 and managed to get the 67 pound bag unpacked before I took cold medicine and passed out by 11:00. The scuba bag could wait.
Friday, July 31, 2009 – Seattle
Shannon and I caught an 7:30 early morning flight to Seattle with Peter and Robin. I had begun to show the signs of a cold, so I fell asleep on the plane and didn’t wake up until the airplane touched down (which, in hindsight, wasn’t that long since it was only a 35 minute flight). We checked in, delighted that our room was ready early, and spent some time surfing the internet to plan our day.
Pike Place Market
First stop was Pike Place Market, where we wandered the booths and shopped for souvenirs before lunch.
Killer view from our Westin hotel room (more…)
Thursday, July 30, 2009 – Vancouver
Still a record heat wave in Vancouver. And unfortunately the air conditioner in our hotel didn’t work,so we slept without sheets or blankets.
We had breakfast at a creperie and then walked to catch a bus to Granville Island. The bus was not only un-air-conditioned (Vancouver doesn’t usually need air conditioning), but the money collector was broken so the bus driver announced, “Your lucky day ladies – it’s free!” On Granville we met Dave, Peter, and Robin and shopped through the markets and boutiques. I hadn’t really thought about it until now, but we never stopped in Ketchikan or Juneau as I thought we would so I had no souvenirs to show for it. And so I shopped a little for myself, buying a charm of the Inuit Inukshuk, which is their symbol of balance of unselfishness, and also some pretty cards to frame for my wall.
The group of us decided to buy our lunch from the market and have picnic outside, despite the heat. Anat was in charge of fruit, Robin for bread and olives, Dave for meat, Shannon for chocolate, and me for (of course) cheese.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009 – Vancouver
Departure day. So sad to be leaving. The morning was devoted to eating and packing – not necessarily in that order. Anat and I shared a taxi to the Blue Horizon Hotel, where the three of us would stay for the next two nights.
Vancouver was in the midst of a record heat wave with record humidity: up to 95 degrees and wet. Such a contrast to the week before, when we were wrapped up in our fleeces and drinking hot chocolates. We donned tank tops and walked to Stanley Park to see the Vancouver Aquarium. This may seem odd considering we just spent a week around all sorts of aquatic life, but it’s one of the top five things to do in Vancouver and they also have beluga whales – which we all wanted to see.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009 – Vancouver Island
Monday, July 27, 2009 – Vancouver Island, Canada at Cape Scott
The sun rose right into our porthole this morning. It was so bright and intense that I got up at 6:30AM to close the porthole cover so we could sleep in. After spending the previous week in gray weather blocking out the sun seemed wrong on many levels; but our cabin cooled down immediately after we closed the porthole and we dropped right back to sleep. And we enjoyed the rest of the day in the bright, brilliant sunlight.
Cape Scott is a sweet little cove on the massive Vancouver Island with two important sites: 1) The famous Dillon Rock dive site, and 2) The mud flats where bears come to feed. Mike briefed us on the dive, the bears, and the zodiac tour, and as we broke up the dive briefing Mike’s 9-year-old daughter Emily said, “Hey is that a bear?” Off on the mud flat was a black bear wandering the shoreline, looking for food. Shannon got a picture of it.
Mud flats (more…)
Sunday, July 26, 2009 – Butedale, Canada
More sun! I love Canada. (more…)
Saturday, July 25, 2009 – Foggy Bay, Alaska
Sun! The sun! We can see the sun! After a week of fog and gray we’re craving the sunlight.
Blue skies! (more…)
Friday, July 24, 2009 – Le Conte Bay
The icebergs in Alaska were not nearly as large as those in Antarctica but still beautiful to see. Captain Mike is a maestro behind the ships wheel; he maneuvered us within feet of the iceberg so we could get up close for photos. Shannon and I laughed at the similarities between this trip and the trip we took to the southern hemisphere; here we are yet again – bundled up on the deck of ship taking loads of pictures of ice, vistas, and rocky terrain. Freezing our tushies off. Totally worth it.
Mac Daddy Glacier – from far away
Thursday, July 23, 2009 – “Smudge” Fjord
Shannon and I slept in, thinking we’d catch the second or third zodiak tour, but we just missed the tour and there wasn’t time for another before the 10:30 dive briefing. Plus Enrique was serving a full breakfast so we opted for warm food rather than wet, rainy close-ups of waterfalls.
“I miss our humpbacks.” said Shannon, looking out our porthole at the calm, quiet, whale-free fjord.