Thursday, December 03, 2015

I've Been Everywhere

The Johnny Cash song "I've been everywhere,"  plays in the background as I pen this blog. The song has been used in multiple commercials for travel and is appropriate for my travels of late. I have been absent from my blog instead choosing the instant gratification of Instagram and Twitter to mark my travels. I'm slowing the pace here and playing blog catch up.

The final stop on our Alaska cruise was Victoria B.C. All cruise ships that board in the U.S. must have one stop outside the country to comply with U.S. law. This is quite O.K. with us. We love Victoria and have been here on several occasions. We decided to check out Fisherman's Wharf, a short walk from the ship port. I was expecting something commercial like the San Francisco Wharf. Instead it was a low profile wharf with a cute combo of business, residences and fishing boats. Add this to the places we could live. We had no plans or agenda, just to go with the flow. I have found the best adventures occur spontaneously! We wandered about and just then a water taxi showed up and we leaped aboard!
Fisherman's Wharf Victoria B.C.
Water Taxi Victoria B.C.
Downtown Harbor Victoria B.C. 
On of our favorite spots to photograph in Victoria is the Empress Hotel. There is such a beautiful garden area with lots of flowers ready to pose for pictures.
Rose Empress Hotel Victoria B.C.
Here is where the spontaneous adventure occurred. We knew there were bee hives on property and as we approached there was a bee keeper working. He wore no protective gear but both he and the bees were real mellow. The bee keeper explained he was winterizing the bees. Avril has always wanted to keep bees so this was a totally awesome experience! I was in photographic heaven! Can you plan this stuff? A free show included.
Bee Keeper Empress Hotel Victoria B.C.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Glaciers - Icebergs and Irish Coffee!

A wonderful part of our cruise was traveling up Tracy Arm Fjord to Sawyer Glacier. No getting off and on the ship,  just a scenic journey with spectacular views accessible from a deck chair. As we entered the fjord I took up position on Lido Deck aft. I secured my deck chair,  garbed in  my warmest gear, with cameras ready. I was overlooking the stern pool watching were we had been. Having taken this trip before, I knew when we arrived at Sawyer Glacier the ship would turn around affording me a brilliant view of the glacier. Avril likes to be more mobile, so she wandered about using what photographers call the run and gun.
Entering Tracy Arm Fjord Alaska
Avril - Intrepid Travel Photographer
Tracy Arm Fjord Alaska

Tracy Arm Fjord Alaska
By now the crowds had begun to get larger. Princess, in method of marketing genius,  had a crew member rolling around a cart selling made to order Irish Coffee. He has made up a chant to sell his wares. "Oh we... get your Irish Coffee...make you happy... make you beautiful.... Irish Coffee oh we!"
Irish Coffee vendor Golden Princess Alaska Cruise
As if on cue, two modelesque guys striped down to bathing suits and jumped into the warm pool. I wonder if they provided a well thought out photo opportunity or were just a couple of spontaneous, wild and crazy guys!

Warm pools and icebergs Princess Alaska Cruise

Tracy Arm Fjord Alaska

Sawyer Glacier Alaska

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Catch You in Ketchikan

We had a mission of sorts when we arrived in Ketchikan.  Avril's colleague raved about a restaurant in town called the Alaska Fish House.  He loved their smoked salmon chowder,  made with canned salmon. He had tried in vain to purchase their canned salmon online and  hoped that we could pick up some and bring it back to him.  We wandered the pretty downtown knowing we  would make our last stop the Fish House. The town was crazy busy because there was at least four big cruise ships docked. We dodged many a seagoing tourist.  It turns out there is no retail salmon sales at the Fish House! They must have seen the disappointment on our faces and were kind enough to send us down the street to the Salmon Marketwhere we loaded up on salmon for him and us.  Another beautiful day in Alaska!
Ketchikan Alaska 
Golden Princess Ketchikan Alaska 

Golden Princess Ketchikan Alaska 

Friday, October 02, 2015

Train Day in Skagway Alaska

Our second stop in Alaska was Skagway. We decided to do a shore excursion sold by Princess. I love riding trains and ships, this day we did both!  White Pass and Yukon Scenic Railroad pulls their train up to the ship and you jump on-board for  ride up and down the mountain. I wish it was  more sunny and clear day, but I still got some good photos! Click on the photo below for a slide show of our trip.

Skagway Alaska

Naturally when we got back to the ship the sun came out. The view from deck 14 was magnificent!
Golden Princess Skagway Alaska
Golden Princess Skagway Alaska

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Exciting Days!

In the last three weeks we  have done all kinds of things! We took a ten day cruise to Alaska, celebrated forty years of marriage, became new grandparents and traveled, to and from, Portland on the Amtrak Coast Starlight. We had many fine meals and gathered award points from Marriott and Hyatt Hotels. Avril has been amazing! She is  pleasure to travel with and somehow manages to juggle work and personal time with grace. Thank God for high speed internet access and happy hour wine!
I just now sat down and started to sort out all this adventure and figure out how to blog about it. I think I will hit the highlights a little at a time.
Stern Pool Golden Princess- Looking back to San Francisco
Rainy day in Juneau!

The first stop of the cruise was Juneau. It was rainy and cold so we did not spend much time on shore. We wandered about in the bluster and ended up at Taku Store. We bought lots of salmon as souvenirs and gifts. In my brain, edible souvenirs are the best. We headed back to the ship for early dinner time in the Crown Grill Steakhouse, to celebrate forty years! Our great kids had prearranged gifts of champagne and wine and somehow managed to convince Princess to comp the cover charge for the Crown Grill. We both ordered filet mignon and lobster, our favorite! The entree arrived on huge plates surrounded by more plates with mushrooms, fries and grilled asparagus. It was the smallest item on the menu but still a enormous amount of food. I was wishing I had skipped breakfast and lunch!
Crown Grill Golden Princess
Golden Princess a great place for our anniversary!

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Happy Anniversary!

Princess Cruises is celebrating 50 years! We thought it was appropriate to celebrate our 40th anniversary on board the Golden Princess north to Alaska. Forty years! It was an arranged marriage, she was 6 and I was 9. Insert smiley face here!! ;)

Happy Fifty Princess Cruises!
 One of our favorite things to do on a cruise ship is eat! My favorite meal of the day is breakfast and the Golden Princess is a great place to eat it. I like to have two breakfasts! Breakfast number one is at 630 a.m. in the Piazza with coffee drinks and pastry.
Cappuccino Piazza Golden Princess Alaska
Pastry! Golden Princess Alaska
 Breakfast number one proceeds walking the decks for me, and Zumba for Avril. Got to work up an appetite for breakfast two at 1030! I have not had grits in many a day. So many breakfast choices in the Horizon Court Buffet!
Buffet Breakfast Golden  Princess Alaska

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Power Breakfast !

We are in San Francisco to begin our latest journey. It is breakfast and we decide on our favorite spot Americano, inside Hotel Vitale. On entering I notice a large covey of suited business men. It appears Americano is THE spot for San Francisco politicos to meet and greet in the morning. Faces included former mayor Willie Brown and journalist Phil Matier. These guys know good food!!
Power breakfast Americano - Hotel Vitale San Francisco
We felt a little out of place casually dressed and Avril was mad I told her not to put on makeup. I think it was George Gobel who said, "Did you ever get the feeling the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?"