Once again we had a great tour guide. On our way to our first stop, he pointed out the McDonalds because it is the only drive thru in the city. He told us the night before he and his wife counted 18 cars lined up in the drive-thru. When they had their grand opening in the 1980s,they sold out in 6 hours- selling 17,000 burgers. That was twice the population of the city at that time. When they resupplied and re-opened, the city of Skagway called in an order for the entire town! An ambulance picked up the hot food and drove it to the airport. They flew the orders up to Skagway where the entire town turned out to receive their food! Sounds like a Wendy's may be long overdue!
So our first stop was at Glacier Gardens. They are known for taking the stumps of dead trees, driving them into the ground upside down, then using the root system to plant flowers. It’s a lot of work because at the end of the summer, the gardeners have to remove the flowers to bring them into the greenhouse, and then replant them every spring. We had our fist bit of rain that morning as you can see from our lovely raincoats.On the way to our next stop, our tour guide told us an amusing story. It seems he is only a seasonal employee- earning money for college as he is studying to be a dentist. His wife is also working in Alaska and is actually his boss for the summer, as he put it, at home and at work. On his very first tour, he realized that he made the mistake of not counting his passengers. So at the time the passengers were supposed to return, he asked everyone if they had everyone they came with. No one said they didn’t so he started driving to his next stop. 15 minutes later his wife called asking him if he had all his passengers. He replied ‘well since you’re asking, I ‘m guessing I don’t’. He turned around and returned to his previous stop where he discovered an irate elderly lady. She got on the bus and proceeded to the back where she sat down next to a man. She then spent the entire ride back to the dock yelling at the man for letting the guide leave without her. When the bus reached the dock, all the passengers scurried off and the woman left the bus. The man stayed behind for a moment, but then gave the guide a huge tip and thanked him for the best 30 minutes of his trip!
Our final stop in Juneau was a salmon hatchery. Kenzie liked watching all the fish swimming around and was trying to grab them. We saw the little salmon eggs and the newly hatched babies. Kaitlyn asked us if we were going to play “Salmon Says”. I think she was a little disappointed when we informed her the game was actually “Simon Says!”We did walk around Juneau briefly, but by then it had started to rain again and we had to wait in line to board the ship in a nice little down pour.As we sailed away from Juneau we saw several bears in the water fishing. It was unexpected. We hadn’t thought we’d see any bears!
Kenzie is in her pajamas and ready to go to the Epic Rock show on board. We also learned she is an Aerosmith fan. She was clapping and kicking her feet to “Dream On”.We also learned that Kenzie does not get sea sick! The ship was rocking pretty badly that afternoon into the night. When we picked Kaitlyn up from Camp Carnival many of the kids were laying down or throwing up, but not Kaitlyn or Kenzie. In fact, they were both hungry.
The next day, we arrived in Ketchikan where we visited Totem Bight State Park. Totem Bight is a state park created to help preserve the Native American heritage. As villagers left their communities and went to places where there was work available, they left behind villages and totem poles that were eroded and overtaken by plant life. Totem Bight was created. Older natives were hired to teach others the art of carving totem poles and poles that had been left to decay in the woods were repaired or duplicated.
After our visit to Totem Bight, we explored downtown. I tried to get Kevin and Kaitlyn to pretend to run in front of the “Tsunami Evacuation” sign, but I was told “that’s cheesy” This totem pole in downtown Ketchikan is actually the one pictured in U.S. Passports.Dinner time! Kaitlyn got up and danced to Gangnam Style with the waiters! They loved it!This night we took Kenzie to Night Owls. Camp Carnival usually does not take children under 2, but at certain times they will take them for a fee of about $6 an hour. It was the first time Kenzie has stayed with anyone other than her Mammy. It was only an hour, but it was nice having some adult time. We hit up the Red Frog Pub for some drinks, tried some casino games, and got ice cream on Lido!
The next morning was the Seuss at Sea Breakfast. Everything was Dr. Seuss themed. We got to meet some of the characters. They gave out “autographs”- stamps really- and took pictures. Kaitlyn went to Camp Carnival that afternoon. One of the ship’s dancers came up and taught the kids a zombie dance. Kaitlyn was excited to show off her moves!
We’ve never had a nighttime port of call before. It was really interesting! We went to Butchart Gardens. All of the flowers were so pretty lit up! Kaitlyn liked the stone stepping path through the pond and Kenzie liked the hanging flowers! Unfortunately, the next day was the end of the cruise and our long trek home. We didn’t get in to Boston until after 1AM ET. So we ended up going to a hotel in Boston. That meant we slept in on Kenzie’s birthday and stopped for lunch at TGI Fridays. We celebrated her birthday on Sunday instead! We can’t wait to share those photos with everyone!