Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Alaka, the second half

Here are the rest of the pictures from our Alaska trip.




In Skagway, we went on an exursion where you take the train back. There was a train just ahead of us which you can see in this picture. Notice how narrow the track is? It got pretty hairy at times!


Mommy and Gracie on the train


Glacier Bay which is a national park, was probably my favorite part of the cruise. I could have sat there all day long looking at the glaciers surrounding us. It was so peaceful and serene, a true testiment of God's creation.


The water was as smooth as glass in Glacier Bay


This glacier is called Margarie Glacier. It's 250 feet tall and no words can describe it. Jerry and I sat on our balcony and just stared and stared. We got great video of some calving which is where chunks of ice fall into the water from the glacier. This is also where Jerry got video of a bald eagle catching a fish and eating it. Truly magnificent!


More views from Marjorie Glacier


Doesn't this look fake, like a paiting? I swear it is real!


Another glacier which we stopped at but I can't remember the name of!



One of our final stops, Ketchikan which was a cute, quaint old town.


The float plane which Jerry took that I chickened out on.


Look closely at the light pole. Jerry caught a bald eagle!


Misty Fjiords from Jerry's float plane.


More from the float plane


I thought this was a cool picture Jerry caught of his plane's shadow on the mountain


A lake totally frozen over



Jerry met some new friends on his exursion


Later after Jerry's plane ride, we went to a park called Totem Park which had a bunch of totem poles


Guess what? Jerry grew hair in Alaska! Must have been all the fish!!


A nice view of Ketchikan


Gracie having fun in the kid's club on the ship


Yep, even though we were in Alaska, we ate ice cream almost everyday!


The Parliament building at our last stop in Victoria, Canada


Our last night, Gracie tried to help with the packing. Peek a boo, I see you. :)

That's all folks!






Friday, June 19, 2009

Two Years Ago Today.....

This very day, two years ago today, my stomach had butterflies, my hands were sweaty, I was very nervous and couldn't think straight. But then, this beautiful, joyous, wonder of love was placed in my arms and it all became okay. All those thoughts of doubt, will it ever happen to me? Yes, it did and I can't believe that two years has flown by. As beautifully said by someone I know, the Vilander's became a family this day!







Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Alaska, Finally!!!



As many of you know, Jerry, Gracie and I went on an Alaskan cruise in May. I don't know why it's taken me so long to post, probably because I've been busy, along with just not feeling up to it but, I've finally updated my blog and have started posting some of my pictures from the vacation. We ended up taking over 1,200 pictures and heck no, I am not posting all of them! I went through them and tried to pick the ones I thought you'd like. I will do a second posting tomorrow, or more realistically in a couple of days.

Alaska itself was gorgeous. I cannot use enough words to describe how much I enjoyed the state and the cruise itself. I think of our trip almost everyday and can't wait to go back. This time around, we did a couple of flight tours and next time, I think I would like to do some land ones. There is so much to see and do in Alaska, that 7 days just wasn't enough. I did achieve one of my lifetime goals, and that was to walk on a glacier. If you've never done so, it was fantastic and surreal. I just felt so peaceful while on the ship, looking at the beautiful glaciers and land that I wanted to stay forever. You could truly see God's work and it was amazing.

The ship itself was great and we chose a cruise that was branded as freestyle dining. What that means is that instead of being given a set time to eat dinner each night, with the same people, we got to choose what time and where we wanted to eat which worked out great because of having Gracie and with the excursions we took. The bed was heavenly and aside from Hawaii, it's the best I've ever slept. One night, the ship even had a chocoholics buffet at 10pm (sorry Gracie that we kept you up) where they turned the whole buffet area into anything and everything chocolate. I swear, there were dipped apples, cakes, yummy huge strawberries which I had 7 of and just tons and tons of stuff. Unfortunately, we were so excited that we forgot our camera.

Anyway, once the 7 days were up and we had to leave the ship I did get a little teary eyed but I can't wait for our next cruise.

Oh, the weather was fantastic when we went. The captain said it was in his top 5 of trips he had ever done. It didn't rain once and was actually as warm as it gets here, in SoCal!





Flying to Alaska! Gracie did great on the plan, both ways.




Waiting for our ship to take off in Seattle. Check out the mountain in the background.

On our way, inside passage


Gracie LOVED her little bed that they made up for her each night!



Jerry enjoying his drink. He better cause they were pretty pricey!


Gracie was in hog heaven, literally! She had bacon every morning and they gave her extra here. :)


Back view from the ship as we arrive into our first port, Juneau


Juneau, AK


I love this picture of Gracie kicking back on the ship!


On the helicopter on the way to the glacier. Gracie was a little nervous and the only thing she said in a high squeaky voice was "Mommy". I was nervous too!


Our first view of the glacier. Isn't it gorgous?


Jerry and Gracie on the glacier. See the water in the background? The guide said we could drink it which Jerry did. I wasn't brave enough to reach over, for fear of falling in!


More glacier pictures


Gracie loved the towel animals that our room steward made for her each night

The below pictures are from our next port in Skagway, AK


In Canada at the Yukon territory.


Emerald Lake which is the most gorgeous lake I've ever seen and I've seen a lot! Believe it or not, some guy from Germany bought this lake a few years ago so it's privately owned. Our guide said he has never seen anybody ever swimming in it.



Sled dogs


This is us at a museum strictly dedicated to taxidermy. It was kind of strange. Don't you like our polar bear impersonation? :)



Even though it was early in the season, we did get to see a momma bear and her two cubs off the side of the road


We took a train back from the Yukon to Skagway and this was some of the scenary


More beautiful train scenary

More to come..............