We finished our dog sled excursion, went back to the boat to have lunch and arrived for our next excursion just in time. We decided to take a bus up to the Klondike Pass. So the excursion was called something like "Klondike Pass, Yukon Suspension Bridge, and Salmon Bake". Sounds pretty cool, right? Well, it was. Mostly. So, we got on the bus to head up to the pass, which was in Canada. The drive was really pretty. Our driver told us a lot about the area and a few funny things about how life is lived there. For an example...He and some of his friends he lives with (I think he said there were 16 in his house) decided to go to a movie. Not too exciting, right? Well, the drive just to go to a movie? 2 1/2 hours. Crazy!!! Again, I take advantage of how close I live to things!
We arrived in Juneau early in the morning. I think we expected Juneau to be a little bigger because it was the capitol, but no. It was pretty small, but they did have a Wal-Mart, so that was something! Our excursion began at 8:00 a.m. and was called "Whale Quest and Mendenhall Glacier." We got on the bus and enjoyed the drive while our driver told us about the town. Pretty interesting stuff, but none that I can remember! We got on a boat with about 50-60 other people. It was kind of cool because our table mates ended up being on the same boat. They were so nice and let us use a pair of their binoculars, which totally helped! As we started out, we saw a few bald eagles perched on a little island. We ended up seeing quite a few throughout the day. Pretty cool. So, we continued on our whale quest and ended up coming into a pod of humpback whales. It was so cool because there were about 10 right in front of us, 2 to one side, 4 on another side, and others all around. The tour guides were really surprised, too. They said that although there are usually whales spotted, some of them had never seen that many together. We totally lucked out! We also saw some otters, so that was pretty cool also. Here are a few pics from that...
This whale must have been iritated...This is it slapping its tail.
Day Seven 8/1:
That night was our last dinner with our new friends and our awesome waiters. It was also the traditional Baked Alaska night. Baked Alaska is a dessert that is basically neapolitan ice cream, surrounded by cake, then topped with meringue. They light the meringue on fire and usually have a parade with all the waiters carrying it around.
Triche (tri-chay), Jenny, Me, & Carlos
This is kind of a funny sequence. I made them stay like that until I got my camera out. I think Jenny was starting to gag, but I couldn't get me camera because I was laughing so hard!I guess he wasn't done feeding her after the meringue...here comes the ice cream. Open wide, Jenny!
Day Eight 8/2:
Our cruising has come to an end. :( We met in one of the restaurants with our disembarking group. We left the boat and were going through customs since we were now in Vancouver, Canada. As we arrived to the customs officer, he was questioning us on our plans. Well, our plans were to stay in Canada for a night and then head home the next day. He told us that we were in the wrong place and we couldn't get on the shuttle to take us to the airport. We were going to go to the airport, pick up our luggage, pick up our rental car, then go to our hotel. Fat chance was basically the consensus. The officer referred us to another customs officer, which walked us around to all the places that we had to go. She took us through another security checkpoint, then to another customs officer, which questioned us. They figured out that we weren't there to cause any problems, so they put us in a cab to go to the airport. Our luggage was on some bus, so we had to wait at the airport for it to arrive. While waiting, we exchanged some of our money to Canadian money so we didn't look too touristy. The bus with our luggage arrived about a half hour later, so finally we were on our way.
We walked about a mile or two to the car rental booth at the airport and checked out our car. We got this cute, black Ford Fusion. It was just the right size. We put our luggage in and were looking at the map (parked) to figure out where we needed to go. All of a sudden, we looked up, and SMASH!!!! Some guy had slammed right into us! Of course, I didn't get the insurance since I think my insurance covers me on rentals. I got out to assess the damage and the guy that hit us got out also. The damage wasn't too bad, but I didn't want to get reamed for it. I looked at the guy and noticed he was wearing a Budget uniform. Are you kidding me? The guy that brings the cars around 'didn't see us' and slammed into us? We went inside and the manager had me fill out an incident report, luckily not blaming me for any of it. I knew none of it was my fault, but who knew how things were handled in Canada? J/K, I knew they'd be fair. Anyway, the other manager came out and asked how comfortable I am with driving a big car. I told him I didn't mind as long as it wasn't bigger than an F250 or something. They gave us the keys, we got our luggage out of the other car, and then we were finally on our way. We got to the car and they gave us a Sport Trac Truck. K, so two girls cruisin' around Vancouver, Canada in a truck?!?! It was pretty entertaining, but SO NOT US! It was a nice car, but a gas hog! We noticed the gas stations there and they were 1.47. We were so confused for a little bit, but then I remembered, DUH...they use liters! $1.47 per liter, worse than the states and we had a gas hog, Ugh!
It's pretty cute though, right?
We got to the Marriott really early so we thought they wouldn't let us check in yet, but they did, thank goodness! We were starving, so we headed out to Burger King (we like to try the local cuisine) for some lunch. After that, we went back to the hotel and tried to decide what we'd like to do for the day. Well, we decided to check out the local Wal-Mart. I know, super exciting! We went there and got a few souvenirs for super cheap. Good decision, we decided! Well, by then it was dinner time, so we tried some more local cuisine (Boston Pizza). We took it back to the hotel with us and rented a movie (Made of Honor), and sat and ate and watched a movie. So, that was our Canadian experience. We actually had a good time and the rest was much needed after our exciting week. The next day, we got up and headed to the airport. Got on our flight with no extreme drama, a little flirting with the customs agent on my part, but not much else. Once we got home, Jenny's boyfriend, Alan, picked us up and took us home. We had such a great time and I would totally do an Alaskan Cruise again! I highly recommend it!!! It's much different than other types of cruises. Alaskan is more laid back and focused on scenery. The Carribbean is more of a party and island (obviously) feel, so that is definately great too, but a completely different feel. The Mexican one is also fun, but more like the Carribbean, but not as many partiers. All are super fun and highly recommended! My next will hopefully be Mediterranean...crossing my fingers!
Well, that's it for the cruise, hopefully this didn't bore anyone, but if it did, it's your own fault for reading on after you were bored!!! ;)