Mary and I took a short road trip to visit her son Brandon and his wife Markie in Chicago and to see my brother David and his wife Julie in Bloomington. The trip was great with a couple of days seeing the sights in Chicago followed by a few days visiting David and Julie.
The first day included an architecture river boat cruise. This was a spectacular way to see the architecture of Chicago. Hopefully the pictures can do it some justice.
The next day included a visit to the Lincoln Park Zoo and a photo op at the “Bean” as they call it (if you look closely, you can see Mary and I reflected in the Bean). Also, as you can see, we had to entertain Flat Stanley on our day at the zoo, but he was pretty well behaved.
We ended our journey at David and Julie’s palatial residence (tongue in cheek) in Bloomington. We had a great time visiting and learning some new board games and I finally was able to cash in on my dinner voucher just before it expired with a sumptuous meal at Baxter’s.
This would be our last day on the boat and it was spent at sea. When we get up the next morning we will be arriving in Vancouver. So we had a good last day just enjoying our time together and exploring the ship a little bit more. A few fun pictures for the last day.
In Vancouver we had a few hours before the plane left for home, so we purchased a hop on hop off ticket for their public transportation and we were able to see a bit of Vancouver. As you can see Vancouver is a very large city with a beautiful park (Stanley Park) and a working steam powered clock.
And that concludes the honeymoon road trip, the first of many hopefully that Mary and I will be able to take. I apologize for taking so long for the pictures, but getting married in our sixties has taken us a while to unpack.
Last stop before heading to Vancouver is Ketchikan. Another thriving metropolis of 8,195 people which makes it the 12th largest city in Alaska. Like Juneau, it is basically an island area along the coast and the only way to get to these cities is by boat or plane. The cruise ship had to park in the bay and we took a taxi to shore. Along the way we were able to see a shipment of goods coming to the area.
The day was highlighted by an excursion to the Misty Fjords National Monument and Wilderness Area. The views were spectacular and the weather was sunny which is a rare occurrence.
And we were able to see a few seals lazing about on the shore line and even were allowed to take a picture of the captain of the excursion boat (I think?!?)
Day 8 was spent in Juneau, Alaska, the capital of Alaska with a population of 32,434. This makes it the second largest city in Alaska, after Anchorage at 298,225 and within a few hundred people of the population of Bay City, Michigan, which is approximately the 35th largest city in Michigan.
The first thing we noticed when docking was the large number of bald eagles all over the place. Must be a good hunting ground for them here. In the picture below you can see two of them perched on the structure.
We saw a big National Geographic boat docked as well as some beautiful mountains as a back drop as we headed out to see some whales. Oh yeah, and I am finally getting a little better at doing selfies. 🙂
We did get to see some whales, but not too close. I think they were humpback whales and they only occasionally surfaced. Here are a couple of the pictures I could get.
And finally, just another look from our cabin as we depart Juneau for our next stop.
Day 5 and 6 were on the ocean with a visit to two different glacier locations. Here is our itinerary for the whole voyage and some pics of the glaciers.
The first glacier we visited after sailing all night was the Hubbard Glacier, located in Yakutat Bay. Simply amazing to see. Also amazing to watch the glacier break up and to hear the noise it made when a chunk would break off.
Leaving for the evening gave us a beautiful view of the sunset out over the ocean.
Next day was a visit to Glacier Bay National Park which is home to many glaciers. The two we got up close to were Margerie and Lamplugh Glaciers.
This also happened to be our one week anniversary!
First road trip of the year, leaving on New Years Eve and getting home 10 days later. Lots of stops starting with a night in Ripley, West Virginia, then visits with Stephanie and Steven, Steven’s parents in Virginia, Brian, Amy and Sammy and Chris, Lia and Emma and then back home.
So here is our route, over two thousand miles all told. The trip included a quick side trip to Gettysburg and Piney Fork (Mary’s mom’s birthplace) in Pennsylvania.
Was able to visit and see the piece of land that Stephanie and Steven have purchased for their new home in Van Wyck, SC:
A quick stop in Gettysburg, which was open to the public (with limited service) despite the government shutdown. Will need to go back some day and spend a whole day there.
Then on to Lebanon to visit Brian, Amy and Sammy. We were able to see Sammy in a wrestling invitational in the morning and then with his all star choir group at the Hershey Bears minor league hockey game that night. Go Sammy!
Then back through Ohio to visit Lia, Chris and Emma. Had a nice warm day on Tuesday in which we took a nice walk at the Battelle Darby Metro Park, with Buffalos!
So it was a very good trip with lots of miles. The only children we didn’t get to see over the holidays was Stephen, Heidi and Noah who now live near Denver CO. That is a much longer hike and will require a separate trip sometime this year.
Today (12/10/2018) is our four month wedding anniversary so after a long hiatus I am finally going to start publishing pictures of the rest of the Alaska cruise. As a side note, we had spaghetti tonight with meatballs left over from the night of our wedding. I actually feel like I am still on our honeymoon.
On day four we head out from Denali on an 8 hour train ride down to Whittier Alaska to board our cruise ship.
The scenery has been gorgeous although it would have been nice to have seen the sun, at least a little. But now we are at the end of the land journey and about to board our cruise ship:
So we sail all night and head to the Hubbard Glacier for our first full day on the cruise ship. But those pictures will be on Day 5, coming soon.
This was a short overnight road trip in Michigan to see the fall colors and travel down the “tunnel of trees” or highway M119 in northern lower Michigan. We started off with lunch at the “Legs Inn” (http://www.legsinn.com/) in Cross Village. Very good meal with about a one hour wait to get in as this is a very popular place, especially during the fall color season.
We left after lunch to travel down M119 south to Bay View just outside of Petosky. The weather was very windy, cold and mostly cloudy which put a damper on the sight seeing, but it was very pretty anyway. This included a stop at a small historical church with a short walk to the beach (not for a swim, believe me).
For the evening we had a nice stay at the Terrace Inn (https://www.theterraceinn.com/) with a very nice dinner at the 1911 restaurant at the Inn. The inn is located in Bay View which is an association formed by the United Methodist Church. The inn has a quiet time from 11 PM until 8 AM, which is kind of nice for those of us who hit the hay early. The Inn is within walking distance of Little Traverse Bay and would be a great place to stay for a longer visit in the Petosky and Harbor Springs area.
Day three included an 8 hour bus trip into the Denali Park, with the hopes of seeing some wildlife and Mount Denali. It was a gloomy day and no sight of Mount Denali.
But we did see some wildlife, including a grizzly bear that wanted to cross the road that our bus was on.
The scenery was majestic and not exactly what I was expecting. Almost all of the land in this area is tundra, which does not allow trees to grow tall because the ground is always frozen under the top soil. I think a few more days stay here with some possible hikes would be worthwhile to see more. But this was our one day here because tomorrow we board a train and truck on down to Whittier to board our cruise ship. But here are a few other pictures of the landscape. You may want to visit the national park web site to find much more information and much better pictures.