Sunday, July 11, 2010

As our cruise came to an end we enjoyed the view of the Seattle skyline from the outdoor cafe on the 12th aft deck.  We were joined by a friendly seagull looking for part of our breakfast.  We descended to the 7th mid ship deck to wait in the Crystal Atrium until our blue colored luggage tags were called.  We patiently traveled the slow moving lines and we eventually got on board a bus to get us to the airport.  At the airport there was more of the same, slow moving long lines.  Tempers were flaring by passengers bewildered by the amount of people flooding the Sea-Tac terminal.  There were 6,000 passengers dumping into the Seattle transportation systems and long lines should be expected.  We got into the Southwest Airlines check-in lane and almost got all the way to the counter to find out that they were only checking people in that were within 4 hours of their departure times.  We were 5.  Now Stacie and I are sitting across from the check-in desk and will have to navigate the line all over again.  This was one of the reasons why we decided to get to the airport early.  The flight to Denver is direct and then we have an hour and a half drive down to Colorado Springs.  We will no doubt sleep well tonight in our own bed and will probably dream about standing in lines all night.   Do you have a pillow-top mattress?

7-10-10  We continued to sail to Victoria, British Columbia in Canada for most of the day. We arrived in port at 6:00pm. The weather cleared up and we had nice bright sunshine. We got off the boat and immediately had a Geocaching event that some of the local Canadian cachers set up. It didn't take long for us to sign the log book and make our way to our first Canadian cache. Then we found our second, third, fourth, and so on. We cached for a couple hours then broke away from the group in order to take in some things Stacie wanted to see. We found North America's second oldest China Town, and the historic Empress hotel in the downtown area where tea and crumpets were $55 a person. We shopped a while and followed the water front back to The Pearl where we had a midnight snack (Well almost, it was a 10:30pm snack) We set sail in just a few minutes and we are so glad we started back when we did. We didn't have to fight the crowds at the Garden Cafe as it seems to happen around the time we leave the dock. Right now we are packing and we will have our bags ready for the crew to pick them up for us at 2am. What do they call Canadian Bacon in Canada?

7-9-10  our port o'call this morning was Ketchikan, AK and again Captain Stubing brought us up to the dock without waking us up. We had a leisurely breakfast and were able to "disembark" just a few feet away from our stateroom. Our first stop was a Geocache that was at the top of a pretty vigorous climb up many steps but we found the cache with no problem. We then headed off to the next cache near a fish ladder where the salmon fight their way upstream. While we were trying to find ground zero for the cache we saw an eater, I mean, a 3 foot salmon jump out of the water in search of a path of least resistance. He landed back in the turbulent 70 mph force of water and actually lost progress in his quest to make it back to where he was hatched. We walked along the "Married Man Path" and found some quaint little shops perched high above the water along the creek. We shopped in a few jewelry stores downtown and had a cup of coffee then looked for a few more caches. The great thing about Geocaching is that it takes you to parts of town you would normally never see. The cache hider took us to a beautiful city park where there was a totem pole museum and fish hatchery. After finding all of the caches that you could walk to from the pier we made it back on the boat and enjoyed lunch in the Summer Garden restaurant. There were two jugglers (Sharkbait) that used to be circus clowns for Barnum and Bailey and they held a class on how to juggle. We attended and Stacie even participated. I graduated to the advanced class and was taught a few tricks. I didn't master them but I will indeed take the hours of practice and put them to good use. The guys performing for the cruise (Sharkbait) have been juggling for over 17 years (I bet their arms are tired!). After the juggling seminar we found an empty lounge couch up close and personal with a window and we read, slept, and whale watched for a few hours. We were relaxing so much we missed a meeting with the Geocaching group. We found out later that we won a raffle at the meeting and I guess we will collect our prize later. We tried the other main dining room (Indigo) for dinner and had prime rib and gnocchi. We scurried back up to the Stardust Theater for the first part of the nights entertainment. Garden of the Geisha performed their high flying acrobatic feats just above our heads (we were in the second row) and the backdrops, music, and lights were excellent as well. It was time for another trip up to Deck 13 to the Spinnaker Lounge and we watched the Second City (of SCTV fame) comedy troup, the "Pearl" Jam musicians, and then finally Buzz Sutherland gave an encore presentation of his stand up routine. Do you know what is on the Alaskan state flag?

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