Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Alaskan Honeymoon

So today I thought I would share about our amazing honeymoon! My plan is to go through different parts of my wedding to share with everyone but I thought what better way to start than with the honeymoon!

We got married on Saturday August 28th and left for our honeymoon on September 9th. It worked out perfectly! We were able to come home, do the returns, set up our new things, get all the thank you cards in the mail, and pack for our 18 day honeymoon!

We were very lucky to have been given an amazing honeymoon by Michael's parents. We flew to Vancouver and spent a day and a half there and then boarded our ship for 14 days! 14 days later we ended in San Diego and spent some time with my Aunt and Uncle before flying back to Texas.
In Vancouver we spent most of our time walking around, eating great food, and just enjoying how beautiful it was!

The first day of the 14 was the day we boarded the ship. The second day was a sea day which we spent most the day looking at the ocean trying to sea whales. Not so much luck that day.

The third day we were in Ketchikan, Alaska. I messed up with the time change and changed my phone before we went to bed and then the phone changed itself as well so I woke us up an hour earlier than we had planned. I was too excited to go back to sleep so I opened the curtain to look at the ocean and the first thing I saw were 4 orcas out our window. Of course I started screaming for Michael to get out of bed and get to the window so he could see the first sighting of whales! AMAZING! We went Salmon fishing when we got into town and we caught a ton! We had 17 pounds of salmon flash frozen and mailed home for us. Here is a picture of one of the fish I caught!
I did not want to actually hold the fish so our guide helped me out!
Here is Michael with one of his MANY fish!
The fourth day we went to Icy Straight Point and walked the 2 mile walk into town and saw so many bald eagles! I had never seen one before this trip and they were everywhere! The town was very small that we walked to. It had one gas station which was also the grocery store and a tour center, it basically sums up the town. The ship at least quadrupled the total population of the town. Here is a picture of one of the bald eagles that was flying by on our walk. Notice how beautiful the scenery is!
The fifth day we were in Juneau. This was our favorite place! Michael and I decided we wanted to go on a more difficult hike to Mendenhall Glacier so we met up with a hiking guide and he let us know everything we thought we needed to know. He set us up with a taxi driver and he drove us to the opposite side of where the rest of the trails started and gave us his cell phone number so he could come back and pick us up when we were done. And we started! It was about 30* when we started so we were bundled up in many layers and we soon started pulling them off as the day started to warm up/we started to warm on hiking.
Me right as we were starting our hike
We were following the route, so we thought, and all the sudden we had already gone way past where the trail ended (we were told to get to the glacier we will go past where the trail ends and will have to go on our own to get there) and it felt as if we were getting farther away from the glacier which is not what we wanted. So after going 6 miles UP the mountain we had to turn back around and go to where we should have turned around 5 miles back. Once we got on the right path we were both exhausted but continued on. We finally were able to see the glacier and it was getting closer and closer, sadly it was still far away. Here is a picture of how close we got to the glacier. It was beautiful!
While others flew on planes to get to the glacier, we walked over 13 miles and made it there! It was a long trip and were afraid our cab driver would have forgotten about us, but he came and picked us up. Here is a picture from us waiting for the cab driver to come get us. The water was so so so freezing as you can tell by the icebergs in the water!
When we got back to town we could barely walk but wanted to see the town so we continued to walk  with dead legs and loved this beautiful place! We were both glad we didn't let our sore legs stop us from seeing the downtown part of Juneau.
The sixth day we were in Skagway and we went bike riding. Bad planning on our part as our legs were beat from our huge hike the day before but it was so beautiful! We biked through the city of Dyea which was a rival city of Skagway during the gold rush. Now this city is just a few pieces of old buildings with lots of history.
Me and Michael at a stop on our biking trip
Day seven was a sea day. Day eight we were sailing but we were visiting Hubbard Glacier. If you do not know what Hubbard Glacier is, it is an enormous glacier that is surprisingly expanding. It took about 3 hours to get to it from the time we started to see it. As we got closer we stood outside on the deck for about 2 hours to have a great place to see! It kept getting colder and colder as we got closer. We spent the time as we were approaching looking for bears on the land with our binoculars, but sadly we did not see any. This glacier was amazing! We saw AND heard it calving for over an hour. Calving means pieces of the glacier breaking off and entering the water. If you have never seen this, when this happens it makes a loud popping noise and it is crazy to watch it fall and then about 2 seconds later hear it hit the water. It put the concept of noise traveling into perspective. Here is a grouping of pictures of part of the glacier calving and entering the water.

The day ninth day we were in Sitka. We did not have any plans besides walk around and explore the city. We walked about a mile to a river in town so we could see the spawning salmon. I never knew this even happened until that day. The salmon swim upstream to the same place they were born to mate and then die! Here is a picture of the salmon hard at work swimming upstream.
The tenth day we were in Victoria and went WHALE WATCHING!! I had been waiting for this day the whole trip. We had already seen a ton of whales from the ship but I could not wait to be close to some. We walked through Victoria, which is beautiful, to get to the whale tour office. We wore these huge red suites that looked ridiculous but kept us really warm when we were going across the water on a speed boat. Here are just a few pictures of what we saw.
The huge red suites!
Amazing how close the orcas would get to the boat. This is a picture of another boat out there with us that was following this pod of 7 orcas. We have so many pictures of the orcas but this shows how close we were able to get to them. Beautiful!
Humpback Whale! We found this whale as soon as we got out there but in this picture you see the tale up high in the air which means it will be going down for up to 40 minutes. Towards the end of the trip we are almost positive we found the same whale and we got a bunch of great pictures of it!

The eleventh day was a sea day. The twelfth and thirteenth day were in San Fransisco. When we got to San Francisco we went under the golden gate bridge which was awesome! The boat looked as if it was going to hit the bottom of the bridge. Luckily it did not. Here is a picture of the where we were standing as we went under it.

Here is a picture of Alcatraz as we were sailing by it. We did not go to Alcatraz as all the trips were already booked by the time we started to look into it.

We had made plans to go segwaying around town. I grew up in northern California so I remembered a bunch but this was a great way to get all around town for Michael since he had never been to San Fransisco. It was a lot of fun. We used to think who would want to be on a segway but let me tell you it is a lot of fun!
This picture was taken after we raced down the pier (I won)
After segwaying, we spent the rest of the day wandering around the city, eating tons of yummy food and spending time with the seals! I forgot about how much I loved this part of the city. It was very neat, but also very loud. There were tons, lots of different colors and different sizes!
Look at the one by itself :[
On the second day in San Francisco we got to really explore Fisherman's Warf, the Ghirardelli factory's original area, and different piers. It was a lot of fun!
So as we were leaving San Fransisco during dinner the captain of the ship came on and excused himself for interrupting dinner but had to let us know we were sailing through a migration. I ran to the window (luckily our table was right at the window) and was stuck there for about 20 minutes. Hundreds of whales, dolphins, and porpoises were as far as my eye could see. It was breath taking and where was my camera?!?! In our room so there are no pictures of this amazing sight. Just memories.

So I thought I would post some more pictures and write some captions about them.
So I know this picture is small but I wanted to show everyone how HUGE our room was! When we booked the honeymoon we had picked a normal room with a window but I could not remember what floor. When we were putting the bag tags on I thought to myself and I even asked Michael why does it said 8 because we were not on the 8th floor and he said "it must be the grouping the bags must go on" I believed him and when it was time to go to our room I opened the door and was AMAZED! Him and his mother had changed our room to a family suite which was HUGE! It was perfect since we had so much stuff! It was a huge and great surprise. This panoramic does not even do it justice.
Beautiful crystal clear water in Ketchikan

Another panoramic of the beautiful scenery of Alaska

Bald Eagle just sitting on a tree, where else can you see this than in Alaska?!!

Another panoramic before we started our hike to Mendenhall Glacier

Beautiful waterfall we saw on our long hike. We saw so many and have some great pictures!

Picture of Mendenhall Glacier from our hike on a lookout spot


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