And after the wedding, we left on our Honeymoon. We decided to go on a cruise to Alaska for several reasons. We chose Alaska because my mother had been on an Alaskan cruise and enjoyed it a lot. We decided on a cruise because I didn't want to have to actually plan much of the trip.
The cruise left from Seattle. We had one fairly rough day at sea, which we spent mostly in bed, napping. Except for the sea sickness, that day was pretty darn enjoyable.
Our first stop was in Juneau. We went whale watching. We saw whales, including one who was breaching. That's when they fling themselves out of the water and crash back down, presumably to impress other whales. It's apparently unusual to see them do that in Alaka. Normally, they reserve that behavior for Hawaii, where they are getting busy with the mating. I didn't take any pictures of whales because, having whale watched before, I knew the pictures would all look like water with little black dots ("Oh look! It's a tail!").
In Juneau, we also visited Mendenhall Glacier. We were going to hike up to the waterfall that can be seen over Mike's shoulder, but the trail was completely flooded out. As in entirely submerged under water. We viewed the glacier from the viewpoint instead. I thought we needed quite a bit more time at the glacier. We didn't have time to go through the visitor center other than watching their 7 minute movie on glaciers.
Our next stop was Skagway. We went on an early morning train ride up into the mountains. Lots of very nice scenery, but the weather was a little overcast, so my pictures are mostly of trees with fog. We did see a bear! It was sort of meandering along beside the tracks. I happened to see it because I spent a lot of time looking down at the ground near-ish to the train looking for squirrels (never saw any). I'm not sure many other people on the train actually saw the bear because they were all looking off into the distance at scenery. The bear was right next to the train and looked up at me as we rolled on by. Closest I've ever been to a bear, by far.
Here we are, on a platform on the train. In the background, you can see trees with fog.
That afternoon, we went ziplining. The zipline people took us up into the rainforest and we went on 5 different ziplines. There wasn't particularly different, exciting things to be seen from the zipline that couldn't be seen from the ground, but we did finally see our first squirrels.
There were also salmon spawning. We saw these from the train, then walked back through the town to find them after ziplining. I was exhausted at the end of this day.
We spent a morning in Glacier Bay. We had a balcony room, which meant that we could hang out on the balcony and admire the glaciers. They were huge and blue and made all sorts of cracking, popping noises.
Here's another glacier off in the distance. There's no sense of scale in Alaska. You can tell that things are "big", but there's really no way to see how big they are. For example, the glacier behind us in the picture above is something like 250 feet tall.
Next stop, Ketchikan. We went on a tour of Totem Bight Park. There were totem poles. The tour guide was very good. After the totem poles, we went to a lumberjack show, which was pretty corny but entertaining. And that was it for Ketchikan.
The last stop was Victoria, BC. We were there at night and saw Butchart Gardens and the Butterfly Gardens. I would totally go back to Butchart Garden to see it in the daylight. It was quite dark by the time we got to the end. All of the butterflies were roosting, which made them easier to photograph, but not quite so exciting to watch. I don't highly recommend butterfly gardens after sundown.
Overall, it was a very enjoyable trip. We ate very well on the ship. I fell asleep every time I stopped moving because the rocking of the boat was just very soothing. We only had the one day of roughish weather and other than that, sea sickness wasn't much of a problem. Beautiful scenery was always just outside our door and could be viewed from bed while reading a book. What more could you want?