I have been trying to persuade Tom that we should go to New Orleans for at least five years, but for some reason he wasn’t at all interested. At long last, a conference meant that I finally managed to get us there, and we both had a lovely time. Late January seems to be a good time to visit – apart from one day of torrential rain the weather was fairly mild, and despite being there over a weekend during the run-up to Mardi Gras the city wasn’t too packed with tourists – and I was particularly thrilled by how walkable it was.
I could write posts and posts about our Alaska cruise, but I’m trying not to! In the interests of not boring everyone senseless, I’ve condensed the entire week into this single account, itself a lightly-edited version of the brief notes I took each day. We sailed with Princess cruises from Anchorage (Whittier) south through the inside passage to Vancouver, past the glaciers of Yakutat bay and Glacier Bay national park, stopping at Haines, Juneau and Ketchikan, and then caught the decidedly unglamorous but perfectly convenient Greyhound bus down to Seattle for a cheaper flight home to Newark.
Along the way we saw harbour seals and Steller sea lions, Pacific white-sided dolphins, humpback whales and a lone orca, and, magically, the Northern Lights. We shared a dinner table with some extremely nice people, and met all kinds of fellow travellers around the ship. We ate lots of food, drank plenty of cocktails, and generally had a lovely time – looking through my notes and photos is making me wish I was back there right now!
Denali National Park is particularly concerned with preserving as much land as possible in a pristine wilderness condition. Consequently, there are only a handful of areas within the park boundaries that visitors are permitted to access, and across its 6 million acres there is just a single 92 mile-long road, only the first 15 miles of which are paved. Visitors can travel the road by means of the park bus service, there are a handful of campsites along the way, and a few lucky individuals can take a backcountry hike with a ranger each day.
I’m not really sure why I was so keen to visit Singapore. Family history, the allure of Asia, the Raffles Hotel’s famous Singapore Sling, these all had something to do with it, but even I think twice about travelling half way around the world just to try a cocktail.
There are oh-so-many things I could write about a certain referendum in the country I was formerly proud to call home, but this has never been a place of political commentary and really I don’t see the sense in starting now. Also, today is Tom’s birthday, and he made me promise to play nicely with the other children. Continue reading →
As we say goodbye to our latest set of visitors, I thought it might be interesting to note down what we did with them whilst they were here (if nothing else it serves as a warning of the sort of itinerary we inflict on people – comfortable walking shoes essential!). Continue reading →