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!
Pretty much as soon as we got home from our 2015 trip to Hawaii, we started joking that Alaska was next on the bucket list. However, the distance involved, and the fact that everyone we know who has visited encouraged us to take a cruise, meant that it was very much on the “one day” end of the spectrum. Fast forward to a quiet weekend in autumn 2016 – we were idly wondering just how much a cruise might cost, decided to look it up, discovered an affordable option in early September 2017, and booked it on the spot.
Since the cruise was a week-long voyage from Anchorage (well, Whittier) south to Vancouver, we decided to arrive early and spend some time in Alaska before boarding the ship, which quickly turned into a fairly epic trip – we flew into Anchorage and spent a day there, rented a car and drove up to Denali national park for a couple of days hiking and enjoying the wilderness, headed to Palmer for the Alaska state fair, and then ended up back in Anchorage to return the car before setting sail.
Once again it has been lamentably long since I wrote anything much about our NYC activities (July 4th notwithstanding), and somehow it’s August already. Looking back through the calendar for July, we have certainly been keeping busy. Continue reading →
As regular readers of this blog may recall we usually travel to the south western states in winter. February is clearly an excellent time of year to visit the desert (at least in the northern hemisphere), but when I had the opportunity to go to Arizona for a June conference I jumped at the chance to spend a couple of days experiencing the summer heat. Continue reading →
When booking our Labor Day weekend trip to Chicago (many moons ago now!), Tom discovered that it would be much cheaper to fly home from Milwaukee in Wisconsin, just an hour’s train ride away from Chicago, on the Tuesday night. This meant that he had an extra day in Chicago for some business meetings, whilst I had a free day to see what Milwaukee had to offer (with the added bonus that visiting Wisconsin took me up to 25 states – half way through my quest to visit them all!).
In between the national parks, we’d decided to spend a couple of days driving through Montana. That is to say, given that we had to drive across more-or-less the entire state anyway, we opted to do this in a more leisurely fashion in order to break up the driving. This turned out to be a really good decision, as we visited several attractive little towns en route, and were able to enjoy the journey.
Our latest excursion was a truly epic roadtrip between Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. As always, it was a treat to get out into the wilderness (especially as we apparently missed the first proper heatwave of the NYC summer), and we spent a most enjoyable 9 days driving just over 1300 miles through mountains, forests and plains.