How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


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Ten Reasons I’ve been Lost in Transit

How do I explain my drawn-out absence? Shameful, I know. In the event you stop reading this instant–I first wish to offer my regrets and apologies.

Life has been like a pickle jar—vinegary and deep.

Much has churned in that jar, changing my focus and outlook on life. I no longer have hours on end to enjoy my previous blogging community.

  1. Art by LilyG

    I am on the go more than home at my keyboard

  2. I’ve had cataract surgery, changing much for me
  3. My eyes dry easily and I avoid laptop screen
  4. I cannot read long, especially not backlit screens
  5. Paper reading isn’t much easier (dry eyes again)
  6. Awaiting upcoming (forgot the name) eye examination (expensive)
  7. Have been using Readers/Cheaters for close work but cause (severe) eyes strain
  8. Finally, plan to see about proper eyeglasses after completing #6 above (saving up)
  9. I want to write but cannot concentrate or slow down my brain
  10. #1 eye-dryness; #2 not writing when I want to so much

I wrote this post many times in my head. It’s been a challenge; I hate to say goodbye but cannot be present in the blogosphere like in the past months and months ago. I may visit on occasion if time and conditions allow. I’m not saying I’m gone forever, yet I cannot say when or if I’ll be part of the community anywhere near the way I had been during rosier days.

Thank you to all who still visit, read, and leave endearing comments though I haven’t been returning in kind (my days are plugged full). Sincere apologies. I ‘ve managed other interests to keep busy but cannot convey the hard work posting is each week; it’s the only writing I struggle to maintain. Once I finish writing about the currently posted trip, I’m not sure what’s next. Should I return but can continue to post something on a regular basis (fingers crossed), you are welcome to read and like if you do. Comments will be left open but I cannot promise to respond.

Art by Lily G

How wishy-washy is this? I offer my exit with a heavy heart. Thank you to the fantastic friends who stayed in contact and cheered me along in the background, though I’ve been offline for weeks at a time. Whoever said the blogging world is impersonal is dead wrong.

I have enjoyed and met many wonderful people in my six-busy and fun-filled years online. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you to each and every one.

No middles and no lasts: How do I include my favourite supporters without anyone feeling excluded? I cannot.

Extra special thanks to the following outstanding bloggers, who have supported me in the past in no particular order (please check out their blogs, each is f.a.n.t.a.s.t.i.c.)

 

 

 

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Rocky Mountaineer: Gluttony and Scenery

It took a long while before we left Vancouver far behind.

Vancouver Quick Tips

  • 2012 Port Mann Bridge opened (crosses Fraser River)
  • 5 lanes each way
  • World’s widest span bridge
  • Trans-Canada Highway had only 2 lanes
  • Cost $2.5 billion
  • Tolls $3.15/car
  • 120 million trips to pay for bridge
  • Tolls removed 2017
  • Structural issues weekend opened (severe cold, ice and snow)
  • Not prepared for this
  • Original bridge opened 1964

Outlets were available between seats to recharge devices but no internet onboard in the remote territory we traveled. Jen, our attendant, assured us she would let everyone know when we approached a town or a Wi-Fi tower.

The passengers in high spirits (pun intended), the train moved too fast for the photo opportunities as the train devours miles of tracks out of Vancouver. A few tourists snapped away to capture every frame outside anyway.

I could not believe the generous portions the attendant poured from the bar cart, which precluded and followed lunch. One glass would do me all day.

Like on an airplane, it seemed one diversion or another was scheduled to keep the travelers happy. The trip included a $50.00 merchandise voucher, disguised as a freebie, for which we’d obviously paid. Still, when I was handed a catalogue, I managed to fancy a stylish black acrylic sweater which could be worn two ways for different effects. Skeptical about the one-size-fits-all description, I ordered it anyway with the promise our orders would be processed overnight and the merchandise would be waiting on our seats the next morning to try on and decide whether to keep or not.

What’s not to love about being spoiled? We had been busy every minute so far: a light snack, breakfast, bar service, free merchandise and already lunchtime. What a luxury: warm hand towels were handed before the food arrived.

I forgot to take pictures of lunch. (Too busy. Really?) Menu choices were salmon or short ribs in Merlot sauce, and Roma tomato salad. If a first choice ran out, they guaranteed the second one. What? How does that work? This promise left me scratching my head. I suppose it meant the grocery order arrived short of one or the other.

By 1:35, the lunch cart crept along to three seats away. The ribs were boneless and much to my delight, delicious; the potatoes puréed and shaped into a square log with carrots and turnips. Though I choose to skip gravy, this one was over the top. Holidays mean no calories, right?

While salads arrived, one lady dropped her bun. Oopsie. A moment later, she dropped her dish, which did not break but bounced on the carpeted floor. Hmm.

Strange how one side of the tracks the mountains are green, whereas the other is arid and populated by sparse scrub plants. A lake or river—any water—was a relief to the eyes.

Goldie Oldie music played all day in the background: Ring of Fire, Sweet Caroline, Running Bear, Piano Man, Mack the Knife, Rocky Mountain High and many, many more.

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Next on August 24th – Rocky Mountaineer: Views, News, and Sightings

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles


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Vancouver: The Rocky Mountaineer

Before lights out the previous night, we realized we’d missed orientation for the next leg of our trip. I set the hotel alarm clock and Mary set her phone for 5:30 a.m. Both worked. I raced to the bathroom first.

Worried about the missed briefing, we called the registration desk not sure about next steps. No worries. We needed to leave our luggage in the hall for pick up at 6:10 a.m. Always nervous about leaving our bags in the hallway overnight, I put them out around 6:10. Talk about efficient. Five minutes later, they were gone.

We watched a bellhop in the lobby tag our bags, load them on a trolley with others, and roll the loaded cart outside when Jeff and our bus arrived. Our tour rep handed out boarding passes, seat assignments, and Rocky Mountaineer lapel pins. This hotel is proficiency plus.

Tidbits Along the Way:

Upon arriving at Rocky Mountaineer Station, I was super WOWed. I had no idea they had their own building, but this business is huge so it makes sense. Bagpipes played somewhere ahead. Announcements directing groups to their exits sounded over the crowded, open-concept space. Though promised coffee or juice would be available inside, we had no time or opportunity. Mary headed out of line but I grabbed her, our designated line already moving forward.

“They said…”

“There’s no time. Wait till we’re on board.”

I had no wish to lose her in the congestion of hundreds of passengers and what looked like a mile long string of cars. Would the train wait for her? I doubt it. I stumbled around a wheeled kiosk of touristy trinkets and souvenirs.

At the assigned car, our attendants introduced themselves as Jen and Bridget. We finally boarded at 8:04. The seats were comfortable with ample legroom, adjustable footrests, adequate space beneath seats for my cube-shaped carry-on and overstuffed handbag. A small pillow fit behind my back and the seat. I was happy.

As the train pulled out of the station, at least 30 or so uniformed Rocky Mountaineer employees stood waving us on our way. A small gesture but impressive. I took pictures but they’re nowhere to be found.

The first service was orange juice and coffee. By 8:45 a delicious scone and small fruit plates were delivered to each passenger. Next, Mary chose the parfait selection and I went for the full treatment of tri-folded egg and grilled potatoes, warmed tomato slice and a second cup of hot coffee. Breakfast finished, the dishes collected by 9:30.

At 10:30 a.m., beverage offerings were announced: red and white wine, beers, brandy, spirits, soft drinks, as well as snacks if anyone felt peckish. A water station at the back of our car was available to everyone all day long.

Giggles abound as glasses were filled and refilled.

~ * ~

Next on August 17th – Rocky Mountaineer: Gluttony and Scenery

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles


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Vancouver: Grouse Mountain and a Little Politics

The return walk across the far-reaching rocky bridge was not as intimidating as upon our arrival at Capilano. The skywalk complete, we checked out the (tourist trap) gift shop. I didn’t buy anything. Before we searched for our bus, Mary hankered for an ice cream cone (expensive), though the line was long and the clock was tick-tick-ticking to departure.

Another adventure coming up closer to heaven. Next stop, Grouse Mountain. Unlike the cable car in this video, ours did not allow personal space or movement. Stuck in the middle, I avoided vertigo since I could not look down.

Quick Tips:

  • 15 minutes outside downtown Vancouver
  • Gondola 3700 feet above the city
  • Breathtaking views
  • Grizzly Bear habitat
  • 2008 Mountain Ziplining begins
  • 2010 Olympic Games
  • Learn to snowboard on Grouse Mountain
  • Mount Seymour known for snowshoeing
  • One must be in good shape to ski on Whistler Mountain
  • https://www.grousemountain.com/web-cams/chalet-cam

During our visit May 18th, 2017, the tables and umbrellas were under snow unlike in the webcam link above.

A recent snowfall necessitated a hasty cleanup. Here is Mary, tiny beside the towering snow.

We were off to visit the bears.

A huge, two-story building on the property houses restaurants, shops, gardens with a patio and a fantastic lookout and an observation area:

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The cable car would not leave till every last person on the mountain squeezed into our car. This time I was crammed against a bit of window, wedged in so tight, I did not manage to capture any pictures. Mary was more successful.

Mary grabbed a robe and headed to the North Tower to the pool she had researched. Because the 3rd floor had been roped off to the catwalk due to some big deal Liberal party goings-on, she had to find another entrance.

Taking a change of clothes to the pool hadn’t crossed her mind. She returned across the parking lot in the bathrobe. She soon returned, describing the swarms of security personnel roaming the hotel property

Mary dressed for dinner but not till she tried on all the clothes in her luggage. Maybe she knew something I did not. I was starving after a full day outside and anxious to eat. The doors to the North Tower were locked, warning signs posted saying so, and cordoned off. Security men in suits scrutinized our persons as if we were criminals. Mary inquired how we’d get inside to Café One and our dinner. With a lazy smile and a slow-moving hand, one of the men unlocked the door.

We waited for the door unlocking again after eating. Two security men’s conversation was more important than our escape to our hotel rooms. Soon as the doors opened, hooting and hollering drew our distracted attention: a demonstration on the hotel’s front lawn. Whoopee. Not a huge crowd, maybe a hundred angry citizens, but they made enough noise for hundreds.

Spectators gaped while placard grapplers shouted their displeasure with Prime Minister Trudeau’s. Ahh. The security measures became clear. We heard our PM was in the same building where we’d eaten. The day before Mary and I snooped upstairs of the restaurant. Large conference rooms were setup with refreshment tables. Maybe setting up for this day’s conference? Days later when I checked my laptop for news of the demonstration, I found this video regarding the $750.00 fundraiser the PM attended at our hotel.

https://bc.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=112844

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Next on August 10th – Vancouver: The Rocky Mountaineer

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles


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Vancouver Again: What Now?

As promised, the store stood tall and proud, its windows reflecting a dull sky. I picked up a decent brand familiar to me, which happened to be on sale. A dollar saved is a dollar earned, is it not?

We walked and walked for miles and hours beneath an overcast Vancouver sky. I kept forgetting where we were and had to remind myself this was not Toronto where the buildings seemed dwarfed by the giant ones here. Tired, we trudged past Joe Fortes Restaurant, a landmark seafood restaurant and chop house, and a popular attraction with actors and people in the music business. It is said you never know whom you will bump into. Of course, one must make a reservation. Instead of waiting in line, a patron walks right in. Especially when new ships come into Vancouver Harbour, I heard this is a hopping place.

The hotel at last; I was ready to kick off my shoes and catch a snooze. By six or so, we ventured out to dinner across the courtyard to Café One in the other tower. Why hadn’t anyone suggested we bring sunglasses? I snapped awake from my lethargy at the sight of the foyer’s bright orange walls right and left. A seating area on one side encouraged relaxation and Wifi. On the opposite side, a bar and baby grand invited patrons to enjoy drinks and music but not open for business this early.

Most tables were in front of a wall of windows, which overlooked lush and soothing greenery. A sign suggested waiting to be seated. Were we with such and such tour? Yes. The wait staff person could not find the special and abbreviated menu for some time. Seated at a table for two I noted the crisp and flawless white tablecloths and sighed sinking deeper into my chair. The menu found, I ordered roasted chicken breast, which came with various scrumptious baby beets and sweet snap peas. The baby greens salad was not good. The restaurant mildly busy, service wasn’t bad.. I took our time with coffee and Mary with dessert.

Stuffed, we headed back to our room for a little reading and TV. Nothing interesting on so we prattled on as females will. Mary kept reading, then decided to try out the pool. No robes in the closet, she called the desk and a nice man delivered two robes on hangers within minutes. How is that for service at a large downtown hotel with 746 rooms and suites?

I tried out the high bed and chose the softest pillow. Why do they have so many? Though too many lights on, their distraction soon lost all significance as I melted into dreamland.

Vancouver Quick Facts:

  • Population: 2.4 million
  • A working not residential city
  • Expo 1986 put Vancouver on the map
  • Expected 15 million people; 22 million came
  • Prince Charles and Princess Diana opened Expo
  • Princess Diana fainted after a 3-hour tour of Expo
  • A jump in immigration by 60,000 followed Expo from Hong Kong due to 1997 repatriation to China and the 1989 Tiananmen Square situation
  • Pushed up real estate prices
  • http://thelasource.com/en/2016/05/02/expo-86-the-bubble-that-never-burst/

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Next on June 20th – Vancouver: A Bus Tour Anyone?

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles


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North to Alaska: Dolly Who? Dolly What?

On we trudged; a sign advertising many varieties of popcorn caught Mary’s attention. Mm. It smelled so good inside that shop. I cannot recall all the flavours on offer, but they were many and not cheap. Seasonings were available to mix anyway a customer chose. I’m glad I didn’t need to make a selection. I love popcorn but too many choices of anything give me a headache.

We next chose an open-type shop, the three-walled kind like in an open bazaar, and lickety-split an attractive, fast-talking sales clerk started his spiel. He snared Mary into buying two 8-ounce vac pacs of smoked salmon at $16.99 each USD by throwing in a free 4-ounce vac in the bargain. I guess she wanted to be caught because she had her mind set on salmon from Alaska. This purchase required special packaging and an officious label since we were in a country not our own and food items require special permission to be transported across the border. Oh, the rules of travel.

I am no good without a plan or a map, but we ambled from the main road for a couple blocks to see what we might find.

An advertisement on the ship’s TV had advertised points of interests and there it was. Sheer luck we’d found it so easily. A young woman in period costume outside the little white house convinced us to check it out for ten bucks each. I love a mystery, don’t you? What would we find for such a bargain ticket?

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Teeny rooms jam-packed with period furniture and paraphernalia was worth the escape out the annoying and persistent gauzy drizzle. A flat screen TV graced a wall in every room, running looped film about Dolly, her life, and possessions. Peeling paint and wallpaper and watermarked ceilings framed the crowded artifacts of the day. Dolly (real name Thelma Copeland, born 1888) had purchased the house in 1919 for $800.00 and paid it off in two weeks. She did not allow married men and told them, “No, you’re married.”

She checked hands for rings and again said, “Nope, you’re married.” How did she know? Removed rings and mud on shoes or boots confirmed they had come down the hill, the back way. Those who carried their shoes (and put them on before knocking) to avoid mud, passed inspection.

Married men’s trail to Creek Street. Wood stairs and railings save tourists from mud on their shoes and from slipping and sliding away.

In the ‘20s and ‘30s, prostitution was not illegal. Booze was but nobody paid attention. Dolly received deliveries at night by lowering a bucket and hid the boat supplies underneath the house beneath the nose of the preacher next door.

Downstairs:

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Upstairs:

A couple with two young children zipped past us up the stairs, barely stopping to blink, and were out the door as if house hunting but not impressed with the recommended property.

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The tour of Dolly’s house ended at the back door on an up-do-date wooden deck and walkway back to Creek Street.

Next on June 15th – North to Alaska: Creek Street Shops and a Tram Experience

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles


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North to Alaska: Ketchikan Beckons

Dismal fog and rain greeted the new morning, the cruise ship a little tippy and drunk. We had an early breakfast, eager to set foot on dry land again. In the distance, Ketchikan beckoned in what we hoped was fading mist.

We were too early for the 10:00 a.m. disembarking. A small group paced a narrow hallway, faces placid but feet itchy to move on. Soon the line became a throng, hallway, and stairway congested with humanity taking off layers as crowding and body heat rose. It worked like traffic at a standstill where cars in the exit ramp manage to squeeze in front of drivers who are already frazzled from waiting but can’t help edging forward, all but honking horns for something to do.

As 10:00 drew near, Mary realized she’d forgotten her wallet, fought her way down the packed stairs and raced to our room. I should be used to last-minute shenanigans but they still unnerve me. She made it back before the doors opened and we made our way outside at last to a fine, discouraging drizzle.

Ketchikan means creek of thundering wings of an eagle where Tlingit people fished and named the creek by that name.

Watchful for the tour guide we’d come upon in Juneau, she had been neither in the waiting area on the ship nor coming ashore. Passengers gathered in groups around placard-bearing advertisers promoting excursions. The trickle of travellers thinned to zero. No use wasting more time, we took several photos and moved on.

A prominent sculpture greeted all visitors in ship’s port, titled The Rock. Click to read about it and meet the seven life-size figures represented.

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Mary had Alaska canned salmon uppermost in her mind. We tried the first store advertising canned salmon—and there were many. She decided $7.99 USD was too expensive for a measly can. She asked for directions to a processing cannery. The sales girl withheld sharing a specific route, pointed in the general direction of the front window (or maybe a wall), and said it was a long walk up the hill. Good news to Mary who wanted to investigate. Without clear having done any previous research, she blindly headed off with me in tow.

A white bus passed with a sign advertising free shuttle. At a bus stop, we talked to a young English speaking Asian couple, who were guests on another ship. “The free shuttle goes quite a way out of town—all the way to Walmart,” the young man said.

We didn’t want to go to Walmart and Mary decided she wanted to take a city bus. Like the Aries she is, she was willing to jump on the bus and expect the driver to tell her where to find a cannery. Miserable about the situation, I finally convinced her this approach was not worth our time. We should have taken the shuttle for the free tour of the city and beyond. If nothing of interest prompted further investigation, we could return and carry on. What a missed opportunity.

Quick Facts:

To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world.

John Muir

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Next on June 8th – North to Alaska: Dolly Who? Dolly What?

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles


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Inlets, Wilderness and a Polar Bear Dip

Yes, we missed the Magician’s magic show due to a sit-down dinner, and not to compare one as more interesting than the other, I did learn an interesting tidbit this day. When I think of Alaska, I think of BIG snow, but how do people get from one town to another in winter especially when it comes to the trains battering tonnes of snow (or so I imagine)? How do they do it? A snow plow train blower is on display on the edge of town for all tourists coming in and out of Skagway to see.

Pictures are okay, but watching a snow blower on the tracks is another story. It gives me goosebumps to imagine getting stuck on a train surrounded by nothing but snow.

After our meandering visit in Skagway, we passed over a couple sets of railway tracks, paths to park-like settings, and more brands stamped/painted on rock faces.

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The next morning, Mary and I grabbed our earliest breakfast while walkers already traipsed the wet promenade deck wearing gloves and bundled in weatherproof jackets with hoods.

Soon we joined other gawkers as the cruise ship entered Glacial Bay. Rain-slick decks, dripping railings, and the weeping sky discouraged the majority of travellers from coming outside. Darn weather. I hunched in my weatherproof jacket and stuck it out until the captain performed a s-l-o-w 180-degree turn in a space I was sure we’d scrape the surrounding mountains. No damage to the ship and no sea life endangered, I guess the captain had performed this act a time or two.

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The show over, we’d had enough damp weather and clumped inside to warm our bones with a hot drink. Mary signed up for a polar bear dip mid-afternoon in the outside pool. Only three other brave souls from the whole ship entered the contest: a 14-year-old girl; a young man of 20 or so; a young oriental mother with her four or five-year-old son, and my sister Mary.

The announcer read a long speech to stir up a little tension, I suppose. Around 30 or so onlookers—noses dripping with rain—drifted outside to cheer on the contestants. Hoods up and dancing from foot-to-foot, the curious itched for entertainment relief from their chill and boring day. There would be no prizes; only ah honourable mention for the winner. Where? On their fleet of cruise ships? So, nothing for their efforts except a plain certificate of accomplishment.

The show was over in a flash. Holding her nose, Mary jumped up onto the raised wall ledge of the pool, leapt up, and cannonballed into the water. Afterward, she asked how many pictures I’d taken. I’d used my iPad min not a fast-action camera. “One—of you,” I said. Oopsie. I guess I failed as her media photographer.

Inside the ship, Mary headed to the hot tub. I lounged next to a white-robed woman to whom I mentioned my surprise when my sister soldiered up for the dip. “I give the three other people a lot of credit, considering the damp and cold weather. Too cold for me.”

The woman looked me straight in the eye and grinned. “How much you want to bet the outside pool is heated?”

“O-hh.” My sister hadn’t said a word about the water. She shivered for all the onlookers and played her part. When I asked about the water temperature, Mary made a face and said, “My lips are sealed.”

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Next on May 25th – North to Alaska: Bet You Don’t Know These Quick Facts

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

 


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North to Alaska: It’s All Greek to Me

The tour guide had to check if the door was open for entry to the St. Nicholas Orthodox Church. We lucked out; she found a caretaker with a key. Finally, a chance to get out of the tiresome misting rain.

The Tlingit parishioners built the blue and white, octagonal church from local wood in 1893. The history is fascinating, at least to me.

The tour ended with the church visit. We were on our own. What to do? The famous Red Dog Saloon beckoned. Silly not to peek inside, right?

Too chilled for a beer, we didn’t stay long and moseyed into a couple little shops—mega touristy trinkets—to pick out gifts for the family back in Ontario. Mary chose two charms for a forgotten bracelet. I bought a bunch of postcards (five for $1.00 USD), which are scarce back home and cost a dollar each if you’re lucky to find them. As well, I picked out two pairs of charming Forget-me-not Swarovski Crystal pierced earrings for my granddaughters. My daughter is a necklace queen; I saw no interesting pieces for her.

Stopped at Vintage Fare Café  and Espresso for a coffee, a sit, and much-needed Wifi. Sitting proved to be my undoing as I felt lazy and tired of the chill in my bones. We were happy to return to the ship without having spent hundreds of dollars on excursions and planned to watch out for tour guides at the rest of our stops in port.

Along the way back, we passed numerous plagues about lighthouses and this huge outdoor mural: Passengers not allowed at the top of this house. I’m surprised my photo didn’t turn out bad either.

The shops are bright and the boats inviting. Why do towns on the water—everywhere it seems—have their buildings painted in delightful, vivid colours?

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Shoes off, we decided to kick back and enjoy a glass of wine in our stateroom. By 6:30, My stomach rumbled. I looked forward to the specialty on the menu: salmon. Other choices were pork and beef but fish it had to be. What luck! No salmon. Ten minutes, they said. This, after a shortage of shrimp the previous night. I was not happy. The twice-baked potatoes were dry and the green beans tough and stringy. Mary’s patience rewarded her with a sliver of salmon which I ranked as undercooked, opaque, and gelatinous. She said it was o-kay.

I had no desire for my usual after dinner coffee. That’s a first. After a glass of water, I was done.

We decided to take in a movie. The small but authentic theatre, we later found out, was also used for various Sunday services. It seemed a popular venue and filled quickly. Having arrived early, we chose seats dead centre to the screen with a clear view throughout the movie, titled Split. It was not clear why the main character with 23 personalities snatched three girls and kept them hidden. I enjoyed the opportunity to vacate our room and the new experience of the glam ship’s theatre. On second thought, that’s incorrect. We watched movies on the ship my mom and I sailed to Canada, but I have no recollection what the theatre looked like. Though only four, I do not know what movies we saw but do recall a man hitting on my mother and gifting me a bag of raisins. I wonder if she confessed to my father when we arrived.

As the credits rolled and we lined up to exit the Alaska cruise theatre, a ship hostess handed out small bags of fresh popcorn. Yum. Another day ending.

~ * ~

Next on May May 4th – North to Alaska: Skagway Adventures?

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles


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North to Alaska: Rainy Juneau Tour

We followed the guide past the library and had our first glimpse of the Sealaska Heritage Center but did not enter.

We then heard a fascinating story about Patsy Ann, the famous bull terrier, whose statue sits overlooking the wharf and continues to greet tourists on the cruise ships to Juneau.

A sculpture in honor of early miners in Juneau’s Goldbelt:

I hadn’t thought we’d see so many totem poles. They come in many sizes, colors, and tell many stories. In front of the Alaska State Capitol Building, we came upon this bear state, a salmon pinned to the rock.

Aren’t the mountains in the background striking? And breathtaking?

The road sloped downward and then leveled; the asphalt had no chance to dry from the fine drizzle. Damp and chilled, we trudged on. The buildings are self-evident in the photos.

As the road inclined, traffic was sparse. We scaled the sidewalk road, calf muscles, and glutes hard at work. An unexpected surprise awaited, one I had not considered. I thought the house smaller than I imagined, but I’d compared it to Washington. Big mistake. The Governor’s Mansion lorded the corner, the yard around it less than I assumed fitting, surrounded by high hedges and trees. True, the house did not butt up against the neighbor’s; still, it neither looked out of place nor appeared ostentatious. I recall a story that Governor Palin complained about a writer who rented next door, supposedly snooping on her family to write about them. The distance between the houses may well be deceiving.

Our tour guide’s used wireless audio equipment instead of a bullhorn.

Feverish picture taking and excitement over, the way back overlooked housing, mostly apartments. We turned toward the city center and passed older one family homes, the old mixed with the new same as every other city.

Quick Tips

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Next on April 27th – North to Alaska: It’s all Greek to Me

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles