How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


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Vancouver Again: Now What?

We’re in the South Tower (the other is North) so not sure where east or west is until the sun moves across and down later. We unpacked, checked email—heaven to have working internet again—and contacted home.

The sun broke through the clouds, sending ribbons of welcome heat. Confined on board ship four days with three landing days only, we strolled the neighborhood for the exercise and fresh air. I’m not used to towering buildings and kept forgetting where we were, although I had thoughts we were in Toronto.

I had forgotten my face cream at home. Why do I always forget something important? My poor parched wrinkles scrunched tight, screaming for nourishment. We passed a couple dollar stores. No suitable cream, but I picked up a couple inch-and-a-half diameter tins of nail polish remover pads. (Perfect for travelling.) Just used one a couple days ago—still good.)

I also pounced on an oversize sunglass case. It was a steal; I had to have it. I hate shopping but I don’t mind impromptu roaming through strange stores at times. Considering I had not purchased anything in Alaska except gifts for the family, fridge magnets, and some postcards, this is big spending for me.

While we waited at a red light to cross the street, Mary asked a young girl who had a ring in one nostril—a hippie-type, not a goth—about restaurants close by. She recommended Vera’s, a burger place. “Just up the block. . . better than MacDonald’s,” she said.

A guy next to her asked, “You want MacDonald’s?”

“Heck, no but thank you.”

We ordered at the cash register. The burgers were thick and juicy. The French fry servings were about the size of a handful, the young woman told us. Good thing Mary and I decided to share an order because they were more than we could eat after the filling hamburger. Had they been extra nice since we were visitors from Ontario and no one else was in the restaurant? They had no coffee, only milk, pop, and water. Before hitting the sidewalk, we inquired about a wine/liquor store. The young woman smiled so wide, I worried about her face. “Next door,” she said, pointing.

The store carried VQA bottles, beyond our price range. The first bottle I spotted was only $89.00. Yikes. We did find a couple shelves of reasonable prices. The two guys who unpacked and shelved other bottles stuck up a conversation. When asked if they had down-to-earth labels. I heard them roll their eyes as we hot-footed it out of there. We hit a Shoppers Drug Mart and a grocery store. All I wanted was a sample size jar of something practical for the short term and settled on Ponds Cold Cream.

I have made a short list of items (during this trip) I plan to keep in my suitcase forever: a pair of earrings, face cream, a shawl, nail polish remover tin and a corkscrew. I already have one I borrowed in China.

Following my $1.79 devil-may-care expenditure, Mary asked a passerby with white tape on his nose where the liquor store might be. You won’t believe this.

“Around the corner ahead,” he said. He appeared embarrassed about the tape and explained he lived each day to the fullest because of his upcoming surgery but did not explain what that entailed.

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Next on June 13th: Vancouver Again. What’s Next?

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

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North to Alaska: Last Day and New Horizons

Sunrise had been forecast for 5:00 a.m. but with last minute checking and rechecking everything ended up in our suitcases that belonged, we missed taking pictures.

Vancouver on the Horizon

Neither Mary nor I had checked what time the Lido Market would be open for breakfast, but she suggested we order in. An excellent idea. I had scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon, toast, and coffee. Mary’s choices were a fruit plate, cottage cheese, muesli, and coffee. A soft knock on the door announced breakfast’s arrival. What a feast. Food that needed to be hot did not disappoint.

The kitchen staff called, “Did you enjoy your breakfast?”

“Indeed. Excellent. Thank you.”

Later, Mary called to have our trays removed. Unlike hotels, halls on ships are narrower and likely to cause tripping hazards if anything other than luggage is left outside. Once again, someone came lickety-split.

As we waited for expedited disembarkation announcement, Mary could not find her key card, without which she could not leave the ship. She called the Reception Desk and an attendant promised a new one. While she raced to pick it up, I worried how long she may be held up. The fusspot I am, I grit my teeth and worried about missing our proper exit. Finally, she returned and we pushed and pulled our luggage out the door. Only about a dozen people stood around with us, some with carry-ons but no luggage. Within minutes, a solitary uniform pointed forward. We offered our key cards for scanning, and out we zipped. “Keep the card as your souvenir,” said the scanning lady when finished.

It’s as if everyone had already gone ashore or was this a ghost ship? No one ahead and no one behind. We scurried downward, were directed by a silent figure with a smile and a wave to proceed straight down the length of the airport building. No customs and no questions. How strange. Just us two: no crowds or foot traffic. It felt special being an expedited passenger but surreal, and I wondered why anyone exiting the cruise ship, whether to catch their flight, hop a bus or taxi to their hotel, wouldn’t get off like we had. Why go to the trouble of putting your bags outside by midnight and then wait inside the airport to claim them?

Part of our itinerary included a taxi and driver upon our return to Vancouver. No sooner had I inquired about this, three women came forward, one a trainee. Our taxi awaited. The rep handed a voucher to the driver and we sped through Vancouver traffic to the Sheraton. The weather continued overcast; smoke-colored clouds hung heavy and low, more like a dismal fall rather than past mid-May.

Within ten minutes or so, the taxi arrived at Sheraton Wall Centre. Already registered at the hotel as part of the holiday itinerary, our key cards were ready and we headed to the seventeenth floor, sans luggage. The bags arrived before we did. Impressive.

~ * ~

Next on July 6thVancouver Again. Now What?

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles


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North to Alaska: Art Auction Confusion

I woke at 6:45, anxious to start our day. A dry deck faced us; the ship rocked beneath our feet.

After breakfast, I intended to get the rigmarole of going ashore the next day out of the way. I sorted through the forms and luggage tags. We had a couple options: independent or expedited and chose the latter as we fit all the criteria, the times fit better, and I’d rather pull our own luggage off the ship than leave it outside the door before midnight and have to wait to collect it upon arrival in Vancouver. Mary stopped by the front desk to collect printouts of our accounts. I spent more than I’d anticipated. How easy it is to spend money when all you have is a credit card. I should have disregarded an internet connection as a necessity, considering we had so much downtime.

Mary signed us up to attend an art auction. Not up my alley but the promise of a glass of champagne was a good incentive. Upon registration, a nice woman handed everyone a number and three stickers, which we were to affix to paintings we favoured.

When the fellow responsible to display the next painting for auction, he snapped off the stickers and mashed them. I saw no point in the stickers unless the ones with the most were brought out first or was the exercise to engage would-be buyers?

The champagne must have been a special purchase. Only one glass per customer. My mouth puckered with the first sip, but I managed to work at it until the glass was empty. Swirling the glass gave me something to do while I slid lower in my chair, bored. The auction did not heat up; a few painting sold, but the bidding was low and unexciting.

Tummies rumbling, we scouted out to lunch. Upon our return, lo and behold, the auction still rambled on. Mary did not win anything though she purchased a wad of draw tickets. At the end, as loyal attendees, another woman handed out white 10 by 13-inch envelopes. Mary opened hers right away. She disliked the print of a moose and daring as ever, she asked for an exchange. She made a face at the print of single cottage in a field of wildflowers in her hand and hinted at trading with me, but I liked mine. I decided to love my modern print or would someday and planned to buy a fabulous frame it might deserve. Teasing aside, I did—I DO—like it.

Duet Night (print) by Charles Lee

The rest of the day we wandered the ship, saying goodbye to new friends. For the third and last time, we enjoyed dinner at the Rotterdam with plans to enjoy Elliot Finkel, a piano entertainer in the theatre. The members of the audience loved the fabulous and popular Disney show tunes he played, but the show lasted only 45 minutes. Two guitarists, a drummer, and a female keyboard player accompanied him.

The show over, we had plenty of time to catch the sunset. Announcements earlier mentioned 9:29 and then 9:15 pm as sundown. Thank goodness, we were early, yet we still missed it. The sun slid into the ocean in the split second I blinked. What a disappointment. A fellow passenger caught it and said, “The sun slipped behind the mountains and into the ocean like it had been in a hurry to go to bed.”

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~ * ~

Next on June 29th – North to Alaska: Last Day and New Horizons

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles


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North to Alaska: Creek Street Shops and a Tram Experience

As we left Dolly’s house by the back stairs, Mary noticed the guide from the tour we latched on to in Juneau. We scrambled to join the group, wondering how much we’d missed. As we joined the people clustered around the guide, Mary talked to a woman in an unobtrusive jacket with an emblem on the breast. She tsked the tour did not belong to the cruise but was an independent. We mentioned there had been no problem in Juneau. “We’re almost finished so I guess you can stay.”

She led us down a path to the shops on Creek Street and the tour was over. At least the drizzle had stopped.

I laughed at the many advertisements for the shops. Mary wanted to take the tram ($2.00 USD) up a high hill for a fantastic view of the town. Whoever had given her information about it said the entrance was up the hill. Which hill? “Are you sure she meant this hill.” I hated wasting my time. On and on we trudged. No tram entrance. The hill levelled out; we accosted a couple coming toward us, who did not give specific directions but pointed down the hill. We stopped at one of the shops, then asked another passerby. Back to the tourist-filled sidewalk, we meandered through the same shops for the third time.

“There it is.” Mary had the look of someone who knew where she was going all along. A family of five joined us. Maybe because the Cape Fox Hill Tram happened to be red, I immediately thought of Dr. Who and his telephone booth. The buttons for operation are the same as you find in an elevator. The over 200-foot incline took about minute before we stopped more than 100 feet above the harbour.

We had no idea what we’d find at the top. Straight ahead double doors enticed us into a lobby, which appeared to be a hotel. Fantastic seating with deep sofas and chairs faced a working gas fireplace and a switched on flat screen. Out the back door were gardens and more totem poles. On the other side of the lobby, magnetic food smells and brewing coffee drew us in. The best seats by the windows overlooking Ketchikan were taken, but though almost noon, the restaurant was not busy. I felt invisible as no server approached our table until Mary lassoed a waitress for the Wi-Fi password. I only wanted a simple coffee. Not Mary, who perused the menu; muffins took her fancy. When a waiter finally stopped by, he said they had none.

“But they’re on the menu. What kind do you have?”

“I’ll check.” He disappeared. We waited and waited. We waited some more and grabbed a waitress, asking after our server. Mary’s blueberry muffin finally arrived. It wasn’t oven-warm so we decided it hadn’t just been baked because service had taken so long and we’d been told they had none.

We caught up on email, ate, drank and left money for the food and left. Who has all day to wait for service?

Traipsing back to Creek Street and the many quaint shops, I no longer found them appealing and voted for a return to the ship for a proper, if late, lunch.

The day finished with an enjoyable viewing of LaLa Land in the ship’s theatre. Prior to seeing the movie, I’d heard there were opposing camps regarding this production: those who love it and those who do not. I loved it. Popcorn arrived late once again, during the latter part of the movie and we were drawn to pinch a bag each on the way to our room. One last look outside confirmed we had missed the sunset again. The skyline appeared bruised in shades of purple, pink, orange, and yellow.

Night, night.

~ * ~

If you’ve never tried it, here’s a chance to see what a tram is like.

Next on June 22nd – North to Alaska: Art Auction Confusion

© 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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North to Alaska: Skagway Adventures?

We were already docked when I looked out the window at 6:45 a.m. The weather was (again) overcast, not an uplifting start to the day. Sigh.

Our stateroom window provided a view of a sheered rock wall painted/stamped with brand names from our narrow entry point. This is just a small sampling.

A five-car came tram along. People lined up already but no one had his or her hood up, so I guessed the rain finally took a time-out. I assumed this might be a tour tram but probably not gratis.

Breakfast first by 8:00 a.m. The dining room busy but not full. Hungrier than I realized, I chose porridge with a cup of prunes (for taste, silly), a couple slices of cheese, raisins and sliced almonds on top, and orange slices, kind of my usual breakfast plan at home. I couldn’t be happier. I must be losing my mind or my age is showing. Am I on a cruise or at home? I’m not a fan of eating out often. After a day or two, while travelling, I’m bored with restaurant meals. They all lack that distinct homemade flavour.

We realized we need not rush out to discover Skagway as our day was free till 8:30 pm. We took our time till after lunch. How big can Skagway be if it shuts down for the winter?

The power went off all over the ship around 9:45 am. The Captain apologized for the inconvenience over the intercom, then a flicker and all went black. No satellite reception since we woke. I tried my laptop. Nothing. The TV was dead, too.

We lazed and read the morning away, choosing lunch around 12:30 before heading to explore Skagway. Chicken salad hit the spot. We’d been eating too freely and decided to rein in the bad habit of gorging because we can.

Still no satellite reception after lunch, we pulled ourselves together for a stroll into town for Wifi, above all else. We worried Skagway might be black as well, but

Since we ventured out late in the day, we had no idea if we’d missed a free tour like the previous day (even by accident as we had been). I heard no announcements for the first-day tour and not for this second one.

Bored with the damp weather, we ventured out and met stragglers returning to the ship with name brand shopping bags. Their recommendations were golden. Tourist feedback is more valuable than anything advertised. I like real people rather than marketing gimmicks.

Quick Tips:

We strolled from the ship into the town of Skagway, a distance of under a mile but worth every step. The weather had improved and the day smiled for a change, the sky smeared with frothy clouds, the day dried by a generous sun. What a refreshing change. I’m not old enough for laid-back cruising; I’d rather walk, free to move around. The ship is too confining for me though there is a lot to do onboard. I’m not a water baby so the pool holds little attraction for me.

Our bright day trek looked like this along the way:

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Next on May 11th – North to Alaska: Shopping, Saloons, and Beer?

© 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: Yay! Juneau Ahead

The ship rocked and rolled in the night, waking me twice. Were the bored waves playing heave-ho responsible for my roiling stomach for a second night? You know: dark all around, nothing in sight for miles, everyone asleep. Ship looking for excitement? Shakes up passengers?

I looked out the window when banging overhead sounded but there was no thunder or flashes of lightning in the sky. In the morning, the deck outside our wet drizzled window was the deck. Great. Tossed and turned in the early morning while the world snored wondering if I should kick in $55.00 for 100 minutes of internet. I decided it would be worth it as I wanted to contact home. The signup online was easy but accessing my account proved futile. I wasted all but 15 minutes of the hundred by the time I called the desk for help. When I logged onto my iPad, a message saying I was on too many devices flashed on the screen. What?

I wasn’t about to buy more minutes but asked they give me back at least half. I ended up with the balance of 15 minutes left plus 40 returned. No more time to play around. It was time for breakfast and then docking in Juneau.

After breakfast, we followed the crowds to the disembarking area. Excitement and chatter filled the stairway up to that particular deck. People took off jackets as all the heavy breathing heated the small space. We waited so long, questions regarding the location of the bathrooms circulated.

Our impatience finally bore fruit and double doors opened to allow x-ray of bags and/or knapsacks x-rayed and names checked against the passenger list as we disembarked. I cannot believe our luck: rain and drizzle awaited our first excursion. We had no idea we had a tour guide on the ship but we followed her after asking if we could (no charge). Mary wasn’t keen at first. She asked how long the tour would be (approximately 1-1/2 hours). It was turned out to be the best idea as we wouldn’t have known to visit some of the hot spots.

We hadn’t planned any excursions (cheaper to plan direct) and hadn’t changed our minds once we’d boarded ship (more expensive there). I have no complaints about our impromptu walk through Juneau. More about that later.

Here are some examples of possibilities and costs on offer when booked on the ship:

The rain continued but the tour guide entranced her followers, hoods on and hoods off, umbrellas up and taken down.

Juneau Quick Tips:

  • Population: about 32,000
  • Jobs: government, tourism, fisheries
  • 3 ways to come to Juneau: air, water, boat
  • Unlike Skagway, open for business all year round
  • Capital of Alaska
  • Russia sold Alaska to the U.S. in March 1867 for $7.2 million
  • Yukon Gold Rush 1896-1899
  • Alaska flag adopted 1927, designed by 13-year old Benny Benson
  • January 1959, 49th State

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Next on April 20th – North to Alaska: Rainy Juneau Tour

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles


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North to Alaska: First Day on Board

While we had been at dinner our first night, someone emptied the garbage and deposited complimentary black, reusable (Holland America branded) bags on the beds. A basket of mixed fruit awaiting our arrival yesterday included a sheet to tick off new choices. New fruit decorated the small pedestal table by the loveseat.

I woke in the night with a queasy stomach. In the early morning, it was truly upset. I wondered if it had anything to do with the food last night—not the four measly ounces of wine, surely. I managed to rally though, food again on my mind or was it my stomach talking?

                                                     Water, water everywhere

Nervous about strangers going through our things, we hung the privacy sign outside our door before going to breakfast. It appeared everyone on the ship came to eat at the same time, at the same restaurant as if all the others were closed. We squeezed in next to another couple who were from Washington State. A Michigan couple joined us: a stunning, warm, and fun loving Peruvian woman; her American husband was less so.

Talked out and full after eating—three cups of coffee for me—we explored levels four and five. Guess what we found. A lending library. I drooled over the books despite having packed my own and we each took out two. Why? Maybe because we could. When would we have time to read? No matter. Preparedness is my middle name.

After much finagling, we figured out how to plug in Mary’s phone (an ordinary plug over the room’s desk. Sheesh.) Lucky I brought my (plug) converter as the other one would no accommodate the plug for my iPad.

The hair blower hid in the desk drawer not on the shelf in the bathroom as we turned the room upside down looking for it. Success was useless as the too large prongs refused to fit any of the outlets, even the one in the bathroom.

The privacy sign had not deterred the stateroom attendants from knocking after we returned from breakfast. They insisted on doing up the room—protocol and all that—though we suggested we’d look after the room. The incompatibility of plug and hair blower developed into a hot topic with the attendants. Their efforts failed, too. They promised to bring another one and told us to put this one back in the drawer.

“Won’t the next people have the same problem?” I asked.

Mary later solved the mystery by trying the outlets over the desk again and good thing as no one brought another dryer throughout our seven-day cruise. Some things you cannot be shy about. A working hair dryer is a must.

An announcement came over the PA system after lunch:

  • 334 nautical miles from Vancouver
  • 467 remaining to Juno
  • 10:30 tonight, between Canada and U.S. border
  • At 2:00 a.m. the clock will go back an hour.
  • Naturalist talk outside at scheduled times. (Too damp to attend)

I had a salad for lunch and a pizza slice. I should have stopped at the salad. Orange cheese on pizza? Awful. Awful. The dough, black olives, onions, mushrooms etc. were okay—no, they were tasteless. This did not taste like pizza and I can make no comparisons. Mozzarella instead might have helped.

~ * ~

Next on April 6th – North to Alaska: Snooping Around

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles