I’m not sure where to begin. Alaska was the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. I am in love and in awe and I’m wishing I was still there. This is definitely my favorite destination so far. I found myself on more than one occasion wanting to bust out in Pocahontas songs because I have never felt so connected to nature.
Kenny and I decided we would try to see as much of the “real Alaska” as we could without paying money to take tours and be herded like cattle with 50-60 other people. We didn’t have much luck with this in Anchorage because we didn’t have a lot of time. We did find a cute little place to have breakfast.
I would recommend this spot to anyone passing through. It’s called “The Sandwich Deck” on K Street.
We spent the next two days sailing through glaciers. This was incredible. We enjoyed most of the views from our own balcony. Anyone who is going to the coast of Alaska should take a glacier tour. We went to Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay National Park.
Our first port was Skagway where we ventured off on our own to take a hike. Hiking in Alaska is not the same as hiking in South Carolina or even New York for that matter. People kept saying “everything’s bigger in Alaska!” Well, that’s true; everything is bigger, including their hills and mountains. After the first mile and a half the trails stopped. Who needs a trail when you can tie an orange ribbon to a tree and watch people stumble over giant roots, climb over boulders and play hop scotch over creeks? It was rough and it was painful and there was no big “aaahh” moment at the end that made it all worth it. In reality, the most beautiful views were the ones we saw at the bottom. Here are some photos from bottom to top.
We went to Juneau the next day. Our plan was to take the city bus to Mendenhall Glacier for $2 and go hiking AGAIN! We were trying to do it the “local way” by not taking the $10 per person shuttle from the cruise ship up to the glacier. We got on the local city bus and tried to pay. She said “don’t pay me, we’re not going far” and then dropped us off two blocks up the road. We decided we sucked at being locals and didn’t want to hike again anyway. We hung out in downtown Juneau and did some shopping. We found an awesome restaurant called The Hangar on the Wharf where we watched planes land and had delicious crab meat sandwiches.
Our last stop in Alaska was Ketchikan. I set up a tour through Southeast Sea Kayaks to go kayaking in Orcas Cove. I liked this company because they only took out 6 people at a time. Unfortunately you cannot control wildlife so we did not see any whales. We did however see a ton of starfish, bald eagles and jelly fish. I stopped myself from being disappointed by looking up. The views, at all times, are breathtaking. They also fed us the best smoked salmon that we had in Alaska. If you’re ever in Ketchikan look them up!
After kayaking we went to Creek Street which is Ketchikan’s version of Venice. Here there’s a ton of cute little shops and a great place to get reindeer, moose and caribou sausage.
Finally, we ended our trip in Vancouver. We wandered around most of the day. We ate a lot of food. We found a crepe place for breakfast, an Italian restaurant for lunch, and said “bon voyage” with a sushi cone.
I’m not going to lie, I still don’t consider myself a cruise person but I can see why everyone loves the Alaska cruise. I can not wait to go back and see more. Alaska and I are not finished yet.