Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Elgin Illinois

On Sunday this week, we traveled to Elgin Illinois for the dog show at the Kane County fair grounds. Sadly the only other class bitch's owner decided not to show up. That was a shame because she only lives 30 minutes away and we drove 4 hours to be there to hold the point that wasn't to be. On the other hand the point held in Pomeranians and Mike and Chance were able to pick it up!

However the BEST fun was seeing Barley and Liberty along with their new families. Pictured are Sylvia and Barley, Bryn and Liberty and Mike and Treasure. The puppies gave each other lots of kisses and seemed genuinely happy to see one another! What a treat to have them all together even if for such a short time!
On the way home we decided to try the Skyway to avoid the traffic problems cause by flooding due to recent rains. Unfortunately everyone else seemed to have the same idea and we ended up going only 15 miles in 3 hours. After leaving the fair grounds at 4:00 p.m. we got home at 11:30 p.m.

Tracy Arm Fjord

On Wednesday, August 8, 2007 our ship itinerary said "scenic cruising". When we woke up that morning we were headed into Tracy Arm Fjord which is a 30 mile fjord cut out of the Tongass National Forest. The cliffs on either side are 3,000 feet of granite, the water underneath is equally as deep. If was the first time that year that the Diamond Princess had found good weather in the fjord, usually it is raining and quite foggy. We were blessed with sunshine and cool crisp, windless air. The water was like glass. The ship went in closer to the Sawyer Glacier than it had ever been simply because visibility allowed us to. There at the base of the glacier the ship slowly turned in place. I think everyone on the ship was up on the deck. The view from our balconies was beautiful, but from up on top of the ship it was simply stunning. We watched the breathtaking view and our ship's captain read poetry to us over the speaker. It was truly a moment of perfection. The pictures I took don't begin to do it justice but try to imagine this beauty around you in 360 degrees!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Dog Show Tomorrow

We are going to a dog show tomorrow. Think these guys are ready?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Skagway Alaska

When Mike and I returned to Skagway on the ferry we had just enough time to shop for a little while down town before meeting Shirley and Len to take the Yukon Pass train up the mountain. This narrow gauge train was built to carry supplies in and out of Skagway during the gold rush. The train inches along the mountain side and crosses the boarder into Canada, then returns. It took three hours round trip. We were lucky. Those that had gone up earlier in the day saw only fog! We got to see the mountain side all the way up even though clouds were beginning to drift back in. We got back in time to hustle to the ship before it set sail.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

At the Fair

Right now I am spending all of my time at the fair in Hudsonville! There is absolutely no time to finish up my Alaska pictures so that will have to wait until the weekend. In the mean time I had a visitor last night while working at the fair. Look who came to visit with daddy. Sure made my night go a lot faster to see that sweet face in the bleachers!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Haines, Alaska

On Tuesday, August 7th we arrived in Skagway which has a population of 800 year round residents. Early in the morning Mike and I boarded a ferry bound for Haines, where we went on a wildlife expedition tour. On the 45 minute trip over to Haines we saw dozens of seals "sunning" themselves on the rock, even though it was foggy and misty. Later it began to rain as we walked with our guide Chessie along a river. Perhaps because our group was small with only eight vistors and two guides, we got very lucky and found a Grizzly bear feeding along the river. He wasn't eating fish but rather vegetation. We watched him for more than 15 minutes and he was less than 50 feet from us! Chessie our guide showed us a fish carcass left earlier by a bear along the river bank. After we left the river and headed to the rain forest we saw a sign warning us we were entering bear country. Go figure! The rain forest was lovely, but we saw only trees, ferns and lot and lots of varieties of mushrooms.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Juneau, Alaska

On Monday, August 6, 2007 we pulling into the town of Juneau which is the capitol of Alaska. Shirley and I took a whale watching trip, while the guys went fishing. It seems there were more whales than fish in the water! All together we probably saw a dozen whales which came up numerous times. We even saw a calf breech up into the water, but if you have ever been frustrated from trying to photograph kids or dogs, let me tell you that is nothing compared to trying to get a good shot of a whale. So for what it is worth here is hump back whale surfacing up from the water. We also saw harbour seals, several bald eagles and a glacier off in the distance. Later when we walked back to our ship, Shirley and I had the good fortune to run into Libby Riddles and two of her dogs. Libby was the first woman to win the Iditarod which she did in 1985. Later that night I went to hear her talk about her experiences. She is an amazing woman having moved to Alaska on her own at the age of 16 to homestead in a small town north of Nome.
An interesting story was told to us by our bus driver. There is a MacDonald's in Juneau...just one of them. The day it opened they sold 18,000 burgers, so many that they had to close the next day since there was no food left. On that first day, the town of Skagway which has a population of about 800 people, sent their emergency helicopter over to Juneau and had it filled with MacDonald's food. Seems the townspeople were willing to go a couple of hours without their only emergency transportation off the island, but they weren't going to go another day without experiencing MacDonald's!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

First Formal Night

Sunday, August 5, 2007 - First formal night aboard the Golden Princess. A full day at sea to enjoy the relaxation of the cruise and get ready for the exciting ports ahead. Mike and I got gussied up just for fun and went out to dinner on formal night.

Port of Seattle

On Saturday, August 4th, we headed down town to the world famous Pike Place Market to sample some of the many vendors. Shirley checked out the parking situation. Seems you put money into that machine and out prints a sticker that you put in the window of your car. Later that afternoon we drove down to Pier 30 and got a first look at our home for the next week; the Golden Princess. We were on board by 3:30 just in time for a 4:00 sailing. Look who is on the balcony next door!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Mount Rainier

On Friday, we drove down to Tacoma and met our dear friends Sandra and Paul for lunch. They had ridden the Harley up from Portland the day before. After lunch we all headed out for Mt. Rainier National Park. We drove up the park and stopped at the National Inn at Longmire and then later made our way up to Paradise which is at 6,000 feet. My last visit to Rainier was in 1996 and I had Kody Bear with me and I had always wanted to return. This time I made the trip with my husband, in-laws and dog family. (Paul and Sandra's daughter owns Kody Bear's son Kodiak) I wanted to make it all the way to Paradise on this trip and I was glad I did! The view was breathtaking. After we made our way down the mountain it was time for dinner and a chance to soak in the precious time with close friends. We found the Hobo Inn open and enjoyed a delicious dinner. Later Sandra and Paul spent the night in a train car. It was car #3, the day was August 3 and they were celebrating their 33rd wedding anniversary that night! It was heard to say goodbye, but we needed to get back to Seattle so we could board our ship the next day.


On Thursday, August 2nd Mike and I flew with his parents Len and Shirley to Seattle to begin our trip to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. The first two nights we stayed in the Warwick Hotel on the 17th floor where we had this spectacular view of the city. The window was floor to ceiling and wall to wall. A small balcony was too much for me to step out on to but Mike enjoyed it. Len and Shirley's room had windows on two sides. Truly a gorgeous way to start our trip.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Treasure has a friend

Anne who works with Mike watched Treasure grow up on line, but she recently decided she needed to get a first hand look along with the chance to hug and hold. Treasure seems pleased to meet her and Boston showed her how to give kisses.