Alaska and Victoria BC

imageOff to Seattle to visit Alaska. The plane was ahead of schedule which was great, darn there is an “important person” getting ready to leave Seattle so we circled for an hour till they left, ugh.

The good news was I still had plenty of time to make the cruise unlike the group of travelers that had to catch up with the cruise the next day.

This was a quilting cruise, not sure I would do another one. I loved the teachers and classes but like a cat with a bright light I felt I was missing some of the cruise activities that I would have enjoyed. We could choose three different classes from the four men. Three nights they would have a truck show ( Show and tell) of their quilts and tell a small story of how they got into quilting. Two men brought their wives and one brought his mother in law for the holiday. Each came into the industry differently and all are very good at what they do. It was interesting that half were my age and half were younger.

The stops we had were Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and Victoria BC. Patti and I tried to walk each day around the boat with the thoughts of the next meal we were going to eat or last meal we had eaten. The meals were lovely and I had managed not to gain too much weight even with all the sweets I ate. In Juneau we went to the glacier, glacier gardens and a quilt shop in town. In Sitka we went to a raptor rehab center, a rescue effort of bears and a salmon fishery. In Ketchikan we zip lined. The trip was amazing, it is one I would do again, well except for zip lining down nine zip lines in the rain forest as it rains. Yikes those lines are high above ground. We did see a bear rooting through the bushes below us but I could not let go of my death grip of the tree to take a photo.

While the ship went around Glacier park we saw seals, otters and a whale later on off the side of the ship. Even during dinner we saw some whales spouts. It was fun spotting all the Eagles and Ravens in the trees.
Victoria BC

Flew into Victoria after the cruise. Amazing to see the island above with all their hiking trails, lakes, and beaches. The view was stunning. Went to Sydney Spit beach with Liz’s brother. This entailed a short drive and a ferry across a bay. We saw sand pipers, red robins, sparrows, all kinds of trees, an otter, blue herons, sea gulls and an eagle. The day started out as cloudy and ended with a small drizzle. The weather is in the high sixties and very much like our late fall weather. It is delightful!

One night a mutual friend that sang in the folk music group in Abu Dhabi invited us to dinner and a jam session of her folk group here. The difference between the two events was here we had a fire pit going and no one was speaking Arabic in the background. It was a lovely evening.

As I walk around downtown everywhere you look the flowers are blooming. Flower baskets, pots, bushes are everywhere. I think it is one of the prettiest areas I have ever been.

We walked through the Empress hotel ( with a small stop for tea), and the parliament building. The tea here is an event. A burner is lite and placed on the table with a pot of water. We are then given a timer to judge how strong the tea will end. A three layer tray arrives with four different sandwiches on the lowest level, two crumpets with cream and jam on the next layer and then five different pastries on the top level. I think we ate all but the egg sandwiches and the carrot cakes. More walking is needed to keep up with my enjoyment of the local traditions. The parliament building has many stained glass windows and murals with gilded accents through the rooms we walked.

Last night we went for county cha cha lessons with some line dancing and two step thrown in at their local VFW hall. It was surreal doing country dancing so far from home.

Today was the BC museum with all the woolly mammoths on display on the second floor and the third floor which is the history of the people of the area. All very well done, with many interactive exhibits. Lunch was on another bay with fish tacos, not a crumb was left of the tacos or salad we ordered.

We have been through Chinatown a couple times. The history of the street is amazing. Pan tan alley is an assortment of shops on twisted alleys and streets. Reminds me of the bazaars in Egypt. Tonight’s dinner was an assortment of appetizers at one of the Chinese restaurants, this time a doggy bag went home with us. We are finishing the evening listening to some Cuban/Latin music on the lawn of Butchart gardens. The music sounds like jazz with a Latin pitch. As we drove home for the second time, a deer was waiting patiently in the crosswalk to cross the street. Seems Victoria has a problem with those “darn” deer.


Thursday March 3 a day in the math classroom

As spring break gets closer, the energy of the is students rising. As a team we decided to do an activity to review data as we have begun a new unit. We had the students do trash can basketball. They collected the data of their toss. After each team was done with their tossing of the basketball the students began to use the data. Students found mean, range, mode and the median. They then graphed their data and made observations about about the data. The students left with a smile on their face at the end of the period. Hopefully they will remember the vocabulary we reviewed more than the permission to throw paper in the classroom…


Ireland day five

After being on the bus so much lately it was nice not going so far today. We drove on to Galway then back to Dublin. Over half the tour group stayed in Shannon to fly home and the rest are either continuing on with their travels or flying home from Dublin.

There was a faire going on in Galway so there were many people there on holiday. It is a seaside town that many come to have a holiday even if it is cloudy and in the sixties. There were people swimming in the bay, brrrrr is all I can say. While there we also toured a marble factory. The different marbles were amazing.

I ran into a Norman church that was very nice. It has been around for a few years.  Went to dinner along Temple street. It is so neat walking down the street and listening and hearing all the street preformers. The sky is finally clear and blue, hopefully tomorrow it will remain for my last day before flying back to the states.  



Ireland day fourĀ 

Day four Ireland
Yesterday was a very long day of coach riding. We did the ring of Kerry and all I could hear was the Ring of Fire in my head. Though the whole trip was amazing I do not need to do that drive again. I was very glad I was not driving due to the narrow roads, high hedges, and twisting roads. At a couple of the scenic overlooks you would find a family or a couple people with small animals to pet, a few crafts to sell or fresh vegtitable scored sell. All for a coin or two to help them along.

We saw a shepards dog show, the gentleman did a grand job with his two dogs. He had a sheep of every breed in Ireland and explained the uses for them, rather for food or wool. It was very I interesting how different each breed was from each other.  

Dinner for me was early and I fell asleep listening to music that came through my open window. 

Today we went to the cliffs of Moher. The cliffs are a do again. I could have spent more time hiking along the cliffs. I walked for about an hour or so along each side of the cliffs. What is really nice the sky is overcast, threatening rain. The wind is brisk and the temperatures are high 60’s. What great weather to walk in along some very high cliffs. 












Ireland day four

I think today was an endurance of coach riding and climbing steps. I climb the castle Blarney and even stooped down to kiss the stone. The castle grounds were brilliant. Flowers, shrubs and trees were a beautiful background to the castle. The trees even had knitted tops around them from a sewing guild. A lady playing a harp was plying her trade too, you couldn’t have asked for better weather or ambience.  We are now in Killarney for two days. This is a tourist town of 10,000 that can swell to 30,000 with visitors. 



Ireland day three

Ireland day three
I have so enjoyed the cool temperatures and rain showers. Knowing I am going back to humid high temperatures does tend to heighten the enjoyment. Today I changed hotels for this afternoon I will start my tour. This hotel looks like it was a large private home that was converted to a hotel. It is absolutely brilliant. I will enjoy staying there I believe for one night. 

I have, without getting lost, managed to find the Dart and I am on my way to Bray. Lea recommend the place and I have a couple hours to kill, off I go. 

As I travel we are going by the coast. The skies are filled with dark angry clouds and the water is a dark green. The tide is out and all the shore birds are busy scavenging for food. On the other side of the dart one sees green squares of lawn edged with stone walls and green hedges. There is tagging in some do the rock cliffs the joys of artistic expression and paint even in Ireland. 

The train goes along the coast, as we reach Killiney there the sun peaks out from the clouds and you see families with their dogs on the beach. Brave ones have even have shorts and t shirts in. The rest are in dressed as one would on the eastern coast in March. There is a boot camp boxing with an incredible view behind the people of the ocean. We are driving by a lovely golf course filled with men golfing in their shorts. 

The harbours we go by are filled with small fishing boats and pleasure boats.

Oh my, I made it to. Ray and walked along the each. This is definitely a seaside touristy town. There were all the normal carnival rides needed to entertain the younger population. There were also craft and food vendors. One BBQ vendor had his booth to look like a glockenspiel. The town had a small park with workout machines that were stationary. It was very nice. I went up to the walk along the cliffs. The view was amazing. Flowers, rocks, ocean and men swimming I the buff, which was totally unexpected..I quickly decided not to go down that pathway. After an hour of walking I am back on the dart headed to Dublin. 




I arrived after flying all night from Abu Dhabi. A brief stop in Amsterdam and a sound nap, we landed in Ireland to Gray overcast skies. After 45 minutes in immigration I was through with suitcases in tow and on my way. Caught a taxi, the driver was quite chatty. Unfortunately my room was ready so I dumped my cases and went foraging for food and drink. I found rain and cold and the whiskey museum, where I had a delightful Irish coffee. Thought I would be an.e to wait out the rain but no such luck. Onward I trudged and down dragged my dress and squish went my shoes. Luckily the room was ready and I was able to change into clothing appropriate for this weather. I took a brief nap while my machines were charging, unfortunately not enough so I left them at home to continue to feed. Off I went looking for the “temple area”.  I found the Hairy Lemon pub. I was ready to sit and eat and hang the temple area. I decided to keep walking, and surprise I got turned around. I saw more of Dublin than my feet wanted to. I finally hobbled to the hotel around ten as the sun was finally beginning to set. 

The sun rose at four thirty this morning, and I know this why, oh I was awake. I was able to find trinity college without any problems and went to the library to see the book of Kells and see the library. The nice part is I read every sign, took my. Time, it wasn’t too crowed due to the early time of day. Off to the green city bus tour and noticed how much of the city I have walked while being lost. 

I got off thinking I would go back to the hotel for a nap, but then decided I was hungry and well yes, I did get turned around but I found a mickey D’s and a Starbucks to sit and relax in a window seat and watch the world go by. The rain comes and goes, with my jean jacket and rain jacket I am very comfortable outside. Inside Starbucks both came off very quickly. Well I finally figured out how to make it back to the hotel, since I continually turn the wrong way. Get on the “hop on,hop off” bus and go to Trinity College. From there no problem getting to the hotel! 
Good news went out this evening and discovered I must have been walking around my hotel all this time.  I have managed to walk for an hour and make it right back to the hotel. Now to change hotels tomorrow, sigh.