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.


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