Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tracy Arm Fjord, Inside Passage, Alaska

The next morning we got up early so we could get a spot to watch when we started going into the Tracy Arm Fjord. Apparently we were some of the few crazies who got up early to see the sights in the cold ;) We didn't have any trouble getting our favorite spot and chairs!

We lucked out with another great day of sunshine to see the fjord!

See ... no crowds of people ;) They must be all at the buffet!

It seems a little crazy to drive an enormous ship into a little fjord. But I guess it works out ;)

So pretty!

Clark braving the chilly morning to see the views.

The Sawyer Glacier - we couldn't get any closer to it because of the ice flow that day but it was cool to see zoomed in on the camera ;)

A little seal swimming around the ice

And then they started turning the enormous ship around. It seriously seemed so narrow in the fjord that I swore we were going to hit the edge ;)

But it turns out the fjord must be much more giant than it seemed because then another cruise ship passed us ;)  And look how tiny it looks compared to the walls of the fjord!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

First Stop: Ketchikan, AK

Our first stop was Ketchikan, AK.  We arrived bright and early with some nice blue skies!

Cute little town built at the edge of the water

The activity of the day was trying out a little zip-lining! Marla stayed back on the boat with Clark while the rest of us hopped on a bus and then a four wheel drive truck thing to get to the start of the zip line. Here's Molly getting hooked up to practice!

Weeeeee! Here comes Grant!

Now it's my turn!  Fun!

Gary even went along ;) We had a good time zipping, walking the rope bridge, watching eagles and even saw a black bear wandering below us for awhile!

After the zip line excursion we met up with Marla and Clark to walk along the little historic 'Creek Street'. Molly got a phone call from a fixer place while we were walking so they went back to the ship to have someone look at Clark's wheelchair.

While they did that, Grant and I took a city bus to check out the totem poles at the Saxman Native Village just a few miles from town.

It started to sprinkle so we went back to town to get some food and then when it started raining harder we walked around and looked in some shops until it was time to go back to the ship.  We were starting to wonder what the verdict with the wheelchair was ...

This was the scene back at the ship earlier while we were checking out the totem poles ... can he fix it?!

Back on the ship there was sunshine and big smiles because the CHAIR WAS FIXED! WOOT! No more pushing and Clark could go where he wanted again ;)  whew!

Everyone had a good day in Ketchikan!

On to the next adventure!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Alaskan Cruise - First Full Day at Sea

The first day was a full day at sea. So, we spent the morning doing a little working out (it's slightly challenging running on a treadmill if there are any waves making the ship rock ;) and then we found some breakfast at the buffet (it's not hard to find food at any time of day ;).

It was a gorgeous sunny day!

Don't be fooled - it was nice and sunny but it wasn't a tropical cruise ;) So, we did some sun bathing in our jackets, jeans and shoes!

It was nice and relaxing to just lounge around and watch for animals - we saw lots of dolphins, whales, seals, etc!  See that one?!  I think that's a whale... or maybe dolphin?  ;)

Later on Grant played in a basketball tournament - his team won ;)

That night was one of two formal dinners. Here's the fam all dressed up! Grant, Me, Molly, Marla, Gary and Clark in the front.  Note that poor Clark's chair still wasn't fixed :( The electrician people on the ship had it at this point and were seeing if they could figure anything out. So, Clark had a manual chair for a little while. Of course, they had no idea how to fix it so brought it back later still broken.

Molly and Clark

Grant and Me

Marla and Gary

We spent some time hanging out and listening to bands in this bar - the Wheelhouse bar

The rest of the Schnells spent a lot of time in the casino ;) It was a hit!

That evening we all went to the music/dance/comedian show. Good times!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Seattle Part 2 and First Night on Board the Ship

The next morning we decided to take a stroll to Pike's Place Market to check it out since we didn't have to be on the ship until the afternoon. All was going well until we got ALMOST to the market and Clark's chair stopped. Well, it didn't stop but it would only go in circles because one of the motors stopped. Many phone calls, answering machines, and city helpers later (keep in mind it's Sunday and no repair shops are open), Molly and Clark got a ride back to the hotel to pack up and regroup. The rest of us checked out the market and then walked back to the hotel to pack up.

Unfortunately there really wasn't anything we could do except push Clark in his chair onto the ship and hope someone could fix it at one of the ports! Keep in mind that electric wheelchair isn't light! I think they said something like 600lbs with Clark and the chair?! Good work, Grant ;)

Grant and Clark took the VIP check-in since Grant was the designated chair-pusher.  So, we all got slightly separated throughout the process.  Here's Molly and I checking in after getting through the line and some excitement with passports, etc since we were separated from the husbands but, of course, had each other's stuff ;) lol

Making our way up the ramp to the ship we looked back and saw Marla and Gary!  And they took our picture ;)

Getting settled in our room. We had an interior room - it was nice! There was this sleeping area with a desk and TV and then behind where I'm standing was a closet and bathroom.

Scoping out the ship - there was an outdoor movie theatre and several pools and hot tubs!

Hanging out at the back of the ship checking out the views of Seattle while waiting to leave port.

Of course one of the first things we did was go to the BUFFET! OMG - there is SO MUCH FOOD on these ships!  Grant, Clark, Molly, Gary and Marla

Marla and Grant checking out the mountains as we leave Seattle

And the cruise begins!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Beginning of our Alaskan Cruise - Seattle, WA

Grant's dad, Gary, retired this year so we all went on an Alaskan cruise to celebrate! We flew to Seattle, WA on Saturday to spend the night and then board the ship on Sunday. Here's Molly, Clark, Marla, Grant and Gary. This was Clark and Molly's first attempt at flying together :) All went well and Clark made it on the plane!!

Hmm do you think that's Bozeman, MT down there?! Hi Johnsons! ;)

We could see Mt Rainier before landing!

Survived the flight - now waiting to get off and hoping all their luggage, wheelchair and gear made it ;)  Everything ended up making it - just had to search a little for everything since we were the last ones off and the luggage was already off the baggage claim when we got there!  Then we took the lightrail from the airport to University street to check in to the hotel W Seattle where we stayed the night. 

Taking a stroll down to the water front for supper after checking in to our hotel. That's Marla and Grant coming down the hill wit the rest of the crew behind them - it was really hilly!


Ivar's fish bar for supper!

Yummm ... the food was so good!

Eating some delicious seafood - that's Grant, Me, Marla, Gary, Molly and Clark's aunt. Clark was next to Molly but didn't make the pic ;)

After supper Grant and I caught a cab to go up to Kerry Park where we read you can get a view of the city and sometimes Rainier if the clouds aren't out. It was a tiny park but the view was cool!  We could just barely see Mt Rainier to the right of the city.

We decided to walk back to the water front since it was all downhill ;) When we got back down we called the rest of the crew and they were waiting for us so we could get on the 'Great Wheel'. To speed up our walk we flagged down one of the bicyclers pulling a cart and got a ride!

That thing is tall! We got a little VIP treatment and got to the front of the line thanks to Clark ;)

It was cool to look out over the city but it was also slightly freaky when it started really moving once all the people were loaded on!  Going up and around the top was slightly scary because it was all glass and felt like we were falling!! eeeeee!!! We had a fun afternoon and evening checking out Seattle!
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