Alaska Here We Come!

If you are like me, planning and preparing for the trip are almost as thrilling as the travels themselves! I spend an entire year drooling over travel blogs and books, and scouring TripAdvisor reviews in order to pack as many bucket list items as humanly possible into an itinerary. But this year was a little different. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still spend an enormous about of time surfing the web and gather tips and ideas for our trip this year, however it wasn’t until about MARCH that we actually had the summer trip destination finalized (this is VERY unusual for us!)

 

We threw out lots of fabulous destinations this year, but neither I nor my husband could/would be the one to decide. You see, I years past we have alternated who gets to pick each Summer travel location (he likes the beach…I like cities…) but this year we really wanted to pick a destination together that we would both be really excited about! We had a huge list, and we narrowed it down to a few locations: Iceland, Thailand, Israel, or Vienna/Budapest. These locations were all so very different from one another that we were really having a hard time choosing….and then….BABY ADDIE CHOSE FOR US!

We found out that we were pregnant at the beginning of March, and that pretty much our travel destination. Hiking glaciers in Iceland, touring a conflict-zone in Israel, traveling through sketchy (albeit beautiful) locations in Thailand, and sweating it out with the other millions of tourists in Europe just didn’t fit into the plans this year….

Needless to say, being 5 months pregnant I still want to have an adventure, but I would also like to safety of an American hospital for emergencies (covered by my health insurance!) and a little relaxation, which is not the norm for many of our vacations. We chose to cruise next week with Princess Cruise Lines to several Alaskan ports within the Inside Passage. We will be leaving from Seattle on SUNDAY!!!

Here are some of the adventures we are most excited about:

1. Ketchikan: Lumberjack Competition and Totem Bight National Park

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http://www.experienceketchikan.com/ketchikan-lumberjack-show.html

Waring really wanted to see the Lumberjack Competition. Will it be cheesy? Yes, but that is part of it’s charm! Next, we will head to Totem Bight State Park (This is the nerdy part of me…remember, I am a history major!) Here we will see a model of a native american village and historic cedar totem poles that have stood the test of time! (Can you tell I am super excited!?)

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2. Juneau: Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier

After several hours searching various travel sites, I finally decided to use Orca Enterprises for our Juneau Whale Watching Experience. Many sites suggest using Harv and Marv’s (which has excellent reviews), however we opted for a slightly bigger ship so that the water wouldn’t be quite to rocky. Although we will be travelling through an inlet, baby Addie is precious cargo, and I figured that we would err on the side of precaution! This company touts a 99.9% whale sighting records, and will refund 50% of your trip costs if you do not see one of these beautiful creatures! I. CAN’T. WAIT!

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After a (hopefully) amazing morning of whale watching, we will then arrive via taxi to Mendenhall Glacier. (Bucket List Item 21: SEE A GLACIER…check!!!)

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http://cruises.about.com/od/alaskacruises/ss/Juneau-Inside-Passage-Alaska_2.htm

3. Skagway: Yukon Discover Tour

THIS was by far the hardest tour to book. We knew that we wanted to explore past the cruise port, but we just weren’t sure which route to take. Many visitors seemed to take the historic railway through White Pass Summit and into the Canadian Yukon, however I just couldn’t image paying the $$$ price and spending almost 7 hours (!!!) on a train!

So, we opted to travel with Frontier Excursions and Adventures. We will ride in a 20 passenger van/bus along a similar route as the railway, but we will get to stop, stretch our legs, and take LOTS of pictures along the way. We will down Klondike Highway from Skagway to Carcross and the Emerald Lake. We will stand on the shores of Lake Bennett and view the world’s tiniest dessert (how strange!), as well as visit the summer dog sledding training camp for the Iditarod! 

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http://www.alaska-in-pictures.com/yukon-territory-sign-2776-pictures.htm

Our trip is going to be filled with so much adventure, I am so glad that BABY ADDIE helped pick this trip for us! Whenever I get back I will post my tips and reviews, as well as an inordinate amount of pictures!

 

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