Day 8 of the Great Alaskan Adventure

So, how about you? Are you getting tired of writing this epic travelogue as well?

Oh well, we all gotta be doin’ somethin’!

Hello, and welcome to Day 8 of the Great Alaskan Adventure!

Looking out the Starboard window from the Lido Cafe, I see another ship pacing us. Is it chasing us? Is it racing us? If so, it’s a gonna be smokin us before too long, ‘cuz it is gainin’ FAST!!

It’s one of the NCL ships that we saw today at Skagway. I think it might be the Pearl. But I’m getting ahead of myself once again!

6:30 came early. It always does, but this morning, it seemed exceptionally early, because I actually HAD to get up and out of bed. Had an excursion this morning. But, of course, had other things to do before leaving on the excursion:

1. Breakfast – headed to the Lido Cafe (hmm, seems like I spend a lot of time here in the morning and late at night!) for a lovely early breakfast. Ran into Sandy and Helen and asked them to join us, which they did.

2. Tai Chi, with Lifestylist Jay – Would not miss tai chi! Had an opportunity to chat with Jay before the class. He’s from Kenya and has been on the ships for about 8 years!! Been teaching tai chi for 3 years. I like his class. It’s only 30 minutes, but is a great introduction to the forms.

Finally, by 8:50am, we had to be out on the pier to catch a ferry from Haines, where we were docked, to Skagway, where the White Pass and Klondike Railroad runs from. Oh, yeah, our tour was a run on the WP&KR from Skagway, AK, to Fraser, BC.

But it all began with a 40 minute ferry ride through some BEAUTIFUL landscape! Amazing!! Wonderful!! Lots of water and waterfalls and mountains. After awhile, you just start to become inured to it all! And yet, you don’t really want to be. It’s an amazing thing, these views, these beautiful ‘scapes! I took tons of pictures, as usual, but picking and choosing is hard. They won’t go up until later in the week, anyway! No good internet connection!!

Anyway, once we got to Skagway, we had a couple of hours to kill before the big train ride. We wandered through the town, which is one gigantic tourist trap. OMG!! 5 salons and 5 churches and 25 jewelry stores!! That and the train depot, of course.

We arrived in town at 10am, giving us 2 hours in which to try our luck at avoidng the dreaded souvenir rush! Wasn’t too difficult, as we spent about an hour at a saloon having breakfast #2. We then wandered down Broadway, the main thoroughfare of town and checked out a few of the jewelry shops.

By that time, it was time to head on down to the train depot to catch our train. We needn’t have hurried. The train was 30 minutes late and we had to stand in the cold and wait to be allowed to board. Yes, it was a long wait. But, in the end, it was worth it.

The train ride was nothing short of incredible. I remember watching all of those westerns when I was a kid with train robberies, etc., and as we ascended the peaks, passed through tunnels and crossed rickety old bridges, I was transported back to those childhood days. Okay, I just made that up, but it sounded good, didn’t it?

Seriously, though, the scenery was SPECTACULAR! Breathtaking.

(Holy crap! In hte time it has taken me tor write this, that NCL ship has pulled 200 yards ahead of us. At least!!)

I hope some of the photos I took came out, because it’s impossible to describe the scenery adequately with words. You have just got to see the pictures!!

At the end of the ride, we had to submit to a customs sweep on the BC side of the border. It took awhile, but really wasn’t all that bad. Just a lot of people to check.

Then we caught a bus back to Skagway, rolled through treacherous, cloud-encompassed mountain passes, through US border patrol/customs, then down the mountains back to the port at Skagway. All at a breakneck pace, because we were running late for the ferry back to the ship. And none of us wanted to wait 2 hours for the next ferry. So, we all kept quiet when we saw animals. And every other sight!

But we made it to the ferry. Actually, they held the ferry for us. We were only a few minutes late, but we were fortunate to have very understanding ferry personnel!!

Made it back to Haines by 5pm, at which point, we headed, you guessed it, to the thermal suite, for our daily dose of steam, hot water and heated beds. Felt so good!!!

And, with that, the day melded into evening. Dinner at the Rotterdam Dining Room, then off to the Showroom at Sea for another Broadway-esque show.

They real highlight of the evening, though, was the Country Line Dancing in the Crow’s Nest. Yeah, I wussed out and didn’t learn to dance. But did watch proceedings and try to join in on the clapping. Okay, next time I’m in. It just looked like SOOOOOO much fun!!! And how could that be wrong?!!

Okay, so now I’m at the late night trough feeding at the Lido Cafe. Can’t help myself! It’s the only place to hang out at 11pm. Well, one of hte only places that is open anyway!!

I swear, that song, “The Girl from Ipanema,” is following me!!! It’s playing on loudpeaker right now!

OMG, I just got caught eyeballin’ one of the cute crew members. She laughed. I might have blushed. She just said ‘Hi’!

Okay, enough. Time to post..