Just back from a fantastic trip to our 50th state and wanted to share a few highlights.
Click here to see photos from my trip!
First off–it’s a place of majesty and splendor. If you love nature, you will adore Alaska. We kayaked around the Tatoosh Islands and saw eagles with 6 foot wing-spans fly right over our heads. Marveled at the plump bright purple and orange starfish clinging to the sharp cliffs…(they reminded us of Patrick from “Spongebob”) and felt sheer delight when seals popped their cute heads up from the sea in front of our kayaks for a peek around– exactly like submarine periscopes in motion.
We biked under the sunny skies of Hoonah with our Tlingkett Indian guide and learned about the local customs there before tearing into king crab legs the size of our arms on the pier. Dripping in garlic butter, of course. 5 bears were spotted just doing their bear-like things in the woods, but we didn’t get close enough to take a good photo or to get properly scared.
We took a breathtaking helicopter ride over the Norris glacier that none of us will ever, ever forget. (While Enya’s “Carribean Blue” played in our headsets. An odd juxtaposition, but the “blue” part sure rang true when gazing at that glorious ice mass.)
Eager husky dogs that run the famous Iditarod race pulled us forward on sleds through the glacier, and we even got to mush (drive) ourselves! Such fun. Such beauty.
We whizzed through straights inside the Bay of Alaska on sturdy rubber boats, bouncing and laughing in the spray with new friends we’d met on the cruise ship. And hiked in the lush temperate rainforest (yes, rainforest) to sparkling glacial lakes shining in the near-arctic sun–and even held a chunk of real glacial ice in our arms like a (very heavy) newborn baby. Mother Nature is the finest sculptor of all.
I was scared out of my brain to try the world’s highest and longest zip line–but was goaded on by my sister Peg until I finally said I’d go. Off we flew, at 60 miles an hour, over the greenest green Sitka spruce trees you’d ever see, straight down onto the beach…and aside from almost losing my hat, it was so much fun that I had to do it again! Wheeeeeee!
Our Russian cruise captain got us to within a mile of the formidable Hubbard Glacier, where we took as many pictures as we possibly could because it was almost too beautiful for our eyes to believe. Watching the glacier calve (fall) into the sea was something so very special, tears fell from our eyes.
In between all of these activities, we were fed around the clock like kings and queens, and enjoyed kicking back on our veranda watching the spectacular scenery float past us. Alaskan sunsets are beyond beautiful to behold…especially when accompanied by a nice glass of pinot noir and the splashing of humpback whale tales out the window. When they spout and surface, your heart swells with joy every single time.
The spa, the gym, a couple of Zumba classes to ward off the creme brulee calories, a pedicure, a Turkish sauna, ping pong, nightly shows, nature talks from an expert, trivia contests–and a little shopping filled the rest of our days between land excursions. Just what the soul needed to come back to L.A. refreshed and ready to work!
Thanks to the crew on the Celebrity Century and all our land guides for a truly remarkable time. If anyone asks me if they should consider our 50th state for their next vacation, I can without hesitation reply “Alaska? Absolutely!”