Friday, July 14, 2006


Notes on June 12

Norwegian Star
At sea in the Art room, early morning, foggy

...Boy, it's mesmerizing to cruise the sea and watch the waves while feeling the hum of a gigantic engine and the vibrations of the foghorn through my shoes.

This pen sucks. It glides along beautifully but it's too fat for comfort. Bummer. Miss my Pentel RSVP. Will have to find it.

[Yeah, I've spared you the rest of the details of that entry.]


Notes on June 13
Norwegian Star
Port: Juneau

Weather was in the 70s.* Mick and I took the tram with Kai, Dana, Jan and kids up Mt. Roberts for a half mile nature hike up there. Amazing panoramic views from the hike overlooking Gastineau Channel, Douglas Island (our former home), the Inside Passage; kids dug for rocks with sticks (their highlight, I think).

After the tram, we walked into Juneau. Dana bought the kids Russian nesting egg dolls (Maryshenkas) and Mick and I took Dane and Aubrey up Front Street to The Baranof Hotel where Mick and I had met with Maurie and Kay in '96 for a game of cards, that luscious summer of love. Took pictures in the historic booth.

Back on the ship, we checked the kids in at Kids Planet and ate dinner with Kai and Dana at the Endless Summer restaurant (Tex Mex), next to windows overlooking the sun setting on Juneau. There, we waved wildly to Rod, Tom, and Mike several stories below as they boarded the ship after their kayaking/town excursions, but it turns out they didn't even know it was us. (And those Reynolds boys were blowing kisses!)

When we'd arrived earlier at Endless Summer, Pat, Susan, and Cindy were looking at us sheepishly from their table as we checked in with the hostess. Turns out they'd stolen our "Reynolds" reservation at dinner! Said "Who's Russell? Who cares? We'll take it!" forgetting that Kai's first name is Rusty. Lucky for them, we were still able to nab said window seat and enjoy the bottle of champagne they'd sent over to us with apologies.

*Everybody who's seen An Inconvenient Truth tells me to watch the movie and I'll see why there was glorious weather up The Inside Passage. But anyway, based on our own summer in Juneau ten years ago, Mick and I knew that those perfect days were few and far between so we just decided to take it and run with it; I suppose we'll have to turn our attention to global warming now though.


Notes on June 14
Norwegian Star
Port: Skagway

Jan and me with Aubs in sunny Skagway. Aubs had an obsession with buying things--not enough to just look; not even enough to buy something--had to painfully obsess about getting something else. Pleading for pink dress after got seashell necklace. Too little sleep and lots of stimulation don't always make for an easy kid.

Dane spent the morning with Mick and Mike checking out Skagway. That's about all the info I got from them, but I'd be willing to bet there was some ice cream involved.

Gold panning at the dredge later that day before taking the White Pass and Yukon Route: cool music show--old-time "miner" with spoons, small accordian, singing "Jimmy Cracked Corn." Aubrey yells out "We watched a video about Alaska!" after the song. No response from miner, so after his show she told him we checked out Alaska videos from the library. Later, when he showed us how to pan, she yelled out, "I dropped my sticker! It's in the water! I dropped my sticker! Could you get my sticker?" until he did. Yikes. Mick was in charge of her there. I felt bad at first and then decided it was an Alaska demonstration; it wouldn't've hurt to offer a little more interaction with the kids (that's the former tour guide in me talking). Anyway, Jan says we won't have to worry about Aubrey in the classroom (really???) and a woman on the train ride said, "She's a firecracker!" (Oh boy.)

Saw two bears--TWO BEARS!--on our train ride up Chilkoot Pass.

Big, long, fun day.


Notes on June 15
Norwegian Star
At sea, Glacier Bay

Last night Michelle, Cameron, Kate, Andrew and all the kids came over at 10:30 and the kids put on make-up. Yikes! Dane put on his Luke Skywalker outfit (striped jammies, paleantologist eye goggles, green frog boots, shin guards, soccer medallion, and homemade light saber). So content and proud of himself. Of course, Cameron--movie buff--appreciated it. Kai said, "Oh, I remember Luke Skywalker's frog boots..."

Oh yeah, saw whales (Minke, likely) on Tuesday from the ship. I love watching the big mists from their blowholes and the slap of their flukes. The frantic search for the next surfacing is pretty fun too.

Just saw a tiny iceberg. We're in glacier Bay now (8:18 a.m.). The naturalists are on board (awkward reader, keeps gasping for breath making strange speech rhythms, but good info).

Glacier Bay... low horizontal clouds severing the green mountain landscape. Low flying white birds, dirty iceberg, bright white ice berg. Overcast. Runners pounding the jogging path over my head. Cup of coffee on my writing desk. A thousand islands up the Inside Passage.


Notes on June 16
Norwegian Star
Port: Prince Rupert, B.C.

Getting ready to dock at Prince Rupert. Another warm day, if not as sunny as before/earlier this week. Lots of clouds and overcast, but huge break in clouds, sun shining on water, bright line. There's Prince Rupert. Lots of green metal--cranes, drawbridges, out over the water. Clean-cut lines, industrial, against a rocky mountainous landscape. Tall cement building. Maybe this is its industry. Looks like it says Prince Rupert Grain? LTD, Gravel? I think it's grain--yeah, grain silos. Barge with steam coming off it. What a lush, lush area. Huge, bushy hillsides.

Think I'll go for a walk outside now.

The old guy's goopy eyes across from me make it tough to eat the Muslix, mushy with grains, cream, bananas, strips of coconut...


Docked in Seattle two days later. No entries about that, but must note that Mick's grandmother, Kay (Mimi) set us all up for a smackin good time on that trip. (Thanks, Kay, if you read this. It was a wonderful 23-person reunion. We're working on drawings and cards to send you...)

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