I've always loved to travel, but time, money and work, limited the opportunities. Retirement has solved at least two of the above limitations so now I'm traveling every chance I get. Friends and family encouraged me to share my travel experiences through journaling, pictures and e-mail, but I like the idea of blogging better. Unlike journaling it provides an outlet for pictures and I don't have to decide who I think will want to get an e-mail from me. My family will be happier too because they won't have to sit through an 800 picture slide show upon my return. (Unless they beg me of course.)

So I'll be traveling here and there, not praying, (well, maybe when I get lost or miss the train) not loving, (well I can always hope) but definitely eating (any and all cuisines). I travel sometimes by myself (yes, over 60 and going it alone when I have to) sometimes with family and friends, and sometimes with travel buddies I meet along the way. I'll be blogging about the logistics of travel, the food, and culture of a place, my experiences and recommendations, and the people I meet along the way. I hope this blog sends the message that it can be safe, fun, and very rewarding to travel (and not always on a tour) and I hope it sparks the wanderlust within you!

North America » United States » Alaska » Juneau July 5th 2011

The day we left Juneau the weather worsened and we had gale force winds. Some gusts were up to 55-60 mph. The boat was rocking and the outside decks were closed off. Some people were sea sick, some had cabin fever, but the kids in the (indoor) pool had a ball! It was like a rogue wave pool. They had a ton of fun and it was great to watch them all scream as the water washed from end to end. We read, played trivia, and amused ourselves. They cancelled the landing in Ketchikan. It was too dangerous to try to dock in the high seas, so we sailed on. The next morning we were in the inside passage, which was much more calm and very beautiful I. I saw a pod of dolphin swimming toward ... read more
Capilano suspension bridge
Waiting for the water taxi afterGranville market
Stanley Park

North America » United States » Alaska » Juneau July 2nd 2011

We were hardly out of the harbor and Captain Greg said, “Whales ahead.” We looked and could see several blow spouts not far away. Soon it seemed they were blowing and rolling all around us. Captain Greg explained that they were bubble netting and that Auk Bay was the only place he knew that they did this. The whales blow bubbles and encircle the herring, forcing the herring closer and closer together. Then on cue, the whales dive and come up under the herring with their mouths open, catching all they can in one bite. When this happens you can see the whole head of the whale and the stretching of the baleen. Other than this behavior, if you aren’t lucky enough to see a whale breach (jump up out of the water) then the most ... read more
whale tail 1
Captain Greg

North America » United States » Alaska » Juneau July 1st 2011

Between the helicopter glacier landing and the whale watching, we had just enough time to stop off at Tracy’s crab shack for a few legs. This is definitely the place for King or Dungeness crab. It is just a shack with outside tables under tarps, located behind the library and parking garage near the cruise ship docks in downtown Juneau. The crab is fresh and cooked right in front of you. Tracy and her crew have a sense of humor and love making people happy by serving up the crab and beer. I opted for king crab legs and an Alaskan amber ale. Delicious! Captain Greg, our whale watching captain and guide met us as planned and waited in the parking garage as we polished off the legs. Scroll down to see more photos or click: ... read more
Can't wait
Steaming hot

North America » United States » Alaska » Juneau July 1st 2011

You can’t drive into or out of Juneau. You must go by boat or plane. Hearing this was one of those little Ah Ha moments. If you look at a map, you can easily see, “Well of course”. Juneau is surrounded on three sides by glaciated mountains and the huge Juneau icefield. The other side of course is the water. Ferries bring in the automobiles and there are roads, just as in any semi-large city. Only here, the roads ultimately dead end. We’ve been having bad weather and there was a chance we wouldn’t be able to go by helicopter up to the Herbert glacier to the dog camp. The cruise ship sponsored helicopter tours and fly-over tours to the Mendenhall glacier were canceled, but we were lucky. Having booked with a private charter, Coastal Helicopters, ... read more
Herbert Glacier
Dogs are ready to run
with Matt

North America » United States » Alaska » Haines July 1st 2011

Most cruise ships dock in Skagway rather than Haines. Both are located near Glacier National Park on the Chilkoot Inlet, off the Lynn Canal. Skagway is known for its shopping and has turned into a tourist town. I can’t tell you what it looks like because we docked at Haines, which is located a little down the fjord from Skagway. There was bus transportation for anyone who just had to shop in Skagway. Cruise ships are welcome in Skagway and the tourist who pour into the shops. The people of Haines are 50/50 in how they feel about cruise ships. One year they allow only a few cruise ships and only one at a time in the port. The next year they complain because they didn’t make any money, so they welcome the cruise ships. Then ... read more
Ready for anything
Davidson Glacier
Photo 24

North America » United States » Alaska » Glacier Bay June 29th 2011

Our weather hasn’t been the best. It’s very misty and cloudy, so the pictures are grey and muted. I met a young guy who taught me how to get off of Auto on my camera, so I’ve been experimenting with settings and light. But mist is mist, and I’m anxious for a sunny day to see if my camera skills are getting better. We cruised up and back down College Fjord and then up into Glacier Bay. Sooo beautiful! The ship did a salmon bake on the indoor pool deck for lunch. The salmon is of course very fresh and delicious. I took a few hours off in the afternoon to explore the spa. The heated tile loungers offered a panoramic view of the mountains and glaciers. It was a pretty special way to see the ... read more
Photo 2
Photo 3
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North America » United States » Alaska » Seward June 28th 2011

We took a bus all the way down from Denali to Seward. It was a full day on the bus with some scenic stops. Smokey the Bear is still an icon up here. He’s a little worn out from all the tourist photos (I got mine!) but he’s as cute as ever. We were glad to board the boat and have a nice meal. Yes of course I opted for crab legs. Our waiter came around taking desert orders, but what I really wanted was more crab legs. Riding in a bus sure builds up an appetite. I guess it’s all the lack of exercise and stale air. Anyway, my extra legs were brought with much fan fare, not just by our waiter, but also by the dining manager. I’m now the crab lady. I’m not ... read more
Photo 6
Photo 7

The lodge provides a full day “Wilderness Safari” via bus, through part of the 6.2 million acres of Denali National Park. The park is mainly open to buses for tourists. They limit the number of campers to just a few spots and cars are only by special permit only, mainly for researchers, photographers, and workers. Not tourists. So even if you had your own car, you’d probably have to take the tourist shuttle. There is only one road going into the park and you have to turn around and go out the same way you came in. This keeps people from tromping through the wildlife habitats and makes it truly a preserve. Denali, means “Great One” and refers to Mt. McKinley. McKinley is the highest point in North America: 20,320 plus feet above sea level. It’s ... read more
Osso Bucco

North America » United States » Alaska » Denali June 27th 2011

Most people arrive in Denali by train or by bus. We took the McKinley Express north from Anchorage with a glass dome top and scenic views on both sides. Little chance to blog, but lots of time for reading, card playing, napping and picture taking, besides meeting and chatting up everybody in my car. As soon as I arrived at the lodge in Denali, it was time for my fly fishing adventure. Okay, so I wasn’t a pro, but I “got her done” as they say. They didn’t have a full body suit, so I settled for frog tog no camo waders. I don’t think it was a bad look…what do you think? My learning curve wasn’t too bad (mainly because we were on a skinny streambed and the casting was very short). I got the ... read more
What do you think?
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North America » United States » Alaska » Anchorage June 24th 2011

Ahhh, Anchorage. Destination achieved. After sitting upright in my plane seat that reclined all of 1 inch, in a series of flights lasting over 12 hours, the bed in our little Anchorage Hotel felt like sleeping on a cloud. Today ,Cheryl, Mike and I rented bikes and off we went for a bike tour on the Knowles Coastal Trail that runs along Cooks Inlet. Mostly flat, so it was easy cruising But after the first hour, my butt hurt. Mike was kind enough to trade bikes with me after awhile and took the one that had two bricks for a seat…but by then the damage was done. Oooh, Ouch. Oh well, it’s good for me, it’s good for me. After turning in the bikes it was time for lunch. Fish and Chips and a cup of ... read more
Biking the Trail
Mmmm - Reindeer sausage
Grilled Salmon

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