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Published: July 17th 2021
Today ends an era, and begins a new one. Scary, exciting, energizing and one I am looking forward doing as a next chapter in my professional life. Effective today, I have retired from the Deloitte US Firm and on July 21, will be joining the Deloitte Ireland Firm. Building new teams, engaging new and old clients is one of my favorite things, and I will get to do that and more in my new role.
However, in the interim, I am waiting on my Irish work visa and until I receive it, I can’t be in Ireland or my status will be affected. And due to the unusual times, the processing has been extremely slow so we are in the hurry up and wait mode, which has been going on for about 6 weeks. And, due to both our Bainbridge and Sunriver homes being rented, Ken and I have led a nomadic life with a combo of hotels, bed/breakfasts and the kindness of friends/family.
Last week, we had the privilege of staying and taking care of Shelby, our friend Nancy’s awesome Doodle dog while she was enjoying an Alaska UnCruise. When she returned, she kept saying “you guys need
to do this!” Kayaking, hiking, bears and awesome scenery on a small ship…did sound like what we would enjoy. Right at that point we had found out that our visa was another week delayed and while it was very last minute, we contacted the Uncruise on a Tuesday and by Friday on the ship in Juneau Alaska.
The logistics of getting Covid tested, flights to/from Juneau, modifying our flights to Dublin and the worse part…packing with stuff that we had not expected to need until we hit Ireland was all completed. We landed in Juneau and had checked in, had our vax records checked, provided our proof of negative covid tests and dropped our bags by 10:30am. As we didn’t need to be back to board the ship until 5pm we had the rest of the day to explore the capital city of Alaska.
Our first stop was the tram leading up to the mountain to overlook the beautiful waterways leading to the city. Juneau is landlocked (similar to Ketchikan and other small towns in SE Alaska), so the only way in/out is by air or boat, as there are no roads to the area. We did a
small ½ hike at the top of the tram, which led to viewing areas to see the mountains and waters surrounding us.
On arrival back at the bottom, we decided on lunch at Tracy’s Crab Shack, and enjoyed a massive 1lb King Crab leg, crab bisque and crab cakes. The leg had an amazing amount of meat, and was definitely worth the effort. After lunch we wandered through the small town, past the Capital building (which was the most understated I have ever seen) and to the State Museum. The Museum had the entire history of Alaska, from the ice ages, to the purchase from the Russians for $7.2m, to the gold rush, statehood and the discovery of oil. While I learned Alaska history in school, this was a great reminder of the uniqueness of this incredible state.
We still had 3 hours to kill, so we found a coffee place, grabbed some tea and read for a couple of hours. We took a last walk along the water, found the famous whale sculpture and then headed to board our boat, the Wilderness Adventure our home for the week.
The boat is quite mature, as it was
built in 1983 and can hold 60 passengers, plus crew, but this trip there is only 33 guests. Our room is quite small, but does have a queen bed, which is very comfy. The bathroom is RV like with the shower and toilet all-in-one. There is a window, which is handy for any scenic or wildlife view that comes up. There is an intercom in the room that is used to let us know it is time for key activities, such as meals (of course!), activities or nature/info sessions.
Once we got settled, we wandered the small ship and found the top of the ship had an outdoor area with tables under cover, a hot tub and a couple of stationary bikes, ellipticals and a few weights. The third floor, where we are, has mostly staterooms and the staging areas for the activities. The second floor has the bar and dining area, and some staterooms and then the first floor is the area where the skiffs and kayaks are launched.
We all gathered in the dining area for the mandatory emergency drill and since we all rocked it, the ship was ready to leave. We pulled
out and headed for The Great Alaska Frontier.
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