Archive for the 'travel' Category

06
Sep
11

alaska cruise.

As you know, I go to Alaska a lot. I’d say I’ve spent a decent amount of time in Alaska. So when Derek told me he wanted to go on an Alaska cruise, I was a tad hesitant. I spend so much time in Alaska, and I just wasn’t sure it would feel like a vacation. BUT, I rarely go to southeast Alaska (I spend most of my time in the interior) and have never cruised Alaska. So, I agreed.

It was AMAZING and it far exceeded my expectations. Honest Abe. Calling all Seattleites, if you’re looking for a scenic, beautiful, relaxing, easy vacation, you really should consider a roundtrip Seattle Alaska cruise. No joke, at 11am we were in our house, and by 1pm we were admiring Seattle from our stateroom balcony. It’s unlike any cruise I’ve ever done before – VERY DIFFERENT from a warm weather cruise. In fact, Derek said it was his favorite cruise ever (and he’s been on 5 or 6 cruises). I won’t bore you with all the details but I do have a few tips:

1) I know it’s impossible to predict, but PRAY for nice weather! It makes a big difference in the amount of scenery you’ll see from the ship.

2) For a scenic cruising destination like Alaska, you really need to buck up for the balcony room. You won’t be sorry. Every morning we’d order room service coffee and pastries and sit out on our balcony and enjoy the views. It was amazing. We must have seen 30 whales from our balcony and glaciers galore! Trust me on this one.

3) If possible, choose an itinerary that includes Glacier Bay National Park. There is limited entry into Glacier Bay so not everybody gets to go there.

4) Choose excursions that you couldn’t/wouldn’t do normally. For example, we did a helicopter glacier landing in Skagway and it was one of the coolest things I’ve EVER done. In another port, we went fishing. It was fun, but I’ve been salmon fishing before. For someone else, salmon fishing may be super exotic and a once in a lifetime opportunity. Choose something amazing and spend your money there.

5) Eat in the dining rooms. The buffet is ok, but the dining room is MUCH better. Also, spend the extra money and experience a couple of the specialty restaurants. Yes, I know that you don’t have to, but in my opinion it’s worth it.

Here are a few photos for your viewing pleasure!

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17
May
11

the enchantments.

This July we are hiking the Enchantments! We entered the lottery and we won! Well, my sister Stan actually won, but the permit is good for all 6 of us.  The Enchantment Lakes are located near Levenworth in the central cascades and are a high alpine basin full of lakes, granite formations and breathtaking views. This hike is commonly touted as the most beautiful and scenic in Washington State.  It’s been on our list for a few years and, we’re finally taking the plunge (umm…not getting any younger!).  It’s about 18 miles and the highest elevation point is 7,800 feet…which doesn’t sound too bad until you hear that at one point in the hike there is a 2,200 foot elevation gain in ¾ of a mile. It’s basically like climbing a tree with a heavy backpack on. (Why am I doing this again?!?)  We will take 3 nights and 4 days to complete the hike and we’ll have to pack everything in and out. I’m sure this is no surprise to anyone, but I’m mostly concerned about food. I’m going to have to be able to carry in all the food I want for 4 days (on top of clothes, sleeping bag, cooking stuff, tent, etc), and I’m nervous I’m not going to have enough to eat! I’m not sure how I feel about trail mix and dehydrated food. Eww. If anyone has any favorites or advice let me know.

10
Apr
11

girl’s weekend.

I know I promised that my next post was going to be about Oprah and angry travelers, but I started to write it and I got so fired up, I had to stop. So, new plan. I’m going to write about my weekend in Scottsdale, AZ with my mom and sis. Every year we escape to the sun for a girl’s weekend and we always have the BEST time doing a whole lot of nothing! As you can imagine, there was a lot of talking, eating, drinking cocktails, playing cards, drinking coffee and laughing. As it turns out, there wasn’t quite enough sunscreen or water (I came back a little sunburned and needing water)! I am so lucky to have a mom and sister who I enjoy spending time with! They are the best!

01
Apr
11

updates

Ok, so it’s been a long time since I posted, but for good reason! I’ve been on vacation! YAY!! Well, first I was in Juneau for work and then I headed down to Mexico where Derek was waiting for me. Punta Mita was as amazing as it always is and Derek and I had a much needed, relaxing vacation. It was a vacation in the purist form. NO PLANS. Every day, we’d get up, drink coffee on the balcony overlooking beautiful Banderas Bay and decide what, if anything, we wanted to do. It was A-Mazing.  We went zip-lining, we rented stand-up paddle boards for the week, we ate, we drank, we played cards and frisbee, we went for walks on the beach, we sunbathed, we slept and read. I read three books in 7 days!  Then, to top it all off, Stacy and Andre picked us up from the airport and surprised us with a homemade dinner to-go since it was dinner time and they knew we wouldn’t have any food in the house! Talk about nice friends!

After a great trip, I suppose I had it coming. I got sick. The night we came home I was up all night with a 103 fever and chills. It really sucked. REALLY SUCKED. After being out of the office for so long, I really felt like I needed to be at work Thursday and Friday, but I was absolutely worthless. Oh well, such is life.

Enough for now, I’m getting tired. Time for another nap. But, as a reminder to myself, my next post will be about Oprah, hamburgers on airplanes and miserable vacationers.

31
Jan
11

honeymoon – santorini.

There are a lot of popular destinations that are over-rated and can’t possibly live up to expectations, but Santorini is not one of them. It delivers. It was more charming and more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. I’ve seen hundreds of photos and yet it still felt new and unexpected. Trying to get anywhere with Derek was a challenge because EVERY corner presents the perfect photo opp.

I’m positive that one of the reasons we had such a wonderful experience was because of our accommodations. We stayed in the most charming cave house EVER. The inside was nothing too exciting afterall, it was a house carved into the side of a rock) but the location was unbelievable. We were right in the heart of Oia. And best of all, we had our own private balcony with stunning views. If you ever go to Santorini, I highly recommend staying in Oia rather than Fira. In my opinion, Oia outshines Fira tenfold. This is an island I will never forget. PLEASE GO and see for yourself!

Here are those iconic blue domes of Oia.

If you look at the very bottom/center of this photo, you’ll see me standing on our balcony.

Enjoying our private balcony! Isn’t it beautiful?!?

My husband and I enjoying one of the many restaurants in Oia. If you look to the right of the pole, you’ll see a red/brown cave house. That’s ours! Great location!
Oia by starlight.

This is the little fishing village of Amoudi.  TONS of fresh delicious seafood. I highly recommend taking the stairs down to Amoudi.

Derek riding a donkey. When in Rome …

Not sure why I look so irritated here. Well, actually I do know why. The stairs from Amoudi are annoying and take forever. And to make matters worse, Derek was drunk and stopped every other step to crack a joke or take a picture. Rough…I know. 🙂

30
Jan
11

honeymoon – naxos.

I know, I know. It’s almost been 6 months and I still haven’t posted all of our honeymoon photos. So far, I’ve shared photos from Athens and Central Greece. Today, I give you Naxos. Naxos was the first island we visited and also the largest.  It was a wonderful introduction to the Greek Islands. I still have Santorini and Sifnos (my two favorites) to share. Stay tuned!

 

12
Dec
10

honeymoon – central greece.

Here is the next batch of photos from our honeymoon. After Athens, we rented a car and drove into central Greece for a few days. We visited Meteora (Kastraki) and Delphi. I didn’t really know what to expect in central Greece, but I’m so happy we made the drive out there. It was well worth it. Meteora is a series of monasteries built on sheer sandstone pillars. It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen; I felt like I was in a fairy tale. Monks and Nuns still occupy and worship in these monasteries that are secluded from modern civilization. If you ever get a chance to see Meteora, I absolutely recommend it. The pictures just don’t do it justice.

After that we drove to Delphi – the holiest place on earth for Ancient Greeks. It’s such a stunning mountainous setting overlooking the Gulf of Corinth, there is no wonder why the Ancient Greeks were so enthralled with it. It’s the site of the Sanctuary of Athena, the Sanctuary of Apollo, the place where the oracle sat and where Zeus released his two eagles. For some reason, we don’t have very many photos, but the last photo in this post is the theater.




a blog for anyone, but mostly for me.
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