How is it possible that we have a 13 year old granddaughter? What a blessing she's been to our family. Aubrey, we love you and are so very proud of you. We hope you have a wonderful thirteenth birthday!! Love, MomMom and Pops
I've been a terrible blogger but I have a good reason. As soon as Cousins' Camp was over, we packed our bags and left for Alaska. We went with our dear, dear friends who also happen to be our daughter-in-law's parents. (They were our friends long before children so we had no idea we'd ever get to share grandchildren when this friendship first began. GOD is so good!!). We all flew to Vancouver, B.C., Canada where we got on the Coral Princess for a week's cruise. We left Vancouver on Saturday, sailed Saturday and Sunday, and woke up Monday in Ketchikan, Alaska.
Many of the streets in Ketchikan are steps leading up to the houses. Imagine carrying your groceries to your house!
It was interesting to watch the salmon trying to swim upstream to spawn.
After leaving Ketchikan, we cruised to Juneau. It's interesting that Juneau is the capital of Juneau, yet the only way to get there is by boat or plane. There are no roads in or out of Juneau. Sea planes seemed to be the main mode of transportation.
We went on a whale watching boat ride and saw LOTS of whales up close and personal. One really decided to show out for us and do all of his tricks. They are SO huge and so interesting. We also went on rain forest hike and hiked to the Mendenhall Glacier which you can see in the above picture. It rains almost every day in Juneau but we didn't let us stop us. The flowers are gorgeous there. I guess they are so pretty because they get so much rain and the weather isn't nearly as hot.
Here we all are on the whale watching boat. I didn't get any good pictures of the whales because I was too busy TRYING to video them and missed any really good still pictures.
We left Juneau to cruise to Skagway which is one of my favorite places in Alaska. There is so much gold rush history there. Hubby and I had gone on the train trip to White Pass before when we were there so we didn't go again. However, we encouraged our friends to go because it's such a beautiful and interesting trip. We walked out to the cemetery where Soapy Smith, the leader of a gang in Skagway at the end of the 1800's, is buried. He wasn't, however, allowed to be buried INSIDE the cemetery because he had done so many awful things. He is buried just outside the fence of the cemetery. Behind the cemetery is a gorgeous waterfall named after F. Reid, the man who shot Soapy Smith. Apparently he was considered to be a hero. After leaving Skagway, we were on the ship the rest of the cruise. The next day, we cruised into Glacier Bay National Park to see wildlife and glaciers. We saw Marjery Glacier and were able to hear and see it calving. Cruising into Glacier Bay was absolutely breathtaking. After leaving Glacier Bay National Park, we cruised to College Fjord. Completely opposite to the day we were in Glacier Bay which was sunny and relatively warm, it was extremely foggy when we were in College Fjord. However,the fog only added to the natural beauty and mystique of the surroundings. Our cruise was now rapidly coming to an end. I haven't mentioned in here all the other fun things we did while on the ship---like EATING!!! It was absolutely fantastic to go to the dining room and have an all day buffet if we chose to do that. We made new friends and ate our way through the cruise. On Saturday we ended the cruise in Whittier, Alaska. There's really not much in Whittier except boats. It's a fishing village and about 800 people live there year round. We had lunch in Whittier and then caught a train to Anchorage where we rented a car for the next part of our trip. Pictures and highlights of that trip will be in the next post, Alaska Part 2. Stay tuned!!
Things we probably did NOT do during the week of Cousins' Camp:
Go to bed on time
Eat three healthy meals a day (or 1)
Take a shower daily
Keep any kind of schedule
Take very many pictures--too busy doing other things
Things we DID do during the week of Cousins' Camp;
Two water parks
Marina Oyster Barn
Ice cream every night (with sprinkles and chocolate syrup)
Play with Spirit, the puppy
Stay up late
Manicures for Aubrey and Ashlyn
Have a fun time all the time
All of the above--PRICELESS
To the Parents (our children),
Thanks for sharing your children with us for a week. We had an incredible week of fun and they were so good, helpful, cooperative, responsible, polite, grateful......just plain fun. We love them so much and are so proud of them. We look forward to the day Addison can come, too. In the meantime, I hope and pray we made lots of fun memories for the four oldest ones.
Life has been so busy recently (a very good busy) that I'm terribly behind with my blog. The last post we were at the beach for a week with all of our family. I posted Blue Angel pictures, but I never posted any pictures of our family time while there. We had a wonderful week and it went
by much too fast.
Every evening the "oil workers" would unload near our house and seemingly march to their work area for the night.
Drew, our nephew, was only able to stay two days because he's taking summer classes in college and had to go back to school.
Aubrey showing Addison the Gulf of Mexico and she loved it!
Ashlyn and Hannah enjoying the gulf at sunset
Addison and her daddy
Lots of fun memories were made that week. This week our grandchildren are with us for Cousins' Camp. Later I'll post about that. Hopefully, even more fun memories are being made this week!
With the oil reportedly covering the Gulf Coast beaches, it was even more impressive to see the Blue Angels flying last Saturday. Since this is their home, they felt even more compelled to fly one way or the other to bring more people to the area since oil has hurt our number one tourist attraction, our beaches. And bring people it did. We came the long way around to the beach from our house (usually a ten to fifteen minute trip) to avoid the traffic jam of people trying to get to the beach for the Blues. When we got to the beach house, this is what was behind our house. It really was a welcome sight with all the negative news recently. We have had oil on our beaches, that's a fact, but it hasn't closed the beaches and this week there is nothing. A couple of weeks ago, there was oil behind the house and up and down the normally pristine white sand, but it's been cleaned up and we are having a great time this week with family. We've been playing in the gulf, on the beach, eating FAR too much, watching the sunset every night, feeding the sea gulls, and just enjoying being together. How thankful we are that the oil hasn't kept us from having a great time this week. Here are some of our outdoor pictures, and, please join Susan at a Southern Daydreamer for more outdoor pictures.
Blue Angels Beginning Their Show
People in Their Boats Watching the Show
People on the Beaches with Their Tents Set Up (I had to get a close up of the Auburn tent--War Eagle!)
Lot of Tents
Our Beautiful Beaches--A View from the Top Deck of "Our" Beach House
Last weekend we went to a family reunion in North Georgia. We sat outside on one of the decks most of the time eating and talking (it was so much fun to all be together). This year all of our children and grandchildren got to go so it was really lots of fun to have them there with all the cousins and for the family to meet our newest member, Addison, and to see our other grandchildren again. It made this mamma proud!
The view from my cousin's deck is unbelievable. Throughout the time we were there, deer would wander into their backyard to graze or eat the watermelon that had been tossed back there. Occasionally a bear visits them and climbs up on one of the decks to eat the bird seed but not while we were there. We were making far too much noise for a bear, I'm sure.
Saturday we decided to go bike riding on the beach with some of our very good friends. We left early that morning (early for me, but not necessarily early for the rest). We drove to the beach, parked, and got ready to ride the 15 miles round trip down to Ft. Pickens and back. As everyone knows, all we've heard in the news recently is about the tragic oil spill. It makes us all so sad, but another thing that makes us sad is the bleak picture that the media insists on presenting daily. Our beaches are NOT closed, and, at this point, there is not oil all over our beaches. In fact, we didn't see any oil nor any tar balls. When we got to the fort, we got off our bikes and walked on the beach until we got to the pass---the place where the bay empties into the Gulf of Mexico. People were fishing, others were sailing, others were on a pontoon boat, and still others were swimming. The shorebirds were nesting, the blue herons were searching for food and watching people, the ospreys were taking food to their new babies, and the sand crabs were dashing to safety in their holes as we walked near. Life on the beach looked amazingly normal. I'm posting some pictures of our day. Let's all pray that the oil spill is taken care of very soon and that we will continue to be able enjoy life on our beautiful Gulf Coast.