Tuesday, October 1, 2019


About five months ago Grandma told me she would like to go on an Alaskan cruise with me and told me "I'll be the bucks you be the brains."  So I got to work planning it!  

Parker dropped us off at the airport and we were off to Vancouver, BC!  

We stayed the first night at the Pan America hotel which was SO fancy and beautiful!  It was right next to the port so super convenient the next morning.

That morning we had time to explore Vancouver just a little bit, it was perfect weather and we loved the city! 

 Then it was time to board our SHIP-Radiance of the Seas!  We got there and the line was about 2.5 hours long to board.  Grandma's knee has really been bothering her so I told her to sit down and I would wait in line and call her up when it was our turn.  The nice lady in front of me suggested I take Grandma in the special assistance line, which was so weird because even though she is 84 I never really thought of her needing "special assistance."  But I went over and there was NO line over there so I asked the worker guy if we could use that line because my Grandma was 84 and couldn't stand too long.  He said absolutely bring her over!  So we got through in about 10 minutes instead of 2.5 hours!  Grandma said it was the one time it pays to be elderly!

Love this picture (not of me but of Grandma) because she looks SO happy and that is how she was our entire trip.  She was just so happy about everything it made the trip so fun. 
Our bed was super super comfy and we both kept to our side and slept great (once we figured out how to take care of Grandma's snoring!)
Of ALL the rooms we could have had in ALL the places on the ship we got the one right by the LIBRARY!  Very fitting for Grandma (although they didn't have any church books) but the nice thing was it was super quiet!  
We thoroughly enjoyed our balcony and spent lots of time out there...

 Some pics of our ship...

My view from the treadmill in the gym, I had planned on working out every morning but a) we slept in every morning and b) I actually got a little motion sickness when I was on there so I decided it wasn't worth it haha
I loved the indoor pool and hot tub and spent lots of time there relaxing, reading, eating, and I even fell asleep there which is so unlike me!

I don't usually take food pictures but this carrot cake was SO yummy!  Every night Grandma and I got the french onion soup for appetizer (best I've ever had) and the creme brulee.  Overall the food was super good!
 Beautiful sunset...
 We only had one stop because we did the shorter cruise (stupid work, I don't have very much vacation saved up so I couldn't miss a whole week) and it was in Ketchikan.  We loved the town, it was SO cute and the weather was absolutely beautiful the whole day-no rain and we didn't even need a jacket!

 Our first excursion was taking a hoverboat out and seeing the seals...

Exploring this cute island...

Then our tour guide did an eagle call and threw a fish in the water and two HUGE eagles came swooping down to get the fish, it was SO cool!  The wingspan was about 7 feet and it was about 6 feet above my head is all.  It was one of the highlights of the trip for me. 

 Another view of our ship, Radiance of the Seas...
Our second excursion was a floatplane ride!  It was indescribably beautiful to see Alaska from that viewpoint...

We loved our day in Ketchikan and our two excursions were just perfect.  In between the two, we had a delicious lunch where I had the BEST halibut!  Everyone was so impressed that an 84-year-old was riding hovercrafts and floatplanes!  I walked Grandma back to the ship so she could rest a bit while I explored the city a bit more and went souvenir shopping for my family.  It was the perfect day! 

Grandma and I certainly enjoyed the food on the ship and did not once go hungry!  Grandma LOVED the rolls and had at least two or three with every meal! 
Grandma was trying to get some cash for a tip so she headed to the bar...
And the casino...hahaha, of course, I had to document that! 
We LOVED our dinner place!  Every night we both got the french onion soup for an appetizer, we got a new entree each night, then creme brulee for dessert.  Oh, and lots of rolls!  We felt like we planned our days around when we were going to eat next...ah cruise life! 
We played lots of Five Crowns, we each won one game then Grandma won the tie breaker! 
One afternoon we were sitting on our balcony playing cards and chatting and we looked up and saw whales!  They were SO beautiful!  We saw quite a few and luckily the guy next to us got this picture because I didn't have my phone with me.  

WindJammer is where we had breakfast and lunch, it was yummy and had great variety!

Heading back into port...
Grandma said she loved EVERY single thing about our trip except...this painting.  It was across from our bed so it was the first thing we saw in the morning and the last thing we saw in the evening.  We both hated it so I had to get a picture of it so we NEVER forget it right Grandma?!
Saying goodbye to our room...
Debarking and the flight home went smooth and uneventful.  Parker picked us up from the airport and Grandma took us to a yummy steak dinner at Ruby River (where I got halibut which, of course, was NOT as good as Alaska halibut!) then we dropped her off and headed home! 

I got everyone Alaska socks and they all fit! 

Ah it was a trip for the books!  The time went by WAY faster than we expected, we both wanted a few more days.  I feel so blessed that I had this opportunity, 5 days in Alaska with my Grandma was an experience I will treasure always.  She was a great travel companion, we had so many good conversations and laughs but we also both loved quiet time reading our books. Nevermind that Grandma brought two HUGE heavy ones that I got to lug around the whole week!  I tried telling her how awesome my Kindle was because it was light and had all sorts of books on it but...she likes her real books that she can mark up with her red pencil!  The trip was the perfect mix of fun and activities as well as rest and relaxation.  THANK YOU Grandma for such an amazing experience, I love you so much and love our close relationship that we have.