Travel Date: Tuesday, May 3rd 2016
I wake up really early, and go up to the Crows Nest.

It is very quiet up here. The noise in the video, is someone vaccumming the area, and clinking the vaccuum with the furniture. And yes, it was annoying to listen to.

I am hoping to catch a glimpse of some whales as we make our way to Juneau, Alaska, but there are none to be seen. Well at least we have some snow-capped mountain peaks.

 

I see Fred from Canada again. He has been to many many cruises. I think he said he has been to 143. He loves whale watching, and so he is giving us some tips and pointers. The whole reason I am up this so early this morning is because he said we may see some whales, and I really really want to see a damn whale.

Fred is talking my ear off about the land, the water, and the wildlife. I don’t mind. It is like having a free tour guide. I wish I could take him with me everywhere. πŸ™‚

It is a cloudly day, but the sun eventually comes up. I go to my room balcony for an unobstructed view.

Here is another look at those snow-capped mountain peaks.

 

I head over to breakfast, and right after we get near to Juneau.

 

 

A view of the surrounding area as we prepare to dock.

I review the itinerary for the day, and notice there is a free presentation by one of the Noordam staff – Kelly – on the Alaska ports we are going to visit.

 

 

Shit! It already started. Better late than never. I absorb as much as I can.

 

After the talk, everyone heads out to the deck to watch the docking process.

 

Oh, there is the ramp for us to use to get off.

We are finally on land.

A look back at the ship. It looks like a building.

We find some local tours, and we quickly jump on a Helicopter Glacial Landing.

After tour sign ups we pay a $3.00 fee per person for a round trip bus ride into the city.

 

 

We arrive at the Tramway head.

Walk inside, and get the tramway tickets.

 

Ah, our ride is going away. We will have to wait for the next one.

We get stamped.

And first in line.

The next tram approaches.

We get on board.

And I find a good spot for a video. I hope you enjoy the video, and the background commentary. And if you are wondering, yes, the lady was literally reading from a script. She does have some jokes in there but she was very very dry in her delivery.

The views are just amazing.

 

 

Our little building on water looks like a tiny lego block.

We get to the top, and walk towards the observation deck.

Take a couple of family photos.

Read about the surrounding area.

I love that little peninsula all by itself.

 

America the beautiful.

We walk around to the Juneau Raptor Center nearby.

 

 

They have a bald eagle. Woot Woot! Time to see it up close and personal.

 

Her name is Lady Baltimore.

She is shy at first.

And then begins to open up a bit.

A video for you.

Fred from Canada, mentioned that we should walk on the trail for about 2 miles for amazing views.

And so it begins. I am a little cautious since mom has not been trail walking before with me, so I definitely don’t want to go to far. She was having a hard time on the hills in the city of Vancouver.

So from time to time, we take selfie breaks, and I check in with her.

We hit a couple of uphill stretches and get amazing views.

 

 

 

And then we decide to turn around and walk back.

We take the tram back down and notice the two eagles flying up above.

 

 

We pass the other tram heading back up.

Our ship is becoming a bigger and bigger lego block as we descend. πŸ™‚

And the downtown part of Juneau we have to walk through later.

We run into some American friends: George and Amalia we met while were going through the security process of the ship. George is extremely friendly and likes to chat up everyone. He makes me feel like I’m the introvert. For those of you who know me, you can imagine how engaging he is.

So we hang out and wait for our bus to pick us up for the Helicopter Glacier Landing.

After our amazing tour of the glacier, we head back with our new Brazilian friends Marcelo and Vivien back to Juneau downtown.

We walk towards the Red Dog Saloon and decide to grab some refreshments.

It is quite busy.

We find a spot in the back, and grab the beverage list. Take a closer look at the Liquor and Saloon Favorites. They are amusing.

Cheers to a great time on the glacier and new friendships.

Marcelo and I write our names on the wall. It appears to be a tradition thing. Do you see it?

Look again for Tovar and Ali. We leave Red Dog, and continue walking down the street.

 

 

 

While walking we had to separate from Marcelo and Vivian since they were going in a different direction. And right after they left we ran into our Spanish friends Isabel, Miguel, and Ania.
We decided to check out the King Crab Shack.
Obviously, first we had to walk through the touristy portion.

And then we actually got to The Shack.

The line for ordering the King Crab begins here.

It was a very short wait and order.

 

While waiting I observed the process of steaming from afar.

 

And there it is. I got a 1 lb leg of Bristol Bay Red King Crab meat. It was quite huge, and expensive. And that is just the leg.

After lunch, we continue to walk around and make our way back to the bus stop.

Mom meets a bear, and takes a liking to it. And then she and my sis head into the store for trinkets and collectibles.

We jump back on the bus and head back to the ship.

 

Goodbye Juneau. You were very small and charming.

Very very small. But charming.

The road back is less exciting, but fun to document.

 

Back on the ramp.

Waiting in lines. No pre-TSA line here.

Security scanning with photo ID. Definitely sophisticated.

And then back on the ship I catch a sight of a rainbow in the distance.

As I’m walking around, I run into Marcy and ask her how her day in Juneau was. While we are talking we both realize that this is both our 50th state. So we run back outside and grab a picture before the opportunity is lost.

Back inside the posse are playing various games.

I walk around and take some pictures of the other areas I did not see.

 

 

And then head back up to grab a bite to eat, and see mom dining with Ania, Miguel and Isabel.

Back at dinner it is the usual crowd minus Matt and Riisa. I think they were using their special ship credit today for a fancy schmancy dinner at some of the nice restaurants on the ship.

Dinner was not epic, but definitely tasty. But having eaten multiple times already before dinner, I was quite full, so I didn’t have a large meal. The heart was willing, but the body was weak.

 

 

 

Reflections:
Today was quite eventful. Lots of activities and I felt exhausted at the end.

I enjoyed walking up early and listening to Fred. He was quite friendly and informative. I guess you would be if you have done this trip a countless number of times.

Arriving in Juneau, walking on land, and seeing the large mountains makes me really really happy. I’m definitely prefer mountains over water. But I would have them both. Sharing the experience with mom and sis was really cool too, especially when we go to the top of Mt. Roberts.

I’ve only see a bald eagle from afar, but the experience of seeing how they behave and interact in person was great. The very very short hike was neat. I wish we had more time to continue on and do the rest of the 2 mile hike, but the Helicopter Glacier Landing definitely made up for missing it.

It was great to hang out with Vivien and Marcelo, and run into Miguel, Isabel, and Ania at the right time. Funny how things work out.

Tomorrow, we hit another port in Skagway. Looking forward to some adventures there!!

Expenses in US$: $216.38
$9.00: Bus (Round trip for 3 people)
$99.00: Tram (Mt. Robert Tramway for 3 people)
$27.08: Beverages (Alaska Red Dog Saloon)
$43.80: Lunch (Tracy’s King Crab Shack)
$37.50: Hotel Service Charge: Day 1 ($12.50 per person for 3, Ms. Noordam)