Shit….it is 10:00 am and we are still in bed….wtf….our curtains are still closed, we need to keep them open I guess. I never sleep this late, we are gonna miss the day. The ship is sailing so smooth we don’t even feel it moving.
A quick breakfast and we are ashore in Juneau, which looks a lot like Ketchican only bigger, 30,000 people and three times as many jewelry stores. We walk our asses off on this stop, it is raining and foggy and cold. I spend 3.14 on a plastic poncho that cost .50 at the dollar store back home but doesn’t say Red Dog Saloon on it.
Let me tell you.. don’t give plastic bags to children and old people.. shit.. try to get one of those things on in the rain and the wind! Turns out raingear was the bargain of the day, by the time I am back at the ship I am $1300.00 lighter! But I saved 3000.00.. ah well.. a fond saying of a friend of mine is that, ‘money is only stuff you haven’t bought yet’ how true.
Across the street a little boy about 5yrs old is just crying his heart out and it is starting to annoy me. Sharon says she’s glad she doesn’t have any more of those, we smile at each other and agree.
The crying just gets worse and no one is dealing with it and a ‘ lightbulb goes off in my head’. I rush across the street and try to comfort him, he is so obviously lost. I feel a great sense of relief wash over me for the poor kid when his mother finally shows up.. thank god!
A memory comes back to me of when I lost my daughter in a mall, she was only 4 yrs old and I was frantic and almost hysterical by the time a nice lady came up with her in tow.. happily eating an ice cream cone, god.. I vowed to never let her out of my sight again!
Little did I know then what grief lay in store for me.. growing them up (and all parents) ah well.. thank god these sources of our greatest joy and misery produce grandchildren! It is not only Karma for them but unexpected joy for us.
We hit yet another jewelry store and lo and behold.. .it seems I have found my stolen piece of Amorites (another story from another cruise) it is dam near the exact copy of the one I had. Now this is much harder than what you may think because Amolite is very rare and EVERY piece is different.
I agonized over the purchase for a full half hour, I’m sure. In the end it is mine (remind me to tell you the story of how this ittle piece of fossil captured my imagination). Anyway we do not do any tours cause it still looks like BC and it is too miserable. We trek back to the ship and actually end up having a two hour nap before supper. I am not sure but I think this holidaying is very tiring.
Second night with the pilot and wife is tiresome as hell, I excitedly tell them of my find only to hear of her ten thousand dollar necklace that she got for four.. ? Ah well I am happy with my find ,I also replaced another piece of stolen jewelry by a local artisan that is so beautiful it will help me forget about the Inca pieces that I purchased in Peru and are also gone.
Pilots wife also enlightened us about how stupid the people in china are. I manage to keep my mouth shut, but it is getting harder. Pilot is fond of putting out trivia and asking us the answer , like what is the only capital in US that is not accessable by road, I venture to answer Ketchican but he says no “Ketchican” is not a capital city!” duh.. it is Juneau of course.
He is so wise.. I wonder how much he knows Canada? I will bide my time , don’t want to make unfriends just yet. We are wishing we could get to know Laurie and Tim(couple from Hawaii) a little better but pilot and wife are too high maintenance.
The walking was good excersize and after supper we go to the disco and dance some more but decide to leave and do the hot tub. I manage 25 laps , then the hot tub . I can’t wait to see the glacial icebergs, Skagway is tomorrow.
I am definitely dragging myself around this morning . we didn’t drink last night but it sure feels like it. Fact is our alcohol consumption is next to nil so far this trip. Considering that the drinks are 8.63 each that is probly a good thing. We decide to do the railroad to the top of the mountain in Skagway.
The weather is miserable (maybe that is what’s wrong) I am feeling like the weather today. Well sir.. this is quite the money maker..this railroad thing. A hundred and twenty bucks for a three and a half hour ride return.. to see much of what BC looks like. If it wasn’t for the actual trail (the route that the goldrush men had to climb single file to get over the mountain), which is still visible in a few spots this excursion would have been a bust.
To catch a glimpse of the actual trail and being right here to see that part of history made the ride worthwhile to me. ok.. now picture this, 50 people in a train car, times fifteen cars, times four trains (I think there are four or five cruise ships in port, in a town that has a population of 850 in the winter).
Hmmmmm my calculations make that about 90,000.00 a train.. times 4 that’s 360,000.00 wow! Oh did I mention that they do this route twice a day? We actually cross the Canadian border at one point and then back again, good news is a Canadian consortium purchased this line and it is called ClubLink, they are out of Ontario and it is called CLK on the stock exchange (a bit of trivia for you, hey.. maybe I can get Pilot on this tonight).
We drag ourselves back to the ship, it is pouring rain, this walking thing is good for us but shit, do they have to park the ship so far away? We grab some soup, we are frozen (ill equipped for this cold) and decide to do the sauna and hot mist suite in the spa. Oh god does it feel good , the hot ceramic tiled lounge thingys are just what we needed. We finish it all off with a 45 minute nap before supper.
Oh yeah.. Skagway is more jewelry shops, everything is geared to old western style architecture, roads are new.. paved. Walkways are wooden but new, nothing looks old here except a couple of the trains. They have a camper/tent city here mostly for the seasonal workers. Price for just for a camp spot ranges 350 to 600 dollars (American…lol) a month.
Oh right, I forgot about our tour guide.. it is a tradition on the last day of the tour season if they are new and want to come back next year, they need to take a plunge in the lake at the top of the mountain.. dam that water must have been cold.. but our tour guide did it and I have it on video…brrrrr….
At supper we are the only ones at our table and as it turns out we get to know the couple at the next table who are also by themselves . the head waiters and staff must think they need to entertain us because we are getting lots of action. We ask to move the tables together cause we are really liking this other couple from Langly BC.
The captain comes on the sound system speaker thing to announce we have SIXTY stranded passengers in Haines (small town across the strait) seems the water is too rough for the ferry to bring them back. I guess they contemplate what to do and in the end we leave with out them.
Dock charges are prohibitive up here so the guests will have to bed down in Haines and catch a ride to Juneau tomorrow and then meet up back with the ship in Anchorage !!! We are a little worried that Tim and laurie (younf couple from Hawaii)are on that excursion, it will be too bad cause their trip ends in Anchoage. Ah well.. glad it is not us, but then again what an adventure that would be !
We take in the ‘crews show’ after dinner and my god it is packed! Turns out the crew is very talented and Sharon and I laugh ourselves silly.. god they are good and funny !! A fireman from below is a well rehearsed comedian and has many jokes about the ship and all the nationalities, if you cross a person from Iceland and one from Cuba you would get an ice cube! Ok so you had to be there!
Another is from the spa and she gives us a really sexy bellydance . Yet another crew member sings ‘save the last dance for me’ and and he sounds like Paul Anka. They end with the cruise director staff putting on a hilarious skit that has us rolling in the aisles . We end the night with a couple drinks and dancing on the top floor. The walking and Dancing are replacing the gym today but infinitely more fun!
To be continued….