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Into the Wild

by verdemama on May 25, 2010

Can I just say, WOW, what an interesting family vacation we’ve had. Our little threesome, plus my mom and stepdad, embarked on a seven-day cruise to Alaska and, oh!, what a time we had.

Let’s jump right in, shall we? I’ll try to hit only the highlights, because Alaska-sized adventures are hard to confine to a simple blog.

We cruised out of Seattle, and after the first woozy day and a half at sea, we docked in Juneau, AK—an itty bitty burg that I CAN’T BELIEVE IS THE FRICKIN’ CAPITAL OF ALASKA. We decided to forgo the half-hour $400/person glacier-viewing helicopter ride (which no doubt would have been awesome, but that’s seriously expensive) in lieu of exploring the town on foot.

First stop, Tracy’s King Crab Shack, where we ate crab legs the size of, well, us. Man, everything is just bigger in Alaska. Amazing.

Next up: A ride up Mount Roberts Tramway, for a lovely view of the surrounding area. Truly stunning.

Hi, boat!

We roamed the town a bit, did our duty as tourists by purchasing some tchotchkes and some evil fudge and enjoyed the surprisingly warm and sunny weather.

The following day we docked in Skagway, AK — an adorable little town right out of the 1800s.

We rode the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway up to the 2,865 ft. summit of White Pass and took in some amazing views.




…up we go!

Next day: the Tracy Arm Fjord, a glacier-carved fjord filled with active glaciers. How many times can I write “glacier” and “fjord” in the same sentence?

Sadly there were still too many icebergs in the water for the ship to safely pass through, so we only went in a little way, then turned around and headed back out. It was still so amazingly beautiful and serene though, even the small portion of it we saw.

Is it a boat? Or a spaceship? Hmm…

Orion made friends with a polar bear

Bizarro blue icebergs!

The next day was a day at sea, and man was it rough and stormy. And then that night, OMFG IT WAS ROUGH AND STORMY! Forty-foot waves and 80mph winds—officially Category 1 hurricane-force gales. Hello, nausea! Hello, foreshadowing! (Cue ominous music.)

Is it just me or is the wind is starting to pick up a bit?

The following morning was a port day in lovely Victoria, BC, but unfortunately my mom had been violently ill all night, so she couldn’t join us. It was understandable considering the wild ride we were on all day and all night. Little did we know that it was actually a sign of hell officially breaking loose.

Erik and I left the ship to meet our Victorian friends Jenny and Bill, while the parents stayed back. We checked out Craigdarroch Castle in the morning, and by lunchtime my mom had managed to scrape herself up and headed out to meet us. After lunch we visited the magnificent Butchart Gardens. Mom was a true sport to get out and about like she did.

Pure gorgeousness

We had a lovely day, and were riding back to the ship when IT happened.

Orion, with all too short of warning, barfed his entire tomato soup and pizza lunch into my lap. A sense of doom creeps over me, as I think back to the Norovirus memo we received on board just a few days earlier. Bad news: We were officially contaminated.

Things got worse from here. I’ll spare the gory details except to say that only a mother would let someone vomit on her so many times. We ended up taking him to the infirmary onboard, where they decided to administer an IV—a truly heartbreaking sight. It was hard to hold back the tears, but I did my best so not to scare him. (But didn’t always succeed.)

I held him for three hours while he had the IV drip, and cuddled him and sang to him and tried hard to keep it together.

The next day we disembarked in Seattle, which I was oh-so ready for.

We stayed another night in Seattle. Orion was starting to feel better, and when we were playing around on the bed in the hotel room, he smothered my face with kisses—and not his usual wet and sloppy open-mouthed kisses, no, these kisses were with pursed lips and just the right amount of smack. Perfect little kisses. He just about killed me with cuteness.

We headed home the next day, and by the time our plane touched down, I knew I was sick, too. I managed to keep it together until we got home, but I spent the rest of the night barfingly, feverishly, can’t-scape-myself-up-off-the-floor sick. That was Saturday night. It’s Tuesday night now and I’m just barely feeling better. This flu is a total asshole. And I have a terrible cold, too. I’m assuming this wipes my karmic slate clean, right? Really, who gets a severe cold AND the flu at the same time? I’m going to start buying lottery tickets because there’s gotta be something good coming my way soon.

I like happy endings, so instead of leaving you on a note of sniffles and stomach upset, I’d like to assure you (and by “you,” I mean “my mom”) that we had a great time. It was a once in a lifetime experience and I’m sure I’ll really mean that once I’m able to actually digest a meal again. Cheers!

The last supper

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