25 July 2008

2008 June 24 - Cruise day 4

Juneau, a very little city in a very big state

The Corvids in Juneau hang around the docks. They are the gulls of the north, and they will take off with anything. (Esp. when one tosses them pieces of bread ...)

06/24/2008 - Juneau
- we sleep in and hang out together in our room trying to work up the energy to do something
- we head down to passenger services to figure out how we get to our hotel after final disembarkation, AND hear that our bags will be tossed off the boat at the end of the gangway and we need to get them to the train, assuming they don't lose our luggage in the process ... because if they put it on the train, it will go to the airport and we can pick it up there ... what an efed up system
- I call about the pups from the visitor's center, and they have apparently been perfect angels; it is one of those pod people moments ... they've usually done something totally inapropriate by now
- BH and I split off from the shopping and then the money spending tourist groups to make our own way to the Cape Fox Lodge, visit the local supermarket, and wander around the city to find BH a Raven Aboriginal art shirt ... we are still looking, as we've seen frog, eagle, etc. in abundance, but very little in the way of Raven
- back to the boat to dry off, eat, and embark for the next port
- watck Klondike Gold Rush presentation on ship, and it followed rather closely with the Seattle Museum, but the presenter stressed the pack animal deaths from high tide and starvation from inept owners (a sad tale) and the swindling of all these stampeders from men and women looking to make a quick buck
- then to dinner, with a quick stop in conssessions where one Alkaselzer dose was selling for $1.49. We just wanted to see the prices on their goods, which are advertised as "reasonable" ... how exactly do they come up with their "reasonable" prices?
- as an additional comment about final debarkation: even though the train is totally a Princess operation ... and I love this part most ... this is a Vancouver to Anchorage cruise, but the ship makes final port in Whittier, and if you want to go to Anchorage, you pay Princess MORE money to take either a motor coach or train ride to Anchorage ... how neat (yes, heavy sarcasm)
- breakfast was .... wait for it, you'll be totally surprised ... dry granola and fruit ... again ... cruise food sucks, and I can't wait to get off this d*mn boat
- BH is reading the alcohol menu: $5 bud light, $6 long island iced tea, $10 cognac, and $10 scotch ... more of their "reasonable prices?"
- head out to the town of Juneau, walk through some shops and most of their stuff is crap or the rare expensive item that we like but can't afford
- up to 4th and Franklin where we find the capitol building and bro and SIL talking to an unrelated Houston couple
- a walking tour of the capitol reveals many early pictures of the first nations people, gold rushes, and present day defenders
- wander the town, buy a Carhartt polo, and drop by the local grocery store
- head back for lunch, too late for chili, and have to content myself with the buffet where I can eat salad, or steamed veggies, I storm off totally pissed and wait to calm down, finally heading to the pizza place for a cheese-less mushroom, peppers, and herbs pie ... I'm getting tired of eating the same stuff over and over again; BH said he'd go on another cruise, but I said unless I get a kitchen in my cabin, it's unlikely he'll get me on another one
- meet up with Mom, Dad, Aunty, and Grandma where we sit down to finish a meal, and meander over to watch Libby Riddles presentation on her life in general, her sled dog experience, and being the first female to win the Iditarod in '85, another woman has since won and women are getting more common in the sled dog races ... as one might expect, the best racers are not pure-bred huskies, but the Alaskan racing mutt mix, they follow pedigrees closely but will use anything (at one time they even staked out the dogs to be covered by wolves and get the wildtype genes back in the bloodlines)
- back outside to feed the ravens ... these guys are huge, easily twice the measurements of our corvids at home
- we wander around Juneau a bit more, it is windy and chilly and we finally head back to the boat just in time for dinner: minestrone soup, salad, and rice noodles with veggies ... one of my most, if not the most, delicious meals of the trip ... give them one point
- back to the room to drop and change in prep for the evenings entertainment of 'majority rules' ... it is hard to second guess the average cruiser
- home to sleep

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