Oh, hello there! Fancy seeing you here. You probably thought I'd forgotten about you, didn't you? The truth is that trying to both teach full-time and be home full-time this summer pretty much kicked me in the...well, this is a family blog so I'll leave the appropriate body part to your imagination. Instead of my normal more-frequent posting in the summer, I haven't been here in 6 weeks. They've been a very busy 6 weeks and I have lots of stories to share, but I start back to work on Monday and I'll have to fit this in with the whole mom/wife/friends/work/singing/everything else that I try to do thing.
So without further blather, I will share pictures of our fantabulous cruise in Alaska with Mom and Dad M, Adam, and Jim!
We started in Vancouver, which was a lovely city. We weren't there for long and so my only pictures are from our massive boat.
Poor Uncle Adam got jumped by the boys pretty much as soon as they saw him. Actually, the boys spent a lot of time climbing on the whole family as much as possible. Jason and I are just not as good at being jungle gyms as other relatives.
We cruised the first day and then spent the second day in Ketitchkan, Alaska, where there are numerous totem poles found all around the city. Some have been replaced with replicas because, unsurprisingly, wood isn't the most permanent of materials in the Alaskan climate. It didn't make them any less impressive!
The salmon weren't running yet but we enjoyed seeing the rivers. (By the way, the kids will be in those outfits in pretty much every picture shown. I swear that the clothes under the jackets were clean every day. The highs were in the 50s and maybe low 60s all week. And it rained a lot.)
We walked all over Ketitchkan, took the tram to the resort on top of the mountain, walked down to the fish hatchery (complete with the bald eagles at the left), and went to the culture museum.
The fish hatchery was really cool! We learned how they harvest the fish from the river, how they spawn them (thousands of eggs from a single female!), and how they release them when they're grown.
The next day, we were at Icy Strait Point. Everyone else got to see whales there except me and the kids. But with this kind of scenery, it was hard to get too upset.
We took little boats to the shore, where we learned about the fish-packing business (in a word, ick) and wandered the beautiful coastline.
The kids had such a fun time getting a full week with Grandpa and Grandma M! They could usually be found cuddled up with them (or, in Patrick's case, challenging them to a game of Uno).
We found a little rocky cove and wandered down to see the thousands of mussels on the rocks and little crabs and snails in tide pools. Jason and the other menfolk went fishing that afternoon but alas, the salmon and halibut eluded them.
That day, it was briefly warm (and sunny) enough to take off our jackets and hats while we had fantastic chowder and fish n' chips for lunch.
We got to Juneau the next day, where we immediately went to the Mendenhall Glacier, one of my very favorite parts of the whole cruise (other than Dad's injury, which we really could have done without ;-) )--and I loved this trip, so that's saying something. It was simply gorgeous there. A bit chilly but beautiful.
Just look at the blue ice. Amazing! We took the time to make the hike to the waterfall right next to the glacier and it was so very well worth the muddy shoes and carrying Kamu halfway back.
We got back to the shuttle bus stop just as our company's bus left, so it was quite a wait until the next one. Jason did serve as a mighty nice jungle gym when the uncles weren't around. (Why yes, Kamu had just proclaimed himself too tired to walk all the way back from the glacier.)
Jason and the kids were tired, so we went back to the ship. Then I got bored of being on the ship since Patrick was at the Fun Factory and Kamu and Jason were napping, so I wandered Juneau some more.
This one's for you, Uncle Mike ;-)
I'd better end there for now, as there are still several more days of the cruise to cover. I'll try to get back here before another 6 weeks has passed! In the meantime, Patrick has lost his first tooth and has the adult one already growing in, has 4 other loose teeth, and starts first grade on Monday! Kamu is into size 5T, is the funniest 3-year-old I've ever met, and can't wait to see his friends at daycare. Jason's still at his job and I start mine on Monday. That's us in a nutshell for now!