Corkery Family Alaska Cruise

I better do this now or else I never will.

I just took a whole week off from work for the first time since I started a year ago. And it felt good. 🙂

We traded Sunny California for cold, dreary, almost always daylight Alaska. We had been talking about doing a trip like this for years, and then had been talking about the fact that we were doing this trip for over a year. 21 of us signed up, 19 of us actually went–my dad’s sister ‘s family, my dad’s brother’s family, my family and my older sisters in-laws.  It was to be the ultimate family vacation. Alaska or bust.

We flew to Seattle where we boarded our floating hotel and home away from home–The Celebrity Infinity–along with 2,200 other passengers. It was a full house!

All aboard!

After a safety drill for the “unlikely event that we needed to abandon ship,” and then it was vacation time!

Some of us as we left Seattle

 

This trip was a special one for my family as we were finally able to check off the final boxes on a list 20 years in the making–we have now visited all 50 states! When we were little, my parents took a few weeks out of the summer to load us all up in the Dodge Family Wagon and take us across the country. We did several trips and we were waiting on these last two states that we never visited–Washington and Alaska. When we docked in Ketchikan, Alaska, our list was done.

Alaska. Is. Cold. It is hard to believe that this was summer weather! It felt much like our winter’s here in California, but add some cold winds and some rain. At least we were prepared for the cold. 🙂

We got to go through a place called Tracy Arm Fjord. We couldn’t believe how close the walls of rock were to our ship! It was particularly cold here, as ice was floating all around the ship, some with seals on it!

Tracy Arm Fjord

 

Upon Entering Tracy Arm

 

Our next stop was Juneau. Here, we signed up for “Bike and Brew and Glacier View.” We started off a little stressed as we waited to be ferried to shore from our ship and were told that we wouldn’t make our meeting time. Luckily, Keath waited for us!

Ready for our Bike Tour

Going through the forest

The Mendenhall Glacier

On the other side of the Glacier

And ended our bike ride with some local beer from the brewerys in Alaska.

Supporting local business

In Skagway, we took the famous White Pass Summit and Yukon Route Railway that was built during the Alaska gold rush. We rode on the train for 27 miles, leaving Skagway and entering Fraser, British Columbia. It was a beautiful ride and hard to believe that people actually hiked through here to get to gold. It was so cold!

In Skagway

So why did we travel 27.7 miles on train in the 40 degree weather? To go kayaking, of course!

That’s right! We went kayaking on water that was 3 degrees and had just thawed out three days prior to us being there. When we stepped off the train and icy wind hit us in the face, we all were thinking what a huge mistake we made.

My cousins cruising through the icy water

Dad and Brittany

Once we started paddling, we warmed up and ended up having a good time, while making a really great memory.Our last stop was in Victoria, BC where we toured the famous Butchart Gardens. Steve is going to post pictures from there on his post, but here are a few:

The Sunken Garden

Here are some other photos from the cruise:

At Dinner

Formal Night

John and Steve

Sitting in the lounge with my Uncle Lee

Our View at dinner time

Corkery Girls

My sisters

One of our favorite places to take in the view without getting cold

 

When we arrived back in Seattle, we did what we do best–dragged our luggage through the city to our hotel. Sure, it wasn’t raining like that time in Albuquerque, and it wasn’t rush hour like that time in Times Square, but it was UPHILL!

Leaving the cruise ship to our hotel

And then..uphill!

a Corkery Family Tradition

 

After checking into our hotel, we thought that the uphill trek luggage didn’t burn enough calories, so we walked some more. To the Space Needle first.

We walked to the Space Needle, Starbucks in hand!

At the top

 

Then to the Public Market and the Gum Wall

Yeah, I contributed

then to lunch on the pier

Lunch at the Alaskan Sourdough Bakery

 

Then we walked past our hotel to go find the Whaling Wall that Wyland painted in Seattle. Wyland is a famous artist of underwater scenery, and he has painted 100 walls with huge images. You have probably seen one…Laguna Beach has a few, there’s one in Long Beach too and one on Pier 39 in San Francisco. We looked up where his painting was is in Seattle and when we reached the location, we didn’t see it. Turns out, the hotel it was painted on said the paint was chipping off and Wyland didn’t come fix it, so they painted over it. Just our luck.

Where the Whaling Wall used to be

 

We then went to a Mariner game (my dad and sisters are trying to visit every ballpark in America… I fell behind when I got a job and couldn’t go anywhere in the middle of the week! :- ) )

We sat in the Hit it Here Cafe where we got to eat and watch the game. My mom, dad, Steve and I all split this giant 22 inch hot dog! Our California parks should learn a lesson!