Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Alaskan Vacation Part Four--Ports of Call

AT SEA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--This is the last full day of the cruise and we are headed towards Vancouver to disembark. Plus the internet is very slow and everyone is complaining. Since the last post we've had three ports of call--Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan--plus a show in the Universe Lounge with Adrian Zmed. Yes the hot young partner of William Shatner on TJ Hooker is now headlining cruise ships. The best parts of the show were the clips from when he was young and muscular. But let's concentrate on the positive. Skagway was this little tiny town, with a quaint little shops. We saw salmon swimming upstream and learned that the last shot of the Civil War was fired in Alaska. A Confederate navy captain was charged by Robert E. Lee to sink Union whalers to hurt the Yankee economy. They had sunk several and when they boarded a British vessel in June 1865, they read a newspaper that Lee had surrounded two months earlier.

Later in the afternoon we took a train ride on the Yukon Railway which took us up to the Canadian border. Everyone else went back to the ship afterwards, but I wandered around. Almost all the shops had closed at 3PM and I hadn't had any lunch, so I had to settle for Rice Kripsie treat at the local Starbucks. Skagway also had the world's only Sarah Palin store--as the lady cashier proudly pointed out. Sister Sarah grew up in Skagway and her dad taught high school as did the owner of the store. There were numerous T-shirts, books, bumper stickers, and memorabilia, all pro-Palin. Outside there a door with a poster of Barack Obama on it and a big sign reading Barack Obama Store CLOSED. I wisely refrained from making any comments to the lady. Obama is disappointing me and the current economic chaos is partially his fault in the sense that he is the Prez and even if the Tea Party started it and they are mainly at fault, he is the parent chaperoning this kids' party. If the furniture gets broken, he's the one who has to pay for it.

That night, or was it the next one, I've lost track, we saw the Adrian Zmed show which consisted of musical medleys from Broadway, the 1950s (cause he was in Grease, you see), Vegas, and clips from his career including Bachelor Party, Dance Fever and that episode of the Love Boat where he guess-starred and was trapped in a state room with 20 women with bad 1980s hair. The dancers and singers were quite good. They did most of the work especailly during a number which borrowed heavily from Bob Fosse's "Sing! Sing! Sing!"

In Juneau, we took a bus for $16 RT to the Mendenhall glacier (the Princess excursion would have been $45) where they also have walkways over wild areas and you can see bear fishing for salmon in the river. We saw plenty of salmon, and only two bears. They were too fast for me to snap a picture. The glacier was enormous and awe-inspiring, pictures don't really do it justice. We passed the new WalMart on the way and the driver joked that civilization had come to Juneau. Once back in Juneau, Mom, Dad, and my brother Jonathan wanted to go back to the ship and Jerry wanted lunch. I was indecisive, but after dithering for a bit I said I wanted to take the tram up to the mountain before time ran out--we only had until 3:30PM to get back to the ship. I'm glad I did because the view was lovely and they had an injured bald eagle in captivity. It was a magnificent bird and I got some great pix which I will share with you once I get back home and download all the pix. This internet is freaking expensive. I think this was the night we saw Adrian, previously we saw the comedian and the ventriloquist both of whom were only so-so.

Yesterday was Ketchikan, the town I liked best of the three. We strolled around the dock and the main points of interest where the many totem poles and Creek Street, a street on a wharf acorss the creek where the bordellos used to be. They were not allowed within the town limits. During prohibition they were also speakeasies so that where the men got their booze and sex. In the afternnon I went zip-lining--Jerry didn't want to--which was pretty scary but once I got into it, it was great fun. We were up 90 feet in the Alaskan rain forest on platforms the size of endtables. In between, we had to walk on a rope bridge like the kkind Jonny Quest had a run across when the villains were chasing him and Haji. I was in a group of six with a mom and her three kids and a lady by herself. Both said their husbands were terrified of heights. We did see a bear and an eagle from the trees plus three reindeer whom they had in a pen. It was a lovely drive along the coast from the zip-line place to the town. The woman cab driver told us about all the bears they got up in people's houses and how even if you're careful with your garbage, they still get in it.

The food has been excellent with delicious desserts and exceptional appetizers. Last night we watched Limitless with Bradley Cooper and Robert DeNiro (It was boradcast on the outdoor deck on a giant screen, but it was too cold). Also I saw another of the production shows with a Motown theme--only two African-Americans were in the cast. Tomorrow we land in Vancouver.   

No comments:

Post a Comment