Sunday, August 14, 2016

Victoria - last port stop!

Greetings from our last port stop before tomorrow's return to the Emerald City (Seattle). 

Victoria, B.C. was gorgeous today!!! Sunny and very warm with a lovely light breeze. 

While bus loads of passengers headed off to the city and to Butchart Gardens, I took a newer tour to the Secret Garden, which is also known as the Abkhazi Gardens, created/begun in 1946 by Prince and Princess Abkhazi, who were newly married. The property sits on a little over an acre in uptown Victoria. 

After our tour of the gardens we were treated to tea and scones.

The Secret Garden and Teahouse was lovely! The couple that lived here and built and cared for them did a great service to the city of Victoria. It is nice to see that their living work is now protected and continued. 

View of Victoria from my balcony. 

Pictures from the Garden

Tea and scones!

Some city views on our way back to the ship. 

The harbor

Parliament building

The Empress Hotel. Last year when I was here there was scaffolding all across the front as they were doing rehabbing to it. So nice to see the work completed now.  

Snort had a good time too. He got to ride in a real bus with me, though. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

My day in Sitka

We arrived in Sitka early this morning. Foggy and more fog. In fact, it is now mid afternoon and the sun has deemed it quite unnecessary to show its face. It's a far different day than when I was here a little over a year ago.

That day, it was gorgeously sunny yet very crispy cold. It was like being to stick to an ice cube while waiting for the sun to melt it and set you loose.

That day in Sitka also was the same day I got the call from my daughter that my Daddy had died. The sun went away for me, then. He had been going downhill, health wise, and I had feared he might die while I was away, but I went anyway. I knew he wanted me to, so l did. I second guess that decision often. But he lived a good good and long life and we all should be so fortunate.

Today I took a ship tour to see the raptor center and the fortress of the Bears. Both were very interesting and quite fun. Our last stop was at the hatchery center for salmon.

Snort and I walked around town after the tour was over. I found a nice soap store with locally made soaps. Full of essential oils and they smell so good! Wintersong Soap Company, if anyone's interested.

I also ventured into the Episcopal church to take a picture of the Star of David in their stained glass. Apparently they had ordered stained glass from far away to fit their special window at the top of the church and when the pieces arrived their was the Star of David right in the middle! And so it remains.

Following are some snaps of my day here.

Our afternoon at Hubbard Glacier

Hubbard Glacier was about 3 miles long at our viewing area. The day was cool and overcast, a perfect time for viewing. The blues in the ice are so much more pronounced. And we hadnlotsnof calving activity. That's where pieces of ice - well - big chunks- fall off into the water. Sounds like cannons going off!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

My day in Kodiak

We arrived in Kodiak, the second largest island in the U.S. (Hawaii is number 1) just as the sun was coming up, about 6:00 AM.

I had a private tour scheduled with Memory Makers, a husband and wife team, Dake and Katie. Nice couple. We did some wildlife viewing and spent some time outside of town looking for bears. We found eagles and rabbits!!

We also visited Fort Abercrombie and enjoyed some wonderful views from the top. A short stop here, all aboard was 1:30. I went into town after the tour to walk around a little bit. Kodiak is small, about 8,000 people. It also is home to the largest US Coast Guard station - there's about 1,500 stationed here. The church you see below is the Russian Orthodox Church. Kodiak has strong Russian heritage as it used to be a Russian owned territory.