Friday, September 26, 2014

Juneau

So here we are in Juneau, Alaska. 

 I'm not sure what this is all about, but I had to really zoom in on this with my camera to make sure I was really seeing what I thought I was seeing. 
Maybe all cruise ships have a personal protection boat. Yep, that is a machine gun. 

This is a tender.  It held about 100 or so and it took us to the dock in Juneau for the excursions and shopping.  The ride was just a few minutes. 

Looking from the tender to our ship. 

 Drinking seems to be a big deal on cruise ships so there is always a shout out to the passengers where the favorite or best places to drink are.   The Red  Dog Saloon is famous so I thought I would take a picture of it, why not. I was a total tourist and that's what tourists do. 

I thought this was funny.  This crosswalk is on a narrow road so I'm not sure what this is about and because I was a tourist I took a picture of this too.  

After we walked around the streets of Juneau for an hour or so it was time for our first excursion in Alaska.  We decided on the Gold Creek Salmon Bake.  It was an all you can eat salmon dinner with all the yummy carb filled trimmings and it was delicious.  

 You just grabbed a plate and loaded it up.  They had a really good glaze on the salmon which took it over the top.  

See?  Carbs.  Corn bread.  Baked beans. Wild rice. Couscous. Shredded scalloped potatoes.  Green salad and of course salmon. While we were eating on picnic tables a guy was playing guitar.  A little bit of James Taylor and other mellow artists.  It was a neat little place. 

The Gold Creek area is part of a rain forest and was a gold mine years ago. It mined gold ore, but there is no record on how much gold was mined. It's probably top secret, right?  or maybe gold was never found here.......

 See the carved baby bear in the tree? 
Cute necklace right?  It's bamboo and it was free if you went into one of the stores that sold bamboo products.  There were a ton of them hanging on a rack/sign as you walked in.  I looked around for an employee and they were all busy so I grabbed one.  It felt kind of funny to just take it but the info. we got about our shopping in Juneau said all you had to do was walk in and it was yours.  The whole cruise felt free.  It was a weird feeling to eat your meals and then walk away.  You get used to it though. 


 Salmon Creek Waterfall and below is the opening to the original mine.  The mill generated electricity with water from the creek for the miners. 


So after our long (100 yards) hike we picked out our marshmallow roasting stick and some marshmallows from this sweet vintage tin and roasted marshmallows to finish off our excursion.     
BTW  Lou Lou and I made this marshmallow creme recipe and it was delicious.  I would suggest refrigerating it so it doesn't separate. We would for sure make it again. 

Just some friends we met at the fire pit.  They were from Florida, I believe. The cruise was only part of their vacation because they took the train cross country for the first part of their journey.  

 Told you we were being tourists.  
Me with the "catch of my life". 

 After our dinner we did some more shopping.  We decided that since we were tourists we would try and get a souvenir from each port to remind us of our trip.  


In Ketchikan we bought a sweet totem pole. When my parents were in Ketchikan they bought a totem pole mug that I have and can remember it from when I was a little girl.  I looked all over (3 ports) for a similar mug ( 3 dimensional) and we could just not find one that even came close. Anyway, we searched the stores in Juneau for something and were pretty decided on a wood carved eagle until we found out the wood was from Arizona.  Time was running out for us to buy a souvenir. We had gone to a photo studio earlier and had loved the photography prints so we decided to see if it was still open.  The guy said he would stay open till 8pm so we dashed to the store and it was closed!  What? It was 10 to 8.   I could see that he was still at his desk so I waved my arms and he let us in.  He said he didn't think we were coming back. Whew!  
We had our eye on a print with a glacier, a fishing boat and a whale so we zipped over to pick a size.  We weren't sure if we wanted the 5x7 or the 11x14.  The manager asked us which one we would like.  Mark and I were discussing which one we would buy, you know, which one we wanted.  He asked us again which one we would like. He was so determined to find out which one we liked, not wanted or which one we should buy, but which one we would like. Jeepers.
   We picked up the 11x14 because that was the one we liked and wanted and then
 he said, "it's yours".
I couldn't believe it.  Has that ever happened to you before?  
It was an interesting moment for sure.  He was a complete stranger and we were just cruise people.
I have to say I got a little teary eyed.  I shook his hand to thank him and he said the only thing he wanted us to do was watch for the northern lights that night.  I got up in the night around 1:30 or so and looked out from our balcony, but because of the full moon I couldn't see anything.  
When we go back to Juneau sometime we will have to go back in the studio and buy a print. 
The photographer is Daniel Buckscott. (you can find the print we bought in his collection) 

 Heading back to the ship for another spectacular meal, entertainment, time on our deck, new friend making and whatever else we wanted to do.
Double Highlight of Day 4-  our time at the art studio!