Monday, September 8, 2008

Home Again, Part 2

Earlier I posted about the first leg of our vacation, Seattle. Although the trip went on for a further 8 days, Seattle was the highlight as far as food was concerned, although later destinations won the prize for being scenic. This blog was originally meant to be about both food and life, but has definitely tended toward the food end, so I have decided to have posts about our vacation interspersed with posts about food that I'm making now that I'm back home. 

As mentioned earlier, we flew to Seattle on a Saturday, wandered, ate, slept, wandered, ate, and then boarded a very large ship. We took a cruise out of Seattle, and our first day and a half were at sea. By the way, just because you're on a big ship doesn't mean you don't feel the motion, no matter what people say. Fortunately, some hard-core wooziness and general "I just don't feel right" were the worst that I suffered, and Hubband...well, nothing bothers him. Except when he looked over the side of our balcony; he finally admitted that looking down 8 stories off a ship was much more disconcerting than looking down 8 stories off a building, although he couldn't put his finger on why. Here's a candid shot I took just before that confession: 

He seems a little suspicious, of what I'm not sure. 
After that first day and a half, we entered Glacier Bay, Alaska for some scenic cruising. Scenic? I'd say so. 
There was also wildlife in the area, happily for me. (You assumed my nerdiness ended at food? Oh how wrong you are, dear grasshopper.) We saw Minke Whales, Bald Eagles, Sea Otters, many types of gulls, Common Murres, and these little fellows, Tufted Puffins. 
Really, you have to click on the photo and make it bigger. Don't they just make you smile?
As we continued up the bay, we went out on deck to see the mountains and eventually the glaciers, and as you might expect in a place known for giant moving walls of ice, it was a tad nippy out. The ship began serving their "signature pea soup" to make everyone feel a little warmer, and our friend A. decided to try it. Pea soup? With 'ham' apparently: 
The glaciers were beautiful: majestic, awe-inspiring, and enormous. Really, the size was almost impossible to grasp. We were 10 stories up at this point, and the ice was taller. Some of these glaciers were 10 and 12 miles wide, and extended back for many more. 
This is a zoom photo of the glacier extended far into the distance, going higher and higher into the mountains. No, glaciers are not pristine white ice, they are shades of electric blue, an effect produced by the light absorption of the varying densities of the ice. The black is all dirt and rock they've picked up over time as they scrape against the landscape. It was almost surreal. These were, without doubt, some of the most amazing, humbling, awe-inspiring, wow-inducing, unforgettable hours of my life, for which I am so thankful. 
If you ever have an opportunity to go, do it. If you don't have an opportunity, try to make one. It is so worth it. 

1 comment:

Trina said...

Rach, I love Pea Soup with ham! Great pictures!!