I’m baaaack! We returned this weekend from an amazing vacation to Seattle, followed by a week-long cruise through Alaska with visits to Alaska (Juneau, Skagway and Tracy Arm Fjord) and British Columbia (Victoria). What an amazing trip! I enjoyed every minute of it and am excited to share some of the fun with you today.
I earned the trip during the 2016-2017 stamping year and am so grateful to my customers and team members for receiving the love I share and returning it right back to me. This is my fifth trip in as many years, and I couldn’t be more fortunate. These trips make all the hard work with every ounce of energy.
We arrived in Seattle, Washington a few days early and enjoyed footing it around the beautiful town. We carried small umbrellas and cheap ponchos in case we were trapped in a rain storm (Seattle is famous for lots of rain), but we (gratefully) never encountered one drop of rain.
Our first night in Seattle, we had dinner with Michelle Last, my dear friend from the UK (https://www.michellelast.co.uk/) and her wonderful husband. Here’s how happy Michelle was to see me:
We visited Pike Place Market in Downtown Seattle. While there are tons of produce, groceries and flowers to see, there are also tons of people visiting the market on a Thursday morning. If you’ve never been there, you’ve likely seen videos of the fishmongers who toss (and successfully catch) big fish. What fun! Just outside the market is the first EVER Starbucks (you may have heard of it). We, of course, stopped in there for a look-see.
I grew up with delicious seafood (my parents owned three restaurants on the coast of Georgia when I was young), but nothing prepared me for the delicious bowl of clam chowder I enjoyed at Ivar’s restaurant on the Seattle pier. It was amazing! The view was pretty spectacular, too.
When we left Seattle, we were bused to the port to board our amazing cruise ship – the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas. Here’s a shot of the boat from the bus that carried us there. Fourteen stories of pure luxury.
As the boat set sail on Friday, Mary Fish (who enjoyed having me at her side for much of the trip…), snapped this gorgeous photo of the sun setting over the ocean. What a beauty! And this photo she took ain’t so bad, either!
On board the boat, we were spoiled with daily prizes in the Stampin’ Up! Base Camp – we could spin for spectacular prizes each day. On this day, there were two new punches and an embossing folder to be won! I was anxious to see where the spinning wheel stopped.
We also had opportunities to win great prizes from the Holiday Catalog during Stampin’ Up!’s opening session onboard the boat. I won the Timeless Tidings stamp set and couldn’t have been happier about it. Carolyn Benny, one of my Australian friends, was pretty stoked about it, too (or maybe she just wanted to crash my photo).
Our first stop along the way was Juneau, Alaska. While some of our stampin’ friends enjoyed excursions to cook salmon in the wilderness and fly across glaciers in helicopters, we walked into the city with friends to enjoy a delicious lunch of fish and chips. After popping into a few shops, we headed back to the boat. We set out to relax for much of the trip, so this was inline with our hopes and dreams.
What an amazing time we had in Skagway, our second stop on the trip. We boarded a train to take a journey up the mountain, taking in all the gorgeous nature along the way. Here’s gorgeous photo I snapped off the side of the train – the water was gorgeous and silty. Do you know what silty means? If not, you should travel to Skagway and take the train tour. <3
The train conductor told us that we’d likely not see wildlife along the three-hour train ride because the animals stayed hidden away from the loud train. It was explained that only the most trained photographers would capture pictures of animals along the way. I guess I’m an expert photographer because I caught this picture:
Tracy Arm Fjord
The morning after our amazing train ride in Skagway, the cruise ship made a slow travel down the Tracy Arm Fjord – another term I learned on this trip. A fjord is a deep, narrow passage of water. This one ended at a large opening with a huge glacier. Here’s a view (from 12 stories up) of the water in the fjord. The ice in the water is much bigger than it appears:And here’s a view from the front of the boat. You can see the glacier in the center. The boat approached the glacier and then turned around in the opening for about four hours. Slowly. From the boat, you could hear the cracks of ice as they broke off from the glacier and fell into the water. What an amazing way to wake up early and spend a day!
After a day at sea, the boat arrived in beautiful Victoria where we had planned a culinary walking tour of the city. The “Eat Like a Canadian” tour was quite amazing. It kicked off in the quaint Fisherman’s Wharf – with little shops, great restaurants and adorable bed and breakfasts. There was a delightful energy in this wharf:
Have you ever had putine? This was a first for me. Putine is a bowl of french fries with cheese curds and gravy. While I’m guessing it would warm the soul on a cold day, it was 80 degrees in Victoria. I ate all of it, but I likely wouldn’t reach for it again. And then there’s the new love of my life – the Nanaimo Bar. I can only tell you it was heaven on earth (and I’m not a big fan of chocolate). Every member of our tour will remember the name of this no-bake dessert. I’ll certainly be making it as soon as I whittle away at ounce (or two) I might have added on this non-stop food fest.
We tried so many amazing foods along the trip – I don’t want to bore you with all of them. The last stop was a beavertail. I was a bit nervous about this – until I learned it was a deep-fried dough with cinnamon and sugar. It derives it’s name from the shape of the dough. No beavers were harmed in the making of this dessert.
That was fun! Thank you for allowing me to share some of these personal photos and stories with you. It’s just a taste of the amazing trip. I’ll share the new goodies we received in a post later this week.
Two Amazing Promotions End Today
For the past month, I’ve been sharing two amazing promotions that Stampin’ Up! has been sharing in July. I don’t want you to miss these – because they are WONDERFUL!
Between July 1 and July 31, Stampin’ Up! is hosting an amazing promotion where you can get one pack of select papers when you buy three packs of select papers.
To help expand our family and create opportunities for even more meaningful relationships with fellow crafters, Stampin’ Up! is giving us a Stampin’ Pad Family Recruiting Promotion. During this promotion, new team members will receive a FREE assortment of Classic Stampin’ Pads (your choice!) with your Starter Kit!
Thanks for stopping by today!