Wedding and Honeymoon Journal: Entry #11

May 31, 2009 at 10:00 PM (Travel, Wedding)

We got married on May 24, 2009 in Juneau, Alaska on the Gilkey Glacier.  We enjoyed a spectacular honeymoon in Juneau, Alaska as well.  We kept a handwritten journal throughout our trip.  A master list of all journal entries can be found here.

***

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 – 2:26 PM AKDT

Busy, busy, busy!  I didn’t write yesterday at all, so I’ve got a lot of ground to cover.  I’ll start with our activities and go from there.

The first thing we did yesterday was our photo safari.  It consisted of a scenic walk/hike on a pleasant trail followed by two hours on the water.  We got the best pictures.  Our guide was an aspiring photographer named Jennifer and Captain Collin navigated our boat.  I learned a lot about photography, although that really isn’t saying much, since I knew next to nothing from the start.  As most of you know, Stephanie has a pretty snazzy camera that has lots of bells and whistles.  Well, so did everyone else on this trip.  Except for me.  I was all out with my little point and shoot Kodak.  I guess it was like bringing a pinto to a drag race.  I had a lot of fun though, and judging by how excitedly Stephanie was talking, she did too.  We’re going whale watching on Thursday morning, but after our photo safari boat trip on Monday I don’t know that we need to.  We saw, in no particular order: a bald eagle, a trio of sea lions, a baby Minke whale (very rare, apparently), a Humpback mother and calf, s solitary Humpback, and a whole pod of killer whales!  I wasn’t shooting much of anything with my Kodak during the boat ride but I did a lot of spotting and pointing for those who were.  Stephanie even let me steal her camera for a few minutes so that I could feel like a real photographer for a bit.

Our activity that night was a cooking class at Chez Alaska. When we got there we were initially told that the class had been cancelled due to lack of participation.  Apparently a lot of folks on the cruise ship that were scheduled to come to the class cancelled because of the ugly rainy weather, the first rainy day since we’d arrived (definitely atypical for this time of year).  Upon hearing that we were on our honeymoon, though, she ushered us in and we had a cooking class with just Stephanie and I.  We had white king salmon with pasta, the details of which I cannot recall.  I do recall having some excellent beer, an Alaskan Amber followed by an Alaskan Smoked Porter.  Good stuff.

We had to get up really early today to meet our bus for a nature walk.  We were driven to Douglas Island to a fairly newish trail (only 6 years old or so).  Our guide was very knowledgeable and had a pretty good sense of humor.  It was kept at a pretty good pace, so we couldn’t spend as much time taking nature pictures as we would have liked, but the point of this particular activity was to learn more than photography.  I certainly learned a lot about the temperate rain forests of Alaska, so it was well worth the time.

For our meals, we went to The Twisted Fish for lunch yesterday and visited The Hangar again for lunch today.  I had halibut tacos and a roast beef melt for my meals, respectively.  I’ve yet to have anything that hasn’t been very tasty.

We’ll be off to our second salmon bake shortly.  This will be pretty fun, if only because we get to take a float plan to get to it.  I’m excited.

So here are some random Alaska/Juneau facts that I’ve picked up during our time here:

  • There are no snakes in Alaska.
  • Juneau is the 3rd largest “city” in Alaska with a population of about 33,000.  About 10% of that number live on Douglas Island.
  • Right now, Juneau gets about 18 hours of daylight daily.  It seems like more, though , because it is still so light during the dusk period.  The sun comes up around 3 AM and sets a bit for 10 PM.
  • For every 3 people in Juneau, there are 2 boats.  Makes sense for a land-locked place.
  • Good luck getting really nice produce in Juneau.  Everything is shipped in.  Ugh.
  • About half the stores in downtown Juneau are jewelry stores of some sort.  Apparently cruise ship tourists are loaded.
  • Juneau basically exists to run the state government.  The state writes about 70% of the paychecks in Juneau.
  • About watching float planes take off and land in the harbor, I was really surprised how much “runway” they don’t need.  They start moving and lift off and lower speeds.
  • The trees you’ll be seeing a lot of in Juneau are the Sitka spruce (the state tree) and the hemlock (western and mountain versions).
  • You’ve probably heard this, but Juneau, if not the whole of Alaska, really is a post card waiting to happen wherever you look.

Alright, it’s time to take a float plane ride and eat some salmon.  More details to follow!

– Ben

Look up at a Sitka spruce.

Looking up at a Sitka spruce.

Gorgeous scenery in the rainforest.

Gorgeous scenery in the rainforest.

Gorgeous waterfalls everywhere.

Gorgeous waterfalls everywhere.

More awesome waterfalls.

More awesome waterfalls.

Signs of beaver activity.

Signs of beaver activity.

The only snake in Alaska!

The only snake in Alaska!

Our photography safari group.

Our photography safari group.

It rained a bit while we were there.  It really enhanced some of the plants.

It rained a bit while we were there. It really enhanced some of the plants.

Another beautiful waterfall.

Another beautiful waterfall.

Beautiful, green, crisp foliage everywhere.

Beautiful, green, crisp foliage everywhere.

Husband and wife in the rainforest.

Husband and wife in the rainforest.

The Mendenhall Glacier

The Mendenhall Glacier

The Mendenhall Glacier

The Mendenhall Glacier

Chunks of ice floating in the water.

Chunks of ice floating in the water.

The Mendenhall Glacier

The Mendenhall Glacier

Beautiful scenery for the water portion of our photo safari.

Beautiful scenery for the water portion of our photo safari.

An orca (aka killer whale).

An orca (aka killer whale).

A bird skimming the water.

A bird skimming the water.

Orca

Orca

Humpback whale.

Humpback whale.

Humpback whale.

Humpback whale.

A bald eagle.

A bald eagle.

Another shot of the bald eagle.

Another shot of the bald eagle.

More beautiful scenery.

More beautiful scenery.

Cute sea lion poking its nose out of the water.

Cute sea lion poking its nose out of the water.

Auke Bay

Auke Bay

Alaskan cooking school!

Alaskan cooking school!

We had some yummy local beer with dinner.

We had some yummy local beer with dinner.

We were the only ones in this class.

We were the only ones in this class.

Ben really enjoyed this one.

Ben really enjoyed this one.

Another yummy brew.

Another yummy brew.

Lorraine made our meal and taught us a few things.

Lorraine made our meal and taught us a few things.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: