Wedding and Honeymoon Journal: Entry #13

June 4, 2009 at 9:08 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.

***

Thursday, May 28, 2009 — 10:09 AM AKDT

I have been a journal slacker and Ben has been “consecutively awesome” as he likes to call it.  I have a lot of catching up to do.  I thought that I would go day by day and comment on the activities that we did.

Monday

Summer Dog Sledding Camp

I enjoyed this tour so much.  We rode a small bus high into the mountains.  The ride was bumpy but the views were good.  Unknowingly, we had a tour within a tour because we drove through an old gold mine on our way to the camp.   We were in awe as soon as we arrived to the camp.  There were numerous dogs.  Each dog was chained in its own little area with a dog house and water can.  We were given historical info about the camp and the workers / mushers.  In total, about 7 people run the camp and live there all summer.  They live in tents and have a chef who makes their meals.  Molly, a former Iditarod winner, let us meet her team of dogs.  She had a mix of Alaskan Huskies and Siberian Huskies.

The dogs were very friendly and loved the attention from our group.  Next, we hopped onto a 6 person cart while they hooked up the dogs.  As soon as we entered the cart, the entire camp full of dogs went crazy.  I captured a couple of awesome videos (that you can see here).  The ride on the cart was peaceful and scenic.  The dogs were very quiet and focused.  Back at the camp, we continued our tour of the camp.  We learned a lot about the Iditarod.  It takes between $20-40K to prepare for it and there is a $4K entry fee.  The grand prize is $69K, a new vehicle, and sponsorship.  We also held puppies at the very end.  They were adorable.

(Look here for photos.)

Salmon Creek Salmon Bake

With the exception of the salmon, I loved this salmon bake.  The setting was very quaint.  It was in the woods next to a creek.  You pay a set price and eat all you want.  There were numerous large tents with picnic tables and a live folk musician / singer.  The salmon was so-so (a bit dry) but the chicken and cornbread were fantastic.  After dinner, we explored the salmon bake surroundings a bit.  There was a nice trail and a gorgeous waterfall.

(Look here for photos.)

Mt. Roberts Tram

Monday evening we decided to ride a suspended tram to the top of Mt. Roberts.  The tram ride was pleasant and the photo ops were plenty.  We enjoyed the beautiful view as well as a video, a live bald eagle, and an awesome gift shop.  It was in the gift shop that I made an awesome discovery.  It turns out that, unbeknownst to me, our wedding colors are also color used by native Alaskans (Tlingit).  They used berries for the red color and copper for the green / teal color.  Black (not one of our wedding colors) was also used because of the availability of charcoal.  I am thrilled and a bit freaked out by the coincidence.  We were shown a love “lovebirds” (raven + eagle) print at the gift shop and have decided to order a larger version when we get home.  The Native Alaskans have a huge amount of respect for the two birds and together they represent love and good luck.

(Look here for photos.)

Tuesday

Photo Safari by Land and Sea

One word—awesome!  Our photo safari group was very small—just a handful of couples and our guide Jennifer.  I liked Jennifer right away—very knowledgeable, quirky, and passionate.  On our way to the hiking trail she shared some photography tips.  We walked through a gorgeous rain forest and were given ample time to stop and take photos.  The trail ended near the Mendenhall Glacier where we were able to take some amazing photos.  We hopped on the bus and headed to a dock at Auke May for the water portion of our day.

Because of my motion sickness susceptibility, I had been dreading this part of the day.  The guide had me rub MotionEaze, a natural / herbal topical remedy on my wrists and behind my ears.  It worked wonders!  I was able to enjoy the whale, eagle, and sea lion watching without any problems.  We took tons of photos but I have a feeling that only a handful of water ones are keepers.  It’s very challenging trying to photograph moving whales.  The whole adventure was spectacular.

(Look here for photos.)

Chez of Alaska Cooking School

Ben already talked about how our cooking class almost didn’t happen.  All in all the class was nice and casual.  I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t actually cook (only the chef did) but it was also nice to just sit back and watch while sipping some beer.  The food was good and the chef, Lorraine, was pleasant.  It was pretty short—only 45 minutes or so.  The time flies.

(Look here for photos.)

Wednesday

Rainforest Nature Walk

We, along with a bus full of people, headed to a lush rainforest along the shore of Douglas Island.  It was breathtaking.  It rained off and on throughout out walk which made the plants really come to life.  It was a photographer’s dream come true.  I stopped and took photos whenever I could without annoying the rest of the group.  We learned a lot about interesting pants in the area including skunk cabbage and devil’s club.  The entire walk was fascinating and I didn’t think it could get any better, but it did as we continued along the shore.  The shore was gorgeous with colorful striations of rocks and lush plants.  I thoroughly loved this excursion.  The beauty is hard to describe.

(Look here for photos.)

Taku Glacier Lodge

All I can say is wow!!  We rode a float plane to the lodge.  The ride was about 25 min.  Motion-wise it was a bit uncomfortable but I managed to keep it together (barely).  The ride was gorgeous though and I found the plane to be more comfortable and spacious than commercial jets.  There were 8-10 passengers on the plane.  Any discomfort that I felt was well worth it when we landed.  The lodge was so quaint and in the most breathtaking setting ever.  The glacier was in full view right across the river.  It seemed very close perceptually, but it was actually 2 miles away.  The food was absolutely fantastic.  The salmon was caught just a couple of hours before we ate it.  With the salmon, we also ate baked beans, cole slaw, rolls, and apples.  For dessert we had yummy ginger cookies which I was extremely grateful for.  It was exciting having an up close encounter with a black bear.  I didn’t want to leave the place.  The flight back went well.  The pilot spotted two moose but none of us could see them with our untrained eyes.

(Look here for photos.)

Thursday (aka Today)

We decided to skip our previously scheduled whale watching trip since we did a great deal of whale watching on our photography safari.  We slept in late and enjoyed spending some low key time together.  After we got going, we took my dress, our cake topper, and our engraved serving set to the post office to mail back home.  It was a relief to have that done.  We then had a yummy lunch at Bullwinkle’s Pizza Parlor.  We had half a BBQ chicken pizza and half of a garlic chicken pizza.  One unique thing about the restaurant is that they serve popcorn with the pizza.

After lunch, we drove the entire Glacier Hwy again.  I really wanted to take a nice, peaceful, scenic drive since I am feeling sad about leaving.  The drive was beautiful and uneventful.  Back at the inn, I said goodbye to Ben as he headed out to play in a disc golf tournament.  I spent the evening relaxing, packing, and enjoying the hot tub.  We have to get up really early in the morning to catch our flight to Seattle.  Hopefully tomorrow’s travels will be smooth.  I look forward to sleeping in our bed and seeing the pets.  But, I am very sad to leave this magical place.

– Stephanie

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