Sunday, September 25, 2011

crewkade

yup, when there's two their names blend as one, especially when they're this similar:

i love watching crew and kade do their "twin thing" together, i can't imagine how fun it would be to have your best bud with you all the time! they obviously fight a lot, but i love when they rotate play with each other, luckily i got a little on video when we were playing at the museum:

video
of course i save the best for last. one day at lunch we were listening to a little jack johnson and crewkade decided to work out a few moves, i love this video!

video
twins are crazy, but i feel so lucky to watch these two become the best of buds!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

seattle

i should preface the next couple days of post and say that this trip we took was AMAZING!! i think we all have a "travel bucket list" and this trip crossed a few of those goals off my list! i'm so grateful for justin's grandma who arranged for this family reunion, and for clarke and diane for making sure we had an amazing time in seattle! and i am especially grateful for my parents who braved the trenches with our little guys and truly learned first hand all the joys and choas brody, crew and kade are, seriously, thank you!! so... here's the trip:

we started out in seattle for a couple days and i LOVED downtown seattle, yes there's a LOT of bums, but the city is really fun, and it's beautiful!! here's some of our highlights, believe me, it's picture overload:
we stayed next to pike place market, lots of shops/restaurants/attractions, lots to walk around and see.
heading down to the market
so this is famous fish throwing market, very entertaining!
the gum wall, not surprisingly, totally grossed me out!!

we took a ferry boat ride to Bainbridge island, and everything about puget sound is gorgeous! the islands are covered in trees with houses popping out, and of course seattle's skyline is really pretty!
justin with a view of the seattle seahawk's stadium and the mariner's field.
view of space needle, i hope you enjoy my true windblown look!
did you get the sunglasses memo?
view of Bainbridge island

after the ferry ride we went to Experience Music Project museum, which was really interesting! justin by the cyclone of guitars, this thing was two stories tall!
the museum had a hall of historic guitars, a Jimi Hendrix feature and a Nirvana feature, which caught our attention. they had lots of memorabilia, smashed guiters and historical progress of the band, it was amazing! recognize kurt's sweater??

after the museum we crossed the way to the space needle, and up we went!
view from the top!
city view on one side
ocean view on the other!

out to dinner at ruth's chris, yum! seattle has delicious crab cakes, soo good!!

pretty much i LOVED seattle, it's beautiful, there's tons to do, and people were really friendly! we boarded the ship in seattle and to be honest i was sad to leave the downtown! it was gorgeous to watch seattle and all the other island go by, such a pretty place!

some skyline and mt. Rainier, i so underestimated the size of my Rainier, it's HUGE!! most of the time the peak's covered with clouds, and flying in our plane was flying about at the height of the top of the mountain, truly majestic!!
enjoying the view
sailing away, and excited for our next stops!!

juneau

i've fared pretty well on previous cruises, but the chilly choppy water off Canada and Alaska really got to me, and the majority of passengers on board! after a few bumpy sea days, we were all very relieved to be on land, and better yet, in Juneau Alaska! we took a view off the balcony and were blown away by how gorgeous and green it was! the mountains had this misty fog swirling around creating such a cool atmosphere! so we bundled up and stepped off ship!
view into Juneau:
the highlight of Juneau is Mendenhall glacier, which is really amazing, we took a little walk through the rainforest of Juneau and it must be the texas summer we just left or something, but we loved the green, the chilly air and the never ending drizzle!
there's a lot of bear activity near the glacier, what with all the alaskan salmon swimming around and everything, so the walks were not guided but more "walk at your own risk, you've been warned." we didn't linger around too long, but i did love the sign that warned against dogs, looks like Juneau's my kind of town!
Juneau rainforest
view of the glacier, and all the flooding that's slowly inching up the trees!
so Mendenhall glacier is blue, the ice is so thick it absorbs all the colors of the rainbow, except blue, which it reflects. interesting right? i tell ya, you learn something new every day!
a little breakage action
the glacier comes from the Juneau icefield and is about 12 miles long. scratch that, i learned more than one thing new!
our excursion for Juneau was to walk on the top of the glacier. you've probably wondering how that was going to happen because lets face it- i don't hike. enter our ride:
yup, we helicoptered to the top, can you tell how excited we are?!

helicopters are so fun! they go straight up or down, side to side and they just hover, it was great! some views of Juneau's city
water views out the other side
above the glacier
the little orange specks are the guides we're going to meet up with

arriving in style:
glacier pics
view from the top
the 350 ft of packed ice we walked around on. they gave us these glacier boots to use, they reminded me of track spikes, so we wouldn't slip around.
a little glacier stream they let us taste, so clean, pure, and freezing cold!! while our guide was letting us drink the water some other guides were playing around testing the ice and one girl fell in up to her waste! she obviously had water proof stuff on, but it was chilly to see!
this crevice was super deep, it made me a little nervous!
to the side of the glacier was a little waterfall, quite picturesque!
grandma lil braving the glacier with her escorts mike and clarke.
so on cruises people always take really cheesy pics where the guy holds the girl, but usually they're on a strip of beach in board shorts and a teeny tiny bathing suit, so here's our shot- Juneau style!
our glacier trekking group (me, justin, jana, rob, clarke, alyssa, shauna, ryan, mike, diane and grandma lil.)


after we got back to the "airport" we took a quick pic by a bear, stuffed of course!
Juneau was amazing, so pretty and green! visiting Mendenhall glacier with everyone was really cool, and we loved the helicopter rides!!

sitka

so the day after juneau we were scheduled to stop in Hubbard glacier bay, but thanks (well really no thanks) to high winds and large chunks of ice in the water, we weren't able to go in the bay!! we were soo bummed! this was as close as we got (outside of the bay obviously) to the giant wall of ice 6 miles wide. bummer.
as close as we could get:

to make up for the disappointment the captains got us into our remaining ports early, which was a kind gesture- can you tell i'm still bummed? so the next day we arrived early to Sitka, which was my favorite destination of the trip, it was the epitome of alaskan beauty!! green rainy, fresh and dewey, it was perfection! here's a pic of humpback bay, which sadly i saw no humpbacks, but it was still beautiful!

we decided to tag along with grandma lil, clarke, diane, shauna and alyssa and go to the Fortress of the Bear. it was awesome!! there's a law in alaska that says they can euthanize bear cubs if the mother bear is already dead, but this group takes in the cubs, which are usually malnourished, and rehabilitates them. it was so cool to see these bears up close, they're huge!!
a 1000 pound bear standing tall
some video of the brown bears
video
a helpful sign for guests:
these three black bears are siblings and they reminded me so much of our boys and they way they "play" together.
video
After the bears we took a bus back to town and explored a bit, we learned that groceries are superbly overpriced so a box of frosted mini wheats costs $6.85, i kid you not! we also learned that sitka get 13 feet of rain a year and their local pub, victorias, has the BEST halibut fish and chips, seriously, it makes my mouth water to think of the lunch we savored there!! after lunch justin's family, all 21 of us, went on a kayaking excursion together, it was incredible! here's some of us getting ready to paddle away:
out at sea:
we kayaked out in the ocean past the cruise ships, around some little islands, caught up with a huge sea lion and went by this cute lighthouse.
i feel like our kayaking trip was this like unreal experience, everything seemed so perfect, it was so pretty and you're just out in the ocean looking around and feeling so amazed and grateful that you get to be somewhere so breathtaking. here's a little family pic after kayaking: