Archive | December, 2009

Juneau, Alaska

Posted on 30 December 2009 by Admin

Juneau started when a member of the Auk Tingit Tribe brought gold to an engineer that had promised a reward to anyone who found evidence of the element. After trial and error, the source of gold was discovered and Juneau became the first town developed in Alaska because of the gold rush. In 1906 Juneau was named the capital of Alaska. Today the local, state and federal government employs 1/2 of the workers. The leading private industry is tourism.
Tour the State Capital of Alaska

Visit Alaska’s capitol building. Construction was completed in 1931 after numerous delays, including World War I. There are four columns made from limestone and marble coming from southeast Alaska, and a liberty bell presented to Alaska in 1950 as part of a marketing effort to sell U.S. Savings Bonds.

Step into the Wickersham State Historic Site, the home of James Wickersham, an attorney, judge and congressional delegate who had a major impact on the development of Alaska. As a judge, Wickersham started settling disputes between miners and established laws to curtail the crime that resulted from gold prospecting. As a delegate to Congress (Alaska was not yet a state) James Wickersham helped start the Alaska Railroad, Home Rule, which allowed Alaskans a legislature and a college that eventually became the University of Alaska.

Wander through the Alaska State Museum, started in June 1900. The mission of the museum was to collect, document, preserve and display different objects representative of the Alaskan Territory. It’s collection now numbers approximately 27,000 pieces.

Fly over Alaska’s magnificent scenery and view the glaciers by helicopter. Observe lots of wildlife, unusual terrain, rainforest gardens and waterfalls. Contact the Juneau Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Alaska Tidbits

  • James Wickersham introduced a bill to the U.S. Congress to give Alaska statehood in 1917. His wish wasn’t granted until 1959.
  • Many who visit Alaska want to know about the weather. The highs for Juneau from May to September range from 55 to 62 degrees. The lows for Juneau range from 38 to 48 degrees. In June, there are 18 hours of daylight.

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Alaska Cruise Review

Posted on 28 December 2009 by Admin

My grandfather decided to take our family with him on a cruise to Alaska for his birthday. Since the ship would be making stops in Canada my entire family needed to have passports made. Luckily, I still had a valid one from when I went on a mission trip to Mexico. We also needed to book our flight to Seattle and schedule which excursions we wanted to go on in the different ports.


After our plane had landed in Seattle we took a bus provided by the cruise line from the airport into Seattle. As we drove along we were given a sort of mini-tour. We saw the stadiums where the Seahawks and Mariners play as well as different important buildings in Seattle. Once we got to our hotel, which was very nice since it used to be a Four Seasons, we dropped off our stuff and headed down to the seafront to see the old market and have lunch. At the market there were shops where once a customer ordered a fish it was picked by workers on the ground level and hurled up to the workers in the actual shop where it was caught, cleaned, and wrapped for the customer.

The Cruise

The Ship

Our ship was the M.S. Amsterdam. We were staying in the second to top deck. My Parents had their own room, my grandparents their own, and my younger brother and I shared on with my uncle. The room were very nice and each had its own patio for us to go outside and watch the landscape go by and take pictures. They had also set up cameras looking off the bow of the ship and other areas of the ship so people could tune into certain channels on the T.V. and see what was going on without having to hike across the ship.

There were various activities available on the ship. There were basketball courts, tennis courts, shuffleboard courts, swimming pools, and a hot tub. My brother and I enjoyed going up to the basketball and tennis courts and goofing off while my parents relaxed on the deck and read. We also discovered that we could make shuffleboard very competitive, something I don’t think happens in the retirement homes. We only ventured into the pool once. Even though it was the middle of summer, it was still pretty cold outside and we two boys from Texas didn’t like it very much.


Our first port was in Juneau, the capitol of the state. We got off the ship and looked around the city for a while before going on our first excursion. We went white water rafting. It was a lot of fun. The place we took off from was right next to a glacier and the water had glacial suit in it giving it a very light green color. Later we would see where another river flowed into ours and the was a stark color difference between the water we were in and the water flowing in. We saw where there was once a flood and a river bank had given way dragging peoples empty cars in with it. The cars were still there, all rusted out.
After the rafting trip we went whale watching. We saw several whales and a bunch of sea lions.


Our next port was Sitka. Here we went to see the Raptor Rehabilitation Center where the help injured birds of prey get healthy again and release them back into the wild. When we arrived a man was giving a presentation holding a giant bald eagle. We saw many other types of birds and hike around the park they were in for a while.


Our last stop in Alaska was Ketchikan. Here after a slight delay due to weather we took a float plane trip through the misty fjords. We saw a volcanic plug, a frozen lake, a black bear, and many other amazing sights. We landed out on a lake where they had set up a small dock for people to get out on a stretch their legs. On the flight back the pilot actually switched the controls over to my brother who was sitting in the front seat next to him and him fly for a little while. (Note: My brother was 13 and did not have a pilot’s license.)

Victoria, B.C.

Our last stop before going back to Seattle was in Victoria, British Columbia. We would only be staying in this port for a short while so my familt decided to just walk around the city. It was very beautiful and get to see the parlimentary building and then had dinner at a local italian restaurant.

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Alaska Cruises for the Whole Family!

Posted on 28 December 2009 by Admin

Instead of fighting the crowds aboard large cruise ships, choose a small ship cruise for your family vacation. There will be no standing in line or looking at a boring itinerary that wasn’t specially designed for you and your family. When you make your reservations for a small ship cruise, you will be able to tailor your vacation to make your specific dreams come true. Whether your family wants to go fishing, bird watching or spend lazy days looking at the ocean, a small cruise ship will be able to cater to your every need.

Alaska & N.W. Charters

Watch humpback and killer whales swim and American bald eagles soar through the sky aboard an Alaska & N.W. Charter cruise. When you cruise to Alaska with this company, you’ll have a vacation designed specifically for your family. Every family member will enjoy the first-class environment, fully staffed crew and the vacation of a lifetime.

1600 E. Camino Colorado
Ft. Mohave, AZ 86426

Alaska Sea Adventures

Scheduling can’t be much easier than with Alaska Sea Adventures. Whether you want to take a whale-watching trip, go on a photography trip or watch the herring spawn, there is a cruise just for your family. You can also create a custom cruise so you and your family can do exactly what you want on your Alaska cruise.

P.O. Box 546
Petersburg, AK 99833

Fantasy Cruises

You and your family will love the oversized staterooms aboard the Island Spirit. All cruises are all-inclusive, so you don’t have to worry about additional fees. Your children will enjoy having a certified Alaska naturalist to answer their questions about Alaskan wildlife. Keep in mind that the Island Spirit is the only U.S. Coast Guard-licensed small ship to operate solely on batteries at night. Yes, they turn off the engines to give you a quieter night.

1121 Northwest 45th St.
Seattle, WA 98107

Sea Wolf Adventures

You won’t have to worry about being cooped up on board the ship when you cruise with Sea Wolf Adventures. Kayaking and walking along Alaskan beaches are included in the cruise. Children will enjoy the nature walks, where they can see all sorts of wildlife native to Alaska. Cruises are available from May through September, with September being the best time to see bears fishing for salmon.

P.O. Box 312
Gustavus, AK 99826

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