Posted by Tom Eich.

Katie and I had such an amazing time on our vacation!  We took an Alaskan Cruise out of Seattle. First, let me say that Seattle is pretty cool! There was a lot to see but we knew we'd get a chance when we returned.  The first day was just a day at Sea, not much happening.  The next morning we woke up to cruising by mountains filled with evergreens.  Now in Missouri we see large hills maybe some bluffs; i've never seen anything like the mountains in Alaska, they were huge.  

Our first port of call was Juno.  We took a whale watching excursion.  We were able to see three humpbacks; one was a calf with its mother near by, he put on quite the show. After the whale tour we high-tailed it to see Mandenhall Glacier and Nugget Falls. We really wish we had more time there.  It was about a 15-20 minute hike into the woods. We took as many pictures as possible and sprinted back to the tour bus, we only had about 45 minutes there but could've used another half hour to take it all in. I will tell you this, another cool thing to see in Juno was the bald eagles, they were everywhere! Seriously they had so many i'd compare them to our pigeon population.

After Juno we went to Skagway where we caught the White Pass Train. The sights on this train were spectacular we had a great guide who gave a lot of history on the train and the town. if you ever get the chance to go I would highly recommend this excursion. Note: I did hear that there was a six hour train ride and everyone said that was way too long.  Ours was about three hours.

Next up was Ketchikan, first we hit the Alaskan Lumberjack Show which was a pretty fun time.  The guys did some comedy while showing how lumber jacks used to and still get the job done up north. Ketchikan was very rainy, lucky for us we got the heads up in Skagway for what to expect.  Katie and I threw on our ponchos as the rain began and headed to the totem poll excursion.  Now Katie enjoyed the totems wayyy more than i did.  Of course, the tour guide told us what each one of the 100 year old totems were supposed to mean but like i said not really my cup of tea. Katie had fun though and took snapshots of all the poles and the tribe house.

After Ketchikan we had a day of scenic cruising through Tracy Arm Fjord.  Even though we didn't get off the boat this day it was one of the highlights.  We cruised through a narrow path with large mountains on both sides of the ship to get to the glacier.  Once we got there I was blown away with how blue the ice actually was.  The guide said its unofficial color is Windex blue and I'd say that description was accurate. 

Victoria British Columbia was really neat to see.  It looks like old Europe, or at least what I think of when I think of old Europe. They had some great little shops and scenic waterfront.  One of my favorite shots from the trip came from there. You can see it below it's an image of a guy leaning on an airplane during sunset on the water.  I was pretty bummed we were only there for a short period of time. Getting off the ship took so long I knew I would barely have any daylight, that one shot made my night.  Thank you Katie for putting up with my mood prior to getting that shot.... I was a little whiny and I will admit that :) 

And that was the last day on our cruise.  In the morning we woke up to beautiful Seattle. After checking into our hotel we walked to the Pike Place Market, you know the place where they throw the fish. It was mix between a farmers/fish market, an art show and entertainment. We got to see the original Starbucks, I couldn't get a great shot of it because soo many people gathered outside but that was neat to see.  We stumbled upon the Gum Wall which was completely by coincidence but I'm glad we got to see it. We took in a nice dinner on the peer and then it was back to the hotel. The next morning it was off to the airport and back home.  

This was probably the best trip we've ever taken.