We are Heading North—-West! 5/7/17

Usually when I sit down to post about an uncoming trip North I’m talking about our annual sojourn to Mackinac.  But tonight the trip we’re preparing for is even further north – with a sharp turn to the west!  The time has finally arrived – we are heading for the great state of Alaska on Thursday!

A year-and-a-half ago I began planning a surprise 70th birthday trip for Ted (his birthday was Friday, May 5), but an email message to our travel agent – that I’d forgotten to hide in another folder – spilled the beans only a couple a months into the “surprise”.  But that’s ok – it’s all worked out just fine, and we are excited to start this new adventure!

Celebrating the big 7-0 with Julie, Matt, Jordan and Matthew at Flagler Fish Company!

I’m realizing that packing for Alaska is like packing for a spring or late fall trip to the island – gotta have all kinds of clothes and be ready for any kind of weather.  Looks like mostly highs in the upper 50’s and low 60’s and low’s into the 40’s for the two weeks we’ll be there, so we’re taking everything from shorts to fleece jackets!

For anyone interested, here’s our schedule:

Thursday, May 11:  Flight from Jacksonville to Atlanta to Seattle to Fairbanks, arriving just before midnight.

May 11-14:  Fairbanks

May 15-17: Denali National Park

May 17: Transfer to Anchorage (Whittier) and board Island Princess

May 18-19: Scenic cruising – Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay National Park

May 20:  Dock in Skagway

May 21: Dock in Juneau

May 22: Dock in Ketchikan

May 23: At sea

May 24: Transfer ship to airport in Vancouver, British Columbia.  Fly from Vancouver to Houston to Jacksonville.  Arrive in Jacksonville around 10:30 that night.

We have excursions planned at several of these places, and we’re hoping to spot everything from moose to whales before we return.


Believe it or not, I haven’t had my mind on Mackinac much this week, but I have to share this one photo from Jason St. Onge!

Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, crossing Main Street and headed for Doud’s Market and an early cup of coffee. Only on Mackinac!

Oh, and here’s one more VERY important pic, shared by Chuck Wagon on Mackinac:

Jill has arrived on Mackinac, and now the season can begin! As you can see, the Chuck Wagon was her first stop this morning for a breakfast sandwich! Love that place and owners Sharon and Donnie!

Ok – here’s the plan.  I’m not taking my laptop to Alaska, so there will be no blog posts for the next two weeks.  But – I’ll be posting on Facebook every day (well, IF I have coverage every day).  If you’re on Facebook and we’re not already Facebook friends (and you want to keep up with our trip), just send me a friend request, and we’ll be all set!  If you don’t do Facebook, I’ll post lots of pics on the blog when we get back!

We drop Maddie and Bodie off at the petsitter on Wednesday afternoon.  It’s definitely going to be hard leaving them for two weeks, but they will be in the best of hands with Lilly.  They’ll have a huge fenced-in yard to run around in, and Miss Maddie will probably once again be sharing Lilly’s mom’s bed.

I’ll end with this cute video I shot of Maddie letting Bodie know just what a Diva she is yesterday!

Please lift safe travel prayers for Ted and I and “happy vacation” prayers for the pooches.

Hoping to see you Thursday on Facebook with updates on our trip.

God bless.

This photo and header compliments of Princess Cruises.


18 thoughts on “We are Heading North—-West! 5/7/17

  1. Have fun in Alaska. The first time we went was for my Dad’s 70th birthday. We did the cruise/tour from Vancouver to Anchorage. Earlier this year was basically just a long weekend to Anchorage. We just went Dayton/Denver/Anchorage and back. If I was to ever do it again, I would go through Seattle to make that last part shorter. I know it won’t seem short to you, but it’s better than the other options.
    Packing tip – rain gear

  2. Oh my…I’m ALMOST as excited as you are! You are going to have a memory of a life time coming on. I cannot wait to hear about it and of course I will be following your every move on Facebook. 🙂
    Yay, good to see Jill back on the island and at our favorite breakfast joint too. 😉

  3. So excited to see Mr. and Mrs. beaver! ❤️❤️ I’m taking my mom on an Alaskan cruise next month so I can’t wait to hear about your trip!!!

  4. HBD Ted!
    We took Island Prin. Vanc. to Whit. June 2013. Tips.

    Right side of train or bus from Anch. to Whit. for water views.
    Do any last-minutes in Anch. nothing in Whittier but dock, boat + Scenery.

    There were DIY laundry’s, rear of upper decks, perhaps lighten luggage loads but boat redone in 2015?

    There’s public access, not posted, two doors at end of hall, to the outside balcony’s below the glassed bridge, 2 deck levels. Great vistas/photo ops for Glacier Bay tour, dockings and others.

    Worth the $$
    Skagway: If weather good, WPYR RR the short trip to White Pass. Cars heated. Awesome
    Juneau: Mendenhall Glacier
    Tram up the hill. (weather)
    Shrine of St Theresa, Chapel (weather) , vistas + peace. we took cab?
    Ketchikan: Town easy walk, many short tours, air + water.
    Vancouver: Nice town. The bus tour, takes your luggage to airport was well worth it.
    Tower building, Stanley Park, Grandville Island etc.

    Take a throw away 110v power strip, few outlets in boat room for chargers.

    Shop ur internet and texting options, we got smacked 1st day, (Canada).
    Apple called us to warn of cost$…

    Hamburger, pizza, popcorn + ice cream bars on boat A+
    Get extra blankets/ popcorn for boat movies

    A couple of throw away pocket ponchos each.
    Several camera cards. To hard to edit off of one large card….

    Alaska Pale Ale in the Red Bottle…….. For Everything Else
    Alaska Pale Ale in the Red Bottle………….. For Everything Else

    http://www.wpyr.com click on webcams/pier/dock
    http://www.ptztv.com click Juneau

    Do Ted, Maddie + Bo realize they may be living four months each in Alaska – Michigan + Florida
    after this trip??


    • Oh my gosh, Bob, this is awesome! Thank you SO MUCH! We will study all this before we go. Got Travel Pass from Verizon for internet/cell to cover Canada. Good stuff!

    • Yep, we did the Whitepass railroad out of Skagway for our excursion. Then the next day it was our transportation to Carcross. They let you stamp your own passport there. I may have used each of the stamps. 🙂

  5. Between your travel agent and friends like Bob, you’re in such good hands! Have a marvelous trip – can’t wait to hear all about it. Bon voyage!
    Oh, and I love the beavers. Act like grandpa owned the place!

  6. I’ll be thinking of you and pray for your safety. Have s wonderful trip. I’m not on Facebook any more but will be interested in your reports. Love from Uncle Ken.

  7. Hi Uncle Ken! I’m going to try my best to remember to email some pics to you as I post them to Facebook. Thanks so much for the travel safe prayers! Love and Hugs.

  8. When I heard cruise ships going to Whittier I couldn’t help but wonder HOW? We were there in the 1990’s and Whittier was just used by oil refineries and there was not a road. I see in 2000 they installed a road by the train and now large cruise ships port at Whittier. It was an extremely isolated feeling when we visited Whittier.

    Can’t wait to hear about your adventure when you get back.

    Hugs from Iowa!

  9. Praying for safe travels and a wonderful trip. Can’t wait to see pictures upon your return. Happy Birthday Ted!

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