Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Happenings...

Several weeks have gone by, what have I been doing since my return from vacation?  Before the euphoria wore off, this was announced by Creating Keepsakes.  I am coming to terms with it still, processing, figuring out a few things.  My initial feelings were that of doom and gloom, but thankfully, things are coming back into focus.

My thoughts go to the editors who lost their jobs.  I feel a tremendous sense of loss and disappointment for them.  Had I not had the chance to meet them and spent time with them in April this year, the whole event would have been more abstract.  As it is, it feels like friends lost their jobs and that's just sadness all around.

I think the most important take-away for those of us who read, subscribe, and contribute to this magazine is that CK Media will continue to publish twelve print special issues each year.  Each one of these print issues will be 132 pages, something we can hold in our hands!
As for me, I need to start scrapbooking again. Timing with my vacation and this announcement did put me in a mood of deflation, but I will snap out of it.  This weekend is the annual Scrapfest at the Mall of America. I am neither working nor attending the event, but a dear friend has traveled all the way from New Jersey to Scrapfest.  I saw it as my duty and took her to the October Afternoon warehouse sale happening concurrently with Scrapfest.  The pile of goodies I bought should put me into the scrapbooking mood again soon!

We are headed out to Pine Tree Orchard for lunch and festivities today.  It's appropriate that I post a layout of our last year's outing on this very day.  This is published in the Sept/Oct 2013 issue of the Creating Keepsakes. It was a sketch project where I was required to follow the sketches exactly. With an abundance of photos, this came together super quickly!  I had just received a box of Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L and used their awesome self adhesive photo corners for a few additional details.

Two days ago, when we were looking through my vacation photos of Stanley Park and of the Lumberman's Arch, DH wondered if the tree growing on top was there when we visited 12 years earlier. I took out my album titled Summer 2001 and as I looked through it, I longed to create scrapbooks like that again.  DH said that none of it is publication worthy, but I had captured the entire summer in an album full of memories...  the way PL does today.  Again, if you write it down, it's that much more likely to happen.  So here it is: my goal is to finish a couple of scrapbooks for the Alaskan cruise in the PL fashion. A goal must have a deadline, so by the end of this year, album one must be done.

Writing this post has been therapeutic.  I feel a sense of excitement about my new goal. The weekend is full of promises and fun happenings ahead.  Who knows, I might even dig into my newly acquired Travel Girl!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Summer Vacation Quick Review

One can always count on time flying by on vacation!  We had a wonderful time and created some beautiful memories on our trip.  It is good to be home on this Labor Day weekend when we can catch up on sleeping, working out and sorting through 4,000 some pictures.  I am going to post just a few here. 

Our Alaskan cruise started in Vancouver where we visited the Capilano Suspension Bridge park.  We spent the majority of the day there walking and taking in the sights.

Here the kids are getting onto the Cliff Walk in the park.  That was some engineering feat and very enjoyable to walk through. If you are a fan of nature and its preservation, I highly recommend this very family friendly park in North Vancouver. 

Canada Place was next.  We came here for the view, to scout out where the cruise terminals are and to find out where we would go the next day. 

Stanley Park is celebrating its 125th year this year.  I would have loved to walk the 5+ miles around the park but these two critters' legs couldn't keep up!  In fact our hotel provides a map to run around the park starting and ending at the hotel, about 8 miles.  I really wanted to do it but that did not happen.  I ended up on the treadmill in the hotel, oh well, lol. 

Ship embarkation went very smoothly.  We were in line for a total of one hour from dropping off the luggage till we are aboard the ship.  We headed to the Windjammer for lunch immediately.  Let the eating begin!  We did a lot of eating but I am happy to report that there was no weight gain in the family.  First Born reported a loss.  We were very active walking and doing various activities.  I also hit the gym five days on board out of seven.

The kids and I posed in the Solarium pool for a bit of fun after lunch.  This would be my most favorite place on the cruise ship.  It was open to family (aka, kids) twice a day.  I would take a nap or play games while the kids had their fun.  This was the only time I got into the pool.  

As for the second most favorite place on the ship: Shipshape Center's shower/sauna/steam room.  It's beyond spacious compared to a cruise stateroom's shower. I thoroughly enjoyed that space after my run on the treadmill. 

We wasted no time in getting onto the rock!  What breathtaking scenery surrounded us! Only one person can go at a time so the waiting was long at times. It's fun to look around atop of the rock to see one so high above the ocean!

Now onto our cruise ports... Our first stop was in Ketchikan. It was a rainy/misty day but temperature in Alaska in general was very pleasant for us.  We are from Minnesota after all, 50s or 60s with proper clothing is very enjoyable. 

We stopped on our flight tour to take some pictures of the Misty Fjords. 

Then we headed into town to do the historical route and saw lots of salmons in the streams.  Can you see the one jumping in this photo?

Next day... Guess where we are at in this photo? :)

Alaskan amber brew + half a Dungeness crab = happiness.

We are gathered here in the Capital City!

Several pods of humpback whales greeted us with their majestic breaths and tails!  And these orcas were such treat to see in the wild!  We learned that they don't eat fish but mammals! 

Mendenhall Glacier is in the background.  Next time, we have to go on a trekking tour on the glacier!

Our last port was...

We drove through parts of British Columbia and ended up in the Yukon Territory where everything is larger than life!

On the last day of our Alaskan cruise, we cruised to the Hubbard Glacier.  The little yellow boat was the cruise personnel getting a piece of 600 years old ice for an ice carving on board.  What a view it was!
And then our vacation ended and we are back at home.  Here's to the final frontier Alaska and the fantastic cruise we enjoyed on board of Radiance of the Seas.  Now it's time for me to plan our next vacation!