July 22, 2011
We have already lost track of the days (okay, I’d lost track of the days back on day 2, but that’s me). The days are so broken up, the meals run together and scenery is a lot of gorgeous oceans and mountains with little context. I am going to have a lot of great photos that all look an awful lot alike…
Some time last night, our ship made its way up another narrow passage and docked in Skagway, Alaska. A mere stones’ throw from Canada, but Alaska none-the-less. We awoke at a reasonable hour and, after SigOther took his turn at a bit of exercise and a dip in the hot tub, we went for breakfast to fortify ourselves for the epic 3 block walk into the town hamlet side-streets village of Skagway.
Nested on the waters’ edge at the base of rugged, pine-spotted hills, its entire existence would appear to be based on selling semi-precious gemstones and northern-esque trinkets to sea-legged tourists either before or after they travel around the hilltops and glaciers by one of the many local helicopters or passenger trains. Home to just shy of 900 people, I feel it very unlikely that many of the residents are actually locals. I guess it’s no better or worse than the populace in, say, Whistler or any other town whose livelihood is based solely on the (in)discretionary spending of others.
Despite my threats, I came away with no new jewellery. I have tumbled stones and quartz crystals, along with a small ball of musk ox based yarn. It’s amazing stuff – though pricey when not blended – and I’ll have to find some new, smaller needles and the where-with-all to attempt the accompanying scarf pattern.
After a slow wander from one end of town to the other and back, we found a few seals and a martin near the docks before boarding by noon. Lunch was followed by a swim and some down-time before supper.
Tonight, SigOther and I had a supper on the top deck – the adults’ restaurant. We had a spectacular table right at the back of the boat in the widow with a late afternoon view on the inlet and surrounding mountains. Dinner ended just as the ship left the docks and began to make its turn to head back for inside passage. The Magpie is spending the evening in the neighbouring cabin with her friend (so far so good, as I type this) and we will be returning the favour by hosting her friend for a sleepover on Day 6. They made a walk around the deck and waved at us through the window before resuming their evening tour of the boat.
This whole cruise has been a big change of scenery for both of them and the Magpie has commented several times how much she misses her day care friends. We spent time at a small playground in Skagway today that the Magpie was thrilled to find: something familiar. The ship is truly big and epic, in every way possible.
And, as with everything on the ship, the dining experience is big and epic. We discovered earlier today that we are done eating. Seriously done. Why do we feel compelled to order appetizers, mains and desserts with every dinner and even today’s sit down lunch? Just because we’re ordering salads and seafood doesn’t mean the portion size is anywhere near appropriate. And then we went for dinner tonight, where the suggestion was to order extras, sides, desserts, coffees… even more! Sure, it’s a great deal, but we both left to come back to our room and literally beach ourselves on the bed, each seriously contemplating the merits and pitfalls of ipecac (which we don’t have on us and would be hard pressed to get without explanation, I’m sure… or, given the over-dining options, perhaps not).
Three days of gluttony has run its course. We’re on the homebound stretch and the new plan involves eating a lot more reasonably. We’ve been good, really and, yes, we’re on vacation. But I’m not into eating myself ill at any time. That’s no good for us or the Magpie.
Tomorrow morning, I’m calling dibs on the fitness room. And then we go to Juneau.