Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wednesday Evening Watermelon Crawl 7/22/09

Onward our journey goes. My week has started off on the quite side and somewhat slow. I know you want to go somewhere? You know how to get hold of me. Since we are in the middle of the summer, I thought we would jump start our Wednesday evening off with a Watermelon Crawl. Who? A what? A Watermelon is made for eating in the summer evenings on the back porch with family and friends. I know the adult version can sometimes have a bottle stuck in it for added flavors, but crawl around with a watermelon? Are you crazy? I guess so because this summer evening drink is crazy! Here are the details. Pour 1/3 Southern Comfort, 1.5 oz Amaretto, 1/3 Watermelon schnapps, Orange juice, Pineapple juice, in your favorite glass with your favorite type of ice, squeeze a lime, and stir. Let me know what you think. It’s not too bad! My Cruisitude has been good this week so far. How has your Cruisitude been this week? Leave me a comment about it. We are headed down the Alaskan coast. This stop is going to be our last port of call. Give it up for Ketchikan! Ketchikan is known as the "Salmon Capital of the World." The Misty Fjords National Monument is one of the area's major attractions. It is named after Ketchikan Creek, which flows through the town. Ketchikan also has the world's largest collection of standing totem poles, located at three major locations: Saxman Village, Totem Bight, and the Totem Heritage Center. I was excited about our arrival to Ketchikan, but at the same time a little weak at the knees. Janet has convinced me that I needed to get into a float plane that takes off and lands in the water. Fly up to the Misty Fjords National Monument, land and take off in some more water up in the mountains out in the wild. I am not real sure of this, but I am doing what she wants me to. Have you seen how small these planes are? We start off our morning with our usual early breakfast, and as normal I eat more than I will need for the day or so. I guess this time it was a good thing in case I got stranded out in the wild. As we get off of the ship, our first view into the town is quite picturesque. The houses and shops are quite colorful and charming. There is even a rain gauge that measures liquid sunshine. The big Ketchikan sign states "Alaska’s First City"! It is really neat looking. We will have time to explore the town when we return from our flight with Island Wings. They pick us up right on time and take us to the dock to await our float plane. There were many float planes taking off and landing. I did not see any air traffic control towers, but I am sure they monitor it from somewhere, I hope. Our plane lands and makes its way over to the dock. Our pilot is Michelle. Her helpers tie the plane to the dock and she gets out, greeting us and introducing herself. She was extremely nice. There were seven of us on this plane. Being a gentleman as I always am, I let everyone else get on first. What a mistake that was. I am already shaking in my boots and now I have to sit next to the door that does not have a lock on it. Are you kidding me! This is just great! We were all given headsets with voice communications between Michelle and ourselves so we can chat in flight and ask questions as we fly. My first question was can we lock the door? She laughed and said that at 140 MPH the door is not going to open. I took the answer like a man, but still wasn’t totally convinced. We taxi out into the water (I guess that is what a float plane does) and get in position to take off. So far this is sort of cool. The next thing I know we are in the air and I just hold my camera in hopes of not needing any air sickness bags. I guess eating too much breakfast had my stomach a little uptight. We flew right over the town and our journey had begun. At this point I am in awe of the surroundings, but not totally sure I made the best decision to fly in this plane. Maybe I should have gone on the totem pole tour or the duck tour. I heard the lumberjack show was good also. It’s too late now and I don’t see any parachutes around. As we fly around for 45 plus minutes I concentrate on taking pictures of the most unbelievable scenery I have ever seen. We are approaching a pretty good size body of water up in the Misty Fjords and then we are told that this is where we are going to land. What will this be like? I am not going to lie, I was a little scared, but Michelle did a great job. She floats the plane to a small shoreline so we can get out and smell the air and stretch our legs. I was in great need of some fresh air. This is cool, I am going to be the first one to get out and touch land. Not so cool when you have to walk on the float like a gymnastic on a balance beam and hopefully not be the one that falls in. We all made it safely to shore. This was truly quite spectacular and so peaceful. We spent about 30 minutes exploring our little part of shoreline. It had such calmness about it. It's time to head back to Ketchikan. Still the gentleman that I am I let everyone else get on first so I can get my seat back. The really cool thing on the way back was that Janet got to sit in the co-pilots seat. Now I wish I was sitting somewhere else in case she hit a pedal or the special "open the door" button. I am not sure if this was up there with being the whale watching Assistant Captain, but it was real close. She was smiling ear to ear. Coming back into Ketchikan was awesome as we flew right over the Princess Coral. She is a very beautiful ship from above. As we taxied up to the dock I look back at this amazing excursion that we took. All kidding aside I would highly recommend a float plane trip out of Ketchikan. To be honest I am super excited to be on land and I think I have worked off my breakfast. Michelle gave us a great local tip for a great burger and fish-n-chips. She recommended the Burger Queen which was not a far from the ship. A whole lot better than the King! She told us to order at the Burger Queen and then walk across to the Arctic Bar and sit on the patio. They would bring our food over to the patio. See it pays to ask where the locals eat. I ordered an ice cold Alaskan beer as we watched the float planes take off. Very cool! Our order consisted of a bacon cheese burger, fries and some fish-n-chips. The food was fantastic and I would highly recommend this place the next time you are in Ketchikan. One quick note about the Arctic Bar, it is also the home of the Happy Bears and those bears were very happy! Look close, you will know! It is time to head into town and check things out. There are so many shops on Creek Street. As you shop you walk on these old wood walkways while you are over the creek. There are even people floating in tubes in the creek. We continue to walk around and head to the harbor where some boats are. This is where the Sea Star is that was on the first season of The Deadliest Catch. They had a gift shop on board that we could board the ship and look at. Those boats are really small. They look big on TV. No wonder it is the most dangerous jobs in the world. It has been a long day. We head back towards the ship and stop at this very unique wine shop. I was surprised at the selection of wines in Alaska. I order a couple of glasses of wine as we reflect on this great day. It was really amazing. You know me I need a couple of bottles to take back on the ship. Back on board the Coral, I pour a couple of glasses of wine. It’s time to head to our balcony and chill for a little bit. As we pull away from the docks there is some activity around the ship and I guess it is the Coast Guards responsibility to make sure we get out into open waters. Their boats would go from the front of the ship to the back of the ship. They were also equipped with machine guns. Pretty scary looking, but I was glad they were there. As our last port of call comes to an end we are now headed for Vancouver where we will end our cruise journey. I hope that Alaska is on your bucket list. I will never forget this trip. I guess I am getting ahead of myself. We still have a day at sea left. Ketchikan is truly a unique place. I hope to visit her again soon. Who knows what is up next, but I bet you will like it. Thanks to those who are reading and following! It is greatly appreciated. Remember to share your Cruisitude and show some love to your travel agent. If you like or dislike what you have read so far leave me a comment below and make sure and share this blog with your friends. Until our trails cross again, Happy Travlin' and make sure you Travel Your Way!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome memories!!! I would recommend this cruise to everyone.