Sunday, July 24, 2011

Alaska Vacation - Day One

We have just returned from the trip of a lifetime. We have explored the final frontier - Alaska! Well, maybe we didn't exactly explore the final frontier as much as we were escorted through the final frontier in style. Regardless, what we saw was absolutely breathtaking. I have been turning around words in my mind all week to try to come up with the perfect word that would be able to describe what it was like to see such stunning natural beauty. The best I can come up with is "majestic". It almost felt like it couldn't be real. It was beyond anything I imagined. Beyond what you are going to be able to comprehend from some of the 1,700 pictures that we took.

I don't want to ever forget it.

If you haven't been to Alaska yet, I hope this recap of our vacation will give you a small glimpse of the sights and sounds you will see. If you have already been, I hope this helps you relive your own memories. I am going to do a recap of each day of our adventure and I hope you come along!

As you may recall, we crammed in another pretty fabulous trip to Phoenix for the MLB All-Star weekend and came home for just about 24 hours before we left for our cruise to Alaska. It was not the best planning in the world to have two back to back vacations, but the timing was just unfortunate. We successfully unpacked from the heat of Arizona and repacked for a chilly summer in Alaska.

We left for Alaska at o'dark thirty in the morning. I mean it was still dark. I think we left the house at 5:20 a.m. for the airport. UGH!

Flights were all on-time and fairly smooth. We arrived in Seattle about noon and took a cab to our hotel.

Seattle skyline.

Seattle is all kinds of beautiful. Giant trees. Green, green, green, green everywhere. The cool weather coming from our hot, miserable Texas weather was glorious.

We grabbed lunch at the Rock Bottom Brewery. I had a delicious Summer Salad with shrimp, lump crab meat, oranges, tomatoes. It was almost too pretty to eat. Chip had a 2 o'clock burger with hashbrowns and a fried egg on it. He loved it.

After lunch we walked down to Pike Place. You have seen it in movies, I am sure.

This is the fish market where they yell and holler the orders and throw huge fish all around. It was a show! The seafood was fresh and beautiful.

That is not what got my attention though! It was the FLOWERS! OMG, the most beautiful flowers ever! All over, rows and rows and rows and rows of them.

And cheap! Don't even get me started. Each bouquet was only $10! They were lovely.

I was in heaven.

My boys tolerated my gawking, but would have preferred to stand and watch the guys throw fish I am sure.

Vegetables. Beautiful displays of every kind of fruit and vegetable you can imagine.

This was no joke of a Farmer's Market. It was the real deal.

Also, down in this area was the first ever Starbucks! The line was out the door so we didn't get to sample any coffee, but it was neat to see.

These gigantic flowering baskets were everywhere downtown.

We had to walk up some steep hills to get back to our hotel. It was totally worth it, though. I could have stayed at that market for hours.

The boys checking out the view from our hotel.

For our evening entertainment, we had a new and exciting idea. How about we see a baseball game? Geez, it has been 48 hours since we last saw some baseball. I bet the Mariners are in town! Guess what, they are and they are playing the Rangers.

We rode a bus down to the game and that was a tiny bit scary. It also started to rain. No surprise to anyone there.

We checked out the SeaHawks store. I bet it would be awesome to see a football game in Seattle.

Next, we walked outside and saw these kilted bagpipe players having a little parade. It was so festive.

Safeco Field, home of the Mariners, was one of the most unusual stadiums I have ever been in. It was covered, but there were no sides. Kind of indoor, outdoor - a little of both. We sat in a covered area so the sprinkling didn't bother us a bit.

In fact, our seats were right on the left field foul line.

We had a great view of Ichiro batting. The home town fans loved this guy.

Here is Josh Hamilton, a big Texas favorite.

You know what was my favorite....the Garlic Fries. This guy who works in the TMobile shop in our town was helping me with my broken cell phone. I told him I needed it before we went on vacation. He asked where we were going. I told him we were headed to Alaska by way of Seattle. He said "Oh, are you going to see the Mariners?" I said "Yes, as a matter of fact we are." He groaned and said "You must promise me that you will get the Garlic Fries. Swear it. Cross your heart and hope to died." I said "Of course, yes I will." He said he moved from Seattle five years earlier and still woke up dreaming about Garlic Fries at Safeco.

It was no joke. They were good.

I raised a Garlic fry in toast to Geoff at TMobile while I was scarfing them down.

Hubby can mark another MLB field off of his list.

After the game we took a taxi back to the hotel. Got to get in some rest before we hit the old cruise ship tomorrow!

Going to ALASKA!


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