Well, hello, hello from New York City!
If you’ve been following me on Instagram, then you know that on Saturday, Kensington and I headed to NYC with my mother-in-law for a fun girls weekend! We’ve seen a show, we’ve eaten a ton of yummy food, we’ve walked and walked and walked and we’ve had the BEST time! Tomorrow morning, I will be cooking with my friends Kathie Lee and Hoda on Today during the 10 o’clock hour, so make sure you tune in! And bonus…Kensington is cooking with me! Isn’t that fun?! I’ll recap our trip to the Big Apple later this week, but in the meantime, here is the fourth and final installment of our Alaskan cruise vacation! If you missed the earlier posts, no worries! Here they all are:
And here’s the end…
We woke up on Day 7 ready for our final port in Alaska…Skagway! (And this sweatshirt made me SO HAPPY! It was made of sweatshirt material but the pineapples made it so summery!)
When your whole family crams into one elevator…
…all 18 of us are in here 🙂 .
This was the one port where we had the same excursion lined up: the White Pass Railway.
We hit the ground early in Skagway with our Barbies, of course!
The background behind them looks fake, right?! Skagway was BEAUTIFUL!!!! Spoiler alert: we all declared Skagway our favorite port at the end of the cruise 🙂 .
We had tickets for the train that departed at 8:10 AM, so here we are on board and ready to go!
Can you spot our 18? We were ready to go!
The train heading out of Skagway.
Enjoying the view.
Enjoying her nap.
Ashby was seriously asleep within the first 3 minutes and slept over two hours of the three hour train ride.
And then, she was asleep too and slept just about as long.
Thankfully, our train did not go over that bridge.
We went through a tunnel on the way back and it was super dark, so I snapped this pic in the pitch black and this is what I saw 🙂 .
So perky after her nap.
So…this wasn’t my favorite excursion. My mom was like “don’t put on your blog that you didn’t like it because I did” and I said “then you better start your own blog” 🙂 . In my opinion, this excursion was just okay. It was 3 hours…you go 1½ hours and it’s gorgeous and you’re having fun and then, the train stops and reverses and you go back for 1½ hours…so that last hour and a half just felt so long because we had just seen the exact same scenery, so it wasn’t nearly as fun/interesting/exciting. For the record, my mother loved it 🙂 . My little kids slept almost all of it and my big kids thought it was okay.
We came back to Skagway and were starving! I’m not sure how being on a train for 3 hours can make you so hungry, but it did. We walked into town and found a place for all 18 of us to eat…
Ashby was hangry. Ha! After her nap, she was ready to eat, so while I was having a blast being off the train, she was going to have her pretend mad face on until her fish and chips were served.
Kensington said she’d take a selfie with me since Ashby was still hangry 😉 .
We headed out to spend the rest of our day in Skagway after lunch. My family split up and people did different things, but we toured this super cute town.
Photo attempt 2 🙂
Kensington was cold, so Lovie let her wear her scarf.
I took this picture next door to the bakery. Some of us stopped for treats and it was just lovely chaos. I love my family.
Madeley isn’t much into sweets (she’d rather have a burger/sausage/eggs/fish/steak/turkey/chicken), so she hung around while we enjoyed coffee and treats (we bought her a cookie but she immediately gave it to Smith.)
We stopped and played at a park…
Lots of happiness in Skagway.
Mom and me
I want to live in Skagway.
The people in Alaska were so NICE! I’m used to southern hospitality and all, but these people blew us out of the water! I’ve decided that not only is Alaska the most beautiful state, it’s also home to the nicest people too.
I love a man who buys me Alaskan bread. It was basically fried dough.
That night, we were back on board and Andrew and I enjoyed dinner just the two of us! My parents had “grandparent night” with the five grand kids, while we went on dates.
The next morning, we had our final day at sea. Walking to breakfast, I looked up and saw this…
Some view, right?! As a side note, the pool was heated but on board the ship when it was sailing was anywhere between 35 and 45, so my kids had no interest in swimming.
We let the kids stay in their pajamas until dinner on this day.
It was a great lazy day at sea.
I went to the spa for a facial (I LOVE facials!) and then we played Bingo.
Uncle Seanie ate more ice cream cones than one could ever count and by the end of the trip, he had Miss Madeley hooked on them too.
We played more cards and dominoes that afternoon too.
And then that evening, we had another family dinner together.
Enjoying their “happy hour”.
Look at Madeley back there. That kid cracks me up!
Catherine and Smith had attended a towel folding class that afternoon and were demonstrating with their napkins at dinner.
And then that next morning, we woke up to see this…
…um, not the best picture, but we were looking at whales! There were more whales than we could count! See the sprays of water in the air? That’s their blowholes! This was the view from one of our balconies. They were everywhere! You could see and hear them. It was so much fun!
It was very hard to capture a whale because they appeared to be humpbacks and they blended in with the water in the pics. But I think Kensington’s face says it all 🙂 .
We were up that day and ready to hit the ground in Victoria, Canada.
So, this right here might be my favorite top of the trip! It is fleece and so, so, so soft while being light at the same time. I bought it in the soft blue color but it comes in 8 other colors too. And of course, I’m wearing that tank underneath!
So, this cracked me up. Every day at lunch, they would grill up something new and special by the pool if you didn’t want to eat from the main dining area. I almost always ate whatever they were grilling because it smelled so good (steaks, pork with fried rice, etc). Well, on this day, I was in my cabin when my dad called and said “Shay, get down to the grill, they’re serving German food.”. So, I immediately headed down there (because hello?! GERMAN FOOD!). As I was walking there, I saw Ken who was like “they have German food today” and I’m all “that’s why I’m running” and then, I saw my mom who was like “did you see the German food?” and I was like “no time to talk now, mom”. So, clearly, my family knows me well. I knocked over women and children to get there and low and behold…
German food. #hallelujah
I enjoyed the veal schnitzel, spaetzle, pretzel roll and cabbage. This was our last lunch on the ship…and my FAVORITE!
Right after lunch, the ship pulled into Victoria…and we watched.
When we got off of the ship, these two were so excited because Canada was their 20th country to visit 🙂 . They had been counting down to this moment since the beginning of the trip.
A fun double-decker bus took us into town.
Pulling out with the Jewel behind us.
We enjoyed lovely Victoria for the day.
Coffee for some, gelato for others.
A nice shop owner gave them balloons. These balloons entertained them all day.
Love this girl.
And all of these people too!
We found a chocolate shop and had to stop! We bought some of their chocolate creams and they were divine!
The girls each bought a hand-made doll from a lady in the market area.
And then we enjoyed our last dinner together. We ate yummy seafood (of course!) overlooking the water in Victoria.
That night, we boarded the ship for the last time, packed up our stuff and sailed back to Seattle.
And for some reason, this is the only picture I have from our day traveling home. This is us at the Seattle airport eating lunch before our flight. That Madeley is a ham!
Whew! That wraps up our Alaskan cruise!
Here’s the deal…the last time this group of people went on a trip together was back in 1995.
A lot has changed since 1995.
Back in 1995, our original family of 10 (my grandparents, my mom, dad, Sean, me, Uncle Bryan, Aunt Pam and my cousins Brandon and Brooke) went to Maui together. So, needless to say, this trip was a long time coming. Since 1995, we’ve lost my sweet, sweet grandfather (in 1999), my grandmother remarried Ken, all four grand kids got married and there are now 8 great grand kids. This was a once in a lifetime trip that I know I will always remember. Life changes quickly, but these memories will last forever. I love my family so much and am so grateful that we decided to do this trip.
Now, a few final things:
1: Of course, we’d love to help you plan your Alaskan cruise (or any cruise for that matter) over at Mix and Match Travel Agency, so email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
2: Don’t forget to catch me tomorrow at 10:00 on Today! I’m making a pie with Kensington that’s perfect for your July 4th!
3: Our bonus question this week for What’s Up Wednesday is: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE JULY 4TH TRADITION? I hope you blog and link up too!
4: I had several emails and comments about my favorite products to travel with when I’m on a trip, so I made this below. Just scroll and click to see what I packed for this particular trip: