Sunday, May 22, 2011

Our weekend....

...of relaxation and puppy preparations!!

I had a rare weekend off from the gym and coaching this weekend (because the gym was closed for a tournament) and so I was able to spend all weekend at home with a mini "staycation"!!

On Friday night when we got out of work we decided to go see the new Pirates movie (opening weekend) in 3-D.  I have to say that I liked it quite a bit----I'm not an avid fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise...but this was probably one of my favorites of the films.  I'm pretty sure it's because mermaids were a big part of the story and film and I love mermaids...but was a nice way to spend a Friday night.

After that relaxing evening was time to knuckle down and get some work done...

Souvenirs galore....

OK, so I know I promised while we were still on our vacation that we would post some pictures of our magnets and other souvenirs from this trip (and I know at least one reader out there is hoping to see a picture of the new Tigger figurine I got). 

So here goes....a few of the things that we got to remember this trip by:

Friday, May 20, 2011

Update on our puppy, Merlin...

We got a call from Mary Jo yesterday.   Mary Jo is Jason's step-sister's future mother-in-law and is the one who breeds the family of yorkie puppies where Bridget (Jason's step-sister) and Sheila (his step-mother) got their puppies....and that's where our little Merlin was born and is living until he can come home with us!  Mary Jo just called to give us an update that Merlin is doing very well, playing a lot, eating well, socializing with people and the other dogs (and cat) in his home well and is even already crate trained to pretty much sleep through the night and potty-pad trained and has started going outside to potty as the process of house-training him not to have accidents has already started.  He will go for his second round of shots after Memorial Day and then we can bring him home in early to mid June.  We're so excited----and look how cute he is in this picture they sent us of him hiding under the coffee table!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Some more portraits from our trip....

So we've finally gotten around to going through our CD of professional images and portraits from the second half of our vacation.  We ended up with a CD that had about 150 pictures (maybe a few more).  The pictures ranged from character photos to our regular dinner attire to our formal wear to some casual clothes to some VERY casual clothes (like PAJAMAS! hehehe)....and even some unique and fun poses----by this point in the trip we were really having a good time with the photographers and we go a bunch of new favorite pictures.....

The case of the missing comments.....

Hey readers----So I logged on this morning (it's been a few days since I was on the blog because life has been a bit hectic) to catch up with comments on the blog.  I know that some comments were left because I got email notices about them----but they seem to have vanished!  I don't know if it's a technical glitch or what, but it appears that if you left a comment on or after May 11th, it didn't make it onto the blog and is I can't reply to any of them!  If you did leave a comment or question and want to try to post it again, feel free!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Many, Many THANKS!!!

Greetings readers and fans!!  So now that the vacation is officially over, there are a number of "Thank You's" that I want to put out there:

  1. First, and most importantly, a huge THANKS (& hug) goes out to my dear friend (and fellow Disney cruise enthusiast) Hadley.  I haven't mentioned it previous to this post, but the only reason any of you were able to read this blog during our trip was because when I realized that the ship's internet service was going to block my ability to blog, Hadley stepped right in and volunteered to post our blogs for us.  So every day I would write out the blog in an email and send it to her and then send her a separate email with a compressed file with all the necessary pictures.  She would then log in for us, piece it all together, do the necessary edits and post it.  Without her not only would there not have been a blog up to this point, really---but I'm not sure I would have had the energy to come home and try to catch it all up now! 

Saying Good-Bye to the Disney Wonder....

The image to the left is the only door magnet that was left on our door overnight our final night on the cruise and stayed there until we finally left our cabin for the last time on Tuesday morning.   I need to thank a DIS friend (I think Sandi, right??) for making this door magnet for us on our last cruise....and I have loved it so much that I bring it on all vacations since to use on our last night....because it so accurately captures my feelings about getting off the ship (or leaving our resort when we're at the parks).

Nonetheless----the vacation had to end.....

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Monday, May 9th, Day At Sea----and last day on the ship!

Well, the last day of our cruise had arrived….and, as you can see in the attached picture, the weather was once again lovely and the seas were calm.  On the way North we had used the outside passage (the captain had the night prior given a detailed explanation over the P.A. system about why----but in a nutshell…it's maritime law for the region that any ship sailing out of Vancouver and up to Alaska for the first time, must always use the outside passage for its inaugural trip North).  Now that we were returning to the South and into Vancouver, however, we got to use the famous "inside passage."

The seas were not entirely smooth, but they were decidedly smoother than they had been on the way North-----I'm assuming that has something to do with being in a slightly more land-locked waterway rather than open sea….but I may be wrong.  Also, the shore line (on either or both sides) along the way was much closer and so lent itself to more great views.

Sunday, May 8th, in Ketchikan, Alaska

Well, Mother's Day found us in Ketchikan, Alaska.  The weather out our window was, as you can see in this picture, wonderful.  Score another point for Disney pixie dust because we got ANOTHER mild temperature, sunny day!  Honestly every port we landed in thanked us for bringing some magical Disney good weather.  We felt so fortunate to have been so lucky with the weather because, while we certainly would have made the best of whatever weather got thrown our way, it definitely made the vacation that much nicer that we had nice days with sun and not having to bundle up like we were in the frozen tundra!!

This was a unique day because it was a port day for us...but it was a late port day.  We're used to waking up and the ship is either already in the port or is pulling in shortly and you get off the boat first thing in the morning.  We weren't due to arrive in Ketchikan until around noon, that gave everyone on the ship all morning to sleep in or find something to do.

Saturday (5/7) in Juneau, Alaska

 Saturday morning found us arriving in the capital of Alaska, Juneau.  Juneau is a much bigger city than Skagway was----but was still had a very Alaska feel---especially because the city of Juneau apparently has no roads into or out of it.  There are roads within and throughout Juneau (I think our tour guide told us there are less than 200 miles of paved roads in the entire city)----but all of those roads dead end at the edge of the city or just beyond it.  So it is impossible to drive to or from this city.  You must get there by boat or plane.  It's a little odd to think about as a "lower 48-er" where it feels like every city is connected to every other city in some way....but Juneau is kind of an island on land!

As was becoming the norm in Alaska, the views were picturesque.  As you can see from the picture here, taken out the window of our cabin, this city (and the entire state of Alaska it would seem) is one giant postcard----and it's AMAZING!  You can't really tell it from this picture either (it was taken pretty early)....

Monday, May 9, 2011

Friday (5/6) in Skagway, Alaska

 Friday morning found us pulling into Skagway, Alaska.  This Alaskan port gave us another opportunity to bust out a new custom door magnet (pictured here). This one is particularly fun because all the components except the lettering and the background are 3-dimensional (they're cut-outs for scrap-booking) that blend the great outdoors and Disney as themes-----so we thought they made for a great Disney Alaskan magnet!

So, we knew that our good luck with the weather couldn't last forever.  We've had some blustery days and some rough seas and some gray skies....but not very many that were really kinda nasty.  Unfortunately, Skagway welcomed us with rain in the morning and it was not very warm either.  THIS is the Alaska weather that everyone had warned us about.  Still, Jason and I weren't freezing (we're from Upstate NY after all and it was snowing the week we LEFT for this vacation----and rumor has it that it snowed in Syracuse while we were here at least once, too!).....but even still----gray skies, rain and wind are never a welcome sight on vacation!

Even still, however, we soldiered on.....

Sunday, May 8, 2011


 Well it's 8:30am on Sunday morning, May  8th here and for those of us from the USA it's Mother's Day-----we're off the coast of Alaska in the Pacific where we don't have any cell service.  That means we can't call our moms to wish them a Happy Mother's Day or tell them we love them (although I did send an email)..... we thought we'd do a quick departure from our trip report blog and send out a blog message (since we hope our mothers are reading this blog)....

Thursday (5/5) Day at Sea & Tracy Arm

  As I mentioned in the last blog, our Thursday was technically a day at sea because we were not getting off the boat.  We did have some sights to see, however, because it was the day we were scheduled to go through Tracy Arm.  I'll warn you now that this is a very picture-heavy blog (some of you will likely love that, others will be bored with all the pictures of scenery! LOL)

Because Tracy Arm is technically in Alaskan waters (we think), we considered this our first day IN Alaska....and so we put out our first of two Alaska door magnets (our main picture on this blog today)----which we also made over 50 copies of and shared with all our DISBoard fish extender friends, as well! :)    Even though Tracy Arm was the highlight of the day...we had several other things on the I'll talk a bit about some of those before we get to the scenic view(s).....

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Wednesday (5/4)---Day at Sea on the way to Alaska!

  Well, on May 4th we were at sea making our way from Canada up to Alaska!  The route we are taking is called the "outside pass" (or at least that's what WE are all calling it because we're not taking the INSIDE pass! LOL).  We have a day at sea, then a second day at sea although that second day is technically a day in Tracy Arm (a fjord in Alaskan waters----more on that in the next blog) then our 3 ports (Skagway, Juneau & Ketchikan) before a final sea day and then we get off the ship in Vancouver (BOOOOO!!! lol).  Here is an illustration/map of the Alaskan portion of our voyage:

Days at sea are lovely because they are relaxing.....and today fell squarely into that category....

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tuesday (5/03) in Vancouver!

  Greetings from Vancouver---where we spent Tuesday....the last day of our first cruise and first day of our second cruise!  This picture is again going to be credited to our friend Sandi who emailed it to us----it's a picture of the Wonder in the port of Vancouver.  Doesn't she look pretty?!?!

So, Vancouver day had arrived.  We had a full morning and day planned because we planned on doing a Disney shore excursion in the port, then re-board the ship and get ready for another "first day" of cruising----Sail Away Party, fun with friends, dinner.....ah...this is the life!!   When we awoke, this is the view from our balcony:

This picture makes it look a little dreary/cloudy...but really it wasn' was just early.  I think this photo was taken at about 7:00am.  We got up that early because we had an early excursion and we needed to eat breakfast first....

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Catching up and posting some pictures!!

Hey first of all, I know some people noticed that I did post about our day in Victoria earlier today but that the images didn't come through....that problem has been if you read that post earlier, go back and re-read it.  There are a lot of great pictures uploaded there from our trip to the aquarium and the butterfly gardens now.

Also....we are on our way to Alaska...we had a great day in Vancouver (which I will post soon...once I've had a chance to sort through our pictures and rest a bit and write)......but in the meantime I thought I'd post some portraits/pictures from the past several days of our trip.....

Monday (5/2)--Oh Canada!! (Our Day in Victoria)

Well, Monday brought us to Victoria, Canada.  For many on our ship, today was their last day aboard the ship as they will be disembarking tomorrow in Vancouver and beginning their journeys back home.  Thankfully...that does not apply to me and Jason....or any of our table-mates (Randall, Kevin, Rob, Larry, Deb & Janette) or many of our DIS friends either.  We are all booked on what we call back-to-back cruises meaning that when the the cruise is over we stay onboard and do the subsequent trip, as well----this one going on to Canada.  I have to say that this is our second back2back cruise and we LOVE this feeling----knowing it COULD be over today (as it is for many others) but that for us there is still more to come!  It helps the "last day of vacation depression" from setting in too deeply!

So anyway----Victoria, Canada.  We were able to sleep in a bit this morning, which was nice.  We had our traditional character breakfast with a chance to meet some of the world-famous Disney Characters, but it wasn't until 9:30am and our excursion was not actually until 11:45am (because we weren't even scheduled to pull into port until after 10:30 and I think we were still running a little bit late from the appendicitis incident from a couple nights ago----although I also think that the captain hauled some serious butt to pick up lost time and keep us as close to on schedule as possible! LOL).

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sunday (5/1)---Day at Sea

I chose this image because this is pretty much exactly what our Sunday was-----they don't call it the day of rest for nothing!*smile*

Our Sunday was a day at sea---which means a day of relaxing and just enjoying the ship and each other and our friends on the ship.    There aren't a lot of pictures in today's post since we didn't do much.....but here goes....

We woke up kind of early for a day with nothing to do really....but there was an important reason.  You'll recall that  earlier on in this trip, we had the chance to meet up with a woman named Deb Wills, the founder of when she was at DisneyLand....well she is on both these cruises with us, as well----and she had a special event planned for this Sunday morning.

Saturday (4/30) in San Francisco----with a group of friends!! we seem to have internet access here in Victoria, Canada this morning and about an hour before time for us to meet up with our shore excursion I will try to catch up with the past two days of missed blogging!

Well as I mentioned....San Francisco was an overnight port for us----so after a long day on Friday, we went to bed and were up bright and early Saturday morning.  On Friday we did not do an official Disney Cruise excursion, as you'll recall---we just ventured out on our own.  On Saturday, we didn't do an excursion through DCL either....but we didn't exactly venture out on our own either.  A friend from a previous cruise (and a mutual friend through many of the wonderful DIS people that we've already mentioned in these blogs) named Michael actually organized a group adventure for a bunch of people for this second day in San Francisco and we were invited to join them.