For a quick, visual snapshot of my travels, watch my travel diary on YouTube (<<click to check it out)!!!
Now, let’s continue with the blog post…
3 hours of sleep, 6 hours of flying, and a half eaten bagel later, my family and I landed in Seattle, Washington.
We set off on a 7 day Alaskan cruise with my cousins and then took a bus to Vancouver, Canada for the weekend. We spent half a day in Seattle before we boarded our Royal Caribbean ship the next day and sailed to Juneau, Victoria, and Skagway to see the natural beauty and scenic sights of Alaska.
Seattle: Home to the space needle and a whole lot of sculptures
We came a day early to explore downtown Seattle and met our relatives that live close by. After touching down in Seattle, we dropped off our luggage at the hotel and then ubered to the Space Needle. We didn’t end up going to the top of the Needle because the line was too long, but we walked around the area and saw ornate sculptures and the amazing architectural beauty of the city. I then finally saw my cousins after a year, and you can be sure that we were screaming with excitement.
Boarding the Cruise: Aka no wifi for a while
We woke up at 8am in anticipation and excitement for our family cruise. We fit 6 passengers and 8 large suitcases in one highlander vehicle, and I sat squished by suitcases in the backseat. Not my best moment. After reaching the port, we saw seas of people getting checked in, receiving room keys, and boarding the ship. We finally boarded the ship and explored all 14 decks of fun, adventure, and craziness. We caught up with each other as a family, relaxed, and hung out the rest of the day. After playing a game of Scrabble and a deck of cards, and roaming around the ship, we called it a night.
Day at Sea: Hanging with the fam and being cold
Our second day abroad was completely at sea. I have to say, cruise ships that sail to Alaska are little a bit more bumpy then others. It make sense because these waters at this time of year are more rough, but for people that get easily seasick, it might not be the best thing to go on.
It is also pretty chilly on the outer decks. When we went outside to walk on the open decks, we left with water sprayed all over our clothes and not-so-pretty wind blown hair. We decided to spend the day indoors after that ~occurrence~. We ate lunch at one of the buffets that had an extravagantly large quantity of food and then went downstairs to the lower decks to see an ice skating show.
I don’t think I’ll be attempting the moves I saw on the rink anytime soon.
After a few hours of hangin our together, taking hundreds of tumblr photos (go check them out at @ritika.mehta on insta), a quick dip into the jacuzzi, and a nap, we took our our hair straighteners, fancy dresses, and makeup bags to get ready for a formal dinner. We then headed down to have family portraits taken with one of the many photographers that roam the ship. These photos always turn out amazing too!!
Since it was formal night on the cruise, we had to wait another 45 minutes to get seated but the food was worth it. We ended up having Indian food (how ironic) and pasta and bread. The night ended with me learning how to play chess with my cousins. We participated in a lot of indoor activities because it was really chilly outside, but it was still such a fun way to vacation!
Juneau: Casually went on a helicopter ride and walked on a glacier
We docked in Juneau at 11:30am and went out to explore the city. The city had a population of about 30,000 and is a quaint sea town. There were a lot of small cafes and souvenir shops. My family of ten bought matching Alaska shirts. How adorable?
After exploring the town and getting some chocolate ice cream (the only flavor I ever get), my cousins, sister, mom and I left to go on a helicopter ride and glacier excursion. We took a 15 minute helicopter ride overlooking the Mendenhall and Hubbard glaciers and the beautiful scenes of Juneau, Alaska. Our pilot landed us on Hubbard glacier and we walked around the icy slopes. We wore special shoes that had better grips on them to have traction on the ice. One of the coolest things we saw was a 400 foot hole/waterfall. So crazy cool! It was about 30 degrees F on the glacier, so kind of chilly, but such a cool experience that I won’t forget.
Skagway: Too pretty to handle
The next day was spent exploring Skagway, a small port side town. In Skagway, we took a bus and train tour by our tour guide. The train ride makes you sleepy, so probably board the train after a cup of coffee–or two. After our scenic train ride, we stood in too long of a line to get ice cream. I got some sort of chocolate flavor and my family got salted caramel and hazelnut. A little more of an adventurous flavor, you could say.
Two Days at Sea: No wifi once again
Our next two days were spent at sea. On one of the mornings, we got a look at Tracy’s Arm, which was an inlet that the cruise turns in and out of. All the passengers got to see a glacier and lots of ice that was skirting through the water. The rest of the time on board was spent relaxing in the Jacuzzi, playing board games (aka a lot of chess), and having fun with my cousins and family.
Victoria: The most flowers I have ever seen
Our last port stop was in Victoria, Canada. Of course, the hottest day of the cruise involved me wearing jeans, a black shirt, and a whole day of being outside. We wandered about the city for an hour and took a bus to the famous Butchart Gardens. Even though I was sweating quite a bit, Victoria made it worth it. The city is in British Columbia, so I could definitely see the British influence through the architecture of the buildings and overall city. We visited the Butchart Gardens which were a compilation of six types of gardens that span 55 acres of land. The gardens were breathtaking and gorgeous. For anyone who has a green thumb or appreciates natural beauty, it’s truly worth going to.
Vancouver, Canada: Leaving the cruise sadly but going to Canada
This was the last day of our cruise:(
But, we still had a few more days of adventure ahead. We took a bus to Vancouver and spent about three days exploring the city. We ate at really good restaurants, shopped around, and explored the nooks and crannies of the city.
We walked on the famous Vancouver suspension bridge, which was pretty dang cool. We hiked around that area and took really cool pictures high above the river running below us. At the bridge, we tried maple flavored cookies, cool right?! The cookies were like Oreos but the cream filling tasted like maple syrup. ~I felt so Canadian~
In the daytime, we flew on a seaplane, something none of us had done before! The takeoff, flight, and landing were so smooth and super fun to be in.
It was so sad saying good bye to everyone after our ten days together, but it was such a fun family vacation to incredibly cool places!
I hope this blog gave you a snapshot into my travels in Alaska and Canada, and make sure to check out my travel video for a more visual representation as well. Let me know if you have any questions about anything I did, and I’ll talk to you in my next post!!