Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The War Memorial exhibition, the Winter Gardens and the haircut

The Winter Gardens

We've not been for a while, so on Sunday, after the haircut, Kien and I chose to visit this place first. Always a good time, always beautiful, but never this busy when we've visited! We only walked around half of one of the glasshouses, bumping into people and dodging cellphones and tripods. Kien and I looked at each other, and he said, "Yeah, way too crowded. Lets get out of here."

I know from the pictures it looks empty of people, but that's because its the first strip near the entrance way, and I basically stood in the middle of the isle, blocking the way for the photo op.

The War Memorial

From the Winter Gardens we ran up to the museum, stopping for a rest in a tree.

Truth be told we were actually racing each other, and I would have won but the cunning Kien choose to call a rest break. I told him he was a cheater. The denial was palpable.

There's a fantastic kids exhibition happening at the moment called "Secret World of Butterflies". Kien enjoyed colouring in his digital butterflies and seeing it fly on screen.

Also in the WWII section is this new interactive table where you fly the plane around to collect photo images for HQ intelligence. Kien loved it so much. We went back a couple of times after seeing other exhibitions just to have another go.

One of my most favourite parts of the museum are the stairwells. I used to imagine myself living here and running up and down the stairs in my ball gowns.

The haircut

We went to the Warehouse in Newmarket on the hunt for a new bay blade. Kien wanted to buy one with his own money - from birthdays and Christmas presents that we deposit into his bank account. Afterward we walked up the street on Broadway to a shop called Tip Top Haircut. The hairdresser was eccentric, and we waited for quite a while because the dude just talked and talked. He was so nice, and listened to Kien describe the haircut he wanted. Kien and I had done a google search beforehand and found a "something like this" picture. So we showed the hairdresser.

The hairdresser commented a few times how it was good Kien had his own sense of style. Ha, does he ever! Red and blue Crocs? Why not.

Yeah, Kien was in desperate need of a haircut. Oh, and in the pic above it captured a winged seed Kien had found and was trying to fly it high to catch the wind.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Juneau whales and glaciers

For our stop in Juneau we decided to organise for an onshore excursion from the ship prior to disembarking - like the day before. That's the first time; normally we try winging it. But this time I wanted to make sure we got to see what we wanted for our stop in Juneau and not miss out. It was totally worth it.

We got up really early (as the afternoon tour was sold out so we had to get on the 8:30am session). Short bus ride to the catamaran that took us out to the channel where the whales play, and then away we went. The catamaran was fast, and manouverable.

For two hours we looked for whales, and when we came across one, the captain would slow down and quietly glide up close so we could watch the creature.

We then zoomed over to see some sea lions lazing around in the sun.

It's so beautiful out here. We were fortunate to have had spectacular weather. It was definitely crisp and cold, but it didn't matter. We were dressed warmly and the sun was out.

Back on land the bus took us to the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. We went for the 2.5km walk to the waterfall to get a closer view of the glacier.

Then it was back to the township for a quick walk around before it was time for all aboard. Such a pretty little town. What an adventure we had.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Kien plays BINGO

We've been back a couple of weeks now and I'm trying to get all the blog posts up before I completely lose momentum. It's been so hectic since we've been back at school and back at work. Keyboard lessons and practices are in full swing. Kien's working through the Hal Leonard Student Piano Lessons book 2. Here's him playing BINGO which I recorded over the weekend. He's so proud he's able to speed up his playing of this song - he practiced quite a lot.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Yakutat and the Hubbard Glacier

Everyone was in such anticipation when we cruised through the icy waters in Yakutat heading toward the Hubbard Glacier. This was to be my first glacier experience ever, so I was pretty excited about what I was going to see. Cruising through big chunks of ice was so exciting too. The ship turned on its ice crunching propellers to break through the big stuff.

We kept going in and out of the ship into the cold to see how close we were getting. It was freezing out there.

The Hubbard Glacier is a truly spectacular thing to see. It is so big and the different layers so beautiful in colour!

We went to our cabin when the ship turned. Huge chunks of the glacier were breaking off and plummeted into the sea, making a huge sound resembling thunder. When it was quiet you can hear the glacier crackling.

So amazing. This day was one of the highlights for me.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Sitka - an Alaskan town that doesn't stop raining

For the land area, Sitka is the largest city in the US, but is inhabited by less than 9000 in population.

We caught a transfer bus from the dock into town, and our bus driver gave us a nice rundown of her hometown of 20+ years. She told us that today is a typical summer day in Sitka. It has been classified as a rainforest, and it is never too hot or too cold here. About 1/3 of Sitka's population earns at least a portion of their income from fishing and seafood harvesting and processing.

Thankfully the rain eased and we went for a walk to the science centre, where we were able to fondle the wildlife.

After that we went to the National Historical Park to check out the totem poles.

Kien managed to hang around with some wildlife of Alaska.

Sitka is a beautiful little town to visit, but there's no way I can live somewhere that is so grey and wet almost all of the time. This is the middle of summer here!


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