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!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Leaving YVR - Alaska bound

Our cruise started on a Sunday night. Leaving Vancouver we enjoyed the cool breeze on the top deck as we tucked into our beverages, with our little gold key cards providing us with direct access to (almost) any drink the bartender can provide. At this stage I was still anticipating keeping up with my running training - hahahaha.













I had chosen for us a nice stateroom on the 9th deck aft, one deck below the Oceanview bar (and not by coincidence). The room also had a massive balcony.



It was great to sit out there and enjoy the wonderful view from the back of the ship as we headed up the straight of Georgia.




Cycling Stanley Park

The day before our cruise out of Vancouver we hired bikes and rode around Stanley Park and the waterfront area. Good thing Kien likes to ride, because it was actually quite a loop around, and we stopped at little bay areas and rested as required.





















Quite a fun way to spend a day (actually, just a few hours in reality) in a city that feels very similar to Auckland. We were still trying to adjust our body clocks, so one afternoon felt like an entire day.



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