Hey friends, long time no chat! We hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th, and had a blast spending time with some favorite faces and munching on festive treats (doesn’t everything taste just a liiitttllle better when it’s for a holiday?! Give us red, white and blue cupcakes over plain ones ANY day!) Between getting settled after our trip and getting ready for the holiday weekend with family we haven’t had much in the way of spare time this past week, but we finally managed to sit down and go through our ZILLIONS of Alaska pictures and are SO excited to share the first part of our recap with you today! We really hope that through our two part trip recap we make you fall in love with every bit of Alaska as much as we did, and inspire you to go see if for yourself. We know people say this aaaaalll the time, but pictures just really don’t do it justice. That being said, we did our best to document it all through a mix of GoPro, iPhone, and real camera shots so that we could share all of our favorite parts with you guys!
Now, let’s get to recapping!
We headed out SUPER early to catch our first flight of two in order to get to Seattle . . .
And once we got there of course had to grab a quick selfie with the Space Needle!
(Does anyone else think of Austin Powers EVERY time they see it?!)
Our first day in town was spent doing a bit of sightseeing!
A Duck Boat tour proved to be an awesome way to see a lot of the city in our short time there,
and got us up close to SO many adorable house boats!
Our second day in Seattle we knew we HAD to start with a visit to Pike Place Market . . .
Where we crammed three day’s worth of eating into a few hours . .
We’re shamefully sharing a bit of what we tried here, but the full account of it all had even US judging ourselves. . . .
Afterwards we walked off our food comas and headed to the EMP Museum.
It was definitely a fun afternoon of pop-culture,
and Sarah may have gotten just a liiiiitttlle too excited to hop into her favorite Nintnedo game . . .
And just like that, our whirlwind visit to Seattle was over, and it was time to head to . . . . .
Our cruise left from Vancouver, so we had about 24 hours to explore some of the highlights
(including this awesome view from Stanley Park!)
We spent an afternoon exploring Stanley Park, and couldn’t stop getting excited every time we saw wildlife.
In Florida our wildlife pretty much consists of lizards and the occasional bird so it was AWESOME to see so much of the adorable variety : )
There were also SO many Canadian Geese!
(Which Ben pointed out where just called geese in Canada . . . )
The morning of our cruise OBVIOUSLY had to start with a visit to Tim Hortons,
which we had heard was a Canadian staple. . .
And then it was time to board the boat!
Sarah may have been just a bit excited. But ALASKA!
The view as we sailed out of Vancouver was simply stunning . . .
. . . and just like that we were officially off on a wilderness adventure!
Our first day consisted of sailing through the Inside Passage, which was just beautiful (and a little rainy . . . )
Ok . . .and maybe also a little bit nippy. . .
But TOTALLY worth it!
. . . . .see?!
Things dried off (and maybe warmed up a little) and we were able to spend most of the day out on the deck of the boat watching for animals and epicness.
Trip Tip: Totally spend as much time out on the bow as possible on an Alaskan cruise, because there is SO much wildlife to be spotted!
We spent a lot of time outside getting a bit windswept,
and Sarah couldn’t stop laughing at the silly personalities of seagulls. . . .
. . . and the cruise adorably scattered wool blankets around the boat to help keep warm . . .
After our day sailing the Inside Passage, it was time for our first stop!
We spent the morning in Ketchikan exploring . . . .
. . . before heading out on a crabbing boat to watch some Deadliest Catch style action . . . .
We held things of the colorful, pinchy, and just down right gross variety . . .
. . . before heading to an island FULL of blad eagles.
This was by far a highlight of the trip!
Then it was off to Juneau!
We HAD to make a stop at Tracy’s Crab Shack to get some infamous Alaskan King Crab. . . .
Which had Ben feeling just a liiitttle fancy . . . .
Then, with full bellies and greasy butter fingers we headed into the mountains to board a whale watching boat . . .
We just couldn’t stop marveling at how awesome the views were EVERYWHERE you went . . .
At one point in this drive, we literally saw a ton of bald eagles eating trash at the local dump.
Even the GARBAGE in Alaska is majestic!
We hit the open seas and Sarah pretty much lost her mind with excitement immediately!
There were whales AAALLLLL over, and some even lept out of the water.
At this point, there may have been some squealing.
It probably didn’t come from Ben . . . .
After an amazing afternoon we headed back to the boat and said goodbye to Juneau. . .
For our final stop before the cruise ended, we spent the day in Skagway having what Ben dubbed “Adventure Day”.
One of us was just a little terrified of the activities of the day . . .
Because first up was a ride in a helicopter!
Once we were on board and strapped in Sarah got on the excited bandwagon . . .
. . . because views like THIS were totally worth conquering some fears . . .
The chopper (as us helicopter pros now call it ; ) took us to visit a glacier.
We got to sport the coolest boots and vest you ever did see, which Ben somehow managed to look awesome in . . .
After a morning of drinking glacier water, flying over mountains and exploring the wilderness we left with giant smiles
(and a new hat). . .
But we didn’t have long to rest, because we were off to our second new experience of the day . . .
We strapped in, Go-Pro’d up
(get ready for some sweet footage coming your way in the video!)
and headed into the trees . . .
There were flights over waterfalls. . . .
And shakey suspension bridges . . .
but we conquered them all like champs!
After our crazy adventure day we were definitely ok with something a bit quieter (and less flight involved ; )
Lucky for us it was time to sail through Glacier Bay National Park!
We spent most of this day bundled up on the ship’s bow, spotting wildlife and taking in the sights
(which were just SO overwhelmingly beautiful . . . . )
There was the occasional Dall Sheep spotting. . .
a glacier or two,
and even a real, live Grizzly Bear!
We felt comfortable at this viewing distance. . . . .
There were incredible peaks around every turn, and we basically lived in a constant state of FOMO . . .
. . . .because everywhere you looked was just STUNNING!
And then, just like that, our week of cruising was over . . .
We landed in Seward, and spent the day exploring the quaint little town before our evening train to Anchorage.
The sea life center let us get up close and personal with a lot of the animals we had seen from afar on our boat . . .
. . .and on a quick stop by the harbor on our walk back to the train we were lucky enough to run into these guys!
Somebody had a case of the Mondays. . . . .
We boarded the Alaska Railroad GoldStar train, and started the four hour trip up to Anchorage . . . .
The train weaved it’s way through the mountains. . .
. . and we watched it all with cocktails in hand ; )
There were waterfalls, and icebergs . . .
bald eagles and mountain views . . .
And before we knew it we were in Anchorage!
The next morning we woke up early, hopped in the car, and began our trip up to go camping in Denali.
We drove through so many adorable little towns, and saw TONS of moose . . . .
Which we decided in plural form were meese.
And then we were to the park!
The mountain came out on our second day there
(which is apparently something only 30% of visitors get to see!)
And we slept in an ACTUAL tent. OUTSIDE.
This was brand new to Sarah, and we both couldn’t get over the fact that it stayed bright out so late.
The picture on the right was taken around midnight, and our tent was STILL fully lit!
For our final adventure into Denali we hopped onto a bus and headed into the park . . .
There was wildlife everywhere and some seriously gnarly gravel cliffs the bus driver somehow maneuvered around. . . .
And before we knew it it was our very last day of vacay . . .
We spent it driving back to Anchorage and exploring some of the nature around there. . .
With so many new memories and stories of adventure we packed our bags
and said goodbye to views like this one for a while . . .
Until next time, Alaska!
Make sure to stick around for Part II, coming soon!
Love + Laughs,
Sarah & Ben