Sunday, September 19, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
It certainly looks like a birthday celebration. But was it Ah Kong's birthday or yours?
Sunday, September 12, 2010
We had dinner in the airport and had to wait a while more before the check in counter finally opened. Daddy asked you to pose with this "Canadian Mountie":
Saturday, September 11, 2010
The Lion Gate Bridge early in the morning
We pulled the bags off the ramp and cleared immigration and we're now in Vancouver, Canada. After finally clearing immigration, we wandered around looking for the car rental. Ah Ma had already pre-booked a car for the day. After making the calls, we found out that we had to take a taxi to the car rental. So we hopped into 2 taxis and off we went. After a rather long wait, we finally got the car. And off we went for the first place on our itinerary.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Today is our last day on the ship. We are at sea the whole day and the first thing daddy saw was this:
Dall's Porpoises swimming with the ship
We had our final dinner and filled up the nomination form for our two wonderful waiters who were just wonderful throughout our dinners in the ship. We tried to get an early night as we had to wake up early the next day for self-disembarkation.
Thursday, September 09, 2010
I wonder if it was a good thing that we did not sign up for any tours. It was raining cats and dogs outside. We put on our ponchos before getting off the ship on deck 4's gangway. They were originally bought for the Tundra Wilderness Tour in Denali. But as it was actually a bus ride all the way we were safe from the rain even when it drizzled during the tour. We could not find a poncho or even a raincoat in child's size, especially for a little kids as small as you. Thank goodness in the end Aunty Joey (Brettany's mummy) said that she's got one raincoat. When I first brought it home, I was thinking it was still too big for you, but it was a good thing it was a little bigger for you. Reasons are: it was long enough to cover most of your legs/jeans and also I forgot to consider the fact that you were all bulked up with the warm clothing. This is rainy Ketchikan from our balcony:
We wanted to take the free shuttle into the little town (not as small as Skagway!) but the queue was so long, so we decided to take a slow walk into town. Then we arrived near the tourist information counter daddy dropped by to take a map of Kethikan. It was drizzling and we wandered around to look at shops selling smoked salmon, look at the totems and we were headed to some bridge when we stopped to look at some salmons which were gathered under a bridge. There was a nice man there who shared some information about Ketchikan and also told us to follow that pathway to a place where we could see salmons heading upstream to spawn. We walked and we walked and we walked along the stream and we wondered if we were going the wrong way when we finally saw them:
The poor salmons had to try so hard to go upstream. And when they've finally made it, they were all so tired, they just stopped. You can actually see lots of them resting on the bottom right of the picture below:
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
There was supposed to be a celebration and a balloon drop at midnight. Ok, as if we could last so long. Anyway after lunch we went downstairs to have a look at the balloons again and o go to the library. And I just realised that it was your first time entering a library (except for the one in your school, I have no idea what it looks like as I've not seen it). Somehow, you thought that it was a bookshop! We found a book for you and another for me and headed back to the room. As it as too late for a nap, we headed to the pool to use it for the first time. In between swimming, we even stopped for a while to enjoy the freshly baked cookies with milk. Yummy!
Then we headed back to the room and had a shower to get ready for dinner. For the first time in the trip, we were at the Pacific Moon dining room before 6pm. It's the second and final formal night for the trip so we were dressed in our best again: Where is my milk?
Ah Kong & Ah Ma
A family shot
After dinner (yes no shots of the food we had...) we went around for a walk. And of course took a picture with the balloons:
After that we dropped you off at the Kidz Zone then headed to the Skywalkers Lounge for a drinks and a quiet chat. Here's daddy's Ultimate Muay Thai and and my Strawberry Daiquiri:
We walked around the ship (it was super cold, as we were headed to the next port stop) and took some pictures of the scenery and daddy wanted me to pose in the cold and I didn't have a jacket on so after every shot we'd run inside to see if the picture turned out ok. We did that about 4-5 times until I went on strike and refused to go out after that!
Soon it was 10pm and time to collect you from the Kidz Zone. Here you were all tired out posing with your "Bear bear" which you coloured with the fabric markers.
The day may have ended for you and daddy, but not for me. I had another mission to accomplish. You had requested for a balloon and we could not collect it yet. So I had to stay up until 12midnight then I headed to the bubble lifts and headed downstairs. Even from deck 12 I could hear all the music and festivities as everyone sang and danced to the music on deck 5, 6 and 7 at the atrium. When I finally reached the party, I picked up a blue balloon (as per your request) an walked around until I saw more balloons but they were out of my reach. Luckily the nice man saw me gesturing at him and he passed me a red balloon. Mission accomplished. Next is to see your expression when you see the balloons.
Next we saw Steller sea lions. The captain parked as close to the little island as she could. But hey you couldn't miss them as there are so many of them. We both went to the outside of the boat to have a good look.
As we were driving off, daddy spotted this:
Can you see it? I had already zoomed in so that you can get a clearer view of it.. A bald eagle.
The captain told us that the law forbids them from driving the boat up close to a whale if we spot one. But of course, if the whale decides to take an interest in us (as we are of them..) then it is ok. Well we spotted a whale after driving for quite a while, so she stopped the engine and we watched the whale. It was so far away, daddy was complaining about this telephoto lens as it could not zoom as closely as he had wanted.
Rather far, isn't it? Can you see the fin on the back of the humpback whale?
Well we went off after that in search for more humpback whales. And guess what? We were in luck. There was first one whale then more and more whales swimming in the same area. You could see them on the left and the right. And one even decided to come really close to us:
But best of all we could see them making dives after dives. And they even made deep dives which we knew as the naturalist told us that when you see their tails as they made a dive it means it was a deep dive. Here are 2 getting ready for a dive:
See their tails?
We were treated to smoked salmon on crackers with hot chocolate and the naturalist continued to share with us facts about the whales and sea lions and even showed us the baleen which is the "teeth" of the whale which is a filter for the whales for the food they eat.
We soon arrived back at the dock and hopped on another bus which brought us back to the city. As it was still early, we stopped at the city and walked around to look at the city.
We stopped at a fudge shop and watched the man make fudge. Doesn't it look yummy? Of course we could not resist it and ended up buying a piece of fudge and some popcorn which you insisted on buying.
As we headed towards the dock, we stopped to take pictures of the stairs which we would not have noticed if the first bus driver had not brought it to our attention. They were stairs leading to people's houses. Can you imagine climbing up these stairs just to get home everyday? And what would happen if you realise you forgot something only after you've reached the bottom of the stair!!
Oh yes, we also stopped at a shop which sold everything from the Alaskan Brewing Company. Of course daddy had to take a picture to remind him of the yummy beer he's had throughout this trip. And this was the perfect place, as Juneau was the home to the Alaskan Brewing Company.
At last we headed back to the port to the ship for lunch. And of course the lunch menu was cheezy pizza for you and we had whatever was on the buffet table.