Written by Captain Mary on Monday, August 10, 2015

I started this post a couple of years ago on my first trip to Alaska, and never finished it. Even though I only scratched the surface of our 49th state, Alaska was the most amazing place in the USA. I have seen the other 48 by the way. July 20th, 2013, I set off on yet another adventure. First our non-stop flight to Seattle, Washington where our ship the Star Princess was moored.
After shuffling through lines and security we finally made it to our state room. A room for four, yet we were only three. The first thing we did was thank Margo, my sister-in-law, for this great idea, that unfortunately she could not attend. My sister, Cheryl and my son, Jason would be my companions for this once in a life time adventure.
The weather was good, yet a bit chilly for what I am accustomed to. We viewed the city of Seattle from the port, in the distance was mountains just visible through the mist, covered in snow, just beyond the city, so it seemed.
The excitement mounted as I anticipated what I was about to see. We would have to wait as our journey would take us over 1,000 miles to our first destination. We did not have to wait as long as we though before seeing land. The sea was mostly calm and that feeling and the smell of being on the water never changes for me, it is always like my first time. The first glimpse was distant snow capped mountains, in the middle of summer no less. We all stood on deck bundled up, looking out in the distance for a glimpse of what may be lurking inside the waters of the North Pacific. We could see, spray from porposie and whales, yet we could hardly make out what it was. The longer we watched in the chilling winds on the top decks, we finally got a good glimpse of a Humpback Whale taking a breath right next to the hull of the ship. We all screamed out, "Whale", but only a fraction of a second had passed and the whale too had dissappeared into the depths. Schools of doll porposie followed the ship as if they could not pass up an opportunity to play.
 That was a couple years ago and now the anticipation was still great.  This time my friend Margo would attend  for her trip of a lifetime, the 14 of us began our adventure.  Not unlike our previous trip we departed Seattle and the scenery began to change, yet the beautiful weather that we had experienced on our prior trip was not the same. A annoying mist traveled with us almost the entire time. We wouldn't let that ruin our trip though.
 Our beautiful trip was not without drama, I  guess that's what comes with traveling with different personalities.  The clouds obstructed our views to a certain extent it was like traveling in a black-and-white movie without the sun shining down on us.  Although our photographs would not show the colors from the previous trip I had the memories.  Glimpses of humpback whales were  abundant and made  me smile each time I saw them take a breath, we saw sea lions, otters and bald eagles  which were  also in abundance.
 Our excursions off the ship were helicopter rides, whale watching tours, hikes in the woods, train rides,  salmon fishing, there is so many things to do in Alaska.  I could talk endlessly about our journey, I do want to say that this is a trip that every person should go on.  Exploring our 49th state is something every person should indulge in.

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