Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Alaska - finally!

Okay - here we go.... Plenty of pictures to document one of the most amazing trips.
Pike's Market in Seattle

If you ever get to Seattle - you should check this out.
We flew into Seattle the night before our cruise so we had some time before we drove to Vancouver (our take off point) to check out some local sites - and we're glad we did. It was fun to see them through the fish around and to go through all the shops.

Vancouver - we've reached the boat!

Our first night on the boat - we pretty much walked the whole thing to try and get a sence of direction. It didnt help me. I was pretty much confused the whole time.

Crab Fishing in Ketchican

You were not going to catch me touching these things, but Chad sure had a fun time checking them out.

Ben and Sarah
We had the BEST water when we were there. The guides kept saying how out of charater it was for the water to be so smooth. They usually get rain around 350 days a year.

This isnt a store -bought postcard. We actually witnessed this - and it was beautiful.

Totally enjoying himself.

Totally enjoying himself even more. We had a competition going with all the other tables to see how high we could get our crab pile. Remember when I said I wouldnt touch them. Yeah, not even when they are cooked. Chad had to crack all my crab. They are just a little too disgusting looking, but they sure tasted great.
Whale Watching in Juneau

This picture is taken about 100 yards away, but we were able to see 4 whales that day - all humpback.

That shot about ten feet in the air

Having fun waiting for whales atop the party/cruisin' boat.

Ben and Sarah
It was nice to be up top, but when we got too cold they had tables and chairs down below in a heated cabin - with donuts and hot chocolate. They must have known a pregnant lady was coming.

I dont remember the name of this glacier, but we passed by it when we were whale watching. It is actually three glaciers that have collided. The dirt tracks down the middle are where they have met.

Mendenhall Glacier

While we were in Juneau we went to the Mendenhal Glacier. I was really hoping to see bears, but they are still coming out of hibernation, so no luck. Fun shots like these are what you'll appreciate later, right? I told Sarah to act like we were falling over the edge.

Chad took this cool panoramick shot. Not too long ago, the glacier use to extend over to the waterfall on the right and to the middle of the mountain to the left.
Sawyer Glacier

We really didnt give this much thought when we saw that we would be cruising by this glacier on our itinerary. It actually turned out to be one of our favorite parts of the trip. We were the first cruise ship of the season to go inside this passage way to the glacier, so we crushed through this ice. It was really cool to watch it crack and separate. They had a guide boat out in front of us to make sure that there wasnt anything too big. It took about 3 hours (really slow crusing) to go back and come out of this inlet, but all the scenery was beautiful. Scary at times - simply because it kept getting more narrow and more narrow.

ice cracking

On our way back

If you look closely at the bottom of the mountain it looks like that is a waterfall. We thought it was a waterfall - until we zoomed in. It is actually snow pouring off of the mountain so fast that it looked like water.

The glacier. The ice is so blue you would think the color is fake.

The only group picture we took - glad we did it. It only took about twenty takes to get one we all liked. Ben kept messing them up :)
Hiking and Rafting the Chilkoot Trail in Skagway

This was a little bitter - sweet for Ben and Sarah. This was the only day that we had an excursion planned separately from them. When we got off the boat for our excursion we saw Ben and Sarah (they were supposed to leave for theirs about 45 min. earlier) Apparently - they got stood up. Come to find out, their excursion should not have been sold to them. It didnt start until later in May, so they jumped on our excursion and we were happy to have them. Disappointing for them because they were going to have a helicopter ride, but it turned out to be one of our favorite excursions.

Starting up the trail. It was about one mile up and one mile down. The scenery was so beautiful. It was great to do something out in nature and just experience the surroundings of Alaska.

There were streams and waterfalls everywhere

The view from up top. That is the river that we rafted down later. At the top of those trees we saw Bald Eagles and their nests all the way down.

This is a close up of a mountain that was litterally sopping wet. Water is plentiful there! If you touched the side of this mountain everything is sponge-like.

I accidentally erased the picture of us in the raft, but his is the view. If you really want to see it - let me know and I'll send it too you. ;)

Prince Ruepert , Canada

This was a great day. It was our last excursion and it was from 4-10 at night, so we figured we wouldnt book anything and just walk around, shopping and having fun. When we got off the boat the guys spotted scooter rentals and they were sold. It was such a great time! We saw so much driving around this little fishing town. It would be a great place for a vacation home. Ahhh, some day.

We found the local LDS building. Its about the size of a seminary building. It was just petite and cute. It had 9 parking spots. We could see inside some of the windows. They have a baptismal font, small primary room, small relief society room and a small chapel.

Movie reference anyone?

You cant go to Prince Rupert without seeing a local fisherman

A good photo-op to see the size of our cruise ship.

Our last day at sea was Sarah's birthday, so this is her birthday shot. Ben gave her some earrings and we all gave her tickets to Wicked.
Well, that's pretty much it. The next day we got up, ate our last free meal - of the many we had I assure you and departed the boat. It was an amazing trip. We would recommend it to anyone. It is a beautiful area that you cant wrap your head around until you have seen it for yourself.
I was ready to get home though. I missed the kids - Chad did too. A week was a good break. Thanks to all who helps us with them during the week! We hardly even called, we knew they were being well cared for.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A cute goodbye

While you wait in suspense for our Alaska pictures I thought I would share a cute picture. Last night one of Nathan's habilitators got married, and therefore will need a full time job so she will no longer be able to work with him. We are all really sad to see her go, but happy to see her start this new chapter. Nathan also grew close to her now-husband Jesse. He would come over with Michelle and they would all play together. When Nathan got up to her he just stared at her dress and flowers. He loved the way the bottom of her dress felt. It was really cute to see them together, and I knew that we just had to take a picture.
Congratulations Michelle and Jesse!
We are having a lot of changes with Nathan's therapy. His other habilitator, Jessie has gone on her summer hours. She has two boys of her own - which would make it quite difficult to work while they are on their summer vacation. We are extremely sad to see her go. She has done so much good for Nathan, and she completely understands what makes him tick. It is such a process to understanding each one of these kids, and we are just so appreciative for all of her hard work on his behalf, Michelle as well.

So, sadly, we are looking for habilitators. If you or if you know somebody who is a trained habilitator preferably with ABA training and would like to work with one of the cutest boys in the whole world let me know.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


We're back... and now it's time to get back to reality.
Wait, you mean people dont make your bed, clean your room and have food waiting for you at all hours of the day magically. Dang it.

It was awesome, and we will share pictures soon.