Alaska Cruise on Norwegian Jewel [Day 7]: Icy Point Strait, Alaska

We’re almost nearing the end of the vacation.  Second last stop before we arrive back in Seattle and finish off that half of a day before going home.  But, let’s not jump ahead too much. These vacation posts are in delay and I did do a few little day trips afterwards so I’ll be probably posting about those after this series 🙂

After a beautiful day in Glacier Bay National Park, we arrived early morning at Icy Point Strait, which seems like a little island.  We didn’t have any shore excursions for this one so we just wanted to do a walk around the island and explore. For the first time, we needed to get a ticket sort of thing and have a shuttle boat or whatever you call those things get us from the cruise ship to the shore.  New experiences, right?

Right when our boat was about to head to shore, a whale popped up right in front of it. Obviously, it was a split second deal so my eyes captured it and not my camera.  Throughout that day, it was fabulous weather in Icy Point Strait and the island had a little trail that we took a walk around and then just explored the little museum area.

Along the waterside, I took a ton of close-up shots of shells, waves, stones, seaweed.  Stuff that doesn’t matter but I really like taking close-up shots and thing finding focus and adjusting what is the key of the photo and whatnot. That’s just the learning photographer side of me.  Here’s just a few selected ones that I thought was pretty good.

Icy Point Strait

Icy Point Strait

Icy Point Strait

We ended up going back to the cruise ship relatively early and having some time to finally enjoy some time in the hot tubs with my mom.  While I was reluctant and first to do it at first, it was remarkably comfortable and relaxing.  Plus, from where we were, we could see humpback whales playing in the water everywhere.  It was pure awesomeness! We didn’t get any whale watching shore excursions but we still got to see it as a bonus 😉

Icy Point Strait

It was a great day.  The next one would be spent at sea before we head on board back in Canada at Victoria, British Columbia.  I have a friend that moved out there so I was pretty excited to meet up with her.

Drop by next week to see the post on Victoria, BC 🙂

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My Weekly Adventures!

Instead of boring you with my little details, this time, I spaced it out deliberately to two weeks.  I had nothing to report back with so it just makes sense to get this in now with a little bit more activities. This time around, its slowed down quite a bit.  I’m trying to clear up my schedule a little and just relax, catch up on some sleep and find back some energy.  Plus, I need to get ahead with the blog so its all a work in progress. We are also trying to get the house in order and looking nice enough for any relatives that come and want to visit 😉

1) Second visit to Poutineville

As mentioned in the last Weekly Adventures, we went on our second visit and I met even more of my fiance’s friends.  Crazy stuff, eh? This wedding, I tell you. Its making life colorful.  And I mean, his friends are really colorful like their personality and their thoughts are hard to catch up with.

Anyways, I finally had the poutine at Poutineville.  Its not so much real as I wasn’t sure about the gravy so they suggested the Italian meat sauce instead. Its kind of what we call Michigan-style (instead of hot dogs, we have fries and cheese).

Poutineville

Chicken & Bacon Poutine with Dairy-free Cheese and Meat Sauce

Then, like the last time, a visit to Chocolate Favoris.

Chocolat Favoris

Gelato choices

Sorbet choices

Sorbet choices

chocolats favoris

Ice Cream with Hazelnut Milk Chocolate Dip

chocolats favoris

Banana Mango Strawberry Sorbet

Its turning into something of a tradition.  I just might want to refrain from Poutineville for the next few weeks until after the big day. So that, all my hard work is not put to waste, right?

2) Nike Re-Run

Last weekend, Nike Running app sent me an email telling me that on Saturday, a run that we did would give us the chance to have a Nike Re-run video.  Now, that sounds awesome and what’s great about having this blog is I love trying out new little things.  So, I got in an afternoon run on Saturday even though I was so not feeling like it.  But I did it and kept to my workout goals. I was thinking that maybe I wouldn’t get it because the run wasn’t all that great.  My time was a little meh. But on Sunday, I ended up getting the email prompt to get the video.  We got to choose the time log and pick whichever one.  My routes are more or less the same.  It varies in direction, side of the street or going through the park or whatever small streets.  I actually need to map out a new path to explore the other side of the new neighborhood I moved in.  Still, here is what I yield.

That is my fastest time I’ve done so far. I haven’t quite beat that time yet as an average.

http://nrcre-run.nike.com/us/en_us/nrcre-run/shared/0a8b587cc02123dd6fb2a56cc3af1f4e/1

Oh right, and I run against traffic because it feels safer for me and the lights don’t change when I plan on crossing the road or whatever.  I just like to run with as little interruptions as possible. On a side note, a few days later, I ran my fastest km…but still, this is my best average pace.  Lets hope it improves 😉

3) Quantico’s Set

If anyone is interested in seeing the new series Quantico, they have been shooting in Old Montreal right in front of the old Royal Bank building. They had done filming on and off for 2-3 weeks at least.  It looks really impressive and my guess is that its going to be the series headquarters or something.  The series already has me intrigued.  Its right up my alley of what I usually watch for TV series and with it being filmed so nearby, it has me even more interested 🙂

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4) Vist at Seigneurie de l’ile d’Orleans (and some spontaneous stops)

We bought a voucher for a visit to this garden at l’ile d’Orleans a while back and its edging near expiry and we even missed the peak season to see the lavender gardens but we did buy it so we took a little day trip out to l’ile d’Orleans and visited a rather green garden 😉  I apologize but I only have my fiance’s pictures.  My pictures haven’t quite made it in the computer yet. However, I will be doing a full post on this if the pictures do turn out good.  I think I did some artsy stuff playing with the focus and whatnot. Not sure how it turned out.

Seigneurie de l'ile d'orleans

seigneurie de l'Ile d'Orleans

L’ile d’Orleans in summer is definitely different from winter.  It was full of people.  We did end up stopping at a newly opened La Nougaterie which is a place that I love which makes amazing soft nougats.  Apparently, they just moved to this location for two weeks and I caught it completely spontaneously.  We bought some little nougats and had some tasting.  If you haven’t tasted these nougats, you have to.  I look forward to getting it at the arts and crafts show for their Christmas flavored one.  Its like heaven in my mouth.

The last stop we made before we left was at Cassis Mona et Filles which is a winery that focuses on blackcurrant wines and liqueurs.  They have a really awesome recipe using one of their Fruité liqueur and the syrup based one along with club soda and fruits that makes THE BEST sangria I’ve ever tasted. We, of course, got that. They also sell some more dry wines like their Port.  I almost couldn’t swallow that one because it was rather dry.

5) Garden Updates

Its almost time to close the gardens but we had a surge of heat wave and my plants are all confused.  Its good though.  We’re getting our big batch of strawberries and raspberries.  I’m considering to get a blueberry plant for next year.  I have a bit of space next to all these berries but it might not work so well because sun doesn’t hit that corner as much.  Anyways, next year’s projects aren’t anything to discuss now.  Look at those strawberries and raspberries 🙂

Raspberry plant

Raspberry plant

STRAWBERRY

Strawberry plant

Confused plant doesn’t get any more than my clematis.  It has the hardest time staying alive in that spot.  I was starting to think about moving it again but didn’t know where just yet.  Then the heat wave hit and its having a ton of buds.  I sure hope the weather holds up so that it can bloom.  I haven’t seen one flower bloom on it yet.  Better late than never, right? 😉

Clematis

Clematis

Finally, we are seeing signs of the fall chrysanthemums coming out.  Its budding and about to bloom.  The big one is from the previous owners and my little ones last year, only one survived but its more than enough with whats there now since the marigolds are still blooming.

Fall Chrysanthemum

Fall Chrysanthemum

6) What’s Next…

  • Netflix A-Z: I-L movies (next two weeks)
  • The Classics Adventures: book review and corresponding movie review
  • Alaska Cruise: Day 5 & 6
  • PRIORITY: Baking Through Disney: recipe & next movie

That’s it for this time’s Weekly Adventures! Short and sweet! 🙂
Happy Friday, my lovelies! Enjoy your weekend!

Seattle (Day 1): An Extreme Walking Tour [Part 2]

Continuing on with my vacation adventures, Part 2 of the extreme self-made walking tour to make sure our legs would hurt at the end of the day is all about the Seattle Aquarium.

I love Aquariums and its always a blast to visit. The Seattle Aquarium is pretty big with a lot of walking areas inside and outside there are viewing areas for seals and river otters and sea otters.  We had a lot of time here mostly because I insisted that this place we don’t rush.  If they were going to rush, they could do the next thing without me.  My objective for Seattle was to go to the Seattle Aquarium so that was my one request.  Luckily, they didn’t ditch me because I would have regretted not going to the spot afterwards for the Underground Tour which I talked about HERE for a photo challenge a few weeks ago.

Let’s go check out the Seattle Aquarium!

Windows on Washington Waters

Seattle Aquarium

Life on the Edge: Touch Pools, Moon Jellies, Giant Octopus

Seattle Aquarium

Touch Pool

Seattle Aquarium

Moon Jellies

Seattle Aquarium

Giant Octopus

Pacific Coral Reef & Tropical Pacific

Birds

Seattle Aquarium

Seattle Aquarium

Seattle Aquarium

Underwater Dome

The actual Underwater Dome is just that last picture but I’m starting to get a little confused as to why there was more corals and sea creatures between after the Birds area.  I’m a little confused but you get the idea, right?

Marine Mammals: Sea Otters, Harbour Seals, Northern Fur Seals, River Otters

Seattle Aquarium

Seattle Aquarium

Seattle Aquarium

Seattle Aquarium

There really are no words for the Seattle Aquarium.  There were a ton of really neat corals and fishes and much much more. I loved it a lot! Its worth every penny.  The Underwater Dome made it hard to take good pictures but standing in it was really nice.  Plus, the seals and otters are really alive and happy.  It shows that they seem happy with the environment they are in since they come off as extremely playful.  You have the above and underwater viewing for those so its really well thought out.

Part 3 will be coming up to wrap up Day 1 of Seattle.  I just didn’t want to overload the posts with too many pictures.  I’m a little surprised Seattle took up that much time and we haven’t even started Alaska which will have a ton of different segments, other than pictures, one special segment that I’m getting stuff together for but I think it’ll be a finale and also my views on my first time cruising. Just a heads on what to expect.  My guess is this travel bit is going to span over the next month.

What do you think of the Seattle Aquarium? Have you ever been?

Seattle (Day 1): An Extreme Walking Tour of Seattle [Part 1]

Seattle is a beautiful city.  The last time I was there, I was probably around 8 years old or something.  My only memory was seeing family and thats a pretty vague one at that.  So this time, its a totally new experience and with other 20 years, I’m guessing the change has been drastic even if I did remember. So we arrived two days before we boarded the cruise.  Day 1 was pretty much a lot of layover time in Toronto and waiting to get to Seattle and by the time we got to the hotel, it was like 10pm.  We already knew that the next day would be a crazy long walking day so official first day starts when all the touristy stuff begins 🙂

Like, I said, A LOT happens.  So this might just turn into a possible 3 part Seattle tour.  Some places won’t have too many pictures but the few spots, I liked more might merit a post of their own. Seattle was where I reunited with my DSLR a little more so there was a lot of bad shots as I tried to figure it all out again before heading onto the cruise and needing it for Alaska which was obviously the highlight of my trip in my mind! 🙂

First things first, Seattle Day 1 Part 1.  Lets START!!

First Stop: Museum of Flight

I’m not huge on aircrafts and I’m far of knowledgeable on it.  However, this place is awesome if you are and even if you aren’t.  Our schedule was so tight and my mom’s friends were rather rushed that I found it sad that I was rushed to not get the chance to read everything there from space history to just all sorts of planes and whatnot.  It was so much to learn and see.  I tried to get as much as I could down but if I ever were to go to Seattle again, I’m definitely hitting the Museum of Flight again just to be able to do a proper tour of everywhere without have to try to catch a 2 hour transfer to save a bus fare because I felt like I lost more than $2.50 or whatever the fare was by leaving so early.

Second Stop: International District/Chinatown for lunch

Next on our stop is catching the bus to head into the International District/Chinatown for lunch.  Its kind of a Chinese thing to want to visit how developed Chinatown is wherever else we go.

International District

International District

We ended up asking a random Chinese lady and she was super nice and actually took us possibly the most crowded restaurant in Chinatown that we walked past for dim sum and even managed to get the hostess to find us a table.  Definitely lucky there! 🙂

Third Stop: Skyview Observatory

After some research, my mom’s friend suggested that the best skyline view of Seattle was Skyview Observatory and not the Space Needle.  I had no objections because c’mon, that view was amazing.  And in the last picture, we even got an idea of where we were to board the ship the next day.  Granted, we were going to walk past it later on in the day.  It was all in our schedule to scope out the area in advance 😉 Still, breathtaking view!

Here’s where I’m going to end the first part of Seattle! By the time we get back on street level from Skyview Observatory, we started heading over to visit the Underground Tour which turned out ot be fully booked for the next one, so we headed over to the Seattle Aquarium and came back afterwards for the tour.  I want to dedicate a whole post to Seattle Aquarium because we spent the most time on Day 1 there.  That’s what Part 2 will be all about!

And I’ll wrap things up with Part 3 where its the rest of the landmarks we ended up visiting.  Seattle does have a Day 2 which is half the day before we board the ship so we’re looking at 3-4 more parts for Seattle.  It might take a good bit of time to get all these posts up but bear with me because its also helping me put together a photobook for it 🙂

A quick look at whats to come but I’ll stop the rambling now! 🙂

What do you think of Seattle so far? Have you been before? 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Vivid

The theme for this week’s photo challenge is “Vivid.” Perhaps it’s your favorite flower in full bloom, a beautiful sunset or the color of your ice cream. Vivid is limited only by your imagination. – The Daily Post

Since I’ve been yet delaying another week of vacation pics, some vivid moments! 🙂 And well, my PC hasn’t had my pics transferred from my external drive yet so its the only selection I have. If I’m exhausting you from Alaska and Seattle, I’m really sorry…

Seattle Aquarium

Seattle Aquarium

Seattle Aquarium

Seattle Aquarium

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Its pretty much Seattle from the Seattle Aquarium and the Chihuly Garden and Glass, both very much worth your time! 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: On the Way

In-between moments can be just as memorable as grand finales. This week, share a photo you took on the way to something else. – The Daily Post

I haven’t been able to get together any posts for vacation just yet but here are some shots from Seattle & Alaska. Hope you enjoy it! 🙂

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First leg of the flight to Toronto for layover to Seattle!

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Above the clouds on the flight to Seattle!

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The first night on cruise, at sea for the next day!

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Sunrise on the second day, officially at sea on the way to Ketchikan!

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Day 8: Heading into Glacier Bay National Park!

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Leaving Glacier Bay National Park, heading towards Icy Point Strait!

Being on a cruise is always about being on the way to the location! There’s always time to meet new people but also time to admire everything around not only the cruise ship but also the breathtaking calm and peaceful view. While life on the cruise ship is slow, there is so much to take in.  I’d be lying if I don’t miss that a little right now, even if I sometimes felt it was a little too slow. I don’t quite mind being on the way all the time because travelling and seeing new places is just awesome!!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Broken

For this challenge, capture something broken: an old window, a vintage sign, a toy never fixed, a contemplative friend. Or go deeper: find beauty in something broken. – The Daily Post

Wow! I’m finally back in these photo challenges.  I just transitioned computers before I went on vacation so now, my PC is empty….literally.  Other than some simple software, I really have nothing here.  Everything is in my backup/external hard drive.  But, good news is that I’m working on how to show off my trip to Seattle and the Alaska cruise.  I traveled with some of my mom’s friends, which reminds me what being young at heart is because the energy they  have is incredible.  I spent a day and a half in Seattle and you don’t want to know how much places we went.  Anyways, I’m trying to figure out whether to do individual posts or just highlight days…maybe a mix of both. Plus, a little cruising reflections and a special post that’ll make me happy to prepare for in memory of the cruise and the people I met there.

Either way, enough of this foreword on that.  I just needed to get that update in case you were interested 😉  Here is pictures from one of Seattle’s places I went. This is from Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour.  My mom and her friends, who are not so fluent in English, didn’t quite get it.  But that’s because they didn’t get the Chinese version to listen to.  Anyways, this tour is awesome and funny and in the sarcastic funny way that I like about the history of the underground city and how it came to be.  Take my word for it, if you want to have a good laugh and entertainment and you’re in Seattle, go check this one out!!

Bill Speidel's Underground Tour

Underground City Tour, Seattle, Washington

Bill Speidel's Underground Tour

Underground Tour, Seattle, Washington

To be honest, I think this is the only post I’ll have for this sightseeing location for Seattle but the Underground City is a lot of things but there is one fact you will agree with me, its pretty worn out and broken 😉