Juneau, Alaska – Golden Princess Cruise Day 3

Our third day on the ship was my parent’s 30th anniversary.  The crew knew about it beforehand so they prepared a nice little surprise for my parents.  This is what they woke up to that morning:

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Lovely way to start off their day 😀

After taking a few pictures, we headed down to the Horizon Court for a heavy breakfast.  We had a shore excursion that would last until the afternoon and we wanted to make sure we had enough energy for it.  This was going to be our first time off the ship since we boarded, so we were pretty excited.  Our tour was going to take us to the Glacier Gardens, the Mendenhall Glacier, and the Macauley Salmon Hatchery.  We were instructed to wait at the Princess Theater for a quick briefing before getting off the boat. We got there early so we passed the time by taking few photos and videos.

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Shortly after this, a crew member appeared to give us some instructions for our tour.  After she was done, we were asked to queue up to disembark the ship.

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The line moved very slowly~  I think they mentioned that they had a little problem with the gangway.

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Ezra and I got tired of standing in line and just collapsed on the floor

Finally, after a bit of waiting, we were able to get off the ship:

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 Once we made it outside, we looked for our bus where we met our driver/tour guide.  His name was Nico Bus, how cool is that.  He drives a bus, and his last name is Bus.  At first I thought he was trolling, but he was telling the truth 😄

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 Hi Nico!

I took some pictures of the beautiful sights outside my bus window on the way to the Glacier Gardens:

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After a short drive, we made it to the Glacier Gardens:

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Nico introduced us to another guide who would be showing us around the garden.  He took us to see these upside down trees:

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Our guide told us that these were trees that were destroyed during a landslide many years ago.  Instead of disposing them, they figured out a way to use them to decorate the place.  The turned the trees upside down and planted some beautiful flowers at the roots.

Aside from the upside down trees, there were lots of other beautiful plants at the garden

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We found this little bear cub carved into a tree

 Our guide also showed us this upside down tree fountain in the middle of a small pond

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 Pretty~

Our tour took us on a golf cart ride through the forest

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Some of the roads were quite narrow, so they expanded them using logs

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 Can you see how they used logs to widen the road?

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 View of the road from the bottom

Our guide gave us a history of the gardens as well as a quick lesson on how to identify some common plants during the ride.  The tour took us to the top of the mountain where there was a viewing deck.

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 There we were treated with a great view of Juneau:

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We walked around the area for a bit before heading back down to see the hanging gardens. We passed by this heart shaped pond on our way (though it’s not that obvious in this photo):

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 Eventually we made it to the beautiful hanging garden

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 This was where I shot my 18th self portrait for this year

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 Aside from the lovely flowers, they also had these colorful umbrellas hanging from the ceiling at the gift shop:

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 We looked around the shop for souvenirs to take back home

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My mom ended up buying a bottle of these gold leaf flakes

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After this we had to leave for our next location

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Our second destination was the Mendenhall Glacier.

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 There it is

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(I think I was pointing to some icebergs here)

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 Our guide told us that the glacier used to be much bigger, but due to global warming, it’s starting to melt 😦

We wanted a better view so we decided to climb this huge rock nearby:
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As you can see, Ezra and my mom had a hard time getting up. (It was probably because Ezra was wearing boots with wedge heels XD)

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 I was already at the top when I saw them struggling. Fortunately, there was a guy behind them who helped push my mom up the rock.

Once they made it to the top, we found another rock, which was steeper. Ezra and my mom decided to skip it because they had a hard enough time with the other one. My mom headed back down to my dad (who didn’t climb up with us) but I made Ezra wait for me while I took some photos. (Since she was already there, I made her take pictures of me too XD)IMG_1631

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The path down to the Visitor’s Center

 Ezra couldn’t climb down by herself and I kept joking that I would leave her up there.  She looked so helpless on top of the rock that one guy took pity on her and helped her down.  I was getting my camera ready to take pictures of her holding on to the rock for dear life when the guy appeared to helped her down.  We’re grateful for his help but it’s a shame that I wasn’t able to take photos of her for blackmail purposes.

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 Ta-dah! Made it back down in one piece.

After this we headed over to the Visitors’ Center, where we found our parents watching a documentary about the glacier

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 After the show we looked at the exhibits they had there

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 Ice from the glacier

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 If you say so

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Your wish is our command

We found a couple of stuffed bears:
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Soon it was time for us to leave. Our next stop was the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery, which my mom was really excited about (she works in Fisheries).

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Here our guide walked us through the process of growing and exporting salmon.  She also told us about the different salmon varieties.

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 When she was done, she took us to the Visitor’s Center where we looked at the exhibits

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 We found another stuffed bear there

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 As well as a stuffed eagle

There was an aquarium and a Touch Tank where they kept a variety of sea creatures

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This starfish has way more than the usual 5 arms

We stopped by the gift shop to sample some of their salmon jerky

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After about an hour, it was time for us to head back to our bus which would take us to the ship.  On the ride over, I took more pictures from my window.

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 Some guy walked in front of the stall as I was clicking the camera 😦  It read “Bernadette’s Special Barbecue – Filipino Style”. Interesting.  I would have loved to try it we had the time.

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 I also saw this Fil-Am Mart.  Hmm … are there many Filipinos in Juneau?

Back at the dock, we waited in line to get on the ship

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 Since we haven’t had lunch yet and it was already afternoon, we headed straight for the burger bar as soon as we were on board

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After a quick meal, we went back to our rooms to rest.  That evening we had dinner at the Canaletto Dining Hall as usual, where the staff surprised my parents again with a cake for their anniversary:

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IMG_1819Thanks Princess Cruise for making my parents’s 30th anniversary super memorable 😀

This was such a fun day and I’m glad that my parents enjoyed their anniversary.  Juneau is a beautiful place and I’m grateful that I was able to see it.  If you’re interested, I made a vlog of this day which you can watch below:

 

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