Get some tea and a snack, sit back, and let's go on an epic trek from Canada's East Coast, all the way to Alaska.
First, let me introduce you to a very sweet person, Dani Pettrey. I've known of Dani for years. Even before I began writing, I knew of Dani's mysteries. They're riveting nail biters set in Alaska.
probably taken by Mr Pettrey...
Since my first days as a writer I stalked...err, visited...Dani's section of the bookstore, dreaming that someday I'd be a shelf-mate.
Lo and behold, the day came that I became an agency-mate of THEEEE Dani Pettrey!!! Since that day, I've chatted with Dani about writery things, cooked up a scheme or two, and even visited with her at various writery events. She is a very kind and caring individual.
And last Fall? My son and my husband rendezvous'd with The Pettrey Posse in Toronto. Why?
Dani had 2 extra tickets to a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey game. Our two older sons had been to a game a few years earlier, and it was a great memory making adventure. #3 had been waiting, but there wasn't much of a chance on his horizons.
Long story short, Dani gifted us with those tickets, and made my son's DECADE.
Yo. He's so chill. Not.
So, how does one sufficiently thank a friend for such incredible kindness?
Well, if she writes a whole series on Alaska???
You take her on a trip.
So without further ado, here's a bit of Paper Dani Goes To Alaska!!
Flying across the Rockies...
Slight technical problem with the something something, and we got the firetruck escort to the gate.
Then on June 29th, we boarded the...
Because I couldn't get my hands on an actual book of Dani's, we did the next best thing, a photo of Dani. Which came to be known as "Paper Dani".
Here's Paper Dani looking out the window of Stateroom 2594.
She seems quite happy.
Here's my very happy daughter holding up Paper Dani as we cruise beyond Vancouver.
Sunset on the Pacific.
Uh oh, Paper Dani is kinda laying down by the window...I sure hope her tummy is playing nice.
Maybe she was just hungry? Cruise ship salad bar, anyone?
Maybe she was chilly? Towel aardvark's are quite cuddly.
Juneau where we are???
In a very rainy town, that's where we are. Poooor Paper Dani, she got wet. And umm, she had a problem when she dried off.
The thing about Paper Dani? She loves her neighbours. How sweet of her to pose beside the cake on Canada Day!!
Annnnd, let's enjoy some nature shots....
Yes, that IS a glacier. A GLACIER!!! Or as the very nice and very funny Aussie lady said, "A glassy-er".
Unused train trestle.
Another train track. Which had the same ending as the train trestle....did I mention this was 3000 feet up from Skagway?
Oh look!! It's Ketchikan!!
Hold on, Paper Dani needs to scope out the shops....
See any whole grain buns? Noooo, because Paper Dani ate them!! (Okay, not reeeealllly.)
We pause in our travels to pay homage to the regal eagle...
"Take your pictures, plebians, before I away to my aerie and look down upon you all."
Did I mention the train? I LOVED the train!!!
Entering Glacier Bay.
Jaw dropping....Hubbard Glacier.
Watching the silt and salt churn as the ship cuts through the frigid waters of Glacier Bay and we leave Hubbard Glacier behind.
You know who else likes glaciers and cruise ships? Seagulls.
Speaking of seagulls, this is probably one of the top five favourite photos I've ever taken. The seagull lined up perfectly with the side of the ship, the ripples and the wake, and the colour contrasts just amaze me.
Also, a bird's eye view...of a bird???
On our last day at sea, I went a little photo happy. But hey, who wouldn't???
One of our favourite people on the ship... okay, our very FAVOURITE person? Tono, who was our waiter in the Rotterdam Room. He's from Bali and is witty, charming, SMART, genuinely caring, very interesting, and truly kind. He made all the other wait staff look bad. And?? He happily posed with Paper Dani to say his goodbyes.
As the sun went down, LATE, on our last night at sea. I spent quite a bit of time out on deck. I cannot fathom all the wonders of God, but this night? It was a little easier to give it a try.
Goodnight, from BC's Inside Passage.
So, while there are literally HUNDREDS more photos, these are a wee glimpse of our trip. Here's Paper Dani's twin, Cellphone Dani, saying goodbye from Alaska.
Thank you for joining me, readers. I hope you enjoyed the little excursion.
A huge HUUUUUUGE thanks to our Cruise Partners, for the gift of time, travel, and adventure!!1
Thank you, Dani Pettrey, first and foremost for the blessing of your friendship. And for the generous gift of those two tickets that made "forever memories" for my son and my husband.
Dani, hopefully, someday, you and Mr. Pettrey will sail these waters. Then you'll get to smell the salty tinge in the air as you watch the sun crack the massive glaciers, and you get to experience the thrill of watching and hearing a glacier 'calve' into the sea.
Or a seagull race a ship.
Or maybe just take the time to watch the sun set into the Pacific, well aware that you know the One who is painting His love on the sky, just for you.