Alaska, Part One (Ok, it’s really Vancouver)

For those of you who have been waiting for my Alaska post with baited breath … whatever the heck that means … baited breath?  Anyway, for those of you who have been waiting, here is my first post on all things Alaska.  Think I’m going to spread this one out, too much to post in one sitting.  It was a wonderful trip, truly it was.  It’s just that these vacation posts wear me out, you know, trying to pick out the perfect pictures I want to use, staying up all night sliding them in all the right places, then deciding that’s not where I wanted them, maybe not even the pictures I wanted, having to move things around, and so it goes.  So much more stressful than, oh say, blogging about Texas weather in July.  Yeah, I know, I know, quit whining and get on with it.  I did go on vacation, after all!  Here goes …

Not just yet.  I just looked up “baited breath” and the source I found says baited is misspelled frequently (no!), and actually should be “bated” – coming from the word “abated” – which is a different thing altogether.  This just connotes someone who is holding his/her breath in anticipation, and not near as much fun to imagine as someone whose breath smells like stinky fish bait, while those around him (I’ll just go out on a limb here and assume it is a him) are holding their breath.

Back to Alaska —

The trip was in celebration of Johnny’s parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.  That’s a long time to be married, and deserving of a big celebration!  Johnny’s parents, Johnny’s brother and his family, and our family all climbed on planes and flew to Vancouver to start.  Vancouver is beautiful.  So many flowers, and long, long, cab rides through glorious real estate from the airport to our hotel and, of course, the ocean.  About a jillion people live there.  Lots of shopping, restaurants, a thriving business district, and beautiful scenery.  We would have been happy spending more time in Vancouver also, and maybe someday we’ll get to go back.

Looking chipper on the way to the airport, well, some of us …

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Here we are shortly after arriving in Vancouver … all ten of us (except I’m behind the camera).

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 We’re standing near a ship terminal and the convention center.  If you look in the distance, just to the right of No. 1 (hey, I know that kid), and if you have extremely good vision, you might notice a sea plane landing on the water (but now honestly, where else would a sea plane land?).   

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 20090703_006 (Small)More sea planes …


We took in all the sights we had time for in less than 24 hours.  Here’s a huge marina.  My favorite boats were the houseboats.  People live in these things, probably because they’re the only marginally affordable housing anywhere around, but they are charming …

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and my absolute favorite houseboat … the yellow one!

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Here’s a pretty shot outside our hotel.  Don’t ask me what the building was, because I don’t know.  Like I said, we had less than 24 hours in Vancouver, a number of those spent sleeping, and not so much time to figure these things out.

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A pretty statue / fountain.  Probably someone important.  Again, that less than 24 hour thing.  Doubtful I could get a job as a tour guide in Vancouver.

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While strolling, Alex took a picture of the chips Sara bought for him.   Now, I do know a little something about chips.   This particular variety of chips isn’t readily available in the Lone Star State, at least not yet, which is something we can all be thankful for.  

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No ketchup required.  Nope, it’s already in the bag.  Yum.

Here I am with Johnny, just to prove I was there …

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We ran into this tiny house up on stilts.  Not so uncommon to see a house on stilts near the water.  But a little teeny house?  Where are the stairs?  Maybe a tribe of teeny jumper people hailed from Vancouver?  Looking at the guy on the bench, the house looks big, but trust me, it wasn’t.  Must be what you call an optical illusion.  Or maybe he was a descendant of the teeny jumper people.

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Of course, we knew it was a historical monument of some kind, and after we walked around it a couple of times in wonder, we spotted this embedded in the ground …

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Turns out it was a sculpture at half-scale of a freight shed representing industrial activity in the harbor about 100 years ago.  Made of aluminum … well, you can read it, sort of.  So, no teeny jumper tribe existed after all.  Kind of sad.

Had some good times, ate some good food, but it was time to board our ship.  Talk about carrying around a lot of baggage …

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These are all our bags!  

Stay tuned.  Alaska coming right up, in a few days …


What’s Hotter Than Texas in July?

I don’t know … Texas in August?

I’ve decided that being on vacation trumps not being on vacation.  Especially being on vacation in July in a location where temperatures are in the range of 60° to 80°.  No vacation pictures this time around, as I’m afraid I’ll hyperventilate in this heat while recollecting the cooler temps in Alaska.  I’ll get to it soon, I hope.  Instead, here are is my observations since my return: 


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I know it’s hard to believe, but I didn’t take this picture.  Found it on the following forum which I know nothing about.  Tis funny, tho.