Day 6 - Coming Soon!

No fears, I shall continue! Just busy, busy.
Tomorrow we're going to enroll the boys in our new school district...now that I have ALL the forms. Taking the day off tomorrow with Laura and my mom to do that and to do a bit more "back to school/new house/get ready for housewarming party" shopping!

Oh, and I'm finally setting up my new aquarium! I have a gift card to Petco that I'll use tomorrow as well...have to decide on an aquarium theme...very fun! It's been soooo long since I had an aquarium (think COLLEGE) that I'm really looking forward to it. Hey, it's a nice introduction to the care of animals (okay, fishies) for the kids before we adopt our dog (maybe October - at a local "Adopt-A-Thon").

Big 'ole housewarming coming up Sept. 5th...lots to do. Foster turns 8 on Sept. 2nd...Laura and I will be taking him and his BFF to Soak City for the day...just the two of them - no twin brothers!

Work is going well...I love it still - it will be a year in October...hard to believe...until I get my memo to re-take my CPR class...ewwww.

Laura and I saw "Julie and Julia" - very good movie, I really enjoyed it. Next up "District 9"...and "Wicked" this Sunday night.

Guess that's about it for this mini-update. Oh, tonite, I went to lay down with Seth - he is my "cuddle boy" for sure...that kid loves to cuddle. Anyway, we lay down on his bed (thankfully the bottom bunk!) and I say "I love you" and he replies "I REALLY love you mommy". So sweet that kid (okay all of them are but this was especially sweet tonite).


Day 5 - Skagway, Birthdays and ship shots

On this day we "landed" in Skagway, Alaska. What a quiet, sleepy, cool town. Loved it. I sense a theme here...needless to say, I really loved Alaska. On this day, Logan and Seth turned 5 years old. They were so proud of themselves to be able to cross off the "4" on their camp wristband and write a "5". Too cute! We had a party in the cabin with a cake and decorations that was ordered for them by their Godmom, Amy. We also did promise them a trip when we got home to Toys R Us to get Guitar Hero for the boys - and yes, they did eventually get it (and I admit, it's fun!).

Now the pictures!

Downtown Skagway
More of downtown...fun shopping!

Us in front of a totem pole, not sure why Seth is frowning...oh well. And I do love all my kids but good grief, that shot of Foster is just too perfect. Looks like he's modeling or something...he's a keeper (okay, they ALL are).
which was a 3-hour train trip for about 20 miles that actually went into Canada. Amazing opportunities for pictures.
Foster on the train.




Mommy Laura (I was there too, I just always forget to have a picture taken of me...)

Climbing some 3000 feet

Beautiful Alaska

Going into the tunnel (the boys favorite part)

At the international border

Various flags at the border

Happy Birthday Logan and Seth!

Before the cruise, rFamily sent out a request for ideas for "Theme Nights" - hundreds entered and my idea - "Dress as your Favorite Cereal Character" came in #2! I won! For my "efforts" we all won rFamily t-shirts...at the prices they charged for them, for all 6, we saved over $200 than if we purchased them ourselves!

Leaving Skagway

Deck 10...our home away from home for the week...we got lots of exercise walking up and down these hallways multiple times per day. The kids thought they were so much fun to RUN up and down...multiple times per day


Day 4 - Juneau and Sawyer Glacier

This was our 4th day. We started to feel a bit more comfortable in knowing our way around the ship altho with our (Laura and I) really poor sense of direction (don't ever let us join "The Amazing Race") we still got lost. Speaking of "The Amazing Race", one of the past season's contestants Kynt and Vyxsin were on our cruise as well and it was a blast seeing them around the ship hanging out...actually there were a number of "stars" on the cruise...

Anyway, on this day we arrived in Juneau...loved it!!! We also went on an excursion to see Mendenhall Glacier...what an opportunity...

Arriving in Juneau
First stop, a salmon hatchery...those are thousands of salmon

They all make their way "upstream" here (see pictures for them to follow) to spawn and die...oh well, such is the life of a salmon

Arriving at Mendenhall Glacier and the Visitor Center

Boys getting the chance to touch a "real live" piece of glacier ice

Explanation of Glacial Ice - WOW, that's some old ice there!

Picture Review

Mendenhall Glacier - it's bigger than you can imagine...goes on for miles and miles

A bit closer...

This is one big glacier but they did explain that it is melting faster than it can freeze...damn global warming....

At the Visitor's Center - Laura and boys pretending to be "Bears on the Wall"

View from our room after we left Juneau

On our balcony, coming up to icebergs...

Check out that water color...that is nature in it's pure form

Seals on icebergs as we float on by...it was so amazing to glide past the icebergs...so quiet...all you heard was the crackling of the ice...sounds like ice in a glass of water

More seal families...they appeared to be quite interested in our ship

A larger view

And that concludes day 4. This was also the day that unfortunately, at some time during "turn down time" (when the cabin stewards come in to turn down your beds) that Laura's wallet was stolen out of our cabin. We discovered it when we came back to our cabin after dinner. We usually were quite careful to put everything away in the safe when we left but for whatever reason (namely 3 boys)...that didn't happen and her wallet was mistakenly left out on the desk. Of course we notified security and they searched the cabin but nothing was found...nor was it EVER found. We truly believe it now lives at the bottom of the ocean and some cabin steward pocketed our cash. As distressing at this event was, we were determined not to let it ruin our vacation. We pulled it together and figured that we would take it up with the cruise line after we returned home...and we are in the process of doing that now. We have since sent letters to NCL (cruise line), rFamily Vacations, and about 4 or 5 other governmental agencies that track these things. We asked for some money back and hope to see something positive come out of this.
Next stop...Skagway...and Logan and Seth's 5 Birthday!


Ketchikan - Day 3

First port-stop is Ketchikan...LOVED IT!!! I figured out that I really love Alaska. I'm someone who really prefers the cooler weather and this was just perfect. Now, I'm not saying I'd love it in the middle of the winter but for the summer it was just perfect. The kids by this point were pretty comfortable with "boat-living" and were just as excited to be able to get off the boat. We all did a tour on a "Bus that turns into a boat". The boys thought it was the coolest thing ever (well, and so did the moms).
Logan and Seth sleeping on sofa bed in the cabin

Arriving in downtown Ketchikan


rFamily Boat decorations

Pool Area

"Bears Rule"

"Give a Bear a Hug"

The boat (well, half of it) from the dock

Typical Alaskan homes, I for one wouldn't want the daily trip up that staircase to the yellow door

We spotted a bald eagle on our "Duck Tour" from the water

The Bus/Boat

What a view...

Fun nightly Towel Animals

We concluded this day-trip with some awesome shopping in Ketchikan. I actually picked up a few pieces of jewelry "Made in Alaska" - really!
Next stop, Juneau and Sawyer Glacier...


Second Full Day - at sea

We spent July 12th cruising the "Inside Passage"

I think this was the day Laura and I attended an art auction. After a few glasses of champagne, we bid on (and won) an original Peter Max painting of the Statue of Liberty, it should arrive at our doorstep in a month or so. We have a very special place in our new house reserved just for the painting - right over the fireplace.

*ETA: the link above is an example of one in the series that we bought, not the exact same painting. Oh, and heck no, we didn't pay that much but it's nice to see an increase in value of his paintings.

This is also the first day we enrolled the boys in "Kids Camp at Sea". Well, I take that back, the first day we enrolled them Foster protested and screamed and cried so badly we had to take him back out. After a few hours alone with Bubbe and a day to calm down we tried again the next day...the boys were all hooked! They actually requested, and begged to go. Logan and Seth were in the younger kids camp and Foster enjoyed his time with the "older" kids. The camps were very well run and they always were doing fun stuff with the kids. They went almost every day and towards the end of the cruise we got smart and fed them dinner beforehand and then dropped them off at camp and we (the adults) got to eat in peace. Don't get me wrong, we spent so much family time together that I think the kids really wanted to go to camp to "escape us" and be with pint-sized people.

Tomorrow, we're off to Ketchikan!