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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Alaskan Cruise Report Part 2

We were very lucky with our check in. From start to finish, I think it took 30 – 45 minutes and only cause our check in guy was kind of slow. The lines got insane shortly after we went through and then the computers went down. Some people in our group got into line around 1:30pm and didn’t set foot on board until well after 4pm.

We found our way to our stateroom easily enough and it wasn’t quite was I was expecting. It was much more. Everyone kept telling me the rooms were so tiny, that we would have no room but I found it perfect for us! The only real “complaint” I had was the shower. It was ITTY BITTY but functional so it’s not like we went without.

I was really concerned that we had over packed but found out we had it just about right. There were some things we didn’t end up needing but we didn’t realize that until we pulled into port. All week before, the weather was looking like it would be cold and rainy so we brought some ponchos and rain wear. Turns out the weather was BEAUTIFUL!

Our first stop was in Juneau and there were only wispy clouds in the sky, it was in the high 60’s, little wind and lots of sun. It was just a beautiful day to be out and about. We had booked an excursion to do the glacier rapids tour but turns out there had been so much rain and so much snow fall that they had to cancel it due to the rapids becoming too dangerous. So instead, we went on a whale watching tour.

Truth be told, while I am sure we would have had an awesome time on the rapids, I am glad things turned out they way they did. We got to see so many whales! Mostly their backs and flukes but then a whale breached the water THREE times!

Right in front of us! It had to have been the most majestic sight I have ever seen! There were a TON of sea lions and we got to see a couple bulls getting irritated with each other.

We saw a bunch of bald eagles, some fairly close! The most amusing thing was the tour guide telling us to look up into the trees and look for golf balls. Those were actually the bald eagle heads but it was a perfect way to seek them out since everything was so green and the white stood out dramatically. Once we figured out what to look for, they were EVERYWHERE. It was really awesome.

That night was the first formal night on the ship and let me tell you, the food was phenomenal! I’d always heard but that tasting is believing! Everything was so good; from the starters to the entrees to the desserts. Oh my goodness, so tasty! I was really concerned with undoing all the hard work I have done over the past few months in regards to my weight but I ended up gaining three pounds so all in all, I think I did ok. But our first formal night was certainly one to remember.

 The next day we were in Skagway, another beautiful piece of civilization nestled amoungst the majestic mountains. This was my favorite part of the trip. We, along with a family of 4, were driven up to the top of the mountain and given a bicycle. We got to ride down the 4,000 ft from summit to sea and it was just one of those moments in life I will never forget. Watching the snow give way to soil, soil give way to saplings, saplings give way to trees and finally riding into town, it was just so exhilarating! If that wasn’t enough, we even managed to pass a bear! He was along side the road, scratching at the earth when we zoomed by him but it was really awesome to be so close! I didn’t take a picture because we were on bikes and I could see myself trying to manage that, take a picture and not ride off the mountain or worse, fall in front of the bear. So you will just have to believe me when I say I saw a bear!

After leaving Skagway, we hit Tracy Arm/Endicott fjords and got to see some pretty impressive sights! I loved the low lying clouds in this pic. It is probably one of my faves but you can already see some of the chunks of ice floating in the water.

Of course, the small treasures left in our rooms were some of the highlights for the evening. First there was the elephant, then the crab and on the last night, the lobster. So incredibly cute! And I even managed to get an instruction sheet on how to make them at home. That would be a really neat think to do for anyone staying overnight, just to give them a chuckle.

    

Once we passed through Alaska, we were at sea for 2 days, headed for Victoria, British Columbia.

I’ll talk about that trip in a later post. 😉

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2012 in Alaska, Life, Randomness, Travel

 

Alaskan Cruise Report Part 1

May 17th was my 2nd anniversary with M and I wanted to do something uber special. When a friend recommended a group cruise, I jumped on it. But I didn’t stop there. I wanted this trip to be one that we remembered for years to come. So I jumped online and started researching bed and breakfast establishments in the area. Unfortunately, more than a few didn’t want to work with me because I only needed one night and they required a minimum of two. Never mind that I wanted a Thursday night which more often than not, is not that popular but who am I to argue with someone’s business plans.

Thankfully, just as I was about to give up, The Chambered Nautilus answered my prayers. I had no idea what to really expect when I booked the room but when the shuttle dropped us off from the airport, it took my breath away. It sits up off the road, requiring a trek up an impressive set of stairs (with luggage mind you) and just surrounded with lush plants and trees. Coming from Texas and its study in brown and dying, it was almost a shock on just how green and colorful the vegetation was all around! 

I was able to book the Garden Chamber. The pictures simply do not give this room justice. It was so cozy and homey feeling. The bed was uber comfortable and I slept like a dream. Unfortunately morning came all too soon and it was time to go downstairs to have breakfast. I was slightly concerned because M is not a huge fan of bananas. The first remove for breakfast was a sliced banana parfait type appetizer with sour cream whipped with orange syrup and topped with fresh raspberries. For the main attraction, stuff french toast with cream cheese and orange marmalade with orange syrup. Delicious does not even begin to give breakfast the appropriate level of definition. M not only polished off the bananas but his french toast and half of mine.

It was quite the meal and just what we needed for our morning walk around the neighborhood. Again, I was just awe stuck at the plants I saw during our walk. These are just a few of my favorites. I know the first one is a calla lilly but I have no idea what the other two are. Anyone who would like to educate me, I would appreciate the input!

      

Another interesting element was 52nd street. It was not like any street I’ve ever seen:

Yes, that is indeed a flight of stairs. I should also note t hat I am only half way up the stairs. That part at the very top that ends? That just makes a turn to the right and another flight of stairs takes you to the street over. However, what really made this an even more interesting area was the community gardens that ran alongside the stairs. Such a great use of space.

Our walk ended up taking a couple hours and we got back to the B&B just in time to catch our shuttle to the pier! The moment was here! We were going to Alaska!  Yay!

The sign welcoming us to Pier 91 was such a welcome sight.

Once we passed the sign, it was a whirlwind of security checks and paperwork before we got the first glimpse of the room where we would be staying for the next week.

But that is a post for another time. 😉

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2012 in Alaska, Life, Randomness, Travel

 

ASK Cosmetics’ Beach-Ready Toe Nail Challenge – Week Three & Four

As a recap, you can see photos from Week One here and Week Two can be seen here. This will be a combination of week 3 and week 4 since my camera gave up the ghost last week and I can’t get the pics I took last week while on the cruise. 😦

I have really noticed a dramatic difference in my toes in just 3 weeks. The nails that have cracks in them were painfully splitting and breaking off before I started the challenge which would cause me to have to cut off half the nail in order to alleviate the pain. If I didn’t do this at least every other week, the nail breaking off would end up being caught in my socks or carpet and ripped off.  I have not had to deal with any of that in 3 weeks and from the looks of it, the nails are not showing any signs of breaking off at all. I can honestly say I have never seen my toe nails look this healthy.

The one thing that has had a minor change is the ridges in my big toe nails. While they are not quite as pronounced as they used to be, they can still be felt when I run my finger across them. I am hoping that since there has been some improvement, that it continues along and soon smooth out.

Since Tips for Toes can also be used on fingernails, I have been applying it to them when I do my toes twice a day. I definitely have noticed the skin around my nails looking and feeling smoother, I am not dealing with as many hang nails as I used to. Please ignore the spot on my cuticle on my left hand. That was me picking at a piece of dead skin when I should have left it alone. However, using the Tips for Toes on it as kept the scab soft enough to not pull on the surrounding skin as well as let it heal quickly.

The one thing that I have noticed that is interesting is on my right thumb. A blemish (for a lack of a better word) formed and grew out. The interesting portion of this is the nail growing out behind the blemish. From the looks of it, that portion of my nail is completely smooth. No ridges whatsoever so I am really excited for my nail to grow out a bit more so I can see if this hold true.

 

Alaska Bound!

By the time this goes live, I will be getting on a boat headed to Alaska!

It’s my 2 year anniversary with the man who has made me completely and totally happy. To celebrate, we and a bunch of friends have decided to do a group birthday/anniversary party cruise.

All the chaos of getting the pet and plant sitters scheduled, house cleaned, suitcases packed and trying to anticipate our needs without over packing now seems worth it for the adventure we are about to face together.

There will be plenty of pictures to post once I get back along with my anticipated Birchbox and Beauty Army boxes to review and let’s not forget the dining room table and chairs project! But all in good time, my friends!

In the meantime, I hope you all have a fantastic week ahead!

 

ASK Cosmetics’ Beach-Ready Toe Nail Challenge – Week Two

If you are just tuning in, you can read Week One of my Beach Ready Toe Nail Challenge here:

I have to say, I am really impressed with the results so far. My nails have never really looked this hydrated and pink in a really long time. The skin feels wonderful and I have not had to deal with any of my usual excessive white flakes.

I haven’t noticed anything regarding the ridges or splits but it has only been 2 weeks. Right now, just not having to deal with the constant onslaught of white flakey skin is a win for me. I really am excited to see what happens after 6 weeks. Please disregard the blemish on my big toe, I slipped in the garage and stubbed my toe.

 

May Birchbox Woes

The fiasco over the May charge has been resolved  and my account was indeed credited. I am slightly annoyed it took over a week to come to a conclusion since they have a SLA of 3 days.

Now we have another issue. The tracking information for my May box is showing up with the shipping information for my April box. I’ve shot off an email, asking what is going on but if it turns out I end up not getting 2 boxes, I’ll be dropping Birchbox. I don’t have the time or patience to babysit a service when there isn’t anything wrong on my end.

My level of cope when it comes to dealing with this has reached an all time low and when compared to Beauty Army’s quick resolution to their shipping orders, a 3 day SLA is sorely lacking.

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2012 in BirchBox, Subscription Programs

 

Naughty Monkey Shoes Giveaway!

Head on over to Naughty Monkey Facebook and leave a comment on their wall on what size and style shoe you like and what you’d pair it with!

One lucky winner will be picked tomorrow (May 15) at 11am PST! If you haven’t seen their gorgeous shoes, drop everything right now and head on over to their brand new website! I love their shoes! Sooooo freaking gorgeous!

Good luck to all of us! 😀

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2012 in Fashion, Life, Naughty Monkey, Randomness

 
 
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