Sunday, August 1, 2010 – Good morning my fellow Colts Fans!! I am starting off my week by waking up on a beautiful Alaskan Cruise. I flew from the Indianapolis Airport on Friday, July 30th to Seattle where we boarded our cruise ship. This is the first cruise I have ever been on so I am very excited!! I am also very unsure of what to expect from the weather and scenery in Alaska. I woke up around 6:00 a.m. Pacific time to get off the ship at 7:00 in Ketchikan, AK. We went straight from the cruise ship to a fishing boat just on the other side of the dock, which was scheduled to take us on a five hours Alaskan fishing trip. To be quite honest, I am not really into fishing and this was not my first choice of excursions. I hung out of the boat for the first couple of hours just watching everyone else; finally my Dad talked me into trying to catch one. I DID IT!! I caught my first fish of the day and because of the event that happened next, it was certainly my last. As they netted my fish to throw it into the bin with all the other fish…..its eyeball popped out!! Gruesome, I know! I was officially done fishing after that. I still had to get a picture with my one fish though and since I was too afraid to hold it myself, I made my younger, and oddly enough, eager sister hold it for me. We counted up all the fish; we caught a total of 26 pink salmon! It was a fun excursion, but I was glad to be done. We got to look around town and get some souvenirs once we were done with the fishing trip, then it was time to load the ship.
Monday, August 2, 2010 – This is the fourth day of the cruise and I am very pleased to say to I have no signs of motions sickness; I was a little worried since I've never been on a cruise before. I woke up again around 6:00 a.m. to see the Tracy Arm Fjord. When we entered into the fjord and there were so many little icebergs in the water, lots of waterfalls, and absolutely beautiful scenery. At the end of the fjord are two twin glaciers, named North Sawyer and South Sawyer. It was a truly magnificent sight! The glaciers were huge and such a bright turquoise color. There were lots of Harbor seals lying along the icebergs and there were even some Orca Whales that swam beside our ship as we left the fjord. We were on the sea for a few more hours that day until we reached Juneau, AK. After we got off the ship, a bus took us up to the Mendenhall Glacier where we got to hike around, take some pictures, and just enjoy the natural beauty of the glacier and the mountains. From there, a whale watching boat came and picked us up. There is a thing that the Humpback Whales do called "bubble feeding." This is where the whales scare all the fish to the top of the water by blowing bubbles, and then in complete synchronization they hurdle themselves all at once in a circle to eat as many of the fish as they can catch in their baleen. They would come up to feed exactly every four minutes! My family and I watched this remarkable feeding behavior in amazement for about an hour or two. Unfortunately, we had to leave in order to make it back in time to get on the cruise. We had a wonderful dinner together as a family in the main dining room, my sisters and I even decided to try escargot. We were exhausted after dinner, so my sisters and I went back to our room to watch a movie and fall asleep.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010 – We were supposed to go on a train ride excursion at 7:30 a.m.when we docked in Skagway, AK. Thankfully, we talked our dad into signing up for the 12:00 p.m. trip instead. My sisters and I slept in, we got up and got ready for the day, and then we had some lunch on the ship before we boarded on the train. We have been extremely fortunate everyday so far with beautiful weather, since some of the Southeastern parts of Alaska are considered to be temperate rain forests; it rains most of the time in the summer. All the locals kept telling us how we got very lucky with the weather. We took the old fashioned train on the White Pass & Yukon Route, which is historic and famous for being the first railroad that took miners to the Canadian Klondike during the gold rush in the 1890's. It was actually kind of scary going up such steep mountains on a shaky train, but it was also just as gorgeous. We went from Skagway, Alaska up to the White Pass Summit, which was near Fraser, B.C. My boyfriend is from Canada and his name is Fraser, so I found this particularly amusing. The train ride was a total of three hours, so we had plenty of time to shop and look around town once we were done. I did most of my souvenir shopping while we were in Skagway, then we all boarded the ship to get some dinner and relax. Also, we had met a nice family the second day of the cruise that had kids around the same age as my sisters and myself. We all hung out after dinner. We played cards, charades and a got to know each other.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010 – Another wonderful day of sleeping in. This ship makes me sleep like a little baby. It's great! We left the port last night after Skagway, AK, and we were going to be at sea all day today and part of tomorrow on our way to Victoria, Canada. I had a fun filled day of eating at the buffet, relaxing by the indoor pool, and getting some quality bonding time with my family and new friends. The cruise had a formal dinner planned for everyone on the ship in the main restaurant that night, so my sisters and I took our time getting all pimped and dressed-up. I love getting dressed-up!
We had an amazing dinner and we hung out with our friends again after dinner to watch a dance show. Two of my sisters and one of the sisters that we met got pulled up on stage to dance with the cruise dances…it was hilarious! After dancing for awhile, we were all tuckered out, so we headed to our own rooms to go to bed.
Thursday, August 5, 2010 – We are still at sea for a majority of the day, we will be docking in Victoria, B.C. around 7:00 p.m. On a side note from the cruise, since I am missing cheerleading practice this week to be on this cruise, I have been waiting to hear about a certain piece of news about cheerleading. We, The Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders, got invited to go to Mexico City for a Show Troupe Tour in September. This is my fourth year as a Colts Cheerleaders, and I have yet to go on a Show Troupe Tour. I have had my fingers crossed all week that I get to go on this one! As we docked in Victoria and I finally had a bit of service….I got a parade of text messages from some of my fellow cheerleaders informing me that I was 1 of 12 girls selected to go on this tour!! I can not wait! I was already in a wonderful mood from the good news and then it just got even better when we arrived at the Butchart Gardens. Fifty-five acres of stunning floral landscaping in Victoria, B.C, it was breathtakingly beautiful! We took the tour bus back into town from the gardens; we got to see the China Town, the Empress Hotel and the Parliament building. We decided to take a pedicab back to the cruise ship, just for fun. It was midnight by the time we boarded back on the ship, so we got a quick bite from the buffet and we spent most of the night playing games and hanging out with our good friends that we met on the ship. We figured we didn't need much sleep since it was the last night of the cruise, but we did decide that we would need some sleep so we went to bed.
Friday, August 6, 2010 – We docked back in Seattle, Washington early Friday morning. We ate some breakfast, said bye to our friends and grabbed our bags to head to the airport. Our flight to Minnesota was about three and a half hours and we took a connecting flight to Indy…..Home Sweet Home!! I didn't get home though until about 11:30 p.m. and I had a cheerleader appearance bright and early in the morning so I headed straight to bed. I got a phone call from my sister around 1:00 a.m. informing me that my family's house in Bloomington, IN had flooded from a broken pipe while we were on vacation. I had a difficult time sleeping after that, but I tried to get some shut eye.
Saturday, August 7, 2010 – I woke up around 6:00 a.m. to get ready for my cheerleader appearance today. I met up with LeAndra (my teammate) and Kelsey (Cheerleader Intern) at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Complex so that we could all ride to the appearance together. We had a three hour drive ahead of us to Decatur, IL where we were going to appear in a local parade. It was a very fun and eventful trip on the way there and riding in the parade was a ton of fun! We were all starving after we finished with the appearance in Decatur, IL so we stopped at Olive Garden on our way home to Indy to get some yummy food. Once we get back to the complex, I hopped in my car and drove to Bloomington, IN to help my family with the flooded house. It was so much worse than I was expecting once I actually got to see it. It was so sad. They are going to have to tear down almost all of the walls in the house, tear up the floors, the ceilings were already broken in…the whole place is pretty much going to have to be gutted. I helped move out any of the stuff that was salvageable and threw away everything that wasn't. It definitely wasn't the happiest thing, but it could definitely be worse, and I was happy that I could be there for my family. I stayed the night with my sisters at a friend's house. We all watched Perry Jackson: Lightening Thief and fell asleep.
Sunday, August 8, 2010 – I headed home from Bloomington, IN today and went straight to the Colts Complex for a cheerleader appearance with the Junior Colts Cheerleaders. We all learned a cute dance before the Jr. Cheerleaders got there Once they started arriving, we greeted the girls and put them in their groups according to age and started teaching them the dance. We taught them and practiced with them for two hours. We had to make sure they really knew the dance because they will be performing the pre-game dance with us at our first home pre-season game next Sunday. I was exhausted from the heat, dancing and all the recent activities, so I went home and took a nice, long nap….it was wonderful! That was my week! I hope you enjoyed it and hopefully you will all be looking for me and my other teammates at the Colts game next Sunday, August 15, 2010. Go Colts!!!