I'll Have The Veggie Plate, Please

Kenyon and I went to Sizzler the other night to use a $6.99 coupon that was about to expire.  Yes, we do love our coupons and even our early bird dinners at Sizzler.  However, this dinner was not during senior-citizen-hours.
The coupon was for steak and a choice of chicken or shrimp.  Sounds like a great deal right?  Turns out the size of the steak was only 3 oz and you don’t get to pick your side item.  I had decided not to add on a salad bar since I had salad earlier in the day and the benefit of a cheap meal was the coupon deal.  I had looked up the PPVs before we went and had planned to eat half my steak and half my hibachi chicken.  Once I learned the steak was only 3 oz and the only side item it came with was mashed potatoes (I asked and they said I could not sub a different side item) my decision was to eat all of my steak and all of my chicken plus some mashed potatoes, minus the gravy.
The potatoes weren’t even that good.  Talk about a total let down.  The 3 oz of steak and the full size chicken breast (7PPVs total)should have been enough to satisfy me.  However, it did not and I was left feeling sort of hungry and not overall fulfilled.
Eating 7 PPVs was a good amount and I had also factored in 2 PPVs for the potatoes (they didn’t seem to have any frills and I didn’t eat the full portion).  And I counted 1 PPV for the fried onion straws on top of the steak.  I also had just eaten a good amount of protein but knew I needed veggies to finish out my meal, even if my taste buds were wanting ice cream.  We came home and I rounded up some quick veggies.  I boiled some carrots, microwaved some frozen corn, and heated up some green beans.  It did the trick and I only ended up eating an additional 2 PPVs for the frozen corn.

It might not be conventional, but instead of paying extra for sides at Sizzler, it still got the job done.


Oatmeal, Oatmeal, Oatmeal

I love oatmeal.  I have oatmeal for breakfast most days.  I like my oatmeal cooked on the stove with a chopped up apple or pear.  I always add cinnamon during the baking process.  Once my oatmeal has cooked I will then add brown sugar and a Stevia packet letting it sit on the stove covered with a lid for a bit.  I top it with peanut butter and honey.

I never get tired of oatmeal.  Sometimes I change it up and add fresh strawberries after cooking.  I will sometimes add frozen blueberries during the cooking process and I really enjoy it with fresh cranberries.  They are tart and juicy when cooked.  Plus they make a funny hissing noise as they boil.

Through the wonderful world of blogging, I learned about Overnight Oats.  This is a cold version of oatmeal mixed with yogurt and milk.  Overnight Oats is very yummy when you mix it up to set overnight in a peanut butter jar with left over peanut butter residual.  It is very easy to make.  You take equal parts oats (raw or uncooked), milk, and yogurt.  I add cinnamon, a Stevia packet and frozen fruit.  Mix it all up and place it into the fridge to set overnight.  The oats soak up the milk and yogurt mixture.  It is an easy breakfast for on the go.  You could also add flavored yogurt if you wanted.

Hungry Girl gave me the idea to cook my oatmeal plan then add in a container of no sugar added flavored applesauce at the end of cooking.  This way you get a different kind of oatmeal everyday.

Recently I have been mixing part oats and part Cream of Wheat for a creamier texture then just straight hot oats.  I measure everything and 40 grams of oatmeal (1 serving) is 4 PPVs.  Instead of 40 grams oats I will measure 30 grams of oats and 10 grams of whole grain Cream of Wheat.  I use the plain kind since it has less sugar but you could you a flavored kind of Cream of Wheat if you wanted.  33 grams of Cream of Wheat (1 serving) is 3 PPVs so by measuring out 10 grams it is only 1 PPV.  You still have a serving of oatmeal that is 4 PPVs.  By cutting up an apple or pear and cooking it in with my oatmeal it increases the volume.  The peanut butter topping is just an added bonus since I love it so much!



Loose Skin and the Body After Weight Loss

**This is a very honest post with photos of what losing a large amount of weight does to the body.  If you don’t want to see me that up close and personal, it is best for you to skip over this post**

Also, I took all these photos by myself so not as easy as I thought.

Okay then…

Have you ever noticed that about half way through the season when The Biggest Loser starts airing that the female contestants no longer do their weigh-in in their sports bras and the male contestants no longer shirtless?  Instead, this is the time when the men wear sleeveless tee shirts and the women tank tops.  I think I now know why this happens.  When a person loses a large amount of weight, the impact on the body isn’t pretty.  The fact of the matter is that excess skin remains in place of excess fat while proving a daily reminder of how unhealthy a body once was.

I have seen contestants of The Biggest Loser, as well as other weight loss type shows, provide interviews about their excess skin and why surgery is a realistic option for them.  For some, excess skin can have an effect on daily life and even hinder exercise and other types of activity where the skin gets in the way.  Some have chafing and other uncomfortable pleasantries.  For me, it is not that bad nor is it that uncomfortable.

I have also had to work hard to learn acceptance of this new body I am living in.  Some days I don’t even notice it.  I wear a compression tank everyday (except at work) to help my muffin top fit better into my jeans.  I feel like I look fine with my clothes on.  My husband loves me with my clothes off.  So, I have learned to accept this new body.

Sure, I wish I could wear the size of jeans I actually worked hard to earn.  If it wasn’t for my excess skin around the middle, I probably could really be wearing a size 12 pant instead of a size 14.  I also wish I had less excess skin under my arms, also known as “wings”.  Some people will tell you that with time your skin shrinks a bit or that extra weight lifting can help.  I really don’t believe that.  Surgery is the only guaranteed way to get rid of it.  Just the cost alone makes surgery something I am not interested in.  Well, that and the healing time and risk of infection.  It just isn’t for me.

So, I am guessing you want to see photos now?  I have tried to take these photos to show my excess skin in its true form.  Although I have lost 130 lbs, I know some of my excess is still fat.  I really could stand to lose another 20 pounds but that isn’t really ever going to happen.

Here is my stomach area.  It is the largest part of excess skin I have.  The bottom dents into this little dimple type shape.  Just like other types of skin, it does float when submerged under water….hahaha.

Here is what my compression tank top looks like.  You have to try out different types to find the one that works best for you and is comfortable enough to wear all day.  I am a firm believer in smoothing and shaping!

The excess under my arms can make wearing sleeveless shirts/tank tops a tough option and I really don’t.  I also found out when searching for new workout tops that the arm sleeves seem to be getting smaller and smaller and my poor underarms looks like Chris Farley’s impression of “fat man in a little coat.”  I also noticed them more when I am lifting weight in front of the mirror at the YMCA.  I wonder if other people notice.  If they do, nobody has said anything.  My brother joked once that I just need to not lift my arms when I see somebody I know and wave to them.


My inner thighs also have some excess skin and are quite jiggley (spell check seems to not know how to spell this word and neither do I).

My boobs, which you won’t be seeing a photo of, also look slightly deflated but are looking okay.  I appreciate my Victoria Secret bras and will always strive to have cleavage that looks like it is sitting on a shelf.

I am not intending this to be a huge downer post where I feel all sorry for myself.  I also don’t want you reading this to feel sorry for yourself or struggle with body image.  Bottom line: I would still lose the weight even knowing this is what my body would look like.  It is a constant reminder of where I have been and why I will not be going back.

There are many things I do love about myself.  I love seeing my collar bones, feeling my hip bones, and most of all being able to cross my legs again.  My body is healthy and I am active and I couldn’t ask for anything more!


My Weight Watchers Bling

One of the benefits of attending Weight Watcher meetings, in my opinion, is the celebrations.  I enjoy celebrating weight loss milestones with my fellow WW members.

There are 5 lb stars up for grabs and I enjoyed collecting many through my weight loss journey.  There was also a key chain and several charms to go on it.  Once you reach goal, it can be difficult to no longer earn 5 lb stars and big awards.

As a Lifetime Member you collect a Bravo star for each month you weigh in at your goal weight.  After you have collected 10 Bravo stickers in a calendar year, you are awarded another Lifetime key charm.

In the picture above, these are all the charms I currently have collected.  I prefer to keep my key ring and charms safe at home.  Other use it as a visual “anchor” to help them along their maintenance journey.

The key ring itself if in the shape of a 10 and you earn this once you lose 10% of your starting weight.  This is usually the first award you win unless you have a substantial amount of weight to lose.

My first charm was the clapping hands (hard to see but towards the top of the photo and to the left).  I earned these for my 16th week of attendance.  In Weight Watchers, research shows that after a member has stayed for 16 weeks, they have made WW a part of their life and will be a continued success.

I then earned my 25, 50, 75, and 100 pound “washers”.  These are supposed to signify a weight like if you were at the gym lifting weights but we call them washers.  Since I lost 130 pounds, it would have been nice to get another 25 pound washer but I wasn’t given one.

I got a 5K charm, two of them actually, for separate years of participating in Weight Watchers 5K Walk It Challenge.  I walked a 5K with my other WW members.

I earned the star when I met my goal weight.

And finally, the gold Lifetime Keys.

I am very pound of my “bling”.  I find it to be a great motivator for myself.


Staying Active

Staying active is an important part of my maintenance journey and part of my healthy lifestyle.  I wish I was the type of person that loved to jog, but sadly I do not.  I do enjoy physical activity and prefer to just get out for a walk.  Winter proves to be harder as I am not a fan of the cold weather.

I aim to earn 20 APs a week.  I wear my heart rate monitor to count my calorie burn when I exercise.  1 AP = 80 calories.  There are many ways to keep track of your activity and to calculate your APs.  I prefer my HRM.  I have not tried Active Link, although I hear good things about it.

I didn’t join a gym or do any formal type of exercise until I had lost about 100 pounds.  My main form of activity was walking and at home workout DVDs.  I always figured the Biggest Loser workout DVDs were the closest I would get to an actual trainer.  I also enjoyed Leslie Sansone’s Walk Away The Pounds workout DVDs.  I even own one Richard Simmonds’ Sweating ToThe Oldies VHS tape! 

I joined the YMCA after I had taken an exercise class offered through Boise Community Education that was held at the West Y.  I just really loved the fitness center and it had an indoor walking track, which was perfect for the winter months.

I have tried out many different group fitness classes since joining the Y.  Water Aerobics, Group Power, Zumba, Group Active, Spinning, Group Kick, Yoga, First Step Y, Total Athletic Conditioning, and Group Ride.  I have developed some favorite classes that prefer to attend.  The class times may change with my rotating work schedule but the classes I attend are the same.

Group Kick is a kickboxing class.  It is all you and moving your body to typical kickboxing moves.  The class is set to music and there are different types of moves for each music “track.”  It is pretty high intensity the whole class.  I really enjoy this class and the instructors.  Sometimes my knees don’t like it!

Group Active allows you to get your three basic fitness components; cardio, strength, and balance, all in one hour.  The first 20 minutes you are on the step following moves set to music.  These are just basic step moves and really easy to follow.  This is quite high intensity but the moves can always be modified.  The second 20 minutes is strength training.  We use hand weights to follow moves set to music and work all the major muscle groups.  The final 20 minutes is balance and strength.  This is not usually my favorite one.  You are usually hopping around looking like a silly person while you dance to music.  While balance is important, I don’t like this part much.

We bought a treadmill a year or so ago.  It was Kenyon that really wanted it and I figured it would end up being a coat rack.  It turns out that I love to get on the treadmill at home and it has come in very handy during winter months.  We have our treadmill in the computer room where I can watch the TiVo with my recorded shows.  Sometimes when I really want to watch my show but need to work out, I’ll get on the treadmill.  Or if I feel like in order to watch TV I should be doing something active, I get on the treadmill.  I have really enjoyed this purchase!

I also enjoy Leslie Sansone’s DVDs and have been enjoying her newest Walk Away The Pounds.  This is a customizable workout with up to 5 miles.  It also has new moves that I haven’t seen in some of the DVDs I have at home.  I am really enjoying this workout lately.

I do go through phases where I don’t have the motivation to workout.  I often feel that as long as I get something in that it is better than nothing.  Even those times are still tough.  Healthy and active really do go hand in hand so if I want to stay successful to WW, I need to stay active!


WW Members Not Yet At Goal

I am a part of a daily thread on the Weight Watchers message boards for those that have lost 100+ pounds.  We have a really great group and I have enjoyed getting to know others who have lost a large amount of weight and are maintaining that loss.

One member shared that several of his meeting members were coming up to him after the meeting to ask questions.  This was often when the leader was busy.  He wanted to know if others experienced this.  I have.

First off, I talk a lot.  Probably way too much if you ask my family and my husband.  I am very open and honest and am not afraid to share my experience about weight loss and maintenance.  I also feel I have a good grasp on the WW program and on nutrition in general.  I am always happy to answer questions or talk with other members.  I also enjoy sharing my weight loss story.

There is a new member to our online thread that shared her thoughts on this question.  She made note that losing a large amount of weight isn’t an easy task nor do you encounter many that have done that.  It is impressive and encouraging to new members.  I agree with this.  I think our large weight loss does put us in an elite class all our own.  It can seem as though we know the answers but we don’t.

This conversation got me thinking about how many WW members never make it to their goal weight.  Some you still see at the same meetings for years and years.  I never quite understand why they have not made it to goal yet.  I wonder if I was just lucky.  I didn’t have any kids and my husband was very supportive of my weight loss journey.  While my job is not flexible, I had many meetings available to me so I could change when I needed to.  Perhaps I had the right means and ability to get to goal sooner and easier?  Everybody has their different setbacks and struggles and everybody loses weight differently.

I also wonder if some of those members that have been attending meetings for a long time are just content.  They are content with where they are now or that they have their social group keeping them entertained.  I know the old ladies in my morning meetings use that time for social gathering.  I attended my original meeting location from six years ago and saw a mother/daughter duo that was attending this meeting when I started.  Martha had lost 80 pounds back then.  She still looked good but she said she was not yet at goal.  Her mother did get to goal and also looked good.  It was nice to see them and I was happy they were still attending their meetings.  It does make me wonder why Martha isn’t yet at goal.  What are her personal struggles or setback that is keeping her from it?  Or does she just lack the want to get to goal?

Some might even be scared.  Maintenance is a scary place and often a new place that not many people have ever been too.  We know how to gain weight.  We know how to lose weight.  But does anybody really know how to maintain weight?  It could be just fear of getting to goal and keeping the weight off “for this go round.”  Whatever the reason, it does sadden me to see less people achieving their goal weight. 

If you are reading this blog and not yet to goal, is something stopping you?


I Love Frozen Yogurt

Through the blog world, I have learned there are yogurt shops out there when you chose your own toppings and make it all up yourself.  The only yogurt shop Idaho had was TCBY and you had to pay extra for toppings that they put on.  We had a yogurt shop for small amount of time that two toppings were included in the cost. 

You can imagine my excitement when our first yogurt shop came to town just like I was reading about in the blog world.  Aspen Leaf Yogurt was my first experience and it cost me $6.00.  Whoops.  I guess as $0.44 per ounce, it can add up quickly! 

I tend to like the plain types of yogurt with fruit topping.  Since fruit weighs a bit more than other toppings I try to wait until the yogurt shops run a deal so it costs less.  Each of the yogurt shops in town are on Facebook and often run deals where you can fill as much as you want for $3 or $4.  That is my kind of deal.  Unfortunately, at least for my waistline, when you “like” several Facebook pages of different frozen yogurt companies, there can be a deal each day.  The PPVs can really begin to add up.

My usual yogurt consists of three or four kinds of yogurt, I try to pour small but I just love it so much, with a little coconut, a few mini chocolate chips, some slivered almonds, and fresh fruit. 

If I am feeling in a candy mood I love Reeses Peanut Butter Cups!  They also have yummy cookie dough balls and cheesecake squares.  My favorite kinds of yogurt are the dukce da leche (Caramel), coconut, cheesecake, vanilla, and one place as a very delicious no-sugar-added pecan praline.

Counting PPVs can be tough.  I don’t really know how much I am getting and there is no real nutrition information to go off us.  I usually count my whole dish (the above with the fruit) as 7 PPVs.  As I said before, I try to keep the yogurt size reasonable but sometimes I just want more!!

I also have been cutting back on how much I have.  Eating should be fun, and lately it hasn’t felt very fun, but it also needs to be in good moderation and portion control.  Yummm…now I want yogurt!


Our Five Year Wedding Annivesary

On March 21, 2008, I married an amazing man on top of Sandia Mountain in Albuquerque, NM.  Kenyon and I grow more and more in love each day.  I am so happy to have had five wonderful years, so far, with this wonderful man.  To say I am a lucky woman is an understatement. 

I met Kenyon through my sister Katie.  She had actually given me his email address several months prior.  The Old Lindsay would have emailed him something funny and tried to start communication.  However, the Old Lindsay was starting her transformation into the New Lindsay and I just didn’t have the extra energy.  My sister was throwing herself a birthday party (you already know we love birthdays in our family and Katie is no different).  I really did not want to go.  She begged me to not cancel as Kenyon had taken the night off work to come to the party.

I drove to her house that evening really wishing he wouldn’t show up.  I just wasn’t interested in dating at that time in my life.  I had already started my weight loss journey and had already lost 50 pounds.  I was just happy with focusing on myself and my weight loss.  Plus, dating was not very much fun…just ask my 304 pound former self.

Of course, Kenyon was the first guest to arrive at the party.  Kenyon knew he was being set up with one of Katie’s sisters but he wasn’t sure yet if it was me or Jenny.  I had seen a picture of him and was sort of relieved he no longer had his flat top hair cut and 80’s style glasses.  Kenyon sat next to me for most of the evening and we talked in the living room with some other guests/coworkers.  At one point when we were in the kitchen getting cake, a fellow party guest asked how long Kenyon and I had been together.  I was mortified!  We both sort of laughed.  I said it was our first night meeting.  Kenyon said, “I was just sitting in the comfy chair.”

Wow!  I was not very happy by that statement.  I thought to myself, “all this time I have been chatting with you just so you could sit in the comfy chair?”  I decided to test my theory.  I got my cake and returned to my original seat.  I figured if Kenyon sat back down in his same chair then he might have interest in me and I would ask for his number at the end of the night.  If he didn’t sit in his same chair then I concluded he wasn’t interested in me.  Well, as luck would have it, Kenyon sat down next to me and we resumed our free flowing conversation.  So I asked for him email at the end of the night.

Our first date was to an ice skating rink.  Kenyon is from New Mexico and he came up with a “cool” idea since it was July and quite hot out.  I had only ice skated once or twice in my life but since I had become more active I thought I would give it a try.  Ice skating is TOUGH STUFF!  Besides the fact that it takes a lot of energy to get around the rink just one time, after a couple of laps I was winded and sweating to death.  I thought for sure this guy would never call me again after he saw how much I could sweat.  We went to IHOP for more conversation and a bite to eat.  He was just so easy to talk to.

I had a trip planned to Canada to visit my friend Jacquie the following week.  I was miserable being away from a computer.  I would check my email on my phone constantly for messages from Kenyon.  I also tried to get onto a computer every chance I had.  I really enjoyed getting to know Kenyon more and more.  I talked non-stop about him in Canada but “didn’t want to jinx it.”  It was also just my luck that Kenyon was just as eager to get my emails.

We continued to go on dates, emailed daily, and talked on the phone from time to time.  I liked him more with each passing day.  Kenyon took a trip to Florida and a cruise with his cousin in October.  This was the first time that we didn’t have communication.  It was very hard and was when I realized just how much he meant to me.  I couldn’t wait until he returned to land so I could at least get a text message from him.  It turns out he was missing me just as much.

By November, we made a road trip to New Mexico so I could meet Kenyon’s family.  We had talked about looking at engagement rings upon our return.  Kenyon’s family is wonderful and I am also very happy to have them as in-laws.

Kenyon with his parents

We were engaged on December 18th.  Kenyon surprised me after dinner one night.  He couldn’t wait any longer and the ring was practically burning a hole in his pocket.  We had decided we would marry the following September and put in vacation requests at our work to visit the Oregon Cost in March to scout out possible off-site wedding venues.  My Grandmother asked me, “You two love each other don’t you?  Then what are you waiting for?”  She was right.  We loved each other and we were very happy.  I have a HUGE family so trying to decide what/where/when to have a wedding was tough.  My Mom suggested sort of eloping in that they could fly to New Mexico with us and we could get married there with Kenyon’s parents also present.  September turned into March and the idea blossomed from there.

We flew to Albuquerque a few days early to meet with our wedding officiate, Reverend Marjorie Loiselle, who was so sweet and wonderful.  With her help we developed a beautiful ceremony. 

Revrend Loiselle

My parents

Kenyon's parents on the left.  My parents on the right.

I had made arrangements for all of us to ride the tram, 2.7 miles, to the top of SandiaMountain and have our ceremony there.  We didn’t quite plan on 16 MPH winds that day though.  There was still snow on the back side of the mountain. 

I also made arrangements to have a small reception in the restaurant at the base of the hill, Sandiago’sMexican Grill, which also took wonderful care of us.  The only thing that would have made the day more perfect would to have had my siblings there.  I was so happy we were able to celebrate with Kenyon’s family.

We chose German Chocolate for our cake

I looked beautiful in my dress and Kenyon quite handsome in his tux.

The following day, we, along with my parents, boarded the plane to head back to Idaho.  We wore our bride and groom hats (much to Kenyon’s embarrassment) and received many “congratulations” as well as extra free drinks on the plane.  It was really a wonderful experience.

We had our wedding reception three months later here in Idaho.  I had rented the hall in Murphy for our celebration with family and friends.  My friends Jamie and Kevin made my cake, which we designed.  Each tier was a different kind.  It was a wonderful day.  I wished I had gotten photos with my family though.  I neglected to do that!

Us with Jamie and Kevin

Jamie, myself, and Rebecca

And each year after has been just as wonderful.  Kenyon and I have decided not to have children.  We are going to enjoy each other’s company, continue to make time for just us, and travel the world.  I look forward to one day celebrating our 50th Wedding Anniversary!!


My First Cruise - Alaska

My first cruising experience was to Alaska.  We chose Norwegian Cruise Lines for their “freestyle cursing.”  This means you don’t have a specific meal time where you eat with total strangers and no formal nights.  We really enjoy NCL and used them for our cruise to The Bahamas last year.  We are also scheduled to cruise with NCL in Hawaii in 2014.

Our cruise left from Seattle with port of call in Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, and Victoria, B.C.  We also cruised the Inside Passage and Glacier Bay.  The scenery in Alaska is beautiful.  We did not book a balcony due to the extra cost but there are many public areas to watch the scenery go by.  I even caught a few whale water puffs in the distance.  It was June and still quite cold on the ship and more so when the wind blew along the outside decks.  Poor Kenyon came down with the cold I had the week prior to our vacation and was very sick starting on day 2 of our cruise.  He was still a good sport considering he didn’t feel 100% himself.

Our ship for the week was The Pearl. 

Eager to get off the ship!

It has been so long now I can’t remember what deck we were even on.  With this being my first cruise I was highly impressed with the service we received.  Our room steward and stewardess worked hard cleaning our rooms and making sure we had what we needed.  They even knew our names by the end of the cruise.  One of the best parts of having your room taken care of what coming home in the evening to find the cute towel animals waiting.  We learned after a few days that you need to have the evening turndown service in order to get the animals.  We thought we were being nice in not having them clean our room twice.  Once we figured that out, we let them clean our room twice.

A mouse

A sanke
A bunny

An important thing to remember when cruising is….

Since Kenyon wasn't feeling well, I went by myself to a few of the entertainment-show options on the ship.  There was a very funny comedian/juggling act that had you laughing the entire time.  NCL ships are also known for their Jersey Boys type show.  We did not attend it on either of our two cruises but I do hear it Is an impressive show.

We cruised through the Inside Passage as we made our way to Juneau.  NCL brought a local park ranger on the ship to explain over the intercom the sights, animals, and facts about the Inside Passage.  Since it is a long way from Seattle to Juneau we were on our ship for one full day and then until 2pm the following afternoon.  I learned quickly I am not a girl that likes to be on the ship.  I prefer a stop at a port every day.  Perhaps if Kenyon was feeling better I would have enjoyed time on the ship more.  However, I was really looking forward to getting off the ship and walking around. 

All of the ports on our cruise were easy to walk to from the ship.  I had done plenty of research beforehand; however, I was pleasantly surprised to see that we could walk into each town very easily.  The part of Juneau we stopped on was quite small.  You could see a bridge that took you to another side of the island but that would have required a mode of transportation.  In Juneau we had booked an excursion through NCL to ride The Mount Roberts Tramway and get an eye view of the city. 


Here is our ship from the top of the tramway

Our next stop was Skagway.  This is the smallest town I have ever seen.  You could walk to the very end of town and still see our ship!  Kenyon and I booked the zipline excursion.  I have never been on a zipline before and had lots of fun.  I only wished it was a longer “ride.”  Our guide group was made up of several men who come to Alaska for the summer to work.  There was like 13 people all living in the same house!  They were really funny though.  This was also the first group excursion where we were able to visit with other cruise passengers.  We met another newlywed couple who were on their honeymoon from New York.  We ate fish and chips at the Alaskan Ale Brewing Company.


We then cruised in and around Glacier Bay.  NCL has two different types of Alaska itinerates, one with Glacier Bay and one with Tracy Arms.  I am not sure of the difference but based on other recommendations we chose Glacier Bay.  No words can describe the feeling of standing on the ship deck looking at this massive glacier.  The ship pulled up into this alcove and turned off the engine.  We just sat there in silence taking in this massive sight in the crisp afternoon air.  I think the whole trip was worth just that sight.

Ketchikan was our next port of call.  Much like the other towns we visited, this was small as well.  The popular excursion is the Lumber Jack Show.  Since that show, nor anything else interested us, we just walked around the town.  Ketchikan is known for its totem poles, which you can find all over town.

Sporting my Alaska hat
Our final stop was Victoria, B.C.  It is tough to say but I do think this was my favorite stop.  I would love to visit Seattle again and take the Victoria Clipper for another day trip.  I had THE BEST veggie burger at this pub we found while walking around town.  I am dying to go back and find that place again!  Victoria is quite large.  We decided to set out on foot and explore.  I had wanted to visit Craigdarroch Castle and had called them prior to ask about tours.  It turns out if you make your way to the castle they will let you join a tour group for a reduced fee.  I don’t think either of us realized just how far of a walk it would be to reach the castle.  It felt like we were never going to find it.  But low and behold, Kenyon’s wonderful navigation skills got us there.  I really enjoyed this beautiful old castle.

My good friend Jacquie lives in Canada.  I had to make sure I snapped a photo to prove I was in her country.

When we exited the ship we were met with various volunteers with the tourist organization all dressed in costume.  It was also surprisingly easy to get back onto the ship after visiting a different country.  We didn’t even need to show proof of our passport!

Our seven day cruise had come to an end and we arrived back in Seattle.  This was my second visit to Seattle and I really enjoy this quaint town.  We arrived at port at 7am and were off the ship by 9am.  Note to future travelers: There is NOTHING to do in Seattle on Sunday morning that early!  We were able to explore my favorite market.  We spotted an Old Spaghetti Factory so we just waited around until it opened and enjoyed some lasagna.  We caught our flight home later that day.