Wow, what a fabulous vacation! We couldn't have had better weather or booked better excursions. Celebrity was top notch and the food was pretty much 5 star every meal. Best to book excursions not with Celebrity unless you relish crowds. Most of our excursions before arriving at the interior of Denali were booked through other agencies. And most of those 'other' excursions had less than 10 people on them. That's the way to go when you can do it.
It will be awhile before I can download my photos since I borrowed my daughter-in-law's Nikon Cool Pix camera and I don't have the attachment to download them to my Mac. :0( Hopefully, when I see her next she can put them on a thumb drive for me. Either that or I will stop by Office Depot and see what they have to offer me.
Most of my videos off of my iPhone I posted on Facebook. The humpback whales in Icy Strait was a once in a lifetime happening to have 5 coming straight for our boat holding 10 people. They were blowing and rolling in the waters making a V- line for our boat. It was a bit unnerving as two dove directly under our boat. One photographer says in the video, "I'm scared" and all you could hear me say is "Oh shit" over and over again!
The other highlight other than seeing grizzlies, a wolf, and some Moose was visiting Jeff King's Homestead kennels. Jeff is the winniest musher in Alaska, winning the Iditarod some 4 times. Plus, he is a gifted speaker and funny as hell! He gives tours of his kennels 3 X a day during the tourist season to help offset his costs. His hired help live on the kennel grounds. i loved how they mentioned that their working huskies were like working Border Collies, totally unlike AKC show huskies and show BCs. They are bred for stamina, correct conformation, temperament plus the ability to pull and run. Just like the BC's it doesn't matter what they look like, ears up, ears down, etc. They are bred for a working purpose.
In Hoona, Icy Strait, Alaska there is an estimated 1.7 brown bear (Grizzly) per square mile. That is more brown bears than anywhere else in the world. We took an excursion to see some. We saw none. But, when we went into the interior of Denali on a bus trip we saw 8 brown bear. I don't even think they have black bear. The grizzlies were chowing down in the meadows getting ready for winter. We also saw Moose with their yearling calves, lots of caribou, Dall sheep, and one lone grey wolf. You can backpack into the interior of Denali National Park, but you can't drive in there. So we had to go by bus, a very uncomfortable crowded bus....but it was worth it in the long run (I think)
My stomach is trying to get back to normal from eating 3 "rich" meals a day plus I gained 4 pounds back that I had lost previous to the trip. But, it was worth it. Now I am settling in at home, plan to get unpacked this weekend, wash done, etc. etc. Looking forward to my brother and his wife coming the end of this month which is barely 2 weeks away! They will be staying with me for 5 days. I can't wait! They are on a 6 week vacation drive across the country starting from Tyler, Texas. I finally slept like a rock last night. The first few days were spent worrying about Wayne driving home and me, adjusting to being back home. All is well. My neighbors have all checked in with me. Home feels wonderful.