Today we drove to the pier and boarded the ship extremely excited to embark on our new journey a ten-day cruise in Alaska. I’ve read, heard and seen a lot of pictures, but I always know that when you see something in person, it is night and day.
Today we continued our drive to Astoria, Oregon driving up the Pacific coast. It’s impressive to see such a different landscape. Growing up in Downstate New York it’s not mountainous although it’s beautiful it’s very different. We saw signs that said Tsunami evacuation route which is scary to see. Another great thing was the fact that I am greek and growing up in NY I hung out in Astoria, Queens so to see another Astoria was fun. We even got a chance to visit West Coast Game Park Safari which is in Bandon, Oregon and we fed the goats and even got a chance to pet lion cub.
We stopped along the way to check out the view at the viewpoints. John and I even spoke about possibly renting a house one summer for a month to experience the beauty of the west coast.
Today we drove to Crater Lake National Park. This lake is the bluest colored lake and the deepest lake in the world. You have to see this lake in person to appreciate the color of it. John and I hiked to the edge of the lake, and we were surprised that the lake is crystal clear.
After spending some time exploring Crater Lake, we then drove to Redwoods National Park. Once again another jaw-dropping sighting by Mother Nature. The sheer beauty and size of these trees are breathtaking. John and I have ever seen anything like them before.
Today we drove from Boise, Idaho to Klamath Falls, Oregon. We drove up the Pacific Coast Highway. One cool thing is the landscape on the west coast it is very different than the east coast.
The highlight was the petting farm we visited. I love farm animals, and today I got to feed and pet goats. If I can re-do my life, I would have a farm full of donkeys, goats, horses, pigs, cows, dogs and cats. That is my ultimate love animals!
Today driving from Jackson Hole to Boise, Idaho we saw some interesting things. We visited the world’s first nuclear power plant called EBR-1. I have to say even though it wasn’t used anymore it was pretty eerie and at the same time cool walking through it.
The next cool thing we saw was Craters of the Moon which is this mind-blowing place that has miles upon miles of nothing but volcanic rock and volcanic caves and lava tubes. John and I climbed through which made me nervous because they’re unstable and can collapse at any moment.
Boise is a cool city but we arrived late so we didn’t get a chance to see much of it we walked to a restaurant to have dinner and walked back to the hotel.
Today we drove through Yellowstone National Park towards Jackson Hole, WY and once again seeing nature at its best. We saw this pretty and very colorful hot spring called Morning Glory Pool which is in the Yellowstone Upper Geyser Basin part of the park. The next thing we saw was Old Faithful it erupts every 44 to 125 minutes. After driving around and exploring the park, we decided to drive to our hotel The Rusty Parrot Lodge and check out that area since we were only there overnight.
We decided to have dinner in the hotel restaurant called Wild Sage which was a AAA 4 diamond awarded restaurant. The food was good the only problem we had was with the waiter he was obnoxious and didn’t like answering questions we had about the menu. We liked Jackson Hole and wanted to see more of it one day so we will visit again one day in the future.
January 03, 2016 – January 09, 2016 Today we flew to Jackson Hole, Wyoming and we were in luck because it warmed up a bit. We checked into the Four Seasons Hotel which was great it’s one of my favorite hotel chains. We were told that the past few days the temperature was in the single digits. Our friends Mike & Christy met us there luckily they don’t have to fly they drove from Utah. We had a great time with them we had dinner the first night at the White Buffalo Club which was great. John was happy because he skied pretty much every day, but I didn’t ski at all because it was too cold for me.
Today we finally arrived in Yellowstone National Park. As soon as we entered the park, we saw three buffalo’s walking along the road. It’s amazing when you see how big they are in person. Along the way driving through the park, we stopped and saw a lot of sulfur pools which was unbelievable that they are all natural and extremely dangerous. We also saw the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.
After about a million stops and pictures, we drove to our hotel which was the Lake Yellowstone Hotel. Upon check-in, we found out that there was no air conditioning, television or internet which was a hard pill to swallow since we were spending two nights here. We need the internet to run our business so it was difficult to stay somewhere for two nights without it.
Once we settled in we went to eat at the restaurant in the hotel. I ordered the Quail entree. I have to say that I am still dreaming about that dinner. I told John that we have to go back there soon because I want to have that Quail again. After dinner, we decided to go to the front desk and cancel tomorrow night we found a different hotel called the Rusty Parrot Lodge which is a boutique hotel in Jackson Hole, WY and it’s updated.
Today on the way to Yellowstone National Park we drove to Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park. The park is located in Whitehall, MT. We took a tour of one of the most decorated limestone caverns in the Northwest. It was lined with stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and helictites which were lit up electrically. It was a cool experience.
We also visited The Berkeley Pit it’s a 1700 foot deep hole. It is filled to a depth of about 900 feet (270 m) with water that is heavily acidic (2.5 pH level), about the acidity of cola or lemon juice. As a result, the pit is laden with heavy metals and dangerous chemicals that leach from the rock, including copper, arsenic, cadmium, zinc, and sulfuric acid.
Today we had a lovely scenic drive from Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier we drove on Crown Range Road which had wonderful views of the valley. We saw a change in landscape and lifestyle while driving through. We saw lakes and farmlands with amazing mountain and valley views. We arrived and checked into our Bed & Breakfast called Westwood lodge which is owned and operated by a female named Kaz Gilmore. It was really cute it’s right by the village and has a great view of the Southern Alps. The next day we had a glacier hike. We drove to a secluded area and walked through the forest with a guide to a big open space where we proceeded to walk to the edge of the glacier which was about 1/2 mile walk. We had a helicopter ride to the do a glacier walk but the accident that happened in Queenstown made me nervous so we canceled the flight and decided to do the tour on foot.