Thursday, July 31, 2014

Alaska {Part 9}

Day 10 - Thursday, June 26 - Day at Sea
Our last day on the cruise ship was another day at sea. I loved the fact that our two days at sea were the first and last days. The days at sea are always pretty relaxing, so it was nice to have a relaxing day coming off of the land portion and another one at the end of the trip.

My mom and I started the day off at Zumba. I love Zumba, but I don't usually do it that often, so I was happy to see that they had a free class on board! We then ate breakfast in the Windjammer and stopped by the coffee shop for an espresso brownie. The coffee shop sold specialty coffee for an additional charge, so we just assumed that everything there must cost extra. But our cruise director, who had led Zumba, told us that morning that the espresso brownies were free and that we had to try them. They were SO good, and I just wish I had known about them sooner. Ha!

We met up with my dad in the Centrum because our cruise director was challenging the captain to a cake decorating challenge. You know I had to see that!

One of the pastry chefs walked them through assembling and decorating a black forest cake. It was actually really fun to watch!

Next we headed up on deck to watch the polar bear plunge. One of the things that I love about days at sea are all the fun things to do around the ship! For this activity, they were asking people to donate money to the Make-a-Wish foundation, and if they reached a certain amount of money, some of the crew would jump into the pool. And considering we were in Alaska at the outdoor pool, the water was pretty cold. They ended up reaching their quota though, so we got to see them jump in! Here's the captain doing a belly flop....

....and our cruise director.

We also watched an ice carving demonstration (although I didn't get a good picture of it!). When we were at the Hubbard Glacier earlier in the week, some of the crew had gone out and grabbed a large chunk of floating ice that had fallen off the glacier, and that's what they used for the carving.

We grabbed lunch at the Park Cafe (which was probably my favorite place on ship even though it was small), and we went back to our room and ate on the balcony.

We did some packing and then sat out on the balcony again with some drinks. Pure bliss!

There were still a few places on the ship that I had not been to yet, so later in the afternoon, we walked around and saw some more of the ship. You know you're on a pretty big ship when you've been staying on it for a week and still haven't seen everything!

Our first stop was this cute little Starquest bar on the very top of the ship.

We went to the helipad too. Since that was at the front of the ship, it was extremely windy!

I really miss being on this cruise ship!

I did some more relaxing on our balcony with my book as well. I had a pretty nice view too.....

Pre-dinner selfie. Ha!

For dinner that night I ordered the Spanish tapas plate (which I did NOT like, but at least I decided to try something new, right?), the seafood & mash (which was great - a variety of fried seafood and mashed potatoes), and key lime pie for dessert.

As we were leaving dinner, I realized that we hadn't taken any pictures in the dining room, so I snapped these on the way out.

The views from the ship were so pretty for our last night.

The final show was a comedian with a little farewell show at the end. They brought up a bunch of the crew to say goodbye to us.

And we (of course!) had to spend our last evening in the Quill & Compass. We did music trivia movie tunes and then just hung out. One of the waitresses there recognized us and knew our order by the end of the week since we went there every night. I wish I could go back there tonight!

That was all the fun of our last day on the cruise ship. Next I'll be blogging about our day in Vancouver since we chose to stay an extra night there!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sweet Summer

This summer is going by WAY too fast. How is it almost August already?! I'm in denial that I have to go back to school soon. Today I'm doing a little update on some things that have been going on lately. I feel like I'm constantly behind in my posts because I'm still doing those Alaska posts!

Like I've mentioned before, I've been working on an Honors project this summer to start a website and Facebook page for my baking business. I'll admit that my progress has been a little slow due to the fact that I keep dragging my feet with it and putting it off. I am determined to have it completed before school starts though, so I have a few weeks to put it all together. I will for sure post an update when I finally finish it and have something to show. Last week I worked on it a little bit by going through a ton of pictures and organizing all of the cake pop projects I've done. Is it nerdy that I have an Excel spreadsheet with information on all of the cake pops I've ever sold? :)

Last Sunday my family didn't have anything going on, so we decided last minute to head up to Dayton for the afternoon. We love walking around this shopping area called the Greene, and of course, Rita's is always involved as well!

When I was shopping around, I stopped in the store Occasionally Yours. I was looking at their Kappa Delta Lilly Pulitzer stuff, and one of the workers overheard me talking about Kappa Delta. Turns out that she was a KD as well! She showed me these adorable KD bracelets that they sold as well. The brand is Alex and Ani, and I am now obsessed. They have tons of different charms! I bought the Kappa Delta one, and I have been wearing it every day. Plus I thought it was so neat that I bought it from another KD.

When I went to Easton last week, I picked up a few cookies from Cheryl's. I love their cookies, and I always pick up at least one when I'm close to a store to take home. I bought this Wedding Cake Cookie, and it's now my favorite cookie. It was SO good. I wish I would have bought more than just one Wedding Cake Cookie now!

Last Tuesday I finally got to go to the zoo with my cousins. Usually we go a few times every summer, but we hadn't gone this year at all. It was extremely hot, but we still had fun! Not sure why we're posing under a rhino statue in this picture...... Ha!

On Wednesday, my mom met me for lunch on my lunch break. I usually eat with one of my friends who works with me, but she was on vacation last week, so it was the perfect opportunity to eat lunch with my mom. We of course had to go to Taste of Belgium because it's my absolute favorite! I can't get enough of their waffles. I ordered the Banana Nutella this time, and it was SO yummy.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Alaska {Part 8}

Day 9 - Wednesday, June 25 - Ketchikan, AK
We got up this day for our last day in port and ate breakfast at my favorite place on the ship, the Park Cafe. The day was spent in Ketchikan, which was one of my favorite cities we went to. The town was super cute, and there were lots of things to do there.

When we got off the boat, we walked around and explored a little bit.

Ketchikan is known for getting a lot of rain. We got rained on a lot during the trip, but it did not rain at all in Ketchikan. It was so nice to have a day where I didn't need to use my umbrella!

We had another shore excursion booked that day, and it was the one we had been looking forward to the most. We took a float plane! The plane takes off from the water, and then we landed in a fjord. It was absolutely amazing. The plane was tiny (it held six people plus the pilot), but it was such an awesome experience.

My dad got to be the co-pilot!

Flying over the town, mountains, and fjords was just breathtaking.

So neat!

I loved how we landed in a fjord. It was so peaceful because we were standing on the banks of this fjord that is only accessible by plane with no one else around. I took this video of us coming in and landing, and I love the way it turned out!

I loved how the water was so clear that it looked a mirror reflecting the mountains above it.

Snow! In June!

We then hopped on the plane to fly back to the Katchikan harbor.

We had lunch at a place called the Fish Pirates Saloon before doing some shopping around town.

We also had to check out a bakery I had found called Sweet Mermaids. I absolutely loved it!

We got this Red Velvet bar.....

.....and this Cookies & Cream cupcake. The Red Velvet bar was pretty good, but this cupcake was amazing. Very soft and sweet without being too sweet. Probably one of the best cupcakes I've ever had!

Since we hadn't seen a lot of sun on the trip, we were content to sit at this picnic table for a while and just soak up some sun :)

When we back on the boat, we headed straight up to the pool deck to enjoy some more of the sun, which we hadn't seen a lot of on this trip.

I usually always take a picture like this on vacation. Every one besides this one has involved flip flops and sandy feet, not yoga pants and gym shoes. Ha!

For dinner that night, I had strawberry bisque as my starter, which I was thrilled about. I had ordered that on our last cruise several years ago and loved it, so I was ecstatic to see it on the menu again! I also had an excellent lasagna, and for dessert I ordered a sampler. I thought it looked a lot better than it tasted though.

The sunset was gorgeous that night. At this point, we were just about at the southern tip of Alaska, so the sun pattern was pretty normal - it didn't stay light out all the time like it had in Fairbanks.

We spent our evening doing 70's music trivia in the Quill & Compass, seeing a pianist perform for the evening show, and going to the 70's dance party in the Centrum!

Then they had a late night dessert buffet. Yeah, all the sweets you can eat. I was in heaven.

My plate of goodies!

Loved this chocolate croissant!

This was one of the best days of the trip - float plane, sunny day in Ketchikan, and a dessert buffet!