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Alaska, USA (don't miss Alaska pages one, two, three and four)

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In the summer of 2008, we enjoyed a wonderful cruise with Michael's family to celebrate his parents' 50th wedding anniversary. It started with a day at Mt. Rainier near Seattle, followed by a bus trip to Vancouver (Canada), the cruise to Seward, and then by bus/train to Fairbanks before flying back to Seattle.

After the cruise, Michael and Andrew visited friends in Colorado and Ohio, before joining Vivian at the Beijing Olympics.

We took hundreds of photos with seven cameras, so it's taken months to sort them and pick a handful of photos for this website. But hopefully the pictures on these four pages will give you a glimpse of how wonderful this family reunion/celebration was.

Holland-America Cruise (July 2009): 7/11 Vancouver, 7/13 Ketchikan, 7/14 Haines & Skagway, 7/15 Juneau & whale cruise (Mendenhall Glacier), 7/16 Sitka, 7/17 Hubbard Glacier/Glacier Natl Park, 7/18 Seward & Kenai Fjords, 7/19 Anchorage, 7/20-21 Denali, 7/22-23 Fairbanks/Paddleboat/Dredge, 7/24 fly to Seattle.

Our Alaska pages:


trip&ship         animals                                                                 scenery and wide panoramas                                                cool stuff

Vivian's Alaska photo album is also on line at

One of the highlights of the cruise was a "Renewal of Wedding Vows" ceremony, conducted by the ship's captain (shown here), and complete with music and refreshments. These high school sweethearts have now been married over 50 years!

Our ship was the Holland-America Veendam, though it was more like a floating city than a ship. See it here in comparison to the town (actually Fort Seward) behind it. Most of us had a cabin in the lower "black" floors of the ship, while Mom and Dad had a nicer room a few floors above us. I think the public elevators stopped on 12 floors.

(Above left) Here's two more shots of the Renewal of Vows ceremony. That's Michael's niece playing the flute. (Above right) All eleven of us pause for a family photo. Michael's brother and sister-in-law are to his left; his sister and family are to the right of his dad and mom. Before we left Kunming, a friend tailor-made formal Chinese outfits to wear at the "formal meals" on board, and we got many great comments about these beautiful clothes. (Below) Food was included in the cost of the cruise, so we always seemed to be eating! The dining room staff (mostly from Malaysia and Indonesia) was always kind and friendly, and sometimes even entertaining (you see them juggling in one of the following photos). On the left, they have brought Mom and Dad an anniversary cake (unfortunately, Mom wasn't feeling well that night--though we were rarely seasick). One night, everyone was supposed to wear chef hats. The last photo is around the breakfast table; in China we don't get western breakfast things like waffles, muffins and omelets, so the vast breakfast choices were a real treat.


Meals were delicious and food was ever-present during the voyage. Meal service was slow, so we had lots of time to talk together as a family (we were all off in different directions at other times--especially the kids, who had activities on board with other young people).

At each port we had lots of activities to choose from (for extra costs, of course). Sometimes we split up to shop or look around, but we also spent a lot of time together. This is near the end of the trip (near Fairbanks), where we were panning for real gold; no one got rich, but we learned some things and made some happy memories.


Now don't these people look like they are having a great time? From left to right: Dad with his grandsons shipside; Amy proving that "happiness is a warm puppy"; beautiful Fran with a beautiful new coat in beautiful Denali National Park; Kevin wondering how the moose who lost this could hold TWO of these heavy things above its head!


Our trip involved several forms of transportation, in addition to all the time spent on the Veendam (cruise ship). [Left] We spent about two days in this domed train car; it was hard to get good photos with our cameras (most of the photos are blurry), but we enjoyed the ride and the scenery. [Center] We were on several small boats to view whales and glaciers--this photo shows how big the glaciers are--and we got pretty close, too! (click here for a wide shot of this glacier, and here for whales). [Right] There were also several plane trips over the summer. In China you are not allowed to take photos from a plane, but America has no such prohibition. This is Mt. Rainier in Washington (Michael worked there during college, and we spent a beautiful day visiting this National Park before the cruise; we hope to post those photos someday!)

For more photos from the USA, click in the blue box at the top of this page. Click here for a US map 

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Our main Alaska pages: trip&ship    animals    scenery and wide panoramas    cool stuff

Vivian's Alaska photo album is also on line at

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