Back to Jennifer's Home
July 31, 2000
We went to Wild Waters, a water park with
water slides and a wave pool, on Monday, July 3rd. Aunt Beth
and Trevor were going to go with us but Aunt Beth was sick and
couldn't go, so just me, Mom, and Dad went. Aunt Beth packed
us a great lunch though! I had a good time. I liked the
water slides, especially the ones you rode on a tube and had some
Mom, Dad, and I went to Cocoa Beach the weekend of July 7-8th. We stayed at the
Hampton Inn right on the beach. It was overcast both
days, and rained real hard on Friday night. I had
a good time.
Saturday, July 15th
We went to Alaska from July 15th to July 29th.
On Saturday, the 15th, we flew to Seattle,
Washington. On the flight I finished the fourth
Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of
Fire. We rented a car at the airport.
Then we went up in the Spaceneedle and walked
around the park area by the Spaceneedle. We could
see Mt. Rainier. They said that it was covered in
clouds most days and that we were lucky to see it.
You can see it in the middle of the picture above.
Later we went to the mall so Mom could try to find See's
candy. The candy store was closed by the time we
got there. That night, Dad and I swam in the hotel
pool. The pool was heated and the water was
really, really, hot. It was almost as hot as a hot
tub! (Dad liked it.)
Sunday, July 16th
The next day we drove to Vancouver, Canada. This was my
first time out of the United States. We picked up Grandma and
Poppop at the airport. Then we picked up Grandma and Grandpa,
and finally Dave, Debbie, and Stephanie Garrison. We all
stayed at the same hotel that night. The next day our ship
didn't leave until 5:00pm, so we walked around downtown Vancouver
and did some shopping. In the afternoon we all got on our
ship, the Dawn Princess, for our seven day cruise. Judy and
Roy Jones and two of their grand kids, Kenny and Allison met us at
the ship. We stopped several places and took land tours.
I'll rate the tours I took on a scale of 0 to 5 stars.
Monday and Tuesday, July 17-18th
The first two days we were at sea. I got to explore
the ship. I signed up for the kids program. They
had activities for kids during the day. If I liked the
activities, I went to the kids program. If I didn't like
the activities, I hung out with Mom and Dad.
There was lots of stuff to do. One night they had
karaoke in the disco. Mom, Dad, Debbie, Judy, and Kenny
sang the song "My Boyfriends Back".
Dad, Grandma, Poppop, Grandma and Grandpa all tried sushi
for the first time. Doesn't Grandma look like she really
The night of the Captain's Dinner we all dressed up and had our pictures taken. Grandma did
my hair. Everyone called me "Princess" that night.
Wednesday, July 19th
On Wednesday we woke up and the ship
was in Ketchikan. Mom and Poppop went on a fishing
expedition while Dad, Grandma, and I went shopping. I used
lots of great coupons to buy souvenirs. Ketchikan
gets lots of rain and it was raining the whole day.
There is a river right in town that the salmon use to
spawn. Dad, Grandma, and I also walked to a salmon
hatchery and to an Indian totem pole museum. When we got
back to the ship, we met back up with everyone else. Mom
and Poppop had caught four fish each. They brought two
of them back on the ship to give to the chef to cook for
dinner later on the cruise. The rest they had packed up and sent
Thursday, July 20th
This morning when we
woke up the ship was
in Juneau. My mom, dad, and our friends Debbie, Dave, and
Stephanie, and I went on the Mendenhall Glacier Float Trip. It was
really fun, but I hoped there would be more rapids. The best
part of the trip was the big rapids. The worst part was having
to wait for all the rafts to catch up to us. Mom liked
the scenery because we had a good view of the glacier from the
water. We didn't see any wildlife except for bald eagles. The
water was 34 degrees so it was cold. The guide was just wearing sandals on his feet and
he would walk in the water!
They gave us hot chocolate and
reindeer sausage after the trip. I liked the reindeer sausage.
Rating: 4 stars.
Later in the afternoon, we panned for
gold. We took a short bus ride to the side of a stream.
They gave us a small pan of dirt which we rinsed out to find
gold. Then we could try our luck at finding gold in the
stream. My grandma had a really good time searching for gold
in the river. It was exciting. I got about 13 specks of
gold. You had to use an eyedropper to get the gold out of your
pan. The best part was finding gold and the worst part was it
rained on us again. My mom says that it was definitely not
worth the money and was her least favorite thing. She says
that the gold mining in Fairbanks was a lot more fun and she found
more gold (she did that the last time she went to Alaska -- without
me!). She said you got to go into a mine and on a train ride
in Fairbanks. Rating: 2 stars.
Friday, July 21th
The next morning the ship was in Skagway. We
took the White Pass Railroad up into the mountains. It
was pretty neat. The best part was that you could still
see the path the gold miners walked during the gold
rush. We got on the train right next to the ship.
It was a long ride. The conductor looked like I think an
old-fashioned conductor would have looked. Rating: 3
Then we walked
around Skagway. The town was restored like an old gold
rush town of the early 1900's. There was a neat gold
In the afternoon we took a helicopter ride which
landed on a glacier. It was so cool! This one is
my favorite excursion. The best part was getting to fly
around to look at all the glaciers and getting to look in the
cracks on the glacier. The worst part was this lady who
was always in the way and it rained again. Everyone who
went on the helicopter excursions thought they were one of the
best things that they did on the whole trip. My grandma
and grandpa loved it and mom and dad took a ton of
pictures. Rating: 5
Saturday and Sunday, July 22nd-23rd
We spent the next two days at
sea. We sailed through Glacier Bay and through College
Fjord. We saw lots of glaciers. Mom, Dad, and the
Garrisons saw a killer whale. We all saw lots of
seals. We saw a few sea otters too.
While we were at sea, they held a horse
race using wooden horses. I got to be a jockey. So did
Romy. She was a friend I met at the kids program. That's her next
to me. There were two races. Romy's horse won the
first race. My horse lost both. It came in last place in
the second race!
The chef cooked the salmon that Mom and
Poppop had caught and served it as part of dinner for our whole group.
Monday, July 24th
On Monday morning the ship was docked in Seward. We
got off the ship and took a bus to the Anchorage
airport. On the way to the airport, there were two big
moose right next to the side of the road. We took a
plane to Fairbanks.
In Fairbanks, we did a Riverboat Discovery
Cruise on a paddlewheel boat. It was included in our land tour. The best part
was getting to see the sled dogs and
petting them. They belonged to Susan Butcher. She was the first woman
to win the Iditarod dog sled race. I
also liked seeing the reindeer. I fed them leaves.
The worst part was when they talked about trapping animals and
how the Indians lived. A lady also cut up a salmon
really fast. Overall, it was fun. By the way, it
rained. Rating: 4 stars.
We spent the night at a
Princess hotel in Fairbanks.
Tuesday, July 25th
Today we got up and went to the Alaskan
Railroad. We took the train to Denali National
Park. We rode on Princess Ultra-Dome cars. Our
seats were upstairs and downstairs was dining tables. We
ate breakfast downstairs.
We got to Denali National Park at
noon. After lunch we went on a wildlife seeing tour and we saw
two red foxes, some caribou, moose, birds, and an arctic ground
squirrel. It was great because we saw lots of animals.
Rating: 4 stars.
At the midpoint of our wildlife tour
of Denali, we got off the bus for some hot chocolate and to
take some pictures.
After the tour of Denali we
took a bus to the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness lodge. We stayed there
for 2 nights.
Wednesday, July 26th
My dad, our friends Judy, Roy, Ken and
Alison, my Poppop, and I went horseback riding. It was
awesome! I saw a mother black bear and her 3 cubs
playing. The worst part was when my horse took off through the
trees because it was scared of the bears. My horse's name was
Lady. My Dad's was Chip. This was my second favorite
excursion. It didn't rain this day. :-) Rating: 5
After we got
back to the hotel we jumped into the hot
Thursday, July 27th
Today we took a bus to the town of Talkeetna. It was a tiny
town. We ate lunch and did some shopping. Then we caught
the train again to take us to Anchorage. We ate dinner on the
train and when we got to Anchorage we went to our hotel. We
stayed at the Anchorage Hilton for two nights.
Friday, July 28th
A city tour was included in our package. It took us to a
seaplane base and to the Alaska Native Heritage Center. The
best part was going in the replicas of the Indian houses.
There was also a lady who told stories and sang Indian songs.
She was interesting. This was my least favorite excursion
except for the gold panning, but it was still OK. Rating: 3
That afternoon the Blue Angles were having an air show at the Air
Force base. We watched them out of our hotel window.
On Saturday morning we got up really early to go to the airport. We had
to transfer our flight in Salt Lake City. The flight
was over booked and we got to take a different flight but
we got to fly first class! We got steak for dinner and
they put table cloths on our trays. We got more
foot room and squishy chairs and good
Overall, Alaska was fun and exciting. I liked the cruise part of
the trip better than the land part. I really enjoyed the