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Alaska’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 05 Jul 2009

Location: Bellingham to Columbia Ferry, USA

MapFor Friday:
The day before 4th of July….the day we depart on the 3-night long ferry from Bellingham to Skagway. The morning began with a visit to the breakfast buffet at Silver Reef Casino & Hotel…..on the house. It was filling and above par as far as free breakfasts go in hotels. Marmar Jane and Gwynne continued to gamble their life-savings away, while Tony, Tracy & I shopped at Fred Meyer’s for snacks/food for the ferry (Joe took Sam swimming at the hotel swimming pool). The food on the ferry can get quite costly, eating 3 meals a day. We have cereals for breakfast, snacks, and sandwich fixin’s to help relieve some of that expense. We gassed up the car while shopping ($2.79 a gallon w/ a Fred Meyer purchase of over $100….thanks to Tracy) as we anticipate gas in Skagway to be a bit more pricey. Originally, we intended to do some sightseeing (Deception Pass OR Mount Baker OR Cascades), but didn’t realize the length of time to get to and fro….it would interfere with boarding the ferry, or so we thought. We opted to find the terminal, inquire, and scope out the situation so as to be prepared when the time came. As it turns out, we ended up getting our tickets, parking the car in line, and went back in the terminal for a light lunch. We had a couple of hours to spare…we were to be in the car in line by 3:00 p.m. With handicapped tags, they took us rather early to dump off all the passengers & bags by the elevator for Mom, then I was to return to the line and await my turn to park. Skagway is the ferry’s last stop and so…….they would opt to wait to put the van on until last. I, being the driver, sat in the hot sun (unusual, I would say, for this part of the country), for another 2 ½ hours before finally getting the car settled in behind some big rigs…..hot, tired, sunburned face, grouchy…..I was ready for a Margarita, but settled for a wet washcloth on my face in our luxury 4-berth cabin with a sitting room. Tracy & Joe’s room had the same. The Irizarry’s ventured out onboard to get their bearings, sign Sam up for any programs available on board with the Ranger, and get some photos & videos upon leaving Bellingham. As I speak, Marmar Jane, Gwynne, and Tony play Progressive Rummy. I prepare to climb in an upper bunk, hoping I don’t get confused in the middle of the night and try to get up to find myself fallen on the floor below. Tomorrow promises to be a day filled with fun, relaxation, and togetherness. Tune in.