Friday, August 6, 2010

Home from Alaska! Wonderful trip with a not-so-wonderful ending

Hello again friends! So I figured since I got home from Alaska 10 days ago it was time for a post! Sorry I havent been posting much. I have been reading everyone else's blogs but havent done too good when it comes to updating mine. But Im back home and healthy and happy and life is good :)


Alaska was amazing. beautiful. gorgeous. breathtaking. once in a lifetime. all of the above.

I will give the short version of the trip because if I dont this post will end up being 10 pages long. Our trip was two weeks long and started out in Fairbanks, Alaska. We did what was called a cruisetour which means we traveled on land for 4 days and then got on the ship for 7 days. We stayed in Fairbanks for two days and out of all the cities we visited, this was probably my least favorite. Dont get me wrong, it was still beautiful but im comparison to some of the other cities it fell short. But we did have some good food there and one the second day we did a steamboat river tour that lasted all day. That was interesting...we saw some seaplanes take off and land, we watched some dog sled races and learned about the native culture. After Fairbanks we headed to Denali. We only spent one day in Denali but it was awesome. There snow capped mountains as far as the eye can see. The place where we stayed was a huge lodge cabin looking place with chandeliers everywhere. Rustic with a touch of was gorgeous. We went on an 8 hour wilderness adventure while we were there and saw tons of wildlife...bears, wolves, dall sheep, bald eagles. After Denali, we went to the Mt. McKinley lodge about 3 hours away. It was beautiful as well. The next day after being at Mt. McKinley we road a glass covered train 5 hours from Mt. McKinley to Whittier, right outside of Anchorage. This is where we got on the cruise ship! Yay!!

The ship was amazing. This was my fifth cruise but my first cruise with Princess. I would say it compares pretty much equal with Royal Caribbean. During our 7 days on the boat we had we ports of call...Skagway, which was my favorite, Juneau and Ketchikan, which was my second favorite. Skagway is a very small town with cute little restaurants and shops and a lot of history. I loved the feeling of this little quaint town. In Juneau we were supposed to ride a helicopter to one of the glaciers and walk on the glaciers but it was too foggy so they canceled our excursion :( We ended up going whale watching and ended up seeing tons of whales! They came right up next to the boat and most of them were bigger than the boat. Kinda frightening when you think about it. It kinda freaked me out but not much I could do about it in the middle of the ocean haha. Then we also went dog sledding in Juneau. That was fun and the dogs that pulled our sled were participants in the iditarod. In Ketchican we went on the Bering Sea Crab Adventure. The boat we took out was the Aleutian Ballad, the actual boat and crew that starred in season 2 of the Deadliest Catch. They caught king crabs for us and showed us what each day was like for them as fisherman.

We ended the cruise in Vancouver and spent an extra day there. I loved Vancouver! Have any of you ever been there? Such a big bustling city with people and restaurants and shops and buildings and condos everywhere. I can totally see myself living in a city like that. We did an awesome city tour there and ate outside at a wonderful little restaurant downtown. Then came home on Tuesday.

And if any of you read my facebook, you know what tragic occurrence happened on Tuesday. So let me preface this by saying I captured all of our excitement on my camera of course. I took about 1,500 pictures...most of them once in a lifetime shots of wildlife, mountains, whales, scenery, wilderness, pictures with my family, etc. Well the last leg of our trip back home was from Minneapolis to Birmingham. As we got on the plane I put my camera case under my seat...which had my camera, about 10 SD cards full of pictures, my license and my debit card. As we landed in Birmingham, we were the last plane to come in and I got off the plane without grabbing my camera case. About an hour later I remembered that I left it on the plane. I frantically got in touch with a security guard who said the plane was already sealed shut because we were the last ones to come in and I would have to check lost and found the following morning. To say it lightly, I was freaking out! I couldnt sleep or eat until the next morning. I rushed to the airport at 7 am all for them to tell me no one had turned in my camera case. I later learned the only people that had access to the plane the night before was the cleaning crew who cleaned the plane before sealing the door shut. After they told me my camera hadnt been turned in, I was stilling holding out hope that some generous, kind person would turn it back in to me.....until........

I got a call around 10 am that morning from the Visa fraud company saying there had been fraudulent activity on my debit card. I was crushed as soon as I heard the message. I was devastated. Because I knew that meant someone had stolen my camera case and used my debit card. I later found out my debit card was used only an hour after we got off the plane at 3 gas stations in Birmingham. This means the only people that had access to the plane was the cleaning crew and therefore one of them stole my camera and all my pictures. All those beautiful, once in a lifetime pictures. All those 1,500 pictures. I was so upset. There isnt a word to describe how sad/mad I sad/mad I still am. So basically I had a fabulous trip but no pictures to show anyone. No videos to show anyone. Nothing to show anyone.

We filed a police report but nothing will come of that. I also found out that since I stopped my debit card in time, they werent able to successfully use my card so I didnt lose any money. And I already got another license. But if you love pictures as much as me, you cant imagine how I felt. I dont want the camera back...I just want the pictures back.

We did have two friends from our church that were on the same cruise with us. We told them what happened with my camera and they are making us a copy of all the pictures they took. So we will have some pictures but none of our family or any with us in it.

I keep telling myself it could be worse. Life could be much much worse. But it still makes me so upset. But as soon as we get our friend's pictures I will post them on here.

So that is the end of our vacation. A wonderful vacation with a not-so-wonderful ending.


As for weight loss, I would rather not say. I was proud of myself because on my cruise I only gained 2.5 pounds haha. 14 days of all you can eat food...2.5 pounds isnt so bad. I have since lost those 2.5 pounds but I am at a standstill. I have been at this same standstill for months and months. I cant lose. I need to start exercising I guess. Although I did work out on the ship one day...for a solid hour....hardcore. My dad "trained" me and he did a good job. I was sore for days but it felt good. I have been in the 220's for about 4 months now. Frustrating....but I havent been trying I guess. I did get a fill the day after I got back from my cruise. I went from 6.5 cc's to 7.5 cc's. I can definitely feel restriction. I feel like my sweet spot is getting pretty close. Anyways. Enough about the weight Im NOT losing at the moment :)

Last but not least. Chicago in about 6 weeks!! Who is excited?! I am excited!! I still havent gotten my plane ticket but Im thinking I am going to get that in the very near future. I found roundtrip tickets for a total of $280. Sounded like a good price to me. Is anyone else getting to Chicago Friday night? I am hoping to be able to miss work Friday and come in the morning but we will see how that pans out.

Wow. Ok. Thanks for reading my book. Have a good night and fabulous weekend! Love to you all! Mwah!!


  1. I'm so sorry to hear that you lost your camera! It seems like the airline needs to talk to the company that cleans the airplanes about the theft situation!! That kind of thing makes me so angry

    I've never been to Alaska but it's on my bucket list!!! glad you had fun!

  2. That sounds like such a fabulous frustrating that they are unlikely to trace the theif, especially when you know they could! They have a list of suspects and security footage must exist at the gas stations that could pin it down to the exact person! Crime fighting's just not like it is in the movies is it? :0(

  3. so sorry that happened to you :( people can be so mean.

  4. I loved hearing about tour cruisetour, we are going on an Alaska cruise Summer 2011. We are going on the helicopter/glacier/dog sled excursion. Reading that yours was cancelled has me a bit concerned. I am so sorry for your theft. Do you remember the name of the whale watching company you used?

  5. Oh that's terrible...but I'm glad your trip was great. Glad to have you back. We missed you! And YES so excited for Chicago and if you talk to Deborah or Steph they know who will be there when...some are going early I think.

  6. I am so sorry about your pictures. How truly heartbreaking! But YES, very excited about Chicago. Can't wait!!!

  7. Hi Kristen,

    I'm glad you enjoyed your visit to AK. We've lived here since 2003. I live in Fairbanks, and I'm sorry to read it was your least favorite place to visit. I wouldn't live anywhere else in the state. Sure, there are prettier places with majestic mountains and beautiful waters - and we spend the entire summer visiting them - but when it comes to community and people, and the awesome northern lights and the hoarfrost in winter, Fairbanks is a wonderland. Of course this is all personal choice and I have friends who prefer the big city of Anchorage, or the even smaller town of Seward. But that's what makes AK so wonderful - it's big enough, and diverse enough, to suit everybody's needs.

    Reading about the loss of your camera made me so angry. I am a photographer and I know how crushed you must have felt to realize it was stolen. I am so sorry that the airlines employs untrustworthy people. I hope that the memories you carry in your heart and in your mind will stay with you forever. And I hope that karma catches up to the thief.

    I keep a blog about life in AK. If you ever want to see photos of some of the places you visited, or learn about places you may not have visited, please stop by.

    I hope you'll find your way back again someday - maybe in winter, when you can watch the northern lights dance overhead while soaking in a hot spring. It's magical. :)

    Susan in North Pole