If you’re here to compare posts with previous posts, then it’s probably best to close this window before you read much further. After only a few nights of chasing the northern lights, one of the most important things I’ve learnt is how completely futile it is to compare one evening to another. In fact, not only is it impossible, but it’s really the quickest way to lose the feeling of pure exhilaration that is observing and chasing the aurora borealis. No two displays will ever catch up with one another, and each has it’s own very distinct beauty. This evening was certainly far less dramatic, but it was ridiculously beautiful filled with a certain magic that is, once again, impossible to describe with words from a place of not being directly under the aurora itself.
I cannot recall, for the life of me, a time where I have felt more love, more appreciation, and more enthusiasm for being here on planet Earth. I just can’t. Even now beginning to put together this post, I’ll include a photo into the area below and the very feeling of that moment washes over my body. Goosebumps and all, zipping up my jacket so quickly I cut my lip wide open and all, throwing my arms in the air, my hands on my head and all.
To quote Kjetil… “It is one of the best nights so far this season.” But it was cold. So cold. The wind howled at the water where we started, dropping the temperature to below -20, easily. We took a chance and headed inland just after 10p to a beautiful valley you’ll be seeing more of (think camping with a bonfire), where it was much cooler – but felt a million degrees warmer without the wind. Enough words, here’s sight of our Wednesday evening…
I’m not sure if you’ve seen her, because she loves a fun, tireless game of hide & seek but when she comes out to play – she plays, endlessly. If you’ve seen her, you know there aren’t words that accompany these moments. In fact, there aren’t even words to help define the sight of her or re-live these moments away from her. You just… you can’t describe it, you… you have to see it, you have to stand in the -12 for six hours in snow a foot and a half deep, surrounded by the Norwegian mountain scape and the dead silence of the valley.
I am. It’s ridiculous, and I’m not sure I really understand it and how it happens but I’m just richly blessed. Imagine!
There is so much I want to write, so much I want to say thank you for. Not only making both of my flights on standby travel, but being assigned a window seat on one, and the bulkhead (row with extra legroom) on the other. Surviving a snowstorm in Frankfurt airport and still getting out on time to connect in Oslo for my third & final leg up to Tromso, where I’ll now reside for the next week and a half.
I have to tell you, 28 hours of travel from Vancouver to Tromso was exhausting but on the 27th hour up at 35,000 feet looking out the window and seeing the aurora borealis dance again for the first time in two years & one month – I forgot all about being tired, or how wrinkled my clothes were, or just how utterly disgusting I was. It was magic, and not a thing in the world can compare. So while I sit here in the living room, enjoying being interrupted every few minutes by Kjetil’s two boys who are in LOVE with Guitar Hero – I feel indeed, richly blessed.
The sun has set on Tromso outside, and twilight is quickly approaching which means just after we sit down to dinner here now – we are off into the countryside until the wee hours of the morning to chase the northern lights, my absolute favourite.
I heart Norway.
When it feels as though this universe has knocked itself out in countless ridiculous ways to satisfy yet another burning desire of pure wanting from me, I wouldn’t dare hesitate taking the inspired action that follows such synchronicities. Paper tickets for standby travel are here, which means I won’t be.
This is where I’m going to spend the next little while. No, really. Literally, right there. Twisting my neck in ways that will bring excruciating pain, and have my breath literally taken from me by sheets of colour dancing across the sky. My favourite experience on this planet. So how does that all sound?
Talk to you from above the Arctic circle. Real soon.
I love to make believe. I love feeling inspiration, I love continued inspiration and allowing it to flow. I love feeling the life force behind just being a part of the inspired action I take. I love working at the airport, and I looove that I have opportunities to express creativity in an industry I adore. I love when my timing is perfect, and I love beautiful sunsets. I love twilight skies! I love how AWESOME the people I work with are. I love being so weird that photographing aeroplanes makes me feel exhilarated. I love knowing I’ve taken a beautiful photograph. I love feeling the natural flow of life. I love allowing, I love appreciating, I love basking, I love it allllllll!
Good time for the photographs that inspire such an outburst!
If you’ve met Tanya, you’re as delighted to know her as I am.
She’s one of those people you watch move through life with incredible ease, not because she isn’t wanting very much – in fact, it is the absolute opposite to be true. She left everything she knew to be her back in Kiev, Ukraine and arrived in Vancouver days later. It’s no sooner that she says she would like to have that, and you see her living it. She walks, she speaks, it happens. Plus, she rarely stops smiling. Hence the magic.
You know those shoots… in fact, you know those moments where everything feels, and is, life giving and just so easy. I would love to give you a sense of that, but I think labelling it as the emotion of life giving is as accurate as I could ever give to you through words. You just feel life pour through you on all levels of your beingness! You know when you get it, when you have goosebumps up & down your entire body because there is nothing more exhilarating than lining up with a desire and then taking inspired action and watching it unfold before your very own eyes. I’ll admit, I’m more often one to turn inward for this lifespiration (Yep – life-inspiration) but certainly Kayleen inspires it within me, without exception. This woman is glorious.
Now I have to tell you, I wasn’t going to share this but I feel like I want to and since it’s my blog and I can be as selfish as I want… I’m going to :) When Kayleen & I had got the images we knew we wanted (It took about 20 minutes through three, was it?, locations, we headed back to Waves Coffee in Steveston and she insisted I transfer the files to my Macbook right away because she was so dying to see them. I was nervous.. straight out of the camera images = butterflies. But I did it, and she browsed through them, tearing right up in front of her favourite images while trying to point out how her they were, she held such appreciation that I cannot even tell you the warm, certain feeling I had in my tummy. It moved me, and for this K, thank you.
This is pretty cute. Believe me. The other day I stopped by Catherine’s place to drop off the images from Jacob’s shoot and I thought I’d time it so Jacob would be having his nap and I could snap just a few more images of her adorable little one fast asleep, all cuted up (Yep, new word… cute-ed). Jacob must’ve sensed me on the bus rocketing down their street, because about five minutes before I arrived.. Catherine text me to say Jacob was wide awake!
Well, I couldn’t just walk in, hand over the images, and walk out like maybe a lot of normal people would’ve done. Catherine & I chatted about life, about their trip back to the Netherlands upcoming in a few weeks to join Efran. I’d give Jacob the odd little tickle, and he’d grab onto my finger and not want to let go with his entire little hand. The changes in him in just the couple weeks are unbelievable! These young, eager ones sure moving forth quickly, and as always, with complete and utter cuteness. Then, about three minutes after I left – Jacob was back asleep. …Sneaky little bugger.
I could write a million and one things to fill this space about Sylvia & Parag, but I know not all of you have the attention span for a long winded love story like I do ;) Sylvia & I have been e-mailing for a good few weeks, and every bloody time she writes to me she (subconsciously?) mentions how she’s in a different country than where she last wrote from.
It’s at this point during this blog post that I would like to mention how there is nothing more annoying than to see someone living the life you want to live when you’re not living it. I’m only kidding you a little bit, Sylvia.
And so, let’s kick off 2010 with just a little romance – because I get the feeling this is the year for it in my life. Sylvia & Parag met over in Geneva, Switzerland and in the following months and years ensued many weekend breaks of sunrises in the mountains of Europe, weekend breaks to just about every European city I only dream of sharing with my soulmate, and really… every other activity you could imagine in… every other country around the world you could imagine. It sounds as though the only thing left for them may be the Trans-Mongolian-Express railway, and if you talk to Parag about it – 10 days on a train across barren Mongolia, Russia – and just perhaps mainland Europe seems like it’s a bit of stretch for now. Which is a fabulous thing, because if you two manage that journey before I do – I’m going to be extremely upset for years to come.
Sylvia & Parag, there is nothing more perfect than what you two share together, and the absolute fairytale that you two have lived in your life with one another thus far could be the most surreal love story I’ve known to date. I had a blast hanging out with you, and very nearly wetting myself laughing so hard inside Granville Island Market Place within the first five minutes we met!
I was so looking forward to teaching Sylvia the robot, but alas, I forgot my tripod & remote trigger – and we had to have photos so… Parag did the honours, and did them awfully well I might add!
Life is for the joy of life, isn’t it? To experience joy, to live joy, to discover joy and to be that which is joy. As I was about to meet Mandy outside Yaletown Skytrain station, I sent her a text just as I arrived outside… “Blue jeans, blue coat & terrible hair.” So when she text back and said “Ditto on the hair”, I knew two things – she was more than likely a liar, and that we were going to laugh. A lot.
Despite her flat out lying to me before we’d even met, I couldn’t help but to love every second of this shoot. It was like getting together with an old friend you’d hadn’t seen in a few months, and picking up right where you last left off. If you’re here with a spare moment, I encourage you to go take a peek at her wonderful blog where there’s maybe one of the sweetest series of photographs I’ve ever seen. Seriously… right here. Go ;)
With a real Winter. I fall in love with real Winter moments. It’s beautiful when it snows, and spirits are lifted beyond where they often are. (Unless you’re at the airport re-booking passengers because we’ve cancelled their flights) But for the most part, everything just feels even more pleasant in the snow, and I love feeling pleasant.
And then it was all washed away in less than a day of 8 degrees and rain. Gross.
This girl has such brilliant style, I love it. Love it, love it, love it. Today we were supposed to spend some time together, take a few photos and perhaps have some dinner downtown to top things off, and I thought that if we were going to be downtown anyway – I’d love to pick up one or two more scarves for my beautiful Winter wardrobe. Fast forward 5:30pm on Robson Street – Sheeta & I are dancing in and out of stores like it’s nobodys business! Less than an hour later, this photoshoot has transformed itself into yet another shopping spree (and apparently this blog post has now too), so let’s just say I’m a little excited about some new fashions now sitting at the end of my bed!
Love this girl though. Sheeta & I just click… we just get one another and are both incredibly weird! Hah! Lots of frost on the ground in Vancouver and freezing temperatures outside – so really, who can blame me for wanting to add another scarf or two. Plus a few other things I couldn’t resist. So here goes my first real edits on my Mac… in other words, who knows of and/or is using an excellent colour calibration tool for your Mac? Please!
Because of that gorgeous & intuitive thing, this blog post has taken me well over a few hours to even get to this stage of writing it. I finally got mine, and I’ve named her Senija. And don’t tell me you haven’t named your beautiful material things either! Seriously, Macbook Pro = love of my life.
So since just about every single one of you persuasive little buggers have bothered me for more photos of my incredibly serene & beautiful new bedroom, I have a few more for you, though missing from my walls are an abundance of prints which will be coming soon! Please tell me how off my post-processing looks because I’ve decided to move to Aperture (which I am loving so far!) but there are some pretty new-feeling differences to Lightroom. And don’t even get me started on trying to use Photoshop on a Mac. Hah! I’ll get it right sooner or later, but let me know! I think I pulled back the recovery way too much in a lot of these? And I think my walls are a lot more icer bluer than in the photos! Hah!
I have some very exciting news! And it is even more exciting if you have been close to me for the past few years… Are you ready? I may find a great deal of joy in socialising! I know! I told you it was exciting! I love getting to know people, and I especially love those people who flow that same ridiculous energy I do! Sherry, definitely does. She’s certainly someone who can keep pace with my randomness & laughter outbursts! She’s got an awful lot of energy for a girl who’s in her final year of university studying nothing to do with photography, but Sherry, thanks for getting together today despite the fact you were up at 07:30 (because apparently not everyone has the luxury of sleeping til noon).
Life is a funny thing. While I was single working at the airport about two years ago, our crew would always come up on our breaks to the area just outside domestic departures to chain smoke themselves into a grave, and I had to get my two packs of second hand smoke in a day so I happily obliged. Night after night, I’d look across the doorway and there was this cute girl standing in her CMA uniform alone. Never a word spoken, never a move made. After a couple of months, I finally left that company behind and disappeared from the airport life for some time until eventually I found my way back to a small little company – CMA. The very same company that cute girl was working for. So about another year passed before her & I actually spent any time together talking really at work or outside of work, until recently and now have found a close friendship. Oddly enough, it wasn’t until we were sitting having dinner together after this shoot that I realised just what had happened in the way we stumbled into one another after a desire launched, literally, years ago. And about that, we laughed, and laughed, and laughed, and got mildly embarrassed while having a delicious sushi dinner.
I work at the airport. I’m one of those guys you see way down on the ground running around your aircraft making sure your bag & cargo arrive safely with you. I drive those funny looking machines in impossible spaces pulling up to multi-million dollar aircraft. I’m one of those guys, but as people find out I do a little of that job and have been for some time, they often say “Well you are, but you aren’t really one of those guys. You aren’t like that.” …And it’s true really, it’s not the sort of work you see a delicate, romantic souled photographer involved in. In fact, is there a more odd mix around?
And since I started at the airport a few years ago full-time, I’d take my camera with me everyday just in case there was that one special aircraft coming in, or some extraordinary sky. So while now when I go in for my few days every month at the airport, I rarely bring my camera. Without a doubt since I returned home from Helsinki about three weeks ago, I’ve had any inspiration escape me completely – I left the house for work on Monday, and when I got about a minute from the house I had the irressistable urge to turn back and grab my camera. If you know me at all, I always give into any inspired action, so I turned back, threw my camera in my bag and marched off to work…
It’s an extraordinarily powerful universe when you open yourself up to listening…
Michelle’s post just the other day had inspired in me something extraordinary I hadn’t really experienced before… it was an odd, immediate flowing of thought directly to me, and I scrambled to my computer to… write a little of it, which reading back upon it doesn’t make very much sense to me had I not known I wrote it in the moment. The one thing that stays most clear of my thought is along the lines of… How could we possibly assume that something is going wrong with our planet Earth when it, of all things, is the greatest, most powerful, incredibly expansive & undeniably diverse creation any of us have ever known. Earth is always bringing itself into perfect alignment as our platform for the magnificent creation we are all here joyously taking part of! Earth just is the well being that always abounds, and I wouldn’t ever expect that to change. Here we are as humans finding more things to fuss & worry about with so much talk about negative impact on our planet, when change is inevitable because nothing will ever stand still!
So, I’ve dug up a little photography I’ve gone about over the last few years and included just a small fraction of my appreciation for our planet.
A glorious Hawaiin sunset on the magnificent beaches of Ka'anappali
In my early days of cloud appreciation, I explored the remote Lofoten Islands through the dark of Winter in Norway
What could be more down to Earth than sleeping in a hotel purely of ice from the Torne River at ICE HOTEL, Jukkäsjarvi. …Twice.
And of course, I don’t think there’s anything more mystical or surreal than watching the Aurora Borealis dance for hours at a time in complete & utter silence in the middle of nowhere somewhere between the Norwegian coast & the Finnish border with Kjetil.
Just one last short & simple post from Helsinki before we leave this magnificent city behind for probably… at least a month, anyway. On my last night, Anna & I made our way to the ferry dock for a final visit to Suomenlinna for sunset, which has become quite the recurring theme with my visits to Helsinki, but never repetitive in feelings & appreciation.
Thinking up my next little jolt overseas to anywhere Lufthansa or Air Canada flies for probably mid-November for a few weeks, so all my blog-stalkers in hiding, now would seem an appropriate time to come forward with an e-mail shouting some suggestions! The front runners… Norway, Romania or Iran. Let’s hear it!
Alex, this photograph – for you. Clearly thinking of you while I was taking it!
That folks, is a hail storm. I walked right through it to the metro station from the dock.
I love to live my life based on the most simple pleasures. I just enjoy open spaces, I love unusual cloud formations and watching them change while they fly overhead. I love vivid colours – I don’t care if it’s a dilapidated wall, the sky, or an open landscape seemingly entirely inaccessible to anyone else on the planet, or maybe it was just that wind detering them from coming. Suomenlinna is all of these things for me, especially during the Autumn. The weather was cool, most certainly crisp and entirely unpredictable. The day ended with an awesome hail storm, and a bucket full of images – most of which aren’t here. Yet. But many favourites are, so enjoy!
Married with every last ounce of energy & excitement that exclamation mark brings! When Anna & I met Jaana & Pekka for their engagement session on Suomenlinna, and had a wonderful evening together chatting, laughing, joking… I knew when I said at the end of the night that I was sorry I wouldn’t be around for their wedding in October that I was lying. I wasn’t sure how on Earth I’d get back to Finland for a wedding four hours North of Helsinki, but I knew it was going to happen. And about two weeks before their day, I’d found a flight.
As I was putting together this blog post, clicking between photos, inserting them into the post, it felt as though I could’ve wrote a story for each one of them because all through their day, they were always making sure everyone else was well and it just seemed like the most perfect unfolding. Like that hour break we had after the formals when she had an entire lunch delivered to my hotel room, despite stuffing our faces silly at breakfast not much earlier. Jaana & Pekka are just the perfect pair together, and their entire world of families, friends, and strangers they rendezvous with all know it.
Married on the 3rd! Cute!
While Anna was over with the girls, I got to hang out with Pekka and shoot a few getting ready images of he & his best man which I really enjoyed! Nice change of pace, and another first for me!
Guys, I love you for this. It was SO cold, and you two were awesome about it!
Sometimes it’s fun to just be together with that special someone in your life, it’s nice to just be. I thought about getting lazy and just titling this somewhat like many of my other couple shoots… ‘iida & ville | engagement that isn’t really an engagement and ville probably doesn’t want the pressure of thinking about engagement even though iida can dream it up in her mind’, but I had a hard time finding an image that would accompany all that – so, I told it very simply like it is. Just them, in their beingness together, completely.
On a side note, this about tipped my Finnglish to the absolute maximum – but thank goodness for Anna‘s translation skills! Yaahoooo!
Anja & Heikki are a lovely young couple, and I could write as many pleasant things about them as I could about their friend’s Volkswagen which I now want more than my Macbook Pro. Maybe. We had a great time photographing their ceremony here in Helsinki and quick bridals just outside the church after. Congratulations you two!
It didn’t at all matter for what day we booked tickets for the ferry over to Tallinn because the forecast is entirely useless this time of the year here. Well, it’s not that it’s useless – it’s just that the weather is constantly changing, it just doesn’t stay still. So Wednesday it was, and as we pulled into port, it was raining insanely hard to the point I didn’t want to get off the ship. By the time the bridge docked, the sun was out in full. And it carried on like that for the entire afternoon, so there was a fine balance of dodging into alleys & hiding the camera to purposely getting lost in the old town.
I will say everything about today was perfect. Everything. Every little detail. Every fine ounce of creativity that flowed, and still is flowing, re-discovering the coffee house from two months ago, rendezvousing with so many right people, appreciating magnificent displays from mother nature and everything in between. See, the wonderful thing about life is as something is active within me – it follows me where ever I go, and with a little fine tuning, all those things are wanted & deliberate. What is more perfect than that?
If only this photo actually did the sky justice. Geeeeez!
One of my favourite images from the road this year. Smell, taste, feel – it’s all right there in my hot chocolate.
Fortunately, this was the payoff of winds that blew me down the deck on my feet & near freezing temperatures.
Cute little video inside my favouritest cafe on the planet! Think I heard them say they were from Nova Scotia!
She’s Slovenian. He’s Finnish. She moved to Finland for studies. They found one another, they fell in love. A couple moves South from the North, and they’re living happily ever after as we all dream.
Nina & Jyri are adorable, just… unbelievably cute together that it makes my stomach weak. After one of the photographs, I just had to say out loud “You two are so cute together that it’s almost disgusting!” Nina replies – “I hope that’s not a bad thing!” …It can never be a bad thing. I enjoyed this session more than words can say!
On Wednesday, I left sunny, warm Vancouver for Helsinki. I arrived in much better time this go – less than 17 hours as opposed to the 48 hours it took the last time between Helsinki & Vancouver, so already – we’re off to a much better start! The single biggest problem was however, and still is in fact, that I left Vancouver and it was a delicious 25°C, and clearly it slipped my mind I was heading to Scandinavia as I packed. Arrive Helsinki – it’s a cool 14°C, which isn’t half bad. So Anna meets me at Helsinki’s Vantaa Airport just past 6pm where we grab a bus back to her place, literally throw my backpack on her living room floor, change, and go right back out the door to the train station where we caught a train North to Tampere for a bridal shoot at 09:00 the next morning! We arrived in Tampere, and it was like 5°C – no jacket, no gloves. Got up the next morning for the shoot and the clock in Tampere reads 6.6°C… Nice. Thanks. So essentially, I flew half way around the world – completely changed seasons, and had a bridal shoot 15 hours after touching down in Finland with no appropriate clothing. Oh yeah, and it’s supposed to snow Thursday. Wooooo!
So let’s get onto Riikka & Henri! Whenever Anna e-mails me about upcoming shoots, I can never keep track of everything she has planned but when she told me Riikka & Henri had plans for a bundle of balloons – it locked into my memory like candy to my shopping cart! Tampere feels like much more of an industrial city than anywhere else I’ve been in Finland, but it seriously has a great vibe & some extremely photogenic locations! Enjoy!
When Jamie e-mailed me a few nights before I was to leave for my cruise up to Alaska and asked if I was interested in shooting Michelle & Mitch’s wedding with her – it was like asking a kid, or me, if I wanted to go on a shopping spree in a candy store! The only problem was I’d have to, once again, get up at some ungodly hour of 6am to be off the ship & ready to go by 7:30am instead of enjoying a nice relaxed breakfast without butterflies in my stomach at 10:30am. All that being said, we have a wonderful day of unfolding and it was the fastest 13 hours I’ve ever spent ‘working’, that is for sure!
First look! So cute!
If you remotely enjoyed these, take a quick peek over to Jamie’s set here, which are absolutely stellar! And just because she wanted me to let all of you know that her career in the making is actually to re-create Christian rap…
Our last few days was a total mixed bag as far as scenery, weather & adventures go. After I spent a couple of hours on the deck watching for any Aurora activity after leaving Juneau, we arrived in Skagway the following morning to a lot of fog, a lot of low cloud and about 6,000 cruise ship tourists in a town of 800 people. Thankfully, we stepped off the tourist trail 15 minutes and had the entire mountains to ourselves.
The next solid day and a half at sea was spent rocking around at the mercy of the Pacific Ocean. We missed our call at Ketchikan with gale force 11 winds – hurricane force winds! While there were a lot of people taking part in the whole sea sickness idea, I found the entire experience exhilarating! To me, there was nothing more exciting than watching from the windows, and from our balcony, the waves crash up against the front of the ship sending us up high to come crashing back down again! I was in love with every single moment of it! Except when the winds were gusting the 110 km/h and I couldn’t physically push our balcony door open! Hah!
While some of you have probably seen enough of Alaska from me to last a lifetime, I still haven’t and I know I’ll be back, probably next year, and the year after that, and the year after that. Thank you for the complete abundance of blog love for this entire series, it makes it all the sweeter to me! When we docked at 7am Saturday morning, I rushed off to second shoot a wedding with Jamie Delainey which is all prepared and will be surfacing on my blog here in a couple days!
We're docked in Skagway!
Scott & I opted not for any organized tours in Skagway, and explored the area through some solid hiking up to a region of lakes…
Sad sight leaving those Arctic waters for the Pacific again.
Let me tell you, the waters might not look like much here – but they were in fact pretty violent out there!
The Diamond Princess we were following home turning around!
This was the 5:30am morning. I go on an Alaskan cruise for a vacation, and over the period of a week, I don’t think I’ve ever accumulated such little sleep in my life. Except that one week last year at the airport where I worked a 36.5 hour shift which turned out to be 101 hours in 7 days, but that’s a whole other story! I’m all about depriving myself of everything comfortable for nature, but not for throwing your 70lb bags inside of 737s! So again, my alarm was set, and I eventually stumbled out of bed to answer the knock at our door for our breakfast. Enjoyed that, and then spent just about the remainder of the day out on our balcony, and out on the top deck.
It’s really hard to bring words into this series of images that can even… remotely come close to giving you a sense of how overwhelmingly beautiful it is up there in Glacier Bay, and the whole of Alaska for that matter. It’s really, really surreal – and I think that’s the only way to say it, so hopefully my images speak a little stronger. If that day solidified one thing for me, it’s that one of my next stops in life is going to be Antarctica.
A few seconds before it happened, a huge thunder erupts from the glacier and what follows is the calving seen in the centre of the frame here. Totally the wrong lens in this moment, but incredible all the same!
For all you camera officionados out there… MarkII, ISO 12800 in moonlight. You decide ;)
You can probably imagine setting the alarm on your phone for 6am after going to bed past midnight. And you can probably imagine the feeling you awaken to when the alarm starts to chime out of your phone at exactly 06:00am. While it wasn’t at all like that. I gently reached over and turned my Nokia over to stop the alarm, and very slowly as my eyes started to take in some of the morning light pouring in through our windows, I managed to squint hard enough at the balcony to see a beautiful teal colour hitting the white ceiling.
Not long after, room service arrived with an abundance of fresh fruit, baking, juices & everything delicious imaginable at our door, and we, for not the first, or the last time, enjoyed breakfast in bed calling out icebergs floating by our ship on our way up Tracey Arm. And so, until it felt ‘unscenic’ enough for at least 15 minutes so I could get washed – I’d hop from bed, into my robe over my jimjams, out onto the balcony staring off into Alaska looking probably just a little dumbfounded, breath-taken, and perhaps just a little overly excited…
Yeah… probably the best view I've ever had while enjoying breakfast.
Stole my toque!
Docked in Juneau!
When we tied up in Juneau at just past 2pm, I knew I wanted another taste of icebergs. I had to have more, and I didn’t want to wait until we explored Glacier Bay back on M/S Zuiderdam in 48 hours. I couldn’t wait that long. I didn’t want to pay the $3 for a bus ride the few hundred metres into town, so I dragged all five of us by foot into Juneau. Somewhere along the way, we ran into a little booth selling every tour imaginable at every price imaginable. “Bus to Mendenhall Glacier – $7 each way”. Done. I didn’t need to see anymore, no one needed to say anymore – I wanted to go. Now.
Got off the bus and into the visitor centre area with the other 83,275 people who arrived off a cruise ship in Juneau today. We walked the paved path out to the fenced photo spot. Grand, as you can imagine. Saw a group of people (specs) off in the distance standing near the waterfall.
Sean: “Surely, there must be a way to get out there. Has to be.”
Scott (brother): “Probably. And don’t call me Shirley.” (Hah! Airplane reference! Anyone?!)
So wouldn’t you know it, off to the side of this paved path along the way is an unmarked trail leading in the direction I wanted to go – closer to the glacier. Without a moment of hesitation, we jumped on it. Rode the trail out for 10-20 minutes, and were right out there. Glacier straight ahead. Waterfall crashing down to the right. Not another sodding tourist for miles.
Believe me, if you had to listen to our bus driver talk the entire twenty minutes to the glacier – you'd have that face on too. Haha, my brother!
Look at the size. It's astounding. Look at my brother on the far right. AHH…
So last, last Saturday I literally dropped everything, got on board M/S Zuiderdam with Holland America and cruised up the inside passage to some incredible scenery, untouched waters, and cute towns leaving behind my phone, internet connection and just about all else. Heading North, so much of the breathtaking scenery was back toward the coast and thus, on the right side of the ship – which just happened to be where our suite was with the 100sq ft balcony. As much as I love sitting on our balcony with room service & a good book, there is something far more exhilarating about having the wind send chills down my spine on the top deck leaning over the railing breathing in every last bit of fresh air while feeling as though we were sailing through the ends of the Earth.
Good morning, day number two! (Mum had an inside cabin, so she rather loved our oversized balcony…)
Waaaayy out of focus, but it's one of my favourites.
I literally ran out of the formal dinner downstairs to get to the deck as I had a feeling in my stomach about the sky out there. Woah.
If you’ve been reading for some time, you know I’m obsessed with nearly all 542 images from this trip – so I do just have to break this into a four part series, because I just can’t narrow anything down. I can’t. Honestly. I was up til 2:30am this morning just trying to figure how to organize these posts while keeping each of them under 130 images, and I’m still not sure it’s sorted.
They may be the cutest couple in the world, and she just happens to be my mother. I don’t ever remember seeing my mum more happy, more content, and more expansive than at the place she is now in her life. As for George, well, he’s just the most gentle man I may have ever known, and it feels like such a blessing to have him in our home as part of our family. Although let’s be honest, I do miss it when I had the place to myself on the weekends because mum was over at his place from Friday after work until Monday morning.
It’s hard to really… describe how their wedding day went because it just… happened so fast, and everything came together in perfect time and the most perfect way. Every single detail these two drew up and put together was beyond worthwhile, and it felt like the most romantic, personal, and charming wedding to date. Thank you mum, thank you George, and thank you all of our family for flying in and taking time out of your busy lives to share this with us all. It was so special.
And just to throw it out there, I don’t think I’ve ever been this nervous about a blog post. Or nervous period. Well, except for yesterday morning at breakfast on the cruise ship. Mum, George, Sue & Scott – you hear me.
That is why the blog posts started off slightly slow while in Helsinki… how was I supposed to work when all she wanted was love. I couldn’t possibly say no to that could I? Adorable & enlightening though, I love cats, and Anna’s cat – Mimi. Or at least that’s what I grew to call her after becoming only very slightly annoyed at the finicky Finnish pronunciation.
I know, another video, but this one is for sure the cutest I’ve ever taken. I promise.