Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Here’s to Alaska

(John Denver anybody?)


Have you ever had one of those family vacations that was just magical? The kind where everyone gets along, shares, laughs and thoroughly enjoys each other? My family had one of those vacations two weeks ago. We took a 7-day cruise through beautiful Alaska. No kiddos. Just the 10 of us: adult children, spouses and Mom & Dad. Was this our first vacation ever where no one disagreed and there was NO drama? I think so. And it was just magical. My family members are my friends, and I recognize how special that is. All was not perfect, (see lowlights) but most problems happened before or after the actual vacation and in hindsight, they just made things more memorable. Right, Dad?


Being home alone for 2.5 days before the cruise while Harley traveled with the kids to my in-laws. Also my 6 hour flight to Seattle all alone.

Views from a mountain top in Ketchikan.



Harley winning an Elvis impersonation contest and being awarded a bottle of champagne.



The food and the ample time and freedom to enjoy it. Favorites: salmon, sushi, lobster, chips & guac and swan shaped cream puffs.


Family book club: The Hunger Games.

Allison’s schedule.


Watching cute old people dance.


Napping poolside.


Sailing through Tracy Arm Fjord. Beautiful! DSC_0277DSC_0301 DSC_0274IMG_5168

Hiking to Mendenhall Glacier. Then jumping for joy.

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Whale watching in Juneau.

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One perfectly warm afternoon spent in the sun.

DSC_0230DSC_0225Lots of family gaming.

Surprising my mom by showing up to dinner wearing a bridesmaid dress (my aunt’s) from her wedding.


Great family discussions over pleasantly drawn-out, multi-course meals.


DSC_0350DSC_0360 Zumba class with about 50 women and my dad. Sadly no pictures.

Sailing on the lovely Sapphire Princess.IMGA0009DSC_0403


Shopping in Skagway.

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Watching my dad debate whether or not to approach Mike Huckabee (yep, he was on our boat), decide to do it, walk all the way up to him, then chicken out. For the record, my dad isn’t really a fan, but he wanted to wish him well. Also for the record, later in the week my dad successfully approached Huckabee.

Dancing with my sisters.

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Cheryl teaching me and Lisa a Body Jam routine around midnight in the dance club, then Cheryl not batting an eyelash as 5 total strangers joined in.

DSC_0397 Poolside pizza.

Days at sea. My family loves these. On vacation and at home.

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Dressing fancy.




Alaskan wildlife.

IMG_5116 Bald Eagle


Getting tight with one of the ship’s entertainers: a ventriloquist from Lancaster County who just happened to be on my flight. He also happened to be a Mennonite. Fascinating guy. He and his wife make a (good) living traveling the country with a bunch of dummies sharing Biblical messages. I couldn’t get enough of his peculiar life story.


Victoria, Victoria, Victoria. Peacocks roaming, flowers blooming, waves lapping… I LOVED this gorgeous British Columbia capital!

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Virgin strawberry daiquiris and the pool boy (Tom) who kept them coming.


“Team Mikey” winning the ship’s group game “Majority Rules” and being awarded lame prizes.

Seattle! Seattle is so great!


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Unlimited, uninterrupted time with Harley.




Knowing my kiddos were in excellent hands, which spoiled them rotten, down in Jerome, Idaho.


And the number one highlight: belly laughing with my family. Time and time again.



IMG_5392 Leapfrog outside the Governor's Mansion in British Columbia.


Can you spot the creeper above?



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Not packing appropriately for cold weather, wind and hikes.




Cheryl & I humiliating ourselves singing the wrong karaoke songs in the wrong keys.


Packing waaaay too many people and bags into one car.

IMG_5437 IMG_5438 IMG_5457 Road tripping from Jerome, ID to Sandy, UT with four kids 3 and under.


Locking the keys in the car at a gas station in Washington state.

Running out of gas in Idaho.


But let’s end on a highlight picture. Fabulous vacation! I love my family!



Suzette Selden said...

What an amazing trip! And you look absolutely gorgeous in every picture. I need your wardrobe! Glad you got to spend time with your family.

Codi said...

So fun! You guys look like you had a great trip! I miss my own family after reading this :(

Michael said...

Thanks Wendy. Great documentations with pictures and commentary. You have a real tatlent. Good times. Good Memories.

The Captain

Rachel said...

1. I'm pretty sure you were on the same ship I was on last random!

2. Also I was unprepared for cold, and am hence wearing my hoodie over my head in EVERY. SINGLE. PICTURE.

3. Loved it! Looks like a blast! So glad you got to go and that it was magical!!!

Kell's Belles said...

Looks like a fantastic trip!!! The pictures are gorgeous!

Crystal said...

What fun! Is it pathetic I am crying over this post, happy tears for you, and jealous tears for myself. Then there were the lowlights to leave me laughing....the picture of you and your sis in your "hiking gear" is the best.

hwangberg said...

Sounds like you had a fabulous time! I'm so glad your flight wasn't delayed and that you and your luggage made it on the cruise.

Ali Snow said...

So funners. What a great time. Great job documenting with lots of pics. I'll probably just link to yours :) I didn't know Dad ever actually talked to Huckabee.

Ryan and Cheryl Harris said...

I'm with Ali...didn't know dad talked to Huckabee and will be linking your blog to mine. I'm trying to upload the video on my blog and it isn't working. Great blog post. We had such a good time.

Mom said...

Best time ever. Best family ever. Best belly laughs ever.

anna banana said...

Way to go! I would love to do that cruise! Looks completely wonderful in every way!

Heather Ross said...

I'm Cheryl's friend, once again linked to your fabulous blog through her. I don't want to seem like a complete blog stalker, so I figured I better post something to say how much I enjoyd reading about your family trip.

A few years ago my grandparents took my family aunts/uncles/cousins(there were 16 in our group) on a cruise in Hawaii. Your post brought back a lot of great memories of our time together as a big family group on a cruise ship. Our group became pretty famous as a walking party on board that ship for the week we cruised, much like I bet your family was.

Kara said...

Oh I absolutely loved it! It felt like I just did a whirlwind Alaskan cruise- amazing! I'm glad you had such an amazing time with your family, sans kiddos. Want to hear all about it in person- soon!

Ligia said...

Unbelievable! So jealous that you and your family got to go. Looks like it was a great bonding time too. And I think I want to see this Dance Jam dance in person. Perhaps a Talent Show of sorts is in order?!

Amanda said...

What a fun (and good lookin') family! It really does look magical =).

I love that Harley won an Elvis impersonation contest.

Brandy said...

Oh my gosh Wendy! My MOM AND DAD were on that same cruise! So glad you had fun!! :) Someday... SOMEDAY i will vacation without my kids! You've inspired me!

Kelley said...

w2k, what a vacation! i love seeing all of your happy pics with your family. you guys are just so darling. i should tell you that my dad's side of the family are mennonite and they are some of the most lovely people i've ever known. i really love the cookbook, "extending the table". it's a compilation of delicious, green/humane-minded international recipes from mennonite women. love to you and your boys from us. xo

Joo Lin said...

What a fun post! Looks like a great trip and you document everything so well. You look fantastic in all the pictures and I love that you are best friends with your family!

Ming said...

Ahhh, where to begin?! I'll try to remember most of my thoughts while reading this. More when we talk obviously...

1)Fave pics include: you in your yellow stripped shirt/green necklace standing w/Harley, you and Harley dressed up looking up on the stairs, your entire fam on the bench in Victoria & your entire fam all dressed up.

2)Oh what I wouldn't give to see your dad in Zumba class.

3)Beautiful scenery!!!

4)Love that Harley won the Elvis contest. Classic.

5)Weiler girls dancing. Perfect.

6)You wearing your Mom's old dress. So funny and awesome.

7)You and Cheryl being grossly unprepared for hiking. Vintage Wendy. (Grand Canyon anyone?!:))

8)I'm SO glad this cruise went so perfectly. LOVE family vacations!

Rob and Katie said...

Awesome post.
I'm putting the over/under on the number of times the word "Bronco" was referenced at Mendenhall glacier at 3.
I'm putting the over/under odds for the number of months Tom or Lisa get married after the family picture at the dinner table is displayed at someone's home at 6 months.