Month: October 2019

Mij Arrives Today!

Mij is arriving this morning, and Natasha & Stitch can’t wait. They will assume she came just to see them. Lou and I are looking forward to visiting with Mij as well. We hope the weather cooperates for her visit!

Here is a photo from a few years ago when Auntie Mij came and stayed for awhile – in fact, I think this was when we went on the 2016 Alaska trip.


Update 9:10am

The pups have been waiting at the window ever since Lou Left at 7:30am to pick up Mij. Originally we were going to both go to the airport and take the dogs along for the ride. Then we remembered, today is their grooming day. And, they need a bath!

More Fall Colors

Last night was the community potluck at our house. Lou made sausages with peppers and onions. Had a good turnout … about 30 people. Lots of food!

It was so crowded in the kitchen, I didn’t get a photo of the other main courses and vegetables. Donna, our neighbor and co-host, spent 5 hours making delicious pierogis that disappeared pretty quickly.

I stole this photo off the internet – Donna’s pierogies Looked even better than this. She made 65!

I should never doubt Lou. He made 48 sausages. I thought that was double what we would need. Oops, I was wrong …

Update – 3 pm today. The dynamic duo are still worn out from the potluck last night. It is the first time they have been allowed to be here with that many people in the house.

Aftermath of the Storm

Wind and rain blew through Northport, starting Wednesday night and into Thursday. It didn’t knock as many of the leaves off of the trees as we thought it would. The photos in this post were taken yesterday morning.

Clicking this image will bring up a larger version. Just click the “x” on the bottom right of the photo to rerurn to the blog. This photo is a panorama from our bedroom balcony.
Not as many leaves in the driveway as expected
Stitch looking for cookies before he agrees to pose
There is a princess hiding in those leaves
Lou still has apples
It was a good day for hot chocolate – in Lou’s mug

Ketchikan – Time to Say Goodbye

Update – Just saw this:

“Happy Alaska Day! On October 18th, 1867, Russia formally transferred the Territory of Alaska to the United States.”

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Our very last morning aboard the Wilderness Discoverer. We were all sad to see our adventures come to an end, but everyone knew it was time to get back to work, to school, and to our pets. I thought Lou was pushing it when he organized a full two weeks on a small ship – turns out he made the right call, and the time was perfect. Long enough to relax, short enough to never get bored.

Here we are cruising into Ketchikan at 7am … we could not have had better travel partners for our family than Kathy and Steve. Always willing to try something new, always ready to laugh, and just a lot of fun to be around.

Now comes the really sad part. It is time to exit the ship, and this time it is for good. No secretly feeling superior like the previous week, when we knew we would be getting back on at the end of the day. Lots of hugs with the crew, and with fellow passengers.

I believe we all headed up to the hotel on the hill – the Cape Fox Lodge, where the kids could grab their luggage and catch transfers to the airport.

The California Crew all had reasonably short flights, compared to the Mainers. The older folks were staying an extra day to rest up for the rigors of the cross country flights.

I think I can speak for all, and say this was a dream vacation. Lou and I were delighted to get to share our previous UnCruise experience, and the wonders of Alaska, with family and friends. Now we just have to figure out when we can all go back again!!! It would also be amazing to have Todd join us.

I would be remiss in not saying how pleased we were with the UnCruise Crew. It was a treat to sail with Captain Dano, and the expedition guides and skiff drivers went out of their way to make the activities work for all fitness levels. The hotel/food service staff were helpful and friendly – being with the same crew for two weeks is a plus. We would definitely sail with UnCruise Adventures again.

This finishes up the story of our Family & Friends UnCruise Adventure. I’ll come back to add some photos from our extra days in Ketchikan (5 years later and I still need to do this!) And, of course, additional commentary from the rest of the travel crew is always welcomed.

Guest Blog – Whack and Yak !!!

Yay, how exciting! Catherine supplied another guest blog for our entertainment. Here we go…

July 8th (the day we did the first polar plunge).


Whacking and Yaking Alaska Style
Today the Holmes crew decided to take on the Wilderness “Whack and Yak” challenge…an all day excursion that involved kayaking to a remote location (yes…remoter even than our normal remote) and then “bushwhacking” into the wilderness for a hike.  

Bushwhacking is hiking without any trail – you literally find a hole in the vegetation and start walking.  If you encounter a lake or a cliff or other impenetrable obstacle, you turn around and go a different way.  Our guide had an emergency phone and gps so we weren’t too worried about getting lost!  Having to yell “Hey Bear!” every few seconds was a little more troubling, especially after we stumbled across fresh droppings and “bear sleeping beds” of tamped down grass. In the end, that was as much bear as we saw on our bushwhacking and no one from our party was either lost or eaten!

Our kayaking out was beautiful and easy…we realized later that we were going with the current (more on that when we talk about the return trip…)


Once we were sufficiently remote, we beached our kayaks which made us all really appreciate the easy launcher and helpful hands on the boat.

Tory poses with a giant wall of mussels, and adds her own!


For some reason we have no photographic evidence of our bushwhacking hike – probably too concerned with avoiding bogs and bears.  I do recall eating a lot of wild blueberries and several very sketchy cliff climbs!

After lunch, it was time to try to get back into the kayaks and head alllllllllllllll the way back to the boat. 

Did I mention that we were now heading back against the current?  It was quite a long distance and we were all pretty worn out from our days exercise already.  


It was an awesome day and a great workout but it proved to be my last Whack and Yak although Tory and Mark ventured out again the next week while Olivia and I snorkeled again. 


Thank you, Catherine, for another entertaining look at our adventures.

Click HERE to arrive in Ketchikan, if you can.

Misty Fjords – Filling in the Blanks

Many thanks to Kathy and Catherine for searching their photos to help me out with my missing day.

First, Kathy supplied some more nice scenic shots showing just how beautiful it was cruising through the fjords.

Catherine found a few more from the morning as well, including a few shots from the polar plunge. She also found this one of me. I don’t know how I could have forgotten what looks like my own private Skiff Tour, up close and personal with that waterfall.. Thank you, Catherine, I owe you one 😏

Thanks, gals, for rescuing the day!

Catherine even has some videos.


Thanks again to Kathy and Catherine, for helping to bring our last full day to life! Beth has helped me in earlier sections of the blog as well, but her hard drive crashed so she couldn’t easily check her photos. I’m sure she also had many awesome ones, as she did very well with her new camera. And, of course, Lou always comes through with some classic shots.

Click HERE to read an exciting Guest Blog!