Diane K. Miller, Fine Art Photographs: Blog https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog en-us Diane K. Miller, all rights reserved info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Fine Art Photographs) Sun, 26 Jul 2015 17:29:00 GMT Sun, 26 Jul 2015 17:29:00 GMT https://www.dianekmiller.com/img/s/v-5/u645578815-o462739717-50.jpg Diane K. Miller, Fine Art Photographs: Blog https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog 80 120 Day 9 - Fairbanks https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-9---fairbanks Fairbanks was our last stop and we spent two nights here and rented a car.  All that said, I didn't take as many photographs in Fairbanks.  Or I should say most photos i took were from my phone and can be found on Instagram at @theshutterbugeye  Our first stop was a riverboat tour.  It was fun and educational but I was honestly ready for the tours to be over at this point.  Then we checked into our hotel and rented a car. 

While in Fairbanks we ate at The Turtle Club for dinner.  This was recommended by the cab driver that took my husband to pick up the rental car.  She said it was not touristy and had great prime rib.  She was right!  I recommend it if you are in Fairbanks and have a car as it's a bit on the outskirts.

We also stopped by a point where you can see the Alaskan Pipeline.  It was 9:30 at night but broad daylight.  It was also neat to see the engineering of how it would handle an earthquake.

There was an antique car museum that was on the property of the lodge/resort.  It had so many neat old cars as well as clothing for each period.

We drove up to North Pole Alaska but Santa wasn't home.  We did meet some of his reindeer.

There were also some wild wetland areas for birds.  Lots of sandhill cranes in the one spot.  My walk through mosquito infested forest only led me to gulls.

Day 10 and on - FairbanksDay 10 and on - FairbanksAlaska

We flew home from Fairbanks.  This trip was really amazing and so varied.  I'd highly recommend it, though if I could do it again, I'd likely have rented a car earlier and did the land portion more on our own.  But the tours were nice too.


If you have been following and commenting, I will be posting about the textures next Monday.  If you commented on all the posts, please comment on that one as well and leave your e-mail.  I will then send you a link to the free texture pack.

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Fine Art Photographs) Alaska Princess alaskan pipeline bird photograph birds gull nature nature photograph photography sandhill crane travel vacation wildlife https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-9---fairbanks Wed, 05 Aug 2015 14:55:00 GMT
Day 8 - Denali https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-8---denali After a night at Mt. McKinley lodge we woke up and caught our tour bus that took us up to Denali, farther north.  The ride was scenic and we arrived at the Denali lodge in time for a quick lunch before our tour of the park.  The tour of the park was nice.  We made several stops and saw wildflowers, beautiful scenery, some historic sites and ended with a presentation from a native while standing at a point where you see miles in every direction surrounded by mountain ranges.

I wished that I had an extra day at Denali as I would have loved to explore more on my own, take more time to see wildlife and maybe go for a hike.  Sadly, we were back in time for dinner and ate at a salmon bake restaurant which was tasty.  The next morning we were on a bus to Fairbanks.

Pictures from inside Denali.

 

Day 9 - Denali landscapesDay 9 - Denali landscapesAlaska

Day 9 - CaribouDay 9 - CaribouAlaska

Day 8 - Flowers 1&2Day 8 - Flowers 1&2Alaska

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Fine Art Photographs) Alaska Denali caribou landscape landscape photograph macro photograph mountains nature photograph photography travel vacation wildflower wildlife wildlife photograph https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-8---denali Mon, 03 Aug 2015 14:15:00 GMT
Throwback Thursday - Number 11 https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/throwback-thursday---number-11 A quick throwback Thursday.  Self portrait with mustache and textures.

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Fine Art Photographs) https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/throwback-thursday---number-11 Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:08:00 GMT
Day 7 - Train to Talkeetna and Mt. McKinley https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-7---train-to-talkeetna-and-mt-mckinley The ship arrived in Whittier early that morning and we disembarked a little after 6am and immediately boarded our train.  I saw a lot of wildlife and beautiful scenery from the train, but being a moving train, I took no photos.  Animals included dall sheep, a moose laying in the forest, the back of a black bear though he was brown in color, swans with babies, and more common animals such as ducks.  

The train took us North to Talkeetna, a cute little town not far from Mt. McKinnley.  We ate lunch at the brewery where I enjoyed reindeer meatloaf.  I also tried fireweed icecream.  Below is fireweed, a common wildflower, which was growing everywhere.  It was good and had a mild berry like flavor.

 

Day 8 - FireweedDay 8 - FireweedAlaska

When we finished exploring Talkeetna, we took the shuttle bus to the Princess Mt. McKinley lodge where we ate dinner and spent the night.  We also were lucky to see the peak of Mt. McKinley that evening.

 

Day 7 -  Denali PeakDay 7 - Denali PeakAlaska

More to come next week - Denali and Fairbanks! Then I'll share the texture pack.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Fine Art Photographs) Alaska Denali Mt. McKinely Princess Talkeetna fireweed flowers landscape mountain nature photography train travel vacation wildflower https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-7---train-to-talkeetna-and-mt-mckinley Wed, 29 Jul 2015 15:00:00 GMT
Day 6 - College Fjord https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-6---college-fjord Day 6 - College FjordDay 6 - College Fjord Top left: Hanging glacier; Middle left:  Glacier; Lower left: Blue iceburg; Center:  Harbor Glacier calving; Top right:  Harbor Glacier; Middle Right:  Y shaped glacier; Lower right:  Harbor Glacier viewed from front of ship as we approached.


This is the last day/night on the ship and in the later afternoon/evening is scenic cruising in College Fjord with more glaciers.  Because it overlapped with dinner we went to the upper 14 level deck so we could bounce from side to side of the ship.  It was cold and rainy out so I hid under cover and ran out to take photos and see what was there.  I also ran to the front of the ship for a view of what was ahead.

There were a lot of different glaciers here but the star was Harbor Glacier at the end of the fjord.  We spent quite a bit of time by Harbor Glacier and were able to see it calving several times, one of which I managed to photograph (see center photo).

This was a great finale to the sea portion of the trip.  I'll be honest, at this point I was ready for something different as I had enough downtime on the ship.  Next adventure is the train up to Talkeetna and a night at Mt. McKinley Lodge.


Don't forget to comment on every Alaska post if you want to receive the Alaska Glaciers Texture Pack at the end of my reviews.

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Fine Art Photographs) Alaska Alaska cruise College Fjoird Harbor Glacier Princess cruise blue calving glacier glacier calving glaciers ice iceberg landscape nature photograph photography scenic scenic cruising travel https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-6---college-fjord Mon, 27 Jul 2015 14:10:00 GMT
Throwback Thursday - Number 10 https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/throwback-thursday---number-10

Peek-a-boo . . . another self portrait in black and white with sepia tones and a TTV frame.

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Fine Art Photographs) TBT Throwback Thursday black and white bw portrait self self portrait sepia ttv https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/throwback-thursday---number-10 Thu, 23 Jul 2015 15:30:00 GMT
Day 5 - Glacier Bay https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-5---glacier-bay Day 5 - Glacier BayDay 5 - Glacier Bay Clockwise from upper left:  Hanging glacier, Margerie Glacier, Close-up Margerie Glacier, Pacific Grand Glacier

 

Day 6 in the morning there was scenic cruising in Glacier Bay.  They had people from the park on the ship giving a talk about what we were seeing.  IT was cold but we bundled and watched the view from our private balcony. 

The star of the day was Margerie Glacier, which extended to the water forming a big wall of ice.  You could see the blue int he cracks and crevices of the glacier.  It was absolutely beautiful. 

The other big glacier, which is even larger than Margerie, although it is receding, is the Pacific Grand Glacier.  It is in the lower right of the photos above.  It is brown and does not look like a glacier, even though it is. The ice has picked up much silt and dirt which is common.  you can see it in parts of Margerie, but the Pacific Grand Glacier is covered in it.

I can't share through photos the sounds that glaciers make but it really was quite amazing to hear.

 

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Fine Art Photographs) Alaska cruise Grand Princess Margerie glacier Pacific Grand Glacier Princess cruise alaska cold glacier glacier bay ice landscape phogotaphy photograph scenery scenic cruising travel water https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-5---glacier-bay Wed, 22 Jul 2015 14:20:00 GMT
Day 4 - Skagway https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-4---skagway The third and final port day was Skagway, a small town that seems to be there simply for tourists.  It is an old gold rush town that has preserved that feel with old buildings, boardwalks instead of sidewalks, etc.

Our off ship excursion for the day is the Mushers Sled Dog and Camp Experience.  We are bussed in a small bus out to the camp area.  It drops us off at the base of a mountain where we take a short walk to the camp.  The camp has dog homes, puppies with their moms, an educational area and more.  When we get there we then board a unimog that will take us up the mountain to where our dogs will be waiting to take us for a ride.

We learn that the dogs that are race dogs and many have and/or will compete in the Iditerod race.  They do not use Siberian Huskies but actually mix them with lighter faster dogs to produce a lighter, faster Alaskan Husky that will have the speed and endurance for a race such as the Iditerod.  They are the marathon runners of dogs.

We get up to the dogs and these teams of dogs will pull carts holding 6 people for a one mile loop.  We are the people.  It was really neat and they go pretty fast.  They also pull us up hills.  We are told this is part of their training.  Pulling heavier loads so that the race sled with one person feels light and easy.  The dogs were all so eager to run and when we were finished they were really friendly.

Last we are brought back down to the camp where they give a talk about the Iditerod, sled dog racing, their program, etc.  Then they let us hold the puppies.  Those pics are in my Instagram under @theshutterbugeye but I share below some dog and puppy pics without us in them. Enjoy.

Day 4 - SkagwayDay 4 - Skagway Clockwise from upper left:  Our cart and the dogs that pulled us; close-up of some of the dogs on our team; mother with one of her puppies; a pile of puppies.  Note:  The top images were all taken by John, who was the musher that guided us through the sled dog ride. Those are his dogs.  The puppy images on the bottom were taken by me.


When we returned to Skagway, we went to eat at the brewery which had delicious burgers, fish and chips and I tired some beer made with a local spruce.

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Fine Art Photographs) Alaska Alaska Cruise Alaskan Husky Grand Princess Iditerod Princess cruise Skagway cruise dog dogs musher puppies sled dog travel https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-4---skagway Mon, 20 Jul 2015 14:10:00 GMT
Throwback Thursday Number 9 https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/throwback-thursday-number-9

This image was all about trying to be a bit mysterious and a bit creepy.  I was still very experimental with textures and really using the TTV style a lot in my work.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Fine Art Photographs) TBT TTV Throwback Thursday creepy legs mysterious sepia square square format https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/throwback-thursday-number-9 Thu, 16 Jul 2015 15:10:00 GMT
Day 3 - Juneau https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-3---juneau Day 3 - Juneau - Whales 3Day 3 - Juneau - Whales 3
This was my favorite day.  It was my favorite day because . . . WHALES!  Lots and lots of WHALES!

 

So Juneau was the second port.  It is the capital of Alaska.  We had an excursion to see whales and to see the Mendenhall Glacier in the afternoon so we started with an early lunch at the historic Red Dog Saloon.  What a neat place.  The ground was sawdust! It really kept the old timey feel.  The food was good too.

 

Then we visited various shops while we meandered back to where the tours pick up.  I'll be honest, port shops are all the same pretty much.  you have your general touristy gift shops, your art galleries with locally themed art and tons and tons of jewelry shops.  

Finally tour time.  We are put on a bus and told we will see the whales first and then the glacier.  Off we go.  We get some info about Juneau while heading out of town.  Did you know their state capital was voted 50th most pretty state capital building?

Then we get to the whales.  The boat has two levels.  Level one is inside windows and has a snack bar that my teenage son took full advantage off.  Level two is outside.  We head out.  We see an eagle and a seal.  Ok.  But no whales.  We kept going and there was a whale in the distance blowing its spout but it dove down and never seemed to come back up.  We keep going. Whales way up ahead they say but people, including myself, were beginning to think the whale viewing was going to be a bust.  At that point I did not expect any whales to surface and was starting to feel a bit sad.

So after figuring that there would be no whales, there was a whale.  It was in front of the boat and everyone croweded into the two places up top to see.  It might have been different on the first level.  Anyway, I could not get a view and when I did the picture had blowing hair from the girl in front of me.  Oh well.  My husband suggests I try the other side, so I did.  There were two whales and I had a great spot!  Now I feel silly for almost melting down.   I watch these whales for a while taking a ridiculous number of pictures.

We get further and the whales are increasing in numbers.  In total there were around 20 humpback whales all bubble net feeding.   We were told this was rare.  That the whales usually don't all come together but once in a great while and so we were really lucky to be seeing this.  I must say it was quite amazing!  In addition to the feeding, the whales passed right by our boat with the one on the left diving down underneath it.  I was on floor one for those photos, which were taken using a burst setting on my camera.

I share more whale pictures at the bottom of this post!

 

Thoroughly satisfied with the whale viewing we then headed to Mendenhall Glacier, which is just outside Juneau.  The glacier was in a nice park but with the limited time I felt the hiking paths too long to feel I could complete and return in time.  Especially since I had my camera.  In addition to the glacier there was a pretty waterfall to the right, Nugget Falls.

Day 3 - Juneau - Whales 1Day 3 - Juneau - Whales 1 Clockwise from left:  Whale slapping it's tail, Bald Eagle, seal.

 

Day 3 - Juneau - Whales 2Day 3 - Juneau - Whales 2 Whales on the left are bubble net feeding.  On the right, two whales swim together.

 

Day 3 - Juneau - MendenhallDay 3 - Juneau - Mendenhall Mendenhall Glacier up close and further away.

 

Stay tuned as next up are sled dogs near Skagway!  And don't forget to comment on each Alaska post to receive a free Alaskan Glacier Texture Pack.

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Fine Art Photographs) Alaska Alaska Cruise Grand Princess Juneau Mendenhall Glacier Princess Princess Cruise Red Dog Saloon bald eagle bubblenet feeding cruise glacier humpback whales nature photograph photography seal travel whale whales wildlife https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-3---juneau Wed, 15 Jul 2015 14:10:00 GMT
Day 2 - Ketchikan https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-2---ketchikan Day 2 - KetchikanDay 2 - Ketchikan

Today is less about the ship and more about our first port, Ketchikan, Alaska.  Ketchikan is a nice little town that has the expected shopping port area but also an actual town one could live in for reasons beyond just tourism.  This was the shortest port day and we had till around 2pm to get back on the ship.  While in Ketchikan we took a Duck Tour which toured us around the two via land and water.  There were no ducks on this tour.  The duck is what we rode in and is an amphibious vehicle.

As you can tell from the images I share, Ketchikan had a LOT of Bald Eagles.  I mean, a lot.  These are just two.  There were also many Ravens.  I don't have a lot of photos in Ketchikan.  I did take a nice photo of the welcome sign and you can see it if you go to Instagram and look up @theshutterbugeye.

While we took the Duck Tour, most cruisers were doing the zipline it seems.  I can't review that but it sure was popular.

 

After the port time, I took a Zumba class which was fun, if you like to dance like I do.  We also ate in our dining room that night.  The food was delicious - I had kin crab legs.  Our server was great and the three ladies, all together and from Chicago, were very nice as well.

Keeping today's post shorter as Wednesday is a long one, or at least it has lots more photos!

Don't forget, leave a comment on every Alaska post to receive a free texture pack at the end!

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Fine Art Photographs) Alaska Alaska cruise American Eagle Bald Eagle Grand Princess Ketchikan Princess Princess cruise bird cruise eagle port travel https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-2---ketchikan Mon, 13 Jul 2015 14:10:00 GMT
Throwback Thursday - Number 8 https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/throwback-thursday---number-8

I missed a bunch of Thursday posts and will resume them today.  I remember taking this image but I don't remember what the them was that I was trying to shoot for.  It was for some theme and it didn't turn out at all like it was supposed to but I still liked the end result.

 

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Fine Art Photographs) face photograph photography portrait self portrait tbt throwback Thursday https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/throwback-thursday---number-8 Thu, 09 Jul 2015 15:45:00 GMT
Day 1 - At Sea https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-1---at-sea As promised, here is the second post in my detailed review of Princes Cruises Denali Explorer trip.  See the last post here.

The first day was at sea, meaning we were just in the ocean all day headed towards Ketchikan, Alaska.  I had two goals/plans this day.  The first was to get signed up for the TRX class at the gym and take the first of the three classes.  My second was my spa afternoon complete with hot stone massage, fire and ice pedicure and a manicure.

I'll speak to the gym first.  When I arrived I found out that the class was full but told to wait as if there was a no-show they could fit me in.  While I waited I scanned the equipment and free weight area.  It was all nice but it was also FULL.  Apparently a lot of people on cruises use the gym.  I really hoped I could get in the class.  TRX suspension training uses straps with handles attached to and hanging from the ceiling.  Us use this to use your own body weight and do exercises like rows, pushups, biceps curls and more.  Hits all body parts.  There also are crazy exercises on the floor with your feet in the straps for hamstrings and core.  Oh the core.  So in the end they were able to fit me into the class and I found it to be a good workout.  My advice to others is to sign up that first day to anything you might be interested in.  It seems you can no-show and they don't take the money until the actual class so there is nothing to lose.

 

Day 1 - At SeaDay 1 - At Sea

The photos above aren't actually from the "at sea" day as I was too busy at the gym and spa to take pictures.  Plus it was just water and the cool clouds hadn't arrived yet.  Above are various images taken from the ship of the views at different points on the cruise.  The landscapes were breathtaking.

 

In the afternoon I went to the spa.  I had the massage first.  It was the hot stone massage.  While I waited they had you fill out a form that asked a variety of questions from some health items that might be relevant to a massage and a whole bunch of other questions about your skin, stress and more.  I honestly didn't really want to answer them all as I have no desire to discuss skincare at a spa.  I know they do facials and have "experts" but I have rosacea and my skin is very sensitive and reactive to products plus I have a dermatologist to discuss skincare with. 

So in my initial discussion with the woman who will be giving my massage (I apologize for forgetting her name) we talk about stress, where I have tension, areas to focus on during the massage.  That's all good.  She asks if I take baths.  I say no.  She really feels baths are important for my upper back and shoulder tension.  I say my tub sucks and it's not gonna happen.  She moves on to asking me what I use on my skin.  As mentioned above, I'm not sure how this is relevant to the massage and I am not having a facial.  I give the high level summary and mention I have rosacea.  She replies "Yes, I can tell."  Gee thanks.  Then she informs me I need better eye cream for my bags and dark circles.  And I need to use anti-aging products.  Annoyed because I hate when they make you feel bad like your lacking in some beauty area to basically try and sell products, I simply respond great, and I'll discuss products with my dermatologist.  Let's just get to the reason I'm here - the massage!

The massage itself was wonderful.  Hot stones, good pressure and focused on my upper back and shoulders that always seem to be tight.  After the massage she tries to sell me some expensive bath stuff to use in baths that she insists I need at least once a week.  My muscles were shockingly tense.  She did say she could tell I worked out and that I had muscles.  Finally - thank you!  I work hard for those.  But that working out causes lactic acid buildup and apparently the only way to rid this is to detoxify through seaweed baths.  And if I don't my blood will start to have acidosis.  And cancer grows in acid environments.  And this is where I bite my tongue and I just give her the "you are crazy" stare because if I start talking it's not gonna be nice and I'm to relaxed to get angry.  I do not buy the seaweed.  I'm sure it's nice but I have an old school little tub.  It's not comfortable to take actual baths.  But I really hate pseudo-science and scare tactics to sell stuff.  I mean, really top of the line hate it.  Even more than being told how baggy my eyes look to sell me eye cream.

Next I go to the salon area for my pedicure.  I don't remember her name either but the same woman handled my pedicure and manicure.  She was wonderful!  The fire and ice pedicure was awesome.  It had all the normal pedicure stuff plus super cooling oils and creams and hot stones.  Yea.  I left with pretty toes and nails.

I would have enjoyed the experience more if the massage part hadn't had such questionable sales tactics.

That evening I had dinner with my guys at the pizza place on the ship. It was delicious.

 

 

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Fine Art Photographs) Grand Princess Princess cruise TRX cruise gym hot stone massage landscape photography landscapes manicure massage pedicure photography psuedo-science review review of spa rosacea scenery seaweed spa suspension training travel https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-1---at-sea Wed, 08 Jul 2015 14:10:00 GMT
Alaskan Adventure - by sea and land https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/alaskan-adventure---by-sea-and-land Embarkation - OverviewEmbarkation - Overview Photos above Clockwise: Vancouver from the water, humpback whales, Alaskan Husky sled dogs and Margerie Glacier in Glacier Bay.

 

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to Alaska and enjoy a 7 day cruise and 3 day land trip with my family.  I will spend the next couple of weeks sharing not only photos from the trip but also a review of the cruise and tours in case anyone has wondered what it's like to cruise in Alaska.  This was both our first cruise and our first trip to Alaska.  We were not sure what to expect or if cruising really fit our vacation style which tends to be more free flowing and exploratory rather than scheduled with lots of formal tours.  More on that later but in short I enjoyed the cruise but there were times I wished I could explore more off the main path and other times I wished I had more time in a spot to really explore.

This trip was a Christmas from my mom and I traveled with my husband and my 15 year old son.  We took the Princess Cruises Denali Explorer which was a 7 day cruise from Vancouver to Whittier and then a three day land excursion.  See number 10 if you click through the link.  The schedule was as follows and we did excursions/tours as listed at the various ports.

  • Embarkation from Vancouver
  • Day at Sea
  • Ketchikan - Duck tour
  • Juneau - Whale viewing and Menendall Glacier
  • Skagway - Mushers Dog Sled Camp
  • Scenic Cruising in Glacier Bay
  • Scenic Cruising in College Fiord
  • Disembark in Whittier and train to Talkeetna.  Stay at Mt. McKinley Lodge
  • Bus to Denali (north part of park) and tour of Denali
  • Bus to Fairbanks and Riverboat cruise

We also stayed a night in Vancouver and an extra night in Fairbanks.  I definitely liked arriving a day before the cruise emarked.  Otherwise I'd have worried about delays with the flight.

Our room was a mini-suite (I think that's what it was called.  It had an area with the bed and a tv, then space with a pullout couch and a tv and the best part . . . our very own balcony with a clear view.  It was basically one room with all of that.  There was no great divider between the two sections.  Total square feet was just over 300 I think.  The bathroom/closet area was bigger than I had expected.

The ship was big.  It had a few outdoor pools, an indoor pool, an adult only pool, a spa and gym, all sorts of restaurants, several theaters and lounges, bars, a casino and more.  My son met lots of other teenagers and we hardly saw him on the ship which meant he was having more fun than he would have had with us adults.

Upon boarding the ship and settling into our room we went exploring the ship.  There were Princess employees everywhere selling soda passes, coffee cards and drink passes.  While the food is pretty much all included, drinks are not.  My husband and son each got a soda pass allowing them unlimited sodas and other drinks (not coffee or teas though).  I got myself a coffee card.  We all passed on the drink cards but if you plan on drinking much it is probably worth it.

The people from the spa were working hard to promote their 10-20-30 special.  Now, I had reserved for our "at sea" day a massage, a fancy pedicure and a basic manicure.  They were all over me suggesting I upgrade the manicure and combine with the pedicure so it would be a "specialty service" and then I just need to add a facial and I can get 10% off the first treatment, 20% off the second and 30% off the third.  This sounds all fine and good but when you do the math the changes still amounted to around $200 more than my original setup of treatments I actually wanted.  So I had the conversation with 3 or 4 people and said No, No, No to the changes.  I'll review the spa in my next post where I talk about our "at sea" day.

I did take the tour of the spa and gym because I really wanted to know the class schedule so I could figure out my workouts for the time on board at least.  After just over a month of Crossfit I did not want to just sit for two weeks straight.  They had several classes and signup sheets for each.  They varied in price.  Classes included:

  • Body Sculpt Boot Camp - 4 sessions - this didn't fill so it didn't run
  • TRX - 3 sessions (all on the non-port days so I chose this as it was strength work and didn't conflict with a tour like Boot Camp)
  • Pilates - this didn't fill so it didn't run
  • Yoga

I didn't sign up that day as I wanted to compare the schedules to my excursion schedule and pick one where I wouldn't miss any classes.  I signed up the next morning when I went to the first TRX class.  I do NOT recommend this. Sign up early if you want in.  They almost couldn't accommodate me but luckily there was a no-show.  The ship also had free Zumba classes in one of the lounges on the other side of the boat.  I went to two of those in addition to my TRX classes and found them fun.

Last, the food was good and plentiful though my husband felt it could use more seasoning.  He likes things spicy.  There was a buffet where we at this first night.  We also had a table assignment for dinners in our dining room (traditional cruise dining) and we ate there three nights.  There were two formal nights which we skipped because we aren't fancy.  And there were two higher end restaurants, a good sit down pizza place, and several fast places for burgers, pizza by the slice, ice cream and more.

That summarizes the ship and our first day.  I'll post separate for each of the following.  Posts reviewing the cruise and sharing our adventures will be on Monday and Wednesday until I've run out of things to say. :-)

  • Day 1 - At Sea - the TRX class, the spa, more general cruise stuff, Pizza.
  • Day 2 - Ketchikan - bald eagles, the town, the duck tour which was not a tour where you see lots of ducks . . . I saw no ducks on this tour.
  • Day 3 - Juneau - Whales, whales, more whales and a glacier.
  • Day 4 - Skagway - Sled dogs, puppies . . . wait, did I say puppies?  Yes there were puppies.
  • Day 5 - Glacier Bay - Glaciers.
  • Day 6 - College Fjord - More glaciers.  Sorry if it gets redundant.
  • Day 7 - We train it to Talkeetna and then see Mt. McKinnley.
  • Day 8 - Denali Park - where I longed for another day.
  • Day 9 and on - Fairbanks - I didn't take a lot of pics here but I have a few.
  • Finally - would I do it again?

Pictures not in these posts are already posted @theshutterbugeye on Instagram. 


I hope you enjoy these or find them useful.  If you do, comment.  Those who comment on all the posts will get a special Alaska Free texture pack.  They are from glaciers (yep, redundant) and rock carved out by glaciers.  So comment on each post to get the link at the end and be sure to include an e-mail in your last comment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Fine Art Photographs) Alaska cruise Alaskan Husky Denali Fairbanks Juneau Ketchikan Princess Princess cruiselines Princess cruises Skagway Vancouver cruise dog glacier glaciers husky land and sea photography reveiw of Princess Cruise review of Alaska cruise ship sled dogs travel vacation whales https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/alaskan-adventure---by-sea-and-land Mon, 06 Jul 2015 14:12:00 GMT
Desert Flowers https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/6/desert-flowers Flowers in the desert, taken in March, 2015 at the Living Desert in Palm Desert, California.

 

painterly fine art photograph, yellow blossomsYellow BlossomsYellow Blossoms in the desert. Painterly photograph.

macro photograph single orange flower, desertOneSingle flower in the desert

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Fine Art Photographs) California" Living Desert Palm Desert The Shutterbug Eye art artistic blossoms color fine art photography floral flower flowers painterly painterly photograph square textured https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/6/desert-flowers Mon, 08 Jun 2015 14:20:00 GMT
Throwback Thursday - Number 7 https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/6/throwback-thursday---number-7 And it's Throwback Thursday again!  I'm still sharing from my heavy texture days.  Enjoy!

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Fine Art Photographs) Throwback Thursday portrait portraiture self portrait texture https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/6/throwback-thursday---number-7 Thu, 04 Jun 2015 22:30:00 GMT
Animals in Black and White https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/6/animals-in-black-and-white Most of my photography is in color but the giraffe image I simply loved in this old skool black and white.  So I created a series of three.  All animals from the Living Desert in Palm Desert, California.

 

Wildlife photography, black and white, animals,Black and White Animal SeriesBlack and white photography. Wildlife at Living Desert in Palm Desert, California

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Fine Art Photographs) California Living Desert Palm Desert animal bighorn sheep black and white fine art photograph giraffe monochrome ostrich photography vintage style wildlife https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/6/animals-in-black-and-white Mon, 01 Jun 2015 15:00:00 GMT
Throwback Thursday - Number 6 https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/5/throwback-thursday---number-6 This is my sixth Throwback post.  I'd love to hear your thoughts so far.

Today, I'm sharing another self portrait with an overdone texture.  This time a bokeh texture.

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Fine Art Photographs) Throwback Thursday bokeh portrait portraiture self portrait texture https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/5/throwback-thursday---number-6 Thu, 28 May 2015 22:30:00 GMT
Magnolia blossoms https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/5/magnolia-blossoms Magnolia blossoms, nature photographyMagnolia BlossomsMagnolia blossoms

Magnolia Blossoms

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Fine Art Photographs) Magnolia The Shutterbug Eye blossom color colorful fine art photography floral flower magnolia blossoms nature photograph pink sky https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/5/magnolia-blossoms Mon, 25 May 2015 13:50:00 GMT
Throwback Thursday - Number 5 https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/5/throwback-thursday---number-5 I hope you are enjoying my Throwback series.  It is hard for me to look back and see just how many mistakes were in images that, at the time, I was so proud of.  But it is good to see how far I've come and it is giving me new appreciation for my current work, although who knows what I'll think of it in 5 years from now.

Today I share another one of my early experiments with textures and overlays  Titled "She Blows Kisses".  I was still not very good at blending and did not know how to mask.

 



 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Fine Art Photographs) Throwback Thursday photoshop fail portaiture portrait self portrait textures https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/5/throwback-thursday---number-5 Thu, 21 May 2015 22:30:00 GMT