Day 5 so it must be Sitka! We arrived here by 8am or so. No rush, as we were to be here all day. We had breakfast by 8:30 or so. This was one of the days where our ship was not able to dock, and we had to take tenders to the shore. They carried quite a few people, and they had multiple boats running, so there was no line by the time we got ready to go ashore. This was one place we didn't have any excursions planned for. We just spent the time visiting around the town. It's a Russian based town, and many of the shops have Faberge eggs, royal blue and white china, and other Russian crafts.
The first thing we came to was a 50-ft native american long boat. There is a "famous" Russian church, but we chose not to go in it. We had fun looking at all the gift stores and art galleries. There was a fur shop that we went into. The kids haven't seen real fur like this before. The sheared fur won me over, and while Ilea didn't like the idea of killing animals for their fur, she figured that if they were already dead it was OK to wear it. So she still needs to solidify her ethics! But they were sure lovely to touch.
We found this huge totem pole, in a park, with some statues also. The town is not very big. There is a bridge which leads to more town. Sitka looks like the San Juan Islands on steroids. Same islands and channels everywhere, but the mountains are all very tall and craggy. Everywhere around us was very beautiful. We walked back through town and found a grocery store and got something to drink. Being a little cheap, we weren't paying for soda on the ship, so Kipp and I shared a big Coke, and we got a bottle of water for the kids (we forgot to bring our water that day, and it was warm - around 80). On this side of town there was a park along the waterfront, and we went down to a large State park. On the way was a salmon hatchery, and boy were they jumping. It was fun to watch them. Kyler found a hermit crab to hold in his hand, and we rested there a bit.
By 1pm or so, we were hot and tired, and decided to go back to the ship. You can see one of the other tenders loading on the side. By the way, our room was on deck 2. Deck 3 is the biggest deck, with the rails below the lifeboats and the open space on the front. We spent the afternoon swimming and enjoying the sun. The ship left about 4pm I think.
When we came to get ready for dinner we had a towel dog.
Tonight's dinner was special. It was a Chef's extravaganza. Everyone had chef's toque's to wear, and the food was a little more formal. There were dancers and singers in between the courses. It was fun, and the food was great as always. After dinner Kyler went to the kids club, but Ilea wasn't interested and came with Kipp and I to the show. It was a magician/comedy show. I think he spent too much time on comedy, but Ilea enjoyed it, and some of the tricks were pretty good. He also had a small dog, a Coton de Toulear
, which Kyler desperately wants. It's being taken under consideration.
After the magic show, the highlight of the night was a Chef's Dessert Extravaganza. There were tables lining both sides of the pool on the Lido deck, fresh crepe suzette, a chocolate fountain with fruits and things to dip, pastry, pretty much anything you can think of! It was amazing. While we were waiting for the desserts to be set up, we were at a small table by the pool. There was a huge chess set near us, with knee-high pieces. A girl and guy about 18 yrs old or so were playing a game. The guy knew how to play, but the girl didn't know very much. Kyler just couldn't help himself, and watched for a few minutes, and then asked her if she wanted help. She said yes. They started winning, but then the guy got an older friend to help him, and the guys finally turned it around. But Kyler had fun, and the girl was very sweet to him. They did pretty well. The other guy said that Kyler doesn't think far enough and goes for the obvious move, but didn't do too badly for an 8 yr old!
At 10pm they finally opened up the treats, and we all found something good to eat, or 2, or 3...