Alaska: Back to Back Voyage of the Glacier Cruises, Episode #3: Embarkation, Stateroom Tour, Princess Patter, & More

Okay, where did I leave off, ahhhhh, yes, it was finally time for Embarkation! Trust me y’all, I had been planning, waiting, planning, dreaming, planning, planning, and planning some more for this trip for over a year.  One of Chris’ nicknames for me is “The Planner”, Not.Even.Kidding…he chuckles at me all of the time for my planning ways. 😉  So as we traveled via motor coach from the airport to Canada Place I was getting more and more excited as each second passed, and when I laid eyes on that beautiful Coral Princess, I just about hopped out of my seat with excitement…like I mentioned before, I felt like a little child on Christmas Eve…a-n-t-i-c-i-p-a-t-i-o-n of the memories that I knew were getting ready to be made.


So our bus barreled down underneath of Canada Place and pulled into a parking space, we sat there for a second and then a Princess Representative came onto the bus and gave us instructions as to what would be happening next.  He told us that we were to head on into the cruise terminal and straight on over to check-in–there were plenty of Princess/Canada Place employees directing our route.


First, as you read that sign, Chris and I didn’t have to worry about our baggage because if y’all remember, we had dropped our luggage off with the Princess Rep at the airport and it was most likely transported separately and already on board or in a holding area waiting at the ship. Now, moving on along, because Chris and I are at the “Platinum” level in the Captain’s Circle program (which just means that we’ve spent a copious amount of money with Princess and have cruised a lot) we were sent directly to a Princess “Preferred” Check-In representative. Normally, we would have been directed to a “Priority Boarding” waiting room, but, because they had started the Embarkation process, we were whisked straight over to the check-in.  Before I go further, here is an explanation of what one receives when they reach the Platinum level in the Captain’s Circle:

“Complimentary Cruise Atlas^
Every year you will automatically receive a copy of our Princess Cruise Atlas. It includes details on all itineraries and sailings for that year, making it easy for you to plan ahead.

Preferred Check-In
When you arrive at the port, don’t wait in line. You, along with your family or guests that are traveling with you in the same stateroom will be invited to use the Preferred Check-In desk to help expedite your embarkation.

Platinum Disembarkation Lounge
In recognition of your loyalty, and to make your last morning with us more enjoyable, we invite Platinum Members to use the Platinum Disembarkation Lounge, offering light refreshments and peace while you await disembarkation.

Complimentary Internet Credit
Each Platinum Princess Cruises Captain’s Circle member will receive a complimentary Internet credit to be used either on the computers in our Internet Cafés or wireless Internet on the passenger’s personal wireless device. The amount of complimentary Internet is determined by the length of the sailing.

  • Voyages 7 days or less, 150 minutes
  • Voyages 8-20 days, 250 minutes
  • Voyages 21+ days, 500 minutes

As a Platinum Captain’s Circle Member you will be recognized as such when you initially log on to the Internet onboard. Upon the initial log on you will see a screen which shows you how many complimentary minutes you are eligible to receive. In addition, you will have the opportunity to select more minutes at the available rates. This offer is only available at the time of the initial log on.

Only usage exceeding the allotted amounts will be charged to your onboard folio. The Internet activation fee of $3.95 is waived for Platinum and Elite Princess Captain’s Circle Members.

*Members are eligible for a higher tier on the next cruise following completion of necessary cruises and/or cruise days. Land portion of cruisetour does not apply.
^For UK and AU/NZ Members, your Cruise Atlas is mailed out upon request. UK Members please call 0845 355 0065, AU Members please call 13 24 88, NZ Members please call 0800 780 717. #Subject to availability. Not combinable with any other Internet offer.”


And here is what our cruise card looks like…These cards are going to go away (I’m betting) pretty soon as Princess is rolling out the Ocean Medallion across the fleet in the coming months.  If you’d like to read about the Ocean Medallion, here is a little LINK for you.

Anyway, here is what my card looked like:

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The sticker that you see on the card is one that shows the waiters/waitresses/bar folks that I got the “Soda & More” Package.  Here is a blurb about what I was able to get because I had the “Unlimited Soda & More Package”:

“Indulge yourself with this premium Unlimited Soda & More Package, entitling you to unlimited fountain soft drinks, plus mocktails, juices, and complimentary hot chocolate throughout your cruise. Price includes service charge. Package must be purchased for full length of voyage, cannot be shared, is non-transferable, and is non-refundable within 3 days of sailing.”

ANYhoot…We also filled out our health questionnaire as well…we were moving so fast through this process that I did not have one second to click off a picture of that… <sigh>. It in effect asks you whether or not you’ve been sick in the last so many days and such.

We were also given a little map of the Coral Princess that was folded up to be the same size as our cruise card…Here is what it looked like:

Okie dokie, next stop was U.S. Customs…We literally just walked to where they collected this green card that the check-in person had given to us, a U.S. Customs employee collected our green card and we were then free to board the ship.  It was NO big deal…Not sure how it is for others who aren’t Americans…truly, I do not know.  I was not allowed to take pictures in this area, so therefore this is the only picture that I have of that time.IMG_7978

Next stop was Security where we had to take out our laptops and put everything through scanners (like you do at the airport…didn’t have to take off our shoes though).  And after we cleared that, we were walking up the gangway and boarding the Coral Princess:

Right after we stepped on board our pictures were taken so that they’d have a picture that would go hand in hand with our cruise cards.  To clarify, cards are scanned every time you disembark and when you reembark they compare your card with *that* picture. 🙂 Then we stepped over to have our Embarkation picture taken—Y’all won’t get to see that picture because Chris and I looked awful…yes, just awful in that pic…haha.  We had been told that our Stateroom – Mini Suite D407 was ready and that we could head strait to it, and that is exactly what we did. 🙂

Here is my YouTube video from my Arlynn’s Travels Channel where I give a very detailed video tour of our Mini Suite D407…I’ll post pictures below as well so that y’all can get a closer look at things. 🙂



That was a very, very nice Stateroom. 🙂 We found our Princess Patter for that day on the desk…Here it is:


In addition, we had ordered a couple of things from our Cruise Personalizer and both things were sitting there waiting for us when we entered the room.  One thing was a “Water Package”…12 bottles of water for a little over $6.  NOTE: Please know that if you would like bottled water like this, you *must* order it via your Personalizer ***before*** your cruise…this package is not available for purchase once on board. 🙂


And yes, we did “purchase the water”, I’m not sure why they call it a “gift”…although it was a gift to ourselves..haha. 🙂 IMG_7989

There was also this Welcome Aboard letter:


And this lovely gift that we did NOT purchase for ourselves:


And there was this spiffy cup that I received because is comes along with the Soda and More Package:


We were so happy to be on board and I could feel the stresses of travel start to lift.  Chris went off to purchase a Coffee Card from the International Cafe…Here is an explanation of what a coffee card is:

“Savor the rich offerings of our New Grounds coffee program. We’ve partnered with the American Barista & Coffee School to ensure our baristas are trained in the fine art of handcrafting freshly brewed specialty coffees. Featuring premium beans sourced from Caffe Boasi in Italy, you can choose from espressos, cappuccinos, lattes and even hand-crafted iced tea fusions and more. And be sure to purchase a New Grounds Coffee Card on board for great savings. Of course, complimentary hot coffee is available in our dining rooms, bars and the Horizon Court.”

I hung out in the room doing that room tour that you saw up there and unpacked as much as I could.  We found out later from our Stateroom Steward Kurt that there was some kind of Coastguard drill earlier and that is why our luggage wasn’t delivered until later in the afternoon. I also walked out onto the balcony every now and again to just take a peek out there and see what was happening:


It was almost time for our Muster Drill which is a maritime ship can set sail unless the passengers know where they are to Muster (gather) if they hear a certain tone come over the PA system.  Chris and I always go about 1/2 hour early so that we can get a seat. And yes, on Princess you carry your life jacket with you and they do allow you to practice how to put it on. One very special thing that happened at our Muster drill was that I met a sweet lady that I had met in the Facebook Group “Alaska Cruises on Princess” (I’m one of the admins in that group).  Phyllis and her hubby Ken walked by us at the muster and we stopped and hugged and Chris grabbed a picture of us.  Here we are standing in our Muster Station, the Wheelhouse Bar. 🙂


It was so good to meet her in person!!! ❤

Chris and I headed back to our Stateroom after that and low and behold, there were our suitcases, so we started unpacking. 🙂 We didn’t head up for the sail-away party, instead we hung out on our balcony and I caught this video. 🙂

Here are some shots that Chris caught with his camera as I was taking video:


After we passed the Lion’s Gate Bridge, we headed for the Horizon Court (the buffet), I did not catch any pictures of what we ate that evening, but, I can tell you that we were quite impressed with the buffet on this trip.  Everything always tasted good, was freshly cooked, and it was always clean as a whistle.  I’ll expound more in future blogs about the buffet and the Coral Princess and my impressions…I’ll just say here that up to this point, the Coral had always been our favorite, and our opinion hasn’t changed after this trip.  We love the Coral Princess!

On our way back to our Stateroom, we walked through the indoor pool area and I clicked off a few pictures…because y’all know, I always had a camera around my neck just in case any photo opportunity presented itself.  You’ll see below that I also took a picture of the roof…apparently it has the ability to retract…neat!!!


Then we walked past the outdoor pool and saw the MUTS screen (Movies Under the Stars):


We went ahead back to our Stateroom, I took a quick shower and we spent the rest of the daylight hours out on our balcony watching the world go by and gazing upon some beautiful sights.  I was calm, I was content, I felt very blessed to be right there at that moment in time, and I was excited for the adventures that were ahead of us. 🙂  It wasn’t long after I had those thoughts that we climbed in bed and were asleep before our heads hit the pillows…stupid jet lag! 😉

Coming next, Episode #4 where I’ll tell you about the first day of our cruise, it was a sea day, but, we still kept busy doing this and that and the other thing. 😉 Here is a sneak peek of that sea day’s sunrise:


And here is a link to Episode #4!


***If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me…Psalm 139***

~Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤

~Arlynn ❤



Hawaiian Cruise: Disembarkation, Final Thoughts, & Home Sweet Home

My goodness gracious, I am finding that I am quite sad and melancholy as I begin to write this my last Blog post in my Hawaiian Cruise Series.  I was pretty sad while I was packing up to leave the Star Princess as well.  It is always harder for me to pack at the end of a vacation than it is to plan the trip, organize the particulars, and pack the suitcases at the beginning of a journey.  <Sigh> Regardless of whether or not I was ready to disembark, it was almost time to do so.  The hubby and I spent the last afternoon on our last sea day packing our bags, we were ready to go…We went ahead and placed our suitcases outside of our stateroom door right after dinner that evening.


We found our ‘End of the cruise paperwork’ in our little mailbox along with our “Red 4” luggage tags that we were to put on our luggage that Princess would be transferring for us.  We had pre-arranged for Princess to transfer us from Canada Place to the Vancouver Airport, and it showed us where and what time we were to report (the Vista Lounge)…


While packing, I made sure to put some shampoo, and my hair gel, and other necessities in smaller disposable bottles so that I could pack up my full-size bottles.  Our daughter Christin had given both my hubby and I disposable (carry-on compliant) bottles; Christin is an organized person like her Mama and she fixed us right on up with all of these sweet little extras this past Christmas. 😉 🙂


Here is a picture of that extra bag that I had packed in my big suitcase all those many days ago, I knew I would need it for this last night; we’d carry it onto the airplane with us.  We put our dirty clothes (packed up in a medium packing cube), my makeup & toiletries, the hubby’s morning toiletries, my curling iron (I used the ‘lovely’ stateroom’s hairdryer that morning throwing in a expletive here and there while drying my hair because it took me forever), and anything else that we saw that we needed to take with us.


SO, I was as packed as I could be…We had eaten our last dinner in the Horizon, walked around the ship taking pictures, and did some last minute shopping. OH and I went to the Captain’s Circle desk and picked up a couple of “Ruby” Pins…I had lost mine along the way somewhere, they were happy to give me two more.  I had received our two Platinum pins earlier in the day accompanied by a letter welcoming us to our Platinum status…woohoo.  Here is where I put all of my pins along with a pin of the Star Princess (that’s my carry on backpack):


 We came back to our Stateroom and headed out onto the balcony because we could once again see land…


And we also got a little treat! We *finally* saw a wee bit of wildlife…These cute little (relatively speaking) Dall’s Porpoises showed up and were playing right around the ship. 🙂



They were so much fun to watch, I was like a little kid in a candy store…I was jumping up and down and clapping and squealing.  I’m sure the other passengers thought I was a loon, I didn’t care much what they thought honestly, I was just happy to see these cutie pies. 🙂  ANYway, we sat out there until dark taking in the sights and sounds of our last evening on our cruise; bittersweet thoughts along with mixed emotions were flying around in my head.  On one hand, I was ready to go home because I missed my family and my pups, but, I sure wasn’t ready for our much anticipated trip to come to a close. OH well, all good things must come to an end huh?


The next morning, we woke up and our “Log of the Cruise” was in our little mailbox, check out the distance traveled!! Wow Whee!!


And here is my last outfit of the day, comfy and cozy to travel home in:


We stood out on our balcony and watched while we traveled under the Lion’s Gate Bridge one last time:



And onward to Canada Place we sailed:





That is a fake smile on my face, I really wasn’t too, too thrilled in that picture…my hair was sure BIG through…LOL…Again, if a girl can’t laugh at herself, then there is something wrong…;)


We had to be out of the room by 8am, so we complied and headed to the Vista Lounge to wait to be called to disembark.  This is about how I felt about getting off of the ship…I look hateful mean…I’m really just sad…:(




ANYway, we waited for about 45 minutes, and then our number was called and off of the ship we walked, straight into Canada Place, and onto our awaiting motor coach.

<I took no pictures of this process–just wasn’t in the mood I guess>

We had an uneventful trip to the airport, we were familiar with this ride because we’ve always disembarked from Canada Place (we’ve done 4 Alaska: Voyage of the Glaciers Southbound cruises that all ended in Vancouver).  When we got to the airport, we went through US customs there…pretty painless process and then we headed to our terminal and awaited our flight to leave.


There was our first plane…


And we were headed home…Which at this point, I was pretty content to be doing, this is what I saw out of the jet’s window…apparently this is Wenatchee National Forest, Stehekin, United States (according to the time and location stamp in my Photos on my Mac)…


We had uneventful flights home and we landed safely and got back to our house at around 2am the next morning…yes, to say we were tired is an understatement…but, it was good to be home.  Here is what greeted us as we drove up our driveway and made our way into the house. 🙂 🙂 ❤

It was so good to be home!!


And it was SO good to see our pups…



Now for some final thoughts about this cruise.  As I have written these posts one after the next, I have found that I really didn’t have a lot of negative things to say and that’s because this was a wonderful trip that provided my hubby and I with many memories to tuck away and cherish for the rest of our lives.

A  note all of you out there who have been so kind with your comments, thank you so very, very, VERY much, every comment has been taken straight to my heart and I am humbly grateful for the responses that I’ve received. ❤

So, sadly, it is time for me to close this Series out now, I have greatly enjoyed sharing our adventure with you.  For now, I will go back to my crafting, decorating, and DIY projects (why I originally started this blog site…haha).  More travel blogs will appears when we debark on our next journey…most likely with Princess, hopefully, sooner than later.

So for now, I will bid you all adieu and send you my love and say once last time…

Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤

Much, much love,
~Arlynn ❤




Voyage of the Glaciers-Vancouver, Whale Watching Tour, & a Special Friend Meeting in Victoria

I’m almost sad to be writing this my last post lamenting about our Alaskan Voyage of the Glaciers cruise.  In this post, I will tell you about the last 3 days of our vacation

1) Our last day on the Coral Princess…

2) Disembarkation in Vancouver…and…

3) An Orca whale watching excursion trip that took us to Victoria on Vancouver Island.  A strategically planned trip just so that I could meet a very special friend that I had met on Facebook via my Newfoundland dogs. This would be our first ‘in-person’ meeting–more on that later. 🙂

So, after saying goodbye to Ketchikan, we were ‘at sea’ for a day.  I only took one exciting picture on this day.  😉  On sea days the crew brings out a plethora of different chains and you can have them made to fit.  Cute little option, and not expensive at all…, I purchased a couple of bracelets.


We mostly used this day to relax, pack, shop for souvenirs, and just explore parts of the Coral Princess that we hadn’t seen yet.  Then, the next morning, we woke up and were docked at Canada Place in Vancouver, B.C…


Disembarkation went extremely smoothly as it always does, Princess runs like a well-oiled machine, they are very organized and efficient.  We were escorted to our waiting motor coach that would take us to our hotel for the next couple of nights.  The The Westin Bayshore


We had big ideas of what we might like to do on this day, but, in reality, we took a little walk along the water, found a Subway, and r-e-l-a-x-e-d.

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The next morning I woke up with butterflies in my stomach; I was so excited that the day I had been waiting not so patiently for had finally arrived! First, I was going to see Orcas, and second and more importantly, I was going to meet up with my friend Liz!!  YIPPEE!!  We didn’t have to go far to catch our whale watching excursion boat, it was parked right at the dock outside of our hotel.  We had booked this excursion online months and months in advance and it was finally time to climb aboard and experience the Prince of Whales excursion.  We were not disappointed on the way to Victoria, after cruising under the Lion’s Gate Bridge, we spotted Orcas pretty quickly and enjoyed watching the J and L Pods as we made the crossing to Vancouver Island…amazing creatures that move effortlessly through that beautiful water, a site not to be missed if y’all ever have the opportunity. 🙂

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We also eyed a harbor seal haul out–these cuties were just lounging around sunning themselves…ahhhhh, the life…;)

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As we were getting close to docking in Victoria, we passed our boat’s sister ship…


The trip from Vancouver to Victoria (Vancouver Island) was absolutely breathtaking, the shores were tree-lined in places and in others there were lovely homes with sprawling properties that one could just melt into as they dreamed of how life might be living in this part of the world.  The Pacific Northwest is one of the most picturesque places I’ve ever seen. As we were pulling into the dock, we saw the Fairmont Empress Hotel right in front of us, what a gorgeous place.  If we had stayed in Victoria and booked through Princess, that is where we would have stayed…next trip. 🙂

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Here is a little video snippet for you of the Orcas!

So, okay, we were snuggly moored up to the dock and it was *finally* time for us to meet my friend Liz.  Liz and and I met on Facebook through the smallish Newfoundland dog community.  She and I have a love for animals of all shapes and sizes, but we have a real affinity for our “Gentle Giants”, our Newfies; there is something very, very special about this breed of dog. ❤ All right, now for a little backstory on Liz, she used to be a professional chef, was a food critic writer for over a decade, is the author of several cookbooks (I brought this one with me for her to sign A Real Newfoundland Scoff), and she is an awesome blogger ~~ >Food 4Thought.  She is the one who encouraged me to start this blog.  Liz and her hubby used to live in St. John’s Newfoundland and Labrador–you know, over here on ‘my’ side of the Country, but her hubby got transferred and they had to pick up and move all the way over to the west coast.  Liz and I had been wanting to meet for years and years and when they moved west, I told her that it would be more likely that she and I would get that opportunity (because my hubby and I routinely travel to Alaska and routinely disembark in Vancouver).  AND, low and behold, my hubby and I planned another cruise to Alaska; I just couldn’t go without touching base with Liz and seeing if we could set up a meeting. She was thrilled and was on board with us stopping by for a visit, she and her hubby even went to the trouble of coming to the dock to pick us up.  Now, I rarely meet anyone new without bringing them a little gift, so while I was still at home, I collected several items that I thought might give them a taste of where we come from and packed them in my suitcase,  I also packed up a gift bag, and ribbon (so I could make her a bow for on the package), and tissue paper.  I put the gift together while in the hotel room and carried that big bag on the whale watching boat…I didn’t get too many odd looks, well that I saw anyway…haha.  Even if I had, I wouldn’t have cared…lol.  As I was walking up the gangplank, I could see Liz at the top waiting for me, arms open wide, with the biggest grin I’d ever seen all over her face!! I practically ran into her arms and we hugged and cried for a good little bit of time. OH I was so happy to finally be meeting this lady!! AND her hubby who as you can see in the picture below was chuckling at us while we stood there making quite the spectacle out of ourselves while hugging and crying…It was an awesome moment!!! ❤ (I think she loved all of her little gifts too…you can see the bag in my hand there…haha…I was a site carrying that bag, no doubt about it…lol)

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Once back at their home, I got to meet their Newfie Jack!!! OMGosh, what a big LOVE he is…he is as calm as they come…the epitome of how a Newfoundland dog is supposed to be.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get to meet Liz’s sweet Newfie girl Fleur, she had passed away a month ago on that exact day. 😥 Liz was so sweet and said that our visit helped her get through that day and gave her some good memories to recall on that ‘anniversary’.  Bless her heart!! ❤



We were only able to stay there for a couple of hours because we had to catch a motor coach that would take us over to the other side of the island so that we could catch our boat that would take us back to Vancouver. Trust me though, we made the very most of our short time together; Liz had prepared a gorgeous meal for us…OH dear me, Liz created the best fish chowder that we’ve ever and I mean EVER had based on the kind of seafood we love…it couldn’t have been more perfect (and it was figure friendly, but we didn’t know that until after we were finished eating…haha…). It was SO good!!! YUM!!  For the rest of our visit, we talked and laughed, and cried and laughed through tears, we loved on Jack, my hubby and her hubby got along famously and chatted almost more than Liz and I did. 😉 ALL was right with our worlds in those couple of hours…honestly, it was one of the very best visits I’ve ever had with anyone.  Liz and I definitely have a very special friendship, one that I will cherish for the rest of my life!! **LOVE ya Lizzy**

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<Sigh> Unfortunately, it was time for us to go and catch that motor coach, so we climbed back into Liz’ car and she and her hubby took us to our drop-off point.  Talk about a bittersweet parting…OH I didn’t want to leave, that was a very difficult goodbye…


So we pulled ourselves away and headed to our motor coach that would take us to The Butchart Gardens.  I had had no expectations about this place as I had been so focused on our visit with Liz and her hubby, but, when we arrived, I was blown away by the beauty that stood in front of us.  As we meandered our way through the Gardens on our way to our transportation back to Vancouver, I was in awe and mesmerized by the sheer beauty of that place…

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We hopped back on our whale watching tour boat and away we went back to our hotel in Vancouver.  I will admit that I sat on that boat and was very sad, sad that I was leaving one of my dearest friends behind and I was also sad that tomorrow I’d be leaving this part of the world that I’ve come to love so much.  DSCN0151

We pulled back into the Westin Bayshore’s dock, disembarked, headed up to our room and packed our bags…Tomorrow we’d take a taxi ride to the airport and head back to our humble abode.

Every time we go to Alaska, I always say it is “the trip of a lifetime”, and we’ve been blessed and lucky enough to have been able to do that trip 4 times.  Who knows, we might go back again, I hope we go back again. So in closing, let me take a moment to thank you Princess Cruises for another amazing journey, one that allowed us to bask in Alaska’s beauty, cruising through Yakutat Bay, into Disenchantment Bay and then experiencing the wonders of Hubbard Glacier,  gliding through the pristine waters of Glacier Bay culminating in the stupendous calving of Margerie Glacier.  Then traveling through the Inside Passage where we experienced the three vastly different ports of Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan. Thank you Canada for again welcoming us with open arms and hearts and for bringing two friends together, even if it was only for a couple of hours.  Oh what an amazing journey…yes, **definitely** the trip of a lifetime!

Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤


Here is one more link…I wrote one post describing the Cruise Tour that we took in 2012…:)  It covers our travels from Anchorage to the Princess Mt. McKinley Wilderness Lodge, on a jet boat excursion to The Devil’s Canyon (out of Talkeetna), then onward to the Princess Denali Wilderness Lodge, and then on a train ride back to Whittier (Anchorage) where we hopped on the Diamond Princess and enjoyed another Voyage of the Glaciers cruise. 🙂

Sneak Peek:


I’ve also written two other blog posts that go hand in hand with these blog entries.  Here is a link to my Alaska Wardrobe Choices entry. And here is a link to my What’s In My Carry On, My Must Haves, and Packing Tips & Tricks entry.