There was a late-night video game party in the teen lounge last night. When Frank didn't show up for breakfast I went to the kids' room. He was out cold, surrounded by Marie's stuffed animals.
|"Gag, corneals, and doll's eyes all work. But nothing to sternal rub."|
Today we were in Juneau. Not being in any particular rush to get into town, we waited until after all the other passengers left, and crew went on shore leave. Walking down the dock we noticed Peter getting off the ship.
From a cruise-ship view, everywhere you stop is basically a dock next to a row of T-shirt and jewelry stores, and somewhere behind them is a city. This is a near-universal constant. Someday it will apply to colonies on Mars, too. And beyond.
On the dock there was also a memorial to the cruiser U.S.S. Juneau, lost at Guadalcanal during WWII. Out of her crew of 700, 600 went down with her. Of the remaining 100, only 10 of them survived until they were found 8 days later, the rest lost to the elements and sharks. Her casualty list included the 5 Sullivan brothers.
I'm amazed how many restaurants in these cities cater to the cruise crowd. I mean, you're dealing with people who have access to unlimited amounts of reasonably good food each day, covering pretty much anything that's commonly eaten from land, air, and sea. The places have seafood? So does the ship. Alcohol? Ditto. Burgers? Yep. Steaks? Of course.
There are even shore excursions where - get this - you pay $55 per person to be taken to an all-you-can-eat salmon bake. Considering that at any given moment salmon is available at the ship's buffet, cooked-to-order grill, and formal dining room... I just don't understand this. But I'm not exactly a partial crowd because I am the only person on Earth who doesn't like salmon. But still, the point remains.
Apparently it's a state law in Alaska that at least one gift store have a large fake animal in front to be used as a photo spot. So here's one from Juneau:
They have an interesting feature called stair-streets. These are not streets you can drive down, but rather stairs ascending on each side to reach houses there. They are, however, mapped and numbered as streets and have addresses on them. I imagine this makes being a postman here a rather vigorous job, and is also a serious incentive not to forget your car keys.
We walked around for a bit. Craig had decided that, besides water and oxygen, he needed a selfie-stick. Not having ever wanted one, I hadn't shopped for one before. I figured it would be simple:
1. Find a selfie-stick.
2. Buy it.
3. Leave store.
I wasn't even close. There are so many variations on the damn things it's insane. And then you get into "what color handle should I get?" IT'S A FUCKING STICK WITH A CLAMP ON THE END! But this is the kind of decision the American teenager can agonize about. Then, when they finally pick one out, it turns out that one isn't working and we have to start all over again.
Heading down the street you pass some interesting business names:
We went to take the Mount Roberts tram up to the top of the city. While boarding was finishing, who should I see getting on but... Mrs. Bitchy. She saw that there were maybe 7 teenagers in the car (none of whom was actually near her, or even looking at her) and told the engineer she'd wait for the next one. As she stepped back she noticed me, and gave me the bird.
Honestly, folks, this prune isn't one of my patients. I'd never even seen her before this trip.
It was actually a pretty impressive ride, with an amazing view of the city. Going up, all the ginormous cruise ships in the harbor shrink until they look like bath toys. Everyone in the tram was frantically snapping pictures. Frank tried to film it, but when he switched on his phone's camera it began playing "Amish Paradise" instead. The displays and trails at the top are impressive, too, and there's a performance by the local Alaska String Band.
Tonight at dinner the Limoncello family wasted no time in getting tipsy and belting out "Happy Retirement." Then our waiter, Michael, came over and introduced himself.
We asked him what happened to Peter. He said Peter had quit that morning "because he had a nerve problem" and flown home. My mother, trying to be helpful, said "my son treats nerve problems." My wife whispered "I don't think that's the kind of nerve problem he's talking about."
Marie said: "Will you bring me Ranch dressing?" Michael answered: "You already have it." And pointed to a serving dish near her seat.
|Marie has dreams of such things|
We've taken several cruises, but this is the first time we've ever driven a waiter over the edge.