Sunday, September 20, 2009

Michelle's Excellent Alaskan Vacation Day 10

August 6, 2009

The ship came in to port in Juneau. Far more a bustling port than Haines. I was early, so I strolled along the pier until I saw the sign for the Mendenhall Glacier & Salmon Bake. I boarded the motorcoach with the twelve other passengers & listened to a young, precocious driver as she pointed out various sights. She mostly talked about herself, which didn’t interest me, but one comment she made was note worthy. She was talking about the ratio of men to women, I think she said Juneau was 8:1, other Alaskan cities can be as much as 14:1. “The odds are good, but the goods are odd

We spent an hour at Mendenhall Glacier. After touring Denali, then Glacier Bay, Mendenhall was “just another glacier”. The fact that it exists smack in the heart of the city, however, is the draw.

We got back on the bus and traveled a short distance to an outside barbecue and the salmon bake. I bought an Alaskan amber and got a cup of chowder. I joined a couple at one table aaa7 ate the soup which was totally delicious. The couple was from North California, retired from a CA state university. I was on appetizer (soup) and they were on the main course. This served to my advantage, as they were commenting on the sauce that was over the salmon – so when I got my plate, I asked for the sauce on the side. Good thing, as it would have ruined the fish = it tasted like liquid brown sugar – heavy, gritty & way too sweet. Everything else was quite delicious – rice, beans, cornbread – they also offered chicken & pasta and various salads - bean, cole slaw, romaine – but I can eat greens anytime!

My dinner mates sampled the desert which looked like a type of blueberry buckle – they said it was the best blueberry cake they’d ever had. Blueberries are in season. This was quite a clever set up with covered tables and chairs, enough for nearly 200 diners. A woman played acoustic guitar & sang folksie tunes. There was a gift shop, restrooms, & a trail that led along a stream to a beautiful waterfall and an old gold mine.

(can you notice my beautiful salmon pendant!?)

Big yellow school buses stood ready to take folks back to town. I got off at the pier & chose to visit the various shops. Much of the wares are the same at all the shops - same ole stuff. I did happen on one shop with unique jewelry. I bought a pendant for Sarah – a mammoth ivory carved wolf head in a sterling silver setting. I hope she likes it. I bought a pair of sterling & ivory earrings that I thought maybe I’d give to one of my daughters, but when I got back to the ship, I liked them so much, I decided to keep them.

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