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Sunday Salon: June 18, 2023


Deb Nance at Readerbuzz hosts The Sunday Salon. 

  • Cold Crime: How Police Detectives Solved Alaska's Most Shocking Crimes by Tom Brennan (not reviewing this one. It wasn't very good)
  • Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood
  • Solito by Javier Zamora

What a whirlwind end to our Alaska trip. It was an amazing trip though I could have shaved off a couple days (perhaps because this came on the heals of another 10 day trip. I am glad I'm home, mostly because I tested positive for COVID last night after having symptoms on the way home.

Monday--We spent the day in Wrangell, a small town of 2,000. It reminded me of the town in the old TV show "Northern Exposure." Everyone knew everyone, said hello on the streets, it was picturesque, etc. I took a walk to the local beach to see petroglyphs, which were really cool. I saw tons of bald eagles near the beach, which was cool.

Tuesday--We were in the capital of Juneau (population 31,000) today and I went on a (very slow, very short, but beautiful) nature walk. Another woman and I felt cheated so we went on a second, longer, more determined walk. After lunch my mom and I took a short visit into town to wander. The most disappointing thing about these towns is all the jewelry shops (rumored to be owned by the cruise lines) and t-shirt shops. It's a bit overwhelming. After we left Juneau we saw 10 humpback whales, which was really fun.

Wednesday--We arrived in Sitka today. We had a brief bus tour of the city (population 8,000), saw a show about the history of Sitka (focused on the Russian involvement mainly), then we walked to Castle Hill to see where the US purchased Alaska from Russia, and to the Russian Orthodox Church.

Thursday--Today we visited a privately owned tourist spot. It's next to the village of Hoonah and is called Icy Strait Point. The local Tlingit built it, own it, and work it. I rode two cool gondolas up into the mountains and took a walk led by one of the local Tlingit who told the history and stories along the way.

Friday--Today is a day of cruising, but we managed to go in along the Hubbard Glacier, which was amazing. Lots of rough seas though. Luckily I didn't feel nauseous or wobbly/dizzy. We also did high tea.

Saturday--We spent the day in Valdez. What an amazing town. I thought the wooden carvings were awesome and impressive! They dealt with the 9.2 earthquake in 1964 (see my review of This is Chance!) and the Exxon Valdez oil spill and have bounced back well. The local museums show the real sense of community that surrounded those events.

Sunday--This was our last day on the cruise and we were in Seward. What a great little town. It has far less touristy stuff, is well kept, and we went to the Sea Life Center where they have rescued birds, seals, and sea lions that they rehabilitate and release back to the wild (if the animal is able).

We've met some really nice people on this trip who have been fun to do the trivia nights and name that tune nights with (we are not good, but it's fun). And Alaska is stunningly beautiful. My only complaint is that the wi fi was not good and uploading/downloading images and websites didn't work.

Monday was our travel day back home and it was long! A 3-hour bus ride from Seward to Anchorage, dealing with total incompetence at the Anchorage Civic Center shuttle service, and at the United counter. But, our flight to San Francisco then Santa Barbara were flawless. Throughout the day I wasn't feeling all that well and yes, I tested positive for Covid when I got home. Such a bummer as my daughter is in town and she had Covid while I was on the ship and now we have to isolate for another week.

I finished all the books I brought with me on this vacation with a day and a half to go. Luckily, I didn't feel well and was traveling so pretty much just rested and slept my way through it.

Here is is the current state of my 2023 challenges. At this point, I am counting individual books for multiple categories in each challenge, but I'll replace them with other books throughout the year.

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