Not sure I have mentioned it but my dad always dreamed of going to Alaska someday … Sadly, for us here on earth, Dad had to go up to heaven to be happy and whole again - almost seven years ago now. So one of the things we decided when this cruise was booked was that we would bring some of Dad with us (ashes). So today on Father’s Day we honored him.
Dad would absolutely LOVE the buffet with all the amazing options available. (All you can eat certainly helps the cause in Dad’s eyes.) We tried to do you proud this morning, Dad!
Happy and full we head to the shuttle that will whisk us up to Mendenhall Glacier. It is located just about 10 miles or so from the dock and it is a beautiful ride. Our shuttle driver was a nice kid (don’t I sound OLD) who had a brother that lives in Ouray. WOW – here’s that small world thing again.
Along the way, he pointed out several interesting spots and made sure that we saw the bald eagles flying all over the place. They nest in and around Juneau and southeast Alaska. Pretty special to see them joining us on Father’s Day for Dad.
Mendenhall Glacier is quite majestic. It is a beautiful spot and the glacier appears to be a frozen ice river flowing into Mendenhall Lake below. The Mendenhall Valley is gorgeous with green everywhere and pretty flowers dotting the green. A waterfall, Nugget Falls, can be heard, and seen from the right vantage points.
We popped into the visitors center and decided to relax and watch the short video about the ice field and Mendenhall Glacier with some history. It was pretty amazing.
I let mom poke around the gift shop and I took out to find a spot for Dad’s ashes. This park is very nice with paved trails roaming all around so it is easy walking. I ventured down toward the lake bank and found just the right place. After grabbing mom, we went to the spot and she agreed: lake view, glacier view and the sound of Nugget Falls made for a beautiful, restful spot for some of Dad to remain here.
Back on the bus we head into Juneau for the tram. The Juneau Tram aka Goldbelt Tram aka Mount Roberts Tram took us up to the top of Mount Roberts overlooking Juneau. A beautiful ride up 1800’ – one of the most vertical trams in the world.
The top offers The Mountain House with a restaurant, gift shop and theatre with a Native American gentleman (in his 70s) talking about the history of the area and the Tlingit people. He was very soft spoken so, hard to hear sometimes but interesting info. He spoke before they showed the film, “Seeing Daylight.”
After the theater, Mom checked out the gift shop offerings and I headed out to search our second spot for Dad. It was beautiful up there with gorgeous trees and wildflowers again as well as some interesting totem poles and an eagle’s nest. I found the perfect spot right next to a totem pole overlooking the valley including the town and water. Amazing view and the totem can watch over Dad’s ashes.
Ready to head down the hill, we stood in line for the tram back and got to watch some Indian dancing. On TV, but still – pretty cool watching the beautiful dress with even the little ones getting into it.
Right at the bottom of the tram is Tracy’s King Crab Shack. “Tracy gave me crabs.” That’s what the t-shirt says and gosh dang it – it was true. Well, I got the crab bisque over rice with crab cakes and mom got the crab cakes but it was crab. And it was delish! Dad LOVED crab.
After a great day honoring Dad on land, we had to wrap it up with dinner on the ship. We went to our third (and final) “fancy” restaurant – Moderno, the Brazilian steakhouse. Since my cousin asked, I will clarify, NO, Dad was not part Brazilian. He LOVED steak! Actually Dad was a big fan of food in general but he had some favorites. (Maybe that’s where I get my foodie fanaticism from….?)
Moderno is cool! You get a GIANT salad bar and then they bring around spits of meat and you get “cuts” off as you like. They had a few different cuts of beef along with lamb, chicken and pork to choose from.
We were not terribly hungry to start with and then the salad bar was indulgent and we ate too much of that. So when the meats started coming, we did our best but, didn’t get too much. You are given a card (coaster like thing) with a green side and red side. Green = more, more, more. If you’re full then red it is.
Of course, Dad LOVED dessert so we just had to… And tonight was the night I told them to bring Mom’s birthday surprise – a birthday cake. They sang happy birthday too! Fortunately they did allow us to box up and bring the birthday cake back to the cabin with us. We were stuffed!!!
So happy heavenly Father’s Day, Dad. I know you enjoyed your day with us!
If you click on the photos you can see full size and read the captions.