Sitka, a surprising Alaskan experience…

The cloudy scenes were appealing, although a sunny day in Sitka would have been nice.

Please note: We’re finalizing the headcount for the “Meet & Greet” for our readers in Minneapolis on June 9th from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at:

Grizzly’s Wood Fired Grill at this location in Plymouth, Minnesota:
220 Carlson Pkwy N, Plymouth, MN 55447
Please RSVP if you plan to attend and haven’t already done so.  Hope to see you then!
It’s not easy to describe Sitka, Alaska. It’s a combination of rustic cabins, many worn and tattered, ocean front homes of varying sizes and value and a few more modern properties built or being built by those seeking refuge from the hustle and bustle of life in more populous areas in North America and other parts of the world.
The “Welcome to Sitka Alaska” sign greeted us as we disembarked the ship.
However, it’s easy to see how Sitka may become the chosen place to-run-away-and-hide from the rigors of big city life. The surrounding scenery is some of the most exquisite in the world, rife with wildlife, lush vegetation, mysterious little islands and some of the world’s most prolific fishing suitable for all skill levels.
There are thousands of small islands in the sea surrounding Alaska.
Here are some fun facts we found on Sitka from this website:
  1. Sitka is the first and oldest city in Alaska, some sources say it is 10,000 years old

  2. For 63 years Sitka was a major Russian port. (Fur trading)

  3. Sitka was the site of the signing of the Alaska purchase on October 18th, 1867.

  4. The City and Borough of Sitka, Alaska, encompasses 4,710 square miles, making it the largest city in the United States.

  5. Sitka, Alaska is the 4th largest city in Alaska by population after Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau. (Population around 9,000)

  6. Sitka was featured in the hit US movie, “The Proposal” with Sandra Bullock, although most of the scenes of the city are actually filmed in Boston

  7. Smithsonian Magazine named Sitka number 9 in the 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2013

  8. Travel Channel Recently Featured Sitka on their popular show “Bizarre Foods

  9. James Michener lived here while writing his epic novel Alaska

  10. John O Connell Bridge between Baranof and Japonski Island is the first cable-stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere

We were the only ship in port and the crowds in the town weren’t wrong.

As is the case in each location we visit, we ask ourselves the interminable questions, “Should we return here for a two or three-month stay or could we ever live here?” Yes, to the first question. No, to the second.

Our bus driver explained that most days it was so foggy and cloudy a scene such as this would have been impossible.

We’ll never live in such a cold and snowy location after spending a lifetime in Minnesota for Tom, and over 40 years for me, in the frozen tundra that so well describes the winter months in the cold northern state, bordering Manitoba, Canada.

Walrus tusk decorator items.

Then again, the bigger question becomes…”Will we ever “live” anywhere permanently?” Highly unlikely, based on our current joy in living as nomads, a lifestyle we’ve easily adopted, hopefully for the long haul.

Me in another giant bear chair.

Yesterday, after uploading the post, we bundled up in warm clothing and made our way to deck two to depart the ship for the free bus shuttle to downtown Sitka. 

Is this some type of Bison?

Getting off the ship was relatively quick and easy but the line inside the visitor’s center waiting to board the free shuttle buses was long and slow. We waited for no less than 20 minutes. 

Me, posing in yet another bear chair.

The ride to the center of the small town was another 15 minutes but the breathtaking scenery on the way and the informational chatter of the bus driver kept us occupied.

St. Michael’s Cathedral is also known as the Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel“.

It’s nearly impossible to take good photos from a fast-moving bus. However, once we arrived in downtown Sitka, the photo ops were plentiful as we walked around the town bumping into other cruise passengers along the way, occasionally stopping to chat with others we’d met on the cruise.

View of St. Michael’s Cathedral from the main road.

As we wandered through the tiny town, my interest in visiting Sitka increased. The cozy small town feel, the handcrafted items in the shops, the playfulness of its residents whether the bus driver or shop owners, all play a significant role in making Sitka a desirable location for visitors.

Alternate view of the church.

We’re totally convinced that the “flavor” of Alaska is hardly perceived on a cruise. Yes, its’ a decent way to catch a few of the highlights but it’s hardly the perfect medium to fully embrace the vastness and beauty of this magical place.

Shops in the center of Sitka.

Hopefully, someday when the time comes to explore North America, Alaska will be on our itinerary if we’re able to find affordable vacation homes in a few different areas or, as our friends Chere and Gary did a few years back, rent a motorhome/caravan and explore on our own.

A pretty scene from the shoreline in Sitka.

Today is a sea day. We’re comfortably situated in Cafe al Bacio on deck five in perfect seats for viewing the upcoming Egg Drop Contest, whereby ambitious passengers make contraptions from which they can competitively drop raw eggs from upper decks to the atrium floor on deck three. It’s a silly but fun event we always find humorous to watch.

View of the bay in Sitka.

With no breakfast this morning, we’ll head to lunch after the Egg Drop Contest, the Captain’s Club happy hour from 5:00 to 7:00 pm, dinner in the Epernay Dining Room by 7:15 and later head to the 9:00 pm show in the Solstice Theatre. At 10:15 pm, we’ll stay up for the adult comedy show.

The dense fog in the forested hills.

Between preparing today’s post, managing our many photos, chatting with passengers, my working out in the gym, the sea day and evening will be packed with plenty to keep us occupied and entertained.

Tom, by our ship.

Tomorrow is packing day. In 48 hours, we’ll be disembarking the ship to grab a taxi to the Sea-Tac airport to fly to Minnesota. How the time has flown!

Be well.  Be happy.

Photo from one year ago today, May 24, 2016:

A year ago we had the opportunity to meet Gede’s our house man’s gracious parents who live in Lovina, Bali where we went to extend our 30-day visas. For more details, please click here.

Part 2, Hubbard Glacier…Wow! Wow! Wow!

We encounter aspects of this world in our travels that leave us emotional with our mouths agape in sheer wonder and awe.  Such was the case yesterday when our ship sailed to the Hubbard Glacier in Alaska.

As we approached the Hubbard Glacier.

Our captain’s adventurous nature and desire to please his passengers got us as close as any cruise ship dare venture when calvings (equivalent to avalanches) were occurring every 10 minutes or so.

Beautiful mountains surround the glacier.

We’d love to have been able to capture calving, but they happened so quickly we kept missing the photo op, especially without our tripod handy on deck five, where we stayed watching the glorious scene for over two hours.

As always, Tom was having a great time.

It was cold outside, and we were bundled up as best as we could with the clothing we have on hand; lightweight jackets, flannel shirts leftover from chilly Penguin, Tasmania, and gloves we’d purchased in the ship’s Alaska shop. I’d added a hat and scarf to my glove purchase, but none were available for men.

At times, we wondered if dark chunks of floating ice were wildlife, but alas, we never saw an animal in the area.

Tom, who more easily stays warm than I, had no trouble staying warm while I nestled up close to him for some added body heat.  Many passengers had brought along heavy down jackets and gloves, but we have no room for such items.

As it turned out, the dark ice was a compilation of rock and dirt trapped in ice.

When we’re on the Antarctica cruise in January, we’ll be renting complete cold-weather outfits through the ship’s pricey rental program. Still, it is undoubtedly better than purchasing everything we’d most likely never use again.

Close up of the top layer of Hubbard Glacier.

After the few hours on deck five, we headed up to our veranda, where we could take the more steady of the two videos included here today when we used the tripod placed on the outdoor table.

This expanse of the glacier is approximately ten stories high.

Although the sun tried to peek through from time to time, the conditions were overcast with dense clouds. Nevertheless, we did our best with the photos, knowing they wouldn’t be perfect in less-than-ideal situations.

Ice floating in the rippling sea as we neared the glacier.

We both feel we’ll need to purchase a more sophisticated camera while we’re in the US, especially with Antarctica and Africa upcoming in the future. These simple cameras we’ve owned over these past years are no longer sufficient for our needs.

The size of the glacier is hard to believe, and it continues to grow over time.

Although I still have a lot to learn about taking photos, I think I’m ready to go to the next level, perhaps taking an online course to help me. I’ve been hoping a more technologically advanced camera would hit the market soon within a reasonable price range that is relatively easy to use without changing many settings while shooting.

The closer we maneuvered toward the glacier, the more the floating ice in the sea.  It’s still early in the summer season.

Alas, I’ve yet to encounter such a product and will soon begin searching for what will work well when weight is a significant factor for me and our baggage. We certainly don’t need any added weight to our already heavy bags and carry-on.

Suppose our current camera continues to hold up. In that case, we’ll keep it since Tom seems to be getting good at handling it, and the idea of us each taking photos in both of the upcoming locations might prove to be the best idea for capturing unique and memorable shots. 

An edge of the glacier.

Today, we’re in Sitka with a plan to get off the ship and explore yet another tourist-orientated town with shops and restaurants. Of course, there’s so much more to see in Alaska, but we’re convinced that someday we’ll return and do so in our way and time.

In reality, one-day visits to ports of call generally don’t do it for us, with a few exceptions. Instead, it’s the magic of living in a location for a period that provides us with the type of experiences that fill our hearts and minds with the richness and depth of any location, hardly accomplished in one day regardless of any tours on which a traveler may embark.

At specific points, the ice appears blue.

This further exemplifies our chosen method of traveling…not quickly skipping from one location to another, instead of spending the time to discover the wonders this fantastic world has to offer.

Of course, one generally doesn’t stay long at the Hubbard Glacier, and for our purposes, this cruise fulfilled our expectations. The sights and scenes yesterday left us reeling with delight over having decided to spend these short nine days on this Alaskan cruise.

We’ll be back tomorrow with many more photos we’ve yet to share.  Have a beautiful day filled with richness and wonder!

Photo from one year ago today, May 22, 2016:

One of the narrow roads we walked in the neighborhood in Bali. For more photos, please click here.

Part 1, Hubbard Glacier, Alaska…Wow! Wow! Wow!…

Tom, hatless and happy anyway!

Please note: We’re finalizing the headcount for the “Meet & Greet” for our readers in Minneapolis on June 9th from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at:

Grizzly’s Wood Fired Grill at this location in Plymouth, Minnesota:
220 Carlson Pkwy N, Plymouth, MN 55447
Please RSVP if you plan to attend and haven’t already done so.  Hope to see you then!

As we began posting this morning as we were nearing the Hubbard Glacier and we were both bundled up in our warmest clothing, prepared to bolt outdoors as the ship made the approach although not cold in the realm of Alaskan weather and we were very excited to get as near to the glacier as possible. 

Me, bundled up and freezing my you-know-what off!
 For details on this massive glacier please see below from this site:

“Hubbard Glacier

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hubbard Glacier
Hubbard landsat-tn.jpg
False color image of the Hubbard Glacier
Type Tidewater/Mountain glacier AKA Valley Glacier
Location Yakutat City and Borough, Alaska, U.S., Yukon, Canada
Coordinates 60°18′50″N 139°22′15″WCoordinates: 60°18′50″N 139°22′15″W
Length 122 kilometers (76 mi)
Terminus Sealevel
Status Advancing
Hubbard Glacier is a glacier located in eastern Alaska and part of Yukon, Canada, and named after Gardiner Hubbard.

Map of Hubbard Glacier

Hubbard Glacier, Alaska, squeezes towards Gilbert Point on May 20, 2002. The glacier is close to sealing off Russell Fjord at the top from Disenchantment Bay at the bottom.

The longest source for Hubbard Glacier originates 122 kilometers (76 mi) from its snout and is located at about 61°00′N 140°09′W, approximately 8 kilometers (5 mi) west of Mount Walsh with an elevation around 11,000 feet (3,400 m). A shorter tributary glacier begins at the easternmost summit on the Mount Logan ridge at about 18,300 feet (5,600 m) at about 60°35′0″N 140°22′40″W.
Before it reaches the sea, Hubbard is joined by the Valerie Glacier to the w. Throughout forwarding surges of its own, it has contributed to advancing the ice flow that experts believe will eventually dam the Russell Fjord from Disenchantment Bay waters.
The Hubbard Glacier ice margin has continued to advance for about a century. In May 1986, the Hubbard Glacier surged forward, blocking the outlet of Russell Fjord and creating “Russell Lake.” All that summer, the new lake filled with runoff; its water level rose 25 meters (82 ft), and the decrease in salinity threatened its sea life.[1]
Around midnight on October 8, the dam began to give way. In the next 24 hours, an estimated 5.3 cubic kilometers (1.3 cup mi) of water gushed through the gap, and the fjord was reconnected to the ocean at its previous level.[1] This was the second most significant glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) in recorded history, and 35 Niagara Fal equivalent flows.
In spring 2002, the glacier again approached Bert Point. It pushed a terminal moraine ahead of its face and closed the opening again in July. On August 14, the terminal moraine was washed away after rains had raised the water level behind the dam it formed to 18 m (59 ft) above sea level.[2] The fjord could become dammed again, and perhaps permanently. If this happens, the fjord could overflow its southern banks and drain through the Situk River instead, threatening trout habitat and a local airport.
It takes about 400 years for ice to traverse the length of the glacier, meaning that the ice at the foot of the glacier is about 400 years old. The glacier routinely calves[3] off icebergs the size of a ten-story building. Where the glacier meets the bay, most of the ice is below the waterline, and newly calved icebergs can shoot up quite dramatically so that ships must keep their distance from the edge of the glacier in Disenchantment Bay.”

Now, late in posting, we’re rushing to upload today’s post with the first round of Hubbard Glacier photos we took while standing for several hours on the deck in the icy cold weather totally entranced by the sight before our eyes. 

We had no idea how magnificent it would be.By noon, after the close sailing to the glacier, we’d scheduled to meet Diane and Helen for lunch in the dining room. We’d met them on the last RC cruise from Sydney to Seattle, finally managing to find one another on the Solstice so we could catch up.

Photos don’t do this massive glacier justice.

Cafe al Bacio was packed when we arrived after the enjoyable long lunch so we sat with another couple for a half hour and chatted while we waited for a table in our usual spot along the railing.

A table opened up only a short time ago and soon we were situated at our favorite table and chairs, all in the ergonomically correct position for ultra comfortable typing and researching.

As soon as we upload today’s post, we’ll return to the cabin to shower and dress for the evening. Thank goodness tonight is “casual” dress which makes the prep time quick and painless.

The remainder of the day includes a Cruise Critic private party in one of the “royal” suites on the 11th deck to which we’re invited and will attend. Afterward, we’re meeting a couple in the Captain’s Club lounge for happy hour from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm. 

Then, we’re off to dinner in the Epernay Dining Room where we’ll share a table with other passengers who enjoy sharing. By 9:00 pm, we’ll take off for the night’s entertainment in the Solstice Theatre. We’ve discovered we prefer to sit on the balcony level of the theater preferably in a back row.

While we watched there were numerous “calvings”, the equivalent of an avalanche on a glacier.  A loud sonic type boom followed several seconds later.  It was unreal!
If a show doesn’t entertain us, inconspicuously, we can slip away.  With both of us possessing “short attention spans” we seldom find one of us prefer to stay for the show unless it extra special. It’s not uncommon for one or both of us to nod off during a show.
Over these next few days, we’ll share the balance of our Hubbard Glacier photos and our up-close-and-personal experiences in participating in this extraordinary observational event.
Thanks to our readers for hanging with us during these past 30 nights of cruising “less the two nights we spent in Vancouver before boarding the Solstice).
With only four days remaining until we disembark on Friday, catching our flight to Minneapolis, our hearts are filled with enthusiasm to see our loved ones once again. Lots more Hubbard Glacier photos will follow tomorrow!
Have a lovely evening and be well and happy.
Photo from one year ago today, May 22, 2016:
This close up of my dinner in Bali appeared to be a lot of chicken. But, once I dig in there are only a few good bites on each leg and thigh section. Tom eats the two breasts and a little meat, but the dark, which I prefer, is sparse due to locally lean free-range chickens.  For more Bali photos, please click here.

A stunning day in Ketchikan…Sunny and warm…Lots of photos to share…Juneau today with photos upccoming…

The Ketchikan sign over the boulevard.

For our readers in Minnesota: We are planning our “Meet & Greet” on Friday, June 9th, from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at:

Grizzly’s Wood-Fired Grill at this location in Plymouth, Minnesota
Address: 220 Carlson Pkwy N, Plymouth, MN 55447

Please RSVP by email (our email addresses are on our homepage under the photo of us in Petra, Jordan) if you haven’t done so already. We are looking forward to seeing you then!

I must admit I’m a bit preoccupied about arriving in Minnesota next Friday and then in Nevada on July 7th to see our loved ones. In a way, it has impacted my embracing this Alaskan cruise as much it may have at another time.

Almost every cruise passenger was carrying stuffed shopping bags.

That’s not to say that we aren’t awe-stricken by the beauty of this magical place, nor has it prevented us from getting off the ship at each port of call. The historic towns, all are possessing a “wild west” type persona of a century ago, are only hampered by the massive numbers of cruise passengers bombarding the area.

A little bit of snow atop a mountain near the town.

Yesterday, I told Tom how much I’d enjoy “living” in Alaska during the summer months away from the crowds and commotion. It truly is breathtaking, and no doubt living in more remote locations would provide that “small town” feel we both love so much.

At times, we forgot we were on US soil once again.

But, cruise ship’s visits to ports of call are all about the shopping, restaurants, and tours offered through the ship, many of which are often overrated and overpriced.

A famous crab and seafood restaurant.

Yesterday, as we roamed through Ketchikan, struggling to maneuver through the crowds, we were easily reminded of why we always prefer more remote locations as a result of six cruise ships in port.

The streets were lined with shops offering a wide array of local and imported trinkets.

The excellent part about cruising is the opportunity to have at least seen some of these popular ports of call, which in the long run enhances our experiences as we continue to peruse the world for its wonders.

This popcorn store attracted lots of attention and purchases.

A few tours offered through the ship were somewhat appealing, especially the dog sled ride after a plane ride to a remote glacier. But at over US $600 per person, it didn’t fit into our budget at this time. 

Totem poles are popular tourist purchases.

We must remain determined and diligent in “tightening our belts” with the pricey Antarctica cruise upcoming in eight months. After that, it all becomes a matter of picking and choosing what ultimately is most important to us. 

Large totem pole outside a shop.

We’ve had no delusions about the sacrifices we’d have to make in leaving the US long ago to travel the world and the subsequent sacrifices we’d be faced with in our day-to-day lives.

This salmon shop carried a wide array of products that may be shipped.

As we share our story with cruise passengers, when often asked dozens of questions about how we can do this, we’re reminded of how much we’d had to leave behind in our old lives.

Diamonds and jewelry are some of the top purchases of tourists.

My current wardrobe is sparse and worn;  I’m stretching the use of cosmetics items until there isn’t one more application I can squeeze out of them; I’m wearing the cruise’s flimsy bathrobe with such pleasure as if it were spun with gold and cashmere. We take nothing for granted how we’ve changed.

Large handcrafted chess set.

My shoes desperately need to be replaced, as does Tom’s. But, unfortunately, he’s still wearing the pair of Adidas knock-offs he purchased in Hanoi last summer for $13. Amazingly, they’re still wearable for a little longer. 

Ornate, smaller handcrafted chess set.

It’s not so much that we’re “tightwads” but more because we don’t necessarily have access to replenish the supply of the items we find we need in our travels. 

Milano Diamond Gallery.

Indeed, time in the US will provide us with an opportunity to replace some vital items, tossing out the old and replacing them with the new and better.

A giant stuffed bear in a souvenir shop.

And yet, through it all, we never fail to keep our eyes peeled for the sighting of a whale, a playful dolphin, or an eagle soaring the skies in Alaska. Then, of course, there are the people of Alaska that we observe through the lens of a cruise passenger’s lens, hoping for that special moment that brings us together, a commonality of interests as humans, that proves essentially we all want the same things in life.

The boardwalk on the way back to the awaiting tenders returning passengers to the ship. It was a gorgeous sunny day.

It’s not always about a sense of adventure or exploration and wonder. Instead, it’s the little things that imprint upon our souls, making memories we’ll never leave behind in one vacation home after another, one cruise ship after another. 

Popular tourist “Duck” transportation.

Be well!

Photo from one year ago today, May 20, 2016:

In Bali, the young white horse and the boy return for a swim in the river. For more details, please click here.

We’re sailing in Alaska’s Inside Passage on our way to Ketchikan!…Long wait at Canada Place, port of Vancouver…

It’s not as cold outside on the decks as one might think. So we wandered outdoors without jackets, and it was cool but not intolerable. 

We stuck with our plan to leave for Canada Place, the port in Vancouver, at 2:00 pm. However, the drive through traffic and the short line of taxis made us hopeful we’d made the correct decision to wait until later in the day instead of an early morning port arrival.

Overall, our instincts to arrive later than the allowed 11:00 am attempts to board were correct but not by much. Most likely, we avoided only about 30 minutes of waiting time to get onto the ship.

Dark, cloudy, and foggy through the Inside Passage today, photo ops are limited. But, as we move along on this journey, more will transpire.

Never, in all of our past 19 cruises in these past 55 months, have we waited in such huge lines with so many people. Luckily, we are “Elite” members, which allowed us to wait in shorter lines for cruise check-in and immigration. 

Had we not been members with Captain’s Club perks, our wait could easily have been a four-hour wait instead of our two-and-a-half-hour wait. Instead, in many cases, we scurried along into much shorter queues along with many others with similar designations. 

Logs along the shore.

It pays to sail with one cruise line (the same parent company owns celebrity and Royal Caribbean, and perks are interchangeable). By 4:45 pm, we were seated in the main dining room for the muster drill along with other Captain’s Club members while many others stood outdoors for their muster drill. We were grateful to be indoors when it was very cool in Vancouver.

Our luggage arrived in our cabin before dinner, but there wasn’t ample time to unpack everything, especially when we had piles of dirty clothes we needed to sort to have it laundered, a task we never handled in Vancouver.

We’re not expecting to see a lot of wildlife on this cruise since it’s early in the season. However, if we have a little “safari luck,” we’ll be thrilled.

As Captain’s Club Elite members, we’re entitled to two free bags of laundry to include up to 20 items. Upon returning to our cabin after the 9:00 pm movie (“Fences,” worth watching), we completed the unpacking, leaving a huge pile of dirty clothes.

This morning we neatly folded the dirty laundry into the paper bag and completed the “laundry list” to be submitted with the order. There was no problem coming up with 20 items.  Our cabin steward assured us we’d have it all back by tomorrow since few, if any, other passengers had requested laundry service on this first day at sea.

Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas, the ship we sailed for 33 nights that circumvented the entire Australian continent, ending on December 3, 2016. 

Dinner in the Grand Epernay was perfect. First, I met Evan, who’ll oversee my special diet, which seems quite attentive and concerned for accuracy in presenting my meals.

This morning we had a light breakfast of poached eggs and a little bacon. We love interacting with other passengers at mealtime and will try to eat three times a day on this cruise.  I seem to feel better when I eat three small meals rather than one or two large meals a day.

Low-lying clouds drift through the hills and mountains.

Now, we’re situated in the Cafe al Bacio on deck five in the same seats as on the past three Celebrity Solstice cruises. We can’t believe how many staff members aboard this ship remember us! How is that possible? They are so friendly and warm. 

The free drink policy for Elite members isn’t as comprehensive as on Royal Caribbean. For example, the Captain’s Club happy hour is only from 5:00 to 7:00 pm in the Sky Lounge, whereby on the last RC cruise, members could drink for free from 5:00 to 8:30 pm. Also, three drinks each were allowed from any bar during this time frame.

So far, the scenery through the Inside Passage consists of mountains and forests. 

Guess we’ll stay put in the Sky Lounge for those two hours each evening while Tom enjoys his favorite cocktail, Cognac and Sprite Zero on the rocks. I’m still not drinking wine and honestly don’t miss it. Well, maybe a little.  Those glasses of Cabernet and Merlot do cause my heart to flutter a bit. So it goes.

We’re content and looking forward to checking out the various ports of call in Alaska on our own time as we see fit. Unfortunately, with some big expenses on the horizon, we’ve had to avoid any of the ship’s expensive tours. 

The budget always supersedes our desires if we intend to do some of the more special locations (i.e., Antarctica and Africa) and continue indefinitely. However, there’s no doubt that certain sacrifices are necessary to continue this nomadic life. 

In our travels, we regret nothing, nor have we missed anything that was ultimately important to us. So may your day, your life, be free of regrets.

Photo from one year ago today, May 18, 2016:

In Bali, note the hat on the woman in red, known as a sedge hat, rice hat, paddy hat, bamboo hat, or Raiden hat, is carrying more rice from the fields while the guy in blue talks on his phone. For more details about rice paddies, please click here.