Yesterday’s visit to Juneau, Alaska…Skagway today…No tours for us…..

Me, sitting in a bear-shaped chair wearing the hat, gloves, and scarf I’d purchased on-board using some of our $500 cabin credit. (Thank goodness, that’s not our wheelchair).
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:
Grizzlys 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!

After visiting these ports of call during this Alaskan cruise, we’re convinced we’d like to return to Alaska somewhere down the road (when we finally decide to travel the US and Canada) to stay for a summer.


This tram takes tourists up to another shopping area.

A few years ago, we tried finding a vacation home in Alaska and gave up when prices were through the roof for even the smallest cabin. Unfortunately, it appears the best way to rent a summer home would be with another couple or two, sharing in higher costs.

Popular crab restaurant,

For now, with our budgetary restrictions as a result of the upcoming expensive Antarctica cruise in eight months, we’re making the best of each port of call by getting off the ship and wandering through the towns packed with cruise passengers from several ships.

There were many the same shops we’d seen in the past ports of call in Alaska.

Most of the shops consist of various popular gems and stones typically mined in Alaska and a wide array of tourist-type artifacts and products, none of which has any appeal for us when we don’t have a home in which to put such items on display.

The road wasn’t busy, nor were the sidewalks with many cruise passengers out on various tours.

Had we visited these towns in our old lives, many items would have been suitable for our former lodge-like home on a lake in Minnesota.  Natural products, many, including stone, wood, or a nature-driven theme, would have been suitable and difficult to resist.

A large stuffed eagle.

Jewelry has no appeal to me at this point in my life. With the likelihood of our bags being lost or stolen somewhere along the line, accumulating pricey jewelry makes no sense at all. The few costume jewelry items I wear to dinner on cruises can easily be replaced in a Target store for under $15 each, at most.

Carissa couldn’t have been more enthused to hear about our alpaca experience in New Zealand last year.

The day-to-day earrings I wear, mostly nickel-free or non-irritating, are also easily replaced in a cheap jewelry store. I don’t need or want precious or semi-precious gems to add clutter to my otherwise simple zip lock bag of items that I’d hardly miss if stolen.

Yesterday, late morning, we disembarked the ship for a $5 per person bus shuttle into the town of Juneau, the capital of Alaska, with a population of around 34,000 as follows from the web:

I fell in love with these brown alpaca-trimmed boots.  But, they weren’t a practical addition to my five pairs of shoes.

“Juneau, Alaska’s remote capital, sits in the state’s panhandle, at the base of 3,819-ft. Mount Roberts. It’s a popular cruise-ship stop, reachable only by boat or seaplane. A tram carries visitors 1,800 feet up Mount Roberts to an alpine area with hiking trails, wildflowers, and views of Gastineau Channel. This is also the site of the Juneau Raptor Center, dedicated to local birds.”

This soft stuffed alpaca certainly attracted shoppers into the shop.

We weren’t disappointed we hadn’t booked a tour when it rained all afternoon, and the weather was almost cold enough to snow. The surrounding snow-capped mountains were pretty to see, but unfortunately, this town, like others along our route were geared toward shopping.

The store also contained a variety of sheepskin and wool products.

As we wandered through the town, we stumbled upon an alpaca products store and were approached by a charming young woman from Los Angeles who comes to Juneau to work in the store each summer. We chatted with her and were enchanted by her enthusiastic demeanor. 

Fluffy wool and alpaca toys.

We couldn’t resist telling Carissa, who obviously had a great adoration for alpacas, that we’d lived on the alpaca farm in New Zealand for three months, from January 19, 2016, to April 15, 2016. She squealed with delight when we shared our story of living among the exquisite animals. 

Warm sweater coats for those in cold climates.

She gushed with enthusiasm over the prospect of reading about our adventures in New Zealand and throughout the world. Of course, we handed her a card and promised to post her photo and information on the quaint shop, which is:

Simply Natural
406 S. Franklin Street, Suite C
Juneau, Alaska

The company has a beautiful website at
If you ever head to Juneau, this enticing store has nothing short of breathtaking alpaca products. It’s well worth a visit. We didn’t make a purchase when cold weather clothing isn’t needed for our upcoming travels. 

The Celebrity Cruise Line “X” atop our awaiting ship, the Solstice.

When we sail to Antarctica, we’ll be renting full sets of warm clothing for getting off the ship to board the Zodiac boats heading out to the ice floes and glaciers for up close and personal experiences with wildlife. But, until then and well after, we’ll be living in hot climates.

In each port of call, we’ve noticed several fur shops.

After that serendipitous experience with Carissa, we continued on the main road walking for some time, taking many photos we’re sharing here today. No doubt, we got wet in the rain and heavy humidity, but we were refreshed after the brisk cold walk and happy we’d ventured out.

Candies on display for sale in a local chocolate shop.

Today, we’re docked in Skagway and will do the same, wander off the ship on our own to check out the town, take more photos and see what interesting morsels enter into our realm along the way.

Cute, decorative clocks in a local products shop.

As always, we’re having a great time, although slightly preoccupied over the upcoming visits to see family and friends in Minnesota and Nevada. We can hardly believe we’ll be in Minnesota in a mere five days.

This train clock made us smile. Had it not been for Tom’s 42.5 years on the railroad, our world travel may not have been possible.

Be well. Be happy.

Photo from one year ago today, May 21, 2016:

This photo was taken at 4:00 pm of the cloud reflection in our pool in the villa in Bali. For more photos, please click here.

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