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WINNER of Dick’s Sporting Good’s $25 GIVE-AWAY: Jordan Dunne

So, I’m in Alaska! Cruising through on Holland America, which seems to be a great cruise line. So far, it has been a far better experience than my one other cruise experience (Carnival college cruise circa 2004).

I’m thankful to be here on behalf of my employer, National Review, who does a yearly cruise for subscribers and fans to interact with our writers and personalities. I’m not exactly the hot commodity here, but thankfully my photography skills were needed 😉

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This is a 7-day cruise and we started on Saturday — so I’m getting towards the end — sadly! I thought 7 days sounded too long when we started but I was wrong. It’s actually nice not having to rush through and dread the end of the trip. It’s all quite leisurely and I’m enjoying it.

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Of course we have panels and work events going on throughout as well, so there’s that, but overall, it’s been relaxing. Rick wasn’t able to come so I’ve spent quite a bit of time hanging out with myself. Since we have fancy dinners every night with new people, there’s plenty of socializing there!

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While not partaking in the cocktails galore on the cruise has been tough, obviously I don’t mind too much (21 weeks now!). It’s forced to really figure out what I like to do and talk about instead of gliding along with a glass of wine 🙂

There’s really so much to see here it’s hard to take it all in. So far I’ve taken over 300 photos — and that’s being restrained with the clicker. Mountain after mountain, glacier after glacier all have their own personalities and quirks.

Here’s Juneau at our first stop:

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We stopped in Juneau first, where I hopped out and got on another, smaller boat for some whale watching. That’s what you always hear about on Alaskan cruises right? Well, it wasn’t quite as dramatic a you might imagine, but still pretty cool. Check it out:

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I’m always fascinated by people who live in remoter areas of the world. We passed several little islands, where houses were built. We were told many of these are summer homes but there are individuals who live there full-time.

I think to myself — WHO lives on an island in Alaska full time — and why? I think it would be so interesting to interview one of these people. They must have some interesting personality traits and things that keep them content and occupied. I, of course, snapped some photos of some of those.

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The cool thing about these Alaskan cruises — at least with Holland America — is they offer so many off boat excursions for passengers to try. I had no idea when I first signed on.

However, they are extremely catering for tourists and offer everything from helicopters over glaciers to ziplining, nature hikes, float planes, lumberjack shows & more. Tons of great opportunities to get off the boat, see the land and animals — and whatever you might imagine you do want to do in Alaska.

Saw these adorable sea lions hanging out on the each on Tuesday:

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There is SO much I’ve already seen and narrowing down what to show and tell you is…tough! So there will be a post #2 coming on this!

I will say, I have always thought an Alaskan cruise sounded like a very cool adventure — and I was right. So far, everyone I’ve met has been delightful as well, which is nice. I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity and truly, seeing the glaciers yesterday was awe-inspiring. Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 5.09.23 PM

Watching the landscape float by in the boat, I realized I was truly witnessing some of the most beautiful wonders of the world. I’ve been a lot of places — including watching sunsets in Africa, hiking mountains in Sedona and more — but this may possibly take the cake.

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So…there you have it — the first bit of Alaska! And let me tell you, the Internet on this boat is SLOW so it took forever to upload all these photos for this post. You’re welcome 😉

Next up, I will tell you about our visit to Sitka, Ketchikan & Victoria, BC.

Have you ever been to Alaska? What did you like best? 

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