Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Running Playlist (Podcast Edition)

It's been a couple of years since I shared my list of favorite Disney podcasts with you guys, so I thought it was high time to update my running playlist!

When I first became a runner, music was all my thing (and it still can be, but it's not my first go-to anymore). I loved the sounds of upbeat music piping into my ears as my feet hit the pavement during a run. However, as I evolved as a runner and discovered new things, the world of podcasting was introduced to me thanks to a friend, and it's been history ever since! 

If you're a Disney fan and enjoy listening to podcasts, keep reading - here's a few of my favorites below!

My absolute number one favorite podcast is currently the Be Our Guest podcast. These guys are fun to listen to and always share a wealth of knowledge about the latest and greatest at Disney!

The Joyful Miles podcast is another I enjoy listening to. Joyful Miles is especially high on the list as these ladies always keep me laughing and entertained while sharing all things runDisney and running related!

The Disney Dish podcast is brought to you by Jim Hill and Len Testa - these guys are seriously Disney geniuses and it's always interesting to listen to their take on the happenings at the park and in the world of Disney.

Now being a DVC Member, I've also branched out into a few new (to me) podcasts that include the Welcome Home Podcast and the Resort Loop podcast for their monthly DVC Roundtable.

Like I mentioned earlier, I do listen to the music on the occasion, but my main go-to is usually a podcast! I love getting lost in a run while listening to stories of Disney in my ears. Podcasts definitely help the time and the miles pass by!

What's on your running playlist?  

Today, I'm also linking up with KookyRunner and Zenaida for Tuesday Topics! 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Alaskan Cruise: Hubbard Glacier [Part 6]

Our final day on the Radiance of the Seas included a stop at the Hubbard Glacier.

We woke up that morning and had breakfast with several family members, then we waited for our approach to the glacier. On our last Alaskan Cruise (where we visited Glacier Bay), I remember being very close to the glacier on the cruise ship itself, so we didn't feel the need to book an extra excursion that would take us closer to this glacier (because I assumed we would be just as close this time around).

As we approached the Hubbard Glacier - I am going to be completely honest here - I was very disappointed, especially considering how close we were able to get to the glacier last time. Don't get me wrong - it was gorgeous and all, but we were quite far from it and unable to see/hear the ice cracking like we did over in Glacier Bay. Despite that, it still made for a fun morning with our family all together in one stateroom and we still had some amazing views!

A naturalist was on board and oddly enough, he was the Canadian Mountie we listened to on our first day! From our stateroom, we were able to hear him on one of the channels on the TV, so we hung out on the balcony with the volume up on our TV and enjoyed the view!

My brother in law said it best when describing our cruise - he said it felt like we were floating in a post card! That's 100% accurate.

One benefit to this glacier day vs our previous cruise was the weather. The sun was shining and it really was a perfect day weather-wise!

At lunch, a cake was out on display for dessert (and it was yummy, too). I still never figured out how they made those mountains!

An Elvis impersonator was also present at lunch for entertainment! :)

While scanning over the daily schedule, we saw Disney trivia listed at 1 p.m. I already knew I wanted to play, but I wasn't sure I could rope anyone else into playing with me. To my surprise, I asked the question out loud and almost our entire group was in! Yay!

We arrived at the Schooner Lounge to play and the room was PACKED. We were instructed to break into teams of 6 and the guy running the trivia even had to have more copies run because there were so many groups!

I wasn't sure what to expect, but this was by far the easiest trivia I've ever done. They handed us a sheet of paper (face down of course) and told us when to begin. Our trivia basically consisted of partial views of different characters faces (about 20 of them) and we had to write who they were. My team was done in seriously 0.2 seconds and were among the first to turn in our form. Three teams finished all right at the same time and after a little deliberation, he decided that our team was the winner because we were the only team out of the three to have all of the characters names spelled correctly!

Winner winner chicken dinner! We were so excited! What did we win? Royal Caribbean key chains! Yay!

We expected to be in trivia about 45 minutes and when I asked Jason the time, he said it was only 1:08 p.m. Trivia seriously lasted about 5 minutes! Hah!

Our dinner that evening was delicious as always and we had a great time with our wait staff on our final evening of the cruise.

The final show and goodbye was great as well!

Even though the cruise itself was over, we still had two days of fun remaining - stay tuned for more from Alaska!  


For recaps from our 7 night Alaskan cruise on board the Radiance of the Seas, check out these links below:
Alaskan Cruise: Travel Day & Boarding the Ship [Part 1] & VLOG
Alaskan Cruise: At Sea Day & Ketchikan [Part 2] & VLOG
Alaskan Cruise: Icy Straight Point [Part 3] & VLOG (Icy Straight Point & Juneau)
Alaskan Cruise: Juneau & Whale Watching [Part 4]
Alaskan Cruise: Skagway & A Musher's Camp [Part 5] & VLOG
Alaskan Cruise: Hubbard Glacier [Part 6] & VLOG
Alaskan Cruise: Seward and Anchorage [Part 7] & VLOG

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Alaskan Cruise: Skagway & A Musher's Camp [Part 5]

I last left off of our Alaskan cruise recap at the end of our Juneau day where we whale watched and shopped around town. Our final port stop was in Skagway and quickly became my favorite day of our entire cruise! Here, we took Brayden to a Musher's Camp and he was seriously in heaven!

Before leaving for our excursion though, I had to get in a quick 2 mile run around the ship for National Running Day!

The views were gorgeous and I absolutely loved running in the COLD!

After a shower and breakfast, we met up with our group for our excursion to the Musher's Camp. Again, our instructions were to meet up with our group "at the end of the pier", but when we got out there, we only saw a few people walking around and several tour buses parked in the lot (ie: no "group"). I stopped to ask directions from the person who happened to be our bus driver, so he pointed me in the right direction (thankfully)! Basically, everyone was being directed to board the bus and wait, so that's what we did!

Before long, we were off! All along the way, our hilarious bus driver told stories and tales of life the Alaskan way. It truly was an entertaining ride!

Once we made it to the Musher's camp, we were told that we were taking the "orange monster" to the running trails. Riding in that thing up a mountain was seriously an interesting experience!

Thankfully we made it one piece!

The basis of this excursion included a 1 mile ride in a sled pulled by the dogs, followed by interaction with these pups as well as a bit of time spent with the smaller puppies back at the camp.

Brayden LOVED being pulled in the sled and still talks about his fun times with the "dogs running" in Alaska! It was seriously a really cool experience.

Our guide was amazing, too! He offered to take pictures of us in the sled as well as a few pictures from the front of the sled!

After the mile run, we had time to pet and interact with our sled dogs. 

Again, my child was in HEAVEN! He loves dogs so much!

He definitely had his fill of puppy hugs and kisses that day!

All too soon, our time was up and we had to head back down the mountain to the Musher's Camp.

Once there, we were given a brief talk about the origins of the sled dog teams as well as a bit of history on the Iditarod race itself. It was super interesting to hear how things used to be and have changed over time!

After the talk, we were given a little time to pet the puppies!

This seriously was one of the coolest excursions I've ever taken on any cruise I've ever done!

I spy Disney Cruise Line!

Once the excursion was complete, we had our bus driver drop us off in town so we could shop around a bit and take a few pictures! Downtown Skagway truly reminds me of the old-timey gold rush town you would see in the movies. It's super cute!

Our dinner that evening included lobster and baked Alaska! Yum!

We were excited to see another towel animal too, as we didn't have one each and every night.  Brayden loved these guys!

The show that evening was an entertainer/singer who did a great job! At one point, he had me in tears because he sang that stupid Butterfly Kisses song which gets me EVERY SINGLE TIME (if you haven't heard it, look it up). Just don't say I didn't warn you...

Despite a few tears, he mostly kept us laughing and we truly enjoyed a great show!

Sadly, we went to sleep that night knowing we only had one full day left on the ship before disembarking. Our final day included a stop at the Hubbard Glacier (which was new to me), so I was excited to see it! Stay tuned for the final recap from our Alaskan cruise! :) 

Thanks for following along! 


For recaps from our 7 night Alaskan cruise on board the Radiance of the Seas, check out these links below:
Alaskan Cruise: Travel Day & Boarding the Ship [Part 1] & VLOG
Alaskan Cruise: At Sea Day & Ketchikan [Part 2] & VLOG
Alaskan Cruise: Icy Straight Point [Part 3] & VLOG (Icy Straight Point & Juneau)
Alaskan Cruise: Juneau & Whale Watching [Part 4]
Alaskan Cruise: Skagway & A Musher's Camp [Part 5] & VLOG
Alaskan Cruise: Hubbard Glacier [Part 6] & VLOG
Alaskan Cruise: Seward and Anchorage [Part 7] & VLOG

Monday, July 8, 2019

Alaskan Cruise: Juneau & Whale Watching [Part 4]

The next stop on our Alaskan cruise was Juneau where we planned a whale watching excursion. This was my first time officially whale watching, and I was super excited to see what it was all about!

The beginning of this excursion was definitely one where I looked at Jason and said "Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore"...

Our tickets told us to meet in the Aurora Theater at a specific time, right? I assumed we would meet there and walk with our group to our bus. No.

Instead, we were given a sticker with our group number on it and told to go to the "tent at the top of the pier".  Well, we arrived at the top of the pier to a giant group of people who were all wearing different numbers and stickers. There were also a few guides holding signs with numbers on them but none of their numbers lined up to ours. I thought our group might have left already although we were there in plenty of time. I asked one of the guides about it and she said "oh no, you're in this group" and she pointed to the girl next to her who was holding a sign with a completely different number than what was on our sticker. It was so incredibly confusing but we did eventually make it where we needed to be.

On the bus, ready to go!

Our whale watching boat was an incredibly comfortable one. It was roomy, clean, the seats were comfortable, and it wasn't over crowded.

Each seat also included a map guide and a pair of binoculars.

Our naturalist told us that there were five different types of wildlife we could possibly see: bald eagles, harbor seals, sea lions, orca whales, and humpback whales.

I'm super excited to say that our group actually had the chance to see them all! I didn't get a good shot of the bald eagles, but we did see them first.

We started off with a group of harbor seals. They blend in with the rock very well in the picture, but they are mostly to the middle.

 After we said goodbye to the seals, our guide became incredibly excited because a pod of orca whales was spotted! She told us that this only happens on about 10% of these excursions!

They were "hunting" and it was so cool to see! The pod would come together to help "push" the fish towards the coastline so they were easier to catch.

 Up next on our excursion were the sea lions!

A group of sea lions were hanging out on this buoy and wouldn't let their friends on. It was quite comical to watch and felt a lot Mean Girls..."you can't sit with us"!

Last but not least, we went on search of humpback whales and although our sighting was brief, we did get to see a mom and baby humpback whale swimming together!

Our excursion ended around noon and we decided to go back on the boat, eat lunch, let Brayden nap, then return to Juneau to do a little shopping. This was by far our longest port stop (until 9 p.m. that night), so we made the most of it! 

I LOVED reading the story of the Patsy Ann statue at the port. She was a free spirit and loved watching ships sail in. They ended up burying her at the port and put a statue up in her memory. It was such a sweet (and tear invoking) read!

After nap time, we headed back out to do a little shopping. Our waiter told us that this was the best port for souvenir shopping and he was right! (By that I mean tshirts on the cheaper side, coffee mugs, etc)

I laugh about these Diamonds International buildings (and other jewelry stops) at each port. I never even noticed them in the Caribbean until a couple of years ago.

It was raining fairly hard at the beginning of our shopping tour. We didn't care, though - we just covered up and continued on. I was glad it stopped shortly thereafter, though! 

 Let me also say this - I was incredibly grateful for my North Face jacket. It was definitely my saving grace on this cruise because it was very chilly at every stop. If it was raining, that made it even more so. In this picture, I'm wearing my normal clothing (shirt, jeans, etc) plus a North Face jacket with my rain coat on top. During the really chilly days, I also added gloves and an ear cover!

The flower arrangements were beautiful all over Alaska!

Jason's parents took the same whale watching excursion we took, only later (around 1p.m.). Listening to their stories, it sounds as if they didn't get a chance to see as much wildlife. I hear these whale watching tours are so hit or miss sometimes.

We also missed our "official" dining time that night because we were shopping and Jason's parents missed it because of their excursion, so we met back up on the ship for dinner in the buffet that evening. After dinner, our entire group came together in one of the staterooms to play a the game 10,000 with dice!

We also dropped the two youngest kids off at the kids club for an hour so we could play uninterrupted! :) 

Goodbye, Juneau!

Y'all - I was SO shocked when I went to pick Brayden up at the kids clubs! His face was painted like what a I thought was a tiger, but he informed me it was a "titty tat"! He's never had his face painted before (because I just assumed he wouldn't let anyone do it), so this was a huge surprise (an exciting one at that) to me!

He was so freaking cute and proud of his face! He kept walking in front of the mirror to look at himself and saying "I'm a titty tat"!

My mother in law graciously agreed to put Brayden down for the evening for us so we could watch the Love and Marriage show.

After the show, we grabbed a late night snack (because we could) and sat for a while, just talking about the trip. (A hot dog joint was open until super late every night, so that's where this came from!)

We also went up to Starquest to see the incredible views of Alaska!

This area turns into adult only after 10 p.m. and was quite the happening place that evening!

We had a blast on our Juneau day and loved seeing all the sights! Up next: Skagway and a Musher's Camp!


For recaps from our 7 night Alaskan cruise on board the Radiance of the Seas, check out these links below:
Alaskan Cruise: Travel Day & Boarding the Ship [Part 1] & VLOG
Alaskan Cruise: At Sea Day & Ketchikan [Part 2] & VLOG
Alaskan Cruise: Icy Straight Point [Part 3] & VLOG (Icy Straight Point & Juneau)
Alaskan Cruise: Juneau & Whale Watching [Part 4]
Alaskan Cruise: Skagway & A Musher's Camp [Part 5] & VLOG
Alaskan Cruise: Hubbard Glacier [Part 6] & VLOG
Alaskan Cruise: Seward and Anchorage [Part 7] & VLOG

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