For those of you not familiar with my family, we're not what you'd call "outdoors types." The only time we camped growing up was when my brother and I somehow convinced my dad to buy a tent, which he then put in our backyard, only to have me run back to the house after an hour because there were bugs. Money well spent.
We're also not "cruise people." Motion sickness + being trapped at sea with the elderly and an endless buffet of mediocre food is pretty much all of our worst nightmares combined.
It's a miracle, then, that my family collectively chose an Alaskan cruise (after a year of indecision) as our big trip together in 2012. I know a lot of people who are also very anti-cruise, but let me tell you -- this is the only way to see the inner passage of Alaska. (Literally, the islands are only accessible by boat and boat planes.) Cruising through Glacier Bay is also pretty much the only way to see this stunning national park. Not to mention, there's no better way to exercise than running on a treadmill while watching whales and dolphins swim by in front of you. Much better than my usual viewing of "Access Hollywood" at the gym. Sorry, not sorry, Mario.
But the trip wasn't all treadmills and whales (new band name?). We disembarked the ship almost daily to go on excursions like a bike & brew around glaciers, a zodiac ride through orca territory and a hike through the Tongass National Forest. Along the way there were bald eagle sightings, bear encounters and a smelly trek by a salmon stream. We even caught thousands of sunbathing seals (album name?) at Glacier Bay.
Since this vacation was hands down one of my favorites (thanks Mom and Dad!), a trip to Iceland was a no-brainer. I'm excited to experience glaciers, icebergs, whales, and epic waterfalls all over again in a totally new place!