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Old 10-22-2011, 10:43 PM   #436
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I just read your Tracy Arm update -- beautiful!!!! Wow, oh wow. I loved the pics you took with the Carnival ship, it really gives a sense of how HUGE it all is.

Zip-lining looks like a blast! So glad the boys jumped right into it!

I'm very curious to where you are going...I have NO clue, I don't know anything about Alaska!
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Old 10-23-2011, 06:30 AM   #437
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Yeay for another Alaska update!

Skagway is a very cute town -- love the picture of the street with the Wonder at the end of it.

That is a seriously big snow blower!!! I definitely would not want to live somewhere where there is that much snow to blow off the tracks!

The moose puppets are very cute!

I am super impressed that Eric wanted to go first on the ziplining! It reminds me of the ropes course we had to be trained on this summer for that class I was taking. Very similar. I was not the first one to do it, I can assure you.
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Old 10-23-2011, 06:40 PM   #438
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Loving your posts! Thanks for sharing~
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Old 10-23-2011, 08:42 PM   #439
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Yay for zip lining! I had to laugh when you said that the Es didn't weigh enough to go very fast. ME, heck, I'd blink and I'd be on the other side!!! That would definitely "zip"!!!! So was there a height restriction? The height issue is what is holding us back from Universal, want to make sure that Nolyn is tall enough to enjoy the rides... I thought it would be fun to take the boys on the Africa Trek next summer (I talked to Tracy about it) but the age requirement was a problem. Anyhow, your photos are quaint! Really show off the town, or the STREET that is the town! Very picturesque. LOVE that the fog just clings and rolls off the mountains... reminds me of Rainier!
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Old 10-24-2011, 09:28 AM   #440
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I love these stories about kids learning to ride a bike at an "advanced age"

My 13 year old does not ride. He had some sensory issues when he was younger and didn't have any interest in learning. Still doesn't. So consequently, we never went through the bike riding phase with Ben, who is 10.

About a month ago, he came home from his friend's house (across the street) and said "I rode a bike here" Wait. What??? You don't ride a bike!!!

Well, we went out and watched him, and he did ok!

Maybe he will learn to drive that way too!

We do have a bike that is a pinch too small for him (originally intended for Nate years ago), and he has been riding that almost every day! Guess who is getting a bike for Christmas!
Go Ben but OH NO NO NO on the learning to drive that way.

Evan might be getting a bike for Christmas...which would let Eric have his although it's still too small. We will see. Eric needs a piano.

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Originally Posted by brookelizabeth View Post
I just read your Tracy Arm update -- beautiful!!!! Wow, oh wow. I loved the pics you took with the Carnival ship, it really gives a sense of how HUGE it all is.
Aren't those something else? Side by side it's very similar in size to the Wonder and it looks so tiny!

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Originally Posted by brookelizabeth View Post
Zip-lining looks like a blast! So glad the boys jumped right into it!

I'm very curious to where you are going...I have NO clue, I don't know anything about Alaska!
It was a blast! Highly recommend it.

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Originally Posted by Charleston Princess View Post
Yeay for another Alaska update!

Skagway is a very cute town -- love the picture of the street with the Wonder at the end of it.
It is very cute. And small.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Charleston Princess View Post
That is a seriously big snow blower!!! I definitely would not want to live somewhere where there is that much snow to blow off the tracks!

The moose puppets are very cute!

I am super impressed that Eric wanted to go first on the ziplining! It reminds me of the ropes course we had to be trained on this summer for that class I was taking. Very similar. I was not the first one to do it, I can assure you.
Isn't that thing huge? That's some serious snow, no doubt. Although really, in the panhandle, it's not that bad comparatively speaking. Your course sounded intense!!!!!!!!

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Loving your posts! Thanks for sharing~
Thanks!!!!!!

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Yay for zip lining! I had to laugh when you said that the Es didn't weigh enough to go very fast. ME, heck, I'd blink and I'd be on the other side!!! That would definitely "zip"!!!! So was there a height restriction?
Yeah, I didn't have an issue zipping away that's for sure.

Many of the lines have a 70 lb restriction but don't seem to have a height one. Eric was not 70lbs as of the trip, Evan just going over a month or so before so we picked one that didn't have a stated restriction and also said 8 and up, versus the 10 and up of many of the others (with the 70lbs). I didn't see a height restriction on any of them.


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Originally Posted by Happydog View Post
The height issue is what is holding us back from Universal, want to make sure that Nolyn is tall enough to enjoy the rides... I thought it would be fun to take the boys on the Africa Trek next summer (I talked to Tracy about it) but the age requirement was a problem. Anyhow, your photos are quaint! Really show off the town, or the STREET that is the town! Very picturesque. LOVE that the fog just clings and rolls off the mountains... reminds me of Rainier!
We had a girl on our Trek, which Tracy probably mentioned. I can't recall the age requirement but imagine they enforce it. Definitely go when the boys are both old enough, I know the E's would LOVE it.
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Old 10-25-2011, 07:18 PM   #441
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Okay, I have to interrupt this intellectual report to say that I have a visual image of a 50's group in my head - matching yellow turtlenecks and white buckskin shoes - maybe that was early 60's? Smokey Robinson???
Did someone say Smokey Robinson? Just saw him this summer at Hoosier Park in Anderson Indiana...AWESOME!! The 71-year-old-man can still shake it!

http://youtu.be/IjcoESc-mJU

Back on topic...I am LOVING this TR! Would love to take a trip like this sometime. your pics are absolutely beautiful!
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Old 10-25-2011, 10:11 PM   #442
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Did someone say Smokey Robinson? Just saw him this summer at Hoosier Park in Anderson Indiana...AWESOME!! The 71-year-old-man can still shake it!

http://youtu.be/IjcoESc-mJU

Back on topic...I am LOVING this TR! Would love to take a trip like this sometime. your pics are absolutely beautiful!
I remember seeing him on Idol and being VERY impressed. He's still got it for sure.

Thanks so much!!!!!!! I'll get another update up this week, promise!
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:29 AM   #443
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Oooh zip lining looks like so much fun and what an awesome setting for it
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:17 AM   #445
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Friday is our favorite day!

So where did we go to celebrate our successful zipline?
Well…..

Mary Ellen called it.

The Skagway Brewing Company!

I’d actually done a little homework before our trip. Jeff and I, being the good Pacific Northwesterners we are, are semi beer snobs. We like a good microbrewery beer and specifically, a good IPA (India Pale Ale). Which, is not for everyone. No matter, more for us. On the way up to ziplining our wonderful guides had mentioned they could drop folks wherever on the way back. We mentioned where we were thinking about going. You’d have thought we mentioned we were joining their cult. Because apparently, they are fans. BIG time fans. DUDE, that’s so cool, we LOVE that places. We will TOTALLY take you there. Actually we are all going there anyways as this is our last run. Our kids know this about us, in fact my entire family fits into the description of beer snob, geek, whatever you want to call it. Larger family parties are often about who got the coolest most esoteric hardest to procure pony (or whatever the smaller one is called) keg. I digress. Here’s the thing though. Good pubs, with good beer, generally have really good food and are often quite family friendly. I’d done enough research to know this would work for all of us and our kids know enough to realize that they love these places. Not just to eat but…for the homemade rootbeer or sasparilla! Yes…you may recall now that we made such a stop in Vancouver on our way up and the kids shared the joys of a hand crafted root beer with random strangers from Britain. Skagway Brewing Company had rave reviews all around and most importantly (for us) an IPA on tap.

Though this had been discussed on the way to ziplining, it was of course discussed again, on the way down. On our tour, as I think I mentioned, was a dad and his 2 boys (I think they were 13 and 15 maybe?) who live not far from us. His boys got ramped up in the van about the Brewing Company and talked their dad into going there as well.

It has been updated a bit

Then



Now



Notice the sign? “I’m a Lebowski”? Apparently they do a Big Lebowski party that our guides were intimately acquainted with.

Once inside we got settled and placed our orders. Beyond the delights of homemade rootbeer, the boys wanted a snack. Dinner was still a good 3 hours away so…why not! Jeff however kept trying to steal their treat.



Evan looks less than thrilled about Jeff’s actions it doesn’t he!



That reminds me of…MINE MINE MINE!

The adults were equally content



We had the most lovely server. If memory serves, she goes to Western Washington University which is in Bellingham, Wa. Not far from us, we passed through it on the way to Vancouver and had stopped there for lunch on the way back from Whistler just the month prior. She asked us if we were on one of the cruise ships and then “are you on the Disney Cruise?”
We said that yes, in fact we were. She got this big smile and said “Friday is our favorite day!” Before we could ask why, she told us that it was because that was the day the Wonder came into port. Apparently this was her 2nd summer working at the Skagway Brewing Company. When the staff heard Disney was coming they were very apprehensive, expecting tons of spoiled and whining little ones with demanding indulgent parents. She said instead, the Wonder passengers were by far the nicest, most courteous and happiest and just a pleasure to wait on and their children the best behaved! She said it really seemed like the Wonder’s passengers loved their experience onboard and it reflected in their attitudes in port.

She asked what we thought of it and we gave her our glowing reviews of our experience to date. It was such a nice, unsolicited compliment (that she obviously included us in) that it really made our little stop that much more special. Which really was icing on the cake. The beer was very good, the wings outstanding and the rootbeer a perfect old fashioned sarsaparilla style. Knowing we were hop heads (and being a kindred spirit) she suggested we stop at the Red Onion Saloon and try the Harmon IPA which they had at the Red Onion but not at Skagway (who understandably only sold their own beers). “Harmon? “ we asked, we knew of Harmon, it is in Pendleton Oregon. Not what we expected to find in Alaska! Yep. Harmon.

Huh. Well ok...it is a Northwestern Beer at least and with those reviews, we were curious! Mind you we'd had a rather lengthy discussion of the merits of various IPA's, this girl knew her hops and she definitely got us interested. Plus I thought it was cool she'd recommend a "competitor".

With that it was time to head out. A quick stop in the store procured me a new pint glass as my first official souvie of the trip. It wasn’t of the IPA we’d so enjoyed but it referenced the Chilkoot trail which I thought was cool so I picked that one up. Walking back down the main drag we spotted this.

Some of you may recognize this, we sure did.



Rainier Brewing Company (1884–1999) was a Seattle, Washington, company that brewed Rainier Beer, a popular brand in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Although Rainier was founded in 1884, the Seattle site had been brewing beer since 1878. While the beer enjoys near iconic status, it is no longer brewed in Seattle, nor is the company owned locally. In the late 1990s, the company was sold to Stroh's, then to Pabst Brewing Company, though Miller contract brews most of Pabst's beers. The brewery was closed by Pabst in 1999 and sold.

In 2010, Emerald City Beer Company rented and renovated a portion of the building, brewing the first batch of beer from the Old Rainier Brewery in 11 years on September 23. The brewery itself is a well-known fixture in the south end of town, adjacent to I-5 just north of the Spokane Street Viaduct. The plant is also home to the Tully's Coffee headquarters, Bartholomew Winery, Red Soul Motorcycle Fabrications, as well as artist lofts, band practice spaces, and a recording studio. The trademark red neon "R" that sat atop the building was replaced with a green "T" when Tully's was using the plant to roast coffee. The neon "R" is now in the collection of Seattle's Museum of History and Industry.
(Let me tell you, a LOT of people were really upset that anyone would dare replace the R and for me, working at Starbucks at the time, it bordered on sacrilegious!)

Following the repeal of prohibition, the brewery was purchased by Lethbridge, Alberta brewers Fritz and Emil Sick, who then repurchased the Rainier brand and began brewing Rainier in 1935. The brewery went through several names, such as Sick's Seattle Brewing and Malting and Sicks Rainier Brewing Company, during the 1935–1977 period

"Rainier Beer" after the end of Prohibition and its advertisements became ubiquitous in the Seattle-Tacoma area, a rumor began circulating that the brewery's owner, Emil Sick, had bribed a Washington state committee with free beer to name the local mountain "Rainier". This, however, is an urban legend and can still be heard today among Tacoma residents who preferred the alternate name of "Mount Tacoma". Sick did, however, purchase the local baseball team and named them the Seattle Rainiers for this purpose.


What I really remember though, is the ads. The beer, to me, was never memorable. The ads though, pure marketing genius. I can still picture the running of the MFR's!

During the 1970s, Rainier ran a number of memorable television ads in the Pacific Northwest, largely conceived by Seattle designer Terry Heckler, assisted by several of his staff, especially Ed Leimbacher, writer/producer for Rainier print, radio and TV for a dozen years.

Some of these surrealist advertisements noted by Seattle Magazine included the Running of the MFRs (Mountain Fresh Rainiers)(a parody of Running of the Bulls featuring bottles with legs), frogs that croaked "Rainier Beer" (a motif appropriated many years later by Budweiser), Mickey Rooney appeared in several TV ads, most notably a parody of Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald's "Indian Love Call" from the 1936 MGM film "Rose Marie". Mickey was dressed in a Mountie costume alongside his wife Jan as they sang. (most airings of this commercial ended with Rooney pouring a bottle of Rainier into her proffered glass, but occasionally a version was aired in which he poured the beer into her cleavage). A motorcycle that revved "raiiiiiiiii-nieeeeeeeer-beeeeeeeer" while zooming by along a mountain road. (A version of this commercial played on radio featured the sounds of different brands of motorcycles making the "rainier beer" revving sound.)

Other ads featured a Lawrence Welk double (played by actor Pat Harrington Jr.) leading his band in "The Wunnerful Rainier Waltz" complete with bubble machine and soloists blowing on beer bottles, and a performance of a parody of the song "You're the Tops" while thousands of Rainier bottle caps fell like dominoes in a giant "R" frame (the whole commercial was reportedly shot on the first take, a great relief since it took all day to set up). Rainier also produced humorous posters such as a "National Beergraphic" parody of a National Geographic Magazine cover depicting tourists encountering a MFR in the forest, and a Flash Gordon/Star Wars poster, "Fresh Wars" that recalled the bar scene in Episode 4. There were even costumed MFRs that made promotional appearances at Supermarkets during this period.

Other ads featured were due with cultural icons of movies, televisions and spokespeople. Two of the ads were in reference of popular Saturday Night Live skits: one featuring a Gilda Radner lookalike in her role as Roseanne Roseanneadanna in a Weekend Update skit for Rainier Lite commercial. Another was featuring a parody of the Coneheads called the R-Heads, with Rainier 'R' logos on the top of their heads. Two commercials that feature Tarzan where his yell is "Raaaiiinn-iiieeer!". A commercial that features a silhouette of Alfred Hitchcock who morphs into a beer bottle. A commercial that features a John Houseman imitator when Houseman at the time was a spokesperson for McDonald's. Another series features a Lee Iacocca impersonator walking through stacks of beer cans. One last series of commercials was the Rambo like character called "R-bo", played by Dan Roland. The commercials were filmed in three parts; only two of those commercials were aired. The third commercial was never aired, because Rainier Brewery was bought out by another brewing company.

These ads were part of my childhood (sad I know), I can still picture them. So to see rainier bottles was a major WHOA!



There was a cool little blurb about it being distributed during the gold rush, how it got to Alaska and all that. There was even a mock bar next door, wax statues and all!

Northwest beer trivia over, we meandered down. The Red Onion is literally on the end of the street, practically staring at our berth. The E’s were done. Which might imply we’d been out boring them out of their minds during the hour we'd been at the Brewing Company, the reality was…there was a movie they wanted to see that was starting soon. Namely
Cars 2 It had already started. They didn't care.

We really wanted to try that IPA.

Evan asked, “why can’t we just go get on the ship and you guys have your beer?”

Well…

“Pretty sure you can’t just get on without us dude”

“Can we try?”


“Pretty sure you can’t just get on without us dude”

“Can we try?”


“Pretty sure you can’t just get on without us dude”

“Can we try?”


We are talking maybe 3 blocks total from the Red Onion, to the ship and really only one of it in town, the rest is dockfront, just walking around to the gangway. We can see the ship. We have a phone on us. Because we are in Alaska, it actually works. Sure there will be roaming but both calling and texting work. Jeff’s phone is in the stateroom and they can call us using that. With Evan, there are times I give up. He has to learn the hard way. I could tell him the sky is blue in 10 different ways and he is convinced it is green, until he sees for himself that actually it is blue. I've learned to pick my battles and this one well....

After a consult we decided…what the heck. If they can’t get back on, they come back. We were having 1 beer, it’s not like we are planning a night out. Besides, at most we only had 1.5 hours left in port before the ship left and really only we had an hour at best to spend to allow enough time to get ready for dinner. If they got on, more power to them. Evan is in 7th grade, we do let him babysit…within limits. Part of the joy of this cruise for them was testing freedom, and having more than usual due to the safe nature of the environment. I know not all will agree with the fact that we let them go.

But we did.

And guess what.

They got on.

I REALLY didn't expect them to pull it off! I mean they had their KTTW cards, which show their pictures when scanned but it did surprise me.

And called us, per strict instructions, to confirm they’d made it on and were in fact headed to the movie and would be taking a wave phone with them.

As for us, we were here



Thanks random website that I stole this photo from…actually the website is called top beer bars! Pretty funny as it’s the only reason we stopped by there.



Built in 1897, The Red Onion was the classiest dance hall and saloon in the bustling gold rush town of Skagway. Our upstairs bordello consisted of 10 cribs (or rooms). Each crib was very small in size, but elaborately decorated. The cribs all had 2 or 3 doors for escape purposes and temperature control. A weary miner could wander into the Red Onion for a taste of “liquid courage” and a dance or two with a beautiful lady. When the time came to cure his thirst for some love and affection, the anxious gentleman would choose his girl in a very unique way. Behind the bar were 10 dolls that represented the 10 girls upstairs. As each customer would choose a doll of his choice, the bartender would then lay the doll on her back, indicating that that girl was “busy”. Once the gentleman came back down the stairs, the doll was sat upright so every customer in the bar knew that she was once again available.

Oh my!

They have a Brothel Museum.

“One of our lovely Madams will take you on a tour of the upstairs and tell you stories of the famous women who endured the Klondike Gold Rush while helping the miners quench more than their thirst. You may even catch a glimpse of Lydia, our resident ghost.”

The madams were walking around and a tour starting but we just had our one beer, as planned. I have to say…the Harmon IPA was amazing, it ranks up there with one of our favorite IPA’s ever.

With that, it was time to head back to the ship and check on some boys. We ALL had dates to get ready for!
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:57 AM   #446
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Fascinating stuff about the beers!!
And the Red Onion!!! Oh my - what a history!

Sounds like the boys did well! Getting older and trying out new responsibilities is something we're starting to deal with here now too. DH and Sarah walked up to Target last week, but they had the dog, so DH stayed outside and sent Sarah in to buy two things. She did it "all by hereself"! She was very proud.
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:37 AM   #447
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Fascinating stuff about the beers!!
And the Red Onion!!! Oh my - what a history!

Sounds like the boys did well! Getting older and trying out new responsibilities is something we're starting to deal with here now too. DH and Sarah walked up to Target last week, but they had the dog, so DH stayed outside and sent Sarah in to buy two things. She did it "all by hereself"! She was very proud.
They did do well. In retrospect I am very glad we allowed them to try. With middle school a lot more is being asked of Evan in every way and this was a good practice run.

I let the boys walk to the mini market...they LOVE that! This summer Evan was able to go, solo, to meet friends at houses, our towne center and really expand his radius. I was a nervous wreck (he'd be on his bike or scooter) but it was time. This was far safer than that. LOL!

I think Jeff is still a little bummed he didn't get a t-shirt from the Skagway brewing co, though he made up for it later in the trip.
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:42 AM   #448
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Yeah, maybe it's a good thing the boys didn't tour the Red Onion with you.

All in all, it sounds like a great day in Skagway though!

When we have trouble reaching agreement with our kids, (and particularly James), we say "what color is the sky?" When they say "blue", we say "well, at least we can agree on something!"
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Old 10-28-2011, 12:33 PM   #449
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Yeah, maybe it's a good thing the boys didn't tour the Red Onion with you.

All in all, it sounds like a great day in Skagway though!

When we have trouble reaching agreement with our kids, (and particularly James), we say "what color is the sky?" When they say "blue", we say "well, at least we can agree on something!"
No kidding! I knew it was a historic bordello but really didn't consider the, uh, "art" inside (both the art on the walls and the "tour guides"). Evan would have noticed.

I may steal that "what color is the sky". Sounds like a great diffuser!
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Old 10-28-2011, 12:48 PM   #450
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All in all, it sounds like a great day in Skagway though!

When we have trouble reaching agreement with our kids, (and particularly James), we say "what color is the sky?" When they say "blue", we say "well, at least we can agree on something!"
When we said " the sky is blue." DD would give us " no, it's not," before even looking up.

DS - would remark with what shade of blue, and perhaps the percentage of blue.

We called DD Mary - as in Mary , Mary quite contrary because she would also get on a "NO" jag. We would stop with " Do you want some candy?" right in the middle of the questions. That was when she was early Elementary school though.
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