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Old 11-23-2011, 10:16 AM   #526
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So - congrats to Kendall for another successful soccer season. Nick's HS team did not make the states this year, but we were able to hold many of the games at his school and make some serious $$$$$$$. I have NEVER made so much hot chocolate in my life. It was actually nice to have the pressure off during the state tournament.
That's cool! The concessions at K's home stadium are run by the local Kiwanis. Ours is by the school but not really sure how it works since we share the stadium. We definitely contributed to all of them, the boys and Jeff consumed a lot of hot tea, I consumed a lot of tea! It was expensive though...I miss the days when students got in for free.

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Your Neck - I have neck issues too which is why I get a lot of headaches. But I have a friend, younger than me, who got to the point where she couldn't turn her head and her MRI showed several herniated discs. She is now recovering from surgery. It scares me because it shows something seemingly benign can be something not so good. I hope you recover quickly, but I would seriously have an x-ray/mri if not.
Yikes! I had an MRI back in 2004 related to the original injury, just one of those dumb things.. fell while skiing and landed just wrong. That showed 2 irritated discs, but not herniated. We don't know right now it that's really an issue, or if soemthing is changed, or if it's deferred pain or what. It's both neck and shoulder and they may or may not be related. Chiro thinks so, Osteo not so sure but they do think it's muscular/skeletal not nerve, which is good. If things don't improve in 3 weeks I will likely be getting new images. I am seeing an ENT on Monday for the headaches/sinuses (and he's wanting a CT scan) so who knows what is really causing what! Necks do scare me. After the friday major seize up it did drive me in to take a deeper look. So far no new news but at least we can feel we are double checking.

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Your update - what a cool town! Love it! Great pictures! What a wonderful way to spend the afternoon. I did not realize you could only enter by land or sea. Interesting!
It also means really food high prices for anyone who lives there (most of Alaska actually)! The cruise ships are a major source of goods coming in.

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Great date night!!! How lucky that you ended up seated with that family and it worked out so well for you to all have your nights out. Do you still keep in touch with them? Facebook?
We've emailed a couple of times but do need to do the Facebook connect. They were wonderful! Very Very lucky.


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Your dinner at Palo sounds and looks spectacular!
It was!

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I actually hadn't read your previous update either so I got two for one this morning!! Alaska is so beautiful!! I hope the weather continued to clear up! I loved the update about all the date nights!

It really is stunning up there!

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Sorry to hear about your neck. I've been going to a chiro for a few years now & it helps a lot. My mom used to go there & it was a little scary to see my x-rays next to hers... My neck was showing the early signs of what she is dealing with. She needed to go to the chiro so frequently she couldn't afford it. Now she's had surgery & cortisone injections in her neck. That keeps me motivated to continue with the chiro. The boys come with me & get adjusted too... Alex has major constipation issues (like he only goes to the bathroom once a week ) but he always goes right after a visit to the chiro! I think he should go more often! We also find we get fewers colds because it fine tunes our immune systems.
Oh your poor mom! That would keep me motivated as well. Evan is going once a week to help resolve some heel issues and it seems to be helping, PT did a ton for it, now if I could get him to keep doing what they taught him, it would really help! Insurance covers a lot of it, (to a point and there is a yearly max of visits) but all those small copays really add up quickly when you have several people doing it. I really wish just the Chiro was showing more improvement. I am NOT looking forward to physical therapy. I've watched both Evan and Kendall go through it and it's not fun. The biggest bummer is that my insurance won't cover massage, even though both the Chiro and the Osteo have prescribed it.
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Old 11-23-2011, 11:16 AM   #527
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awesome job on spotting hte bald eagles, they are beautiful animals.
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:57 PM   #529
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Old 11-23-2011, 11:39 PM   #530
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Yeah, no fun. I'm a bit bummed I haven't seen more improvement from the chiro but really looking forward to the massage tomorrow. The one tomorrow will be great but she's not really trained for orthopedic massage so it will be a bit temporary but still...will help me enjoy Thanksgiving!
I the massage therapist at the Chiro. She will be able to fix just about anything. She really listens and does it so I do not hurt the next day.

I hope it gets you through Thanskgiving.
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Old 11-23-2011, 11:41 PM   #531
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Happy Thanksgiving to you and your beautiful family, Cynthia.

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Old 11-25-2011, 02:00 PM   #532
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I the massage therapist at the Chiro. She will be able to fix just about anything. She really listens and does it so I do not hurt the next day.

I hope it gets you through Thanskgiving.
She was amazing, spent close to 2 hours on me! Definitely got me through the day (and allowed me to roll out the pie crust!) though the cold kicked up a notch overnight so I'm pretty icky today. All the coughing is not helping the neck.

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Happy Thanksgiving to you and your beautiful family, Cynthia.

thank you Kathy! I hope yours was wonderful.
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:18 AM   #533
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Sorry to hear about your neck and back trouble! I am sure it is miserable, and I hope it starts to feel better soon.

Cool eagle sightings!!! I didn't know that Juneau could only be reached by air and sea -- neat trivia! Looks like a great stroll around the town and hot chocolate is always a plus!

Can't wait for your big excursion!
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Old 11-26-2011, 12:21 PM   #534
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Sorry to hear about your neck and back trouble! I am sure it is miserable, and I hope it starts to feel better soon.

Cool eagle sightings!!! I didn't know that Juneau could only be reached by air and sea -- neat trivia! Looks like a great stroll around the town and hot chocolate is always a plus!

Can't wait for your big excursion!
thanks Jackie! It will, it's just a bit of a longer haul than I'd hoped (isn't that always the case!). Moral of the story is procrastination will catch up...even if it's 9 years later!

There were so many neat things to do in Juneau excursion wise and the town itself was cute. We really liked it! The eagles were such a wonderful surprise. We are a bit spoiled as we see them all the time here at home but still, it was pretty darn cool.
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Old 11-26-2011, 02:38 PM   #535
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I stopped by to see if you were updating again. I know, I'm impatient. But the bonus was Mickey2000's wonderful pictues. WOW!

Hope you had a great thanksgiving and that your neck is feeling better!
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:19 PM   #536
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Took me awhile to find the time to read your life update and hot chocolate post.

Sorry to hear about all of the injuries! I can only imagine how hard it is for you to try to get everything done, and drive everyone where they need to be, when you can't turn your head! Hope you are feeling better soon.

Loved the pictures from Juneau. What an amazingly beautiful state. I love the pictures of the bald eagles. And of the port.

Did you get to sample any of the stellar hot chocolate? Mmmmm.
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:53 AM   #537
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Hope you're feeling a bit better and that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Congratulations to Kendall. That's really exciting.

Juneau looks really interesting. I didn't know that you could only access it via water or air. You got more great pictures, too.
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Old 11-27-2011, 07:22 PM   #539
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I stopped by to see if you were updating again. I know, I'm impatient.
Hope you had a great thanksgiving and that your neck is feeling better!
Neck is a bit better, thanks. Working on the update today, I realized I hadn't edited that far in my pics so had a bit of work to do. I hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving as well!

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Took me awhile to find the time to read your life update and hot chocolate post.

Sorry to hear about all of the injuries! I can only imagine how hard it is for you to try to get everything done, and drive everyone where they need to be, when you can't turn your head! Hope you are feeling better soon.
Thankfully the turning radius is better, though I'm minimizing activities that require it to turn!

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Loved the pictures from Juneau. What an amazingly beautiful state. I love the pictures of the bald eagles. And of the port.

Did you get to sample any of the stellar hot chocolate? Mmmmm.
No sampling, coffee for me! It really is beautiful

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Hope you're feeling a bit better and that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Congratulations to Kendall. That's really exciting.

Juneau looks really interesting. I didn't know that you could only access it via water or air. You got more great pictures, too.
Thanks Tina! I hope you had a wonderful one as well.
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Old 11-27-2011, 07:29 PM   #540
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Enchanted

Heading back to the ship ,which with the wait for the shuttle took far longer than we’d hoped, we began to get very excited about our upcoming adventure. In planning for the trip our chosen excursions had gone through a variety of iterations. First, Jeff and I had chosen 3, one for each port, all to be a surprise. Then later we decided to let the boys in on it and have a say. Everyone stack ranked the options (the narrowed down options mind you, there are at least 30 excursions per port to choose from) and we ended up making some changes. The one thing that never changed, always came in first was our Juneau choice. We knew that in one port we wanted a seaplane excursion. Ketchikan had some nice options that were quite a bit less dollar wise but bang for the buck, this one always came out on top.

Enchanted Taku Glacier Lodge Flight and Feast

Here’s the description.
  • Begin with warm Southeast Alaskan greetings and transfer to the downtown floatplane docks, where aircraft assignments and pilot introductions will follow.
  • Start your Alaskan experience as you take off from the Juneau waterfront near your ship's berth. Fly for approximately 30 minutes in a nostalgic floatplane where everyone enjoys an unrestricted window view and narration. View 5 breathtaking glaciers (both advancing and receding) on your way to the wilderness lodge. Awe at the deep blue crevasses of the Juneau Icefield and snow-capped mountains, cascading waterfalls and lush forests.
  • Land on the Taku River, your "runway" at the Taku Lodge. This historic lodge was built in 1923 directly across from the picturesque Hole-In-The-Wall Glacier, one of the few advancing glaciers in Alaska. This glacier sits amid the untouched Tongass National Forest. Shortly after your arrival, the aroma of fresh Wild Alaska King Salmon tells you the feast is about to begin. Your salmon entrée will be complimented with all homemade side dishes, including actual glacier ice to cool your drinks. This Alaskan meal is presented with an elegant rustic charm.
  • While enjoying your meal, your host will entertain you with stories of Taku Lodge's colorful past and characters, like Mary Joyce and her famous 1,000 mile dog sled trip that put the Taku Lodge on the Alaska map. This unique lodge is decorated with old dog sleds, hunting and trapping gear, furs and other Alaskan memorabilia.
  • Continue the tradition of Disney story-telling as you meet the Alaska Pioneer character Mary Joyce, as she brings history to life. Children will delight with the stories by the crackling fire and props, while adults will enjoy the authenticity of this fascinating Alaskan character.
  • Choose from a variety of optional activities after your meal. Wander the well-maintained trails of the old growth forest independently, explore a guided interpretative nature walk or relax with a beverage and soak in the serenity of a place scarcely touched by time.
  • Keep an eye out for the black bears that can't resist the aroma of fresh grilled Alaskan King Salmon. Note: While common in 70% of the visits, bear sightings cannot be guaranteed.
  • Conclude your approximate 2-hour visit to the lodge, an experience of a lifetime, with an additional 30-minute flight back to Juneau.

Really, who could resist that! We couldn’t. It would eat up all of our excursion budget, meaning no excursion in Ketchikan but collectively we decided it was worth it. Or at least in theory it was. We were about to find out.

As before we met up in Wavebands and were assigned our stickers, we also had to fill out cards that included our weight info. Our group headed out, we were going right back to the shuttle drop off but at least this time we were in our own van, not the ship shuttle so things went quickly. Soon, we were here!



It took a bit but they divided the groups up into plane assignments. It looked like we’d have 4 planes full of folks, each plane seating about 8 I think. As you might imagine in the smaller planes, they have to have the weight evenly distributed…hence the card question. We had a lot of fun trying to guess what color plane we’d be getting.



Blue!



Soon we boarded and you know who made a beeline to the cockpit.







The E’s and I settled in







We watched the other planes take off

Red



Green



And then it was our turn!

You wear headphones for the entire trip, which provides a wonderful narration of what you are seeing (and tones down plane noise at the same time).

Taxiing out…today there were two Celebrity ships in, and the Carnival ship…all who had a closer berth than we did.

]

And the Wonder…SO much prettier!





Everyone was pretty mesmerized





Soon we were up, up and over the Wonder!











And with that, we were off flightseeing!



That’s one of the main roads in Juneau….apparently it just stops at each end, can’t go any further



Continued in next post
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