|The colorful old buildings above the creek in Ketchikan, Alaska
1. We both remained healthy and well on this cruise.
|John and I smiling in front of a waterfall in Tracy Arm Inlet
2. We live on a beautiful planet.
|The stunningly blue South Sawyer Glacier
3. We share this beautiful planet with a variety of wildlife. (We saw brown bears--which is the Alaskan way of saying grizzly bears! We saw a great white shark! We saw bald eagles, humpback whales, harbor seals, sea otters, deer, crab, octopus, and who knows what else I'm forgetting at the moment.)
|A bald eagle in flight
4. That history can come to life as we learn about interesting individuals. Skagway does a great job of telling the story of Soapy Smith, for example.
|An animatronic Soapy Smith stands at a bar in Jeff Smith's Parlor Museum in Skagway
5. That everyone is interesting and has a story to tell. I was as fascinated with the life of Martin Itjen, the man who helped preserve the history of Skagway, as I was with Soapy Smith.
|Martin Itjen's grave. He was buried under the "World's Largest Gold Nugget" which he had installed years prior to his death.
6. Number 5 again, but this time with the crew of the Aleutian Ballard. I hadn't watched Deadliest Catch before I booked the Bering Strait Fisherman's Crab Tour, but that episode where they got caught by a rogue wave was not even the most amazing story I heard on board.
|John and I with a couple of guys from the crew onboard the Aleutian Ballard
7. And number 5 one more time. Before we departed on the cruise, we visited with my parents. My dad was reading "The Kimes Gang," by Michael Koch, and had fun sharing stories with us from that book. The leader of that notorious gang, Matt Kimes, was so charming that he was allowed a furlough from prison to go quail hunting! He might have been charming, but he also realized an opportunity when it presented itself, and unsurprisingly, did not return to prison after his recess.
8. That climate varies from one location to another. My skin rehydrated in Alaska. I suggested to John that I just need to go visit a humid place on a regular basis. :-)
|The "Liquid Sunshine" gauge in Ketchikan. From my personal experience, it always rains in Ketchikan.
9. That we received an incredible surprise on the cruise. Upon return to our stateroom one night, we found a card informing us that we had received a free future cruise. Skeptical but curious, we attended the informational meeting. (Cruises don't have timeshares, right?) We learned that in celebration of Holland America's 150th birthday, 150 guests were selected to receive a free cruise, up to 14 days, and we were given a long list of cruises to choose from. So, we will be cruising with Holland America again next year. We still can't believe we were so lucky.
10. For John, who I can say with confidence would go to the ends of the earth with me.
I could add so many more, but I'll let you have a turn. What are you thankful for? Leave a comment, and feel free to link up your own post on the Ten Things of Thankful blog hosted by Dyanne and her co-hosts!