Don’t Juneau? July 4, 2019

It’s the 4th of July and another town to visit – but first a scenic cruise through the Tracy Arm. I had talked to the boat guide before today and she had recommended getting up early to go sit on the deck and watch for wildlife.

I was up at 6am and out by 620 to claim a spot on the deck and grab a blanket (note: normally on decks they have “towel” areas – on this cruise they were blankets instead!). There werent many people on the deck so I did a few laps and then hunkered down. Shortly after I settled along a railing Julie came to hang. We went to an early breakfast to fill our staomaches before the scenic cruise really got underway. I found caramel rolls this day – and Julie found crab cake benefits – from now forward we believed “We are living our best lives.”

We sat under blankets on sun chairs to stay warm during the cruise. Shortly after we got back Becca joined us under more blankets and we just enjoyed the view and some small talk. Becca ended up treating us to some hot cocoa in these smoke stack mugs!

After the scenic cruise we went up to play trivia again. Of course we didnt win – but we had fun and a small gang of us had started to show up for each trivia event. After trivia we got the gang together for lunch. Julia believes she is getting a cold so she ended up sleeping all morning but joined us to fill her belly!

After our group lunch (we are now over 7 for the usual gang) we all went to get ready to get off the ship for the afternoon. Julia went back to bed and I got on my shoes – packed a full bottle of water and headed out. I didnt really have an agenda – but so many people were going on excursions I just wanted to go see the town.

I typed “hike” into google and found a peak called Mt. Roberts with a hike to the top. You can take a gondola to the top – but I opted to hike it….Im not quite sure what I was thinking.

It was about a 35 m inute walk from the boat to the trailhead through town. Most of the walk was up hill – luckily it was gradual. When I got to the trailhead there were a few people in cars who were getting ready to climb as well. I let them all pass me, they looked serious about this hike and that should have been my first sign.

I set off and the woods were just beautiful. However, after about 5 minutes I realized that even though it looked beautiful I was in for it. The amount of flies attacking me lead me to believe I was smelly and the hike just kept getting progressively harder. Google feedback had said it was about a 45 minute walk up – ALL LIES!! It ended up taking me about 1.5 hours. Slow and steady though! I was so darn thirsty. I had a full 32oz water bottle but stopping let the flies attack more easily so I just trekked along .

I had originally thought I would walk back down – and I would have if the flies werent attacking! I had finally made it to the top – came up the backside of the building of the gondola! I was very happy to see this building. I went inside the building to buy a ticket down, but ended up sitting down and drinking some water first. The ticket down was $10 OR you could spend $10 in the shop and get down for free – so of course, I spent $10.

The easy way down

I met a handful of cruise passengers from Olivia on the gondola down – we are everywhere! I had texted Julia to meet me so we could walk the town and she could get the millions of postcards needed to fulfill her list of people to send them to. After we acquired said postcards we headed back to the boat to relax before dinner.

She got off the boat!

Our group all got back together at 8pm for dinner. Some were late because their tours went late. I was pretty happy with this meal today – french onion soup!! Im pretty sure we all ended up crashing after dinner – it was a long exhausting day for all of us!

Is my love for traveling increasing Global Warming?

I was talking with a friend for a brief minute yesterday, explaining how many of my flights have been delayed or canceled in the last week – and he said – “Oh, well thats climate change!” And thats when it hit me – I do so much to reduce my single use plastics, I recycle every last thing I can – BUT I fly, more than the average person. And guess what Google told me? Aviation travel accounts for up to 3.5% of carbon emissions world wide – well POOEY!! I LOVE to fly. I love to see the world and broaden my horizons.

I continued to research via my handy dandy Google search bar and discovered Im not the only person feeling this way and in fact the top 4 results were all written in the last 7 months – and that is almost proving my “Im not alone” theory. What I also thought about is “What the heck is the airline industry doing about this?” I can tell you for sure – not a whole lot!

If you look at their day to day activities – much of what they use on planes is single use plastic – the cups, the silverware, the little bags all that stuff is in, the plastic from the blankets, the plastic coated documents in the seat back, etc. Sadly, that isnt all. They also (maybe not Southwest?) reward you for taking the LONG way when it comes to getting status. Thats right, instead of trying to get people from point A to point B without waste – you are rewarded for the amount of segments you take and the amount of miles you fly. (And then most of the airlines now require you to spend a certain amount of money as well)

What if they changed something? What if they rewarded you for taking direct flights? And penalized you for taking a layover. I am often willing to take a layover because it means I get more segments and more miles because of the random place I have to stop. If American said “If you fly direct you will get a 25% bonus,” that to me would be worth the extra dollars it cost me to go direct. I mean, lets be real, if I hated that I could always book one way tickets to get around that – but it would cost me a WHOLE LOT more money. Someone could do some statistical analysis and find out that either “status” grabbers are booking layovers to get or keep status OR that it has no effect at all; but my guess is that the first would ring true. Many of my friends go for mileage runs, that now (depending on who they are trying to get status with) includes segment runs as well.

While the airlines are doing that – you would think that they could stop being so damn cheap with their baggage fees and fee based food systems and switch completely to canned only drinks (Southwest uses canned water). Removing the plastic cups from circulation would provide so much less waste. And “you can recycle plastic cups” is NOT the same as recycling aluminum. Aluminum can be made into cans a million times – plastic not so much. It doesnt break down and it doesnt recycle the same way that metals do.

So this little no named traveler is challenging the airlines to come up with something better. Do better. Be better. Challenge us to do better. We can do better!!

Other articles:

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2019/1/11/18177118/airlines-climate-change-emissions-travel

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2019/jan/26/why-i-only-take-one-holiday-flight-a-year-climate-change

Last Day in Venice

Well today was overcast when we first headed out, we made reservations for a Grand Canal tour in the evening, so we wanted to get to Murrano and see the glass blowing factories. But first dad had to buy more Murrano glass from the shops, for gifts. After that we headed back to the hotel to drop off the stuff then headed to the water bus. We got on the water bus, and headed over, its so cool to take boats everywhere, and not see a car in days!!

Murrano was cool, a small version of Venice, but today is a holiday, so almost everything was closed. All the big factories were closed, and we just happened to get mixed up with a tour, and get a private show! It was soo cool, the guy made a vase and a horse, all of a sudden, boom, a horse!

After Murrano we headed back to our room, because as soon as we got back to Venice it started pouring. We decided to head back to the room for a little bit, maybe 30 minutes, and clean up, then we wanted to go feed the pigeons (which they used to sell feed in the square, but now, its illegal to feed them everywhere except St. Marks). It was still raining after our break, so we sat in the hotel lobby and wished the rain to stop. I went and bought an umbrella, and as soon as I did, it stopped raining. We headed over to the tour.

The tour was cool, we got a history lesson and a beautiful photo taking oppertunities. I was able to use my self timer and take a picture of dad and I infront of the oldest bridge. It was really cool.

As soon as we got back to St. Marks we went to feed the pigeons! It was sooo cool, the birds loved dad, I got some really cool pictures of them eating out of dads hands. I had like 3 birds on my arm at once, it was sooo cool! But as soon as we got done feeding the birds it started to rain again. So dad and I headed back to the hotel to eat dinner. I had a screaming french kid kicking me most of the dinner, so that sucked, but the food was good. Now we are just watching CNN International getting ready for bed!

We go to Sorrento tomorrow! Yeah!