Cruising through Seward, Alaska

After an awesome time in Denali, we took a long drive down to Seward for some totally different, but equally amazing scenery. The drive was long, beautiful, and a bit painful due to my having some unknown stomach sickness. We made a few stops along the way, one of the most lovely was at Beluga Point, which offers a lovely view and cold winds that will have you running back to your car. We had an excellent experience in Seward. I’m sure it’s impossible not to love this place!

Near Beluga Point. On the way to Seward.

Seward: Day 1

The pier in Seward

Arrival

Even if I was suffering the whole way to Seward, that didn’t stop me from being super excited when we arrived. As we were driving towards our accommodations, I noticed something moving out on the water. I showed the first sign of life all day when I saw it again and shouted “I think I see a whale!!” Once I had everyone’s attention, we all stopped and gazed out as the whale again rolled just above the surface of the water. It was really incredible. I don’t think that seeing a whale will ever not be an amazing and humbling experience.  We had worried about not getting to see whales, but we saw plenty while we were here!  My family had dinner without me since I wasn’t feeling up to it. They went to a place called Thorne’s Showcase Lounge, which my dad described as “like eating dinner in Elvis’s library”. They split a Bucket of Butt (Halibut), and said it was pretty darn delicious. I stayed in and took in the spectacular view from our room.

View of Resurrection Lodge on the Bay from the shoreline

Resurrection Lodge on the Bay

Resurrection Lodge was a major contender for my favorite place that we stayed in Alaska. It is a little ways out-of-town, but it was so beautiful and the room was so nice it made up for it. Our view was to die for. We could see Resurrection Bay in all its glory. If you looked out the window long enough, you might see a whale, or some sea otters playing around, or an eagle, or a giant cruise ship filled with tourists. There was so much life right out your window. It was hard to be unhappy at this place.

The view from our room.

Day 2: Still sick, but others have fun

My Day at the Seward Community Health Center

At this point I was having pointed stomach pains, so my Mother and I went to the Seward Community Health Center to make sure I wasn’t dying. Most stomach issues I can handle, but you should never ignore stomach pains. It could indicate a very real problem that shouldn’t be ignored. Turns out I was alright. The lesson is, when you are traveling, if you start to feel sick, don’t be afraid to see a doctor. They can help you get better so that you can get back to enjoying your trip. If you ignore the problem, you may end up prolonging it and end up ruining your trip. I had a wildlife cruise to be on the following day, so I was pretty darn determined to get better. After some professional advice and a trip to the store for some meds and super bland food, I spent the rest of the day resting and recovering and staring longingly out the window.

 

Exit Glacier

The Adventures of my Kin

While my mother and I were lying around and seeing doctors, my father and brother were off seeing Seward. They took a hike from our lodging to the Tonsina Creek Trail. They didn’t complete the trail, but said it was a nice wooded trail that leads to (you guessed it) Tonsina Creek. The trail-head is near Lowell Point. The trail is about 3 miles long, and is a gradual climb through lots of trees. After the hike, they went over to Red’s Burger Bus for lunch. It’s basically a school bus that was converted into a dining area. They gave the food 3 out of 5 stars. After lunch they went to Exit Glacier, which you need to drive to from Seward. It’s not far, though. They LOVED the trails, and said it was a really awesome experience. We made another stop to see it when we left Seward so that Mom and I could see the glacier. It really is beautiful. The  view-point gives you an excellent panorama of the glacier. After walking near glaciers, they headed back into Seward for dinner at Ray’s where they enjoyed cedar plank salmon and crab cakes, and made me wish that my stomach worked properly.

Day 3: I can live again

Though not 100% better, I was able to eat small amount of food and go longer periods of time without needing a bathroom, so this was my day. This was the day we were going out on the water to see some (MORE!) wildlife. It seriously never got old. We went with Major Marine Tours and chose their Wildlife Cruise. There are SO many options for boat tours in Seward. I doubt that any of them are bad. Just floating on the water in a tiny fishing boat would probably be awesome. My dad and brother payed extra for the salmon and prime rib buffet that was served shortly into the trip. My mom and I didn’t think we would get our moneys worth, so we just tried their food and packed our lunches. That was a good plan for us, but if you have a fully functioning stomach, pay extra for the buffet. It’s so worth it.

Our Major Marine Cruise

We saw so much of Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords from aboard the Star of the Northwest(our ship). There are several glaciers, which were smaller than I imagined. I spotted at least four or five whales, which was amazing. There are so. many. birds. Kittiwakes, which are basically Alaskan sea gulls were everywhere. We saw multiple bald eagles and felt fiercely American in their majestic presence. My personal favorite were the puffins, horned and tufted, which were described as flying potatoes. When I saw one fly, it sure did look like a little potato flapping its wings desperately(they aren’t awesome flyers, but rather awesome divers). I never got a good picture of puffins because they are so small and never seem to sit still. We also saw some Stellar Sea Lions, which are an endangered species. On another beach we saw some Harbor Seals that were flopped out like little sausages. Apparently there were some Dall Porpoise swimming around, but I missed them. Too fast! We even saw some mountain goats on one of the more mountainous shorelines. It was also really cool to see some old World War II structures on the shore and on islands in the Bay. I wasn’t too familiar with the role that Alaska playing during the war, but now I am aware. Look it up. It’s interesting stuff. If you are interested in taking a day cruise while in Seward, check out Major Marine Tours. You can find the package that we purchased here. Obama used Major Marine as his tour company when he visited Seward, and that’s a ringing endorsement if I ever heard one.

Stellar Sea Lions

 

Harbor Seals

That’s all folks

Such concludes my time in Seward! I will definitely have to return again when I am feeling less terrible. I still enjoyed it to the best of my abilities! It’s really an incredible experience. We didn’t make it to the Alaska Sealife Center, but we heard that it was an excellent experience, so I’m going to go ahead and recommend it if you have time. I will definitely check it out next time I’m in Seward.

Our next stop was in Girdwood as we headed back to Anchorage. My next post will be all about our inland adventures in Girdwood! Look forward to it! If you haven’t already, check out my other Alaska related posts about my time in Palmer and in Denali!

 

 

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