Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Vacation Pix (Don't Yawn Yet!): Alaska & The Pacific Northwest

LG and The Wife (and four friends) recently completed an 11-day vacay to Seattle, Oregon, Alaska and Victoria, British Columbia.

Here for your viewing pleasure are some snaps from said vacay, along with LG's patented snarky commentary (call it "Snarkentary" if you must...) The Wife already posted many photos on Facebook, so she somewhat stole LG's thunder, but that's OK, she doesn't have the snarkentary.  

Some of LG's comments are truthful and will cause you to get your learn on, while others are total BS creations of his imagination which he wrote just to amuse himself. Sort of like he amuses himself by referring to himself in the third person on The LG Report blog. To help you out, LG labeled the captions as true or BS. You're welcome.  

P.S. The above is not BS. Again, the BS will be labeled.   

Now LG advises you sit back and enjoy, as you are transported to the magical land of the Pacific Northwest (and, best of all, airport and tourist taxes are being waived...)

This is the Space Needle in Seattle, created for the 1962 World's Fair. That World's Fair was also the setting for the Elvis movie, "It Happened at the World's Fair." (True).  As you probably know, the Space Needle has now been specially retrofitted to inject opiods into any invading space aliens (BS). Seattle was experiencing a near-record 52nd straight day of no measurable rain when LG and The Wife visited (True).  

The Seattle tour bus stopped at Chinook's, a restaurant where they serve "Jersey Chowder." LG grew up in NJ and lives there now and has never heard of "Jersey Chowder." Apparently, it's half New England Clam Chowder and half Manhattan Clam Chowder. One thing did make it "Jersey Chowder" however; LG found one of Jimmy Hoffa's fingers in his cup. Wedding ring still attached. (Ok, BS, but had you for a second there...) 

That's the "Seattle Eye" Ferris wheel on the city's waterfront. (True) It's like the famous London Eye, except that it's not as big, or as impressive, and it's a blatant rip-off of the London original. We later visited Seattle's Medium Ben clock tower and the Lloyd's of Seattle insurance building. (BS)  

This is a glass sculpture of the back of Taylor Swift's head on a bad hair day. (BS)  Hey, if you have a funnier caption, leave it in the comments, otherwise, Shake It Off. 

This is another piece from Seattle's famous Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum next to the Space Needle. This piece is named "Banana Split with Onion." (BS) 

These glass photos are getting boring now, LG knows, but they seemed pretty cool at the time. Note: They don't let you throw a football around with friends in the glass museum. (True)  

This is a photo of Seattle's skyline from the closest affordable apartment to the city. According to our tour guide (who was proven to be somewhat full of shiite when he said that some Seattle golf course was "the oldest in America;" a quick Google search revealed that it wasn't even in the top 25 so he quickly recanted), there are 52 active cranes in Seattle and each is backed up with future assignments as soon as they are done with current work. (True) And this doesn't even count Fraser Crane.  

This is a field in Junea Alaska. It will be covered in 10 feet of snow by September 15th (maybe true, who knows...) This is the future site of a Walmart and four Starbucks. Plus, the Alaska Eye (BS). LG took this photo to make the other tourists think he was sensitive and cares about flowers. 

This is the view of the back of the head of my friend Lee on a tour bus. I had to slow down on the exciting photos for a while to give you some time to catch your breath. Lee's father-in-law, on the left in maroon, is NOT picking his nose. (BS) Trivia: Tour buses in Alaska run on whale oil. (Come on, don't be a moron, BS!)  

This is the rear view of our dog sled team in Skagway, Alaska. Sled dogs are no longer large Huskies but are now mid-sized Alaskan Malamutes who are more obedient, eat less and have more energy. The original Iditarod race was won (in 1973) in 20 days. The most recent race (it's 1,100 miles folks) was won in 8 days due to better-trained dogs, better equipment and better driving techniques. (True) The musher can actually order the dogs to fart in unison to get a turbo-charge on his sled ride. (BS)  

It's Alaska folks, this is the standard photo of a lake and low-hanging clouds and mountains. The water in that lake is so pure that it's used to filter plutonium for nuclear bombs. (Total BS in case Kim Jong Un is reading this) 

The movie "A River Runs Through It" was filmed here in Skagway, Alaska (BS). True Trivia however: Juneau, Alaska is the only capital city in the entire United States that is not accessible by road from outside the area. Until they finish the Great Alaskan Highway (Mexico is supposed to pay for that too...), Juneau can only be reached by air or sea. (True) LG bets Ju-didn't-neau that. 

Only 1% of salmon live long enough to spawn. (True) They swim facing the current and move backwards downstream because it's the only way that they can breathe. (True) They have about 120 species of predators, including bears, hawks and other salmon. (Also true, we're on a roll!) But because they swim not facing the direction in which they are traveling, they can easily be attacked from behind by predators (including Bill Cosby). They also return to within three feet of where they were born, after traveling hundreds or thousands of miles, to lay their eggs. (True according to our sketchy tour guide) The fish in this photo is not actually dead. Alaskan salmon are so cool that they do yoga and this one is in her downward dog position. (Could be BS, or not, you decide)  

This is from the musher camp in Skagway. LG doesn't know the exact purpose of that tower, so let's just say that it contains a big-screen TV for watching NFL games during dog training. (Probably true)

LG and the wife in Victoria, British Columbia. That's an island off the west coast of Canada. (True) Canada is not a U.S. state but, rather, is its own country. (Actually true!) As the local tour guide described Canadians, "We're like unarmed Americans but with universal healthcare."  

On a whale-watching boat in Juneau. It's sort of a rip-off, all you see are the tops of the whales' backs, but the boat ride itself is cool. You also see seals and drug smugglers. This particular ride featured the Gortons of Gloucester fisherman (near left, looking disoriented or about to commit a crime.)(BS) The woman in the white knit cap on the right is Cameron Diaz (Could be true, we're not sure) 

That's a glacier in the background (insert "oohs" and "ahhs" here.) Basically, an Alaskan glacier is what you'd refer to as a sheet of ice in the Lower 48. If you want to spice up the office conversation next February, mention how you hit a glacier and skid a bit on the way into work. Sheet of ice in Toledo = free to see; Glacier in Alaska = Fork over $120 for a tour. 

This is a photo of someone taking a photo. Very existential and deep. Think about it for a while. Then look at your navel. 

That blue floating object is the same iceberg that sunk the Titanic in 1912. It was imported to Alaska, much like the London Bridge was moved to Arizona. (One-half BS). It was mostly gray, rainy and about 50 degrees while we were in Alaska. Trivia: Alaska's Tongass National Forest is one of the largest rain forests in the world. It's what's known as a "temperate rain forest." (True)  

Two random tourists on the boat during "Yellow Formalwear Dinner Night." 

A cruise boat passenger contemplate jumping ship rather than enduring another cattle call of disembarkation. 

LG with the current Mayor of Wassila, Alaska, John "Big Bear" Smith. 

Despite TLC's admonition, LG and The Wife went chasing waterfalls...

LG and the Alaskan Governor, Ed "Moose" Zak. 

An overhead view of one of the lifeboats on the cruise ship. There were 5,000 people on the ship. (True) LG doubts that there were enough lifeboats for everyone. It would've been fun to find out though. 

An Alaskan merkin. (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/merkin?s=t) Everything is bigger up there. And down there. 

That's Mt. Baldy in the foreground and Mt. Baldy in the background. (BS)

The Olympic Mountains as seen from Victoria, BC. Among other celebrities who have homes in Victoria (according to the bus tour guide) are Tom Selleck, Danny Devito, Steve Nash, Sarah McLaughlin and Leonardo DaVinci.  (Somewhat BS, but mostly true). 

This is a road in Oregon. (True) It was once the Oregon Trail that Lewis & Clark (Jerry Lewis and Dick Clark) traversed when discovering Oregon. (................BS) 

Those people are wanted on charges of art theft but this is the closest that LG could get to them. (BS) 

An ancient artifact on display in Seattle. 

The Queen of England appeared on our Royal Caribbean cruise ship to sing with the Queen tribute band. It was really her, no kidding. (BS) 

Juneau and Skagway rely heavily on tourist dollars, so please get yourself booked on a cruise ship up there ASAP. Try the salmon. PS Alaskan King Crab legs, which The Wife expected to be inexpensive since they're local, were very expensive. One counter-service restaurant (not a fancy place) wanted $122 for three king crab legs. The Deadliest Catch is also the Most Expensive Catch! (True)  

203 salmon (LG counted)(BS) swim in a stream in Alaska on their way to Seattle to see the Space Needle. Why are fish such lousy tennis players? Because they're afraid to get near the net. Why are fish so healthy? Because they eat fish! 

Sea Lions resting on an island near Juneau. Lazy bastards. You'd think they could stand up for the tourists.  

What kind of moron buys a selfie stick only to use it for regular, forward-facing photos? And what kind of moron takes a photo of a moron using a selfie-stick? Err, wait a second...  PS That's a whale's tail in the water. (True) 

Sled dogs taking a break from the dog-eat-dog world of competitive dog sledding. LG would say it's a rat race, but it's a dog race.    

Another view of the sled dogs. They were all friendly and allowed tourists to pet them. (True) Nummies! 

Two hot mommas hired by Royal Caribbean to attract men onto the cruise ships. (True) (Trying to score some brownie points with The Wife here...) 

A photo of tourists taking a photo. Although people think he's dead, that's Malcolm X on the right in the green rain jacket. At least he didn't use a selfie-stick. 


More yawn. 

Inside the tourist train in Skagway, people talk amongst themselves. Very exciting stuff. The train travels about 15 miles an hour, but luckily you receive offers to buy souvenirs while riding. (True)

A view from the cruise ship of an Alaskan fjord. Not to be confused with a Fjord Mustang. 

There's the back of a whale, barely breaking through the water. These whales, like the sea lions, are lazy bastards. (True)

Subtle welcoming sign. Translation in Canadian: Please spend a lot of money here. 

A view of Victoria, BC from afar. Which is how they like American to see it (other than when they're spending their tourist dollars.) 

More Victoria, BC. The town is very clean and the people are very nice. There's nothing like it in America! 

And, finally, our last view of beautiful Victoria. LG hopes you liked this pictorial tour of Seattle, Alaska and Victoria. Until next time folks...