Friends cruise Inland Passage

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Gabe and Eva Visy, Melanie Otten and Maria Jancovics, along with two friends from Orange County, recently enjoyed a seven-day cruise of Alaska’s Inland Passage aboard a Celebrity Cruise ship. Melanie says the group was expecting cool weather; however, all of the ports they visited were experiencing what the locals called an “unusual heat wave.”

A  scene from Seattle's Chihuly Garden and Glass.

A scene from Seattle’s Chihuly Garden and Glass.

“This is one of the most majestic places on earth and it is in one of our own states, Alaska,” says Melanie.

She adds, “One of the highlights of our trip was cruising the Tracy Arm Fjords, which is surrounded by glaciers, magnificent mountain tops covered in snowy peaks and forests of trees. The waterfalls flow everywhere. The bald eagles glide effortlessly through the clear blue skies. Icebergs float by your ship taking on interesting shapes and colors. Seals are lounging on them and sometimes take a peek at us floating, by interrupting their peaceful nap. But, they quickly return to their afternoon bask in the sun. The beauty and peacefulness here touch even the deepest parts of your soul.

Another highlight of the group’s trip took place on their way home when they made a stop in Victoria, Canada for a visit to The Butchart Gardens.

“This was another breathtaking part of our trip, truly a paradise,” says Melanie. “We have never seen so many varieties of flowers, bushes and trees all in one place. There were acres upon acres of beautiful gardens, ponds and statues, all surrounded by these incredible blooming flowers, perfectly manicured and placed precisely in its place to create the perfect setting of tranquility . . . Butchart Gardens is a place that cannot be experienced anywhere else on earth.”

For their final outing, the friends travelled back to Seattle, visiting the “Chihuly Garden and Glass” located next to the Space Needle. The handblown glass exhibition, based on the works of artist Dale Chihuly, includes eight galleries, the centerpiece glasshouse and a lush garden that incorporates handblown glass florals.

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