Monday 16th September 2019
Woke up at a reasonable hour this morning (with my alarm… woo) and Heidi dragged me off to the stretching class. Although this was a port day, we were not hitting port until 1pm this afternoon. The ship was in a calm part of the passage so we had made it through the rough weather overnight and the good part was that I had not been sick. After the stretching class, we got ourselves ready for the day.
We had breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill, an exclusive benefit for suite guests and after that was done it was a show and checking out our photos and then before we knew it we were pulling up the channel into Juneau. It was crazy, we were fixing up something grabbing a snack instead of lunch and it was as though we were pulling into the port. Sadly it was raining so all the rain gear was being pulled out.
Once they gave the all clear to depart the ship, we made our way onto the dock and since we now had signal for our phones, ordered a Lyft to take us to the Avis depot. Lots of peope were trying to walk up there, we passed them on the way, but it was pouring rain in town. Not something I wanted to do. At the Avis depot we picked up our hire car so we had some freedom about town.
With our Camry in hand, we headed out to the Mendenhall Glacier. The rain started to die off the closer we got out to the glacier, but it was good to be able to walk around on dry land and explore. The crowds were not too bad at this point (we were ship #3 to pull into Port today). We took some photos from around the car park which had a pretty good view of the glacier, and then went for a walk out to Nugget Falls. The falls hike was about a mile each way and although gravel the whole way, there was plenty of people on the path.
The falls were beautiful and after hiking back we checked out the visitors center and tried dodging some of the giant crowds. We left the glacier and headed off to the Salmon hatchery. Sadly two bus groups showed up right as we did, they did give some small presentations but no tours. We enjoyed just watching the salmon swarming around the hatchery in the adjacent waters as they tried to come back to spawn. What was even more fun was watching some harbor seals swim around trying to get some lunch.
After the salmon hatchery we headed back towards town (stupidly not visiting one of the starbucks in town to get a mug while we could) and visited a small restaurant called Pel Meni. They sold one thing (Pel Meni) in either Potato or Meat. Heidi had eaten them back in the day when she had lived in Ukraine and wanted to try them. My friend Flora had eaten here back when she came to visit as well and said they were great. My god this place rocked. It was a single dude, doing everything and doing it well. They came with non traditional toppings (curry, cilantro and siracha mixed with rice wine vinegar) but it was soooo good. Heidi loved the meat ones, I adored the potato ones.
We left Pel Meni and headed out to drive to see the state capitol, but sadly it was under renovation so was quite boring. From there we filled up the car, made sure to get a gas receipt to prove we filled the car and dropped it back at the depot. By the time we got the packet all dropped off, our Lyft was arriving to pick us up and drop us back to the ship. All up that self driven day saved us some cash as a tour to do the things we did would have been almost $250-$300. Ours topped out at $150 including the Lyft and the Salmon hatchery.
We walked around the Juneau shops to pick up some of our freebies and get the hard sell on numerous pieces of jewelry that we didnt want or need. We retured to the ship to have some dinner and Heidi ended up having a soak in the jacuzzi. Me, I just rested my weary feet on the bed. It was busy in the Lido with barely a seat available. Instead we ate dinner by the Lido Pool with a view of the port. The best part was the view next to the ship as the sun went down and the moon came out. Stunning, after a movie in bed, it was time to pass out as the shipped pulled silently out of the dock towards Skagway.