When the family set out to plan our summer 2015 vacation at Easter, the original plan was to visit New Zealand and Australia, since John (my brother in law) was planning to study abroad there in June and July. After looking at the dates, the weather, and work schedules, things were not lining up well so we decided to call that plan off. Alaska was somewhere that we had all wanted to visit and is ideal in late July/early August, which was the only time window we had available. A plan shaped up that had John flying from The Land Down Under to Alaska and we would meet him there for 1 week touring the interior. He then would get on a plane and fly back to college, and the rest of us would continue for a one week cruise down in the Inside Passage.
Booking the trip, we knew we wanted time to see both the interior as well as do a cruise. We were very limited on dates, so there were only a handful of cruises to choose from. We went with Princess because they have a great reputation for their Alaska offerings, and they also offered cruise-tours, where they plan all of the accommodations and travel for the land portion as well as the cruise portion. This was ideal since we were planning this late in the season and were concerned about making all of the necessary travel arrangements only 2 months in advance.
Tom and I had extra time, so we opted to book our flight via Seattle so that we could explore more of the Pacific Northwest. We planned to spend 3 days in Seattle before going to Alaska and 3 days in Vancouver at the end of the trip, bringing our adventure to a grand total of 21 days. Pete, Ellen, and Carl opted just for the 2 weeks in Alaska portion, and John has a whirlwind 6 days in Alaska.
- Christina: that's me! I am writing most of the travelogues, but occasionally someone else will guest post/contribute. I do lots of detailed planning for all our trips and am in charge of event booking, background research, and information dissemination.
- Tom: the husband - he does all the driving and also handles navigation since I can't walk and read a map at the same time, and I tend to get carsick if I read while he drives. Hates crowds and loves trying new food and beer/wine.
- Carl & John: Tom’s brothers - they like high adventure activities and are willing to go along with whatever I plan to do for the day as long as they don't have to plan it themselves
- Pete & Ellen: Tom’s mom & dad - they really enjoy exploring the local and cultural aspects of wherever we are visiting, and Ellen is great at choosing a fabulous restaurant for dinner