Financial planning and investment management are about connecting your resources to the lifestyle you want to live. Investments are neither good nor bad. What matters is do they help you reach your goals. People who are clear on what they want from their life and their money can find happiness no matter the balance in their checkbook.
To make that clear we are highlighting some clients who are living well and achieving their goals. This month we are featuring E. Monroe, who recently returned from a work/pleasure trip to Alaska. This is certainly on my bucket list and maybe on yours too.
I work for a local travel agency. My primary role is to facilitate travel for the group of clients we
serve. Many are retirees and part of a neighborhood travel club or one of the other types of
travel groups we serve.
Ninety percent of the time, I am in the office coordinating the many aspects of group travel.
Every once in awhile, I will have the good fortune to travel with our larger groups, as was the
case this summer.
My Alaska cruise and land tour was not something I picked as a vacation for myself. It was a
work trip. Although I am always excited about the opportunity for a new experience, it was hard
to wrap my head around going to someplace where the high temperatures would struggle to hit
60 in August. But I am so glad I went!
Our cruise departed from Vancouver, Canada. We secured a hotel allowing the group to arrive
the day prior, which is always recommended. Several couples flew in a day or two early and
enjoyed tours of this beautiful city.
Once on board the Celebrity Millennium our agents were working on details for our group, and
the guests were enjoying the restaurants and lounges while waiting for their staterooms.
Finally that festive moment arrives when all are on board, the muster drill is complete, the ship
horn sounds to alert you that we are underway.
The ship navigates through the Inside Passage; a coastal route for oceangoing vessels along a
network of passages which weave through the islands on the Pacific coast of North America.
Current weather conditions will dictate your experience here. Ours was misty fog, which lent to
an eerie quality on these calm waters.
Ketchican, The Salmon Capital of Alaska was our first port day. This city, as common in Alaska,
is only accessible by sea or air and boasts an average yearly rainfall of 12.5 feet on the liquid
sunshine gauge. I was happy to see our group really taking advantage of the many shore
excursions available. Mine was my first ever kayak experience with a guide who gave us a
wonderful tour around the active harbor. Whales were present, although we only saw their
spout. I learned about the 5 different types of salmon here!
Icy Straight Point was our next stop. The bustling city of Hoonah (population 350) with it’s proud
and resourceful natives, the Tlingit, taught us about what it takes to survive in this remote land.
Juneau is the state capital, accessible by sea or air only. The highlight here was a whale
watching expedition. We saw humpbacks splashing their massive tails, orca schools and an
island of sea lions.
Skagway, a town born from the 1898 Gold Rush, is accessible by land and we were greeted
with the first true day of sunshine here! Our excursion took us through some breathtaking
scenery, complete with salmon running to spawn in a stream with bear trampled banks. Our
destination was the camp where the Iditarod dogs train in the summer time.
Hubbard Glacier is the longest glacier in Alaska. We woke to this amazing sight from our
balcony. Weather conditions allowed our captain to position the Millenium only a quarter mile
away from this natural wonder.
At the end of the cruise, the ship docked in Seward, one of the oldest and most quaint
communities in Alaska. Here, coaches transported us to the closest airport in Anchorage. Some
chose to spend an extra day here, and about 35 of us continued on a land tour that included
Talkeetna, Denali National Park and Fairbanks. We saw a moose, a rare sighting of a wolf, dall
sheep, 3 grizzly bear and a distant view of Denali (formerly Mt McKinley).
So, in closing I will just say GO! Take that trip to Alaska! It is an amazing experience and very
different depending on when you travel in that short window of late May through mid
If you have an experience you would like to share please give me a call, I would love to hear from you!