Day six we disembarked in Skagway, a town founded by prospectors, conmen and prostitutes.
The main attraction these days is the White Point Railway. whose "golden spike" was hammered in 1900. At one point it helped prospectors carry supplies into the Klondike. These days it runs a 3-hour round-trip for tourists through breathtaking scenery.
A giant rock fell on some of the men laying the original train tracks. The rock was too big too move, so they announced there could be no more grand memorial and it is maintained to this day,
Near the top of the mountain, it started to look like a quarry. But even that was beautiful.
The Canadian border. The end of the line for us.
Even on a cruise I somehow manage to happen upon a cemetary.
Did anybody else see Emperor of the North?
It was late in the season for salmon fishing. Once they're already dying, they get "mushy". It didn't prevent a lot of people from taking advantage of the easy picking. My mom warned me not to look at the gory sight of them stabbing this fish in the head, but she forgets I'm not a squeamish 12-year old anymore.
This tourist touring car almost ran me over as I crossed the street. The first thing that ran through my mind was, "Dear Lord, please do not let me get killed by such an embarassing-looking vehicle."
My mom chose our lunch spot, The Red Onion Saloon.
When I sat down I realized we were in a small local museum - the local prostitute museum. All of the servers wore corsets and the walls were covered with vintage nude photos. Talk about your theme restaurants! I was kind of tired from the previous day's mushing, so I didn't really linger over my chili. The whore chili, I mean. In the whore restaurant. With my mom. Who was having whore chowder.
The microbrew was excellent, and the whore chili was OK.
That night my mom and I gave the ship's "fancy restaurant", the Bordeaux, one last try. The night before I had a completely unremarkable meal of burnt escargot and bland pasta. The waitress had been unable to open a bottle of champagne and no one appeared to help her. I even begged her to let me open the bottle.
Thursday's boring pasta
I would not have even returned the second night, but they were keeping that champagne chilled for me. Plus it was "Octoberfest" night at the buffet and that outright scared me. I had doubts the champagne could retain its effervescence overnight, but I had REALLY wanted champagne.
OK, so flash-forward to night two at the Burgundy restaurant, surrounded by men in tuxes who searched for about 20 minutes before they could find my champagne. Damn if it didn't stay fizzy. I kept the rubber cork and brought it home in my suitcase for my next bottle.
This is a close-up of those twinkly lights. My mom leaned over during her entree and confided, "If I had these lights in my house, I would shoot them all out with a shotgun." She probably would, too.
The goat cheese croquettes were nice. The filo triangle was mysteriously empty of any filling.
We gave in to the locale and I ordered King Crab legs. They were pretty good. Better than Outback.
But my mom's venison was unbelievably bad. Like shocking. Wow. There was some unidentifiable timbale of muck alongside. I asked what the muck was, and the non-native English speaker said, "The emm, the nuts." I asked, "The deer's nuts?" with an innocent expression, and he said, "Yes, the deer's nuts". Simultaneously, my mom shouted my name with that special timbre she only uses when she thinks I am being recreationally cruel. We figured out it was a chestnut puree. And wow. It was dried-out, bland, and with a texture I hope to never experience again in this lifetime. In fact, if I am reincarnated, I hope to not experience it in that lifetime either.
The black forest cake was seriously killer. The buffet and dining room may have been C-plus, but the bakery was getting straight A's.
Probaby the best thing we ate all day was my mom's toffee ice cream. mmmmm.
That night I hit the casino. First of all, drinks were not free, a shocker. I was doing alright at Blackjack. But I was asked politely not to curse. I said, "I didn't realize children were allowed in the casino." Any place that's going to rob me of my money and not even let me yell, "Jesus f-ing Christ!" while they do it doesn't need my money.
So once again I spent the evening in the library listening to Allegro non Troppo and Music of the Night drift up from the piano bar. Ray Coussins announced that the following night they would be playing "Name that Tune." I took another sip of my mojito and thought, "Well, that ought to be easy."