Posted in Family Corner, Photography Corner, Places We Visit

Our Alaskan Cruise

Last month my family took our first Alaskan cruise. To describe it in a few words, it was beautiful, enchanting, and charming. This was the first time the kids and I have visited Alaska. We fell in love. Here are the highlights:


Our first port was Juneau. We took a small group whale watching tour guided by a naturalist. It was really fun! The first thing we did was pull up a crab pot and inspect the critters inside. Then onto the whales! We spotted seven different whales and the naturalist and captain knew their names. They tell them apart by their flukes which have different patterns on them. This was a perfect experience for Marissa who plans to become a Marine Biologist. What a glorious day.


Our second port was Skagway. Most of us took two excursions that day, but we split off into different ones in the morning. Zach and I took a photography tour. Marissa and Marcus took a dog sledding tour. And Grandma and Darcie took the Red Onion Saloon and city tour. The Red Onion was a brothel in the Klondike gold rush days. I don’t have pics from their tour, but they sure came back with all sorts of stories to tell us! In fact, it was Darcie’s favorite excursion of all! We all thought that was rather funny.

That afternoon we took the historic White Pass scenic railway as a family. Wow! We thoroughly enjoyed the scenery. It was another beautiful and full day in Alaska.

Glacier Bay

The next day we sailed through Glacier Bay National Park. So spectacular, impressive and cold, haha. Half the ship was outside on the upper decks, all bundled up in winter coats and hats. The wind was whipping away and it was freezing, but the views made it worth it. There was a park ranger (or someone like that) aboard who gave us narration all the way through. We all loved Glacier Bay.


Our final Alaskan port was Ketchikan. We took a boat excursion as a family and enjoyed the sights. We saw multiple eagles’ nests, the smallest lighthouse I’ve ever seen, and little islands. It rained on us on the way back to shore, but we didn’t mind because it was all lovely scenery.

And that was our Alaskan cruise in a nutshell! Have you ever visited Alaska or taken an Alaskan cruise? I’d love to hear about it. Thanks for visiting my blog today. 🙂

Posted in Photography Corner

Idaho Prairie Houses


We took a drive into Idaho yesterday and came across these two relics. 🙂


We were able to get out and walk through an open gate, onto the tall prairie grass for a close up look at each one.


As I put this post together, I watched the opening ceremonies for the winter Olympics. I thought it was a spectacular, touching show. Who else will be watching these Olympics? Who else loves the figure skating?


This one has definitely seen better days!


Hello, Marcus! As he looked in one side, and I looked in the other, we could see the remnants of a stove and a metal bed frame.


It was Zach’s birthday this week. He shares my love for nature and photography. On this day he was outside with his camera. And a cane. It’s been nearly two years since he was diagnosed with MS, in his early twenties. He’s just experienced his third relapse which has affected his walking and balance. I admire him so much for his inner strength and his positive attitude. He reminds me to find joy in every single day.

♥ I wish all of my readers a joy filled week ahead. Thanks for stopping by. If you’re watching the Olympics with me, comment below on your favorite winter sport. ♥

Posted in Photography Corner

Winter Reflections


We finally got more snow here in northern Utah. Yay! Such a crazy winter. This is one of my back deck views.


My oldest son, Zach, and I went for a scenic drive recently, and stopped at the Pass of the Standing Rock. According to a placard, this rock is 100 feet tall and 75 feet wide. It weighs several thousand tons.


Pioneer settlers named other rock formations in the area. My favorite names they chose are: Peek a Boo, Three Bars of Soap, and Johnny Jump Off.


Twilight cremes edge pale blue sky; Frosted pine trees stretched up high.

‘Tis the beginning of wintertide.

Powder crunches beneath booted feet; Roof tops coated in white sheets.

Chilled air nibbles nose and ears; My house is crying crystal tears.

‘Tis the show of wintertide.

Romping outings in the snow; Hearthside cozy and aglow.

Melted chocolate, snowflake mugs; Read alouds with cuddle-hugs.

Tis the joy of wintertide.

It’s 6pm, pitch black outside; Jack Frost’s antics never hide.

This is how the days pass by until the end of Wintertide.

~Camie & Darcie Madsen