My first Olivia cruise: Majestic Alaska

This is the Hubbard Glaciar. It is 79 miles long and covers 1350 square miles in area, and is the largest tidewater glaciar in North America. I didn’t have to get off the ship to see this freakin’ natural beauty because the ship stopped and I stared at it for an hour and a half. It changed slightly throughout that time. The ship pulled into Yakutat Bay and stopped for about 2 hours. It moved slightly. It does this thing called glacial calving, or iceberg calving…breaking ice chunks from the edge of the glaciar. It is accompanied by a loud cracking or booming sound and can fall up to 200 feet.

Those are two seals sitting on an ice chunk near our ship, the Ms Oosterdam, Holland America…so fine in every way.

My first day…getting ready, checking out my view.

An Olivia cruise is about 3 (or more) vacations rolled into one. My mind was blown. First trip: you have Majestic Alaska, natural non-stop beauty all around you. Second trip: you are with 1900 lesbians! Lesbian Film Festival, Lesbian Literary Salon: I got to meet favorite author Dorothy Allison, author of Trash, Bastard Out of Carolina, and Cavedweller…and her wife Alex; lesbian singing legends: Suede, Cris Williamson, and Broadway star Natalie Toro; comedians Karen Williams, the Kathy and Mo Show, and Suzanne Westenhoeffer; the Col. Grethe Cammermeyer, who came out  in the military in 1989, challenged her discharge and won reinstatement in 1994…telling her incredible story; DJ parties every night. The 360 degree surround of lesbians is simply amazing and to a degree indescribable. Third trip: non-stop fine dining! Alaskan salmon, crab, halibut, prime rib, the best lox, anything and everything you could possibly want, exquisite desserts. You never get hungry. Famous chefs, superb service. Fine dining is something I might do 7 times a year. This week it was every night: divine.

The Olivia staff are perfectionists. Not a detail is overlooked. Olivia makes this the best vacation you could ever want. They know your name, as does the housekeeping staff of Holland America. Good morning Phern.

We stopped in Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and Victoria Island. In Juneau I went on an excursion called Whales, Glaciars and Rainforest Trails. Our group was fortunate to have as our guide Colton, a 20-something Native Alaskan from the Tlinkit tribe, the indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest Coast and Southern Alaska. He knew everything about everything…and told us. We saw humpback and orca whales , bald eagles, as well as Sitka spruce trees as we walked through a new rainforest.

On the boat: humpback whale, bald eagle on buoy, identifying whale’s tale, someone else’s shot of an orca pod:

We walked through the rainforest:


and at the end of that rainforest trail was the Mendenhall Glaciar:

We stopped in Sitka and Ketchikan, walked around those towns, went to a Raptor Center where they heal, save and release bald eagles and owls, and toured Victoria BC on the last night, Canada Day, with fireworks.

Some photos from here and there:

…my sailing, fun and fine dining Olivia sisters: Chez, Linda, Denelle, Rachel and Robin. Thank you all for a wonderful trip.


Craig and Penny show me Seattle….

Fabulous nephew and niece Craig and Penny took me on a grand tour of Seattle on an unusually hot Pride weekend. I came a day and a half early before getting on my Olivia Cruise, embarking from Seattle, to have some fun with the ‘kids’, who are grandparents 12 times now. (!!!!!!)

This is the view from water taxi and our cruise ship, the ms Oosterman, from Holland America


View from our water taxi on the way to West Seattle


View from my room at the Westin, Craig and Penny’s favorite Seattle hotel, and also the hotel that Olivia Travel recommended. Full of lesbians!

The Westin lit up in rainbow colors on Pride Saturday night


First order of business: Walk to Pike Place Fish Market



Penny asking fishmonger where to catch crab and telling him her secrets.

Craig and I sharing a cold IPA in the 80+degree Seattle weather.

We had a quick delicious lunch of oysters, fish and chips…and beer at the Athenian, the restaurant where Sleepless and Seattle was filmed. We visited Ghost Alley, with gum everywhere,

and a relaxing water taxi to West Seattle…so much fun.

On Sunday we went to the Seattle Pride Parade.



Goodbye to Seattle and thanks to my sweet nephew and niece, Craig and Penny. Until next time!






“Dykes To Watch Out For”, March 15, 2017 from Alison Bechdel

Back by popular demand after her great, long-running Broadway show, Fun Home, Alison Bechdel returns to her roots with

New “Dykes To Watch Out For” tackles the Ides of Trump


What a beautiful day!


View of Mt Tamalpais from our house

Last blossoms on Japanese plum in front of house

Buddha sitting beneath lemons

Calla lilies

Cow’s skull overlooking tiny white flower. Could be wild onion.

View of the garden and Mission district beyond

Double click to get a good view of pond and stone waterfall.

Luna’s new-lease-on-life dog love adventures






Dog love, non-stop play at McLaren Park…and finally a treat. Juliana, dog walker/lover, Dog Love Solutions, makes it all happen. Be sure to click the link to see all the photos if you are on Facebook.

Pacifica Beach on a Sunday morning: spring has sprung

Waiting for a wave at Linda Mar

Catching a wave

Glorious day


Bernal Hill, San Francisco, after the rains.


Eating and drinking in restaurants



Double click to make photos larger.


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