Is a Cruise to Alaska a Good Trip for Teens?

We love traveling with our family. It's so important for us to be able to show our kids as much of the world as we can and have shared family experiences together. Some of our best family memories surround adventures that have taken place when we are traveling. Recently, on a cruise to Alaska, with Holland America, where my 16-year-old son was my plus one, a grandma came up to us excitedly, grabbing Owen's arm and said "Oh! So my teenage grandkids would love a cruise to Alaska don't you think?" This sweet grandma wanted to create a multi-generational travel experience and while she didn't really wait for our response, here's what I would tell someone if they were interested in planning a cruise to Alaska with their teens.

alaska cruise with teens


Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Using Fresh Garden Tomatoes

I've had a garden every summer for a few decades and I always grow tomatoes. Not because I love them, but because they are an easy thing to grow if I'm honest. I almost always have success with tomato plants, even if I plant them from seed. Some years, I have more than others and while my favorite thing to make with them is pico de gallo {this recipe is my favorite!}, spaghetti sauce is a close second. Probably because I always feel like a freakin' homesteader mid-winter when I bust out a jar and make a quick family dinner with it! I'm sharing this homemade spaghetti sauce recipe today using fresh garden tomatoes. No garden, no problem! Tomatoes are cheap at the tail end of summer and you can easily find them at your local farmer's market, at the supermarket, or from a friend who has a garden.

homemade spaghetti sauce


What I Wish I Packed for My Cruise to Alaska

Living just outside of Seattle, I have seen the cruise ships coming in and out of the local ports downtown. I've seen excited passengers before and after their Alaskan cruises wandering around the hot spots in the city. I've even driven people into the port to catch their cruise to Alaska, but I've never taken a cruise to Alaska myself. When Holland America gave me the opportunity to hop onboard the Nieuw Amsterdam on a seven-day cruise to Alaska in late August, I jumped at the chance. As I prepared for the trip, I realized I'm not the only one completely clueless about what to pack on a cruise to Alaska in the summer. There were numerous blog posts, articles, and threads on the topic. I'm used to wearing layers living in the Pacific Northwest, but then I started questioning myself about what to pack. I'm not going to lie, I packed like a Kardashian going to fashion week. After returning, and now a semi-professional Alaska cruiser, here's what I wish I had packed for my cruise to Alaska.

PACK FOR A CRUISE TO ALASKA


Summer in the San Juan Islands, Washington

For years I've wanted to venture up to the San Juan Islands just a few hours northwest of Seattle. The summers in the Pacific Northwest are undoubtedly the best around, which makes them the most desirable time of the year to visit. You really have to plan ahead if you want to visit the San Juans {a year is best if you are going in the summer}, and planning ahead isn't my forte, I'm more of a last-minute Lucy. But this year, I put it on my list and this year, we made the plans and scheduled the trip. I learned a lot by visiting San Juan Island and I'm here to share all the things you wouldn't read in the guidebooks and on other websites.

summer san juan islands, wa


Everything You Need to Know Before you Book a Cruise to Alaska

I think everyone needs to book a cruise to Alaska at least once in their lives. Alaska is such a beautiful destination and you can get a real feel for the state by making several stops in the area ports. I recently went on a week-long cruise hosted by Holland America and here is everything you need to know before you book a cruise to Alaska.

CRUISE ALASKA EVERYTHING TO KNOW


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