CIF Participant Travels to Alaska

September 10,  2015

Last month, CIF Participant Jonathan Shuman traveled to Alaska with Search Beyond Adventures, an organization that coordinates travel for individuals with disabilities. Read all about Jonathans trip from his blog post below!

This is Jonathan Shuman writing his blog about my cruise to Alaskas Inside Passage, which was from August 14-21, 2015. On Thursday August 13, 2015, I flew straight from Chicago OHare Airport to Seattle Tacoma International Airport. It was a 4-hour flight flying west from Chicago to Seattle, WA.

When I arrived at Seattle International Airport, I met Patricia and Barb Erne, the two guides from Search Beyond Adventures. Then, I met Jennifer Wood, Larry Miller, and Josh Erne. There were 6 of us on the cruise to Alaska's Inside Passage from Search Beyond Adventures. We spent the entire night at the Quality Inn near the airport in Seattle. The next morning we had to leave the Quality Inn and we went straight to the cruise.

The cruise was called Jewel of the Seas from Royal Caribbean. There were 13 decks on the cruise. I was on deck 3 with my roommate Larry Miller. We stayed in room no. 3002. Then, after we ate lunch at an all-you-can-eat buffet called the Windjammer Cafe, we had to go to a mandatory safety tutorial guide so that the people who run the cruise could show us how to use life jackets just in case we would fall into the sea and almost drown but thankfully, it never happened to any of us on the cruise.

We were mostly at sea for about 8 days. On the cruise, we saw live performances at a theater and one of the musicals was City of Dreams and people sang covers of famous songs such as Come Sail Away by Styx. Then, the next morning after we were at sea for about a day and a half, we arrived in Juneau, Alaska.

We took a shuttle to downtown Juneau and I took photos such as the Red Dog Saloon, totem poles, etc. We also bought souvenirs such as T-shirts, keychains, postcards, books, and hats. I even got a hat of the state flag of Alaska. The state flag of Alaska is dark blue and it has a constellation of the Big Dipper and to the northeast corner, there's Polaris the North Star.

We also went to Skagway, Alaska, where I saw the Taiya Inlet. We also saw the frontier town of Skagway, Alaska, that was built during the Klondike Gold Rush of the 1890s. During the 1880s-1890s, gold miners would flock from California all the way up North to Alaska and the Yukon and they would search for gold and they used pans to scoop up dirt and they would use water and they would circle the pan to clear the dirt until they found gold nuggets.

We also saw Tracey Arm Fjord and I even took a photo of the glacier calving which means that chunks of ice would break away from the glacier and they would plunge into the ocean. Our last stop was in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. I needed to have a passport to get into Canada because of 9/11/2001 you need a passport to get into Canada.

I saw lots of things in Victoria, BC, Canada. I saw a very tall totem pole that was carved and dedicated to Queen Elizabeth II. I also saw a red double decker bus similar to the ones they have in London, England. Also, I saw a group of white-tailed deer. I also went to a famous mansion called Craigdarroch Castle that was used as a filming location for a movie called Cats & Dogs (2001). Then, we saw the oldest Chinatown in Victoria, BC, Canada. It was very cool to see Chinatown in Victoria, BC.

Then, the cruise stopped in Seattle, WA. I was very disappointed that my cruise to Alaskas Inside Passage ended. But I still had lots of fun on the cruise. Then, I flew back from Seattle to Chicago and I arrived at Chicago on Friday August 21, 2015 at 7 pm Chicago time. I was very happy to see my dad Howard who picked me up. I had lots of fun on my cruise to Alaska's Inside Passage.

Thank you to Jonathan for sharing this piece and the photos accompanying it. To learn more about Jonathans full life, click here to watch a short film about how Center for Independent Futures supports him to reach his goals. 


Upcoming Events & Activities