Saturday, August 11, 2007


All week, the temperature has been in the high 90 and reached over 100 midday. For several days, the extreme heat soared into the triple digits, bringing dangerous level of the hottest stretch thru the region, prompted warnings of excessive heat and heat-related illness. I saw in the newspapers records of the heat index on August 6, 1947 was 104; August 8, 1934 - 108; and August 9, 1934 - 110. The four-day forecast again calls for dangerous heat, isolated shower, hot and muggy temperature.

After almost 13 years of living in St. Louis, I am still not used to the hot and humid weather. In addition to following all the advice such as drinking lot of water, staying indoor (duh), and no unnecessary heavy activities (like jogging or running - ha), I thought looking at these photos taken during our Alaska cruise in 2002 would help.

We saw these sea otters at the Aquarium in Seatle, Washington. They were very active and playful. The zoo staff explained that sea otters love to float at the water's surface, and often sleep lying on their backs. In this photo, they looked so relaxing. I found another reason to love the sea otters not only because they are so cute, but also because they are meticulously clean. Using their bodies as serving tables, after finished eating, they wash themselves and clean their coat with their teeth and paws. Taking good care of their coats helps them to remain waterproof and insulated against the cold.

This would be a very nice "cooling centers" to be. Saturday, July 6, 2002, we were in Glacier Bay, I was wearing a fur hat, heavy coat with layers of clothing and gloves, trying to stand still for a photo, later I learned that it was over 100 degrees in St. Louis that day. We saw the massive glaciers but only saw a few brown bears, harbor seals and plenty of sea otters. Other people told me they saw whales and dolphins swimming along the ship, but I did not see either.

While at Glacier Bay, we heard the thunder-like loud noise, seconds later we witnessed the collapse of ice falling from the glacier (calving). I was a bit nervous but my husband explained that the Park Service would not permit ships to be close to the glaciers and particularly with passenger cruise ships must be at a safe distance.

This photo captured a beautiful waterfalls was taken at one of the stops along the way by motorcoach into Canada's Yukon. We passed thru Skagway, Alaska (known as the Gateway to the Gold Rush), boarded the White Pass train, enjoyed a BBQ lunch at a Trading Post and spent time in Skagway's downtown historical district where local residents maintained false-front buildings and boardwalks from the 1898 Gold Rush era.

My husband teases me about coming from a tropical country such as Viet Nam that I should have no problem with the heat in St. Louis. I reminded him that he once told me that I could no longer claim that I am Vietnamese as I live in America longer than all the years living in Viet Nam. In a perfect world, I would be in Alaska in August, then in Boston when football season started, alternate between Detroit and Canada for hockey and travel around the world the rest of the time.

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