Just in case it is hot as H-E-double-hockey-sticks where you happen to be, here are a few photos to remind you that it won’t always be that way…

Alaska is almost ridiculously beautiful. Honestly, there are times when I’m standing at the railing of the ship gazing at the coastline and it almost feels like I’m in the middle of a Disney World attraction— I half expect to see Cinderella’s castle rising up behind one of the mountains, or find myself in the middle of a street parade with a bunch of singing and dancing college kids dressed up in character costumes!

I find myself missing our Betty so much here. The last time I was on this cruise she was here too; fully aware that she would soon face a serious surgery but determined to enjoy herself to the fullest—which she did! I can still see her sitting in the seat that Russ nabbed for her during the taping of the big outdoor concert, that trademark wide grin of hers never once leaving her face for the entire duration of the (very long) video shoot. I’m so glad she got to experience that trip with her beloved granddaughter. And I’m so glad that my last memory of being with Betty was here, on this ship, enjoying the luxury of finally having the time to sit around in big overstuffed chairs, marveling at the beauty we saw out the big picture windows and just shooting the breeze, the way friends do.  Irreplaceable, one-of-a-kind Betty— you’ll never be forgotten.

10 Responses

  1. LindaB

    (((Tori))) And Betty did have a grand time! She was so determined to go on that cruise….I think she knew it would be her last opportunity to do so. And God bless you and Russ for making it so enjoyable for her! She loved you folks so much.

    You’ve had such a rough year……I hope you enjoy this time away and the serene beauty all around you. It must remind you that though your dad and Betty are gone from this earth, the God who fashioned all that awesome landscape has built a place for them (and us) that far exceeds anything this sin-damaged planet has to offer.

    And we love you!

  2. angelgirl

    These picture’s are absolutely beautiful. It’s amazing to look at the beauty God has created. I hope you and your family are enjoying your cruise. May it bring peace and joy to you all.

  3. jonny

    I remember this time last year on the blog vividly. I still miss Alaska, and now Betty.

  4. MostlySunny

    Oh my gosh, how beautiful!!!! Yes, it ‘s hot here!!!!

    I have some friends who are on that cruise…enjoying their honeymoon…they’re like….almost 70!!! Really.

  5. Barbara M. Lloyd

    If I wore mascara I would look like a raccoon. Betty was so determined to go on that cruise, I don’t believe anything could have changed her mind. She even smiled through having to borrow money from you after someone took her pocketbook. As Linda said, she loved you and Russ and the girls…..and we all know that when Betty loved you it was with every part of her great big ‘ole heart. I believe she knew this would be her last chance to go on a cruise and she enjoyed every single minute of it. You and Russ were the icing on the cake.

    I have to agree that everywhere you look in Alaska is like looking at postcards. It is an absolutely beautiful place.

  6. swerchon

    Hi Tori,
    Glad you and the family are enjoying the Alaskan cruise…..

    Oh memories, I too was on the Alaska Homecoming cruise 2 years ago when they did the Alaskan Homecoming taping and it was FREEZING but SOOO worth it. I actually made the cover of one of the DVD’s – yup I have officially “made it” line for autographs will be forming at the left (tee hee).

    This was my first time meeting you Tori. We met twice on the cruise (you probably don’t remember). First time Russ insisted that I call you in your room and we met up (you were with Betty – so I had the pleasure of meeting Betty as well). Remember we met just prior to the beginning of the Homecoming taping. I wanted you to autograph “Being Happy”. You also signed Bill’s song “He Touched Me” – too funny!!!

    Next time we met was at Russ’ table in the book store and I “talked your feet off”. You were so easy to talk to and very pleasant. Thanks for being kind and spending some time with me.

    I remember the cruise as if it were yesterday. It was my very first cruise and I’m so grateful it was a Homecoming cruise, this made the trip even sweeter. Alaska was BREATHTAKING and of course COLD, but hey I’m Canadian so I handled it just fine.

    I can understand the memories of Betty that this trip rekindles and I hurt with you. She was an awesome lady.

    Please have an awesome time the remainder of your cruise and God willing, see you on the Caribbean Homecoming Cruise in Feb ’12.


  7. jonny

    Oh man, was it two years ago the last time this was brought up ?? = / Time seriously flies !!

  8. Phyllis S

    Wow, just when you least expect it, tears…. not for Betty, but for us that miss her sooooo much. I was just thinking about her last week and how she would be so caught up in all this budget mess, sending us text and emails about her feelings,(laughing as I remember how her expressions of her political views got her in so much trouble, but she enjoyed that also).

    Tori, enjoy every minute of the trip, reality will hit you when ya’ll return to this heat.

    Have a great trip and we need more pics.
    (PS, Loved the hat in Lady’s picture)

  9. jonny

    Well, I thought I’d do something a little different and searched ‘Tori Taff’ on YouTube, and came across THIS …

    (apparently she wrote it)

  10. Barbara M. Lloyd

    jonny, that was nice.

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