I was pretty excited to get to Sitka.  I had a medical school classmate from Sitka and she had always talked about how great her town was.  Also, as we learned, the town only allows one cruise ship in per day, so it retained a bit more of its small town feel.  Still touristy, though. :)  Our first view of Sitka was a lot of fun (since our kids were up super early, we always go a good view of town as the ship was actually coming in to port)--there are tons of tiny islands in the harbor, each with 1-2 houses on them.  Your own private island is a reality in Sitka, AK!  There is no dock, so the ship lowered a few lifeboats and we were able to take the little boats (little meaning 150 people) to shore.

Upon landing, we selected a little trolley tour that had an all day pass, making a loop around town to some of the attractions we were interested in.  First, we headed to the Raptor Center.  In the parking lot alone we saw probably a dozen bald eagles circling above us.  The center is a home for injured raptors (birds like eagles, hawks, and owls) to recover and rehabilitate.  There is a room for some of these birds to learn to fly again, pictured below.  Many have run into planes, buildings, etc, and broken wings or lost important flight feathers.  Some will never fly again and there are special outside habitats where they live.  Very cool!
 The habitat for permanently "flightless" birds looks out on the river below.  Nice view, huh?  There was a short hike through the extremely lush woods with a sign at the entrance that this was brown bear habitat and sightings were common.  Cool as that would have been, Eric was on crutches and we had three little kids, so in the end I guess we were glad that we didn't see bears!
 One of the majestic bald eagles in its outdoor cage:
 Then it was off to the Totem Park, a national park that houses 20-30 totem poles.  It was interesting to hear the stories about the poles (each carving tells a story).  We didn't walk through many of the trails, but there were about 6 poles right in front of the center that we could see.
 Our cruise ship in the harbor behind a totem:
 So, unfortunately at this point, we sat down to wait for the trolley to return but it never came.  While we were waiting, a nice bike taxi showed up and gave Maggie a free ride through the parking lot.  Had we known the trolley was MIA, we might have all piled in for a ride back to the boat!
In the end, it was about a mile back to the dock.  Not a bad walk...unless you have 2 kids and only one stroller, and a guy on crutches.  Eric was so sore by the time we got back that he decided his foot might be the least sore part of his body.  So, that was the end of the crutches and he walked around the rest of the trip. :)  A beautiful little town, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.