Alaska Road Trip: Day 18

We were waiting on Kaleigh to say our say our morning prayers. She was standing at the windows and had pulled the drapes open. When Steve called for her to come over and kneel down, Kaleigh piped back, "I'm just lookin' outside at all my blessings!"

Steve needed a day to catch up on work, so after breakfast and scriptures, we went to explore Fairbanks without him. 

Our first stop was Pioneer Park

Pioneer Park was built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the purchase of Alaska from Russia. It was a bit like Pioneer Village at Lagoon, but with more museums.

Lucy needed to have her picture taken in front of the purple bike and the purple cabin: 

I was wondering why the place was so empty until I realized the museums didn't open until 12:00 noon. We went over to the playground. 

And enjoyed the vintage feel to the place: 

We skipped over the museums that cost money because our group's attention span was on the short side. But there were plenty of free things to look through like the dry-docked Riverboat Nenana:

The kids wanted to ride the carousel, but it was priced higher than it should have been. And it was one of those moments where I thought, "These kids just flew in a plane around Mt. McKinley, they don't need to ride on this run-down carousel." I told them they could pick between a ride on the train that circles the park (appropriately priced, at $1 per child) or cotton candy. They picked the cotton candy.

Then we went to the University of Alaska's Museum of the North. There were no other kids in the museum, so I stayed on my toes keeping these four kids quiet-ish.

The museum had some amazing exhibits, and we all learned a whole lot about Alaska's animals by completing our Animals Activity worksheet

The kids were hungry for lunch and wanted to go to Subway, but we were right close to the Georgeson Botanical Garden, so I fed them Luna bars and called it good. 

The Georgeson Botanical Garden is the northernmost botanical garden in America and features high latitude horticulture. I'm not sure exactly what I expected, but I was surprised by all of the blooming flowers: 

The kids walked through the Willow Tunnel to the Babula Children's Garden:

Adam could have stayed and played with the hydroelectric wheel for hours. He would scoop up a handful of pebbles and drop them in at the top of the trough and then he would run as fast as he could to the bottom to catch them before they dumped into the stream. Over and over again.


We took note of some things we would like to copy for the Oasis Community Garden, like the painted garbage cans: 

And the maybe even the man playing bagpipes: 

There were only a few other people at the garden, and the atmosphere seemed pretty informal, so I let the kids run around, mostly unrestricted. It was the perfect stop after being subdued inside the museum. I talked Lucy and Rachel into posing for one last picture, and then we were on our way: 

We went to Sam's Club to get food for dinner, and that was an experience in and of itself. Sam's Club is known for bulk orders, and Alaska takes that to a whole new level. There were coolers stacked to the ceiling like you've never seen, and I saw people pushing shopping carts with twenty gallons of milk. There is an entire back section for "Bush Orders". . . I can't imagine how large those orders were.

Earlier in the day, when I went to the park with the four kids, I wrote my phone number on Adam's hand, just in case he got separated from the rest of us. While we were at Sam's Club, Rachel took him to the bathroom and told him that if he got out first, he needed to wait for her right outside by the door. That boy unhesitatingly darted out of the bathroom and found the first lady he could, told her he was lost, and asked her to call the number on his hand. Rachel got out of the women's bathroom just in time to see all of this happen . . . and was able to retrieve Adam before anyone was too alarmed. 

After dinner, everyone else went swimming, and I got to go shopping by myself. After being with the kids around the clock for more than two weeks, it was a welcome treat! 


Kayli said...

Still love all your Alaska posts, but I have to say that Adam's fake-out being lost was Awesome. Well-played, Adam. (As long as no police were called in the end, right?)

Rebecca said...

Love your flower shots

AngelaW said...

I cant stop laughing about Adam. Pretty smart idea, I might have to start writing on Logan.