Spring Break Part One--Fairbanks

Here's how I summed up Spring Break 2014 on Facebook the other day...

Spring Break: 8 days, 875 miles, 15 hours of driving on wintry Alaska roads, 4 books on tape, 2 movies in the car, 4 days in Fairbanks, 4 days in Trapper Creek, temps from below zero to 40 above, a children's museum, the ice festival, sledding, snow machining, snow shoeing, ice skating, kick sledding, time with good friends, countless smiles and laughs. Until next spring break...

I left out the 5 loads of laundry, 1 side of the road potty stop, 1 (completely serious) threat to "turn this car around", 2 new headlights, and a whole bunch of snacks!

It was a great week!  We left Whittier on Saturday afternoon and spent the night in Anchorage with our friends we were driving to Fairbanks with the next day.  Scott did not join us for the Fairbanks portion of the trip this year, so after a Saturday night of lots of playing and pizza he headed home to Whittier on Sunday and we headed north.  Overall the drive was good.  We stopped in Talkeetna for a a stretch break and visited with a friend who lives there, then continued on.  We stopped in Cantwell, and Nenana after Talkeetna.  Finally we arrived in Fairbanks and our lovely friend had her famous tortilla soup waiting for us.  Delicious!!

The next day our host had some prior commitments, so we took her advice and headed to the Fairbanks Children's Museum.  I can't say enough good things about it!  What a fantastic place!!  Lots of fun things to do for a variety of ages.  We closed the place down that day, that's how much fun we had!  With your admission to the children's museum you get entrance to the University of Alaska Museum of the North which contains both a historical museum of the various regions of Alaska and a fabulous art museum.  

The next day we got to visit our host's son at work at the Alaska Department of Fish & Game.  He's a biologist there whose main focus is caribou in northern Alaska.  Kelsey was in total awe of meeting a real-life biologist! 

After lunch we headed to the BP World Ice Art Championships to check out the 2014 offerings.  We had enjoyed 2013's ice art so much that we had vowed to make a repeat visit.  We were not disappointed!  First we hit up the ice park area..

And then we moved on to the carvings.  We adults came back later in the evening to see the carvings all lit up, too!

They were spectacular!  We were surprised by how much melting had happened in the 4 hours between when we left in the afternoon and returned in the evening.  It was almost 40 degrees in Fairbanks that afternoon...after it had been -10 the morning before!  We were glad for the sun when we were walking around, though!

We left Fairbanks on Wednesday morning and headed to Trapper Creek...I'll tell you all about that on Wednesday!