Wednesday, July 25, 2012

As for the rest of our time in Fairbanks...

We spent 4 nights in Fairbanks, but that may have been too much time.  Really, there's not a whole lot to it.  And it's definitely not on my "Places To Live" list.  It's just not an attractive place.  Up in the cold winters in Alaska they don't spread salt on the roads; it doesn't get warm enough for the salt to do its job.  What do they put down instead?  Gravel.  Yep, gravel.  And it ain't pretty.  We were there the end of June, and the roads had not yet been cleaned.  Buh.

So why go to Fairbanks?  It's a jumping off point.  North to the Arctic Circle, and East to North Pole.
Yes, North Pole.  Guess who we saw there...
Santa had a bit of a Jersey accent...
Yep, we met Santa at North Pole.  Nice guy.

Fun fact from my childhood: 
Where we lived when I was a kid there was a long hallway from the living room to Mom & Dad's bedroom.  From the head of their bed Mom could see all the way to the couch and end table.  One Christmas - I was probably 4 or 5 years old - I snuck out of my room on Christmas Eve and hid under the end table.  I hid so I could get to see Santa!  But Mom saw me from her bedroom and told me to go back to bed.  *Sad*  All I wanted to do was meet Santa!  But Mean Ol' Mom (you know that's what MOM stands for, right?) sent me back to bed.  I had to travel all the way to North Pole, Alaska, just to meet Santa.  True story.

However, I have overcome adversity.  Finally I have met Santa Claus!  But I looked horrible so you will never see photographic proof...

The Santa Claus House is really cool, if you like Christmas, which I do!  So many ornaments and decorations!  It's really cool.  If you ever get up to North Pole, go to the Santa Claus House.  Santa is there until 6 daily.  Tell him Kristin sent you.

Just watch out for the polar bear...
once again, Jeff narrowly escapes bear attack in Alaska...
Then go for dinner at the Pagoda.  Best Chinese food I've ever had.  EVER.  Not kidding.  I'm not usually a big fan of Chinese food, but someone said to get Chinese food in North Pole (me: "What's the name of it?"; them: "It's North Pole; there's only one."  BTW - there are at least two Chinese restaurants in North Pole) and we ended up there.  It's also the restaurant that Guy Fieri went to on "Diners, Drive Ins, & Dives".  I've never watched his show, but yes, it was excellent food.

Speaking of, we went to The Cookie Jar in Fairbanks, another restaurant featured on that show.  Again, good food.  I think if Jeff had to chose between me and the dinner role, he would have spent quite some time thinking about his decision.  He loved those dinner roles!

Hmmm, what else did we do?  We went to Pioneer Park
which was a big bust (totally not worth the time we spent there), but Jeff did get to have some Korean food and he drove a dog sled
(not really).

We easily found the WELS Lutheran Church, which looked really cool.  Too bad we weren't there for Sunday Service.  Jeff's pastor knows their pastor.
Fairbanks Alaska WELS Lutheran Church
The wonderful owners of The Aurora Express let us check in early after our overnight to the Arctic Circle!  Everyone give her some love!  We were only there two nights, but slept three times  :-)  and if we ever went back we would most definitely stay there again.  I felt really tired after the long trip North and the hot days in Fairbanks, so I didn't get too many pictures of the place, but here, enjoy!

We stayed in the caboose of a train!  It's on tracks and everything.  As you can see, they've refurbished the place.  No air conditioning, but it was out in the country and we slept with the door open, plus the windows in the upstairs observation deck were always open.  We went up there both evenings and just chilled out.
It was barely out of town, up on a hill, and the view, to the East, was...
Not bad, huh?

As we wasted time until we turned in the rental vehicle, we went downtown and Jeff wanted to make sure we got pictures of the Inuit Statue.

By the time Sunday rolled around, I was glad to be leaving Fairbanks.  But was I ready to spend 12 hours on a train to Anchorage?

See the full itinerary here...


  1. goes...
    1) If you don't post your picture with Santa, it isn't "official" and he won't bring you any presents any more!

    1a) Was that Christmas memory from Triumph or Amboy?

    2) Your trip to AK was much more dangerous than ours was. I'm surprised, with all the bear attacks, that Jeff got out alive!

    3) I'm assuming that Jeff didn't win the Ididerod! LOL

    4) Too bad you couldn't get pictures inside that cute, little church!

    5) The train inn looks ADORABLE! That's a place that I would have stayed.

  2. Bah! No picture of me!
    That Christmas memory was from Triumph when we still lived in the trailer.

    And thank you for commenting!