Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fun in Fairbanks!

July is always busy, and this year has been no exception for our family. We have been enjoying the most beautiful weather all summer so we've been trying to take advantage of the warm sunny days and play all we can. This first picture is on a day hike up Arch Angel Valley in Hatcher's Pass. We went with our good friends Ryan and Tisha. Dane and Ty were crazy hikers, most of the time they were trying to run up the trail and we would take turns keeping up with them. In the above picture Ty and I are in an old mine shaft, still filled with ice in July, the water flowing out of it was freezing and you could feel the cool breeze as you walked up to it.

.Lee dangling Ty over some water, this is completely normal.

Our family at a little waterfall.

Dane at Independence Mine viewing point.

We have spent this past week up in Fairbanks staying with Lee. Last weekend we went camping at the Chena river and got the worst night sleep ever thanks to a bunch of Fairbanks wierdos. First we had people invading our camp, even though there is 40 miles of road to pull off of and camp right near the river. For some reason people kept pulling into our campsite, even though we could clearly be seen from the road. Once they got down to our camp that didn't deter many of them from driving right through our camp, one group even unloaded and started swimming in the river. This may not seem strange, but it was, there is so much land up there, and so many open spaces that there was no need to park 10 feet away from us to go for a dip. We decided to settle down about midnight, but apparently that's early for Fairbanks people. We had a truck drive through our camp at 1, it was just driving down the river with a boat and trailer in tow. Then at 2 I woke up to music in the distance. It was thumping pretty loudly and slowly got louder and louder. It was a group of guys floating in a raft down the river with a stereo and by the time they got by our camp it was so incredibly loud their ears are probably permanently damaged. As they floated further down the river we could still hear their music for another 10 minutes or so, they were obviously determined to wake up every camper on the river. The nonsense didn't stop then, we heard a bunch of voices an hour later and looked out of the tent to see 3 guys walking down the river. They kept searching all over and after about 20 minutes started screaming and hollering that they found something! I was so ticked by then. So needless to say, the next day Lee and I were exhausted. Dane and Ty slept through every bit of the nonsense.

Lee teaching the boys to cast with their little fishing pole.

Dane & Ty on a 1959 Polaris, the first year they were built, it was huge, probably 12 feet long. This was at Chena Hot Springs Resort.

Inside the ice palace next to some knights jousing. The detail on this sculpture was amazing!

This is inside the ice palace which is cooled with power from the hotsprings. We didn't go on the energy tour so I won't attempt to explain it, but the whole resort including the ice palace and year round hydroponic greenhouses are powered with thermal energy from the hotsprings.

Inside a real igloo, when you stand right in the center the echo is so awesome.

More of the knights jousting, it was our favorite.

We have spent the rest of the week playing in Fairbanks and North Pole. This is the boys on the train in Alaskaland.

Dane and Ty with a giant stuffed moose at the Santa Claus House.

The boys by the Alaska Pipeline.

We've been having a lot of fun playing in Fairbanks. The boys and I try to stay out of Lee's way during the days so he can work, so we end up playing all day long. Today we spent 4 hours at a park and I still had to pry the boys away. Tomorrow I think we'll hit Alaskaland again and go play by the Chena river, it's been a rough week.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fun at the Lake!

We spent the weekend up at my parent's cabin at Lake Louise, a Kenley family tradition since I was little. We've missed several years so it was fun to finally be back and spend time with everyone on the beach. We have found what we think is the only beach in Alaska, lots of sand, and beautiful weather, this time anyway. Most of this story will be told in pictures!Dane & Ty playing in the sand.
Dane, Ty, Andy, & even Daisy all went on this tube for rides, they absolutely loved it. I rode with them on their first ride and when we got back they saying, that was amazing, that was incredible, we weren't even scared one bit!

The boys after their first ride!
Daisy fell asleep on the beach with a soda in her hands. Grandpa carefully slid it away from her but she woke up immediately screaming for her pop!
Ty with his favorite people, Devin & Sadie on the Banana boat.
To celebrate the 4th we decided to have a sand sculpture contest. Rachel, Megan, Sara, and Hanna created this, the Titanic, complete with iceberg and little tiny Kate and Jack with arms spread at the bow, you can't see that on the picture.
Calvin, Devin, and Sadie created this, try to figure it out before I tell you what it is....
An evolution of Micheal Jackson's nose.
And then we have the winning team, consisting of Keith, Carese, Annie, and myself, a festive watermelon & glass of lemonade. The pictures really don't do this masterpiece justice.
Lee was able to go fishing a few times. Dane, Ty, Grandpa, and I went with him once, but the boat battery died, so we didn't get much fishing in.
A few pictures of our new cabin game "speed puzzling". We use a 60 piece puzzle and time ourselves putting it together. Fastest time gets the title of "The Puzzler". Many battled for the title, but in the end it was really a competition between Careese and I. In the end I beat her out with a record time of 2 minutes 56 seconds. We also started a team puzzling game this time with a harder 100 piece puzzle. Keith and Careese have that title.
This was our first Fourth at the new cabin. We had to turn some of this ground into an acceptable fire pit area. It was no easy task. We hauled lot of rock and gravel up from the lake and Dad, Kevin, and Lee built us an amazing fire pit. I decided to put a before and after picture so everyone can appreciate the transformation.Dad flew his plane up to the cabin and I got to fly with him. The drive is 2 1/2 hours and the flight is only 1 hour. It was nice to have a quick trip up there. We saw tons for mountain sheep and caribou. All the kids loved getting little rides in the airplane and loved landing and taking off on the lake.

And that was our trip, we had a great time and can't wait to go back when Melissa and James get up here!