July 18-21, 2022 Days 52-55
Instead of going to the pool on Monday, we decided to go get Ryan a taller pair of boots. So far all three kids have gotten taller boots. Chris was the only smarty to take a tall pair of boots on our trip, I’m the only one left with ankle boots. If anyone boats to Alaska, I do recommend taller boots. We went to Nugget Alaska Outfitters (NAO) for the boots Ryan tried on on Sunday. (We didn’t buy them Sunday, we wanted to stop by Costco to see if they had any boots his size, they didn’t, but then it was too late to buy his boots on Sunday.) The kids also ran into the library to return our games and books for us.
After Chris was done with work he wanted to swap out props, then we needed to try it out, so we went on a small boat ride. The prop still isn’t what Chris wants. Chris isn’t sure what prop was better, the new one or the one we had on. He wants to try out this prop when his parents are here and see how it does with the heavier boat. We ended up staying out late so we got McDonalds on the way home.
Chris picked up his parents from the airport and took them to get some groceries, but it was late and the rest of us didn’t see them until the next day. We are excited to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa in Alaska!
Tuesday the kids were very very excited to wake up and see Grandma and Grandpa. Bryan and Nadine needed to get their rental car, so I picked up Bryan and dropped him off to get the car, then went back for Nadine and took her to our house. (We didn’t have room for both of them.) Bryan met us at our place when he was done getting his car.
We went to the library for story time and we picked up a few games. We hung out until Chris was done with work and we went back out to test the prop. We were hoping to see some whales, so we went to a place where we’ve seen whales a few times. We saw a whale a little ways off. We were able to see its body as well as its blow and we watched it for a bit, then we went a little ways further. There were a few whale watching boats so we figured we were in a good spot. We then saw two whales just hanging out and playing on the surface. These whales were so fun to watch and we were able to watch them for about an hour. They would slap their pectoral fins and what looked like barrel roles. We were pretty close to these ones and watching them through the binoculars gave us great views.
It was getting late and since we had watched the whales for a long time we headed back in. Chris heard one of the crew from the whale watching boats say they were watching a mom and baby. Since we were watching two whales we think it was the same set they were talking about, so we think it was a mom and calf. It really was a great time watching whales and we are so happy we were able to do it with Grandma and Grandpa!
Tuesday night/Wednesday morning Ellen slept terribly. She was up from about 1:00-4:30 AM. Both Chris and I took shifts with her. Nadine and Bryan were so kind and they took the big kids swimming while I stayed home with Ellen that afternoon. They stayed at the pool for about 3 hours. When they got back the weather wasn’t great, and everyone was exhausted. We decided to do a few chores instead of going on an outing. Nadine, the kids, and I ran to Costco to get a few things for our weekend outing, and Bryan and Chris went to get the boat ready for our trip. We had an early night and caught up on sleep.
Thursday the kids and I went with Bryan and Nadine to the DIPAC Macaulay Salmon Fish Hatchery. We stayed a few hours there watching and learning about salmon and some other Alaskan wildlife. I think we all had a lot more fun than we thought. When we first walked up we saw a tank of returning salmon. (Salmon come back to where they hatched to lay their eggs.) These fish were large and had already changed (Salmon change colors to attract a mate). Salmon use all their energy to return to freshwater, dig a nest, and lay eggs. They also stop eating when they are back in fresh water and the fish look haggard. Some of these fish were in rough shape. It was fun to see so many of them up close. Although these fish have worked so hard, their strength was evident. They were swimming up the fish ladders, and trying to jump into other sections.
There was also a small gift shop, aquarium, and a few displays that my kids spent so much time walking around. Ellen loved looking at all the fish, and my big kids loved having all of Grandma and Grandpa’s attention. Nadine is the best to have around and gets so excited and so interested in everything, especially all the things my kids had to tell her. We were sad Chris didn’t make this outing, but I’m glad we were able to tag along with Bryan and Nadine.
When Chris was done with work we took Bryan and Nadine on the drive we did on Sunday. Walking around the beach was just as fun this time or maybe even more fun! Ryan’s taller boots did the trick and he stayed dry. It really was so fun walking and visiting in such a beautiful place. We even brought green chili burros to eat at the picnic tables at the beach. It was a very nice afternoon.
So far having Grandma and Grandpa with us has been so much fun!
Ryan’s thoughts: Grandma and Grandpa came!
Lillian’s thoughts: We went to a fish hatchery and the beach with Grandma and Grandpa