Days 52-55: Juneau

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

Our guests are ready to find some whales! (Luckily we had success!!!)
This picture is the day I went with Bryan and Nadine to the fish hatchery. The tide was low.
Bryan and Nadine went back to the hatchery another day without us. The tide was higher and there were a lot more fish trying to make their way to the ladders.
These fish had swum up the ladders already and were hanging out until the hatchery could get their eggs/sperm. These guys were jumping high. So strug for already have worked so hard.
These are the changed fish. Salmon we catch in the ocean are still mostly silver and their jaws don’t protrude as much. We believe these are chum salmon. This hatchery has chum, kings, and coho salmon. This picture was the viewing area of the fish ladders. These guys were working hard to make it up the fish ladders. A worker said that it can take as little as one day for the fish to make it up the ladders and up to a week. She said that most fish do it in 2-3 days. This current was strong and these fish were working hard.
This is the aquarium tank inside the hatchery. The kids loved watching the creatures in it. I loved watching the crabs walk around the tank. They wouldn’t move out of the way for fish hanging out on the bottom, but would crawl right over them.
Inside the hatchery there were two touch stations set up. My kids returned to this a few times and each time new creatures were put in the touch bins.
Blowing a kiss for daddy who had to work instead of coming to the hatchery with us. We missed him.
These tanks held Ellen’s attention for so long.
Eagle Beach
So glad to have Nadine get some pictures with me in them. Chris does great, but I am glad to have pictures with him too. Thanks for the candid shots Nadine!
Ellen is really learning to smile for the camera.
Look at all those tall boots!
Lillian is a magnet to the sand. Lets just say we brought home a lot of the beach with us.
There aren’t too many places to drive in Juneau, and we found the end of one road.
We drove as far as we could.

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