Alaska 2009 Pics Bob and Ann in Alaska 2009

  • July 27 - Leavenworth to Fairbanks

    A little background first. We got to Leavenworth on the 25th after flying from Oakland to Seattle to Wenatchee and renting a car at Pangborn Field. That evening, we went to Ann’s 50th high school reunion. There were 20 out of 30 surviving graduates attending. The dinner party was at the clubhouse at the Leavenworth Golf Course. Ann and Ellen had a good time visiting their old friends and trying to remember everybody’s names.

    On Sunday morning, after the last segment of the Tour de France, Denny and Susanne Hauff brought Dr. Speer over for a visit. We enjoyed seeing them again, especially Dr. Spear who is now getting around with a walker. That afternoon we took Ruth to the cabin. John, June, Bruce and Dawn met us there. John cooked some salmon that he caught in Alaska. We had a good time visiting. The weather was warm and a breeze kept most of the mosquitoes away.

    This morning we woke up reasonably early, packed up and left for the airport at 9:00. Our 11:00 flight was a little late but it got us to Seattle with enough time to grab something to eat and catch our flight to Fairbanks. The Benson’s couldn’t get on this flight because it was full. We are meeting them later tonight.

    Our Bus Driver

    We were a little concerned about how we were going to get to our hotel in Fairbanks, but Holland America Tours had staff to meet us at the airport to give us our first packet of information. They also took our bags to our hotel and drove us there in a large bus. Our bus driver was a stereotype of what I thought an Alaskan local should look like.

    When we got to the hotel, The Westmark Fairbanks, we were pleasantly surprised to find our bags already in our hotel room. We were also pre-checked in so that we didn’t have to wait to get to our room. Our room is similar to rooms at a Best Western or Choice Inns – not very fancy but adequate for our needs.

    We got cleaned up a little and went down to the lobby to meet Katie Harmon our guide for the land portion of our tour. She gave us more information including a list of restaurants that she recommends in Fairbanks. We decided to walk about 1/2 mile to Gambardella’s Pasta Bella. If you can believe it, we sat outside on the second deck of the restaurant in Alaska. It was still about 80 degrees. Ann had a spinach, tomato and mozzarella pizza while I had tortellini with a tomato and meat sauce.

    After dinner, we took a scenic walk back to the hotel. We discovered that Fairbanks is not very scenic, but there are a few highlights. Here are some photos of them:

    1st Avenue

    Bridge Over Chena River

    Plaza Near Courthouse

    A Fairbanks House

    The Bensons arrived later that evening. We had adjoining rooms.

    Please visit July 27 slideshow