Monday, July 18, 2016

Alaska! Summer 2016

Frank had a business trip to Anchorage and I was super jealous.
Until I realized that I should just go with him.

I'm an empty nester after all.  I should be able to take off on occasion.
Luckily, my job is flexible and no one freaked out when I asked for a week off. Again.

We were on separate flights because I used miles and Frank booked with his company.
He arrived about 12 hours ahead of me.
He got there when Kaylee was at her physical therapy session in Anchorage so he joined them there and got to see the therapy that Kaylee is getting.

He bought one of his favorite treats, dried Mangos, for them to share.
They loved these last time he visited so it was fun for him to remind them...
Kaylee had a firm grip on the bag, she loves them!

Then they went and spent some time at the local fair called 
The Bear Paw Festival.
It takes place right down the street from Branden and Amber's apartment so that was super fun!

Kaylee loved the Pony ride!

On Saturday we went straight to the Festival for a parade and carnival!

Waiting for the parade to start. 
Parades are Frank's favorite!

The kids entertained themselves by putting rocks and grass on Frank's chest as he lay on the sidewalk...
this became a theme for the trip.

Later at the park, they urged Frank to lay down again and they had a great time covering him in grass

Lucky mom, got grass on her head.
Surrounded by swings, slides and merry-go-rounds and they entertain themselves by throwing grass on the adults! 

Isabelle wasn't crazy about the carnival rides,
but it turns out that Kaylee is a fan of the adrenaline rush!
So she went on the big slide over and over and was still mad when we left.

Isabelle gave into peer pressure and tried the big slide once...she hated it.
They both enjoyed the Carousel but Isabelle was happy to get off when it ended.

The "little slide" at the park was more to Isabelle's liking.
She said to me, "Kaylee likes the big slide but I don't like it.  I like the little slide!"

Later in the week we went to the zoo.  This zoo is on the small side but has lots of interesting animals in a nice setting. You feel like you are sort of wandering through the forest or something and then just happen upon the animals.  I liked it a lot.

The animals are all from areas that have this same climate and from what I could tell, they are mostly animals that were injured or orphaned.
I wasn't always able to read the various signs but they did have signs that would tell what happened to cause this animal to need to be in the zoo.

Isabelle enjoyed the gravel path more than the animals.

She started putting pebbles on Amber's feet and said she was "planting Mom"
Of course Kaylee joined in, because what Isabelle does, Kaylee does.

Kaylee used her walker at the zoo and she did a great job.
I had no idea she would be so fast and good with it!
She also used it later to walk around a store.
When she is walking around, she is so happy and she gets a lot of positive feedback from people who see her.  I was impressed with the people who would just say, "You are doing so great!" or "What a strong girl! Way to go"

The girls remembered us right away, which was so great!

And we really enjoyed every minute with them!

Fun Fact:
Isabelle now calls me "gramma"
Kaylee still calls me "baka"

Sometimes Isabelle calls Frank "grampa" but more often he is "nother gramma"
Sometimes she will say (addressing Frank) "gramma..." and then stop for a moment and say "I mean, grampa" so she does self correct but it's just not the first thing that comes into her head.
Kaylee calls Frank "baka" as well.

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