Monday, June 8, 2009

Alaska Cruise - Day 13 - Wednesday, June 3

This was our last day of our vacation. We got on the local transit bus and went out to North Pole, Alaska. They have the Santa Workshop with all sorts of Christmas stuff. Santa was there and I videotaped a message for each of the grand kids. We then got some post cards that will be mailed to each family at Christmas time. We also went to the post office and got our passports stamped with the official postal stamp from the North Pole. We also purchased some postcards there and had them mailed to the grand kids with the North Pole stamp on it. The light poles are all done like candy canes (see the picture below) and every thing else has a Christmas Theme.

In the afternoon we took the bus to the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and went through the museum there. It was quit the museum. They had exhibit about the history of Alaska, they also had a visiting exhibit about the polar bears. We watched a movie about the Northern lights and we learned a lot more about how they are made. They come from the Sun spots and are always present in space. The stronger the sunspot the stronger the appearance of the northern lights and the farther away from the poles they go. They are also found on both poles, but the northern lights are stronger than the southern lights. The earth's magnetic pull also has a lot to do with the intensity of the lights; the final aspect that controls them is the earth's atmosphere. That helps give the color to the light.

We then headed back to the hotel where we met the shuttle that took us to the airport. Our flight will take about an hour to go from Fairbanks to Anchorage, and then we have an hour layover in Anchorage. On the way to Anchorage the pilot took us close to Mt. McKinley and so we finally were able to get a look at it; even if it was from 30,000 feet. The picture is out of the plane window, so is not the best quality, but at least we got to see it. Our flight to Denver will take about 4 hours, but we lose two hours as we cross two time zones. On the flight to Denver, we had to sit in the very back seats because we were one of the last to get our boarding passes and seats. We got the boarding pass for the Fairbanks to Anchorage flight online, but we were not able to get them for the Flight to Denver. Once we arrive in Denver, we have 1 hour layover after which we catch our last flight from Denver to Salt Lake City where we arrive around 8:22 am. Our flight from Anchorage to Denver took an hour 1/2 longer than it was supposed to, so we missed our connecting flight to Salt Lake City. We ended up getting on a 9:00 am flight and arrived in Salt Lake City at 11:30. We then got the shuttle to pick up our car and went to Mike's to get Snoopy. We had lunch with John & Jessica and the kids, where we gave them some things we got for them in Alaska. We then headed home for a long rest.

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