Off to Fairbanks!

A few years before meeting Chris, I had the opportunity to travel to Alaska. I was living with my best friend, who is also my cousin, at the time. She researched when the best time to see the Aurora Borealis was and found out March was a great month to try. This also happened to be her birthday month so we were pretty excited. She came to me and said, “Do you want to go to Alaska to see the Northern Lights? Bill Nye the Science guy is taking a team of people there in March so the lights must be beautiful that time of year. I replied sure! We thought, if Bill Nye said so, it should happen, right? Why would he go to try and film a show if there was a chance it may not work out? So, we saved and then booked our trip to Fairbanks, Alaska.

Getting to Fairbanks was quite a journey. We left out of Las Vegas and instead of flying direct to Anchorage, we ended up going to one of the other States first with a long layover. We slept in the airport for quite a long time, or tried to, it was freezing! Her husband, who was her boyfriend at the time, ended up walking around to stay warm. This was a much better idea than trying to sleep on uncomfortable seats. After the long wait, it was off to Anchorage, Alaska for our next layover.We had so many stops because we took the cheapest flights possible and ended up taking a day from our trip. We didn’t mind at all because we needed our funds for when we were there. I never had planned anything for my trips before and this trip changed all of that. My cousin loves making itineraries and budgeting for things we want to do. It was very nice and relaxing with a lot of wiggle room for new adventures. She taught me how to have fun by making tentative plans.

My favorite part of the trip was the dog mushing through Denali National Forest Area. I will save that for another blog. Alaska deserves a few, if not several blogs!! It truly was one of the best times of my life. For now, I will write about arriving in Fairbanks, and Billie’s Backpacker Hostel. If you ever go to Fairbanks…Please stay at Billie’s. You will not be disappointed. She, and her staff, make everyone feel like family. There are rooms upstairs and a communal kitchen downstairs. Everyone ends up in the kitchen really late at night discussing when to catch the lights. We felt like storm chasers at times. This hostel is so warm and welcoming that anyone who arrives becomes a friend. I still talk to the people I met there and we were only there less than a week. Highly Recommend! We had our rooms reserved and when we got there some other people showed up. Billie only had the heated garage available for them but her maintenance man and friend slept there with his dog. These people were afraid of dogs so we said we would swap our room for the garage. Billie was very appreciative and everyone ended up happy. The dog was awesome by the way. Wednesday I will tell you about our first time seeing the lights. In it then, have a great Monday, and thank you for reading!

-Karen Hilliard

Here are the Christmas Ornaments for 2023! These have inspired me to write about my trip to Alaska and I hope you enjoy the journey. The link to all my Chilly Wonderland Collection is HERE!!

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