One of the many things that summer in Fairbanks brings are family and friends who return to this small city that seems to blossom with its endless summer days (literally, right?).
There were summers when my boys would come home from college, and commit to days of working at a summer job, and nights to playing soccer with the guys they grew up with. As the years go by though, their visits are often rare. And, it’s now becoming that the husband, the prima, and myself would take some time to travel and do our own visiting.
Oftentimes, family members would come up because of a big event—usually in the form of a graduation. Being that the Primadonna just started her sophomore year, we’ve got a few more years before this event happens. Unless, of course, one of the boys decides to get married—that’s probably just me wishing.
Last summer, we had the husband’s aunts come up for a visit for the first time ever. Those days and nights were spent at my in-laws playing games and laughing the night away. Aunt Bev, as we call her, even got to hike Denali where she famously (famous among us anyway) twerked her way down the hiking path. It was a thing of beauty to watch a 70-year old, 6 ft. tall woman twerk to one of Bruno Mars’ song. In order to avoid condemnation, she decided to twerk where her sister Aunt Jane was much farther ahead so that she couldn’t witness the act. I had an epiphany that one day I want to become like Aunt Bev.
For this summer, my sister in-law Cindy, her husband, and her two kids came up for a visit from Maryland. In addition, my best friend and her daughter—my other half in a way—came up for a short visit from Maryland also (that’s part 2 of this blog).
We got a bit of time to spend with the niece and nephew (there’s many!); Ethan and Kylena, were both born in Fairbanks. Since we rarely ever get to see them, the husband and I thought that it would be a great idea to spend some time with each of them.
First up: Ethan. We decided to have dinner at a new pizza place off the Mitchell Highway called “East Ramp Pizza.” It’s located right off a ramp and an airfield. While I was in Louisville, the husband took the Primadonna and my BFF’s daughter to eat there—and they’ve been meaning to take me to try it out. The menu allows you to select your own pizza–you choose all the toppings to your heart’s desire creating your own unique recipe. While I am always the kind of adventurous eater where I’d prefer someone create a recipe and I try it–I was quite pleased with the pizza that I created–most especially since I was still thinking of that deep-dish pizza I had at Chicago O’Hare.
East Ramp Pizza and its goodness:
Second: Kylena. For Ky, we wanted to make sure to take her to a place that also catered to a children’s menu. We decided to go to our usual favorite “The Blue Roof Bistro”—as always, their grilled cheese with fries and chitpole ketchup are divine. I wanted to try out their jalapeno boat—which became an addition to the favorites list.
Blueroof Bistro comfort:
We ended the night surprising the two kids by going to their favorites places and picking out their own gifts. That was much easier than having to guess what they’d like and putting it in a gift bag. And, then we headed to Aunt Tammy’s house (who is really my younger sister-in-law, but she’s known to the kids and their cousins as Aunt Tammy—so we find ourselves calling her that every time we refer to her) where the kids got to play with Tammy’s gorgeous birds. We told her that four is enough or else we’d start calling her the Bird Lady. FYI, when I mean young—she quite literally still gets mistaken for a high school student, and I think that girl will forever get carded for the rest of her life.