Monday, June 24, 2013

Day 57--June 23, 2013

          Well, the big day we've been waiting for came today, and it was everything I'd hoped it would be and even more.  Lyle West celebrated his 97th birthday.  It was held at a resort outside of Fairbanks.  Chena Hot Springs Resort is located at the end of a road about 60 miles east of Fairbanks.  It is owned by friends of Lyle’s, Bernie Karl and his wife Connie.  They put on Lyle’s birthday party.  What a fabulous job they did.  Bernie is a fascinating man.  His mind must never stop working.  I’m going to put a link to the resort’s web site so you can read about his patents and all the things that go on there.  Chena Hot Springs Resort
          Bernie took us on a tour of the geothermal heated greenhouses, which produce lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes and other veggies for the resort’s restaurant and 45+ employees on a year-round basis with a few different types of fruit grown for good measure.  The tomatoes were some of the best I’ve ever eaten.
          The resort is truly a one-of-a-kind destination.  They told us there is nothing quite as spiritual as relaxing the in the healing waters of the hot springs, surrounded by the winter white landscape, sipping a ”appletini”  and watching the beautiful colorful show of the Northern Lights against the black sky.  Doesn’t that sound wonderful?  It does to me.  I post some of the pictures of the other buildings tomorrow.
          Chena Hot Springs Resort offers so many things; it’s hard to take it all in.  You can get a therapeutic massage, enjoy a new "do" at Shears to Chena hair salon, take dog sled or cart ride, and they also offer flight-seeing tours.  There are all kinds of fabulous activities offered year-round.
          Bernie also gave us a tour of the Aurora Ice Hotel.  It was magical.  It stays 25 degrees F. at all times.  Everything in there is hand carved from ice.  At one time you could actually sleep in there, but a government inspector came there one day and told Bernie he would have to install water sprinklers.  I personally think this inspector is related to the one in Jax who told me I couldn’t have more than 16 people in my barn at one time.  J  In my mind, I would think that IF a fire started the melting ice would take care of the fire.  Anyway, instantly, because that’s how Bernie’s mind works, he said to an employee that as of that moment, the ice hotel was no longer a hotel, it was now a museum.
          Anyway, I hope you can see the pictures well enough.  Their web site has lots of pictures too.  I’m going to break this blog into 2 days because I have so many pictures.  I'll also tell you about the big feast we were served in honor of Lyle.
Full-size knights jousting.  You can see one
completely.  The other only the front of
the horse.
Raised section of the lobby with tables
and chairs near the bar.  All ice.
Looking from the back to the front door
Outside of the Aurora Ice Hotel
Bed in one of the hotel rooms
A decorative rose sitting on a table
in one of the guest rooms
This is the bar.  The stools are carved from ice
and the seats are covered with animal fir

The Aurora Bar serves famous Appletini's in hand carved martini glasses.  Yes, they are solid ice glasses. 
Richard and I shared one.  They should be called "Buttini" because they
will put you on your butt in a few seconds.
My favorite Full-size jaguar on  what was once
the world's biggest chess board

Until next time,

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