Alaska with a Child - Mission Possible! - Kelionės su vaikais
Alaska with a Child – Mission Possible!

Alaska with a Child – Mission Possible!

Here is a story based on the memories of mother Greta Parker from a very special trip with a small child to Alaska. Was it easy to adjust to the time difference with the baby? And how was the trip? More about everything in Greta’s own story.

To Alaska with a child – mission possible! I remember our fun family summer trip to the US. And yes, we traveled with a child again. It was a kind of celebration of Matthew’s first birthday, a family “reunion” and entering a new – “toddlers” – stage. I just want to encourage others that anything is possible! Of course, travel styles change, but adapting to your child’s needs allows you to see and experience a lot of adventure, only to learn more about flexibility.

In Europe, we mostly flew with cheap airlines, where they don’t even allow priority with a 7-week-old child and similar tricks. Traveling with major airlines or just long flights is a gamechanger. Without questions or requests, families with children are welcome, all “staff” are extremely friendly and helpful. Besides the many gifts of toys (among which we got a pilot’s wings badge) the best thing was the baby bassinet. It is a travel cot that you attach to the wall in front of you and can put your child to sleep. It is important to note that each airline has different quantity or weight/height restrictions for those cots. I would recommend checking before your flight to see if you need an additional reservation.

Alaska with a Child - Mission Possible!

Alaska with a Child – Mission Possible!

Stopover in The Wonderful New York

Our first stop was New York. We stayed in a wonderful area of ​​Brooklyn and the whole stay felt like we were in a movie or our favorite series. Due to the time difference, we all got up at 5 am in the morning and we left, bypassing the crowds and the summer heat. Afternoon naps were either in the park or in a bohemian Airbnb apartment.

After each day, it was hard to believe how many kilometers we walked. We drank coffee in the DUMBO quarter while admiring the skyline of skyscrapers, we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge (which was surprisingly quite long, because it starts already above the city, not just above the river), and upon entering Manhattan we immediately turned our heads up – I was surprised by how many ArtDeco style buildings, I thought, after all, there are only glass modern skyscrapers. We stopped at the 911 memorial, walked past the wolves of Wall Street, and waved to the lady on Ship Island. We didn’t miss the opportunity to try bagels at Central Station and look for the brightest advertisement in Times Square. Then we went to the 70th floor of Rockefeller Center to check where we haven’t been before and when we entered the central park, we were not surprised by the contrast of this city. Many recommended Top of the Rock for shorter lines and an added chance to admire the Empire State Building. At this stage, we basically walked everywhere or took the subway back a few times, realizing how far we had come. Many stops have elevators or it was easy to carry a child in a stroller up the stairs. After 3 great days in New York, we moved on.

New York with a child

New York with a child

A Long Layover in Seattle

Our next stop is… a long layover in Seattle. We took the fast train to Pike Place Market (the oldest market still operating in the United States) and ordered the popular super tasty clam chowder (thick clam soup.) It turns out that restaurant, when you go up to the second floor, you have a view of the harbor and the Pacific Ocean, and a movie was filmed with Tom Hanks. As always, in the afternoon we looked for a green oasis for rest – some were lying down, some were running on the grass near the Space Needle TV tower. And now it’s time to fly on!

Seattle with a child

Seattle with a child

Finally – Alaska!

We landed in the middle of the night and realized what that white night really means. There is no sun, but it is quite bright all the time (I would say it resembles the moment right after sunset for a couple of hours and then it comes again.) Finally, a full family reunion took place after several years – everyone: 11 adults, 6 children, 2 dogs, 3 cats, 6 ducks and 10 chickens stayed together in the Fairbanks house (full house.) Together with the family, we did various activities: we sailed on a steamboat, we visited the village of Chena, where an educational program was held about the life of the local people, we’ve prepared for winter, here we tasted probably the tastiest smoked salmon too. Of all the days, the vast majority were around 30 degrees and it only rained one day. This happened, of course, when we went to Denali National Park and the clouds hid North America’s highest mountain. Maybe next time… We were taught to dig, or maybe it’s more accurate to pan for gold and bring home a piece of Alaska. We soaked in the hot natural currents and did not miss the ice museum with an Appletini in an ice glass.

Each day a different family was responsible for the food, and the kibinis and dumplings were again a great success. On the last day, before part of the family flew out, we organized a united 1st birthday party for Joseph and Matthew. The first time Matthew was not interested in the smash cake, the second time nothing was changed – we didn’t destroy anything. The next day we split into two groups: one flew home and the other took a road trip across the state south to the ocean.

Alaska with a child - mission possible!

Alaska with a child – mission possible!

Alaska by Car

Then began the “road trip” in three cars around Alaska. Thousands of kilometers and a changing landscape: from permafrost with scrubland, fern jungle to iceberg peaks and ocean coast. This time we were lucky with the weather, so we saw more mountains of Denali Park and other “desktop” images. We visited the town of Talkeetna with old-style houses, but more touristic with many souvenir shops. It’s nice to look at, but it’s enough to stop for a coffee break. Wasila was our lodging point for several nights and we did not miss the opportunity to shop in the evenings (Target is our best friend). In that sense, children’s clothes are both better quality and cheaper in America. Shock! Seward is a city on the bay with an impressive harbor and mountain panorama. On the way back, we stopped at the untouched town of Hope with an unreal aura. Matas and the other children got sick, so the journey was not easy. I realized that it is really easier for me to fly across the Atlantic with a child than to lock him in a car seat for a thousand kilometers. But with many stops and various games we passed this stage. I had to pass such areas where I was completely in the middle of nowhere and there was no communication – I was saved by walkie-talkies in cars. The next day was devoted to rest and preparation for flights.

It’s a Long Way Home…

Our long journey home began. We spent one day walking around Seattle’s waterfront and harbor, again the city is very easily accessible by train for a few dollars. And NYC greeted us with heat, so we rented a car for the day and went further away from the city – we visited the sandy beaches of Jones Beach and Fire island. Before heading back to Europe we stopped at Coney Island with its large amusement park and famous Nathan’s hot dogs. It was an extraordinary family trip with many impressions. Suitcases broke, strollers disappeared, we got sick, etc. But everything still worked out in the end. After returning, we all fell asleep and treated ourselves. If we coped with the “jet lag” after going there easily enough, it lasted more than a week in Lithuania… Of course you get tired, but after a week I was already thinking where to go next? I didn’t even know then to spontaneously organize an autumn trip to Florida and Georgia. But we’ll tell you about that next time.

A Few Items That Helped On the Trip

On this trip, we had our beloved Mutsy Nexo stroller, which we always put in our luggage at gate check. It was a lifesaver in airports and cities, when the child would take a nap in the shade, your hands wouldn’t go numb and you could put things in the trolley bag. We also took a baby carrier as a backup. We only used it a few times. Our child had already started walking, so he really wanted to get out of the stroller after resting. Maybe also because we had so many helping hands willingly carrying Matthew… I had packed diapers, purees (squeezable cereal porridges worked really well) and powdered milk for the flights and the first few days in the US, and then we tried the local products (what a huge selection of everything!)

Was It Worth It? Yes!

The trip took place in July for 16 days. A big upside was the good weather (sometimes too hot) and the reduced number of people in the cities – we went there on a holiday. And in Alaska, the never-ending day allowed us to enjoy the views of many areas, the roads of which are later closed or impassable due to snow. Next time I would like to spend more time on the ocean coast around Anchorage and Seward. I’ve always been a big fan of the combination of mountains and water. But passing by and watching the changing landscape of Alaska was really worth it. I really hope that soon we will all return to our old ways and be able to plan future trips. And now let’s enjoy each other’s company, protect others and try to share the positive.

We thank the author of the text, Greta, who shared her impressions and at least took us to the other side of the world with her thoughts, you can see more wonderful moments on her Instagram profile.

This article is author’s work and was prepared by “Travelling with Children ®”. Copying and use without the permission of the author or “Travelling with Children ®” is strictly prohibited.
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