We had decided to check out the International Ice Scrupling Festival at night because we heard that was a cool time to go with all the pieces lit up. They weren't wrong. I'm glad we picked night time to go.
I think we all (there was a small line of people that Mom and I were following through) thought that there was a walkable path where all the super big sculptures were being created (none of them were done yet - sad pandas) that turns out to have been an off-limits area as they were using cranes to unload large blocks of ice.
So, after my hands officially froze off, we headed back to our hotel for a decent night's sleep.
Our plane doesn't come until the evening the next day and we had nothing officially planned, so I was sorting though all the little pamphlets and found an interesting shop called the Knotty Shop (pun surely intended), but it was made of all these knotty pine logs. It was in Salcha, which was probably 40 minutes from Fairbanks, so we head down there. Turns out they are closed on Mondays (I'd spite this place but I never want to visit Fairbanks again lol). FINE. BE THAT WAY. We drive all the way back up, and I'm randomly driving through streets in Fairbanks like I know my way (but it's not that easy to get lost) and we stop at this bowl shop that's super cool and I was able to knock some more things off my must-have list:
Elk, Caribou, and Reindeer meat. No moose though. Damn!
We spent a bunch of time shopping in Fred Meyer and Walmart for souvenirs. Fairbanks is an industrial town... I don't think their tourist rate is that high... we never saw any small dinky curio shops around town, really. And still, not one shot glass said Fairbanks. Luckily, however, I'd caught that a gift shop at the Fairbanks Airport (Lolz, the only gift shop) was selling them and that was my last resort. So, after returning our truck to Enterprise, they dropped us off super early at the airport and I got my shot glasses (thank goodness!).
And that was it. We took our flight home and I was never so happy to be comfortably warm.