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It's winter for the ducks at Pike's Waterfront Lodge

Friday, October 01, 2010

Hello all,

I know it has been a while. Things have just been very busy around here with season winding down.

Yes, it is inevitable, winter is on its way. They are calling for possible snow showers here today. Glad I wore sensible shoes. Hope everyone in Fairbanks remembers they have to slow down and be careful when driving.

So, I have to tell one funny story. Ok, maybe two. We have ducks at the hotel all summer. One day everyone was all a twitter. The staff thought that one of the ducks had gotten out. So, I run out there as I guess I am in charge of escaped ducks. LOL

The first thing I do is count the ducks. They are all there. It turns out that the wild ducks like to visit. All was well. One of the neighbors just came by to visit.

Now, my favorite duck story this year is when Susan, one of our inspectors was working and she saw a brown female duck walking around outside the pen. She started chasing it to put it back in the pen. She must have chased it for 20 minutes. Well, it finally got onto the ramp that leads down to the river and jumped in. Susan thought, oh, no how am I ever going to get this duck back?. Well, she was not about to jump in after it so she was going to go back to work and looked in the pen and lo and behold, all 8 ducks were in the pen. It was really funny, she had exuded quite a bit of energy chasing this visiting duck around. I can just imagine what the poor duck thought. I bet it won’t come back to visit for a while.



I will have to reflect and write some more about life in the hotel business shorty.

Till then,
Cammerlyn

Summer's end is coming at Pike's in Fairbanks

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I can tell you that one of my favorite times of the year is fast approaching. In two weeks Creamer’s Field will be having the Sandhill Crane Festival.

I just love them!!!! They are all here now and I absolutely love to go there after a hard day of work and just admire them. For some reason, they seem to have a very good effect on me.

I always feel completely relaxed after just watching them for a while.

There are lots of activities for kids and adults. Events are held Aug. 20-Aug. 22nd. So, if you have the chance, you should stop by. If you are not from Fairbanks, you should call me and I will book a room for you.

You can also come and enjoy the fair. Lots of good junk food and art and crafts and rides for the kids. Lots of fun. The weather is often gloomy, but you can enjoy some rain free times.

Friday the 13th is the last day I believe. ( I will be driving to Anchorage that day so I need to find some time to go have crepes and corn fritters and elephant ears and killer shrimp. ) You get the point LOL.

Till we meet again,

Cammerlyn

We go rafting in Denali

Friday, July 23, 2010

So let me tell you about one of my new favorite things.

White water rafting!! Last weekend the kids and I drove to Denali to go white water rafting with Denali Outdoor Center. I have to admit I was really, really nervous the whole time. It had been raining and all I could think was the Nenana River would be raging and it would be class 5 rapids.

My kids were already shocked that I was going. So, we manage to get the dry suits on which was the most comical part of the whole adventure. I was glad to have it on because it was a bit chilly but I looked just like the Pillsbury Doughboy except I was red.

We get on bus, drive down the road to the launching deck. Managed to get off the bus without breaking something as the suits are not really conducive to graceful walking. We walk down to the river and I am getting more and more nervous. ( I should mention I had two staff members with me and had to put on a brave face. )

The guide was awesome. Her name was Jocelyn. She used my son as the prop for teaching us how to get someone back in the boat if they had fallen out. That was not helping my mom nerves at all.

So, it is now time to get in the boar. My daughter volunteers to be the bow rider. All she has to do is hang on for dear life. ( and not work, lol)

I am in the second row on the right side. PS if you go, sit on the left side, you stay much drier.

As soon as I am in the boat, I am completely relaxed. I had no idea why I was so nervous. It was so incredibly relaxing I could not believe it.
Yes, there are times when you really have to dig in and paddle but the rest of the time, it was so wonderful. I did spend a bit of time trying to figure out how hard work could be so relaxing but I was definitely going with it.

It had rained up until the time we got in the boat and then stopped for our whole trip. We did the Canyon Run and it is about 12 miles. I could have gone on for another 12.

The water was so cold that when it hit you in the face( yes, I got hit quite a few times) it was just like an ice cream headache. I did not care at all I was just enjoying it so much. At one point the guide said if anyone wants to jump out here and swim, go ahead. I almost jumped out. But I was a good mom and stayed in the boat. I was really sad when the trip ended.

So, if you have a free day, I would absolutely suggest that you go to Denali and call the Denali Outdoor Center and book a rafting trip. You should also do the paddle trip. It is the most fun you can have on one day in Denali.

Cheers,

Cammerlyn

Pike's Waterfront Lodge is going to the Cats and Dogs

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Good Morning all from hot and sunny Fairbanks.

Hope this finds you well. Just thought I would drop a line or two about my “ other duties” category. I never thought taking a cat and dog to Alaska Air Cargo would be part of my work day.

We had some guests who were quite distressed about not being able to get their pets to the airport as the human guests were due to depart on the 5:00 flight and the pets were supposed to be on the 10:00 pm flight. So, with no hesitation, I volunteer. I guess I had no idea what it would entail.

So, I now have Mr. Kitty and Ripley the hyper dog in kennels in my office. Kitty meowing away and Ripley barking every time I leave the office.

Mr. Kitty walks very well on a leash but the laundry carts were loud and really scared him. Ursula was the only thing that scared the dog.

I could not believe it. She walked in the office and he just started growling away. Several other people had walked in and he did not nothing except wag his tail. I tried kicking Ursula out but she would not leave. Ripley kept growling. She finally walked out of the office and he stopped growling. No, she did not actually leave. She just stopped right outside my door and would stick her head in and he would growl again. I don’t think I have seen anything like it. I finally convinced her to leave.

Later, both of my drivers were very busy so I had to figure out how to get this huge kennel in my little car. It was just not going to happen. My front desk girl, Amanda volunteered her minivan. It took 3 bellman, myself, and Amanda to get the dog kennel into the van. Mr. Kitty was in his kennel after having scratched off half my arms. I drove off to AK Air Cargo. Halfway there I realized I would have a hard time getting the large kennel out of the van. I get to the counter, hand over pet passports, food, leashes and confirmation numbers. Back the van in, and had a nice young man help me get the kennel out of the van and onto a cart. Had to stop and get the leash off which meant manhandling the 108 pound dog back into the kennel.

By now I am completely covered in cat hair and dog hair. I would suggest not wearing black pants while transporting Pike's guests pets.

Back inside to get all paperwork finished, say goodbye and head back to work.

So, looking back on that, having to dry clothes for a Pike's guest whose luggage got wet at the airport and didn’t have any time to dry them before her dinner show and find a room when we were full for a guest that needed a certain type of chair to sleep in because he had bronchitis seemed like a walk in the park.

So, that is all for now. I will write later about my drive to Anchorage this past Saturday.

Cheers,

Cammerlyn

Hot and Smoky Here in Fairbanks

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hi there,
Long time no blog. I apologize. Pike's Waterfront Lodge has been hopping and I have been hopping along with it so not much sitting at the desk.

Well, it is hard to believe it is almost the end of June already.
We have had a cool summer here in Fairbanks but it is pretty warm today and is was pretty warm yesterday.

Once again, it is pretty smoky around here. They are calling for thunderstorms this afternoon. I hope there is no lightning.

I am driving to Anchorage tomorrow so the kids can go camping with their dad and aunt and uncle next weekend so you know it will be pouring cats and dogs the whole time.

I don’t have any funny stories to relay. I did spend the last three days taking care of one of our guests who came in with a youth symphony orchestra and came down with a nasty virus and had to delay her departure. I am happy to report that last night I got her to eat and today she was up and about and I have taken her to the airport and she will be reunited with her group this afternoon. She was a lovely woman and so sweet. She sort of became part of the family. It was actually kind of therapeutic for me to take care of her. It made me have to stop and slow down for a few minutes.

I will miss her. Mama Kay was instrumental in taking care of our guest as well. Mama Kay is very nurturing and caring, hence the name “ mama Kay”.

That is about all I have for now.

The sun is shining, the flowers are in bloom and life is good.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and a very safe 4th of July weekend.


Till we meet again,

Cammerlyn

Try to avoid the scooter at Pike's Waterfront Lodge

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Greetings all,

Long time no blog. I know, just off to a very busy start of the season.

The weather has warmed up, all of the songbirds have been pretty happy. ( I will really miss the songbirds come winter.)

And of course, we are surrounded by fires. It seems that the fire season started really early this year. We really need some rain. Well, we need the rain but no lightning.

So, I have to pass on some advice that I learned the hard way the other day. We had a guest who had rented a power scooter due to limited mobility. The medical equipment company had it delivered to the hotel. They did seem to forget the most important part, the instruction manual. I suppose they assumed the guest knew how to operate it.

That’s when I got called in to assist. I went to the room, looked the scooter over, got the key and sat down. I turned it on and tried the levers to see if it would go or not. Nothing happened. Got off, looked around, switched the lever in the back. Nothing! After a bit, I decided to call the emergency number on the back of the scooter and finally got a real live person. She starts telling me what I need to do. I flipped the lever in the back, hopped back on and pulled the levers. The most important thing I can pass on is that before hopping on a power scooter that you do not know how to operate, please, please, please turn the speed knob to the picture of the turtle. Do not leave it on the picture of the hare. I sped backwards, almost drove into the rollaway and panicked for a moment because I didn’t know how to stop it. Luckily the guests were all sitting on the bed.

The good news is that they had a bit of entertainment and we got the scooter to work and I now know how important the picture of the turtle is.

If you Leave that Leg Behind

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dear Ms. O'Connor,

I just returned home from my Alaskan vacation that began in Fairbanks. I purchased a fossil carving that was too large and fragile to pack and the Post Office was closed due to the Memorial Day holiday. I needed to catch a train to Denali, so I asked the front desk to mail the package for me.

I expected the package to be delivered to my office and when it wasn't there today, I felt so stupid for having left it with a total stranger. I was too embarrassed to even contact the Post Office to track it. When I got home from work, the package was at my door! I was so surprised, I thought I would never see it again.

The Staff and everyone we met were so friendly and helpful. One of my traveling companions is an above the knee amputee with a prosthesis. He fell and broke his prosthetic leg, which should have ended our vacation.
Your staff offered to drive us to Wal-Mart at 3:30 AM to buy hardware and an airplane mechanic in the lounge, Joe Davis, went home to get his tools and stayed up all night to repair the leg.

I want to thank everyone who allowed us to continue on our fabulous vacation which would not have been possible without the help from the wonderful people at Pike's.

You should be very proud of your staff and the excellent service they provide. Thank you again for making our stay enjoyable and restoring my trust in mankind.

Sincerely,

M R
Bakersfield, CA

Boy, we love our guests at Pike's!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hi, this letter is long overdue on my part. I want to thank you and all the staff at Pikes for the excellent customer service and care that you provide. We love to stay at Pikes, we love the rooms, the food and the service. This past winter my husband became terribly ill and since we live outside the Fairbanks area I had to find a place for me and my pet to stay during my husbands hospital stay. I chose to stay at Pikes because of being so familiar with your hotel and needed the extra comfort at that time.

You and the staff were all so comforting and very accommodating to my needs and I just never took the time until now to thank you in writing. So, thank you all again and I will ALWAYS recommend your hotel to everyone. You are the best!

from D.D. Alaska

Spring is Springing at Pike's Waterfront Lodge

Friday, April 16, 2010


Fairbanks is slowly warming up and there is hope that Spring may arrive. The geese are here and I have heard rumors that a seagull has been seen.
Maybe I will take a drive by Creamer’s Field this evening on my way home from work.

If only, we could do something about the weatherman predicting snow.

So, let me tell you a painting story. The GM of the hotel has been painting for about a year and a half. She took a water color class and it turns out that she is really, really good at it. Michelle D and I were talked into going because Mama Kay wanted one for Mother’s Day. Michelle and I were really intimidated because we were going with Patty and she is an artist. I was convinced I would come out with refrigerator art that looked like a pre-school age child had done it.

We showed up early so we were given instructions so as to not bore the two experts that we were taking the class with.

It turns out that I am no good at shadows, but I can “ glaze “ the parts of my painting that I did not like. ( Yes, there was a lot of “ glazing” going on)

Michelle’s turned out quite nice and of course, Patty’s was excellent.

The instructor Jill, ( who has the patience of a saint) told us that the “ paint fairy” would visit us during the night and in the morning we would like our paintings much better. Michelle’s fairy came and I am still waiting on mine.

The next day we had to bring them work so we could show our co-workers. Now my daughter ( 13) had painted a picture of a flower and I have it on my desk. Mama Kay came in and grabbed that painting and told me how beautiful it was and what a great job I had done. I laughed and told her it wasn’t mine. About 20 minutes later, Marie came in and grabbed the painting my daughter had done and she also told me how beautiful it was and what a great job I had done. I did tell her as well that it wasn’t mine. I think maybe I should have just let them believe it was!.

The instructor had also told us that the left side of our brain would analyze every bit of the painting process. She was not kidding, I have no control over that part of my brain.

I do have to say it was quite relaxing once I let myself stop feeling so pressured about perfection.( Like that is ever going to happen)

Michelle and I did sign up to take another class, luckily the next one only has one shadow in it so it may be much easier.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. It will be very busy around the hotel. We have a Toast Masters convention and the Prince Hall Masonic Temple convention and Wasilla HS and Colony HS and Palmer HS all at the hotel for Jazz Fest at UAF.

Till the next time,

Cammerlyn

Winter is wonderful at Pike's in Fairbanks (Fooled You)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hope everyone is doing well. Things are good around here except it is really cold again and the roads are really slippery so it would be nice if all the folks on the road would be considerate of the other drivers on the road and stop speeding and stop tailgating!!!

It is actually a bit quiet around here so I really do not have a lot to pass on. I watched a really good show the other day. It was called Icy Killers/Salmon Sharks. Now, last summer we actually saw Salmon Sharks( Well, their fins anyways) while we were in Seward.

If I had watched this show before then it would have been great. It seems they migrate thousands of miles to Prince William Sound to feed on the salmon that migrate there to spawn. They migrate alone and are programmed to go to Alaska and their babies will do the same. They are a bit different looking then most sharks. I really like their underbellies as they are spotted. Looks pretty cool. They are warm blooded and they can raise their body temperatures a whopping 68 degrees to stay warm while feeding. It is pretty cool to watch when the feed, except to me it seems like they work very hard for each fish, they jump out of the water while feeding to catch the salmon. If I were a salmon shark, I would just swim by and open my mouth, LOL. I would never be able to take the cold water though, I would be a very wimpy salmon shark. I wish I could raise my body temp by 68 degrees now and it’s only 17 below zero at the moment. So, I am not exactly sure why I am rambling about Salmon Sharks, but if you get a chance, I would suggest you watch the show. It was very good.


Cheers,
Cammerlyn