S: Seasons of Change
FC: Building Our First Home While Living In An Alaskan Train Car
1: This is my husband Chad and I. | This is our son Brayden. He is 6 months old. | This is Granny and Papa Wilson. They own the train cars and let us live in them until we finished our home. | My families move to Fairbanks, Alaska was ANYTHING but ordinary.
2: We stopped at Red Robin on the way and Brayden ate his first "big boy" food, which was cantaloupe. | The drive from Anchorage was long, but Brayden did great. We made the drive with just Brayden and I because Chad was already in Fairbanks getting started on the house. | AUGUST 2010
3: We made the six hour drive from Anchorage, Alaska to Fairbanks, Alaska. Upon arrival, we moved directly into a 400 sq ft. Alaskan train car.
4: This is the Golden Nellie Caboose. She sits at the back of the line and is usually the "couples retreat" room. | There are 7 train cars in total at the bed and breakfast, on real railroad tracks. Each room has its own unique theme.
5: Then we have the Dining Car where breakfast was held every morning. My family spent many mornings here enjoying the amazing food and company. Breakfast always came with Granny Wilson dressing up in fun, Alaska themed attire. The painting on the ceiling is a hand painted, 65' mural of the Northern Lights dancing overhead. | AUGUS T 2 0 1 0
6: Getting ready with Brayden in the Arlene for an amazing dinner with the family. | My family stayed in the Arlene train car. It has a blue and yellow theme, based off the Alaska state flag. A refrigerator and small kitchen are located at the front of the train. During WWII, it served as a hospital car. | September 2010
7: The next train car is the National Domain and it is made up of four separate, luxurious rooms. | The Gold Mine | The Bordello | The Cancan | Immaculate Conception
8: The "National Emblem" is a 1956 Pullman private sleeper car that has two bath rooms and can accommodate many people. Years ago it traveled the Aurora route from Seward, Alaska to Fairbanks, Alaska. It is spacious and has four private rooms in its eighty-five feet.
9: Chuga Chuga Choo Choo!!!! At the front of the line sits the mighty engine train car. The inside of this one has been kept as the original and not made into a room for guests.
10: Meanwhile, Daddy and Papa Wilson were hard at work building our first home right up the road from where we were staying in the trains. We started building at the end of August, so we had to build fast to beat the first snow fall! | AUGUST 2010 | I was trying really hard to bend rebar, which is long poles of metal that keep the concrete in the foundation together.
11: Brayden sat and watched as his surroundings changed. | Building a house is a lot of hard work. It took everybody getting involved and doing their part to get the job done. | August 2010 | Our little dog Bella, who is a Chihuahua/Toy Fox Terrier, walked around the construction site with us every day.
12: During the first stages of building, we used a lot of concrete. My son loved the red and white polka doted concrete truck. We called it the lady bug truck. | SEPTEMBER 2010 | Brayden patiently watching Daddy work
13: Papa Mike and Daddy working hard!
14: Less than a month after breaking ground, the first walls went up.
15: Every once in a while we needed a break from building the house. Our hobby is motocross and our days off were usually spent at the track watching daddy race. | September 2010
16: SEPTEMBER 2010 | We would take our daily walk, which took about 5 minutes, up to the new house. It was always fun to watch Daddy and Papa Wilson at work. Brayden was involved, as much as a baby could be.
17: Papa Wilson even showed Brayden his big construction equipment. He let Brayden sit with him in the drivers seat and tried to take him on a ride, but when Papa started the engine, he got scared. Sitting in the seat was good enough for him at that time.
18: OCTOBER 2010 | The house was coming along very fast, and so far, we had beat the first snowfall. | Chad (orange jacket) and his work partner Chris, building the house.
20: October 2010 | We spent a lot of time having fun and being silly in the trains to pass the time.
21: Brayden made some of his first major milestones in the trains. He was crawling! | Granny and Papa Wilson even bought him a conductor hat.
22: Bath time was always on the counter in Granny and Papa Wilson's cabin, which was right next to the trains. | Granny and Papa Wilson's cabin was also where Brayden learned how to walk. We put a blanket over the coffee table and he would walk around it in circles, with the occasional fall. | October 2011
23: We spent a lot of time in Granny and Papa Wilson's cabin. | Chad's parents supported and helped us out a lot throughout the process of building our house.
24: The house was finally taking it's shape on the inside/outside, and things were moving along fast! | November 2011
26: My family was so anxious to move in that we did not even wait until the house was completely finished. | Brayden at 9 months old.
27: Unfortunately, we finished the house at the beginning of January, and were not able to spend Brayden's first Christmas in our new home. It still ended up being a fabulous Christmas at Granny and Papa Wilson's house! | December 2011
28: Me, Chad, Brayden, and our dog Bella, put our hand (or paw) prints on the floor of the garage for lasting memories.
29: Chad even made the dining room table himself. | Chad hand made the bathroom vanity.
31: Now that the house is done, we will have memories to last us the rest of our lives.
32: By: Tosha Wilson 2012 | For my munchkins, Brayden and Payton Wilson :)