Sunday, May 5, 2013

Alaska 2 of 4: The Homer Spit

As promised (3 months later), here is the second installment of my four-part post on my trip to Alaska.

I know it's taken me a long, long time to get to this post, but I think part of the problem was that I didn't have a whole lot to say about Homer. We made a quick trip down for the afternoon without really planning out what we wanted to do, so we were just winging it.

That doesn't mean that there isn't anything to do or see there.  I thought the Homer Spit was a lot of fun, especially if you're in the market for local handmade goods.  So I'll just share how we spent our afternoon.

Since we were coming from Kenai, it was only about a 2 hour drive.  So we all hopped in the car, excited to go do some exploring.

Of course we couldn't go exploring without Diego...oh wait, Dora goes scratch that.  We couldn't go take pictures without Diego and his trusty friend Click, the camera.  

One of the first things I noticed driving into Homer was that it was surrounded by a chain of mountains.  

What makes it even more breath taking is that the mountains are snow capped year round.  

Homer is known as the Halibut fishing capital of the world, but we weren't there to fish.  

Signs show up as soon as you drive into town, so we pulled over to take pictures.  The views were beautiful!  

While we did drive around Homer for a little while, we really didn't do much there.  Our objective was to figure out where to catch a ferry that would take us to some remote island/village.  I don't really remember anymore.  It may have been Seldovia. 
So we drove straight down the Homer Spit in search of lunch and ferry info.  

Driving down the spit, you will see adorable little shops lined up along both sides of the street.  

We drove all the way to the end of the spit and wound up having lunch at the very aptly named, "Lands End Restaurant."  The food was good and the restaurant had great views of the water and mountains. 

 We ventured outside to walk to the water's edge.  It was SOOOOO cold out there!

Here's a random little video I took, showing the chain of mountains:

As with all the other beaches I saw in AK, the shore is covered in stones, not sand.

And here's my rather pathetic attempt at taking a panoramic picture:

At the end of the spit you can see the Seafarer's Memorial:

After lunch we found a parking spot and set off walking to explore the shops and get times for the ferry.

We found out that it was too late to catch a ferry so we shopped instead.  I found souvenirs for different family members, a handmade bear sweater for Eva (which you will see her wearing in my other Alaska posts), knit hats, multi-tools, etc...  

I saw this on the window in one of the shops and thought it was cute:

We also went and checked out the harbor, took more pictures, etc...

Since we couldn't go to Seldovia after all, we kinda cut our trip short, but it was nice to go explore Homer, which was a very unique little fishing town.
The most memorable stop we made there was to a place called the Salty Dawg Saloon, which is a hot spot for local fishermen while also being popular with tourists. 

I know what you're thinking.  You took a child to a saloon?!!!  The horror!  Well, this wasn't a regular saloon. It was a popular stop in Homer, filled with families checking out the interesting interior. 

It's interesting because it's a teeny tiny place with really low ceilings and it's completely covered in dollar bills.  

We walked around and read what had been written on some of them.  It was mainly names and dates, but it was fun to read all the countries the tourists were from. 

Of course we couldn't go without adding our own:

Like I said, we didn't do a whole lot in Homer since our plans didn't work out, but we still had a good time.  Eva had a big smile on the way back to the car so it was a nice little day trip.

Next up in my 4 part series is Seward...hands down my favorite part of our vacation since we did a whale watching/iceberg boat excursion so be sure to check back in oh...say another 3 months?  I kid, I kid! (I hope :))

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