It is hard to believe that as I type today it is 9/1! Where has the time gone? I have all my blog posts to look back on and remember – not that I need it – not yet anyway!
I already told you about our Saturday, getting chores done and finally seeing Exit Glacier – a great start to our time off!
The weather was predicted to be sunny and gorgeous the whole week and we were VERY excited! Jo & Ben had gotten back from Kodiak Saturday night and would be waiting for us!
We were making our left turn out onto Seward Hwy by about 10am Sunday, pretty good for us! We hadn’t planned any stops, except for fuel in Soldotna. We made good time down the Sterling Hwy and I was snapping pics at the overlook by 2:15!
Jo & Ben had checked out a few of the local Homer CG’s and decided on Mariner CG, a City of Homer CG. It is at the base of the Homer Spit, close to things but far away enough that it was quiet! Best part was the views! They choose 2 spots and we got set up in no time! Did I mention the views?
When Bill and I were in Homer in June, we had decided to wait to have the traditional drink at Salty Dog with Jo & Ben. We generally don’t just go out for drinks on our own, we prefer to go with friends, so waiting for them was an easy choice. Bill and Ben each had a beer, Jo preferred white wine and I opted for a rum & coke. Of course, we had to hang up a personalized dollar bill!
We had planned for meals together, we each brought some fresh fish – Bill & I had some halibut from Gary and Ben had caught a silver, Coho, salmon on Kodiak! YUM and YUM! We had salad and wine and the guys had beer and we sat outside to eat and watch the water!
Monday, Jo & I got dropped off at the ferry dock at 10:20am – we were heading to Seldovia! We took advantage of the BOGO in the TourSaver book – and Jo was able to get an additional discount due to being a senior! Two round trip tickets for $65! Not too bad! (Especially when I remember what Bill & I paid to go to Skagway from Haines – I think $70 per person!) The ferry ride was very nice, calm seas and little wind. Sun was out – no clouds and temps were warm!
The town of Seldovia is very small, only about 250 year round residents. The only way to get there is boat or plane – there aren’t any roads to get there. We were hungry so decided to get some lunch first. After looking at the menus for a few places and consulting TripAdvisor (comparing the 4 available choices), we decided on Linwood Bar and Grill. Jo wanted some pizza and theirs was supposed to be good. I (even after having it for dinner the night before and planning it for dinner the upcoming night) choose the fish and chips, but substituted onion rings instead of fries. The whole meal was very good and the prices weren’t awful, considering AK. We relaxed as we ate and watched a few boats coming in and out of the very small boat harbor.
Our tour next took us to see the only local grocery store. My co-worker, Marna, had told me about the mosaic work on their floor and I wanted to see it. Very cool, especially considering the owners did it themselves. The store was pretty small and had lots of dust. Made me glad I don’t have to shop there for groceries.
We also checked out the visitor center, which was small but included a small gift shop – I couldn’t resist some locally made Fireweed Jelly to add to the kids AK baskets. I got a postcard for my cousin and then we walked down to the Post Office to mail it. I’m curious to see how long it takes to get to PA.
We continued on, following the map to the “beach”. It was not anything close to what I (raised on the Jersey Shore) would call a beach, but I guess it’s Seldovia’s version. There was some dark colored sand and I have to admit the views were awesome!
The “Boardwalk” area was our next stop. We looked around the garden/gift shop a bit before moving on.
We ended our tour of Seldovia with a scoop of ice cream and watching boats and birds in the harbor. It was a very relaxed peaceful day and I’m glad we went.
The guys were waiting for us when we got back and they had had a great day of fishing and going to one of the local breweries.
Tuesday was the guys big fishing trip day! We woke early to drive them to the dock by 6:00AM! After getting there and finding no one there – Bill checked his email and found one letting them know the time and boat had changed. They now didn’t need to be there til 6:30 – so the wait got a little longer!
Jo and I headed back to our homes on the beach and decided to try and get some additional sleep. Thankfully we were both able to do just that. My Dad called and woke me at 8, which was fine. We had a leisurely morning, enjoying our coffee outside with Peyton (Jo & Ben’s Malamute), taking a stroll along the waters edge. After some brunch, we went to do some shopping at the shops along the spit. We had a blast looking at all the local art and craft stuff for sale. We got the guys t-shirts and I got one too! Jo purchased herself a hoodie and new pair of bear earrings. I picked up a new seasoning to use on the fish!
We were done shopping and found ourselves back in our chairs on the beach by about 3 – we didn’t need to pick up Bill and Ben til 4:30, so we hung out loving being outside in the sun, and I think we each dozed off a bit.
The guys were late getting back – but they brought halibut so we didn’t mind! Neither caught a BIG one – but we got enough to have a few nice dinners! They had a great time and even saw some whales, so a good day was had by all!
Wednesday we woke to another amazing weather day! Clear and sunny! We decided to have a big breakfast of pancakes and bacon! And as a special bonus – AK picked blueberries! Bill made the regular kind inside our rig and Ben made his fav, buckwheat, outside on the grill, after the bacon was done being cooked on it.
After filling our bellies, Bill and Ben went to pick up the previous day’s catch, which was cleaned, vacuum packaged and flash frozen. It was all packed away in our freezer along with some cod Bill decided to get.
Jo and I dropped them off at Lands End with their fishing poles and a cooler, and off we went to the liquor store – Jo was out of wine! Oh the horror! We first place we stopped was next to Safeway b/c we needed a few things from there also, but they didn’t have anything we were interested in – so on to the next place, called the Grog Shop. They had what we were looking for so we got to check “wine” off the list! Our next stop was the Homer Farmer Market. Bill & I had visited this when we were in Homer back in June and I was hoping there would be more fresh produce. Well – there really wasn’t, but I did get some fresh homemade salsa – there were samples and it was delish! Jo picked up some locally made jelly for Ben, again – it hard to not get something yummy after they offer samples!
Sitting outside, loving the view of Cook Inlet, had become our new fav pastime and we made sure we spent plenty of time doing that again! The guys finally called a little while later and we went to pick them up. There had been a few fish caught, but sadly none were keepers – oh well! They had a nice afternoon – that’s all that matters, right?
I forget who sparked up a fire, but we sat out by it til past sunset. We didn’t want our time in Homer to end, which it was going to do the next morning. Each couple retreated into their home to get some sleep.
Bill was looking out his little window by his side of the bed and he says “There are some weird clouds” and then “That is strange how they are moving” so it hit me – they aren’t clouds – it must be northern lights! The aurora borealis! I ran outside, not waiting for Bill to get his jeans back on. Sure enough – there was the northern lights – OMG! MAJOR BUCKET LIST ITEM! After a minute – I went over to Jo & Ben’s camper and called out “Jo!” – she answered “What?” I could barely keep from yelling – but whispered loudly – “hurry – get out here – northern lights!” I could hear them scrambling to get up as Bill and I watched in awe! I was very surprised – it is very fluid – doesn’t stay still – fades in and out and constantly moving. We snapped a few pics – Bill did anyway then Ben got it his camera and tripod. We stayed out for about half an hour watching.
Bill and Ben then went over to ask the people in the Class A a couple sites down to turn off their gennie. It was way past 11pm at this point, which is when quiet hours start. The guy was not very nice, but after a few minutes he shut it down. Why do people have to be difficult?
We were up and headed north by 8:57am – 3 full minutes ahead of schedule! After stopping at the dump station, our next stop was Moose is Loose Bakery in Soldotna. OMG! The options were many and the place was packed with people trying to make a decision. I really didn’t want to walk out with a full box of baked goods – but between Bill & I – we couldn’t help it! No really – before we knew it we had eaten our first selections – a chocolate covered donut for Bill and chocolate covered custard filled one for me! I don’t remember now what Jo & Ben got, but they also walked out with a full box. Our take home box had an apple bear claw, apple fritter, pecan sticky bun, 3 cinnamon buns with raisins, and a loaf of cinnamon bread. I’ve got to tell you – I have no idea what any of it cost – dollars or calorie wise – but we just couldn’t resist!
Next up was a stop in Walmart for salad fixings and a few other items, before we shared final hugs and goodbyes with Jo & Ben. They are heading back down to the lower 48 to pick up their 5th Wheel and their next travel nurse contracts.
What a great time we had in Homer with Jo & Ben! It was the perfect blend of stuff to do and relaxing – and best of all – time with friends! Hope our paths cross again in the not too distant future!