Thursday, May 29, 2008

Holiday in Homer

WE LOVE HOMER!!! We packed up last Fri and drove 4-5hours down to Homer, AK to camp on the spit. The Homer Spit is a spit of land that jutts out into the ocean. It is GORGEOUS! The weather was unpredictable and we carried on through 25-35 mph winds, rain storms, and awesome sunny skies. Our tent held up great - Thanks BJ! - and the kids had a grand time. Between, the fishing, beach combing, bike riding, rock throwing, treasure hunting, and s'more making, we were exhausted when we got home!! Homer is so cool. It has these small little businesses on each side of the spit. Anything from boat charters to sweater makers. There are old boat yards, lighthouses, boat harbors, and salty sea air. It is a place all about fishin'.
I believe I have raised a true Alaskan in only 6 months. Of course you have to know that I am talking about Noah. While we were out searching for crabs on the beach, he decides that is the best time to take a dip in the ocean. Well, most of you know that this child LOVES water, if there is water in the vicinity, Noah is in it. Puddles, buckets, ponds, lakes, oceans, ANYTHING retaining water and Noah will take a dip. Caleb too, for that matter. Anyway, I hear "Hey Mom, watch this!" As mothers, we know when we hear a 3 yr old yell these words with sheer excitement something spectacular is about to happen. I look up and see Noah watching the surf and when it comes up to him in a massive rush, he bends over and sticks his head under water. That's great!! I am a proud mom, those yearly swim lessons are paying off, HOWEVER his boots are full of water, his clothes are soaked and now his head, this would be perfectly fine if the water temp wasn't FORTY FIVE!! Add to this the outside temp was only in the low 50's, which in AK can be quite warm, but it wasn't this day in overcast skies. Oh well. It took some coaxing to get him out of the water and in dry clothes. We asked Noah later if he would do it again, to which he replied, "Oh Yeah!"
Caleb loved the water as well. He did not love his puddle boots though. He would only walk in them if I would hold his hand, which was great for me cause I could control how much he got in the water. Caleb doesn't like to be cold so putting his hands in the water was just enough for him. I took all kinds of beach toys, and Caleb would get this bucket, fill it with rocks, and then one by one, toss the rocks into the water. Of course, he had to keep up with Noah too. If he saw big brother (bb) climbing on rocks, well, he had to try it too. This was the same for picking of clams, shells, crabs, etc. If It was so sweet.
I must say that camping here in AK is FAR different than anything I have experienced before. Campfires are nighttime rituals where the sacred s'more making takes place. However, here we had a campfire all day long to take off the chill. Also, there is no nighttime here anymore. It is midnight or later before it gets dark ( and the sun is up before 4am), so camping makes it a little weird when it is 10pm and you are sitting around the fire and the kids are STILL playing cause, "Mommy, it's not dark so it is not bedtime". hee hee! And yes, the sacred s'more making happens in broad daylight, which kinda made it weird for me! Oh and for my camping buddies, there were no s'mownies this time around. I even skipped on the marshmallow and just had toasted graham and chocolate. I KNOW......seriously!
I took the kids on several bike rides up and down the spit. It is about, I would say, 6-8 miles long, with beautiful beach on both sides, back dropped by the breathtaking snow capped mountains. I really could not get enough of the scenery. The end point of the spit is a place called "Lands End", not the clothing company, but a lodge and restaurant. Very fitting.
One couple that went along with us, made up a treasure hunt for the kids. It was VERY elaborate. With decoders, cryptic messages, and a GREAT story. It started with the kids finding a message in a bottle on the beach. Then it lead to clue after clue, after clue. They even got a local store owner in on it and she sold us a piece of the map (pretend sold, of course). So lastly - we were not here for this part, we were already on our way home - the kids end up at the harbor and they drag out of the water a sunken chest full of pirate treasure. This guy, Patrick, made all of the hunt. The coded messages, the story, made the decoders, the map, the treasure chest. It was so professional looking that I asked where he bought it, and then was told he made it! Seriously, I would buy this for a birthday party in a heartbeat. Noah was so into the story and going after "PIRATE BOOTY!! ARRRR!!!!" It was so sad when we had to leave cause Noah kept asking Patrick all these questions about the story trying to put it all together. So, I left my camera so they could make a movie of all the kids pulling out the treasure. Hopefully that will satisfy his curiosity. Thanks for the hunt Hewletts!!
Lucky for Kevin another couple brought a boat and he was able to get in a little fishing. I think the total for the weekend was 12 or 14 Halibut. Kevin was able to catch one. I was so happy! The fresh fish here is so awesome and now we have a ton in the freezer. All it takes is one good fish and your are set in the freezer. He learned how to clean this fish and how to fish for it. I thought they were completely white, but they are, only on one side. Their other side is brown and both of their eyes are on one side. Very strange looking to me. Noah liked looking at the catch and touching the fish - touching them really fast.
So, first camping trip in AK - total F-U-N!!! We are set to camp Seward 4th of July. WoooHOOO!!!


Jillina said...

AMAZING pictures!! I can't get over how beautiful everything is up there, I'm really looking fwd to our visit!!

Sorry I had to go so quick last night but you understand how kids are. I'll try you again tonight after bedtime so I can focus. I def want to finish our convo. Love you!!

The Griffith Family said...

this is so awesome. i'm totally jeolous!your boys are too cute. I speechless. I really enjoyed reading this post...
I noticed the boys were in shorts and barefooted in the shots of the backyard... is that Alaska/recently? It's NOT short weather here. We may get lucky and get a hot of 80 degree weather but today it's COLD!!

Brandi said...

Looking at these pictures takes me right back to my summers spent in Soldotna and Kenai. I have to say that I miss the fishing, but as for camping....I'm a chicken about it. I'm so impressed that you just went and did it. (I think I'd need the RV or pop up at the very least.) Hey..have all the RV's started arriving? Usually at this time of the summer, half the town is in an RV. Wonder if this summer will be different due to gas prices!
Anyway, I LOVED Noah's playing in frigid Alaskan waters at the beach. He truly is turning into a native. I'd tend to me a bit more like Caleb...a little touch of the water would do me just fine! Glad Kevin got his halibut...yum!!
love, Brandi

Katie said...

So cool and so fun! Yay for family trips :)

Born Blonde said...

When you said Homer at first and especially with the first picture, my immediate thought was Homer Simpson. What a cool trip! I wish we could visit. :)

phyllis said...

where did these grown up boys come from. Noah looks so happy keep up the good work. A little bird told me you were comming to see some other special boys and I can't wait. everyone looks soo happy. we miss you and love you. see you soon.

Courtney said...

awesome. What a great place for you guys to be, and great memories to make! We are planning a trip for next summer, I cant wait!

Ambrosia said...

Its so great to see those sweet boys. They are growing so fast. Miss ya'll: (