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Mom, Can I Be a Mermaid?: Homer, Alaska

sunny 15 °C

BGM: Hirzel by Andreas Vollenweider

This magical place always feeds my deepest childhood dreams. All I need to see is that vista of those glaciers towering over the Homer Spit and I start to feel scales forming from my torso down and a strong desire to plunge myself into seawater.


Gosh, I love this place!
Homer is a vibrant fishing community, a major tourist spot, an artists' hub and a hippie hangout -attracting artists, free-thinkers and environmentalists with its beauty and wildlife. Mom and I somewhat fit into those last few categories, so we always felt at home here.
Plus we're both water babies, and Homer is THE place for our kind to stretch out our "sea legs."

Here is a typical example of how we'd do Homer "back in the day:"

After making the descent out of the mountains of Diamond Ridge, our first stops would be Pioneer Avenue and Main Street. Accented with student art and gaily-painted signboards, you wouldn't be too out of place if you came here sporting a tie-dye shirt and Birkenstocks. A charming selection of coffee houses, pubs, diners and bakeries line these two streets -some offering savory vegetarian fare for those seeking to leave a small carbon footprint. (My favorites are Ah!laska Bakery, Sunrise Cafe and Cup's). Storefronts are appropriately graced with twisting, wave-worn driftwood, brightly colored buoys and an eye-popping plethora of wild and domestic flowers, giving off a fresh and cheerful vibe. (It really makes me want to give a big hug to EVERYONE on the Homer Beautification project! What a creative example for the rest of the state!) We'd wander through the ever-changing Ptarmigan Arts gallery or explore the Pratt Museum, stock up on supplies at Gig's Beads, browse one of the ocean-themed book stores and get horribly inspired to paint something ourselves!


You'd think that's enough, but we're just getting started!

A hop into the truck and it's down to the Homer Spit, where the trees end and the sea spreads out before our eyes. The purple and blue mountains of China Poot Bay sparkle with retreating glaciers as the waves of Kachemak Bay swell and crash at our sides. We'd pull over to take pictures and inspect the tide pools for a glimpse of a crab, urchin or sea star, painted pink and purple like the iridescent colors of a soap bubble.

(Tip: My favorite place to find sea life in Homer is the Small Boat Harbor on the left as you face the mountains. If you bend down just far enough without falling head-first into the water, you can see whole communities of mollusks, sponges and sea squirts in a rainbow of colors, clinging to the pier just beneath the water. No need for a snorkel!)

Walking along towards the Better Sweater ethnic clothing shop (closed in winter), the sharp odor of dock sealant mixed with the salty sea breeze keeps us entranced -that is until the satisfyingly greasy aroma of frying halibut chunks diverts our attention. Sometimes we'd give in to a mouth-watering basket of beer-battered halibut fish and chips (mermaids LOVE fish). If we wanted something special, Mom would treat us to a decadent seafood course dinner at the Chart Room restaurant inside Land's End Resort.
(The Chart Room's Grilled Salmon and Halibut Plate, Circa 2008. Check their website for current menus).

From our table, we'd toast the sun "good night" as the moon begins its slow and shimmering journey above the bay.
By this point, I would completely give up on the idea of sprouting fins and living in the sea. Besides, hanging out on two legs with my Mom is way more fun and I wouldn't want her to have to haul me around in a wheelbarrow.

Let's do Homer again, Mom. :-)

Posted by GenkiLee 04:16 Archived in USA Tagged alaska homer the_chart_room the_homer_spit kachemak_bay

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I feel my heart pulling me back to Homer.. and my mouth watering for the taste of fresh freshly fried halibut! Even without the pictures, your words paint an appetizing picture!

by npete

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