How I Honeymooned Your Father, Part XII: Homer Rain

If you’re just tuning in to our Alaska adventures, here are the links to Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII, Part VIII, Part IX, Part X and Part XI. Where did we leave off last? After the two longest and fullest days known to mankind, we made a whole day of driving to Homer, Alaska. There, I was “surprised” by a reservation to fly in a small plane to an island of brown bears, hike and photograph bears for hours, potentially get stuck there overnight, and then fly back to Homer.

After seeing some serious nature documentary moose action, I slept the sleep of someone about to face a small plane phobia.


I woke up and looked out the cabin to see swans on the water. Cassidy went to get a breakfast recommendation and went to the nearby Fresh Sourdough Express for breakfast sandwiches and their famous caramel rolls. (like cinnamon rolls) I couldn’t understand how he could eat at a scary time like this, but I decided to wait until I “safely” arrived at the island of bears. Honestly, I don’t know if I was more afraid of imminent death or airsickness. I’d never been in a small plane! Since I really don’t get motion sickness, except in highly specific and emotion-attached events, I was more afraid one of the other six scheduled passengers would. I was just scared all around, but determined. I got up, showered, and dressed in my rain pants.

Now that’s why I needed them from Bass Pro! Now I knew!

Until Cassidy came back from breakfast and told me the flight was canceled because of bad weather. It was pretty overcast in Homer, but it all had to do with what was going on around the island. The expedition was rescheduled for the next day.

Finally, I could eat. I was hungry! And disappointed/relieved at the same time.

So now we had a whole day in Homer with nothing to do! He took me back to Fresh Sourdough Express where I could sit and have breakfast and hear about all the things to do that day. We went back to the Spit to check in with the fishing charters – a little dream of Cassidy’s – but they also talked about rough waters. A really awesome lady at one of the shops drew us a map of cool places to see and scenic drives to take. We then parked at the end of the Spit and walked to the water to investigate.

It was clear in Homer, because it’s protected by the mountains, so we didn’t experience much rain.

We saw seagulls and starfish galore! Live ones! Starfish, that is. I’m not sure I’d ever seen them before.

It was otherwordly. That’s sort of the only word I can use to describe Alaska. Is that even a word? It is now. It was surreal and dark and euphoric and gloomy and hopeful and sad and wild and disappointing all at once. I may have been projecting my own mood, though. I tend to do that sometimes. I thought I’d fall in love with Homer and it had all the makings for every dream I’ve ever had, but there was something missing too. I think I needed to see it in the full sun. I needed to feel it. I needed to see myself in the full sun. I needed to feel it. And that’s definitely a metaphor, because it had been sunny the day before.

Cassidy chased some seagulls.

There’s probably a metaphor in there too. One of them had a broken wing and couldn’t fly away from the others and it made us both have sad faces. I still think about it, actually. I sort of hope it found a way to soar off into the distance.

Then we ducked into shops to find souvenirs for the kids. It was drizzling a bit and we thought about catching a water taxi somewhere. I honestly didn’t even know what a water taxi was until that day. It’s not affordable for regular use! We ducked into the most amazing seafood place of all time and had some chowder. Before leaving town for one of the adventures the lady at the fishing boat charter company had drawn for us, Cassidy went into an Alaskan art gallery. We found a moose antler chew for Athena. The shopkeeper asked where we were from and I decided to tell her my specific city – because you never know in Alaska – and her jaw dropped. It turns out that her daughter lives in Northampton, goes to the same places I go, and even worked for my friend. It’s WEIRD. We were at the edge of the earth and we found a mutual friend. Only in Alaska.

It got weirder. Because.. Alaska. We tooled around on a long drive and found a Russian village off the grid, where women get married at 14! That’s not where it gets weird, by the way. I’m not a judgemental sort. Especially not in Alaska..

..because this is what you see on casual drives in Homer.

We were driving back to Homer to stay another night at our Floatplane Lodge, when Cassidy slammed on the brakes. I had been dozing but I picked my head up and thought, “Moose???” It wasn’t a moose. It was.. a freaking.. TARDIS.

In Alaska! In the middle of nowhere, off of Homer, Alaska. Nuttiest place on earth. So we time traveled.

And had more fun with iPhone panorama shots magic.

Then it gets weird again. We went back to town for dinner, after sadly going to a much recommended bakery and finding it closed, and walked into Fat Olives Restaurant. I’ll have to refresh a story from a few days earlier in Anchorage. While waiting for breakfast in a very crowded place in Anchorage on our first morning of our trip, we got to chatting with a mother and daughter from Pennsylvania and Utah, respectively. It was the mother’s life dream to go to Alaska so her kids got the trip for her as a gift for Christmas. We high-fived life dreams. Here, 4-5 hours away in Homer, and 4-5 days into our trip, we were finishing dinner at Fat Olives Restaurant and I turned around and saw them come into our restaurant! And I had FaceTimed the kids earlier and had been feeling a bit disoriented and…far far away. The sense of everything connected is strong here.

After our delicious dinner, we went back into the moosey parts and hiked a bit. We were waiting for dusk – when moose are most active. It’s not the best time to get moose pictures, but the images live on in your mind, and that’s good too.

We saw another bunch of moose, and one a mere silouhette against a darkening sky.

Next up – I have to do that thing again – where I hit the hot tub, hit the bed, and find a way to cope with sleeping and waking up to face a phobia. Will it or will it not? And what’s next for our journey? Seward, Alaska.. a place of oddities and magic.

See ya SOON!

Part XIII


Comments

How I Honeymooned Your Father, Part XII: Homer Rain — 41 Comments

  1. I don’t know if I ever told you this, but I have a thing for starfish since I was a kid. I absolutely love them and got one as a kid from the Coney Island aquarium. My dog back then ate it and still a story my family talks about. So wow to seeing on that up close and personal their in Alaska and a bit jealous now. But still awesome and now want to wish you a very, Happy Thanksgiving šŸ˜‰

    • Oh no! I’m so sorry about your dog eating it!! Mine would totally do that. And I’ve been to that aquarium – it rocks.
      Happy Thanksgiving, belated! I’m thankful for you!

  2. Another amazing day in Alaska. Thanks for sharing your adventure, Tamara! I love the panorama pics of you! Also, thanks for sharing that old song my Mister, Mister. I used to love that song but it always made me sad. I’ve never actually seen the video until now. He is rather adorable. Here’s to fulfilling life dreams! Happy Thanksgiving!!

    • I loved that song so much! It came out when we were building our house when I was four, and it always makes us remember that scattered time. The workmen would have it on their boomboxes!
      Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

  3. I don’t blame your fear of small plans. I have been in them twice (once for skydiving, and once when a guy flew me in his plane on a date!) and they just feel so…small. Thankfully I made it to tell the tale šŸ˜‰
    I love those stories about those crazy small weird happenings, like running into people you met on a trip on multiple places or meeting people randomly and finding out you know people in common even if you’re nowhere near home.
    And those photos…and that starfish!

  4. Why must every child and man-child feel the need to chase seagulls like that? I can so see my husband doing that! Those star fish are amazing! I have never seen them with colors that bright. I love hearing about your adventure.

    • ha! Read above for how Jen was saying that every man-child feels the need to chase birds! Women do too! I admit it looks satisfying.. good for the heart too!

  5. Is that a glacier in your photos? It sure looks like it! We have a water taxi in Chicago that is very affordable! It goes on the Chicago river. I’ve only taken in once, and of course, it runs only in the summer. There are no moose in Chicago, however. šŸ˜‰

    • It sure is a glacier!!
      I love the idea of a water taxi in Chicago – when we visit in August, I’m all in.
      I’m surprised by no moose! They do wander into Boston and even my little city every now and then.

  6. You found a TARDIS on your travels? This obviously means that you were MEANT to honeymoon there! Also, seagulls were meant for chasing!

  7. How cool that you meet someone who had a connection to North Hampton. I couldn’t imagine living in a community where girls get married at 14. It’s insane just to think about it, but I’m sure it’s just the normal thing to do within that community.

  8. Oh, I was so relieved you didn’t have to face your fear- and yet, I KNOW that looming anticipation is almost as bad as the moment you face that fear! This sounds like a lovely relaxing day to enjoy new things and rest up for your big day ahead! You got to see SO MUCH. Russian village? Any pictures from there? FASCINATING. And seagulls and MOOSE and yummy food and beautiful flowers in the fields and oh those mountains – BREATHTAKING! I CANNOT BELIEVE there was a TARDIS right in the middle of it all. WHAT?!!

    Simply unbelievable. And so very perfect. šŸ™‚

    • The TARDIS was.. insane. In a town full of moose and otters? I sort of wonder why I didn’t move there!
      I still have my fear to face.. spoiler. I tried a few more times in Talkeetna too! I wasn’t avoiding this big thing!

  9. How amazing that you found a Tardis. The world is such a cool, connected place. Your pictures remind me of here – but a more rugged version of here. Can’t wait to see if you flew the next day!

  10. So cute that you found a Tardis! I mean it was probably meant to be because you technically did not “find it”.. It was just there waiting to be discovered. The environment did look gloomy but still the beautiful kind. And yes, it would have been so majestic with the sun shining. Chasing seagulls is dreamy! And a Russian village in that part of the world is quite interesting.

  11. I love starfish!! For some reason I never have luck finding any…. well alive… when I go to the beach.
    That’s crazy that there was a Tardis there, it’s like it was there just for you and your honey. šŸ™‚
    It’s funny how things connect.
    XOXO

  12. “otherwordly” was exactly what I have been thinking myself. And I am a wordsmith so I am saying it’s a real freakin word!! Because LOOK!! I’ve never seen a live starfish either – that is so cool. But honestly, I cannot believe you found a Tardis at the edge of the world. Signs!! Everywhere Signs!

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