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North To Alaska (Homer; Day 2)

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Woke up before the sun was quite over the Kenai Mountains; enjoyed watching Katchemak Bay come to life. Seals, birds, boats–everything was beginning to stir, and as the sun arose it trailed silvery tracks across the water.

The sun barely breaking over the Kenai Mountains

The sun barely breaking over the Kenai Mountains

Sunrise over Kachemak Bay

Sunrise over Kachemak Bay

A seal just offshore

A seal just offshore

Picturesque boat crossing Kachemak Bay

Picturesque boat crossing Kachemak Bay

Had breakfast at the Land’s End Restaurant which looks out over the tip of Homer Spit and into the bay. We debated whether or not to take a wildlife cruise of some kind, or even go all the way over to Prince William Sound, but in the end, we just decided to wander around Homer and look at whatever was of interest (pretty much how we operate at all times).

Visited some of the shops and fell in love with a framed print of Homer Spit from Alaskan artist Byron Birdsall; thought it might make a really great remembrance of the trip. Drove up on the ridge above the Spit and admired the view–the whole area is beautiful.

On the ridge above Homer Spit

On the ridge above Homer Spit

Came back down a side road and I saw some red berries I wanted to photograph. We turned around to go back and a young moose came ambling out of the woods, right in front of my photo opp, so I incorporated her? him? into the scene!

Moose on the loose in Homer!

Moose on the loose in Homer!

The red berries that the moose & I both admired!

The red berries that the moose & I both admired!

Had lunch at Fresh Sourdough Express between the mainland and the Spit–really good food and an interesting atmosphere. Went on to Bear Creek Winery, which is one of only four wineries in the entire state and the only one in Homer. It sits about halfway up the ridge and looks out over the Spit and Kachemak Bay to the glaciers beyond–gorgeous views for the guest suites that are part of the winery. No, Alaska isn’t a grape-growing region, but they do have a fabulous berry season and the wines I tasted were definitely enjoyable–I liked the Black Currant and Port varieties best. The tour of the winery was interesting, too, and though it’s a small facility, they’ve got everything they need to make it work.

Me & the Bear Creek Winery "bear"

Me & the Bear Creek Winery "bear"

Back outside, my sister and her husband had discovered a sort of “Maypole” swing in the garden–a tall metal pole with a swivel “doohickey” on top that allowed the swings to turn around the pole. They were literally rolling on the ground laughing after trying it–and they hadn’t even had any wine! Seems like Bear Creek would be a delightful place to stay when visiting Homer…

All of a sudden it was time for dinner–where had the day gone? We wanted to go to Cafe Cups, which is probably the most notable restaurant in the area. The outside is distinctive for its food and wine mosaics made out of broken crockery. Mannequin heads line the eaves and the whole building is completely colorful, like a fairytale cottage out of  Bon Appetit magazine. (And the fairy godmother has a whisk instead of a wand, perhaps?)

Cafe Cups

Cafe Cups

Entrance to Cafe Cups

Entrance to Cafe Cups

Exterior mosaic at Cafe Cups

Exterior mosaic at Cafe Cups

Close-up of "cups"

Close-up of "cups"

"Faces" line the eaves above the cups

"Faces" line the eaves above the cups

We didn’t have a reservation (surprise!), so we had to wait quite a while, but eventually got a table. I had that night’s fish special (which included a blueberry-lime pico de gallo, as I recall) and it was lovely. We were reluctant to leave, because it was our last night in Alaska–we were scheduled to fly out of Anchorage the next evening. (I was especially reluctant, because I wasn’t looking forward to re-packing the mighty “Bertha” for the return journey!)

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About ltbrwnhare

A real Ashevillain, from the fabled town of Asheville, NC. There aren't too many of us "from here" any more, but don't ask about the secret handshake. Few people know I blog; they think I work for corporate America. I do. Both. There's probably a secret handshake for that, too. You can think of me as a "locavore," if you like: someone who consumes local food and culture. I'm not just local, though--I like finding out interesting stuff from all over the place, traveling, tasting, reading, writing fiction (actually, I write non-fiction--I just don't let my family read it and get mad at me for spilling the beans. There are some pretty funky beans to spill, sometimes, but that's just a fact of life in the South...), and lots of other things. If I think of them, maybe I'll blog about them.

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