We have been in Homer for a week now. Here are some of our first impressions and reflections:
-The people here are just as friendly and helpful in person as they have been online. Our landlords are fantastic, and our neighbors (who happen to be the landlord's son and family) are very easygoing. The neighbors are a couple of years younger than us and have 3 kids with one more on the way. Our kids fit in pretty easily with theirs, and they are generous with sharing their backyard playground equipment and toys. We have also had a great welcome from several local business owners and residents who we have come in contact with this week, from the local coffee roaster chatting about his family's sea-faring history back in Mystic to a local ranch owner offering composted cow manure (I know, yuck) for our newly-built garden.
-The mountain views here are even better than we remembered...when we can see them, that is. About half of the days we have been here, we have woken up to a light drizzle and clouds obscuring the mountains. We have learned to prefer those mornings to the sunny, more clear ones, because those generally come with a very chilly wind.
-For some strange reason, the kids are sleeping in later here than they ever have anywhere else. On Saturday, we didn't get out of bed until 8:15! Those of you who know our kids know that is amazing. It's made even more strange by the fact that we haven't actually seen a dark night since somewhere back in Yellowstone.
-It's a good thing we like coffee, because is a local specialty. There are at least two coffee roasters in town, and well over 10 coffee houses and cafes. For a town of only 5,000 people, that seems excessive, but they all have a steady stream of business. Must be due to that cold wind! We haven't decided yet which coffee we prefer. Will it be K-Bay or Captain's Coffee? Stay tuned...I'm sure that will be a blog post of its own sometime soon. I can see our Keurig taking a sabbatical while in Homer.
-We can't stay away from Two Sisters Bakery. We just can't. Uggg! I was entering receipts in the check register today and had 5 from the bakery. For 7 days. It doesn't help that it is only a mile from the house. But really, everything in town is only a mile or two away. That leads us to my next tidbit:
-I broke down and bought a used treadmill. I have been running right from our house this week (mainly to combat the pastries from Two Sisters, and also because I signed up to run the Homer Spit Run 10K next Saturday, even though I haven't run more than 4 miles at a time since the half-marathon back in April!). While it is really nice to be able to go for a run without having to drive anywhere first, I have "run" into a couple of issues: This is a very hilly town, and no matter what way I go, I must run the last mile back home uphill. While I am perfectly capable of running hills (Thanks, soundRunner girls!), doing it all the time is hard on the toes. I can avoid the hills by running through the neighborhoods rather than the town, but there are the moose. Yes, moose. We have seen several mama moose with babies wandering the empty lots and even yards in town, including our own. I had a close run-in with a few moose the other day while on a quest for a flatter route, causing me to add some extra distance in order to avoid the mama chasing me down. There is a gym in town, but at $50/month plus $3.25/hour for child care I thought I'd give the home gym a try first.
-We have visited the grocery store just as many times as we have visited the bakery, not only for groceries but also because it also serves as the pharmacy and drug store. It is just as expensive as we thought it would be, unless we really pay attention to the sales (which of course we do...that explains the 6 jars of pasta sauce and 5 boxes of assorted pasta shapes in my pantry right now!). If you have any coupon inserts from your Sunday papers that you are willing to mail to us from time to time, it would be appreciated!
Our mailing address is PO Box 2838, Homer, AK 99603
The LT heads to work tomorrow for his first official day on the ship. The kids and I are hoping to find something fun to occupy us since we are still without our furniture and toys. Our household goods are in Anchorage already, but the moving company will not have them until Tuesday afternoon. Only then can we call to schedule the delivery. So close, yet so far away! It's tough to stay inside when there is not much to do but wrestle with your sibling and hide in your new empty closet "cave."