May 30, 2014

First Anniversary Trip - Homer, Alaska

Joshua has now been my husband for 370 days. Trust me, I will never stop counting. Each day is a blessing with that man.
We just went through the hardest year of our lives. An exciting year, but hard. We traveled to a completely different place, with new people, a new culture, and experienced some of the most amazing stuff. We made a decision that would help and provide for our family's future, but separated us for five months. Out of the twelve months we have been married, Joshua and I have only lived together, alone, for four months. I know, we have totally done this whole newlywed year really, really crazy. But now a new leaf has turned over. We are finally back together, feeling like husband and wife more than ever, and feeling so blessed at where we are right now in our lives.
Which gave us all the more reason to celebrate this first year of marriage! And how did we do that? By a little road trip, of course!
Ever since coming to Alaska, we have heard great things about Homer. Literally everyone we talk to has only great things to say about this town. We have been waiting and wanting to go, and what better occasion to do that than our first year anniversary!
So we packed the car and drove the 4 hours or so it takes to get from Seward to Homer, Alaska.
To get there, we had to drive through many towns that are popular in Alaska. So it's a win-win that we got to see the towns on the Kenai Peninsula we've heard about and got to spend a few days in Homer!

^^ Cooper Landing is cool because you go over the bridge where the Kenai River, or the best river known to man by my husband, flows on one side into the Kenai Lake on the other side of the bridge.^^

But finally we arrived in Homer!
We decided this year, since we have had such a crazy first year of marriage, that we didn't want to spend any money on gifts to each other. We just wanted to spend some time together. So our anniversary gift was a cottage that we rented out for two nights. One with a spectacular view and did I mention a hot tub already?!
Little Fireweed Cottage

It was the perfect little place to spend two days in Homer. But the BEST thing about this was that it had it's own washer and dryer! Uhhh, you better believe I brought all of our laundry.
Since our house in Seward doesn't have a washer or dryer, Josh has had to go to the laundromat in town.  He doesn't do this very often...
This is what not having a wife looks like...
So since I wanted to finish laundry (romantic, I know...), we decided to have a chill night in the cabin. What does that entail? My husband doing his favorite thing, well... one of them.

^^ Yumm! Shrimp with butter and old bay seasoning, boiled potatoes, and corn on the cob! And that view! ^^
The next day we got up early to see what Homer had to offer. First stop, breakfast! We stopped at this cute little bakery - Two Sisters. Joshua got the sticky bun and I had a bagel with salmon and cream cheese!

And of course, after breakfast, we had to go to the spit of Homer. The spit is basically just a piece of land that juts out of the city of Homer. It holds the cutest shops, great seafood restaurants, and the Homer Harbor.
Since living by the ocean, Joshua and I talk a lot about what we would name our boat if we had one. Sometimes we go down to Seward's Harbor just to look at the different names those boats have. We haven't come up with the perfect name, but when we do, I will be sure to mention it. The Harbor was our first stop at the spit.

^^ Okay, this was a crazy steep railing!
Here are some of our favorite names:

^^ This one was by far my favorite!
As we were walking past all the boats, all of a sudden, Joshua stopped. You could tell he was really gazing at something. Finally I looked over to see why he was shocked. This is what we saw...
Ever see The Deadliest Catch?? Joshua watched all the seasons last semester when he was in Newtok, so I did too. This boat is pretty popular on that show. And hellooo... we are seeing it now in Homer's Harbor. And we couldn't very well pass up the opportunity to see it up close, could we? We didn't think so either.

^^ And you think I could pass up an opportunity to touch it? Nah!
And if that wasn't enough, the boat next to it was The Constructor.
This boat belongs to the Kilcher family from the show The Last Frontier.
And we may have found the road they live on - Kilcher Road. Yes, we are those people.
So like I said, the spit was made up of a ton of cute shops and great restaurants.
One of the coolest stores was a pottery store with items that were all made by women from Homer. They had some really neat stuff, and what better way to remember our first anniversary trip than by getting something this cool!
So after shopping at the spit, we decided to journey into town and see what shops were there. Homer has the cutest home décor shops. I wanted everything in them. Seriously.
Especially this store:
Joshua took pity on me and let me get these yellow placemats. I feel like you've really hit wife status when you are excited about placemats!

^^ Look how neat this coffee shop is! ^^
^^ And even though this sign is 100% true, and even though I carried it around with me through the whole store, it didn't come with us. ^^

^^ We had to! ^^
Traveling is not new to me. I was lucky enough to have parents who thought traveling was important. I've been to many different places. And every time we would go someplace new, my dad would always involve history - someway, somehow. That has rubbed off on me. I always try to go someplace and learn something new about history. Well, sometimes I mean to, other times it just happens. But who knew Homer had something like this to offer??

 Did you know that in WWII, Japan invaded parts of Alaska? I didn't know, either! We watched the short film they showed here and learned a lot about it. You should, too!

Joshua and I had the best day. We walked, shopped, learned something new, and just enjoyed each other's company. Now came what we were really excited about. Every time someone mentioned Homer, they would follow it up with, "YOU HAVE TO EAT AT FAT OLIVES". So where did we go for supper? Fat Olives, duh!
^^Doesn't look like much on the outside, but just look at how yummy their food was - Fat Olives did not disappoint!

So while we were in Homer, we came across the strangest thing. We have been noticing this for a week now but never thought much about it, just thought it was weird.
Apparently, in Alaska, Pabst Blue Ribbon - yes, PBR - is the new, cool, hipster drink. I mean look at the menu:
How is PBR one of the most expensive drinks?? It's just the strangest thing to Joshua and I because in Illinois, I've always known it to be this rinky-dink beer that is cheap. Who knew?!
After supper, we decided to go to the spit and hang out on the beach. If there is one thing I'm amazed about here in Alaska, it's how easy it is to see bald eagles. I've never seen so many! And it's not like they are scared of you either. They fly and stop wherever they please - even if you are just a few feet away. Incredible.

And to finish off the night, we figured we would stop in one of the most famous landmarks on the Spit - the Salty Dawg Saloon. Joshua drove up to it, I looked out, and I thought, "Is this it??" But apparently you cannot stop in Homer and not go in here. I'll say this - it had some character. You walk in, and the entire place - I'm talking floors, ceilings, walls -
are covered with money. Apparently it's the cool thing to leave your name or a saying on a dollar bill and hang it up. So that's exactly what we did!
^^ Do you see all the money hanging up? ^^
Our trip to Homer was such a good getaway. I cannot think of a better way to spend our anniversary than by going on a new adventure together and exploring a new town this wonderful state we call home has to offer!
But you know, I am a girl,and a new wife, and I have this beautiful house to decorate, so I decided to do something to help our bare house a little bit. Since the traditional gift of year one is paper, it was super cheap to make as well!
Thanks Pinterest!
I've always liked the thought that Joshua and I can always look back and remember where we came from. It's sort of cool not living in the same state where you grew up. It makes you appreciate it more than if you did live there, no doubt.
I never want to forget it either since that's where Joshua and I met and got married, but I also cannot imagine leaving where we are now, so I put our three towns together, and VOILA!
Where we met, where we married, where we live now
Here's to many more years and adventures together, hubs!


  1. I love everything about this post! We visited Homer last summer before we moved back to Toronto and it was one of my favorite places. We left a dollar at the salty dawg too.

  2. Hello there! Our last name is Hall, too, and we happen to be the proud owners of Little Fireweed Cottage in Homer! If you enjoyed your stay, please consider leaving a review at and "liking" us on Facebook. Thanks so much!!

  3. These days it is regular and customary for couples to celebrate it with their close family and friends. Owing to all, demand for venues for the same Engagement Anniversary Hall have increased multifold!