Category Archives: Travel Tips

Homer, The Cosmic Fishing Hamlet by the Sea

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Homer Alaska is a special place unto itself. It breathes and thrives on it’s own energy generated by the locals, tourists and transients alike.  Here you will smell the ocean mixed with fish combined with the most amazing food aromas you have ever smelled all at once! Here the moods of the ocean and the weather dictate the way you will live your life that day.

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Either view is breathtaking of course! Homer overlooks Kachemak Bay, and some of the most beautiful views on the planet! They change hourly sometimes just to keep it new. Homer is typically cooler and wetter being a maritime community in Alaska. If you choose to visit make sure you come prepared for everything between 80 degrees f and 40 degrees f though, you never quite know what the day will bring.

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Homer’s beaches are all beautiful beyond belief. In the early spring through early summer you can view hundreds of species of shorebirds as well as the year round bounty of sea otters, bald eagles and seals. If you are lucky enough to get out on the water then the chances of seeing one of a few different whale species are good as well.

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Speaking of being on the water, Homer is known as the Halibut fishing capital of the world! At any time during our long Alaskan days you can see folks cleaning their catch at the harbor front fish cleaning stations. You can also fish for salmon and rockfish in the icy waters of Kachemak Bay. There is nothing quite like grilling up some fresh fish tacos on the beach after a long day fishing.

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It’s tough to mention fishing out of Homer without mentioning some of Homer’s very own celebrities. The Hillstrand family have lived there for a long time and you can see the Time Bandit in the harbor during their few downtimes during the year. You may also catch sight of some of the other boats from the Deadliest Catch.  Homer is also home to the reality show Alaska the Last Frontier which follows a family living out east end road living the homesteader lifestyle. I have heard from a friend of mine in Homer that the Kilchers are pretty sweet people.

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Speaking of celebrity, if you find yourself on Homer Spit, stop into the Salty Dawg Saloon. This old lighthouse has been standing guard on the Spit serving decades of salty dawgs coming in off the tumultuous Pacific ocean.  Their adjoining gift shop, The Salty Girls, is where you can buy the iconic Salty Dawg hoodie that nearly every Alaskan owns.  The Blue Urchin and the Alaska Starfish Company are two of my other favorite shops on the Spit. All of them are worth stepping into though.

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Homer is one of those once in a lifetime, magical little towns that you should visit at least once in your life. There is so much to do, see, and eat that you could be busy there all summer long.

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As someone with Celiac with a very food allergic son we don’t get to eat out much. I will recommend the gluten free pizza at the Little Mermaid on the boardwalk by the harbor though, it’s excellent and I have eaten it a few times without issue.

I am also going to recommend three other places on the word of others and knowing the chef personally at two of them. First, Two Sister’s bakery is a must stop, I have never eaten their food, but it is a unanimous resounding yes from anyone who has eaten there. The other two are Fat Olive’s and Maura’s cafe. Again I have never had the pleasure of eating at either, but their chef is a picking buddy of mine and he’s amazing with food. You can see some of his creations on Instagram @big_alaskan_foodie. He is a whiz with local and wild harvest ingredients. So while I haven’t had the pleasure of enjoying either establishment, I will recommend them with flying colors, because I have been privileged enough to been fed by Jimbo.

Happy travels!! Maybe you will see me in Homer.

Alaska Airlines gluten free!

 

I recently returned from two weeks in Kona! There will be more to follow on that soon. I wanted to drop a quick post about Alaska Airlines newest gluten-free option. They now have a Mediterranean Tapas snack box available that is entirely gluten-free!

All of the typical pre travel food planning occurred as usual, I had everything I needed in my backpack. Then I had to change seats due to a screaming child and an interesting parental decision on her mother’s part. It happened suddenly while we were taking off so I had no choice but to leave my pack in the overhead bin. It was also a red-eye flight so rather than disturb people I decided to buy a tapas box. I wish I had taken pictures!

It contained Late July pita chips, the best hummus I’ve ever had, dried apricots, marinated olives and a square of chocolate. After going hungry for two days last October when we flew to Phoenix, I was wonderfully surprised to find such a pleasurable option available on this flight! Thank You Alaska Airlines, please keep it up!

Gluten Free Road Trip, Part 1, The Portable Kitchen

On the road

Road trips are a great adventure. They turn into a challenge as well when the need to be gluten-free comes into play. An Alaskan road trip in particular can be daunting. On the northern roads one can drive for hours without seeing a single business, let alone a gluten-free restaurant.

Traveling gluten-free demands a bit more planning than normal. With just a little forethought though, you can wander freely wherever you heart desires.

Pack a portable kitchen if you are planning to do your own cooking. A camp stove, a few pots and pans, utensils and of course a coffee pot will go a long way. We also carry a portable propane Coleman grill that is perfect for throwing on a few gluten-free bratwurst at a moments notice.

I also always carry paper plates and disposable eating utensils. These have saved my belly more than once!! A clean fork is invaluable. All of these items can fit nicely into a large rubber tote, which in turn serves as a table top in a pinch. Like when you pull into the campground ready to make dinner and you find the remnants of the previous campers breads, buns and beers everywhere. Always carry a picnic blanket or tablecloth or something clean so you can immediately create a gluten-free zone wherever you may end up.

Aluminum foil is another necessity I don’t leave home without. I can safely prepare and cook my food anywhere with a roll of foil. The larger roll of heavy-duty stuff is worth the extra few cents when you consider how much better it will protect your food from contamination.

Finally, a smaller tub or bowl, some dish soap and a clean sponge or cloth will keep you gluten-free area safe. A full water jug is also essential. Whether you are driving down the lonely road with your family, or setting up camp at a busy music festival, these few steps will protect your gluten-free belly!

Please feel free to share your own tips!!

Simple Allergy Friendly Travel foods

Kachemak Bay, Alaska
Kachemak Bay, Alaska
Traveling with celiac and food allergies can be daunting, and hunger inducing. I have good news for you! It can be fun and fulfilling, and filling as well. Some of our favorite travel standbys include, fruit leather strips and Barney Butter almond butter packets. They both taste good and can fit in your wallet. I keep some of both with me at all times.

Enjoy Life foods make some very tasty snack bars, and they are free of all of the top eight most common food allergens. We rely on this company around my house, they make the best cookies we have found too. Juice boxes, milk cartons and water bottles are always a must. Fresh fruits and some pre prepped fresh veggies are always a hit, as well as cheeses and meats, if you can have dairy.

I try to pack us some kind of snack when we leave the house, and a nicer picnic if we will be gone for half a day or more. Being so limited on options it helps to always have tasty food at hand. Nobody feels left out, grumpy from hunger or frustrated by having little to no choice on what to eat. We have more fun and it makes it easier to be more spontaneous again to have some of these little lifesavers on hand at home.

Thanks for stopping by!
I am not paid or given products by any companies. I simply rely on these particular products.