Great Food & A Sunset In Homer Alaska

stunning homer overlook 3.18

One of the many things that we love about living on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground is that we can take so many different kinds of road trips and experience a totally different landscape. Tonight, we ventured out from our office in Soldotna, Alaska and headed down to Homer, Alaska for a walk on the beach. Hoping to grab a bite to eat and a good sunset, we were certainly in for a treat.

epic ninilchick beach with mountains 3.12

After stopping at the beach in Ninilchik, Alaska to take in the gorgeous mountain views, we arrived in Homer at about 7:00pm. We pulled into the overlook area right as you head into town and to our surprise, were greeted by this sunning view overlooking the bay. The views of the snow-capped mountains weren’t too shabby either! 😉

homer mountains 3.18

We took a peaceful drive down the Homer Spit followed by a pre-dinner walk on the beach. Campfire pits and picnic tables have a way of bringing out the camping-bug in all of us! Summer is right around the corner, woo hoo!

fire picnic table sunset - homer ak - 3.18

After soaking in the crisp, cool air from the beach we headed up to Wasabi’s Restaurant for dinner. Located off East End Road, Wasabi’s serves a mix of American and Asian style cuisine with amazing sushi and fresh caught Alaskan seafood. We love coming here because they also serve a lot of favorites that we find in can find in Hawaii, including poke and ahi tuna. The sunset from the parking lot was nothing short of amazing upon arrival.

sunset over wasabis

Upon arrival we soaked in the beautiful views and chilled water. Such a modern and relaxing environment.

water and a view

Per usual, we were brought out edamame right away and we were sure to dig right in (hence, the photo of a half eaten dish – sorry). 😉

edamame

First up, it was necessary to start off with a cold beverage. They have a great drink menu here with a great assortment of local favorites and organic choices as well. First up was a glass of Chardonnay from Bear Creek Winery, a local winery in Homer.

bear creek chardonay

And a Lemon Drop? Sure, why not! They make the best! Do you see those amazing views out the window? Yeah, Wasabi’s has struck gold with their location for SURE.

lemon drop

After hearing the waitress read off the specials, we started with the sautĂ©ed peppers for an appetizers. She said, “only one out of 13 are spicy, so it’s kind of like playing Russian Roulette.” Obviously we were sold!

peppers

And for dinner, we both stuck to the special as well; bison burger with homemade fries. So much deliciousness!

bison burger

After eating everything on our plates and not taking home a single shred of leftovers, we were ready to roll ourselves home and climb into our pajamas. Thank you to Wasabi’s Restaurant for the excellent food and superior service. Never a disappoint when visiting this great place!

homer sunset from wasabis - 3.18.16

What is your favorite restaurant in Homer? Share your recommendations below!

Note: All photos above are Copyright of Loomis Sage Marketing.

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Seeing Green This St. Patrick’s Day

Photo from Alaska Wildland Adventures on the Kenai River.

Photo from Alaska Wildland Adventures on the Kenai River.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day friends and fans of The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground! In honor of this lucky holiday, we are sharing ten gorgeous photos from the epic Kenai Peninsula that will leave you seeing green and falling in love.

"Bear Backpack!" Photo from Kathleen Turner.

“Bear Backpack!” Photo from Kathleen Turner.

#1. Zipling, Alaska’s Playground Style.

Stoney Creek Canopy Adventures in Seward, Alaska.

Stoney Creek Canopy Adventures in Seward, Alaska.

#2. When the phrase “take a hike” is always welcomed, you know you’re on The Kenai.

Hideout Trail. Photo shared from www.trover.com.

Hideout Trail. Photo shared from http://www.trover.com.

#3. When tundra and mountain biking collide, any outdoor enthusiast can agree that it feels a bit like you’ve discovered heaven on earth.

#4. Wildlife viewing isn’t just for the birds. The sea lions are always welcome. Especially when they are this stinkin’ cute. ❀

#5. And on the topic of cuteness, does it get much better than this adventurous brut? We think not. Mom’s do it all, even if that means becoming the designated flotation device. #respect 😉

Photo from Jon Langeland in Katmai National Park.

Photo from Jon Langeland in Katmai National Park.

#6. Seeing green from ear to ear means taking an aerial photograph overlooking The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground via flightseeing tour. EPIC.

Photo shared from www.earthporm.com.

Photo shared from http://www.earthporm.com.

#7: A glacier surrounded by remote wilderness is our favorite kind of Alaskan party.

Photo shared from en.wikipedia.org.

Photo shared from en.wikipedia.org.

#8. Mountains, just mountains. In all their glory. They say these things (just looking at them) are what get many hooked on Alaska. We can’t disagree.

#9. The Aurora Borealis dancing freely in the nighttime sky. Always a “pinch me” moment.

Photo Credit: Ron Neibrugge with www.wildnatureimages.com. Taken in Seward, AK.

Photo Credit: Ron Neibrugge with http://www.wildnatureimages.com. Taken in Seward, AK.

#10. Fish on! It’s hard to have a list about the Kenai Peninsula without including everyone’s favorite pastime. This is a great activity for enjoying long days with loved ones on Alaska’s Playground.

Are you seeing green already? We know, we are too! Who would have ever thought that seeing green would feel this good. 😉 Wishing you all the Luck o’ the Irish this St. Patrick’s Day. Be safe out there and have a wonderful day!

Photo from renderedgemedia.com.

Photo from renderedgemedia.com.

Spring Fever on the Kenai River

Photo from Loomis Sage Marketing, www.LoomisSage.com

Kenai River at Bings Landing, Sterling Alaska.

Happy Thursday friends and fellow lovers of The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground! It was a beautiful (winter) day on the Kenai River that left us with a heavy case of spring fever. With that being said, the countdown is officially on: 18 days until the first day of spring! I guess we decided to celebrate a bit early… 😉

Fishing the Kenai River, Winter, March 2016.

Fishing the Kenai River, Winter, March 2016.

The sun was shining, the mountains were glowing and the bald eagles were perched along the riverbanks by the dozens. You know how Alaska has a way of delivering epic, jaw-dropping moments that make you feel like you are in a dream? Yeah… today was one of those days. At ever single turn. Simply stunning and totally secluded.

Beautiful bald eagle perched along the Kenai River.

Beautiful bald eagle perched along the Kenai River.

Oh, and the rainbow trout were showing themselves a little bit as well! Oh Alaska’s Playground, how you spoil us so! ❀

Beautiful rainbow trout caught near the upper killey on the Kenai River.

Beautiful rainbow trout caught near the Upper Killey on the Kenai River.

We call this next photo “ice on the rocks, Kenai River style.” Although the sun was shining and it felt like spring, it is still “technically” winter so it is only natural that the banks of the Kenai River were a bit icy. Also, the temperature is still rather frigid (35-40 degrees most of the day). If you venture out to enjoy the glorious river anytime soon, be sure to be advised of this and be very careful when navigating about.

Ice on the Rocks, Kenai River style.

Ice on the rocks, Kenai River style.

Also, be sure to wear the proper gear. It might be sunny and beautiful, but that can be deceiving once you are on the water. With the wind blowing in your face, you will quickly go from happy and comfortable to miserable and numb without the proper gear. We recommend a face mask, good gloves, a warm hat and a layering system that will let you go from chilly to warm once you start hiking or casting a fishing pole and your body temperature rises. Now, the loud colors are optional (what can we say, we’re a little wild at heart) 😉 but definitely be prepared so that your day enjoying The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground doesn’t get cut short.

Loud and proud on the Kenai River. Oh, and very warm too!

Loud and proud on the Kenai River. Oh, and very warm too!

In some areas there were some frozen fish skeletons on the gravel bars left over from last year. The dogs had a blast trying to sniff out all the smells (sorry pups, no meat left here). For us, it made us very excited for summer 2016 salmon fishing on the Kenai River! Woop woop!

Fish skeleton's from last year.

Fish skeleton’s on gravel bar by Kenai River.

And due to the earliness of the year, the water was very shallow in many areas so it was imperative to use extra caution with the boat. Slow and steady wins the race! 😉

Shallow Kenai River, March 2016 with Mountain View.

Shallow Kenai River, March 2016 with Mountain View.

We also had a few icy invasions out in the water. Although very slippery and heavy in the water, it sure was a beautiful winter-wonderland sight to see.

Ice in Kenai River, March 2016.

Ice in Kenai River, March 2016.

An important reminder to always be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to the current of the river. A current is the flow of water influenced by gravity as the water moves downhill to reduce its potential energy. The current varies spatially as well as temporally within the stream, dependent upon the flow volume of water, stream gradient, and channel geometrics. The Kenai River is about 82 miles long and with every river bend is a changing floor and a changing current. It’s always better to be safe and vigilant than to be caught off guard. And this time of year, the beauty of your surroundings can certainly be distracting. 🙂

Ice floating near fisherman in Kenai River, March 2016.

Ice floating near fisherman in Kenai River, March 2016.

Floating ice means… spring is coming, friends! Coming very soon indeed!

Floating ice in Kenai River, March 2016.

Floating ice in Kenai River, March 2016.

The day was filled with some of the most glorious mountain views of the Kenai Mountains. There is nothing like a day with bluebird skies and glowing snow-capped mountains. Alaska at it’s finest, in all her glory!

Kenai Mountains from boat on Kenai River.

Kenai Mountains from boat on Kenai River.

The rainbow trout (catch and release only) were being a bit elusive, however we did have the privilege of greeting a handful of them on the fly.

Rainbow trout caught with bead on Kenai River.

Rainbow trout caught with bead on Kenai River.

We threw out some beads and some flesh flies… but what were they hitting on? Top secret. 😉

Flesh fly, Kenai River Alaska March 2016.

Flesh fly, Kenai River Alaska March 2016.

We even saw a couple moose but by then, the camera decided to take an afternoon nap. Thankfully we got plenty of incredible photos of bald eagles. Like this one with three bald eagles all perched on the same tree. Absolutely stunning. Only in Alaska!

Three Bald Eagles, Kenai River Alaska, March 2016.

Three Bald Eagles, Kenai River Alaska, March 2016.

Although we saw a couple other boats out and about as well as a few folks that hiked in to fish, it felt as though we had the river to ourselves for the entire day. It sure was a refreshing change from the summertime traffic that can be found. Although, we love our visitors to The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground so we we’ve learned to appreciate all seasons equally. 😉

Secluded Kenai River, March 2016.

Secluded Kenai River, March 2016.

And right as we were headed home, we came across two beautiful bald eagles looking like two little love birds sitting in a tree. ❀ The perfect night cap to feast our eyes on.

Two bald eagles on the Kenai River, March 2016.

Two bald eagles on the Kenai River, March 2016.

That’s all for today, friends.! Thankfully tomorrow is Friday (TGIF) so we are hoping you will all have the opportunity to get out and enjoy Alaska’s Playground. As always, if you ever need any help planning a fun-filled weekend on The Kenai, you can always visit us online or contact our office. Happy travels!

Spring Fling Road Trip Checklist

Photo of Turnagain Pass,, Alaska from www.panoramio.com.

Photo of Turnagain Pass, Alaska from http://www.panoramio.com.

Happy March 1st! We made it through leap year (next time we demand a three day weekend) and now we are ready to rock and roll into all that is the season of March Madness. With only a few weeks “officially” left in the winter season, we are dusting off our hibernation hats beginning TODAY and getting ready to hit the road running. After all, the days are getting longer and the sunrises get a little more stunning by the day, so we really have no excuse to sit still any longer.

Photo from www.thealaskalife.com.

Photo shared from http://www.thealaskalife.com.

One thing is for sure, The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground is magical any time of the year. But there is something extra special about hitting the road and enjoying the vast snow-covered mountains that can be found all throughout The Kenai during the winter and spring months.

Photo from bobbacaps.blogspot.com.

Photo from bobbacaps.blogspot.com.

Now, let’s get real; In Alaska, it is possible to experience snow covered mountains all year long. But during the winter and spring months especially, the mountains seemingly glow with fresh, glistening snowy powder.

Photo from Marc Lester with www.ADN.com.

Photo from Marc Lester with http://www.ADN.com.

AND, they are right there! Right in front of your face. Popping up in mass quantities reaching far and wide, high into the sky. It doesn’t get more ‘up close & personal’ than that. And everyone knows how much we love to get Up Close & Personal on The Kenai. 😉

Photo of the Homer Spit from Scott McMurren.

Photo of the Homer Spit from Scott McMurren.

But where there is extreme beauty, extreme caution should always be taken. Alaska is a big, beautiful beast of a State and it is very unforgiving. Although we have excellent groups of people that work tirelessly to maintain our roadways all year round, it is important to be prepared for anything as our weather patterns in Alaska are often times very unpredictable. And when we talk about your safety, we mean business (hoping that this bear photo expresses how important your safety is to us). 😉

Photo shared from pinterest.

Photo shared from pinterest.

And on the topic of unpredictable, the glorious wildlife that can very regularly be seen at close distances from many roads on the Kenai Peninsula will often times cross the road or walk along the road. Be advised of this and always use caution when you observe wildlife while driving.

Photo shared from Alaska from Scratch.

Photo shared from Alaska from Scratch.

The day can start out with beautiful bluebird skies and be filled with flurries by lunchtime. With the assistance of AAA Alaska and AK on the GO, we are sharing this excellent checklist to make sure you are prepared for all of your Kenai Peninsula winter and spring road trippin’ adventures.

Photo from www.ADN.com.

Photo from http://www.ADN.com.

AAA Alaska recommends the following tips for a safer winter & spring driving experience: 

1. Put away the cell phone. Distracted driving causes accidents. Pull off the road in a safe place for photos. It’s okay to do that.

2. Renting a car? Don’t forget to ask for a power cord to allow the engine’s block heater to do its job. A must in Interior Alaska however it is not something that’s needed that often on the Kenai Peninsula.

3. Check fluid levels (oil, antifreeze) and tire pressure before you leave home.

4. Watch the sides of roadways. In Alaska, anything from dog teams to moose can appear without warning, and drivers must not assume either will stop when they see you.

5. Check windshield wipers; are they suitable for winter driving? If wipers become clogged with ice or snow, stop and clear them before continuing.

6. Refrain from using cruise control in snowy, wet, or icy conditions.

7. Make a trip plan, and leave it with a trusted family member or friend at home. Call this friend when you safely reach your destination, and upon return home. Allow plenty of time to reach your intended stop. Do not rush.

8. “Aim high,” that is, look farther than 15 seconds down the road, about a quarter mile at 50 miles per hour. Ask kids to pick a landmark ahead, and count until you reach it, that will give some perspective of stopping distance or evasive maneuverability.

9. Carry your AAA membership card at all times. Remember, the membership follows the individual, not the vehicle, so even traveling in someone else’s car, you’re still protected.

10. Check road conditions and weather before leaving home. NOAA and Alaska 511 are excellent options.

Photo from National Geographic.

Photo from National Geographic.

In addition to that great list from AAA Alaska, we also have a few road trip recommendations. Be sure that wherever you go, you wear layers of clothing and bring a good coat and boots just incase you experience rain, sleet or snow (or all of the above). As we mentioned before, the weather can change rapidly throughout the day so you want to be prepared for rising temperatures that can heat you up as well as frigid temperatures that can creep up on you and leave you a very unhappy camper if you’re not bundled up.

Photo from Loren Holmes via www.adn.com.

Photo from Loren Holmes via http://www.adn.com.

Some other items that we recommend include the following; plenty of water, food and snacks to hold you over if you get stuck on the road longer than expected, ice scraper for your windows, first aid kit, a good flashlight and materials for building a fire just incase you experience vehicle troubles and need to keep warm until someone arrives to help you. It’s always better to be over-prepared than under-prepared when staying and playing on Alaska’s Playground.

Photo in Anchor Point, Alaska from activerain.com.

Photo in Anchor Point, Alaska from activerain.com.

On the Kenai Peninsula, springtime road trips are great because they allow you to load up the kiddos, family, friends and your beloved four-legged friends and have an epic adventure by simply driving right our of your driveway and off into any direction that your heart desires.

Photo shared from animalonline.info.

Photo shared from animalonline.info.

When you set out for a day trip, we recommend getting up and on the road nice and early so that everyone in the vehicle can enjoy a STUNNING Alaska’s Playground sunrise together. Trust us, you will not regret it. Alaska is truly larger than life.

Photo shared from www.airliners.net.

Photo shared from http://www.airliners.net.

And when you get up at the crack of dawn, it’s always a good idea to stop by a local Alaskan coffee house and fuel up for the whole family. And with views like this, how could you resist? We love Veronica’s Coffee House in Old Town Kenai and the amazing blogger Alaska from Scratch captured the warm atmosphere and delicate beauty absolutely perfectly.

Veronica's Coffee House shared from Alaska from Scratch.

Veronica’s Coffee House shared from Alaska from Scratch.

Be sure to take the time to pull over, get everyone out of the vehicle together, walk a few minutes and take in an stunning view of your backyard. While living such busy lives, it’s easy to get caught up in everything and forget to appreciate the immaculate beauty that surrounds you. Slow down, breathe, and take the time to reflect. It’s true what they say… there is no time life the present! ❀

Photo of the Kenai River shared from Alaska From Scratch.

Photo of the Kenai River shared from Alaska From Scratch.

With March 1st kicking off and only a few weeks left of winter before spring officially begins, it’s time to get out of hibernation and hit the road searching for fun new adventures. If you need any ideas or suggestions for where to explore next, please remember that you can reach out to us at any time and we would be delighted to help you plan your next spring/winter-wonderland excursion. Safe travels, dear friends!

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