Homer, Alaska.

The only town I claim as my “hometown.” Even though I was born in Texas and lived here for the first 11 years of my life (as well as the last 9) – I will always call Homer my home. Don’t get me wrong, I love Texas. But look at that picture – who could resist calling that home if they had a choice?

Ten things I love about Homer, Alaska:

1. It has a Spit. See that little jutty thing in the picture? It’s called, appropriately, “the Homer Spit.” Many a summer night of my youth was spent on the beaches of the Spit around a campfire bundled up in blankets.

2. It’s where the land ends and the sea begins in Alaska. It’s the farthest south you can drive in the entire state without taking a ferry or a plane.

3. Its population almost doubles in the summer. There are as many visitors in the summer at any given time as there are residents of the town!

4. It has a sign ordinance. The city doesn’t allow those really tall roadside signs..like the McDonald’s arches. Instead, businesses are forced to put them on their buildings or have them at a certain height. Not good for the business owners, but great for aesthetics. Also..no bulletin boards anywhere in Alaska.

5. It has more churches than bars. Okay, you may not think this is a big deal, but when I graduated high school, there were 27 churches and only 24 bars for a town of 5000! Tell me why a town of 5000 needs 27 churches and 24 bars?

6. It is a true melting pot of cultural diversity. Well, maybe not as diverse as New York City, where you can find practically every language in the world spoken…but it IS diverse.

7. The Arts reign supreme – theatre, music, dance, and art appreciation. My substitute Music teacher in High School was Atz Kilcher, but we called him “the Yodeling Man” because he was always yodeling. Now, he’s known as Jewel’s dad.

8. You can fish anywhere and anytime as long as you’ve got a license. Well, that is not entirely true..but there ARE numerous places to fish and you can always find a boat going out…as long as you’re willing to fork over $250 a day per person for the charter.

9. The people are so friendly. This is a true statement…I kid you not. Everyone is so friendly and outgoing – I thought Texans were friendly until I met Homerites – they make Texans look like introverts!

10. Just look at those mountains. Surrounded by mountains on three sides…it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth to live.

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