Hockey Night in Spokane

Today’s blog is a pretty short one…

imageOur agenda for the day was pretty simple… We had tickets to a WHL hockey game in Spokane at 7pm.  We watched a movie, played some Crib and went for a long walk during the day.  The weather was cool and threatened rain so a lazy day at the resort was kind of nice.

The Spokane Chiefs were playing the Kamloops Blazers at the Spokane Arena.  We got there in plenty of time to have a look around.  They’ve done an awesome job of honouring past athletes of the area in their Wall of Fame which recognizes athletes from every sport dating back to the early 1900’s.

I think we were the only people in the stands singing the Canadian Anthem!  The puck dropped and the action began.  The Chiefs dominated in the first period but couldn’t score.  Then the Blazers came on strong and ended up winning the game 3-2.  We left the arena happy.

Lake What???

We were speaking to someone in the hot tub the other day who told us that Sandpoint has a couple of great Antique malls, a yummy Pie Shop and a brewery that offers tours and tasting.  Sounded like a pretty good way to spend a day!  And so…off to Sandpoint today!

As we entered Sandpoint from the west, we saw a sign indicating the Bonner County Historical Museum so we decided to check it out first.

Sandpoint is situated on Lake Pend d’Oreille, pronounced Ponderay,  which in French means “hanging ears”.  You may wonder how that has anything to do with a lake so I will tell you.  Many years ago when David Thompson was exploring and mapping this vast frontier, he came upon the Kalispel natives.  Traders referred to certain bands of this tribe in the lake area as the Pend d’Oreille because of the large pendulous shell earrings they wore.  Thompson would draw from their expertise in building canoes and their intimate knowledge of the lake as he explored the area.

This museum is a wealth of information about the whole area and I was most impressed with the large selection of clothing from past eras, in particular clothing from the 1920’s when life was good and people could afford the finery of beaded dresses and purses, beautiful silks and furs.  Being a seamstress, I always marvel at the details in that era of clothing when only simple sewing machines existed and so much of the minute and tedious  details were sewn perfectly by hand.  You could feel the suffering of the 1930’s after the crash of the stock markets  in 1929 when you realized that some of these beautiful dresses were eventually used as insulation between walls of old homes!

Well, all that reading brought on a thirst so it was time to check out The Laughing Dog Brewery,  We were disappointed to hear that they only do tours on the weekends and this was Tuesday.  Nevertheless, we decided to sample one of their fifteen beer flavours. The 219 Pilsner was so tasty that Jim bought some to bring home to share.


The Antique malls were next on our agenda for the day.  Jim loves going through all the old vinyl records, cars and games.  I like going through all housewares and furniture.  Such fun stepping back in time.

Soup for lunch at the Antique Mall and then pie for dessert at the Pie Shop…yummy!


A fun day…finished off with a drive through the lakefront districts to see the houses.  Not sure why but we both love imagining ourselves living on a lake in a beautiful home with grandchildren running around the professionally landscaped grounds or being pulled on water skis by our beautiful speed boat that we keep moored at our private dock on the lake!  Haha!  Only in our dreams!

Beware of Wild Turkeys!

Today I’m going to start you out with a guessing game…look at the three photos below and try to figure out which one is Jim!       image   Ha ha!  I’ll let you believe whatever answer you gave to be true!

It’s not everyday that one walks through the residential area of a city and has to dodge turkey poop!  Apparently it’s quite common in Coeur d’Alene,  Idaho!

Today we decided to check out Coeur d’Alene, a small lakeside city, population about 44,000.  I remember going there as a child once and remember it as the ultimate summer city…beaches, marinas and parks!   March isn’t as ideal as July but the town is still beautiful.  Houses along the waterfront are spectacular and the parks are lovely.


We decided to visit Tubbs Hill Park for a bit of hiking.  If you’re ever in the city, it’s worth checking out. › parks › Tubbs Hill.  The hill borders Lake Coeur d’Alene on three sides and has a series of hiking trails with amazing views from almost every part of the outer perimeter.   It was a great walk, offering a good mix of level pine covered path, rugged root and rock areas and some fairly steep climbing to work up a sweat for those of us that are not in top-notch shape!  The total perimeter loop is about 5 km.  Following is a sample of some of the scenic views along the way.


We rounded off the day by going to see the latest Star Wars movie and then out for dinner before heading back to the resort.


Exploring Spokane, Washington

The mountains beyond the golfcourse that we overlook
were  enshrouded in clouds and the rain was falling steadily.  Our tablets indicated sunny and a high of 15 back home…nobody likes to hear that their vacation spot is less ideal than what they left behind!  Ughh, good thing we threw an umbrella in the car, just in case!

After a leisurely breakfast and a search of the weather forecast in Spokane, Washington, we decided to make a day of it in Spokane….we had tickets to a live play in Spokane Valley in the evening anyway so we decided that even in pouring rain we could likely find things to do in the city.  Besides, Jim already had a list of record stores he wanted to visit so we might as well get that done or he would have trouble focusing on anything else…haha!

By the time we had completed the 50 minute drive, the rain had ceased.  Sure enough, Jim hit a goldmine at the first record store we found so we could cross that activity off our list.  Now off to see the sights.

imageThe Spokane County Courthouse, built in the French Renaissance style in 1895 towered majestically among the buildings not far from downtown.  We were in awe as we strolled around the grounds and tried to capture some of the intricate architectural details on film.


Like most cities, growth happened on the waterfront.   Evidence of meeting the needs of an ever increasing population was most apparent when we ventured into Riverside Park.  There, in the middle of downtown Spokane was the original Monroe Street Dam and Powerhouse built by the Washington Water Power Company back in 1890.  It took advantage of Spokane Falls by creating the dam that would supply a new form of power…electricity…thereby contributing to a boom in all things electrical, something we would take for granted a century later.

Wandering along the river, we encountered signs of spring… green grass, budding imagetrees, children in playgrounds and lineups for rides on the carousels and gondolas.  imageDucks and Canada Geese were enjoying the
calmness of the river and couples strolled hand in hand along the pathways. Just across the street was the busy Riverside Mall.  We avoided the hustle and bustle of that and enjoyed our leisurely stroll.


image   image   image

As evening approached we sought out a pub for dinner and then headed to the Ignite Community Theatre, , where we were entertained by  six amazing actors in the production of “How the Other Half Loves”.  It was so hilarious that we laughed till we cried!

It has been a great day.  Cheers!

Fruits or Vegetables Anyone?

What a great day for driving.  We left Claresholm this morning in sunshine en route to Blanchard, Idaho through the majestic Rocky Mountains.  We stopped for a picnic lunch in Cranbrook, BC…incredible to be able to have a picnic in early March.

We headed south from Yahk, BC to cross the border to Idaho.  “Do you have any fruits or vegetables with you?”  Since I had packed the cooler, Jim turned to me for answers.  “Yes, we have a few things…I brought whatever was left in my crisper at home” I replied.  “What exactly do you have?” asked the nice lady at the border.   “Hmmm, we have some lettuce, a cucumber,  two peppers and a few left over grapes from our lunch” I offered.  “Are the peppers cut up or whole?”  “They’re whole” I replied confidently.  “Would you please move ahead and take your first left?  We’ll need to inspect your items.”

A few minutes later our cooler and lunch bag were being inspected.  Lo and behold, a small peeled yam was also discovered and I had not disclosed that.  The border patrol doesn’t consider “forgetting” to be an acceptable excuse for withholding information!  Our 8-10 grapes were confiscated since they were no longer in the original packaging providing proof of origin…no big deal.  Then we discovered that peppers are only allowed if they are cut up…who knew?…or if they are whole they need to have the stickers on them to prove they are a product of USA.  We’re not sure how we avoided getting the quoted $300 fine…the peppers definitely had stickers on them but they said “product of Mexico”!  Either the officer was blind (he actually took them out of the cooler and read the stickers) or he was feeling sorry for us and Lady Luck intervened on our behalf.  Regardless, we were on our way with a list of what is and is not permitted when I remembered that we also had two potatoes packed with the dry goods!  So thankful they didn’t find those too!  Whew!  I hate border crossing!