Coeur d'Alene

We planned a trip to Coeur d'Alene to visit Steve's sister, Angie, and Derrick's cousin, Eric both shown below with each of their families.

We originally intended to drive during the day, but modified our plans so we could attend Justin Hamilton's wedding reception. Since I heard Steve tell someone that I made him drive all through the night, I would like to document what really happened. I drove from Ogden to Logan for the reception and then from Logan (10:00 pm) to Butte, Montana (3:00 am). Steve then took over driving from Butte to a little past Missoula (5:30 am), at which point he woke me up and then I drove the rest of the way into Coeur d'Alene (7:00 am, gained an hour). So, to clarify, of the eleven total hours of driving time, Steve drove two-and-a-half of them. Poor boy.

Overall, the drive through the night went very well. A little too much construction, but we stayed mostly awake and the kids stayed mostly asleep. The last couple of hours before arriving in Coeur d'Alene were absolutely beautiful, as the sun was rising. I'm not awake early enough to see sunrises very often, so it was a pretty special deal.

Steve and I took a nap while the (seven) kids ran around the house and Angie somehow managed to participate in a couple of work meetings via phone/internet (from the back deck). We started our adventure out with a quick tour of Tyler Wirick's new law office. He is located right downtown, so he took a break from work and joined us for the afternoon. The roads were blocked off for Art on the Green, a local art festival, which provided us with a variety of options for lunch. Rachel went with a funnel cake.

We naturally gravitated toward Coeur d'Alene Lake. The weather had cleared and it was beautiful outside.

When I planned this trip, I wanted to rent stand up paddle boards, but the regular paddle boats were more convenient. And family friendly.

Best money spent on the whole trip. The paddle boat rentals were only nine bucks!

After the kids were all wet (yeah, we did this a little backwards) we went for a short hike on Tubbs Hill. Suddenly, the sun was blaring hot and the little kids were dead tired. And you should know what it is like to go on a hike with Jack Wirick.

Jack: Look guys, I found mica!
Lucy: What's mica?
Jack: Gives lengthy scientific explanation with large words that neither of my daughters understand.
Lucy: Look, Rachel, we found mica.
Rachel: What's mica?
Lucy: Those glitter rocks over there.
Jack: Repeats lengthy scientific explanation.
Rachel: I want some mica.
All of the kids, in random intervals: I found mica! Look, I found mica!

We didn't even finish the hike. The two-mile hike.

Good news though, they found a lot of mica. And I keep finding little pieces of it in the dryer.

We went to dinner at the White House Grill. Eric and Kelly joined us, so we means seven adults and eight kids. The place was packed and had an atmosphere that reminded us of the early days of Cafe Sabor. The food was delicious, especially for a garlic lover like Steve. I had heartburn for the first time since I've been pregnant. But the food did not disappoint. And, as usual, the restaurant stood up to Tyler and Angie's rave reviews.

We went back to the Wirick's house, took turns holding baby Alyzah, made s'mores around the fire, and then called it a day.

The next day was spent at Riverfront Park in Spokane, Washington, located just 30 miles away. This map is for you, Rebecca.

We started out on the Spokane Falls SkyRide. The Spokane River must have been running low because our ride was not nearly as picturesque as the images we had seen online.

In fact, the fifteen minute ride in the "all weather" enclosed cabin turned out to be more like fifteen minutes of torture. For Steve, at least. The sun came out and the windows on those things acted like a little greenhouse. I was just relieved that Steve was riding with our family because you would have thought he was going to die. The rest of us tried to enjoy ourselves and the view as he moaned with his head out the window.

Next up was the Looff Carrousel. It's not everyday that I catch Steve riding a carousel horse, so I had to snap a picture. And this other photo still makes me laugh when I look at it. I know it's horrible resolution, but I chuckled every time the carousel rotated and I caught a glimpse of this man with his perfectly positioned Abercrombie bag.

When I go back to Riverfront Park again someday, I will be sure to pack a picnic lunch. The food stand by the carousel is not impressive. In fact, we are lucky we didn't all get food poisoning. After our quick, painful lunch, we were off to see the vacuum-powered Garbage Goat. I want one in my driveway. But Steve says he wasn't impressed with Riverfront Park until we got to the big red wagon.

While Steve and Tyler played on the slide with the kids, Angie and I took a few pictures of the new baby.

And got a shot of Derrick and Eric in their new matching sunglasses.

This "Spokane City" picture could have been really cool. But they ought to move those trashcans out of there. And the man in the green shirt was not the least bit perceptive and shows up in all of my photos.

So then we were off to the amusement park rides.

Lucy zonked out during the IMAX movie. We watched Wild Ocean, which documents the sardine migration in the oceans of South Africa. It showed much of the Wild Coast, including Port St. Johns, Coffee Bay, and Port Elizabeth. It was absolutely perfect.

We had planned on letting the kids run through the water fountains before we went home, but they were turned off. So Adam tried to pee in them instead. One last stop for mini doughnuts and we were off.

Did I mention these folks were fabulous hosts?

Eric and Kelly volunteered to babysit all the kids while the other adults went out to dinner. We tried to go to Beverly's, but couldn't get in without a reservation, so we went to Bonsai Bistrowhere I tried sushi for my first time. (I haven't ever been a big seafood fan, but Sonora Grill's ceviche is changing me.)

We finally made it over to our hotel about 11:00 pm and let our kids go swimming. I figured it was easier than baths.

Our last evening in Coeur d'Alene was spent walking along the waterfront and around the dock.

Our last stop was at Dockside to try their famous dessert, Gooey's. The kids loved it. I'm pretty sure the rest of the people in the restaurant loved watching the kids eat it too.

What a trip. (Please note, no speeding tickets were issued.)

Want to know what I miss the most? Watching these two boys play together.


Rebecca said...

Wow! What great pictures Em! Thanks for the map:) I remember when we would go to Bear Lake and rent those paddle boats, that was fun. I love the shot of Lucy asleep in the theater! That red wagon slide is awesome! And that dessert reminds me of the dessert they eat in the movie "One Fine Day". Oh, and if you want me to photoshop out the trashcans and the man in the green shirt, I would be happy to:)

Oh, that Abercrombie bag man was too funny!

What a darling little baby Eric and Kelly have. Are they coming down here anytime soon?

AngelaW said...

Come Back, Come Back, Come Back!

Ryanne said...

he he, the abercrombie picture makes me giggle, I wonder what they were buying there? It looks like a fantastic trip, I've heard its gorgeous there and your pics prove it.

The Conlins said...

Beautiful area, awesome pictures, and as usual, a fantastic post. I really enjoy reading about your adventures. You do a lot of fun and interesting things. Cute family!

The Clawson"s said...

Hey fun vacation! You pack moew activity into your lives than anyone I know. What lucky kids! I went to school with Tyler Wirick. Tell him hello from me, and that I just might be visiting him in Idaho too:)

Jenny said...

Swimming is always ALWAYS easier than bathing.

Aneesa Bee said...

looks like so much fun. You told it so well, I feel like I went too!! (without actually having to pack:-)glad you got to play a little this summer!

Min said...

Wow! Looks like fun was had by all. Love the picture of Steve on the merry-g0-round. The picture of you in the paddle boat is a great one. And Thank You for helping me finally find the location of that red wagon slide. I saw it in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSWcLW9sQ84 last year.