More time with friends

Rich and Paul went grocery shopping while I stayed home and visited with Grace.  She has had a very interesting life and it was good to chat with her. Then we all went to lunch in downtown Coeur d’Alene at a place called Rustic, which another friend had recommended.  It was great and I had a big piece of NY style pizza, yum!

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Later Paul, Rich and I drove over to Silver Mountain Resort where Rich’s former cook Chris works.  He nicely comped us some tickets to the BrewsFest that was going on at the top of the mountain. We took “the country’s longest gondola ride”–close to 20 minutes (!!) to the peak and joined in the festivities.  I am not a beer drinker at all but I was happy to try ONE and carry it around.  Actually, I dumped most of that one out and tried a different one, which I think Rich finished off for me.  Anyhooooo, we got to visit with Chris, which was really why we went in the first place. He seems to be doing great, running several aspects of the resort, and it was good to catch up with him.

That night we just snacked for dinner, chatted and packed up for traveling on the next day.  It was a nice visit all around and I’m glad we got to stop in.

Next up, on to Oregon and the total eclipse of the sun!

 

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Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

This morning we had a relatively short drive to Coeur d’Alene.  There must be some wildfires burning in Montana, though, because it was smoky and hazy a large part of the trip, so much so that my eyes were burning even sitting in the car.  Hopefully the fires are under control and not causing any major damage.  We saw a couple of staging points for firefighters and their equipment over the past two days, and signs outside some homes thanking the firefighters.  It must be scary to live in a place where you know that your home is in danger of burning to the ground.

We stopped once to get gas and use the bathroom, and it just so happened there was a small casino attached to the store so we took that opportunity to lose $20 at video poker.  🙂

Around 12:30 we pulled up at our friend’s home in Coeur d’Alene.  Rich’s former boss, Laurie, owns the place but she is still in AK and her mom lives in the house.  Along with her mom, Rich’s former cook Paul is staying in the basement apartment and helping out.  I had not met Laurie’s mom before but she is very sweet and welcoming.  It was good to see Paul, who has a heart of gold and is one of the most thoughtful people you’ll meet.  He had some food laid out for us for lunch, which was really nice after the drive. We sat around and chatted most of the afternoon, reminiscing about our days in Unalaska and catching up on news.  I took a little nap after I felt the days of travel getting the best of me.  Later we all went out to eat at a great Greek restaurant, where we had way too much food AND the obligatory desserts of rice pudding and baklava even though we were stuffed.

I’m doing laundry while everyone else is snoozing; guess that nap did me good!  We are staying over again tomorrow; need to do some grocery shopping to take to our rental house in Oregon and we’re going to have lunch at a spot recommended by a friend.  Later tomorrow we will see Chris, another former cook of Rich’s who is now a chef nearby.  He’s running a beer festival and offered to get us tickets so we will go to that for a little while and hopefully get to visit with him if he’s not too busy.