Category: Travel

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

The end of summer was approaching and Jon & Megan (and Emmarie) invited us to their family’s lake cabin in Coeur d’Alene for Labor Day weekend. Megan and Amy’s grandparents bought the property and built a cabin in 1905 and their family has been going there ever since!

We last came to Coeur d’Alene in 2005 but didn’t visit their cabin. Gay last went to the cabin almost 30 years ago and I’ve never been there until now. Megan’s sister, Amy, and her family – husband Chad and kids Leo and Kathleen (“Kaki”) and dog Oscar – also came. Barley came with us too. 12 people and 2 dogs in a small cabin on the lake.

After Gay took Havana and a bunch of her friends to a tour of the Seattle famous Fran’s Chocolates — owned by the family of a college friend of Gay’s and one of our neighbors — on Friday, we took the Basecamp and the Discovery to Spokane and drove to Gay’s dad’s house where we spent the night. The kids slept in the Basecamp and Gay and I slept in our tent in the backyard.

Saturday morning, we packed up and all of us, including Gay’s dad, aunts Lillian and Ginny, drove the 45 minutes to Coeur d’Alene for brunch at the resort, leaving the Basecamp behind. We made a quick stop at Starbucks, of course, and Spokane’s REI for a dog leash and headlamps that we (meaning me) forgot at home in our haste to get on the road on Friday.

The Discovery got its first off-roading experience on the 2-mile dirt road from the road down to the cabin. The kids put their mark on it:

Hanging out at the cabin was super fun. We sat on the beach drinking beers, watching the kids play in the water with all the water toys, barbecuing dinners, making breakfasts, taking the boat out on the lake, reading in the hammock, having a bonfire on the beach with neighbors in the Bay. The kids all got along and played all weekend long with zero conflicts. The kids even helped clean up after meals without complaining. 😲

Highlights:

  • On Saturday, Chad took all the boys (me, Jon, Leo and Hudson) across the lake on their boat to Carlin’s where the boat got gas and we got beers, sodas and pretzel bites.
  • I slept both nights in the Discovery despite me and Gay’s plan to sleep in our tent. Gay fell asleep with Eva the first night and while setting up my bed in the tent, I realized the Discovery was empty. So I put all the seats down, put our inflatable mattress pad in the back and slept great. I could even see the stars through the moonroof.
  • A water trampoline kept the kids busy all day on Sunday.
  • Havana went tubing behind a friend of Chad & Amy’s boat. Havana also got to steer Chad & Amy’s boat, a first.
  • Barley loved the beach and the water and ate very well: eggs, bacon, sausage, salmon and English muffins (what he just calls “muffins”, being an English Bulldog).

https://youtu.be/MJl5OU1l6OM

While trying to take a selfie before we all left the lake, the drone lost its GPS connection and flew out of control, a common criticism of the drone since its inception, and crashed into the lake. Barley then retrieved it from the water and brought it back to us, very proud of himself. My drone is dead, 9 months after GoPro killed it. Next drone: DJI’s Mavic Pro 2?

Portland

After Gay and Havana made crab eggs benedict for breakfast, we packed up and left for Portland.

In Portland, we had lunch at Pizza Jerk (Eva had 3 slices!) and then stopped in for what I thought would be a quick sampling of beers at Modern Times PDX. I’m not as big a fan as Gay is of Modern Times and I’ve had a disappointing string of beers on this trip, especially hazy IPAs, so I wasn’t prepared for all the beers that aren’t available in Seattle. Wow! I loved their hazy IPAs and loved their imperial stouts even more. We ended up buying what we could in cans/bottles to take back home to share with Optimism peeps.

Next, we tried to make reservations at Tasty ‘n Alder, which we missed out on last time we were here. That didn’t seem promising. Then we checked into Hotel Lucia, including giving them 2 cases of beer to store in a fridge for us.

We tried again at the restaurant at 6pm, were told they’d call us in an hour to get a table, we walked around and stopped at Clyde Common for a cocktail and sodas and by 7:30pm we were back at the restaurant and seated. Good dinner, the kids even tried some unusual (for them) food.

Klamath Falls to Seaside, Oregon

We got a house on Airbnb in Seaside for 3 nights and met the Carders there. But on the way we first had dinner at Pelican Brewing Co.

We spent Saturday on the beach, then walked into downtown Seaside along the Promenade by the house, drove the bumper cars, rode the tilt-a-whirl – Eva hated it, Havana loved it, hudson refused to ride it – Hudson and Bowie played miniature golf, played games in the arcade, got salt water taffy, had dinner and walked back.

We went to the beach again Sunday morning and then to Cannon Beach for a late lunch at Public Coast Brewing.

After dinner, we went to the beach, started a fire, made S’mores and played Mafia/Guardian Angel, a morbid game the kids know.

Tahoe to Klamath Falls

Before driving to Klamath Falls, we went to Tahoe Mountain Lodge so the kids could swim for a couple hours. We left at 2pm and drove for 5.5 hours to Klamath Falls, had dinner at Klamath Basin Brewing Co – Gay remembers stopping there 10 years ago; I don’t.

Hudson was feeling car sick, something he sometimes complains about when driving. We picked up some Dramamine and after 10 minutes was feeling better and was back to normal. I think we’ll be buying lots of it in the years to come as we take long road trips.

I’m loving the car. I felt fine sitting in it for over 5 straight hours without even using cruise control (because of the two-lane roads most of the way)! I turned on Lane Keep Assist for the first time. It’s a little disconcerting to have the car steer back into the lane when I get too close to a line, not sure if I like it or not. We hit 1000 miles on the car on this leg of the trip.

Napa to Tahoe

It was a 3-hour drive to Tahoe. We packed only hot weather clothes not realizing how cold it gets in the evening in California. So on the way to Tahoe we stopped at an outlet mall in Vacaville and bought some warmer clothes at The North Face store. 50% off North Face gear is a great deal!

We were last here 8 years ago — Havana and Hudson were 3 and 1.5 years old and Eva didn’t yet exist.

All we did each day was go to the pool, enjoy the scenery, listen to Yacht Rock (Gay’s new favorite SiriusXM station) and barbecue dinners on our deck. I also read the entire Owner’s Manual for the Discovery.

I cracked the screen on my Apple Watch at the pool when it fell off a table and onto the concrete – 4 years without a scratch until now. Since the next version of watchOS doesn’t support the original watch, I have to get a new one anyway. Plus, Apple is (supposedly) coming out with a new model in the next several weeks. So assuming this one survives a little longer, it works out fine.

San Francisco to Napa Valley

After a short driving tour of San Francisco – the kids were not impressed, with Lombard Street being a possible exception – we drove over the Golden Gate Bridge in a deep fog and north to Napa, stopped for lunch at the very cool Oxbow Public Market, and then to our house at Carneros Resort and Spa.

The kids, especially Havana, loved the place. We went to the pool for a couple hours, I ran to a nearby grocery store for dinner and we had a nice dinner outside in the house’s courtyard. It was very chilly.

We stayed here 10 years ago when we only had Havana and Gay was pregnant with Hudson.

Pismo Beach to San Francisco

We had a long drive ahead of us. We got really good doughnuts for breakfast at Surfside Doughnuts and ate them on the pier, then a short walk on the beach before checking out of the hotel.

Pismo Beach:

We took the longer but more scenic drive up Highway 1, aka the Pacific Coast Highway. Somewhere along the Pacific Coast Highway:

The very foggy 6-hour drive was an 8-hour drive due to traffic into Carmel. We got to our hotel in San Francisco at 8:30pm.

We wanted a quick dinner and there is an In-N-Out Burger 3 blocks away. Perfect. That was my first experience with In-N-Out: good burger, bad fries. Oct 23 2018 Update: I came across an article about In-n-Out Burger; the company is owned by a drug-addled and dysfunctional family and hypocritically uses the business as a Christian propaganda machine. Never again!