12 September 2014

Life In Coeur D'Alene Lately

Scott and I have been hanging out in Coeur d'Alene tending to some family matters lately. Here is a little glimpse into what we've been getting up to in this pretty little resort town on Lake Coeur d'Alene in Northern Idaho.

Northern Idaho is known for its beautiful lakes and whenever you have lakes, you have boats. Because we're between boats just now, Scott and I have had to get our fix by visiting the various marinas on Lake Coeur d'Alene and Lake Pend Oreille. {The picture above is from the Panhandle Marina in Bayview.} Scott has even managed to get hooked into the racing scene and has been out a few times, including participating in the Spud Cup Regatta. Their logo is so cute - little potatoes sailing boats. If you sail in a state known for its potatoes which brags about them on your license plates, then of course you're going to name your regattas after them! Scott is pretty pleased to be able to add the States to his list of countries that he has raced in (New Zealand, Scotland and Ireland).

For some reason, every time I'm back in the States, I am absolutely astonished by the portion sizes when you eat out. You would think I would remember that this is the country that invented "super size", but I never do. Of course, we've fallen back into our American ways and have embraced gluttony. We've hit some of our favorite dining spots while in Coeur d'Alene including one of my all time favorites - Hudson's Hamburgers. Hudson's has been around forever and is one of the few things in this world that hasn't changed. There are lines outside the door at all hours of the day with folks eager to get a stool at the counter. Ordering at Hudson's is pretty simple - the only things on offer are hamburgers,  cheeseburgers, ham & cheese sandwiches and pie. Don't try to get any fancy toppings on your burger - you have a choice between pickles and onions. That's it. And if you want fries, try McDonald's.

We've been to the VA (Veterans Affairs) hospital in Spokane, Washington and the clinic in Coeur d'Alene a few times lately. It is pretty sobering to visit VA facilities - you see older gentlemen with Korean War caps struggling to get around in their walkers and guys who are missing limbs. I think most Americans, regardless of their political beliefs, would agree that how we treat our veterans is shocking. Many of the homeless men and women you see on the street corner when you're driving by are veterans. A shocking number of veterans take their own lives every day. And then there are the veterans who die waiting for care in the VA system. We can and should do better for these men and women. 

Idaho is a beautiful state nestled in the Rocky Mountains. Over 60% of Idaho is public land with some of the largest areas of unspoilt lands that you can find anywhere in the States. We've been taking advantage of our time in Idaho enjoying the outdoors here - going for drives in the countryside with Scott's dad and exploring the area on foot and bicycle. We have to try to work off our gluttony somehow!

That's life in Coeur d'Alene lately...here's hoping the gorgeous weather continues for while!

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