Monthly Archives: October 2013

Green Bluff, and parties, and my birthday – Oh my!

This past week has been sheer craziness. In a good way, not in a my-head-is-going-to-explode-from-stress way.

My birthday was on Saturday. According to my sister, it was my Golden Birthday because I turned 26 on the 26th. Kinda fun I guess. I love that my birthday is during my favorite time of year (or is it my favorite time of year because it’s my birthday?). There are so many exciting things to do that are particular to the season and we always manage to fit them all in to my birthday week. We did miss out on going to a haunted house or Scarywood this year (Scarywood is open through Nov. 2 I believe) – but we made up for it with a trip to Green Bluff last week and an amazing birthday/Halloween party this past Saturday.

Here it goes!

Green Bluff

This is number one on my list of things to do in the fall. One of my best friends, Clarissa, joined us this year and experienced the gloriousness of the freshly-made pumpkin doughnut. I love being able to share little treasures like this with people. So much fun!

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We bought pumpkins and apples (I’m making a whiskey apple pie this week!) as well as some fresh apple cider.

While I definitely suggest visiting as many farms as possible, one you aren’t allowed to miss is Knapp’s Farm. There’s a lot to do and it’s the only stop with Punkin’ Chunkin’. There’s also a lot of animals for kids to pet and feed – I love the goats.

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The pumpkin doughnuts are at the Harvest House. I waited in line for about 45 minutes and I heard that the line got even longer throughout the day. It’s amazing what people will do for cinnamon-sugar goodness.

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Birthday Loveliness

Last weekend was full of food, food and more food. I’m not complaining, I just hope this habit doesn’t continue through the holidays – if it does I will most likely weigh 200 pounds by January. It was so great to spend time with our families this weekend (hence all the wonderful food). Dinner with my family on Friday, party with our friends on Saturday, brunch with my parents on Sunday, and dinner on Sunday with Kyle’s family. Did I mention I ate non-stop?

Clarissa and Eric hosted a Halloween/birthday party on Saturday. So while all of you were battling crowds at the bars we were eating pulled pork, lots of snacks and Jell-O shots in syringes. We got creative this year.

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Jell-O in syringes was a fun Halloween treat. These ones for for adults, but non-alcoholic ones would be fun for kids too.

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Mike and Hilary won the costume contest (we got 2nd!) as Ron Burgundy and Veronica Corningstone from Anchorman. Love it!

We are so lucky to have such amazing friends, and loved that so many different groups of people were able to come together and have a great time.

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Kyle and I as Jordan Baker and Nick Carraway from the Great Gatsby

A GIANT thank you to the Mormans (Clarissa and Eric)! It was an amazing golden birthday party. Love you guys!

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Clarissa and Eric as Pocahontas and John Smith

What have you been doing to celebrate the fall? Anyone out there planning on trick-or-treating on Thursday? If so, where are the best spots? I know my sisters like taking the boys to the mall if it’s really cold, or to the shops along Sherman. I used to hit up the big neighborhoods and Snob Hill (do people still call it that??) in Hayden.

Happy Haunting!

McEuen Park is getting closer!

I hope all of you are out enjoying this crazy-amazing weather while it lasts. Before we know it winter will be setting in and we won’t see the sun again until April. Soak it all in now.

Over the past couple weeks Kyle was out of town for work and that means I’ve been doing home projects like crazy. It seems to be my new thing. If Kyle leaves, I paint a room or redecorate. Fair trade. This isn’t relevant to today’s post except for the fact that I moved most of my living room furniture into the office. Hence why there was no post last week. My computer was completely blocked off.

I have a little before and after coming up on my living room project, but first I want to talk about the updates at McEuen Park so you can go check it out before the wet weather comes back.

On October 12, I went to the open house with my mom, sister and her family. It seemed like a pretty good turn out, especially since nothing is actually open yet. But what we did get to see was awesome and made us all even more excited to be able to enjoy it next summer.

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The play structure is bright and fun. No more rusty equipment. My nephew, Sawyer, could barely stay on the sidewalk the whole time. He wanted to go play so bad. I can’t blame him (I kinda did too).

There’s paths going all throughout the park and as we walked around I noticed that all the lights are solar powered. Way to go green, Cd’A!

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As promised, the new parking garage is two levels – leaving a lot more park space and it seemed like there’s actually more parking. It’s weird. The park has been under construction for so long sometimes I forget how it used to be.

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One great thing about the open house was the number of volunteers available to answer questions. My mom lives up in Hayden and hasn’t been following the project as much as we have. She was able to ask questions and get answers specific to her concerns. I bet a lot of people appreciated the one-on-one attention.

One really cool feature that I hadn’t heard of yet is the hawk and osprey nest areas. Large pillars stand in the southeast corner of the park (right by where the dog park is going to be) and they are each adorned with the perfect nesting area for our local birds of prey. Very cool.

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Overall it was nice to walk around and get a better idea of what’s been going on down the street from us. I’m excited for the grand opening in May – and Juneau is excited to have a place in town to run around off her leash.

The volunteers may not be down there anymore, but I still think you should walk around and check it out.

Fall Festivities (so far)

Fall is definitely here. Cold, rainy weather has set in, but I’m not letting that prevent me from enjoying the season. Here’s what we’ve been up to so far…

Coeur d’Alene Oktoberfest

I’m officially Oktoberfested out. We learned the hard way this year that going to the downtown festival on Friday isn’t the way to go. There were very few people, the band (while good) ended pretty early and there just wasn’t much going on. I heard that Saturday was better, but overall our Oktoberfest seemed pretty sad in comparison to our other Oktoberfest adventure last weekend (more about that below).

It would be great to have another venue where you didn’t have to walk around everywhere, but rather there would be booths and tents with heaters or something. It could definitely be better.

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But, there was this girl that was stacking beer mugs on the table. Very impressive. Sadly, that was the most entertaining part of the evening. Another plus is that my typically non-beer-drinking buddy joined in this year – and liked it! Woot woot! Welcome to the brew side, Clarissa!

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Fall Goodies

I made pumpkin cupcakes for the first time this year. For those that don’t know me very well, I can be a little cupcake obsessed. No one complains though, because they’re the ones that benefit from it the most.

I used this recipe from the Brown Eyed Baker with my own cream cheese frosting. Delish!! I also substituted the wet ingredients for 8 oz. of pumpkin ale. Even better – Oktoberfest with frosting :)

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Sandpoint Oktoberfest

This is why I am now very disappointed with Cd’A’s Oktoberfest.

Sandpoint’s festival had live music that played well past last call (and had been going all day), it was in a rad (yes I still use that word – hello 80’s!) and unique location – the old granary on Oak St. They used beer from LOCAL breweries. How cool is that? They had a competition (which we missed) and everything was in one location.

Not to mention the band that was playing when we got there was both hilarious and talented. The Alliance is a medieval themed rock band. Who knew such a thing exists?  I thinketh they rock.

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After the festival we ate dinner at our our favorite place in Sandpoint, Mick Duff’s, and camped at an awesome spot along the lake, outside of Sagle. We literally (channeling my inner Chris Traeger here) camped right on the beach at Green Bay. Absolutely beautiful! Can’t wait to go back this summer – when we’re not freezing.

Between the good food, friends, music, treats, and constant hashtag referencing (thanks to Jimmy Fallon and JT) – last weekend was probably my favorite weekend so far this fall. But there’s still time to top it :)

Please connect and share your favorite fall adventures on SINI’s Facebook page!
Andy

And 2030 powers on

I attended the Cd’A 2030 launch event last night, and was a little disappointed in the turnout. One nice surprise is the number of young people there – it’s great to see the 20-somethings come and support the growth of their town.

Steve Wilson from the Chamber of Commerce was the emcee for the night, and he did a great job. There were about five other presenters throughout the evening. Probably the most interesting part was looking at the projected population growth for 2030. Good ol’ Coeur d’Alene is definitely growing fast – I don’t know if I’m ready for 65,000+ people to live within city limits, but it’s going to happen so we better prepare for it.

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Charles Buck from the UI also presented, along with other committee members throughout the night. They threw out a bunch of statistics and survey results. I guess the University of Idaho Social Science Research Unit contacted about 3,000 greater Coeur d’Alene residents for a telephone  survey as part of the visioning process.

Side note: If you want some stats about Kootenai County check out the Kootenai County Indicators site. Very interesting for any factoid lovers out there.

This survey was an intense 15-minute long phone interview. I wasn’t contacted to be part of the survey, but I’d love to hear from any of you who were. I found it pretty interesting that on one survey question, residents stated that the best thing about Cd’A is it’s natural beauty and closeness to nature. Yet on another question people valued investing in environmental protection low on their priority list.

Another thing I found interesting is that a good portion of survey takers stated the worst part about Cd’A is the lack of diverse jobs and low pay. It’s going to take a great deal of population growth to bring in more job opportunities and that is something people didn’t want to see (the population growth, that is). When I pointed this out to Kyle he also noted that one reason our environment is so beautiful is because we don’t have large factories and big business to create air pollution and eat up a lot of our “empty space.”

Just some things to think about.

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Overall it was a good start to introducing the community to the project and getting us excited about it. There are some workshops this week that I would encourage you all to attend if you want to learn more. They are posted on CDA2030.org. There’s also a half-day summit on Saturday, November 16 which I will be attending.

Hope to see you all there!
Andy

Our City

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There’s a lot going on in Coeur d’Alene right now, to put it mildly. McEuen Park is slowly coming along, and still manages to be a hot topic around town. Coeur d’Alene is growing immensely. I’ve lived here since I was 5 years old and I bet our little city has probably doubled in size in that time – at least. We’ve progressed a lot since then too. We’re investing in city art projects, expanding our community college and education opportunities, enhancing our parks and public transportation, and so much more.

Sure, there are changes that may worry locals, I know there are aspects that have gone that I miss. But they are small sacrifices for what our town can be. I recently read an editorial in the Inlander by Mary Lou Reed. This is the first I’ve heard of her (which is embarrassing because I read the Inlander all the time), but I would love to chat with her over coffee someday. Her editorial, “Planned Prosperity,” discussed progress in Coeur d’Alene, why it needs to happen and how we’ve been able to accomplish so much already. She gave an anecdote about some of her friends visiting from Montana. After showing them many of the changes around town, they wondered how, “in conservative, unbelievably red-state Idaho, can so many progressive projects be taking place?”

She stated, “The city and its leaders are making it happen. While the very conservative legislature shortchanges public schools and state universities, Idaho cities march ahead to supply necessary services in as attractive a setting as they communities can afford.”

She then goes on to praise Mayor Bloem and her creative staff as well as the Lake City Development Corporation for fighting to push projects forward and find the funding to make them happen. We’re losing Sandi Bloem in December after leading our city for 12 years. I don’t know much about the mayoral candidates, but it’s up to us to do our research and make an informed decision.

I usually try to stay away from politics, especially on my blog, but I feel like this is too important to leave alone. I’m afraid of losing a city council that values art, culture and making our city a better place to live. Does it take money? Yes. But it’s an investment in our future.

Have you heard of CDA 2030? If not then you need to educate yourself right now. CDA 2030 is a project aimed at creating a plan for Coeur d’Alene’g growth over the next 20 years. From Monday, October 7 through Friday, October 11 we all have a chance to participate and let our voices be heard.

There will be lectures, workshops and surveys open to the public. You can find all the info. on their website cda2030.org. The group is headed up by City Attorney Mike Gridley and Dr. Charles Buck, CEO of the UI campus in Cd’A. The group wants to know everything about what the people think of Coeur d’Alene. What we like, hate, our favorite spots, pastimes, what we want the city to be like for our children and grandchildren, etc.

I’m hoping to contact a group member and get some more information soon. In the meantime I plan on attending a few of the meetings next week and I hope you do too. This is our city, let’s make it exactly how we want it to be.

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