Category Archives: Post Falls

2013 Wrap Up

Can you believe that 2013 is already over?! My mind is blown. There was so much more I wanted to do and share with you throughout this year but boy does time fly. Today I want to do a little recap of some of my favorite posts to celebrate the awesomeness that was 2013.

January

Last January I announced that I would participate in a 365 Photo Challenge where I would attempt to take a photo every day for a year (or at least have 365 photos to represent my year). I haven’t calculated my total yet, but before Halloween I was at 280 so it’s very possible that I was successful.

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The goal of this challenge was to get me using my camera a lot more and really learning how to use it. And if that’s the case then I more than achieved my resolution – I can shoot in manual mode now. Can I get a what what?!

Although, I still can’t wait to see how camera crazy I went this year. I know I took more than 365 photos – but who knows if I got 365 photos that I’m willing to admit are mine. We’ll see.

February

In February 2013 we hiked Caribou Ridge out past Beauty Bay. We spotted an elk across the ridge from us and heard all kinds of birds. We were also able to test out Juneau’s trail skills and trustworthiness off of her leash while hiking. I’d give her an A-.

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I also gave you all some fun Valentine ideas in case you weren’t feeling romantically inspired.

March

In March I took a chilly walk down Sherman and Lakeside and gave you a run-down of the best restaurants down there.

PS – Fire is still our favorite

April

April was a busy month for us! We Kyle built a pergola in our backyard where we have since hosted many-a-bonfires and BBQs. Such a great guy :)

That month I also discovered my new favorite cocktail (hint: it’s a Manhattan) and exactly how dangerous Season’s happy hour is. Yum! Since realizing what a great deal it is, I’ve gone for happy hour at least six times.

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Kyle and I, along with our friends Kristin and Blake, discovered Marie Creek and a fun trail just a little further than Wolf Lodge.

Side note: Kyle and I went back on Christmas day this year and I have to warn you that the trail heading down to the creek was super icy and a little scary. Proceed with caution.

This was the first time we took Juneau and their lab Sadie for a hike together and let them run around. Instant besties!

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Also that month I went on a trip for Kristin’s bachelorette party to Lake Chelan. I never told you guys about it so I’m saving it for a post in the future. It sure was fun though!

May 

In May I talked a lot about dogs. The dog show at the fairgrounds, Dog d’Alene and my little Juneau-approved icon were all introduced.

We also went up to Lost in the 50’s – one of my favorite things in the whole wide world! It’s a tradition for my dad and I to go look at all the amazing cars and for my mom to go shop. After, we treat ourselves to a burger at MickDuff’s and refill our “Go Green, Drink Red” bottles at the winery.

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June

June (as always) was the kick-off to summer entertainment and activities. Live music, walks, art shows, and Ironman all took center stage. What I remember most from June was our trip to Farragut State Park with my family. It was mine and Kyle’s first time camping there and we really enjoyed it. Despite the many rain storms, we got to hike and ride bikes a ton (Kyle even did a guest post about it!) and spending time with family is always good.

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We also hiked Mineral Ridge (my first time!) and went to Car d’Alene. June was a very busy month for us.

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July 

July was all about being outside. We went camping up at Riley Creek, just outside of Sandpoint. It was the first time our oldest nephews tried tubing and we took them on an educational nature walk (yeah, we’re that aunt and uncle) where we learned all about local vegetation and animals.

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In July we were also able to check out the first paddleboard races at the NIC beach and that was also the first time we went to Slate Creek Brewery – easily the best beer in town.

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My Fourth of July was a little more relaxed this year. I enjoyed the parade downtown with my family, then Kristen and I took the pups to Mineral Ridge for a hike. When Kyle got off work, we all headed out to his parents’ cabin for a BBQ and to watch the fireworks. 

This is also the month that Kyle posted about biking Bernard Peak while we were camping at Farragut. I’d love to see him do some more guest posts for you guys.

August 

August is always the busiest month in the summer because everyone wants to pack all things fun in before fall hits. Much like July, we spent a good part of the month outside and participated in a lot of firsts.

Kyle and his little bro (Kendrich) did the Cd’A Triathlon (Kendrich’s first tri) and now they both have the bug and even signed up for the Boise half Ironman in June. We have a couple of projects in mind surrounding their training so stay tuned!

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Kyle and I floated the Cd’A River together for the first time. It was quite chilly and the next time we go it will be much earlier in the day so we get some sun. Brr! We launched at Bumblebee and ended up having a great time.

The further along I get in this post, the more I’m realizing 2013 was a year of firsts for me. That feels pretty dang good.

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We also hiked Gold Hill Trail #3 in the rain and enjoyed MickDuff’s after.

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September

September is a special month for us because it’s our anniversary month. So of course we had lots planned.

Kyle ran Race for the Cure – Juneau and I played cheerleaders because I was pretty wiped out from going to a football game with my dad the night before. We rocked our Crimson and Gray and took the ‘stang down to Pullman for the WSU vs. UI game.

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October

October brought on a whole mess of fall fun and festivities. I gave you a round-up of all the Oktoberfests we participated in (including downtown Cd’A and Sandpoint). I told you all about my favorite fall event – the Apple Festival over at Green Bluff. Clarissa, Kyle and I gorged on pumpkin doughnuts and we brought home a slew of pumpkins and apples.

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We also celebrated my golden birthday (26 on the 26th) and Halloween with a costume party over at Clarissa and Eric’s. Kyle and I channeled our inner Great Gatsby characters – winning us the second place prize – and our friends Mike and Hilary won first with their all-night personas of Ron Burgundy and Veronica Corningstone.

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Two major projects were brought to the public in October. The McEuen Park open house was a huge success, bringing citizens from all over the greater Cd’A area downtown to view the progress. The CDA 2030 project also started gaining some momentum with their launch event, surveys and workshops.

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November

November got super busy with the holidays approaching. My biggest post from November was an interview with Nicole Kahler with the CDA 2030 team. She told us all about the vision plan and what they’ve discovered so far. She also told us all about the Vision Summit that I attended on the 11th.

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December

Talk about a busy month. Unfortunately it was busy in a post-worthy kind of way and I ended up taking a little holiday hiatus. I did take some time to tell you all about the 2030 Summit and what was discussed while I was there. I also told you about my specific group as well as the other special interest areas being addressed with the new vision.

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It’s been a busy year! And like I said, I didn’t even get to share everything we did with you.

All in all I think it’s been a great year for my little blog. I have over 130 likes on Facebook now (yay!) and am slowing discovering what I want Stuck in North Idaho to grow up to be. For now I’m happy and content sharing my life in North Idaho with you and continue to hope it helps you appreciate our little corner in the Northwest and inspires you to get out and enjoy it.

Can’t wait to share my New Year’s resolutions with you and see how I measured up to last year’s. Until then,

Happy New Year!
Andy

A little catching up…

It’s been a little while since I’ve given you an update on what we’ve been up to. Last we met, I was attending the CDA 2030 Summit at NIC and I was allegedly going to give the low-down right after. Well I obviously dropped the ball on that one. Oops.

Well, I’m here now (well over a month later) and I have some information for you.

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I chose to be in the “Community and Identity” focus group for the day. There were six groups total:

  • Jobs and Economy: Jobs and workforce, economic and business development, career and professional development
  • Growth and Development: Planning, land use, transportaion, housing, neighborhoods, infrastructure, utilities
  • Environment and Recreation: Environmental quality and protection, rivers, lakes and natural areas, parks and recreation, and trails
  • Health and Safety: Public safety, health care, wellness, social services, children and families, youth and elderly
  • Education and Learning: Schools, community college, university and graduate school, lifelong learning
  • Community and Identity: Governance, engagement, volunteerism, community image and identity, arts and culture, faith

So those were the different groups available and a brief description of the topics they were supposed to cover, however, there is always some level of overlap and that’s fine. The goal of the summit wasn’t to develop all these areas and solve all of North Idaho’s problems, even though I think there were multiple people who thought that’s what we were doing. Rather, our job was to look at the proposed vision that the committee already came up with based on all the surveys and workshops that had already wrapped up, and see if we wanted to make any changes.

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Some of the larger issues discussed included:

  • A shortage of “living wage” jobs – we wanted the term changed to “completive wage” because we’ll continue to lose a lot of skilled workers to Washington until we can close the wage gap a little more.
  • Growing targeted industries such as technology, aviation, medical services, and sustainable “green” technologies.
  • Transportation improvements including access to public transportation, bettering traffic flow and creating more city-wide urban trails to accomodate runners, walkers and bicyclists.
  • Protecting our open space and improving the quality of our lakes, rivers and shorelines.
  • Improving community health and wellness through education and awareness, recreational activities, environmental and safety measures, and further developing our comprehensive medical services.
  • Maintaining Coeur d’Alene’s small town feel and enhance our friendly, welcoming atmosphere while also continuing to develop public places where people can gather and connect.
  • Continue to grow and enhance our arts and culture.
  • Provide stable K-12 funding which will ensure the best teachers, facilities and resources possible for our community’s children and enhance our university partnerships to provide more opportunities for students including research and scholarships.

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Of course there was a lot more than that discussed throughout the day – but it would take me forever to include everything and you’d be reading this post for probably like a week. Or a day. Either way it would be way too long. You can learn a lot more about the results at the CDA 2030 website and find ways you will be able to participate down the road.

What are some of the issues you’d like to see come up?

I promise to post a few more times before the holidays, sorry again for being so behind!

xoxo
Andy

CDA 2030 Summit this Weekend!

Happy Thursday everyone!

It’s hard to believe that it’s already the second week in November… where did the time go? And as you may have guessed based on the title of this post, this Saturday is the CDA 2030 community summit. Remember when I talked about it way back when? Well it’s here and I hope you guys realize how huge this is.

To help convince you how important it is for everyone to participate, I interviewed emailed Nicole Kahler, the Coeur d’Alene 2030 Visioning Project, Project Manager.

Enjoy!

What is your role with the 2030 project?
Nicol Kahler Coeur d’Alene 2030 Visioning Project, Project Manager

Nicole Kahler
Coeur d’Alene 2030 Visioning Project, Project Manager

Being the project manager for the Coeur d’Alene 2030 Visioning Project is a quite a fun and unpredictable adventure. During the last couple months on the job, I have glued on 75 of our Fourth of July parade thought bubble signs, facilitated a workshop of 60+ high school students all at once (160 students throughout two days), coordinated events, collected and analyzed data, and give the CDA 2030 elevator pitch more times than I can count, just to name a few random tasks.  But it doesn’t get old, I really believe in this project.How did you get involved and why were you interested?
I learned about the project manager position from Debbie Gray, the program coordinator for the University of Idaho, Office of Community Partnerships. Debbie and I worked together on some community revitalization projects while I completed by undergraduate and graduate degrees in Landscape Architecture. Although I have always been an avid gardener and have enjoyed some residential landscape projects, my real interest lies in working on community projects. I am interested in the careful balance that must be created between the history and culture, economics, etc. I also really enjoy working with passionate groups of community members. When I heard about CDA 2030, I definitely wanted to be involved as an employee or even a participant. I loved that all community members would not only be able to voice their opinions but that they would also have the opportunity to talk with others, hear different perspectives, possibly be enlightened by someone else’s opinion and come to a consistence for the greater good of the community.

What does CdA 2030 mean to you? What would you like to see as part of the vision?
 To me, CDA 2030 is an extraordinary opportunity for our community to work together at the same level no matter you socioeconomic status, education level or job title.Yes, we may not always agree, but this venue gives community members a better way to ask questions, form opinions and compromise for the greater good of the community. I think this respectful dialog is so important for our community rather than unfriendly comments made online blogs for an example.Of course I have my own personal vision for greater Coeur d’Alene, but if my vision solely comes through at the end of the project, then I have failed. As a citizen, I filled out a questionnaire and participated in a workshop. As an employee of the project, it is my charge to see that the community’s opinions are accurately represented.
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What will be covered at the summit on Saturday? What can people expect?
The Community Vision Summit is where our community’s vision starts to come into sharper focus. During the Summit, participants will engage in a number of specific activities, including:
  • Review key information and vision ideas from the community
  • Affirm a statement of core community values
  • Work on an overarching vision for greater CDA
  • Develop visions and strategies for specific focus areas

The end result – a draft vision statement and a framework for an action plan.

Participants can expect to hold a respectful dialog when sharing their opinion, thinking about other opinions and work together for the greater good of the community.

Participants may also be surprised by what others have to say. Something that was really rewarding to see was participants network at our workshops last month. For example, a participant realized that he lived in the same neighborhood as another participant.  After the workshop he introduced himself and invited her to the HOA meeting which is about to make some major decisions in their neighborhood. Although this isn’t a world-saving example, it was really awesome to see that CDA 2030 is helping community member work together for the greater good of their community.

A lot of  people believe their opinion doesn’t matter when it comes to big projects like this.  How much does the community’s opinion really count in this project?
CDA 2030 is all about collecting the community’s opinion. We have collected data through our scientific community survey (http://www.cda2030.org/polls-results/), through questionnaires, workshops, and interviews. This data has given us the top community values, trends, visions, and actions that will be presented at the Community Vision Summit. From there, community members will review the information to make sure that nothing is missing. That we are representing our community in a holistic fashion. Our Vision Drafting Committee, which has been charged with taking the information as it is and not pushing a personal agenda, will then work on finalizing an overarching vision and series of vision statements. To make sure that the community opinion is accurately represented, in the beginning of 2014, we will take this information back out into the community for review and conduct a scientific validation survey.

If someone can’t make it to the summit on Saturday, what are some other ways to get involved?
Get involved in the process by giving us feedback especially in early 2014 when we will be asking the community to review the visions. Signup on our website or by emailing me to get updates on the project and opportunities for involvement.

If someone is unable to attend the Community Vision Summit, but would like to give us input, the results of the Community Vision Summit will be posted on our website (CDA2030.org) following the Summit (tentatively around the 20 of November).  Community members can respond with their opinion about the results by filling out an online survey.  This survey will be available until December 4, then the results will be shared with our Vision Drafting Committee and adjustments will be made.

Do you have to register to participate on Saturday? How?

Registration helps the CDA 2030 team make sure we have enough seating and lunches prepared for the event. Registration is strongly encouraged, however, we do expect and will welcome participants that have not pre-registered. As far as I am concerned, the room capacity will be the only limit on the number of participants.

We are asking all able participants to donate a non-perishable food item(s) or a monetary donation to the Community Food Bank in exchange for the lunch provided at the Community Vision Summit. Although it might not be realistic with little notice to the participants, I’d love to say, lets collect 2,030 lbs of food… how cool would that be!

Community Vision Summit

November 16, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Located in the Lake Coeur d’Alene Room of the NIC Student Union BuildingLunch provided with pre-registration. Register by contacting Nicole at nicole@cda2030.org or (208) 415-0112.

What are some of the results you’ve seen so far from the surveys and from community input?

Values and vision ideas will be shared at the Community Vision Summit. Come find out what others have to say!

Here are some results from our scientific community survey:
  • 1-in-5 residents believe that the greatest issue facing Coeur d’Alene today is population growth.
  • 1 out of 4 residents reported that the greatest issue facing Coeur d’Alene today is a lack of jobs.
  • Over 70 percent of respondents feel that it is ‘very important’ for a community to have good relations between people who have different cultural backgrounds.
  • 7-out-of-10 respondents also feel that respectful dialogue and cooperation among community leaders and citizens is ‘very important’.
  • 1-in-5 respondents believe that population growth will influence the greater Coeur d’Alene as a better or worse place to live.

What is one of the biggest misconceptions about the project?

One of the biggest misconceptions is that CDA 2030 is a City of Coeur d’Alene operated and owned project. This project is a community owned project. The intention is when this project is completed, any community member can access our reports and use the information. We encourage the community to use our information because we know that it is representative of the greater Cd’A area.

Yes, the city is a sponsor of CDA 2030, but there are a lot of other businesses/companies that have supported CDA 2030 with in-kind donations and monetary support. Our major sponsors include: Avista, City of Coeur d’Alene, Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce, Kootenai Health, Lake City Development Corporation, Lewis-Clark State College- Cd’A, North Idaho College, University of Idaho- Cd’A, Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors, and Pita Pit.

Why should people be excited and get involved?

People should be excited that we have a community that is supportive of this process. This process allows everyone’s opinions can be heard.

A big thanks to Nicole for answering all of my questions! I hope that you all plan to attend the summit on Saturday. I’ll be there with a couple friends (I’ll be the dork taking pictures of everything).

If you have any questions contact the 2030 group – I’m sure they’d love to hear from you!

Fall Favorites

I know it’s still 90 degrees outside (for now) but fall is definitely on its way. Last night it was dark by 7:30, the mornings are cool and crisp and on my way to running group I saw a tree starting to turn gold. So call me crazy… but I sense fall is near.

I love the fall in North Idaho. I know I say this every year, but it is definitely my favorite season. I think because of its energy. Probably the reason so many people like the spring too. I feel like whenever nature changes hats we feel the energy it creates. There’s something about the vivid colors and the little bite in the wind that just sparks creativity and brings our area to life.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing better than a summer spent downtown Cd’A, but the fall is just different. Kyle says it’s my favorite because my birthday is at the end of October – and that very well could be the case – But I choose to believe that autumn is my favorite season because of the festivities, cozy clothing and the  creative bursts it gives me.

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Here’s a little preview of my favorite fall activities:

Coeur d’Fondo – I have never actually participated in this ginormous biking event. Admitted. But it sounds amazing and beautiful AND I swear if I had a bike with gears I would totally participate. A beach cruiser doesn’t really bode well for long distances and hills. But I do love this event because it includes family riders and distance riders.

Downtown Oktoberfest – So. Much. Fun. This is the one time of year that drinking outside in public is totally doable. Just don’t get out of control and ruin it for everyone, OK?

It seems like every year this event gets larger. Participants get to bounce around from shop to shop testing different beers. There’s live music, German food and a lot of lederhosen. There’s a lot of family activities too. So don’t bail because you’re afraid Jr. isn’t welcome. This year the downtown Oktoberfest is two days, Friday, September 27 and Saturday, September 28.

Daanen’s Deli Oktoberfest – Also a fun event for the whole family, Daanen’s Deli puts together an awesome event in their parking lot. Games, music, food, and great beer. I actually tend to like the beer at Daanen’s over the selection downtown. This year’s event is Saturday, September 28. Check out their Facebook page for more info. (linked above).

Apple Festival at Green Bluff – This is beyond my favorite thing to do in the fall – and it’s the most family-friendly. Pick a day in October to drive out to Green Bluff north of Spokane to pick apples, pumpkins, taste wine, listen to music, and participate in all of the merriment that is fall on the farm.

Two things to HAVE to do:

1. Go to Knapp’s and watch Punkin’ Chunkin’. It’s purely amazing.
2. Buy at least a dozen pumpkin doughnuts. When they get stale, microwave them for 5-8 seconds and they’re almost like new again. Yum! Chances are they won’t make it to the stale point – you’ll be lucky if they make it home.

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Here’s a map to each of the growers.

Scarywood – Just when you think you can’t handle Silverwood’s awesomeness, they turn scary. Every year it gets better, with new attractions and characters. This may not be the best option for little kids. Only open at night, the entire park fills with smog and creatures roam around looking for the right person to scare. Several of the rides are turned into a haunted attraction and you can even ride the Timber Terror backwards. I didn’t like it that much – too jerky and it made me want to barf a little. Normally I’m good with coasters, but apparently not backwards. Overall, I don’t think this is the scariest option there is, but it definitely has its moments.

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Post Falls Lon’s Club Haunted House – This is the scariest haunted house in the area. For the longest time it was a tradition to go for my birthday, but the past two years we opted for Scarywood instead. This is a more traditional haunted house, where you wait in a 2-hour line (no kidding, please dress warm!) and spend about 5-10 minutes inside. The scenes are terrifying and the actors are great.

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So those are my favorite things to do every fall. I try to pack in everything because, like summer, it goes by so fast! What are you favorite things to do in the fall? What about in the outlying areas?

Please share!

xoxo
Andy

This weekend in North Idaho

I apologize for my absence this week. I’m not going to lie, I can’t remember a week – other than when we got married – that’s been this hectic. But here I am, ready to tell you what’s going on this weekend.

Coeur d’Alene Art Walk  – Tonight is art walk downtown. Come check out local artists and their work at several locations along Sherman Ave. Click the link for a complete list of this month’s supporters.

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Hayden Triathlon – So it’s probably too late to decide to compete it a tri – but if you’re just crazy enough, maybe not! Even if you’re not competing, come cheer on the athletes and scope out your competition for next year. This sprint-distance course starts and ends at Honeysuckle Beach. I’ll be there cheering on Kyle and taking pics. Hope to see you there!

Wallace Blues Festival – The second annual Wallace Blues Festival is this weekend and is $30 at the door. There are over 20 performers scheduled for this year over the course of Saturday and Sunday. Last year my step-niece was able to perform and said it was a great experience.There’s a beer garden, BBQ and a pancake feed on Sunday. Check out the link for more information.

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Coeur d’Alene Garden Tour – A favorite tradition for my mom and I, the garden tour allows you to take a peek into some of the most beautiful yards in the Hayden, Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls area. There are five gardens on the tour this year and there’s usually some fun vendors set up selling unique garden art and supplies at each one.

27th Annual Wooden Boat Show

Sandpoint Classic Boat Festival – While the Wooden Boat Show is one of the highlights of the summer in Coeur d’Alene, Sandpoint has their own version, which I’ve heard is great! I would love to go check it out some time and I hope if you go you’ll send me some photos to use!

Upcoming Events:

Of course there’s going to be a lot of live music at the Moose, Country Club, Splash, 315, and the like. And don’t forget about the Hayden Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a drink! Happy Weekend!

Andy