Monday, June 9, 2008

Home from the North: Idaho

I'm shaking Idaho granite dust out of my shoes, buffing up the leather on favorite old books found new again, polishing off Marta's pack-up filled with chocolate sour cream cake (from scratch) Watermelon cubes, and strawberry-spinach salad. It's fun to come home from a treasure hunt...with treasures!

We had a magic get away to a valley of wind whipped clouds, green farmsteads, and the Grand Teton Mountains hovering in the distance. Marta is a homemaker extraordinaire, effortlessly throwing together a lovely summer meal from local produce she'd picked up at the farmer's market. Organization is her speciality and already everything had a place in a darling basket, lined up artistically inside her cupboards. One pantry held the snow-tires, and Dan's biking gear was lovingly tucked in with the baby's mobile and bumper pads.  They're becoming a real family.

We visited Dan's firm, which is an impressive building in a business park. Dan has a handsome office loaded down with case studies and files, and books to study for the bar, and personal art adorning the walls. His partners were friendly and professional and I could see that Dan's large windowed, corner office fit his expansive personality and potential.  (The other new attorney got the cozier room.)  Dan has room to spread his wings!! He looks out on a giant fountain and sculpture of eagles flying around and landing on a rock formation.  Symbolism through the glass.

We toured the town, found the authentic granite quarry that cut giant pieces of Little Cottonwood Canyon LDS temple granite into blocks, and turned it into the stones used for the huge Conference Center in Salt Lake City. Since Dee wrote the story of all the miraculous events that made it all possible in-spite of incredible odds, he wanted to search the throwaway heap for granite scraps he could use as keepsake book ends in his office. 

The son who's now in charge at the quarry came outside, and Dee quickly displayed his expertise on the subject.  The  young man suggested a fabulous book written about his dad and granddad that told all the awesome occurrences  in great detail, in context of their business.  He reappeared with the book Dee had written, and said, "This was written by a famous biographer from Salt Lake City and since you're so interested you ought to have a copy.  You should call the author because he's the real expert on all this."  Dee didn't have the heart to tell him that the short, bearded fellow before him in levis, suspenders, sweatshirt and baseball hat was the exact famous author he referred to so glowingly.  

After a lunch in a classy cafe right down town, we walked across the street to a well organized, eclectic antique mall.  I could have stayed all day.  Dee found stamps, I found books and maps...Marta found toys, vintage dishes and linens. It was dreamy to find exactly what I hope for in a little village I'll be visiting often. What else did we suss out?
  1. There's a brand-new Barnes and Noble
  2. A Daylight Donut Drive-thru window, with coke
  3. A Farmer's market 
  4. Convenient hotel with free breakfast
  5. Several unique local restaurants to try.
  6. Newly remodeled Mall with Dillards, Macy's and the other regular shops at a big city mall.
  7. Another donut store, with Spudnuts
  8. Farr's Ice Cream Shop
  9. Roberts Crafts, Joanne Fabrics, scrapbook stores, two Walmarts
  10. Upscale Great Harvest Bakery and Cafe, art galleries, parks, Sonic Burger
This is no po-dunk cross-roads of a town.  It's got personality.

And of course the true draw: (besides our resident graphic artist and attorney) in just 11 weeks there will be a new cuddly, soft, baby boy  that will attract our attention.

Driving home we explored the route to Jackson Hole, Star Valley Wyoming, Logan Canyon, Cache Valley: it's gorgeous country.  This will become our donut and cuddle run.

How do you like to explore?  Are you a hiker? 
Do you rev up a snow mobile, or saddle a horse?  
Or do you pack up your credit cards and head for
 Bloomingdales,Nordstrom and the Gap?  
What makes a fun weekend trip for you? 
 Blog about it and leave us a comment leading the way.


diane said...

My boy is headed for Boise. What an adventure he will have for two years.
I just got back from Palm Springs and the mall!

Polly said...

Going through cache valley is beautiful. Glad to hear Dan and Marta are doing so surprise there!

Christie said...

That is so funny that Dee didn't tell him he had written that book, and was that famous biographer from Salt Lake. Hilarious. Sounds like a great trip!

marta said...

great recap, oma! it was so fun to have you visit. am counting down til you (and the babe) come to see us again! hopefully the gear will find a new home and the babe can have his own crib!

gab said...

Sounds so fun...Idaho doesn't know how lucky it is to have such a cute little family in residence!

mama jo said...

sounds like a great fun to see where marta and dan are's always nice to be able to picture them in their home...

kenju said...

I pack up my billfold (no credit cards) and go to the beach! But some day, I'd love to tour that part of the country.

Sheri said...

Where in Idaho is this ideal place?

When we travel we avoid the tourist traps and look for out of the way, unique places. We like tramping about in mountains, hills and deserts.

The Mighty R&R said...

Thank you for the nudge. Your weekend getaway recap motivated me to create my first post. My goal: one/day for a week...

Sandra Ferguson said...

We're headed for San Antonio again. Been a number of times, but it always seem like the kids want to do the same old stand-bys -- not that those things aren't fun, but this time they've given me permission to push the edge and find some new 'stuff' to explore. I'm headed down the Internet Hwy right now.

Glad you're back safe and sound.

Jenibelle said...

Where do you find all those cute pictures all the time?

Spudnuts! Oh my, a blast from my past in Seattle. How do I explore? I love long drives (before gas prices went so high) and I read. Reading is almost the best vacation there is.