the hyphens that define my life

Join the Club July 25, 2013

Filed under: Life — multihyphenatedme @ 10:47 pm
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There are some days when my husband’s over zealous research pays off.   That is to say that there are some days when his over zealous research makes me feel like a hamster on a wheel.  Tonight was not that night.  Tonight, thanks to his research, we Unlimited Fun at Red Lion’s Templins Resort on the Spokane River.  Unlimited Fun just saved me a ton of money (renting a boat for 5-8 trips vs buying and storing and maintaining a boat) and provides, truly, unlimited fun.

Unlimited Fun provides boats to rent (at a great price) on the Spokane River and the nearby Lake Coeur D’Alene.  Plus we get VIP privileges for unlimited use of their stand up paddleboards (SUPs) and Kayak/SUP hybrids and access to their private beach.

If that isn’t enough, on Thursday nights Red Lion Templins Resort offers an all-you-can-eat BBQ, live classic rock/county mix music, full bar and dancing.  Yee-haw!

Folks, if I haven’t sold you on this incredible deal yet, here’s a testimonial from their newest 7 year old member (my son Andre):

“This place has BBQ, live music, ice cream, and tons of stuff for us to do, we should just live here, it is paradise.”

Andre is serious.  He is willing to give up video games every day if we will take him to the river.  Andre was paddle boarding, kayaking, swimming, boating and chowing down on BBQ today. If you’ve read my posts up to this point, this is not my youngest child’s typical behavior.  He broke his mold and found himself in seventh heaven.  Or, he just aged 60 years and is ready for retirement.

When we left the house tonight after work, our plan was to just check it out and maybe take a dip in the river.  We packed bathing suits and towels and headed out the door.  I had made a pot of beans this morning for bean and cheese burritos for dinner.  We were set for a relatively quick out and back trip.  We told the kids, “Get in the car, we’re going to Idaho”.  That’s a phrase I never thought I’d ever say, even living here it feels odd.  To Idaho we went.

Then we got there.  The Idaho panhandle is ridiculously beautiful at every turn.  We have been going to Lake Coeur D’Alene and with each visit in constant awe. Today we stopped in Post Falls, a town on the Spokane River that started as a sawmill owned by a man named Post.   Lake Coeur D’Alene drains into the Spokane River before emptying into the Columbia River at Roosevelt Lake approximately 112 miles downstream.

Red Lion Templins Resort is 10 highway miles west of Lake Coeur D’Alene on the Spokane River.  The beach and river fun is unsuspecting as you park on the hill above and walk down to the marina.  The wide clear water river spreads out before you with a mountain on the other side, dotted with mega-houses with private docks.  There is a boat launch and marina and resort services, boat and jet ski rentals, SUP and kayak/SUP hybrid rentals an a snack shack and bathrooms.  A private beach with a grass volleyball court is just east of the marina.

For the few weeks we have left of summer [the locals tell me this high 90 degree heat isn’t going to last forever, only until mid September, enjoy it while it lasts], this is our summertime fun package.  Boat, check. Trying new things, check.  Easy access beach with amenities, check. All of the kids love it, check.  Mom and dad are happy, check.  The downside is that we don’t explore all of the surrounding lakes.  We’ll get there.  We will eventually buy a boat, just not yet. Renting a boat is perfect solution to get us off our butts on the beach and out exploring on the water.

Our month of August is jammed packed with activity.  Our daughter, Jessica, arrives on the 31st for 10 days and we are all super excited.  She loves to SUP and the boys can’t wait to SUP with her.  We all can’t wait to share our adventures with her.  Right after she leaves, we have our twelve year old buddy, Kyle, coming to visit for a week.  He will not want to go home with all the thrills and excitement we have planned during his visit.

One thing for sure, our dog days of summer will be spent on and in the water.



Hot Newbies July 1, 2013

Filed under: Life — multihyphenatedme @ 8:52 am
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Door-to-shore, thirty-two miles east of our house, is Lake Coeur D’Alene. A comparable distance to our go-to beaches in Southern California, Newport Beach or Salt Creek Beach.  Spokane, in addition to the Spokane River, is centrally located to 20 some odd lakes.  Where do newbies like us go to cool off in this heat wave? As SoCal transplants, we are programmed to think about parking and crowds.  Our summer plan is to visit as many of the lakes as possible to figure out which one suits us best.  We decided to start with Lake Coeur D’Alene.

Beaches stretch the California coastline, lake beaches don’t always exist, or aren’t accessible without a boat.  If you ask a local, they tell you to just grab a chair and claim a spot.  But where?  We packed our chairs, towels, sunblock and feedbags, loaded into the car and headed east to the lake to find our spot.  We didn’t leave the house until 11:30, being programmed as we are, we thought we would be hard-pressed to find a beach, let alone a spot to call our own.

We seriously need to deprogram.  By following Lakeshore Drive, we easily found a few public beaches scattered between spectacular houses with private beaches.    We opted for Jewett House Public Beach and staked our claim on the rocky beach.  Jewett House is a city owned 1900’s home, right on the lake, that is available to rent for events. We parked less than a block away, for free. Though the beach had plenty of people, we easily found a spot at the water’s edge.

The boys were bemoaning the fact that they didn’t have their boogie boards.  Apparently they missed the lesson on lakes to learn that lakes only have boat wake waves, no waves like the ocean.  Their reaction was priceless.  They had no idea what they were supposed to do at the lake.  Understanding that the lake was fresh water, not chlorinated or saltwater, boggled their minds as well.  Vince is a SoCal boy and knows the ocean well.  Me, I was raised going to Nickelplate Beach in Huron, Ohio on Lake Erie. I also spent some of my summers at my aunt and uncle’s lake house on Bass Lake near Baldwin, Michigan. It was the 70’s so “freshwater” in Lake Erie at that time is debatable but I know lakes.

The sun was crispy hot, the water at Lake Coeur D’Alene was clear and cold, but tolerable.  Some locals told us they don’t bother getting in the water until late July or August when it warms up.  Our kids stayed in the lake all day. They quickly learned that in a lake, you toss a football, play monkey in the middle, swim to the buoy and back, skip stones and just cool off. Who needs a boogie board?

It turned out that I was the one at a loss what to do.  My normal beach routine is to read, swim, flip, read, swim, flip to perfect my rotisserie tan.  In all the morning hoopla, I forgot to pack my book.   Dummy!!  I haven’t read a book cover to cover in weeks.  Weeks!  I survived our beach day by jumping in the lake.  Vince swam to the buoy a few times and managed to take a nap.  Our only issue was that our spray on sunblock, that everyone used was expired.  The sun was intense and we fried…except in the spots where we later applied the suntan lotion.  We are all a striped mess.

Our first lake beach trip was a success, but we all agreed on one thing, we need a boat.