Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Scenic St. Joe River Road in the Fall

Fall is definitely here and the colors of the leaves are brilliant.  We took a drive up the St. Joe River and arrived in St. Regis, Montana about 3 hours later.  The ground cover of reds is evidence of the profusion of huckleberry plants.  The river is beautiful any time of year but when yellows, oranges, reds and greens jump into view there is just nothing prettier.

As you leave St. Maries, the St. Joe River is quite wide, however it gets more narrow the further you go.  There are twists and turns in the road that open up yet another beautiful display of color.  Because of the clarity of the water, you can see all the river rock and the waves splash playfully as the water hits into a large rocks sticking up out of the water. 

There are quite a few campgrounds along the way, some well known like Huckleberry and Tin Can Flats.  They vary in size and I tend to like the smaller ones with only 6 to eight camp sights.  The town of Avery always offers some interesting sites and it is easy to imagine the activity that use to happen in it's "heyday".  Just outside of Avery you can either turn left and head over Moon Pass driving through tunnels on a dirt road and eventually end up in Wallace,ID or continue on the St. Joe River Road heading to Red Ives and the Montana border.  We chose to keep to the right and head to Montana.

St. Regis in itself is an interesting little town with resturants, antique stores and gift shops to spend a few hours (and a few bucks) before heading west on Interstate 90 back home.  Although it is not as scenic, it does cut off about an hour of drive time and winds along the southeast end of Couer d'Alene Lake.

All in all, it was a delightful day with the blue sky, crisp fall air and a day spent appreciating the beauty that North Idaho has to offer.  I would love to say the next pictures will be in the winter with those same trees and water snuggled in a blanket of white snow but the road conditions might keep that from happening.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Morel Mushrooms....maybe better than Huckleberries

We have had an extremely WET spring but there are always good things that come out of adversity if you take the right attitude.  The excessive moisture has brought an abundance of mushrooms in the area hillsides.  I have never been mushroom picking, although my Dad and brother were always going out and spotting those yummy morsels.  A new young friend showed up with 8 and 1/2 pounds of morel mushrooms and my taste buds were salivating like mad when I saw them. 

After questioning him for every bit of information we could get, we THOUGHT we knew just exactly where to go to find these wonderful delicacies.  My son who is an avid huckleberry picker, to the point that we have nicknamed him the "Huckleberry Hounddog" arrived from Seattle and he and I set out to stake our claim.

Heading up Shay Hill, I now know why the Subaru Forrester has won the hearts of many who dare to go where others cannot or wouldn't even venture to go.  It was like a little tank crossing all those washed out ravines.  I was really impressed and it got us to the top of the mountain. 

I hate to admit it but we kind of got "skunked" when it comes to the volume of mushrooms picked but we really hit the jackpot when it comes to scenery.  The views atop the hill were outstanding, could even see for about 30 miles of the Coeur d'Alene Lake.  The spring flowers were abundant, fresh air never been fresher and it was just great to get out into the beauty area. 

Although we did not come back with many morels, we arrived home with a whole new appreciation of mushrooms as we had spotted over 8 other varieties and had no idea of they would be delicious or death!  Thus, onto the computer to study mushrooms, found a book at my Mom's house about the differant varieties and best yet, found out that there is a Mushroom organization in Spokane, WA that offers monthly meetings and field trips.  Guess where we will be going in the fall? ? ?  Life is just one big learning experience after another.

Natural Beauty- Obnoxious Weeds-or Land of OZ -- You Decide

Each season brings new beauty to the area but I think that spring is by far the prettiest in this area.  We have a huge field right across the road from our home and it brings so much joy each time I look out a window or walk out the door.  Many times the view is of 20 to 50 deer grazing in the fields, or a fresh blanket of white snow, but in the spring we are fortunate enough to get "wild lupin".  I absolutely love gazing at all the purple and lavender flowers and am amazed to hear complaints about how we need to get rid of these obnoxious weeds.  Obnoxious weeds, I think they are a sight for sore eyes after the long winter! 

Even better yet is to take the dogs and grandkids for a walk in these magnificent fields.  The dogs enjoy running through the stuff while the kids enjoy picking to their hearts content.

If I were to try to grow these in my yard they would most likely not do a thing, yet left alone for Mother Nature to tend to them....they flourish.  I always feel like "Dorothy" heading to the city of OZ.  JayJay may not look like Toto, nor I like Dorothy but it is still magical.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Runners invade St.Maries for St. Joe River Marathon

Race day has finally arrived and close to 400 runners laced up their running shoes to participate in the inaugural run of the St. Joe River Marathon on June 12.  The majority of the runners are from out of town.  The event chairman, Jesse Baker was quoted saying "It's great to be able to put on a race for the locals, but we want to bring people into our area to see how great our town is."

Organizers of the race were excited with the response to the race, this being the first year and only about 100 runners were expected to take part.  He said he believes it's the area and nature of the race attracting runners.  "Runners want to experience something new and the beautiful area is also a driving factor."

One such runner is Kjell Schioberg who has run more than 60 marathons in his life.  Yet, when he runs the St. Joe River Marathon he'll be running on gravel for the first time.   Mr. Schioberg was born and raised in Hamburg, Germany and recently joined the staff at the Tribal Wellness Center in nearby Plummer.  He ran in the Ironman professionally for four years along with racing in South Korea, China, Malaysia, Japan,
Canada, Austria, Germany and Singapore.  "They were all exotic places," Mr. Schioberg said. 

The St. Joe River Marathon will be his third marathon in four weeks.  "It's all new.  I've heard it's a beautiful course.  It's right next to the river.  I don't listen to music when I run because I just like to be out in nature and be with myself," he said.  Well, the St. Joe River is one of the most beautiful places to be so he will surely enjoy himself.  With many more participants than expected, it gives this event planning committee something to think about for the future.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

CDA Summer Theater-Broadway in Our Own Backyard

USA Today named Couer d'Alene Summer Theater as one of the "ten best places to see musical theater way off Broadway."  If you have not had the chance to experience the absolutely entertaining and professional acting that goes on while sitting in the audience of one of these productions, you really must plan to treat yourself this summer.  The CDA Summer Theatre truly is like having Broadway in your own Backyard and better yet, it is just a one hour scenic drive from the St. Joe Riverfront Bed and Breakfast.  

The 2011 season is yet again promising to deliver fantastic reviews.  Here is the line-up:
The Wizard of Oz  June 9-12, 16-19
A Little Night Music  June 30-July 3, 7-10
Once on This Island  July 21-24, 28-31
The Sound of Music  Aug. 11-14, 18-21

The first show of the season is the classic tale of Dorothy's adventures to Oz includes many of the songs from the famous MGM musical.  The Wicked Witch of the West will be played by Ellen Travolta, along with her sister Margaret as Glinda the "good" witch and Annie Travolta's green hair is going to send the laugh barometer to the top!  If you had the opportunity to see these three sisters in action in Cinderella you will know just exactly what I mean.

Watch the stage come alive with flying monkeys, dancing jitterbugs and a yellow brick road that will lead you to the Emerald City...and I don't mean Seattle!  The CDA Summer Theater is Idaho's oldest performing arts organization and performs in the Schuler Performing Arts Center on the Campus of North Idaho College on the shores of Lake Coeur d'Alene.

The theater is commited to producing live performances of theatre for the benefit, education and appreciation of the audience.  The multi-talented performers are recruited nationally along with local talent and features full orchestrations performed by the region's most accomplished musicians.

If you would like to include tickets in conjunction to your stay at our bed and breakfast just mention that at time of reserving your room or you can access tickets by going to http://www.cdasummertheatre.com/.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Things To Do While Staying at the St.Joe Riverfront Bed and Breakfast

As some may well know, I have entered the "social media" world and have been having our website updated, now have a FB page and this blog.  Interesting that you don't take the time to think about all the wonderful things in your very own backyard until you are told to.  My gosh, I think a monster has been created as my brain can't seem to stop when thinking of all the fantastic activities and sites to explore while in North Idaho.  I am hoping to do an in-depth article on each subject that I have thought of but here are a few I wish to start with:

Antiques, Art, Baldy Mountain, Bicycling, Birds, Coeur d'Alene, Cooking, Farmers Market, Golf, Hiking, Holidays, Huckleberries, Kayaking,Parks, Recipes, Recreation, River Fun, Resturants, Seasons Beauty, St. Joe River, St. Maries River, Shopping, Skiing, Spa, Vacations, Wallace, Wildlife, Wine, Winery and this is just the start! !  As I said, I think a monster has been created.  So stay tuned and check back in regularly.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Fire of 1910

The Great Fire of 1910 referred to as the Big Burn was a wildfire that burned about 3 million acres, approximately the size of Connecticut and killed 87 people-of which 78 were firefighters.  It was the largest forest fire, although not the deadliest fire in American history.  Maybe even the largest forest fire ever.  No one knows for sure, but even now, it is hard to put into words what it did.  For two terrifying days and nights-August 20 and 21, 1910-the fire raged across those three million acres of virgin timberland in northern Idaho, northeast Washington and western Montana.  Many thought the world would end, and for 86, it did.

No single event in American history did more to shape the United States Forest Service than did the 1910 fire, and no two men ever cast longer shadows over the Forest Service than did Gifford Pinchot and W.B. Greely, the agency's first and third chief foresters.  Beyond all doubt, the way the Forest Service views forest fires today-indeed the way the public views forest fires-is rooted in their handling of events that occured during and immediately following the 1910 fire. 

It is amazing how a person can grow up in an area and not truly understand or better yet, take the time to learn about the incredible history that surrounds them.  I have lived in the Western Washington and Idaho area for my entire life and yet had not really thought much about the Fire of 1910 which has been written about in numerous books such as WHEN THE MOUNTAINS ROARED, THE WEST IS BURNING UP, THE BIG BURN: TEDDY ROOSEVEL AND THE FIRE THAT SAVED AMERICA or PULASKI'S CREW, words on pages that brings this time in history to life.

However, differant things in my life have changed my way of thinking, and has also given me a huge appreciation for our forest service and our local history.  Last summer, August 2010 was the 100 year anniversary of this famous fire and the towns of St. Maries and Wallace really did a fantastic job of educating the people about this momentous time in our area's history.  Everything from the authors of books to the parades and dignitaries visiting the area for this great celebration brought tears to my eyes with respect to all the courageous people who saved lives and changed the future of our forest service.

My pride as a mother was even greater as I have a son who has been fighting fires for the past 10 years and his role in this celebration and more importantly his role in the many fires across the United States cannot be explained easily.  As a husband and father of two, he is such a fine example of the bravery, loyalty and sacrifice he is willing to exhibit time after time as he travels throughout our nation to do whatever needs to be done to save lives and timberland.  Take the time to thank those brave men and women who put their lives on the line daily just doing their job....how many of us would really sign up for that kind of job?  It takes a very special person and one whos thought process it to "run to danger rather that from danger" when they know their service is needed.

I would like to also invite anyone who wishes to appreciate natural beauty while also learning about this famous fire and actually having the chance to ride bikes through the very train tunnels that were instumental in saving the lives of more  than 600 people as this fire raged through the area.  You can do this by taking advantage of biking the fantastic Route of the Hiawatha and stop to read the fascinating history and the numerous stories of very heroic actions by railroad employees who drove engines and boxcars filled with people through the flames to the safety of the longer tunnels. 

The St. Joe Riverfront B & B is just a scenic 1 1/2 hour drive to the LookOut Pass where this adventure takes place.  The beauty of the drive itself will be a highlight but the bike trail following the rail system (all downhill) will be guaranteed to give you a new appreciation of the fascinating history of the area.  We will even pack a picnic lunch for those who wish to make a day of it.

For more information on the history of 1910 Fire go to: http://www.idahoforests.org/fires.htm
For more information on the Route of the Hiawatha go to:
For more information on accommodations at our B&B go to:


Friday, April 29, 2011

America, Come Home to St. Maries, Idaho

The way America was-northern Idaho-the true "gem of the mountains".  Add quality to your life by selecting northern Idaho as your next vacation destination.

Four seasons, fresh air, clean water, un-crowded-this is the magnet that draws people to our area.  St. Maries is amidst this paradise-cradled within the arms of majestic mountains, surrounded by lakes and rivers and towering forests, and bordered by the fertile Palouse farming area.  Winter snow and the smell of wood smoke, summer days and the sound of gentle breezes through the pines-every where you turn satisfies a hidden yearning. Add to that the best outdoor recreation opportunities in America, and you'll begin to realize why we cherish this little slice of heaven called home amidst the pines, firs and pungent cedars.

Our recreational offerings run the entire gamut-from leisurely walks along the tranquil waters of the St. Joe River, to the nature walks at nearby Heyburn Park, or the more challenging Marble Creek walking trail system.  Family bicycles rides along the Hiawatha Rail Trail.  Cruise boat rides from Heyburn Park or inner-tube floats down the Shadowy St. Joe or St. Maries River.  Any age, any interest-Enjoy!  There's summer fishing and fall hunting-one of America's largest elk herd resides nearby.  Duck, turkey, pheasant, grouse and geese abound for the bird hunter.  Add to this the hundreds of miles of accessble groomed snow mobile trails-and yu have a full year. Join the many bird watchers from throughout the northwest who find our area  a source of satisfaction for their hobby.

White swan, blue heron, osprey and eagle-The nations largest concentration of nesting birds is located seven miles away.  Or you can just sit on the patio and watch the hummingbirds feed.  the metropolitan area of Spokane-Coeur d'Alene is less than an hour drive away from St. Maries. 

Find out more about our beautiful area on the St. Maries Chamber of Commerce website, who by the way wrote alot of this article.  Thank you.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Walk Through My Thoughts

For the better part of a year I have realized that we have been "missing the boat" when it comes to seizing the whole "social media marketing" craze.  Only as recently as November of this past year did I really realize how the market was passing us by and we were in no way, shape, or form ready to grab ahold without getting drug through some mud while we were trying to catch up.  For those of you who have been business owners for the past 30 to 35 years and think you can do things just like back in the good old days, I have news for you.  It ain't going to happen.

I have been using the excuse that I am an artist and my artist brain just does not think that way.  Well, I realized my artist brain just needs a huge portion of "technical bootcamp" if we hope to let people know just what a beautiful part of the country we live in and what an amazing home we are willing to share with the people who pass through our doors. 

North Idaho has got to be one of the places that you can truly say is a little piece of heaven.  Yes, we have had our share of rain these past few months but how do you think the magnificent shades of green are captured on our hillsides?  Just taking the time to appreciate the river as it flows swiftly downstream headed for the Coeur d'Alene Lake is enough to say "Thank you God for allowing me to live here".  The snow pack always allows a grand show this time of year as it melts away and the level of the river rises higher and higher. 

See what I meant by "a walk through my thoughts" as my thoughts can start wandering here and there.  Back to my social media predicament...I met a wonderful gal who has been walking me through this jungle of social media.  Everything from facebook to blogs, from Aweber to Dropbox, new websites needing to be built, SEO and Google Analytics.  For those of you who learned to play on a computer at age 3, this most likely sounds silly but for those of us who just want a phone that rings so you can say "hello" or a TV that just has 4 channels so you don't have to ask your 5 year old grandson how to change the channel, this has been QUITE a challenge.

I would like to highly recommend the person who has taken on the job of being my bootcamp commanding officer, Christy Ruffner.  She has helped pull me through the mud when I have fallen down and keeps on encouraging me--even after the 5th time that she needs to explain something -yet once again.  I know this whole endeavor will be well worth the final outcome but like anything else, when you are right in the midst of the storm you cannot see the safety of the shore.  Her patience and professional manner are appreciated and if you are a small business who needs help with Web Design or Internet Marketing Support just contact her at http://www.organicmarketingsolutions.com/
P.S.  She taught me how to add this link and I am VERY proud of myself!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Hidden Treasures in North Idaho

There are so many beautiful places in North Idaho that I think as a native from this area we tend to forget just how much natural beauty we are surrounded by.  I find it very interesting that as a travel agent I have spent 35 years sending people AWAY from our area so that they can catch a glimpse of other parts of the world that show up in travel brochures as something real spectacular. 

Many times we don't appreciate what we have in our very own backyard.  It has become very evident to me just how gorgeous North Idaho is due to the amount of people who actually arrange a vacation to visit our part of the country.  I absolutely love their pictures that they so graciously share with us upon returning to the B&B after another day of exploring.

I must ask myself, when was the last time I put my camera in my car as I take a leisurely drive around the Coeur d'Alene Lake or head up the St. Joe.  If all these pictures that our clients click were put into a glossy 6- color brochure I think they would go out of our travel agency lickity split. But one of the nice things about our area is that most people don't even realize just what is in store for them when they visit Northern Idaho.

I hope to share some of these beauties with you so that not only you can appreciate them but that I can start appreciating what I have within a 60 minute drive.  And at the price of gas now days, that will be a real treat!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

13 Cooks in Our Kitchen

Last Thursday evening our kitchen at the bed and breakfast was filled with lots of laughter, fellowship and fun as the first night for our new small groups Bible study gathered.  There were 13 gals who signed up for the Women to Women Mentoring/Cooking class.  We are doing a 7-week nurturing program based on the book Apples of Gold by Betty Huezenga. 

I was so pleased at how many older women are taking their Titus 2 verse to heart and are willing to be mentors to the younger women.  The younger women are eager to learn not only lessons regarding kindness, loving your husband and children, hospitality and more but they were very excited about the cooking part of the evening.

I had decided to have the first class be on "comfort food" and thought of fried chicken and mashed potatoes.  My husband loves to cook and added his own thoughts as to what he thought I should teach.  By the time we had the menu done, I was taking the fried chicken to the next level by offering Norwegian Chicken, then decided to show not just one way to prepare potatoes but three, and I even threw in homemade Thousand Island Dressing and Ranch. 

We started the evening out fixing bruchetta that had olive oil slathered on both sides, baked for 20 minutes and the fresh garlic rubbed over the tops.  Then we put carmelized onions and mushrooms over the bruchetta.  Yum, it was a great appetizer and had to tide everyone over until their study was done.

The gals not only learned how to make garlic mashed potatoes but homemade french fries and stuffed potatoe skins.  Now one of the secrets  to good mashed potatoes is that you put in about 6 cloves of garlic while cooking them and then after you drain  the water off you put back on the heat to pull out any excess water.  DO NOT mash with an electric mixer....not good.  Just use  the old fashion masher.

The homemade fries also have a few secrets to be great.  After cutting the fries into the correct size, rinse repeatedly to get all of the starch out.  Then drain and let totally dry on paper towels.  Coat potatoes with about 2 teaspoons of olive oil, sprinkle with some Sea Salt and bake on aluminum foil in a 350 oven for 30-35 minutes. 

The potatoe skins were microwaved for about 6 minutes then cut in two.  Scoop out the potatoe, mix with sour cream, butter, Johnnies Seasoning salt, and minced green onions.  Refill the potatoe skins and place those in oven for about 25-30 minutes.

Meanwhile we had the chicken frying, added a can of cream of mushroom and a can of cream of chicken soup, about 1/2 container of sour cream, salt and pepper and covered the chicken to slowly simmer for about 1 hour.  You can also put this in a crock pot in the morning and be greeted by the wonderful smells when arriving home after a long day. 

Green salad with red and yellow bell peppers and the homemade dressings were put on the tables to complete this meal.  As all these dear women sat together to enjoy the feast it was evident that this was a comfort food meal being shared by new friends. I am excited for our next class which will be "Italian Night".  Stay tuned for the recipes for homemade lazagna, marinated greens, homemade bread and other goodies.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day Celebration

It is March 17 and although I claim to have alot of Irish in me from my great grandmother, on this day every year I shout it even louder.  I have always loved to celebrate any occasion, it makes life so much more exciting but being of Irish stock I love to do this one up right!

Things change over the years yet some things ALWAYS remain the same.  Because our 4 children no longer live in our home I don't get to turn all the milk green, cook up green mashed potatoe paddys and add a little green food coloring to the eggs but I certainly hope they are carrying on this tradition for their own children.

I start our celebration by dragging out all of our decorations from the big green shamrocks for the windows to the Happy St. Patricks sign by the door, along with draping the chandeliers with green sparkles and more shamrocks.  Then I start baking my favorite sugar cookie recipe which calls for LOTS of butter and make them into shamrock shapes.  The final touch is to pile the green frosting on and they are sure to get gobbled up!  We had a darling couple last night who really enjoyed them so will serve our next guests tonight with those darling little cookies.  A glass of green milk would compliment them very nicely.

I can smell the corned beef and cabbage cooking as I am typing and it smells awesome!  The Irish soda bread has been baked, green beans are waiting in the colander and I have turned some butter into a soft green....Of course after participating in the New York City's Parade I also must have my Irish coffee as a perfect ending to this great day.  Thank goodness for leftovers as we will have reuben sandwiches tomorrow and I carry over the "green  theme" with green mayo.  I know I may get a little carried away but once again, this is what makes an ordinary day extraordinary!  I even pulled out the green treats for our dog JayJay as he needs to feel special too.

Our next celebration will be Easter but I have learned my lesson and will NOT repeat my mistake of painting our coffee table with purple, green, blue, yellow and orange dots, nor will I have our daveno recovered in these colors with stripes and circles.  It was great for about a week and then it was down right embarrassing.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bridal Fair at Brickw.a.l.l.

Last night I participated in the first Bridal Fair at the Brickw.a.l.l. Spa in St. Maries.  It was a lovely event, even though there were not tons of future brides lining up at the doors to get in.  Lacy St.John is one of the owners of this new establishment and may I say, it is a classy place and a great addition to the St. Maries businesses.  I was there to represent the St.Joe Riverfront Bed and Breakfast not only as a honeymoon option in either of our beautiful suites, River and Roses or Provence which offer larger rooms, king beds and many amenities, but also as the picture perfect setting for the actual wedding along the riverbanks of the St. Joe.

We have held some absolutely gorgeous wedding events in the past and looking at some of the photos reminded me of just how perfect the backdrop of the river actually is for that special event.  Cary spends so much time on his yard and his talent and patience for this hard work speaks for itself.  The colorful flowers, vivid green sprawling lawn down to the waters edge, and the fountain with the impressive water sprays, makes it  just a fantastic place to "tie the knot".  We can handle up to 100 guests for a wedding, but have also had some awesome intimate ones with as few as 25.  It just depends on what the couple envisions for their big day.

Some of the other local businesses who were represented there were The Paperhouse for your invitation needs, Linda Appel with catering and cakes, Harvest Foods for specialty trays (they sent home some wonderful goodies), Lia Sophia Jewelry to compliment the gals attire, Speelman Photography to capture all the memories, Lasting Promises to handle all the wedding and event planning (plus guaranteeing that all things will run smoothly), and House of Travel for the most important part of the wedding...the honeymoon!  Since I have owned and operated the travel agency for 35 years it is so much fun to visit with these excited couples about the much deserved vacation after all the hustle and bustle of the wedding.

As mentioned before, it was not largely attended as this was the first one to be held, but I truly think it was a huge success.  The networking was absolutely wonderful and meeting other business owners who we can work with in the future to ensure a successful and beautiful wedding for the bride and groom was well worth the time and energy put into the event.  I hope every other business felt the same way.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Having a "Spa Day" is the Perfect Birthday Present

This past week we hosted four gals at our bed & breakfast.

The plan for the day: To help celebrate a birthday for one very special gal by giving her an afternoon of well-deserved relaxation, friendship and total pampering. However, this was not going to be enjoyed just by the birthday girl but all four of the gals!

This party kicked off with a round of mimosas and hors d'oeuvres while our in-house massage specialist offered a fantastic foot soak with peppermint oil for tired feet-followed by a tantalizing foot massage, sea salt scrub to remove any dead skin-more soaking-and then a de-stressing peppermint lotion massage.

While some were soaking their little footsies, another would be in the calm, soothing room relaxing on the massage bed listening to soothing spa music and enjoying a lavender exfoliation treatment-AHH-the rubbing of the skin releases any rough and dry particles making the pores ideal for soaking up the lotion for maximum retention.

A quick rinse in the double-headed 5'shower will take away any residue and the opened pores welcome the pomegranite/fig non-oily hydrating massage creme used for this much needed body massage. Did you know that "falling asleep" while enjoying a massage is actually a very nice compliment? ? So don't feel bad when Kirsten has to wake you up; it just means that you are TOTALLY relaxed and enjoying immensely.

The final part of this most memorable afternoon is a paraffin wax hand dip that leaves your skin feeling like it is 18 all over again! With the gentle river to observe from the Great Room, soothing music and relaxed atmosphere, along with friendship and good conversation-this is just the type of afternoon of pampering that could lift anyones spirits in the middle of winter and make you wish that birthdays came around more than just once a year.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Spread love on Valentine's Day and every other day

Today is Valentine's Day. This is a day to show your love to your spouse, significant other, or just anyone in your life that you love. It is great to have a day set aside just for this purpose but would it not be better to make sure that 365 days out of the year you took the time to show your love? Of course the card companies, florists,candy shops,restaurants and Bed and Breakfasts like the business this one big day brings but we should try to make "each" day special for our loved ones. If Valentine's Day arrived before you could plan a big surprise getaway don't fret. Just pick up your phone and call us (208-245-8687) to confirm a future romantic getaway and keep the love going. Remember, these memory makers are a huge "Inn"vestment in your relationship.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Beauty of Winter in North Idaho

Winter is always a time to slow down a little in life and just take the time to appreciate all the beauty just waiting to be enjoyed.

This picture is of Cherry Creek, just a little creek that runs into the St. Joe that I have the pleasure of walking by every day when I take our dog JayJay for his walk..which is the highlight of his day. Yesterday it was so cold that you could actually view the tiny little frozen flakes that were spread along the weeds in the field. It looked like tiny diamonds just scattered all over. Truly amazing, plus it made me forget just how cold it is when the thermometer is hovering at 18 degrees.

I will have to admit, I do not enjoy winters nearly as much as I do summer as I like warmth and carefree days. But when the sky is blue, frost or snow on the ground and a peace that is unexplainable, well, that is what it is. Just unexplainable and I love it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

If you are lucky enough to live on the river, you are lucky enough.

This is my first attempt to bring alive the beauty of the St. Joe River through my "attempt" at doing a blog. Please be patient, I have been drug into this kicking and screaming because I have never looked at the computer as a friend. However, I do have a gift for gab and can write on and on so THAT part should be very easy. Our B&B, which is also our home is located on the shores of the St. Joe which starts miles and miles northeast of our location and flows past our home emptying into the southern end of the Coeur d'Alene Lake. To look at the river, it seems very lazy and slow flowing but don't let that fool you. In the spring during the run-off we will see logs, docks, even buildings swiftly moving along at rapid speed. Even during the summer months the water flows through at high speed keeping it clean and fresh, along with making our attempt of paddling UP the river (against the flow) quite a workout. However this is not only enjoyable and scenic, it is great exercise. Shortly after we moved here my travel clients learned that my "office life" had drastically changed. I could answer the phone very professionally..."House of Travel, may I help you" but the taletale sign that I was not sitting in a hot, stuffy office was the swishing of the waves made by the paddling or a boat driving by with the passengers calling a cheerful greeting. Oh Oh, busted!!!

I am not paddling on the river during this season but am gazing at the beauty of the snow which has fallen along the banks and on the frozen water making it look like a winter wonderland. Each season holds its own beauty and is a daily reminder of just how awesome and creative God is. I am very blessed to be living in what has many times been referred to as God's Country and the longer I am here the more I fall in love with area. I look forward to sharing it with you. It may just convince you to join us, and we encourage you to do that. Check out our website www.stjoeriverbb.com and pick out your room. Then pull up a chair, forget all your cares and allow yourself to fall into RIVERTIME.