Mark and I were lucky enough on this trip to schedule in a full month in Sandpoint, Idaho, the small town in north Idaho where I grew up. I realized that this was the first time I had spent more than a couple weeks in the idyllic lake town since graduating from high school and moving to Boise for college. Spending a month there in the middle of a beautiful summer reminded me of all the things I love about the place.
So, here is a list, complete with pictures of the top 10 things we will miss about Sandpoint:
10. Kokanee. Okay, so it's not Mark's favorite beer, but I have lots of fond memories of drinking this fine Canadian beer.
Mark enjoying a cold one.
9. The Lake. Pend Oreille that is. I tell Mark often that I believe Pend Oreille to be the greatest lake on earth. I'll settle for the greatest lake in Idaho. Kayaking, boating, swimming, the City Beach - you just can't beat it in the summer.
Pirates on the beach. Yar!
Kayaking near Whiskey Jack.
Boating out to the Bakers' lake house.
8. Blue skies. Embarking on the Pacific Northwest means dealing with a certain amount of inclement weather. Sandpoint is just far enough east that the number of rainy days is significantly diminished.
7. Local bars and restaurants. I know, lots of small towns brag about their amazing selection of local eateries. But for being such a small town, in North Idaho no less, Sandpoint has quite the selection of bars, breweries, Italian restaurants, gelatto stands, and even two great Thai restaurants.
Enjoying local beers at McDuffs.
6. Riding bicycles everywhere. Literally. There are very few places in Sandpoint that are not accessible by bicycle in 10 minutes or less.
Riding bicycles at the beach--combining two favorites.
5. The winos. My mom has this amazing group of friends who are mostly retired, hilarious, and can out drink most of the people I know--with $50 bottles of wine no less.
Painting toenails in preparation for the surgery.
Thinking of Rob and Wendy.
4. The Sonny Bunny. He is a yellow lab, but he might as well be a bunny. He likes to have his ears ironed and he spent hours out in the front yard with Mark, keeping him company as he hammered away at that bike rebuild.
The sunny bunny lounging.
3. Cooking and eating dinner with my mom every night.
This is one of the more fancy dinners we had--paella with the winos.
2. The Festival at Sandpoint. This was my dad's pride and joy. A little local music festival that brings the whole town together every summer. This year the Michael Franti and Spearhead concert was dedicated to my dad. He loved it.
Even Tracy came to brave the rain with us.
A toast to mi papa.
Luau night and a photo with Franti. We look hot eh?
These people are committed. This thing is rain or shine!
Hmmm..I think this is Natalie McMaster, but you know all stage photos look the same.
1. My dad. He will always be my strongest memory in Sandpoint. All the way back in 1995 when we all moved to Sandpoint against our will he saw something that none of us saw--and he was right.
Rob with the tribute wine.
Enjoying Festival with him.
I built him a cairn.