Showing posts with label Spokane Washington. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spokane Washington. Show all posts

Saturday, July 28, 2012

WAWeekend: Staying at Spokane’s ‘Living Legend’

Beginning today, our WAWednesday becomes WAWeekend. The focus will continue to be on short getaways and hidden treasurers not far from our Pacific Northwest home. 

WARoadTrip2012 039With our love of old places – the kind where the floors sometimes creak and the wood-frame windows still open - we chose The Spokane Club for our two night stay in Spokane, the second largest city in Washington State.

Like The Union Club of British Columbia, that we told you about last week, this is a private club – its origins dating back to the late 1800’s -- that has opened its guest rooms, The Inn, and athletic facility to the public.

WARoadTrip2012 064The clubhouse, designed by Kirtland Cutter, whose name would become synonymous with Spokane’s Age of Elegance, put us within two blocks of the theatre district, Spokane Falls and its gondola ride, the River Park Square, and the city’s more famous historic hotel, The Davenport.

WARoadTrip2012 072We paid $135 night which included various taxes, and it provided free parking at the Club’s nearby garage, in- room wireless and use of their modern-multi-storied athletic club. 

WARoadTrip2012 071We dined in the Club’s restaurant where we had some of the tastiest food of our entire road trip.  Restaurant ‘regulars’ recommended the Crab Louie – they didn’t steer us wrong.

WARoadTrip2012 062
The Club’s common areas weren’t as inviting as were those at Victoria B.C.’s Union Club.  But the Spokane  folks were pretty proud of their recent room renovations which included new beds, so they had a bed on display in the middle of the lobby instead of seating.  And their stately old library with a man-sized fireplace was under renovation one day of our stay and reserved for a private party the next. (We did sneak a peek – and that’s Joel standing inside the fireplace.)

If you go: 

WARoadTrip2012 070The Spokane Club Inn, 1002 W. Riverside Avenue, Spokane, WA, 99201, 1-866-599-6674. Two restaurants on-site, one bar, 37 guest rooms, 10 suites.

A quick check of Expedia showed a summer Mon/Tues stay rate at  the Spokane Club to be $95 a night, about $50 a night less than the Davenport.

Tip:  You can book  travel on Expedia, by going through the site that provides rebates and cash back for booking through the site. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

WAWednesday: Where you told us to go

WARoadTrip2012 004Taking a road trip through Washington State is like putting one of those 1,000- piece puzzles together. Little bits of scenery joining together to create a big picture.

Our car-journey took us east from Puget Sound across barren, scrub-covered hills, through lush agricultural acreage, along small and mighty waterways to Spokane, the state’s second largest city. We then headed to northeastern Oregon and back through Walla Walla, hub of Washington’s original wine country.

Our routing sparked memories among many of you.  We heard from several and your recommendations were so good that we wanted to share them with others. 

Where you told us to go. . .
Mark in Florida: suggested driving Scenic Route, SR 30 a major east-west route that runs from Astoria to the Idaho border along the southern shore of the Columbia River. Although large portions of it have been replaced with Interstate 84, it diverges along the way. Mark says they particularly enjoyed the views from its scenic overlooks.

WARoadTrip2012 006Speaking of the Columbia River, Sue in Kirkland reminded us of  the 15 life-sized horse sculptures galloping along the hillside after crossing the river at Vantage. (Click the blue link above to read a Seattle Times article about them.)

Sue also recommended a stop in Heppner, Oregon, (Irish country with a 20-foot shamrock in the heart of town) and a slogan, ‘Where Rural is for Real”.  This place, right out of a Norman Rockwell painting, was settled in 1887. It’s the county seat of Morrow County and “the gateway to the Blue Mountains”.

Karen in Yakima and Mark mentioned Palouse Falls, a striking waterfall with a drop of 198-feet in the midst of a 105-acre campground, about 23 miles from the town of Washtucna in Franklin County. (The link takes you to the Falls website).

WARoadTrip2012 059Mary in Pasco sent a couple of suggestions for us to explore while in Spokane:

 Mary Lou’s Milk Bottle Diner (802 W. Garland Ave., 509-325-1772) a funky eatery with a distinctive milk bottle fa├žade.  It had just reopened in May following completion of repairs to repair damages sustained in a fall fire.

WARoadTrip2012 068We took Mary’s suggestion so seriously about Happy Hour in the Peacock Room of Spokane’s stately Davenport Hotel (10 South Post, 509-455-8888) that we went there both evenings we were in town.

Our Washington road trip tales continue tomorrow on TPThursday when we’ll show you some of the “Emerald Empire’s” Jewels. 

Travel tip:  I make notes about each of our journeys in my own custom travel journal (the bound, paper kind) and I record each suggestion there, who made it and when.  Not only is it a good source of information for future trips, but we also then know who to contact for more tips about a certain place.

Note: If you have more road trip suggestions, please add them to the comments below or shoot us an email and we will add them.

Photos, in order:  Wind machines between Ellensburg and Vantage; the bridge over the Columbia River at Vantage, the freeway in the pouring rain during our Spokane stop, wall paper and sconce in the stately Peacock Room.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

On the Road Again – With a map in my lap

We will soon be on the road again.  The Sun-Seeking Smiths are heading east and south across Washington State, looping down into northeastern Oregon and back again. Joel's the driver and I read the maps.

VashonIsland 2012 036We’ve been studying our trusty maps -- those wonderful paper fold-up types that allow the voices in our heads -- and not a mechanical one -- to determine our routes. We don't leave home without them.

Yes, before you tell us. . . we realize a GPS could do the thinking for us and get us there by the quickest and most direct route (and we know many of you love them). But on our road trips the journey is as important as the destination. So determining the route is half the fun of the trip for us.

We’ll head east and spend a night or two in the state’s second largest city, Spokane, the metropolitan hub of an area long known as ‘The Inland Empire’. We’ll head south on a portion of the old Inland Empire Highway as it meanders through agricultural land and the small towns like Spangle and Rosalia scattered among the fields. 

Our Oregon destination is the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.

We will stay at one of our favorite Northwest places: Wallowa Lake Lodge. We celebrated our anniversary there three years ago. We’ll do the same this year.

Map picture

Our return trip may include a stop in Pendleton, Oregon, where we will go underground on a history tour or to its famed woolen factory. . .or maybe to Walla Walla for a night in the heart of Central Washington’s wine country. 

We’ve got little structure to this trip –  we are leaving ourselves open to some new discoveries along the way.  I’m sure those old paper maps have some in store for us.


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