Showing posts with label WAWednesday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WAWednesday. 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.

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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 façade.  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.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

WAWednesday: An American Soul Trip

Sometimes even the shortest of trips can replenish the soul and renew the spirit. Our road trip last week through America’s Pacific Northwestern states,Washington and Oregon, did just that.
Because we live in the fast-paced, high-rise, high-tech corridor of Washington’s Puget Sound area (3.5+ million people; more than half the state’s population) it is easy to forget there really are places where life’s focus isn’t the newest computer application or transit route.
Today, in honor of the Fourth of July, America’s Independence Day, I want to share some scenes from our journey:

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Grain elevators in the background and the gazebo at
Rosalia, Washington. Population 627. Founded 1872.

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The county courthouse and gazebo at
Enterprise, Oregon. Population 1,895.
Incorporated 1887.

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Wallowa, Oregon. Population 869. Incorporated 1899.

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A private home in Walla Walla, Washington. Population 31,731. Incorporated 1862.

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Flag on Main Street in front of the town’s century-old, (still operating) meat store in Cle Elum, Washington. Population 1,872.  Incorporated 1902.

To those of you celebrating the Fourth of July, where ever you may be, we send our wishes for a day filled with family, friends, and patriotism.  Please join us  tomorrow on Travel Photo Thursday when we’ll take you to Wallowa Lake and its historic Lodge.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Washington Wednesday: Iron Springs Resort

The brochure for Iron Springs Resort on Washington State’s Copalis Beach says it’s the place, “Where Traditions Begin”.

Iron Springs Alderbrook 2012 044It’s certainly true for us. 

A tradition has begun: we were checking available fall dates at this wet, windy, wonderful place high on a ridge overlooking the Pacific Ocean before we’d completed our first stay here last weekend.

Iron Springs Alderbrook 2012 010That in itself says a lot about the appeal of this mid-century resort turned new again by owners, the True family of Seattle. 

The Sun-seeking Smiths have long avoided  the Washington Coast for being too wet. . . too cold. . . and too gray.

And it was wet, cold and gray with cameo appearances of both the sun and moon.  Yet, there was also a certain spirit of place here; and it didn’t take long to be caught up in it.

Iron Springs Alderbrook 2012 083Hours slipped past as we sat in those two chairs pictured above. The flat-screen television and free in-cabin WI-FI couldn’t compete  with watching the pounding surf  through our rain pummeled floor-to-ceiling windows.

We sat in front of the fireplace each evening sipping our glasses of wine as firs swayed outside our cozy one-bedroom, one-bath cabin to the wind’s haunting melody.

Iron Springs Alderbrook 2012 005It was wild. It was magical.

Although new to us, Iron Springs Resort has been around since the 1940’s.  Comments in our cabin’s guest book told the stories of loyal guests who returned each year, despite the aging decline of both the former owner and her cabins. 

Iron Springs Alderbrook 2012 015Many of those same loyal guests have penned notes of  delight about the renovation and modernization of the cabin interiors by new owners, (brothers and their wives),  Doug  and Janet, and Bill and Ruth True, who purchased the resort two years ago; then closed it for a year-long refurbishing that included new floor to ceiling interiors: bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, furnishings and décor.

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We were guests of the True’s last weekend and while we had neither dogs nor family with us, both are welcome at this 24-cabin resort that reopened last July.

During a break in the rain, we bundled up against the elements and walked for miles on the flat, hard-packed sand.  Iron Springs Alderbrook 2012 040Beach access was easy – with proper wading boots we could have cut across nearby Boone Creek, but we opted for a well-maintained access trail through the forest not far from the resort office (it helped us keep our city slicker shoe-clad feet dry).

The beach surface is so firm that portions of it are a state highway, open to vehicles, as well as, an airport landing strip in the summer months.

Our two-night stay gave us time to explore other small towns that are within an easy drive of the resort. I’ll tell you about them next week in Washington Wednesday.

Iron Springs Alderbrook 2012 080If You Go:  Iron Springs Resort, 3707 Highway 109, toll-free 1-800-380-7850, phone 360-276-4230,  Seasonal rates range from $169 per night to $269, plus tax. There’s a $20 fee per dog  per night for the first five nights. (Three dog per cabin limit.)  Each cabin has a different floor plan (they are shown on the resort website  - just click the link above). One-bedroom cabins are perfect for couples or small families. A few adjoining cabins on the property are perfect for large families or groups of friends who want to be together, but still have some privacy.

Check back here on Travel Photo Thursday to come along on  a Razor Clam dig at Copalis Beach, (that is koh-PAY-lis, by the way).


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