Cheapness In Seattle (A 2019 PNW Trip Report - UPDATED with Universal Studios, 6/24)

irene_dsc

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 1, 2007
I agree with your assessment of Crater Lake - beautiful, but no need to see every different bit of it. And yeah, 6 straight days of driving sounds like not an ideal plan, even if it is partly through gorgeous scenery. Sounds like you made some good decisions there!

And I love that the donut shop had it's own drooling Homer...
 

pkondz

. . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
Joined
Mar 9, 2007
Yeah, that pretty much goes for me too. I do love finding a good value, though.
::yes::
You're probably right. Respect the classics, man!
Q: is that a classic?
A: darned right!!
We just got a magnet for the dishwasher to help the kids know when they might (hint, hint) be able to help us fill it or empty it. It has pictures of Darth Vader and Yoda and one side reads "Clean the dishes are" while the other says "Dishes have joined the dark side". You make it face the appropriate direction.
:lmao:
 


Captain_Oblivious

DIS Dad #257, Galactic Salad Dodger
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
I agree with your assessment of Crater Lake - beautiful, but no need to see every different bit of it. And yeah, 6 straight days of driving sounds like not an ideal plan, even if it is partly through gorgeous scenery. Sounds like you made some good decisions there!
It would have taken at least a couple of hours to go all the way around the rim, stopping at overlooks, etc. We certainly could have done that, but I figured we'd already seen the lake from different angles. Not much was going to change. Not like the Grand Canyon, where it just keeps going for miles and miles.

We had 2 more days of driving ahead, so I think it was the right call, too!

And I love that the donut shop had it's own drooling Homer...
:woohoo:

Q: is that a classic?
A: darned right!!
::yes::
 
  • franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    It also had its own Drooling Homer Award already, so I figured Homer’s approval counted for quite a bit as well.
    Awesome! You didn't even need to give it your own!

    These were so good we’d come back the next morning for more. I had the cronut in the lower right. Got it again the next day.
    I wish I could do that, but if I do sugar without protein, I crash. Hard. I have to start with a Ham and Cheese Croissant before i can have the donut.

    We set out on a 2-hour drive southwest of Bend, which was…completely uneventful. Eventually, at the end of all that nothingness, we arrived at Crater Lake National Park
    Yikes! I mapped that. We are going to Portland and we're debating driving vs flying. I need to map out the real costs (extra hotel nights/ gas vs flights/rental car). But if we do drive, I dont think a stop at Crater Lake will be on the agenda.

    Your mileage may vary (literally, if you do the drive). We did about half of it and felt like we saw plenty of views of the lake. The scenery certainly made it worthy of a visit.
    I think you made the right call.

    If we continued on to Redwoods we’d basically have 6 straight days of hard driving with no break. That’s tough on anyone, even if you’re used to it.
    Yeah, that is tough!

    Thankfully, Bend is a resort town, so there are plenty of offerings. Naturally, my thoughts first went to the number of high-end golf courses in the area. Through some internet wheeling and dealing and a few phone calls, I managed to get a discount tee time for me and junior rates for Dave and Scotty to play late in the day. I even found a local guy who rented golf clubs out of his garage that was cheaper than renting them at the course. Perfect! Much better than a 5-hour drive.
    Yes, makes sense if you're into that kind of thing.

    Sorry, the SHARC—Sunrise Homeowners Aquatic Recreation Center. It’s an indoor/outdoor water park that was primarily built for guests/timeshare owners in the Sunrise Resort south of Bend, but is open to the public—and happens to reduce their rates after 5:00 p.m.
    Sounds reasonable....

    There are few better things in life (ok, for a golfer) than playing in perfect weather with people whose company you enjoy—and no one else on the course. We had those conditions on the back nine, and it was wonderful.
    Glad you had such a great time!

    We just got a magnet for the dishwasher to help the kids know when they might (hint, hint) be able to help us fill it or empty it. It has pictures of Darth Vader and Yoda and one side reads "Clean the dishes are" while the other says "Dishes have joined the dark side". You make it face the appropriate direction.
    I wish we could have this! Our dishwashers are made to resemble the cabinets and therefore are not magnetic. A thing like this would really help. We had a dirty / clean one at the old house, but this would be awesome!
     
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    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257, Galactic Salad Dodger
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    Awesome! You didn't even need to give it your own!
    Which is great, because it's a pain carrying these things around.

    I wish I could do that, but if I do sugar without protein, I crash. Hard. I have to start with a Ham and Cheese Croissant before i can have the donut.
    That sounds like a quality meal. We just go straight for the sugar high.

    Yikes! I mapped that. We are going to Portland and we're debating driving vs flying. I need to map out the real costs (extra hotel nights/ gas vs flights/rental car). But if we do drive, I dont think a stop at Crater Lake will be on the agenda.
    Yeah, it's pretty far out of the way. A lot of these national parks are really not close to anything.

    I think you made the right call.
    Woohoo! Validation! :woohoo:

    Yeah, that is tough!
    Too much for us, I think.

    Yes, makes sense if you're into that kind of thing.
    Good thing we are!

    Sounds reasonable....
    I'm just quoting this for posterity.

    Glad you had such a great time!
    :goodvibes

    I wish we could have this! Our dishwashers are made to resemble the cabinets and therefore are not magnetic. A thing like this would really help. We had a dirty / clean one at the old house, but this would be awesome!
    It made me laugh. I have no idea where Julie found that.
     
  • Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257, Galactic Salad Dodger
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    Chapter 6: Let’s Skip To The Good Stuff

    I’m going to hit the fast-forward button here and move through the next two days of the trip quickly, because they were mostly long drives without much of note.

    WehadbreakfastandgotinthevananddrovealongwaythroughOregonandfollowedtheColumbiaRiverforawhileandthenwentintoWashingtonwhichwasreallyboringandnothinghappeneduntildinnerand—

    Ok, hang on. Maybe not that fast. Still, I’ll just breeze through a couple of days of driving and pause on some items of note.

    We started the next day with Delish Donuts again, because if it ain’t broke, I ain’t fixin’ it. Then, because I was eager to procrastinate the long drive ahead, I took Julie to one of those froo-froo coffee places where they mix a teaspoon of coffee with a gallon of whipped cream and charge you 8 bucks for it. She loved it, of course.

    We drove north on highway 97, making our first stop at the Peter Skene Ogden State Park. This is a small rest stop with a nice view of the Crooked River Bridges and canyon.

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    Seems like a good spot for a family outing.

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    We eventually reached I-84 and followed the Columbia River east for a while, which made for a scenic drive. But eventually we turned north and crossed into eastern Washington.

    There’s nothing in eastern Washington.

    I hadn’t slept well the night before, and that fact combined with the utterly boring drive conspired to make me a little drowsy. I actually asked Julie to drive the last hour while I took a nap in the passenger seat.

    It took most of the day, but eventually we reached Spokane, Washington in the late afternoon. We stayed at the downtown Holiday Inn Express, which was located in one of the more unique chain hotel buildings I’ve ever seen.

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    Drew thought it was cool to be staying in “a castle”.

    We needed a place to go for dinner, of course, and in the course of my trip research, I’d uncovered two different possibilities. The first was the Steam Plant, a brewpub located in an old factory building downtown. It looked like a neat atmosphere, and we generally have good luck with brewpubs in our travels. However, we’d just eaten at one the day before, and as hard as it might be to believe, the factory was only the second-most interesting place for a meal in Spokane.

    The family voted instead for Frank’s Diner. This is a downtown eatery built primarily around a 1906 railroad car that was converted into a dining car in 1931. The chance to eat in a train car was just too good to pass up—plus, I think the kids really wanted breakfast for dinner again.

    We were there a little early, just before 5:00 p.m. if my memory serves correctly. PB&J doesn’t satisfy us for too long, so it has a side effect of helping us be ready for Rope Drop at the dinner hour. I don’t mind because we beat the crowds that way.

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    The interior of the train car was…I don’t know what to say other than it was really cool.

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    We ordered heaping helpings of breakfast food, because of that “not broke, don’t fix it” rule I mentioned earlier. We usually try to order a variety of dishes as a family so we can try as many items as possible, so we had plates of eggs, bacon, waffles, French toast, and pancakes. Everything was terrific.

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    Julie grew up with her mom’s fried green tomatoes as a treat, so she typically orders them whenever she has the opportunity. But they inevitably disappoint her, because they’re not like mom’s. These were no different—too much batter, she said. I try to nod in sympathy, but it’s hard for me because I’ve never found extra batter to be a problem in my deep-fried foods. But you know how it is when mom’s recipes are involved. Nothing will ever be as good.

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    About the time we were finishing up our meals, the waitress, with impeccable timing, delivered a dessert order to another table behind us. She knew exactly what she was doing—a true professional. As she passed our tables, she slowed a bit so we could admire the bowl she was carrying and said, “This is the peach cobbler.”

    Julie took one look at me and knew I had already fallen hook, line and sinker. When the waitress walked past again, I said, “That was a dirty trick.”

    She just smiled and put on an innocent look. “Oh, would you like to order dessert?”

    We ordered one for the family. This might have been the best decision we made on the entire vacation.

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    That. Was. Amazing. Easily the best peach cobbler I’ve ever had in a restaurant, and maybe the best I’ve had, period. It didn’t last nearly long enough, and I was halfway to ordering a second giant bowl just for myself before Julie knocked me to the floor and restrained me there while hollering for the waitress to bring the check, and quick!

    It goes without saying, but Imma say it anyway: Frank’s Diner, Spokane, Washington earns a Drooling Homer Award for Excellence in Unpretentious Dining.

    drooling_homer-712749_gif.png.jpg

    Continued Next Post
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257, Galactic Salad Dodger
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    Chapter 6 continued...

    We were back on the road the next morning. I was happy to see that the Spokane Holiday Inn Express also still served the old (better) cinnamon rolls. That made for a good start to the morning.

    We drove quickly through Idaho and into Montana, leaving behind the plains of Washington and entering more rugged terrain. We made pretty good time, and I was able to make a slight detour so we could eat our PB&J lunch at the U.S. National Bison Range in Montana.

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    Sadly, we did not see a single bison at the range (but we also did not have the time to drive the loop road through the reservation). But we got our lunch, a bathroom break, and another stamp in our National Park passport book, so I’m going to call that a successful stop anyway.

    Back in the van, we drove north, around the huge Flathead Lake before detouring around the town of Kalispell. It was another hour or so from there to our final destination for the next two evenings: Glacier National Park.

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    We’ll get into more depth on Glacier in the next update, but for now, a bit of history: the park was established in 1910. It contains a section of the Rocky Mountains that sits on the northern border of Montana and Canada (the province of Alberta). In the mid-19th century, the park held over 150 separate glaciers, and the evidence of their activity is seen throughout the park in the multi-colored waters of the various lakes and U-shaped valleys carved into the mountain range. I won’t start any climate debates here, but just stick with the facts: almost all of the glaciers have receded over the last several decades, to the point where there are now only about 25 left in the park.

    We made a quick stop at the visitor center and then drove a few miles into the park. We’d leave most of our exploration for the next day, but I’d wanted to at least get a head start on some of the sights while we were there mid-afternoon.

    We stopped at Lake McDonald, just inside the west entrance of the park. As you can see, Glacier is no slouch in the eye candy department.

    DSC_3467.JPG

    Those of you who live in the west, you need to understand something—you guys are spoiled. The scenery is better out west—we have mostly flat ground, you guys have mountains. You win. But in this case, I’m referring to the water. It’s just so doggone clear out west. You might look at it and think, well, it’s just water. But don’t take that for granted. When you live in the east, our rivers and lakes and oceans are at best muddy and silty and at worst polluted. Mostly the water is brown or green and murky. So it’s always an endless source of fascination for us when we go out west and see water that is absolutely, perfectly crystal clear. It looks like paradise.

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    Lake McDonald is actually the world’s greatest body of water for skipping stones. The shores are made up of millions of tiny stones, all seemingly polished flat and smooth and perfectly shaped for your hand to fling across the surface of the lake, which is typically mirror-smooth. So we spent some time doing just that. My record was 13 skips.

    We drove just a few more miles down the road and found a couple of small parking areas for overlooks. Glacier is a very popular park in the summer, so we had to jockey for spaces a bit. This would become more important the following morning.

    The first overlook, for McDonald Falls, was actually full when we first arrived. So we drove past it and went to the second, for the Sacred Dancing Cascades. This is a fancy term for a waterfall.

    But hey, I like waterfalls, so we parked the van and took a short trail to a bridge over Haystack Creek. It was a very nice view from there.

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    Whoops, there’s an issue with the standard family photos. Someone didn’t like the sun in his eyes. See if you can figure out which one.

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    Thank goodness we had a kind sister to come to the rescue.

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    By the time we got back to the van and went back down the road, the parking lot at McDonald Falls was now open. So we checked out the view from there.

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    That greenish color in the water comes from minerals in the water that were carried by the glaciers up above as they scraped the rocks and mountains.

    Continued Next Post
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257, Galactic Salad Dodger
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    From there, we drove back to the lake and checked into the Lake McDonald Lodge, where we would be spending the next two nights.

    The Lake McDonald Lodge was originally built in 1913 and was known as the Lewis Glacier Hotel. It was built in the same early 20th century time period when many of the railroad companies were constructing lodges and chalets in the area to lure tourists to their resorts (reachable by train, of course). The name was changed to the Lake McDonald Lodge in 1957. It was badly damaged in a 1964 flood, was re-built, and then heavily renovated in the late 80’s. But even if it’s not the original building, it still maintains the same feel of the classic old National Park lodges.

    To get a reservation here (or anywhere in the park), I had to plan over a year in advance. We would be arriving in late July, and reservations open exactly 13 months prior to your arrival month. So, in our case, I had to be ready to log on first thing in the morning on June 1 the year before. Got that? It’s a little screwy.

    In any case, I knew it would be popular, and sure enough, the website was extremely slow. It didn’t help that it happened to be a Sunday morning, and our family was serving in the nursery at church that morning. So I was trying to get through on my phone with one hand and trying to fend off kids who were whacking me in the shins with plastic go-carts with the other. There were only a few cabins available that would accommodate our family, and by the time I could get the reservation request to load up, they were gone.

    So I went to my standard backup plan, pretended we only had two kids, and reserved a cabin for two nights. Worked like a charm.

    The main lodge building is built in that same craftsman style of wood and stone that I just can’t help falling in love with. I love exploring places like this. There was a lot of Native American and western-inspired art featured all around the lobby.

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    We walked down a short path along the lake to our cabin. When I opened the door, I realized that my “cram everyone into one room” strategy might have finally displayed a flaw.

    This was going to be a tight fit.

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    Yes, that’s a pull-out sofa. But there wasn’t going to be much floor space left once it was open.

    Oh, well. I’m sure they’ll manage. That bed looks nice, though.

    I had originally planned to eat dinner at a BBQ joint in Kalispell that looked really good (and was in an old car garage, too!) but once we got to the lodge, no one really wanted to drive an hour back down the road to town. So, we called an audible and decided to try and eat dinner in the lodge at Russell’s Fireside Dining Room. I was a bit worried that it would be an expensive meal (and it was), but then again…it’s vacation. An extra 30 bucks wasn’t going to kill us at this point. I’ll just cover it with the money we saved on the rental van.

    The dining room opened at 5 p.m. on the dot, and seats were on a first-come, first-served basis. We got in line and by the time we reached the host desk, they were assigning people seating times to come back. We were assigned 5:20 p.m., so we just killed time in the gift shop. Which I’m sure is what they were hoping for.

    We managed to get back to the dining room before burning up all of our credit cards.

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    I figured in for a penny, in for a pound, so I went ahead and ordered the 10-oz. ribeye. I do not regret my actions.

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    Julie ordered…this. Honestly, I don’t remember what it was. I looked up the menu and didn’t see anything that resembles this dish. I think she liked it, though.

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    Aren’t you glad I could paint such a vivid picture of this meal? You’re welcome.

    We walked back to our cabin and promptly discovered that we were locked out. They’re onto us!

    Actually, it was our fault. The cabins are shared units. There’s an outer door that allows everyone entry, and then our key opened the inner door to our particular room. When we’d left for dinner, someone had accidentally pulled the outer door shut and locked it. And we couldn’t open it with our key.

    I had to walk back to the lobby, explain what happened, wait for a maintenance guy, watch as that guy got frustrated when his keys didn’t work, wait for him to call ANOTHER maintenance guy, and then have that guy show up with apparently the only key that can open these doors.

    At least it was nice outside. Bottom line is, don’t close that outer cabin door.

    There was a ranger program on glaciers at the lodge that evening which we attended so Drew could get a head start on fulfilling his junior ranger obligations. After that, we just enjoyed the scenery at the lake. It’s hard to choose a favorite national park, or decide which one is more beautiful. So I’ll just say this—I think Glacier can hold its own with many of the more famous parks.

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    2-Day driving map:

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    Coming Up Next: One of the most beautiful drives in the U.S. And then our crack team of spies infiltrates a foreign country. They may want to beef up their security.
     
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    Steppesister

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2013
    I almost went to Deschutes Brewery for lunch, but 10 Barrel was more convenient. That was their version of a porter. We did notice the preponderance of brewpubs in the area! Which is good, they usually have good food.
    I KNEW IT! And yes, brewpubs almost always have something someone will enjoy.

    There’s nothing in eastern Washington.
    Except the Palouse...

    464915

    Which is the photographer's paradise for those of us around these parts.

    Drew thought it was cool to be staying in “a castle”.
    Well, yeah!! I'd stay there!

    The family voted instead for Frank’s Diner. This is a downtown eatery built primarily around a 1906 railroad car that was converted into a dining car in 1931. The chance to eat in a train car was just too good to pass up—plus, I think the kids really wanted breakfast for dinner again.
    Super cool!! Great choice on this one!

    The interior of the train car was…I don’t know what to say other than it was really cool.

    IMG_2239.JPG
    Nice!! I love this!

    But you know how it is when mom’s recipes are involved. Nothing will ever be as good.
    So true!

    That. Was. Amazing. Easily the best peach cobbler I’ve ever had in a restaurant, and maybe the best I’ve had, period.
    My mouth is slobbering all over the place now. Thanks.

    Those of you who live in the west, you need to understand something—you guys are spoiled.
    Yeah, kinda. Except I want a warmer, dryer West.

    My record was 13 skips.
    Impressive!

    From there, we drove back to the lake and checked into the Lake McDonald Lodge,
    Old McDonald had a lake, some falls, a lodge... sing it with me now... E, I, E...


    So I went to my standard backup plan, pretended we only had two kids, and reserved a cabin for two nights. Worked like a charm.
    Always worked for us too with 5. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made.
    Oh, well. I’m sure they’ll manage. That bed looks nice, though.
    ...by the kids.

    :lmao:
    Aren’t you glad I could paint such a vivid picture of this meal? You’re welcome.
    A picture is worth a thousand guesses.
     
  • QueenJen

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 2, 2012
    I’m going to hit the fast-forward button here and move through the next two days of the trip quickly, because they were mostly long drives without much of note.
    Hey - we come here for you detailed reporting....none of this glossing over.

    I hadn’t slept well the night before, and that fact combined with the utterly boring drive conspired to make me a little drowsy. I actually asked Julie to drive the last hour while I took a nap in the passenger seat.
    I think this might be a first. Which drive takes the number 1 spot for boring - this one or your trek through North Dakota?

    Whoops, there’s an issue with the standard family photos. Someone didn’t like the sun in his eyes. See if you can figure out which one.
    :D and too cute how quickly his expression changed one he had sunglasses.

    2-Day driving map:
    o_O We are driving a good portion of that this summer - now I really want to know how boring it was. I don't want to have to take over any driving.

    Great update.
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257, Galactic Salad Dodger
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    I KNEW IT! And yes, brewpubs almost always have something someone will enjoy.
    I could live on brewpubs and BBQ joints!

    Except the Palouse...

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    Which is the photographer's paradise for those of us around these parts.
    That looks really pretty. I wonder if it helps seeing it from above like the photo.

    Well, yeah!! I'd stay there!
    :thumbsup2

    Super cool!! Great choice on this one!
    I bet the other place was good, too. Probably couldn't go wrong.

    Nice!! I love this!
    It was a neat experience!

    My mouth is slobbering all over the place now. Thanks.
    I would drive a long way to have that peach cobbler again.

    Yeah, kinda. Except I want a warmer, dryer West.
    We get the heat over here, but also a lot of humidity. :crazy2:

    Old McDonald had a lake, some falls, a lodge... sing it with me now... E, I, E...
    And here I thought it would at least have some decent french fries.

    Always worked for us too with 5. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made.
    ..by the kids.

    :lmao:
    Exactly! :lmao::rotfl2::rotfl:

    A picture is worth a thousand guesses.
    She says she thinks it was a pasta salad and she had an option to add meat to it. So she did.

    Hey - we come here for you detailed reporting....none of this glossing over.
    Great, NOW you tell me.

    I tried, and couldn't find a way to make it interesting.

    I think this might be a first. Which drive takes the number 1 spot for boring - this one or your trek through North Dakota?
    Oh, North Dakota, hands down. So...flat...I don't think the highway even had any curves in it.

    :D and too cute how quickly his expression changed one he had sunglasses.
    Yeah, amazing how he can turn it on and off like that...:sad2:

    o_O We are driving a good portion of that this summer - now I really want to know how boring it was. I don't want to have to take over any driving.

    Great update.
    Well, the part in Idaho and Montana was fine. That was up and down through mountains. We didn't stop, but the town of Coeur d'Alene in Idaho looked really pretty. The part in Washington...good luck with that.
     

    pkondz

    . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2007
    WehadbreakfastandgotinthevananddrovealongwaythroughOregonandfollowedtheColumbiaRiverforawhileandthenwentintoWashingtonwhichwasreallyboringandnothinghappeneduntildinnerand—

    Ok, hang on. Maybe not that fast.
    No, no. You're doing great. Keep going.
    No?

    Darn.

    I mean... Great! You're gonna slow down and give more details.
    Wonderful.

    Terrific.


    Yippee...

    I took Julie to one of those froo-froo coffee places where they mix a teaspoon of coffee with a gallon of whipped cream and charge you 8 bucks for it. She loved it, of course.
    All right mister. I'm calling you out on this one.
    Would you not pay $8 for a double mouthful of whipped cream???

    I will be noting your desire for two peach cobblers later...
    Cool bridge!
    Seems like a good spot for a family outing.

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    Ya gotta let 'em run free on occasion. Really let 'em stretch their legs.

    This might not be the place for that.
    eventually we turned north and crossed into eastern Washington.

    There’s nothing in eastern Washington.
    :lmao:
    I actually asked Julie to drive the last hour while I took a nap in the passenger seat.
    Whoa... You were really tired.
    It took most of the day, but eventually we reached Spokane, Washington in the late afternoon.
    Weird thing.
    I was about to write "I haven't been to Spokane since 1972...

    But then realized I was there in 2018!
    I mostly just drove through it though...
    Drew thought it was cool to be staying in “a castle”.
    :laughing:
    The family voted instead for Frank’s Diner. This is a downtown eatery built primarily around a 1906 railroad car that was converted into a dining car in 1931.
    Dang!
    Wish I'd known about this. I might have rearranged my trip a bit.
    I'd overnighted about an hour away (North, heading South)… I could've extended by an hour or so and then done that. Shoot!!!
    (pkondz begins making plans for a return trip...)
    The interior of the train car was…I don’t know what to say other than it was really cool.
    Agreed! ::yes::
    we had plates of eggs, bacon, waffles, French toast, and pancakes.
    All of that sounds wonderful, but... I already saw the cobbler.
    Julie grew up with her mom’s fried green tomatoes as a treat, so she typically orders them whenever she has the opportunity. But they inevitably disappoint her, because they’re not like mom’s. These were no different—too much batter, she said. I try to nod in sympathy, but it’s hard for me because I’ve never found extra batter to be a problem in my deep-fried foods. But you know how it is when mom’s recipes are involved. Nothing will ever be as good.
    This is true. I have a few of Mom's and even Grandmom's recipes that I make... and I can never quite seem to recreate them to be as good as what they make/made.
    About the time we were finishing up our meals, the waitress, with impeccable timing, delivered a dessert order to another table behind us. She knew exactly what she was doing—a true professional. As she passed our tables, she slowed a bit so we could admire the bowl she was carrying and said, “This is the peach cobbler.”
    Wow.

    And... "a true professional"... like...
    465458
    When the waitress walked past again, I said, “That was a dirty trick.”
    :rotfl:
    Oh. My. God...

    I need this in my life.
    That. Was. Amazing. Easily the best peach cobbler I’ve ever had in a restaurant, and maybe the best I’ve had, period.
    Yep... I have to go to Spokane now. Right now.
    It didn’t last nearly long enough, and I was halfway to ordering a second giant bowl just for myself before Julie knocked me to the floor and restrained me there while hollering for the waitress to bring the check, and quick!
    :laughing:
    I was happy to see that the Spokane Holiday Inn Express also still served the old (better) cinnamon rolls. That made for a good start to the morning.
    Get 'em while they're still here!...
    Sadly, we did not see a single bison at the range
    Was it a shooting range? That would explain it.
    our final destination for the next two evenings: Glacier National Park.
    Been there... on the other side of the border.
    I won’t start any climate debates here, but just stick with the facts: almost all of the glaciers have receded over the last several decades, to the point where there are now only about 25 left in the park.
    Yeah... I won't start a debate either. People get upset when their beliefs are challenged.
    We’d leave most of our exploration for the next day, but I’d wanted to at least get a head start on some of the sights while we were there mid-afternoon.
    Hurry! Before the last glacier leaves!
    As you can see, Glacier is no slouch in the eye candy department.
    ::yes::
    Those of you who live in the west, you need to understand something—you guys are spoiled. The scenery is better out west—we have mostly flat ground, you guys have mountains. You win.
    I'd agree with this statement.
    But... I live in the middle...
    It's... boring.
    When you live in the east, our rivers and lakes and oceans are at best muddy and silty and at worst polluted. Mostly the water is brown or green and murky. So it’s always an endless source of fascination for us when we go out west and see water that is absolutely, perfectly crystal clear. It looks like paradise.
    Now that is an interesting comment.
    Where I live, our river is brown, due to the mud bottom, and our closest major lake is murky due to sandy bottom and shallow waters... and yet, other nearby lakes an equal distance east instead of north are crystal clear.
    Lake McDonald is actually the world’s greatest body of water for skipping stones. The shores are made up of millions of tiny stones, all seemingly polished flat and smooth and perfectly shaped for your hand to fling across the surface of the lake, which is typically mirror-smooth. So we spent some time doing just that. My record was 13 skips.
    Not too shabby!
    But hey, I like waterfalls
    Ditto.
    Whoops, there’s an issue with the standard family photos. Someone didn’t like the sun in his eyes. See if you can figure out which one.

    DSC_3440.JPG
    Drew? Is it Drew? Did I get it right? I have a 1 in 4 shot, here.
    Thank goodness we had a kind sister to come to the rescue.
    That's the one squinting now, right?
    From there, we drove back to the lake and checked into the Lake McDonald Lodge,
    Beautiful resort.
    To get a reservation here (or anywhere in the park), I had to plan over a year in advance.
    And I thought Disney was bad!
    I had to be ready to log on first thing in the morning on June 1 the year before.
    :sad2:
    So I was trying to get through on my phone with one hand and trying to fend off kids who were whacking me in the shins with plastic go-carts with the other.
    :laughing: You paint a pretty vivid (and painful) picture.
    We walked down a short path along the lake to our cabin. When I opened the door, I realized that my “cram everyone into one room” strategy might have finally displayed a flaw.

    This was going to be a tight fit.
    Ruh, roh...
    Quaint, though.

    But I assume "quaint" isn't what you're looking for with a family of 37 or so.
    Oh, well. I’m sure they’ll manage. That bed looks nice, though.
    :rolleyes1
    once we got to the lodge, no one really wanted to drive an hour back down the road to town.
    Yeah, I can see that.
    but then again…it’s vacation. An extra 30 bucks wasn’t going to kill us at this point.
    Says the guy who has his family eat PB&J all the time?
    We were assigned 5:20 p.m., so we just killed time in the gift shop. Which I’m sure is what they were hoping for.
    ::yes::
    I figured in for a penny, in for a pound, so I went ahead and ordered the 10-oz. ribeye. I do not regret my actions.
    1. No. A pound is 16 oz. Even a metricized Canadian like me knows that.
    2. But it does look really good. The butter is a nice touch.
    We walked back to our cabin and promptly discovered that we were locked out. They’re onto us!
    "So we piled back into the car and drove like mad!"
    Oh. Wait... you do that on a daily basis. Nevermind.
    I had to walk back to the lobby, explain what happened, wait for a maintenance guy, watch as that guy got frustrated when his keys didn’t work, wait for him to call ANOTHER maintenance guy, and then have that guy show up with apparently the only key that can open these doors.
    :lmao:
    At least it was nice outside. Bottom line is, don’t close that outer cabin door.
    Noted.
    Coming Up Next: One of the most beautiful drives in the U.S.
    Interesting. Curious to see where.

    And I thought I'd quoted the "cascades vs waterfall", but must've forgotten to. I found this:

    cascade is a waterfall or series of small waterfalls while waterfall is a flow of water over the edge of a cliff.

    I find it funny how they differentiate by saying they're the same thing.
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257, Galactic Salad Dodger
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    No, no. You're doing great. Keep going.
    No?

    Darn.

    I mean... Great! You're gonna slow down and give more details.
    Wonderful.

    Terrific.


    Yippee...
    Hey, it sounded like you needed to catch up on some sleep anyway.

    All right mister. I'm calling you out on this one.
    Would you not pay $8 for a double mouthful of whipped cream???

    I will be noting your desire for two peach cobblers later...
    I could get 4 cans of whipped cream from the supermarket for $8. No dice.

    I think the peach cobbler was about $8. That was a much better investment.

    Cool bridge!
    I liked the mountains in the background, too.

    Ya gotta let 'em run free on occasion. Really let 'em stretch their legs.

    This might not be the place for that.
    Is it wrong if I laughed at the "Many dogs have died here" addendum?

    Whoa... You were really tired.
    That's only happened to me one other time on these trips.

    Weird thing.
    I was about to write "I haven't been to Spokane since 1972...

    But then realized I was there in 2018!
    I mostly just drove through it though...
    I thought you had passed through on that recent trip.

    Dang!
    Wish I'd known about this. I might have rearranged my trip a bit.
    I'd overnighted about an hour away (North, heading South)… I could've extended by an hour or so and then done that. Shoot!!!
    (pkondz begins making plans for a return trip...)
    It's totally worth making the trip again! I wouldn't go 3,000 miles just to have that dessert again...but I would work hard to find an excuse if I was in the general area.

    All of that sounds wonderful, but... I already saw the cobbler.
    Yeah...that was the star of the show.

    This is true. I have a few of Mom's and even Grandmom's recipes that I make... and I can never quite seem to recreate them to be as good as what they make/made.
    My mom makes the world's greatest apple pie, and Julie and I have been abject failures at getting the recipe to work.

    Wow.

    And... "a true professional"... like...
    465458
    She worked in selling desserts, he worked in profanity. I can relate to the latter more, but I'm glad the former and I crossed paths.

    Oh. My. God...

    I need this in my life.
    Yes. Yes, you do.

    Yep... I have to go to Spokane now. Right now.
    Well, what are you waiting for?

    Get 'em while they're still here!...
    I keep holding out hope that maybe enough people complained for them to change back.

    Was it a shooting range? That would explain it.
    Hmmm...maybe it's best we didn't do the drive, then.

    Been there... on the other side of the border.
    Hey, so have I! (spoiler alert)

    Yeah... I won't start a debate either. People get upset when their beliefs are challenged.
    :sad2:

    On the flip side, they had a bunch of signs in the park saying all the glaciers would be gone by 2020. Those signs are being removed.

    But the fact remains, they've all receded.

    Hurry! Before the last glacier leaves!
    That was how we felt about getting there!

    I'd agree with this statement.
    But... I live in the middle...
    It's... boring.
    I can't argue with that.

    Now that is an interesting comment.
    Where I live, our river is brown, due to the mud bottom, and our closest major lake is murky due to sandy bottom and shallow waters... and yet, other nearby lakes an equal distance east instead of north are crystal clear.
    It became a running joke whenever we'd see a clear stream or lake and gush about how beautiful and clear the water was. We just don't get to see that at all in our region.

    Drew? Is it Drew? Did I get it right? I have a 1 in 4 shot, here.
    Nailed it! I'm proud of you.

    That's the one squinting now, right?
    ::yes::

    Beautiful resort.
    Yes, and in a great location.

    And I thought Disney was bad!
    That was such a pain! It was really slammed with people making reservations. I was relieved when we got in.

    :laughing: You paint a pretty vivid (and painful) picture.
    I wasn't making that up, either!

    Ruh, roh...
    Quaint, though.

    But I assume "quaint" isn't what you're looking for with a family of 37 or so.
    I figured we can fit in most every room that has 2 beds for 4 people. This cabin made it a real challenge. We just had to hope nobody needed to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

    Says the guy who has his family eat PB&J all the time?
    Guilty as charged. In this case, I was working hard to justify paying the dining room prices instead of driving back to the town.

    Maybe it would have cost as much in gas to get there and back. Yeah, that's it!

    1. No. A pound is 16 oz. Even a metricized Canadian like me knows that.
    2. But it does look really good. The butter is a nice touch.
    1. Good point.
    2. I enjoyed it. Not the greatest steak ever, but good enough for me.

    "So we piled back into the car and drove like mad!"
    Oh. Wait... you do that on a daily basis. Nevermind.
    Pretty much. It's exhausting.

    Interesting. Curious to see where.

    And I thought I'd quoted the "cascades vs waterfall", but must've forgotten to. I found this:

    cascade is a waterfall or series of small waterfalls while waterfall is a flow of water over the edge of a cliff.

    I find it funny how they differentiate by saying they're the same thing.
    :rotfl:I guess we just don't have enough words to describe them!
     

    pkondz

    . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2007
    Hey, it sounded like you needed to catch up on some sleep anyway.
    I always read your TRs when I need to fall asleep quickly.
    I could get 4 cans of whipped cream from the supermarket for $8. No dice.
    4 cans it is then. Sold.
    I think the peach cobbler was about $8. That was a much better investment.
    Sounds like it.
    Is it wrong if I laughed at the "Many dogs have died here" addendum?
    :rolleyes1
    I thought you had passed through on that recent trip.
    ::yes::
    But it was early morning. I had camped an hour or so north and only stopped to pick up a poker chip before moving on.
    It's totally worth making the trip again! I wouldn't go 3,000 miles just to have that dessert again...but I would work hard to find an excuse if I was in the general area.
    I might. I have.
    My mom makes the world's greatest apple pie, and Julie and I have been abject failures at getting the recipe to work.
    Totally get this.
    She worked in selling desserts, he worked in profanity. I can relate to the latter more, but I'm glad the former and I crossed paths.
    :laughing: Hopefully my path will cross there too some day.
    Well, what are you waiting for?
    Vacation.
    I keep holding out hope that maybe enough people complained for them to change back.
    Maybe? But... if it's a money thing... then no.
    Hey, so have I! (spoiler alert)
    TR RUINED!!!!
    On the flip side, they had a bunch of signs in the park saying all the glaciers would be gone by 2020. Those signs are being removed.

    But the fact remains, they've all receded.
    People who think glaciers (or really any natural phenomenon) are permanent, need to have their heads examined.
    It became a running joke whenever we'd see a clear stream or lake and gush about how beautiful and clear the water was. We just don't get to see that at all in our region.
    Interesting. Must say I didn't notice when I was there.
    In other news... speaking of Delaware... a local fugitive who's been on the run for months, was finally captured... in Delaware.
    That was such a pain! It was really slammed with people making reservations. I was relieved when we got in.
    I bet!
    I figured we can fit in most every room that has 2 beds for 4 people. This cabin made it a real challenge. We just had to hope nobody needed to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
    And?...
    Maybe it would have cost as much in gas to get there and back. Yeah, that's it!
    There ya go. Justified!
    :rotfl:I guess we just don't have enough words to describe them!
    Let me help.
    Cascade is dishwashing detergent.
     

    franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    WehadbreakfastandgotinthevananddrovealongwaythroughOregonandfollowedtheColumbiaRiverforawhileandthenwentintoWashingtonwhichwasreallyboringandnothinghappeneduntildinnerand
    Well that might be a little fast....

    Then, because I was eager to procrastinate the long drive ahead, I took Julie to one of those froo-froo coffee places where they mix a teaspoon of coffee with a gallon of whipped cream and charge you 8 bucks for it. She loved it, of course.
    Well I suppose if you're into whipped cream. I'm just actually into super strong expensive coffee which seems to go for about half that rate.

    There’s nothing in eastern Washington.
    This is truth.

    It took most of the day, but eventually we reached Spokane, Washington in the late afternoon. We stayed at the downtown Holiday Inn Express, which was located in one of the more unique chain hotel buildings I’ve ever seen.
    It does look rather unique.

    Drew thought it was cool to be staying in “a castle”.
    That's always cool. I remember saying the same thing in Europe wven if it was a hostel.

    The family voted instead for Frank’s Diner. This is a downtown eatery built primarily around a 1906 railroad car that was converted into a dining car in 1931.
    Sounds like a winner!

    We usually try to order a variety of dishes as a family so we can try as many items as possible, so we had plates of eggs, bacon, waffles, French toast, and pancakes.
    You certainly can't go wrong there!

    She knew exactly what she was doing—a true professional. As she passed our tables, she slowed a bit so we could admire the bowl she was carrying and said, “This is the peach cobbler.”

    Julie took one look at me and knew I had already fallen hook, line and sinker. When the waitress walked past again, I said, “That was a dirty trick.”
    Definite dirty trick, but then again you certainly did not want to miss out on the Best Peach cobbler. Now I wish it was peach season cause i would make one!

    Easily the best peach cobbler I’ve ever had in a restaurant, and maybe the best I’ve had, period.
    Quite the recommendation. But I still wont go out of my way to go to Spokane.

    We drove quickly through Idaho and into Montana, leaving behind the plains of Washington and entering more rugged terrain. We made pretty good time, and I was able to make a slight detour so we could eat our PB&J lunch at the U.S. National Bison Range in Montana.
    And there it is! I've been waiting for you guys to eat PB&J! I found this little snippet of info a while back in one of those little articles on FB about what foods the aughts were like (1900 not 2000s). I thought this was ironic, given your distaste for fancy froo foo food! :laughing:

    "The first ever recipe combining peanut butter and jelly is credited to Julia David Chandler, who wrote it up for The Boston Cooking School Magazine of Culinary Science & Domestic Economics in 1901. Back then, it was seen as posh party food. It took an improved peanut butter recipe in 1922 and the invention of sliced bread in 1928 to make it more accessible to all, especially kids."

    I won’t start any climate debates here, but just stick with the facts: almost all of the glaciers have receded over the last several decades, to the point where there are now
    I'm not sure how with facts like these there can be a debate, but whatevs. Sad that they are receding at such a rapid rate.

    Those of you who live in the west, you need to understand something—you guys are spoiled. The scenery is better out west—we have mostly flat ground, you guys have mountains. You win.
    That's nice to hear after all the years of listening to folks who think they live on the "right coast", while we all live on the "wrong coast."

    When you live in the east, our rivers and lakes and oceans are at best muddy and silty and at worst polluted. Mostly the water is brown or green and murky. So it’s always an endless source of fascination for us when we go out west and see water that is absolutely, perfectly crystal clear. It looks like paradise.
    I remember on my cruise of the Mississippi being a bit appalled at how muddy and dirty looking it was.

    Whoops, there’s an issue with the standard family photos. Someone didn’t like the sun in his eyes. See if you can figure out which one.
    Hmmmm...not sure, is it Drew? :confused3

    To get a reservation here (or anywhere in the park), I had to plan over a year in advance. We would be arriving in late July, and reservations open exactly 13 months prior to your arrival month. So, in our case, I had to be ready to log on first thing in the morning on June 1 the year before. Got that? It’s a little screwy.
    So like DVC only two months earlier.

    We walked down a short path along the lake to our cabin. When I opened the door, I realized that my “cram everyone into one room” strategy might have finally displayed a flaw.

    This was going to be a tight fit.
    :scared:

    So, we called an audible and decided to try and eat dinner in the lodge at Russell’s Fireside Dining Room. I was a bit worried that it would be an expensive meal (and it was), but then again…it’s vacation. An extra 30 bucks wasn’t going to kill us at this point. I’ll just cover it with the money we saved on the rental van.
    Sometimes you gotta pay for convenience. Fir us it just seems to happen more often than not! :laughing:

    I figured in for a penny, in for a pound, so I went ahead and ordered the 10-oz. ribeye. I do not regret my actions.
    Mmmm....steak. I haven't made choice about dinner tonight since the schedule went out the window yesterday....

    Aren’t you glad I could paint such a vivid picture of this meal? You’re welcome.
    I want my money back....oh....wait.

    We walked back to our cabin and promptly discovered that we were locked out. They’re onto us!
    Good one! :lmao:
     

    Steppesister

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2013
    That looks really pretty. I wonder if it helps seeing it from above like the photo.
    Maybe? I wouldn't know since I"ve not been to Eastern Washington. At least in that area. Need to fix that.

    I would drive a long way to have that peach cobbler again.
    Go a little further and you can finally see the Oregon Coast. ;)

    We get the heat over here, but also a lot of humidity. :crazy2:
    Strangely, I really don't mind the humidity. Florida would be a viable option for retirment (in about 45 years) too.
    She says she thinks it was a pasta salad and she had an option to add meat to it. So she did.
    Because meat.
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257, Galactic Salad Dodger
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    I always read your TRs when I need to fall asleep quickly.
    Excellent strategy. I do the same thing.

    But it was early morning. I had camped an hour or so north and only stopped to pick up a poker chip before moving on
    On the plus side, you got the poker chip.

    :laughing: Hopefully my path will cross there too some day.
    With enough time and money, anything can happen.

    Maybe? But... if it's a money thing... then no.
    Sadly, I must agree with you there.

    TR RUINED!!!!
    Is that even possible?

    People who think glaciers (or really any natural phenomenon) are permanent, need to have their heads examined.
    ::yes::

    Interesting. Must say I didn't notice when I was there.
    In other news... speaking of Delaware... a local fugitive who's been on the run for months, was finally captured... in Delaware.
    Whoa.

    I can only imagine he ran to Delaware because he figured nobody had ever heard of it, and therefore would not think to look for him here.

    Let me help.
    Cascade is dishwashing detergent.
    Hey...you're absolutely right!
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257, Galactic Salad Dodger
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    Well that might be a little fast....
    Just trying to keep you from getting bored!

    Well I suppose if you're into whipped cream. I'm just actually into super strong expensive coffee which seems to go for about half that rate.
    There are a LOT of people who are into whipped cream.

    That's always cool. I remember saying the same thing in Europe wven if it was a hostel.
    Sounds like you've been to some neat places!

    You certainly can't go wrong there!
    Breakfast for dinner is the best!

    Definite dirty trick, but then again you certainly did not want to miss out on the Best Peach cobbler. Now I wish it was peach season cause i would make one!
    I'm on my way!

    Man, that was so good...

    Quite the recommendation. But I still wont go out of my way to go to Spokane.
    Well, fine then. More for me. :snooty:

    And there it is! I've been waiting for you guys to eat PB&J! I found this little snippet of info a while back in one of those little articles on FB about what foods the aughts were like (1900 not 2000s). I thought this was ironic, given your distaste for fancy froo foo food! :laughing:

    "The first ever recipe combining peanut butter and jelly is credited to Julia David Chandler, who wrote it up for The Boston Cooking School Magazine of Culinary Science & Domestic Economics in 1901. Back then, it was seen as posh party food. It took an improved peanut butter recipe in 1922 and the invention of sliced bread in 1928 to make it more accessible to all, especially kids."
    :rotfl2: How long have you been holding onto that one?

    So I'm guessing no one ate it when it was froo-froo food. Then someone "improved" it...

    "Listen, Gus, you need to take out the caviar. People only SAY they like fish eggs, but that's because they don't want to look bad. Lose the fish eggs, and add more sugar. Trust me on this."

    :rotfl:

    I'm not sure how with facts like these there can be a debate, but whatevs. Sad that they are receding at such a rapid rate.
    It doesn't seem like they'll be around much longer.

    That's nice to hear after all the years of listening to folks who think they live on the "right coast", while we all live on the "wrong coast."
    Pros and cons everywhere. The east has the history, and the west has the scenery.

    I remember on my cruise of the Mississippi being a bit appalled at how muddy and dirty looking it was.
    It's just the way it is. Instead of flowing down rocky mountains, the water is flowing through fields, so it's carrying a lot more sediment with it.

    Hmmmm...not sure, is it Drew? :confused3
    Good guess! How did you figure it out?

    So like DVC only two months earlier.
    Pretty much, yeah.

    Sometimes you gotta pay for convenience. Fir us it just seems to happen more often than not! :laughing:
    I hear ya! You do what you gotta do.

    Mmmm....steak. I haven't made choice about dinner tonight since the schedule went out the window yesterday....
    Steak is never a bad choice.

    I want my money back....oh....wait.
    Your business is important to us. Please answer this 50-question survey and we will mail a refund check immediately.

    Maybe? I wouldn't know since I"ve not been to Eastern Washington. At least in that area. Need to fix that.
    Happy photo-hunting!

    Go a little further and you can finally see the Oregon Coast. ;)
    Someday...

    Strangely, I really don't mind the humidity. Florida would be a viable option for retirment (in about 45 years) too.
    It can really be unbearable at times. Like walking around in gravy.

    Because meat.
    A good enough reason for me!
     





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