Coeur d’Alene trip
- Off to Coeur d’Alene Apr 2, 2016
- First tulip is out in our yard… Apr 2, 2016
- Finally… Relaxing… Apr 3, 2016
Let’s see… First flight was a comedy of errors. A door won’t close. Five mechanics and an hour later, we pushed out. Then there was an engine issue. More mechanics. More delay. Finally we took off … with very little chance of catching our connecting flight. Thankfully, Delta had held the other plane back for a few minutes and we made it. Except, that got delayed … because… you guessed it – more door issues. Eventually, we reached our destination and joined our friends -Joydeep and Swapna from our good old Dallas days for a few days of R&R in the scenic resort of Coeur d’Alene.
Time to sip wine past 1am (that is 4am for me) catching up on old friends. (Ours are the only two families among a close set of families in Dallas that left Dallas)
- The girls and their walking sticks… err… iPhones… Apr 3, 2016
- This is what beautiful surroundings do… Apr 3, 2016
- Morning silliness… Apr 3, 2016
- The long hike calls for some OH-molecule-induced relaxation Apr 3, 2016
- The whole gang!! Apr 4, 2016
- Karate Kid – anyone? Apr 4, 2016
- Coeur d’Alene’s version of Al Burj Khalifa? Apr 4, 2016
- Beautiful Lake Coeur d’Alene early in the morning… Apr 4, 2016
- Coeur d’Alene scenic bypass (ID 97) Apr 4, 2016
- Unique fans!! Apr 4, 2016
On our drive along the scenic highway, we came upon a small coffee shop and I decided to pull over. None of us were particularly hungry but I figured a coffee is always welcome plus I would get an opportunity to talk to some locals…
And that is how as I made friends with Tal, the manager of the place, he explained how the three ceiling fans work… If you notice carefully, one single motor is connected to the three fans by daisy chaining conveyor style belts. The fans themselves have no motors!!!
That was an unique engineering experience…
- Wait, that is too small!!! Apr 4, 2016
I had told theropod that there was a historic town called Harrison on the way right on the lake. Maybe we can stop for lunch there. As we entered the town, the attached sign came up and Natasha’s first reaction was – “Wait a minute. That is less than half my class size. We are not having lunch here.”
And we didn’t… 🙂
- Herculean effort… Apr 4, 2016
- Usual routine… Apr 5, 2016
- Looking different is overrated Apr 5, 2016
- Joydeep… Apr 5, 2016
- Swapna… Apr 5, 2016
Swapna – we got to know her as Joydeep’s better half – or in those days, his better one fifths…
Over the years the Roy family and the Haldar family became very close to the point Swapna became one of the “cool Masis” for our daughters and I became comfortable enough to crack jokes about her weight… although, these days there is not much left in her to make jokes of….
- Sharmila… Apr 5, 2016
- The normally feuding siblings… Apr 5, 2016
- Few moments from this morning’s hike… Apr 5, 2016
- One good turn deserves another… Apr 6, 2016
- Second hike. Second break. Apr 6, 2016
- Flashlight from Heaven? Apr 6, 2016
- Among mostly green and grey… Apr 6, 2016
- Apologies upfront for the terrible joke… Apr 6, 2016
- An un-bear-able hike Apr 6, 2016
Unbeknownst to his soon-to-be hapless prey, Joy had stealthily taken a little-trodden digression from the trail and moved up the hill quickly and waited behind an undergrowth. The aforementioned prey – also referred to in real life as Joy’s wife Swapna – plodded along the trail – at a pace that would make a sloth yawn. Her exclamations of “What a beautiful sight” was interspersed only with her exasperations of “Are we there yet. Mountain Goat?”.
The Mountain Goat – yours truly at that moment – never to miss a chance to bore the audience with completely meaningless information, proceeded to take pride in his nom de guerre and then elucidate further – “Did you know that a mountain goat is not a goat – it is actually a sheep?”. Which, beyond being pointless to the context did nothing to ease the pain of climbing for Swapna. Or to a mountain goat, for that matter.
Presently, Swapna did reach the bushes where Joy lay in wait while I had bleated my way to about fifty yards ahead already. Just as she prepared to negotiate the undergrowth to her right – undoubtedly with the fullest intention to take a sharp turn – as the trail demanded – a very confusing set of events ensued. To borrow a line from P.G.Wodehouse, as I reckon, the said bush, which was hitherto unusually quiet, suddenly said “Roar”.
For a moment, I will spare you the obvious dissonance of a bear never roaring – for that was what Joy was trying to pretend to be – a mountain bear to scare his wife – and “Roar” was what this UK-born lad of otherwise exquisite grip on the language English could unfortunately come up with. Far from a swooning wife – who I must mention was mortified by a suspension bridge a mile before and was petrified mistaking a branch that could barely pass as non-linear as a lethal snake, Swapna, at that juncture was a picture of an even mix of disdain and contempt. Maybe 60-40, if you looked at her closely, as the visage of Joy appeared from behind the bushes after the admittedly rather sonorous roar.
“Joy, shut up”! is what I heard when I looked back to see what was happening. Even the untrained eye could detect the dismay writ all over the bear’s face from the ignominy of its prey unceremoniously addressing it by its first name.
Reflecting back, I think Swapna’s biggest mistake was asking me how much more of the trail was left. Not knowing any better and remembering roughly the Google map I had seen, I estimated we were one third in. Turns out my estimates can be off by as much margin as those airlines folks’ timetables.
Eventually, this came to pass too. Especially after the last pass we passed. The exuberant exultation from the hiking group yelling “We made it! We made it!” gave me a rough idea about how the base camp at Mount Everest must sound like every time a team comes down from the peak.
The hot tub and the wine that followed, however, I daresay was much better than of any base camp.
(Apologies, Swapna, for overly exaggerating your travails in your travels)
- From the bartender’s corner – Mrs. Taylors Apr 7, 2016
- Sunbathing… deep in the woods… Apr 8, 2016
- Interrupted during its meal… Apr 8, 2016
This American goldfinch was sitting at the birdfeed for at least ten minutes happily pecking away at the seeds. After sometime, it got wind of the fact that somebody was watching. It looked back with a frown (you can see it in the eyes 🙂 ) with a seed in its beak and spotted me with my camera trained on it. This was a nanosecond before it promptly flew away…
- Making new friends in Coeur d’Alene! Apr 9, 2016
We had finished our hikes and were on the street hoping to get a drink and then dinner. But our youngest member Gublu wanted to eat some candy. And I promised him I would get him some. Which, in of itself, should have been a breeze if not for all the stores closing early in the evening in the sleepy town of Coeur d’Alene. However, Gublu and I marched on hoping to find a candy shop. And I am glad we did.
We eventually came to a store called Shenanigans which could have as well been named Kids’ Heavenland. They had all sorts of candy and icecream. All the adults and kids sat down. We bought a lot of candy and then we all had icecream. As the group huddled to enjoy their icecream, I peeled off to make friends with the young guy and girl at the counter.
Found out that Mallary and Sean were both from around the area and each had some really interesting life story. Unfortunately, I do not have Sean’s picture here since my iPhone crashed that night and I lost all local data. The picture you see here is the next day when all of us had breakfast at the same place where Mallary made some lovely crepes.
The most interesting story about Mallary was when I asked her if she was from the area. Turns out she was but she was moving to Alabama. My first question was how do you go from the picturesque North West Idaho to the other end of the country in Alabama? Found out she got married recently.
Which led to the next question – How did you meet a guy from Alabama in Idaho? It appeared that they actually met while vacationing in Florida. Not exactly while vacationing so much as in the plane. When, well not so much in the plane as waiting for the plane!! Apparently, they were sitting there waiting for their plane and they started a conversation which led to being Facebook friends which eventually led them to get closer as friends and eventually got married!! [It did make me think twice before sending her a FB invite myself – but I did it nonetheless 🙂 ]. I sure hope that she will open a crepe store in Alabama. They were delicious!!
Unfortunately, that day Sean was not there, because as luck would have it, the previous day was his last day in the store. From whatever I could gather from him the previous day, he is going to a local college (NIC). Loves languages, communication etc. As is my wont, I asked him what would he want to be when he grew up.
Sean was ready with the answer. He wants to start a company to produce movies and TV serials. Seems like he already has a couple of friends who is collaborating with him. They have their storyline written up already. I got an insider’s view from Sean about how the local geography in Coeur d’Alene and Spokane is perfect for most of the scenes they need to capture.
Delighted by the dual life stories of one – whose life got changed for ever waiting for a plane and another who is determined to make something of himself so early in his life…