Wednesday, May 28, 2008

JBelle's Top Picks for Summer

Inspired by Lindsey Long Legs, over at... Lindsey Long Legs, I decided to compile JBelle's Top Picks for the summer, as I know you are all waiting and hoping for a little direction. And trying to make plans! Make plans! And I'm holding you up! eeek! The Chows had a hard time sorting everything out because there are sooo many top picks, not enough summer. This is how it is here in The Kan EWA. Anyway, with no further ado, here is where JBelle lives and breathes in the summertime, when the livin' is easy.

Coeur d'Alene
There is no where I would rather be than Coeur d'Alene, anytime of the year. But in the summer it is so special there, so special that it transcends any attempt at definition so I can only say for me Coeur d'Alene is a Valhalla, the Coeur d'Belle. Get on I-90 and get off at the Sherman Ave exit. Drag the strip all the way to the college and loop around the dyke road and park back at Memorial Field. Pick up some coffee from the stand across the street and walk through the park down to West Lakshore Drive and sit on the seawall. Sip your coffee and savor Tubb's Hill, Casco Bay, Kidd Island Bay, looking down the lake as far as you can. There is no place, no where, nothing that is closer to God than this moment of contemplation on the north shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene. This is a very pricey experience, a priceless moment that won't cost you a thing but it is best enjoyed with an open heart and a grateful spirit. Peace be with you.

Well, now that you've had your spiritual moment in the sun, having been to The Church of The Seawall, get your bike and head to the reservation. The Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation. Go to Plummer where the trailhead for The Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes is located. You're starting to see a theme here, right? Get on the trail and ride your bike to Wallace. It's about 120 miles up and back. This ride has it all: relentless hills, beautiful flat stretches through wetlands, thrilling railroad bridges high across the lake, even an historic Jesuit Mission. You will see deer, moose, birds, fish, butterflies, dragonflies, cottonwoods, white pine, apple, peach and cherry trees. It is a compendium of life, this Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes. Don't miss it. This is the kind of thing that they'd love to charge for because its so valuable but sadly, they just can't put a price on an experience as this. This is quintessential Idaho.

Do NOT be without your Oakleys. You can get them anywhere. I've worn mine on the Champs d'Elysee, the Ho Chi Minh Trail, at Red Square and the Vatican as well as the Canadian Continental Divide where they were equally chic yet durable and utilitarian. I can ditch the bike as I do sometimes and don the Hermes as I do sometimes wearing Oakleys either time and it's same/same. After eye surgery almost ten years ago, I became uber-light sensitive and Oakleys filter out all the glare and bad light that hurts my eyes and makes my head ache. Just don't be without Oakleys. Don't do it. Pricey at about $175 but they last. I've got five year old Oakleys.

Hot Green Our Lady of Guadalupe Bag
Got Our Lady in Puerto Vallarta. Thing is, white women, particularly the Protestants, think I'm outta my mind carrying this bag. Hispanics, both men and women, give me a quick solemn nod and breathe in "jes". I think Our Lady is fabulous and lights up hot times in the city. Back of my neck ain't gettin' dirty and gritty. Absolutely don't remember anything about a price.

Mother of Pearl and Silver Jewelry
Got both the earrings and the cross in Puerto Vallarta. Paid way too much but it all boiled down to this: I liked them. So I bought them. That's it, friends. There are no complicated arguments and scenarios in life; if you like it BUY IT. Forget the price. See above.

Aveda Inner Light Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15
Well, my heavens. Just how could you have summer without this marvelous little product? Moisturizer and sun screen with a hint of color to even out the freckles and dark circles. This stuff is divine. Go to your nearest Aveda store and get some now. What's the downside? Better state the obvious: there is none. Moderate, about $25.

Aveda Lip Gloss
It smells heavenly and moisturizes as well as protects from too bright sun. And you don't have to transfer money from your line of credit to your checking account when you buy one. I don't go anywhere without it. Cheeeeep. $15.

Nordstrom Capris
Okay, here's the deal. these things fit. They are cotton/spandex so they launder at home but hold their shape nicely. They come in at least black, white, navy, taupe, and olive, pack beautifully and wash out in the sink if need be. One of the few wise buying decisions Nordstrom has made lately. Not spendy. About $60.

Jump Shoes
Happened on Jump in Soho a couple a weeks ago after lunch at Balthazar and after Bloomingdale's but before Chanel. LOVE JUMP! They're Asian and the shoes are inspired, fun and really comfortable. I have worn them all day several times and they were perfect. Brand new, too. Amazing shoes. Cute. Not that spendy. About $80.

Black iPod
Well, how can you be properly stimulated, mooded and otherwise ready to go for any given summer situation without your iPod? I have several. Currently, I use my nano for specific tasks only and for the big jobs I go with my BonoNanno. It's not really a nanno, I just call it that. It plays videos and I load it with my photos. It also has some 5000 songs on it at the moment. One of these times, I am going to listen to them all. In order. Spendy. About $400?

So there it is. Live it up. Be happy. Call it all joy. We only pass this way once.

The 'Kan EWA


Inland Empire Girl said...

I love this post. I need to revisit CdA and not be so " I hate what has happened since the hotel went in." I know there are still beautiful spots. When I taught for the U of I one summer and worked at NIC I loved the walk along the lake every morning. Thanks for reminding me. I also love the drive from Wolf Lodge to Harrison. Lots of memories.

Lindsey said...

YAY! I wish EVERYONE would put together a best of summer list, because you can learn so much about a person... AND you can have so many wonderful things!! LOVED IT!

MarmiteToasty said...

The lake place looks and sounds wonderful..... I cant imagine though not living within a spit of the seaside.... I know its a big lake and not a pond and maybe its cos Ive always lived within 10 minutes of the sea... (Langstone Harbour).... would take a lot to move me from the sea.... either special people or special beautiful moutains etc.....

loved this post, as I do all of ya posts.....


myrtle beached whale said...

Having grown up in Northern Idaho, I have fond memories of summertime spent in the CDA area. It was a shame to come back last year and see what has happened to it. Unfortunately, now it is just like every other resort town that money has found.

JBelle said...

I know for sure that you, although a whale now in Myrtle Beach, really did grow up in North Idaho. Now how I know? :) That sentiment you expressed is pure Old School Idaho. Purely! The natives of NYC love the change that constantly rolls over their city. They love it! And it always interests me to watch the energy they absorb when the city changes, again. In Idaho, we take change hard. Sometimes, I can hardly bear to look at Casco Bay and see the growth and development there. But it is what it is and there still is nothing like a summer night's walk in the old town. NOTHING. Despite the Asians, the chain restaurants, the jet skis and the parasails, it's still Coeur d'Belle. Valhalla.

JBelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hmmm, I'm not a capri poisun m'self but I think I'll be check 'em out if I venture past a Nordstrom's in the dog days.

Interesting list. Thank you.

I must have short, cotton or cotton/hemp or rayon or rayon/silk tank dresses with straps wide enough to cover a bra strap (perhaps the only downside of possessing lovely mammaries is the supportive garment they insist on wearing in order to be comfortable) in a variety of colors. They dress up, they dress down and they help endure sweltering weather. Best with the skinniest of low-heeled sandals.

Do you one of the perks (and they are few) where I work is I can wear whatever the heck I want and no one says a damn thing to me. That's a plus after rigid dress codes in hospital or other clinical settings: no open-toed shoes, no hems more than one inch above the knee, no this, no that, no Wendy. :)

/waving and sending smiles