Bellemaison is awash with preparations over the impending arrival of house guests coming for Bellefest. Club Chow has undergone an extensive renovation, even getting a new dock which Sylvie Ruth promptly ordered painted Provence blue. You don’t see that too much around here. The potting shed has finally come into fruition but it is doubtful the potting bench itself with a concrete counter top and recycled cast iron sink from Brown’s rehabbed into a dry sink will be finished. No matter. We won’t be taking cuttings or dividing iris during Bellefest anyway. The pool has been refinished and outfitted with a brand new, super fast slide and we have quietly laid in an impressive inventory of cold beer, barbecue spice, mountain bikes and beach towels. We B Redi n Stuff.
Yessir, the pinnacle of livin’ easy around here: the first weekend of August. Since these particular guests come from east of the Mississippi, heck never- even- been- to- Chicago!- east- of- the- Mississippi the Chows have planned an itinerary that will Idaho these boys up and send them ticking on the right track back to Noo York Citty with new ambition, aspiration and credo. We can’t wait.
We’ve decided to go para sailing over Lake Coeur d’Alene; listen, we know the definitive para sail experience in this area is Pend O’Reille. Green Libertarian has provided highly evocative and convincing expert testimony on this matter but once the logistics were analyzed and all was said and done, the drive up there and back took up way too much time. So we’re going with Coeur d’Alene, lunch at Huddy’s, and a beer afterwards at Bardenay, alongside the man made lake. What? A man made lake in Idaho is a novelty! Besides, we know the guy that designed the whole Riverstone project and executed the building of that lake and he will debrief us once we get there. It’s possible that we may walk the boardwalk of the Coeur d’Alene Resort—but if we have our choice, we will walk the dike road behind the junior college, okay, okay, NORTH IDAHO COLLEGE and end up at the Fort Sherman Chapel, going back down Military Drive to the lake. Maybe the best walk in the history of civilization. Anyway, that’s our Coeur d’Alene day; we’ll head back to town for dinner with Monsignor On The Porch at JBelle’s, that tried and true uber comfortable restaurant set in that fabulous garden. We’ve arranged for them to serve Pacific cedar planked salmon cooked in their charcoal barbecues as well as cinnamon ice cream and Green Bluff Peach Pie. Bobby Flay has yet to discover JBelle’s and that’s the way the Chows like it because they still can get a table there anytime they want. And they treat you right at JBelle’s
The next day is when we show them why we here in The ‘Kan EWA don’t need no Walt Disney, Steven Spielberg, Broadway, Fenway, Blue Man Group, Fountains of The Bellagio or Smithsonian Institute to be the ultra destination entertainment experience in all of the world. That’s right, the whole world. We lay the smack down with the North Idaho Come Ride With Us Day. First, we rack them out at dark thirty, seducing them downstairs with lovely strong coffee steaming over the rims of thick handled heavy mugs, huckleberry buttermilk pancakes with dainty pats of sweet cream butter alongside hefty chunks of perfectly fried Kansas City Bacon, all tucked in their little sleepy mouths in the most expert of motions. We lure ‘em in, feed ‘em fast, get ‘em outside and then buckle them into the back seat of our Ford truck and head out on I-90.
The sun comes up and by the time we cross Centennial Bridge over Beauty Bay, Lake Coeur d’Alene sparkles as a million diamonds, spilling out of the windows as far as the eye can see, tumbling and running towards Mica, Harrison, and Chatcolet; a scene, a feeling, an impression that Sworwaski could plan and plan but never duplicate. Good Morning Coeur d’Alene.
We keep humming along the freeway pulling our trailer jammed with bikes and coolers past Wolf Lodge and the Rose Lake Exit, past the Cataldo Mission, past Kellogg, through Wallace until at last, finally, we are in Montana. We take the second exit. Now we have the full complete attention of our captives; they did not dream it was possible to be in Montana shortly after breakfast. We’ve bought no tickets; we’ve consulted no timetable. Never even turned our phone on. Gasp! No service anyway! They are not in Noo York Citty no more.
They have nooooo idea....
The 'Kan EWA