The morning began as we gathered at my house and grabbed our digital cameras, our computers and got in Inland Empire Girl's car and headed down Interstate 90 for Coeur d'Alene.
We visited this coffee shop because the owner is Terry Patano and his wife Rebecca. Terry is from Kellogg and went to high school with both my brother and sister. His parents owned a clothing store in uptown Kellogg while I was growing up called "Patanos" (imagine that). An important fact regarding this clothing store was the fact that every Christmas Dad took my sister, or, once she was gone, myself to go and help Dad purchase a Christmas present for Mom. This happened every year without fail. I remember many visits to "Patano's" growing up and playing in between the clothing racks.
I had a mocha and a pecan roll. Inland Empire Girl had a Espresso Hazelnut Chocolate Chip scone with a Caramel Vanilla Latte, and Raymond Pert had a cup of the house coffee and a croissant. It was a beautful day in Coeur d' Alene, and I had a prime seat for people watching on Sherman Avenue.
We decided to take the "old road" from Post Falls to State Line. There was some familiar looking sights, but it was evident there have been many changes since I-90 changed course in the Idaho Panhandle.
The Slab Inn in Post Falls hasn't changed hardly at all, at least on the outside.
In State Line, the Kon Tiki was there, but El Patio was gone.
As we headed into Washington state, I remembered the many trips we took to Spokane growing up to see my Grandma.
For many years, we always took the Argonne exit. I knew we were there because of the watertower.I hadn't been on this route to Grandma's old house for many years. Probably over 20 years. I was amazed how many things looked the same after all this time. As we head up Argonne we turned left on Trent, then went until we veered off to the right onto Mission Ave. Spokane Community College was always a landmark on the way to Grandma's house. It looks better these days, now that it is a pastel color as opposed to the green color I remember as a child.
There is a city park on the left past the college, and, as we drove past, I felt like I was in a time warp because it hadn't changed much as all.
When we reached Hamilton St., we made a left and headed down to have lunch at one of our dad's favorite Spokane hang outs where he would often stop to have a "cold one".
I have traveled past this establishment for over 40 years, and today was the first time I ever passed through the doors.
We took a few moments to peruse the menu.
I had the corned beef sandwich from the "Jack and Danwiches" section of the menu. Raymond Pert had hot wings, and Inland Empire Girl had a tuna sandwich. Our waitress got a kick out of all the picture we took during our meal. She recently purchased a digital camera herself and knew how fun they could be.
Then it was back up Hamilton which turns into Nevada and we took a left at Bridgeport Ave. Then we drove past Grandma Woolum's house. It was familiar, but also different. It was strange seeing a car parked in the yard, and a boat in the back yard where Grandma used to have her vegetable garden. We drove down the alley behind the house, but there was a six foot fence in back, so we couldn't see in from the back.
We also traveled down Boone to see if we could find out Great Aunt Esta's old house. We couldn't tell which one was hers, but we did remember a particular day we all spent at that house when Esta's daughter had recently had a baby and she was breast feeding right out in front of everyone (this was probably in about 1970, before breastfeeding in front of people was common) and Dad voiced his discomfort quite loudly. There were also two older kids in this family, but we are still trying to remember the girl's name. Mike was the son, but we can't remember the daughter. All Mom could remember when we asked her was that this nameless cousin received Grandma's cookoo clock when Grandma died.
Oh, I just remembered...her name was Patty.
Then we ran some errands, and headed back my house in Kellogg for a wonderful dinner prepared by Inland Empire Girl. We had hot crab dip, salad, and a delicious pasta dish, followed by Idaho Spud Fondue for dessert. We also fixed Mojitos. Yum-m-m-m.
I did learn a few new things today while on this adventure with my siblings. Here they are:
1. I never knew Smelterville had a roller skating rink in the early 1960's.
2. I didn't know Raymond Pert had no idea there was a Fun Center in Smelterville in the late 1970's and early 1980's and that it also had a roller rink, not to mention a bowling alley, video games and Pappy's Pizza.
3. Raymond Pert said he remembered sitting in the car in front of the Stromboli place when Dad would go in and have a "cold one" at Jack and Dan's after they attended some sporting event together.
4. That there is a big truck with part of a bridge headed for Tacoma that is too heavy to travel on Washington roads. Inland Empire Girl pointed the truck out as we passed the weigh station.
5. That certain employees at Huckleberries on Monroe Street frown upon college professors in their early 50's taking pictures inside their store.
Well, the adventure continues tomorrow, but we add another, our mother, and we are touring the Silver Valley. Stayed tuned tomorrow for the next installment of "The Adventures of the "Bloggin' Family Woolum".