Tuesday, August 11, 2015

SPOKANE



First up, the logistics! If you're uninterested in the details, feel free to scroll past. 

Sleep: Spokane Club Inn - 1002 W. Riverside Ave, Spokane, WA {cute, historic, boutique hotel in the  downtown. Within walking distance to Riverfront Park, downtown, and plenty of shops and restaurants}; 

Eat: Clinkerdagger {upscale steakhouse- make reservations! The main draw is its location on a cliff overlooking the waterfall and the Spokane river. Matt had a giant slab of meat and was drooling. I had the Italian sausage pasta which was homemade and spicy and amazing}; 

Casper Fry {we ate here for both brunch - Saturday and Sunday only} and dinner and both were out of this world delicious. The menu is an incredible combination of "southern with a twist". For dinner we opted for small plates and sampled the sausage, pork belly, hush puppies, and blackened radishes- I had a single bite of pork belly as M inhaled the rest. The sausage was to die for}; 

Central Food {we had breakfast here during the week- they serve it up every day. Food was outstanding- and the view wasn't too shabby either- located just across the bridge from the Spokane Club Inn, and a nice walk along the cliff above the river}; Scratch {we stopped here for lunch after getting into town, get the adult grilled cheese- if it's still available- the best combo of cheeses on a grilled cheese I've ever had. 

See: Riverfront Park {walk around, check out one of the oldest carousel's in the country, ride the Sky Ride across the falls! The park is huge and there's actually a small amusement park in the middle. We spent the early afternoon into the evening of our first day just walking around the park}

Riverside State Park {located in 9-Mile Falls just 20 minutes northeast of downtown Spokane, it's worth the drive to get out of the city for a leisurely hike along the Spokane River. I use the phrase leisurely quite literally, as the trail we walked on was paved. Not a lot of tree cover, so if it's a hot day- bring water! Also, if you get to the trailhead and note the "permit required" signs, do not fear! You can buy one online or by phone and then write the confirmation number on a piece of paper and put it in your windshield! This is brilliant because the spot to buy permits was about 10 miles down the road and we totally below past it.} 


{Riverfront Park- Canada Island}


I may have mentioned it in the past, but Coeur d'Alene was put at the top of Matt's domestic travel list when he drove through it last summer on a family road trip from MN to Seattle. I've equated it to the Lake Tahoe of the northwest, but maybe a little less well known. (We remarked upon arrival that it was definitely more of a regional attraction than a national one).

After googling some photos of the area and seeing the beautiful lake surrounded by mountains, I obliged and eagerly began planning our itinerary. When researching Italy, I spent more time on the "what to see" vs. "what to eat" because WE'RE IN ITALY who cares what we're eating!? I knew I wanted to invest more time in the meal aspect of things for this trip since it was a bit of a more low-key vacation location, thus, the food had to be part of the 'destination' as well. 

I'd actually had a couple cases based out of Spokane and defense counsel split time between Spokane and Coeur d'Alene, so I had heard them talk about the area in general. After some initial research I realized spending 5-6 days in Coeur d'Alene alone probably would've left us a little bored and antsy. After seeing that there were some neat things to do in downtown Spokane and in an effort to diversify, I planned the first 2 and a half days in Spokane.
{Riverfront Park}
We arrived around 1 local time and after dropping stuff at the hotel, took a short walk over to Riverfront Park. Be sure to check out the map of park attractions as there's a lot tucked inside! There's a sky ride that takes you out over the falls for 15 minutes and provides some spectacular views of the river and waterfall. For only $8 a person, it's worth the expense. 
The park also has a small amusement area- so if you're visiting with kids, it's worth perusing. Sans kids, M and I still wound up sitting inside the carousel building for a good half hour watching kids geek out while riding it. It's a Looff carousel and one of the oldest in the country, so it was ornate and beautiful as well.

Dinner that night was at the Clinkerdagger- which is an historic old steak and seafood spot located on the cliffs overlooking the falls and river in downtown. Despite a reservation, we weren't seated with a view of the falls (although I did make a reso late) so it may be worth reserving earlier (both WHEN you make the reservation and at what time you select) - or try it out for lunch! You'll likely be guaranteed a better spot with a better view. View aside, it was still a fantastic meal. 
{Casper Fry: counter clockwise from bottom- Sausage, blackened radishes, pork belly with an over easy egg, and hushpuppies}

That night we ventured out of downtown to a cute, hipstery little neighborhood to have dinner at Casper Fry. It was a beautiful night so we sat outside and caught the tail end of what appeared to be a farmer's market closing down. The spot next door was bustling, and there were restaurants or shops on the other corners packed with people - it seemed like a very vibrant little neighborhood. 

The food was nothing short of incredible- southern food with a twist. We opted for the small plates because why have one meal when you can have 4 small ones, right? (see above photo)- I got one bite of that pork belly with the sunny egg because M was salivating over it like a rabid animal. But that's okay because I didn't do too good a job of sharing the sausage either. 
{Central Food}
{Riverside State Park}


The next morning we walked across the river from our hotel to Central Food for breakfast. We were there on a Friday morning (one of the few places I found that served weekday breakfast!) and it was quiet and practically empty- although started to fill up as we were leaving. It was another beautiful day so we sat on the patio overlooking the river. Happy accident, in all my internet research I didn't realize they had a patio! 

After walking back and changing, we hopped in the car for provisions before taking a quick 20 minute drive northeast to 9 Mile Falls Washington to go for a "hike" along the Spokane River. Really it was more of a walk because the trail was paved, but it was such a nice morning and we had some great views along the way. It was also insanely hot, unfortunately, and the pavement reflecting the sun meant we only walked about 3.5 miles total instead of longer. 
{Riverside State Park}
{Spokane Club Inn}
{Casper Fry- eggs benedict with spicy hollandaise}


Saturday morning we packed our bags and checked out of the hotel to head to Coeur d'Alene. BUT not before stopping at Casper Fry on the way out of town for brunch, because NOM. 

Up next, Coeur d'Alene. 


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