Enjoy the Journey: Coeur d’Alene, ID

It’s been FOREVER since I wrote about my trip west last summer (I have good reasons – you can even read about some of them. But I can’t tell you about the biggest one. Not yet. I promise I will though.) and it occurred to me it might come off a bit ridiculous to write about my summer trip when there’s snow on my front lawn. But, then it occurred to me that I *might* like snow more than most, and that others *might* like to fondly remember hotter days… or, plan their own West Coast adventure for the hotter days ahead.

In any case, I haven’t gotten to it until now, and since I can FINALLY get to it now, you’re getting it now. I’m going to try to do better in the future. TRY. For now though, let me take you back to June, 2018.

After a little coffee fill up and my personal walking tour of Wallace, Idaho (which, I LOVED, btw), I pressed on until my breath caught in my throat (the way it always does) as I cruised around the edge of lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. I love the view of this incredible little valley every time I pass it, but I’m almost always in such a rush to get to my “destination” I don’t stop. I don’t get out of the car. I don’t “journey”. This time, I was determined not to make that mistake. Which worked out perfectly because I was STARVING by the time I got to the adorable little town. So I pulled into a parking lot near the Museum of Northern Idaho, Rumi and I hung out on the “tailgate” of my Subaru, had a snack, and took in the sights. Firstly – the beautiful sculpture that greets visitors. I was, perhaps, most enamored with the delicate feeling inspired by dandelion puffs wrestled from their metal medium.

Public art sculpture in the center of the parking lot near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

With full bellies, my pup and I locked up the car and wandered around the grounds. My intention was to find a great view of the lake and just sit. As we explored, though, it became clear there was far more to do – even just in the few minutes we had… even just in the parking area – than sit. So we walked. And every few feet I stopped and smiled.

The lake itself is breathtaking, of course. Mother Nature really went all-out on this one. It’s clear how much the community and guests love the water; boats, kayaks, paddle boards, and myraid other tools of adventure are evident everywhere you look.

As you approach the water from the parking lot, though, you begin to see how much more is there; an outdoor event space, Kootenai Memorial, Tubbs Hill trailhead for hiking and biking… and that’s just on the lake side.

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Across the street a long line of lovely little boutique shops face toward the lake and invite shoppers and outdoors enthusiasts to enjoy their wares.

It was an almost idyllic impromptu picnic and walk, and inspired so much joy in me in just the half-hour or so I was able to spend. It was a wonderful reminder that often in life, I get so focused on the end goal, that I forget to enjoy the time in between… the journey. I left for my AirBnB in Vancouver, Washington with a full heart and a resolve to follow my curiosity into the wonderful little corners of my every day life. And the very next day, that very intention brought me to several beautiful little corners of Washington I’d never had known to look for – if I hadn’t just followed my bliss.

Whether there’s snow on your lawn or not, take a minute today to follow a moment of curiosity; visit a new coffee shop, take a different road home, stop on your lunch hour to walk around the perimeter of your park… just enjoy. And stay tuned for a MUCH more punctual post about my first day in Vancouver, WA.

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