Mom was taken with the mascot bears in the restaurant.
Our drive today took 425 miles across some of the prettiest countryside Montana and Idaho have to offer, dotted with little farming communities, fly fishing streams, silver pit mines and even a huge thunderstorm that chased us for 50 miles or so.
We joined I-90 at Caldwell, Montana, just after visiting the Calico Clay Pottery. My car has an automatic breaking system at pottery shops, so we went in, met Barb the proprietor, and Mom bought me a piece of her very interesting 3 color slip pottery as a birthday present. After a short visit, and Barb graciously offering the use of her restroom, I set the cruise control on 75 mph and headed west.
We remarked often on the lack of traffic we experienced on this entire trip. We passed about a dozen trucks an hour and cars were few and far between. This stretch of 1-90 between Caldwell and Couer d' Alene is the most beautiful countryside I have experienced on an interstate.
Couer d' Alene is a hidden gem on the border of Idaho and Washington, and our nights lodging there was a gem inside a gem! The Flamingo is a 1950's style motel, totally updated and upgraded, each of the 14 rooms decorated in a different style. Ours was #12 "Country Cottage", perfect for us with one double and one queen bed, lady sized chairs for sitting and a writing desk.
The Flamingo is immaculately clean, inexpensive, and 2 blocks from the vibrant, busy downtown section of this beautiful little city.
Dinner at Tonys on the Lake was a dining experience not to be soon forgotten, mom receiving a complimentary glass of wine because she charmed the owner, and complete with snuggies placed around our shoulders when the evening chill came up from the lake.
My appetizer was enough for 6 people and consisted of house made fresh mozzarella, figs marinated in port wine, Greek olives and roasted, marinated garlic, all drizzled in rich Italian olive oil, served with delicious house made sourdough rolls. I think this will become a staple appetizer at my house for dinner parties!
Tired from the drive, satiated with wonderful food and service, we returned to our little "Country Cottage" room, sank into our delightfully comfortable beds and enjoyed a beautiful nights sleep.