Hayden Lake

An expert from Sixth Lit Times

Love of Idaho and Vacation Rental Authority are proud to present another story from the 6th grade literature class at Charter Academy.

The Amazing Life in Hayden Lake

By:  Sydney

   Where can you find fresh water fish and aquatic plants?  One place is in the waters of Hayden Lake, Idaho.  Many people find these things daily when they’re out fishing in this lake.

If you want to know what fish you’ll find when you’re out fishing on Hayden Lake, here are a few examples of people’s favorites.  You could catch a rainbow trout, pumpkinseed, cutthroat trout, or a bullhead catfish.  Other favorites that you can find in Hayden Lake include smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, crappie, northern pike, or yellow perch.  As you can see, you’ll most likely catch a fish that you will be proud of and find delicious.

Not only are there fish in this lake, but plants, too!  Some of the most commonly found plants are the Robbins’ pondweed, elodea, large-leaved pondweed, Eurasian water milfoil, and flat-stemmed pondweed.  Other, less commonly known plants include coontail, musk grass, northern water milfoil, slender naiad, nitella, and yellow pond lily.  More aquatic plants that live in Hayden Lake include leafy pondweed, variable leaf  ponweed, floating leaf pondweed, whitestem ponweed, clasped leaf pondweed, white water buttercup, and wild celery.

Next time you go out on Hayden Lake look for these fish and plants.  Though not everyone likes the taste of fish or these water plants we still need to look for the environment and our community.

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Silverwood’s #7 Train |An exerpt from Sixth Lit Times

Silverwood’s #7 Train

By Isaac

   Silverwood theme park has been opened since June 20, 1988. But back when Silverwood had only one attraction, the steam engine number 7.

Before Silverwood started, it was an air ship museum. Gary Norton, the owner, was at a air ship auction were they were selling a locomotive #7. As a kid he had a fascination with Disney Land and the train reminded him of it and he knew he had to have it. Surprisingly he won it from Disney.

He got the train and basically built the tracks around the museum. After two years he had lost two million $. So he decided to build a main street just like Disney Land. He even put a carnival section in that area.

Today we can go on the train. Millions of people go to Silverwood each year. Sometimes they get to go on the very first attraction that started the park.

This is a picture of the #7 train at Silverwood.Silverwood Theme Park train

How to Spend a Tasteful Day in Spokane

Admittedly, I’m an Idahoan at heart and am passionate about all Coeur d’Alene has to offer visitors.  Our neighboring city of Spokane, however, has a remarkable allure and worthy attraction all its own.  The afternoon spent there yesterday, on my first “culinary tour,” was definitely worth repeating!

foodie tour of Spokane, near Coeur d'AleneNot knowing what to expect, I figured a culinary tour would entail huge meals, over indulgence and leaving with the regret of an overly full stomach.  This couldn’t have been further from our experience with Savor Spokane, as the food stops were more like fun breaks, well-timed refreshment along our walking tour of the town.

A small group of us were lead on a sight seeing, story telling, history learning, river viewing, culinary tasting, friend making delight of an afternoon. The time passed quickly, as we walked a lovely path along the river, through town and from local restaurant to local restaurant.

Along the way we learned the significance of various art, buildings, people, events and geological structures.  Far from stuffy, it was a light-hearted, friendly environment, purposely crafted and energized at each step, by our knowledgeable guide Lesley.

Personally, I will join this tour many times more in the future, bringing local friends and sharing the experience with guests who visit from across the country.  Is there anything better?  Don’t know, I hear there’s also a wine tour….

Despite Weather CDA Holiday Parade is Packed

Looking out my Post Falls window earlier this afternoon, I was excited to see our first snowfall of the year!

My 12-year old daughter is leading the Coeur d’Alene Holiday Parade tonight, though, along with the rest of the 2013 Figpickels Board of Directors.  I hoped it wouldn’t flop due to the weather.

Luckily, everyone in town turned out.  It was festive, fun, and didn’t even feel cold. We bought hot cocoa and cookies, people watched & just generally enjoyed the holiday kick-off.  It’s Christmas time!Leading the Coeur d'Alene Holiday ParadeCoeur d'Alene Holiday Parade

Thanksgiving Vacation Rentals

Vacation Rentals for Thanksgiving

What a great idea.  I am so excited to spread the word about vacation rentals available for Thanksgiving weekend.  Renting a large home with room for the whole family is a wonderful way to enjoy a long weekend with loved ones who you just do not get to see often enough.  Image

Having a kitchen is a great feature and undeniably necessary for your Thanksgiving Feast.  Some of these kitchens rival gourmet restaurants in size and quality.  Although you may not need such a huge kitchen it would not hurt.  Even some of the smaller homes have very nice quality appliances, dishes and pots.  Come prepared with your groceries or call Vacation Rental Authority to do the shopping for you. 

The additional amenities are what takes a vacation rental over the top and makes them the best choice for Thanksgiving.  Hot tubs, soaking tubs, master suites, 5 or more bedrooms and plenty of bathrooms.  Having a fireplace is nice and having multiple rooms in which to watch TV (or not watch TV) are other great features.  Combine all this with living in a beautiful neighborhood home and your will feel “right at home” with the luxurious feel of resort living.

Shop for your vacation rentals early because they do book up quickly for the Holiday season.  Find a great rental and be ready to reserve your vacation home before its gone.  The off season does offer good prices but holidays are not the time to wait.  

Coeur d’Alene Destination Weddings

Are you planning a wedding in Coeur d’Alene?

Coeur d’Alene has become a destination city.  Our resort town is well known and in high demand for those precious summer days.  What a pleasant thing to note, Coeur d’Alene is your destination wedding opportunity.Image  If you are looking for a location to have an incredible, unforgettable event, Coeur d’Alene is the place for you.

All four seasons offer the unparalleled beauty of stunning outdoor scenery unlike anything you can find elsewhere.  Planning your event in Coeur d’Alene has become easier as local small businesses reach out to brides to be.  Red Letter Event Planning and Vacation Rental Authority offer a combined service that can provide everything brides and yes, grooms need to tie the knot.

Many venues are available throughout the year but proper planning is critical to finding the best location at the best price.  Summer is going to require booking early, a year ahead of time is a good idea.  Fall, Spring and Winter weddings can be stunning and unique for those who want wonderful prices and something fun and different.

coeur d'alene weddings

 

Vacation Rental Authority offers extraordinary homes for your wedding.  Relax in luxury while your wedding party prepares for the big day.  Enjoy jetted tubs, spas, master suites and fireplaces.  Your caterer can use the gourmet kitchens and formal dining rooms to prepare for the event and rehearsal dinners.  Family and friends can gather for dinner or relax in the theater room to get away from it all.  Sleep in beds with fine quality linens and be rested and ready for your special day.

The outdoor venues are spotless and manicured to provide room for your guests.  A full range of services and rentals are available and managed so you do not have to worry about those details.  Just set your expectations and let VRA and Red Letter Events see that it gets done.

Vacation Rental Authority private rentals are excellent, professionally cleaned and staged.  Every service you may choose is available with worry free management from Robyn at Red Letter Event Planning.  Rest comfortable in luxury in preparation for your wedding with Vacation Rental Authority and Red Letter Event Planning.

The Hayden Lake Estate-6180

The Hayden Lake Estate-6182

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jacklin Arts & Cultural Center

I recently visited the oldest building in Post Falls, a historical landmark beautifully restored.  Previously 2 church buildings, it now houses an active arts and cultural center.

Beautiful historic building in Post Falls, ID

With art shows upstairs, in lovely light, plus performing arts, musicians, cooking classes and much more, this local gem is a “must visit” for everyone in the area.

Keep an eye on our events calendar, and visit their website for upcoming performances.  This Friday is a Jazz Concert…can’t wait!

Jacklin Arts & Cultural Center

Mineral Ridge – a popular hiking destination for locals

Make Ironman CDA 2013 an Amazing Family Vacation!

Did you know…it’s not too late to come support your favorite Ironman athlete!

What’s the perfect way to turn the race into an amazing family vacation?  A vacation rental, of course!  Try a comfortable 3 bedroom, 2 bath home, convenient to town.  Keep costs reasonable by cooking meals in your own kitchen, kicking the usual hefty deposit to the curb. (No damage deposits!)This is the full N. Idaho experience, with peekaboo view of Lake Coeur d’Alene and a pretty little chicken coop in the back corner of the well maintained yard.  Even enjoy your own house cat, without the hassle.  “Meow-meow” knows when to go outside, so there’s no litter box or feeding schedule to maintain.

Includes:
VIP discount package to area attractions, boat rentals, bicycle tours, & dining
Exclusive maps of hiking trails, biking trails, atv trails & huckleberry picking locations
6 gourmet cupcakes delivered the day after Ironman
Complete guest services courtesy of Vacation Rental Authority

 

6 people maximum, please.  Although certainly roomy enough to house more than 6, the septic tank does not allow for any additional capacity.  Pricing is $2900, including all taxes and fees, for up to 7 days.  Contact Cheryl at 800-679-3661 or  loveofidaho@gmail.com to reserve!

Delightful Morning of “Books & Coffee” in Spirit Lake

Bagels, Coffee, Spirit Lake, Books
Largest Bagel in Idaho
SAM_0422
These bagels are unbelievable – homemade, chewy & flavorful.
Spirit Lake Coffee & Books Award of Excellence
Award of Excellence
coffee & books in Spirit Lake, ID
Coffee & Books Welcomes You
books & coffee in Spirit Lake
Did we mention books?

Cross Country Skiing at Mt. Spokane

A group of dear friends and I decided to give cross country skiing a try.  About 90 minutes from Coeur d’Alene, Mt. Spokane was an ideal location.  Nordic trails were labelled for every level of difficulty, well-organized with a map and lodge, plus it was not crowded.  Wahoo!

As an alpine skier in years past, I was surprised to find how much different this was.  The skis are narrower, bowed upward, and more difficult to balance on.  On the positive side, the shoes were very comfortable…especially compared to alpine ski boots!

Although we all enjoyed our lesson, and the experience, the consensus was a preference for snow shoeing. We’ll have to try it a couple more times to know for sure.  It’s worth doing, though, there’s no doubt about that!

Stay tuned for pics!!

Liberty Lake Hike

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Watch Idaho the Movie!

North Idaho Eagle

I’m excited about a new documentary about the wonders of Idaho, by someone who loves Idaho as much as I do! Can’t wait to see the full movie.

A quote I love from the trailer is “If you’re tired of Idaho, you’re tired of life. There’s always something different, something surprising…” SO TRUE! View the Trailer here: http://vimeo.com/44546590

 

Snow Baby – We Got It!!

Calling Writers & Coffee Lovers Everywhere

Writer Retreat in N. Idaho, Coeur d'AleneAs a creative-type who loves to be 72 degrees at all times, there is nothing like a cool breeze and brisk mountain air to get the creative juices flowing!  Admittedly it’s more like 50 degrees today, but with the help of some fuzzy socks, jeans, long sleeves and a hot drink, the temp is just right.

After a summer of iced coffee and cold drinks to get my caffeine fix, today is that first perfect day of fall for a steamy, milky and oh so yummy cup of hot coffee.  Maybe two.  For me it’s a classic cafe au lait (2/3 coffee +  1/3 milk), and my favorite winter boots that have me in a deliciously creative mood. Next I’ll take a stroll along the Centennial Trail, which would be perfect this afternoon!

But even better, I had the idea for a writer’s retreat, right here in the N. Idaho mountains next October. Picture it…fall colors all around, brisk breezes churning up imaginations, a warm fire dancing in the common room, and pensive writers all around, wrapped loosely in cozy blankets.  And there would be coffee…lots and lots of hot coffee!

Let the Pulitzer Prizes begin…

Part 3: What Do You Want From Me?

In our continued quest to understand each other, For the Love of Idaho introduces Part 3: What Do You Want From Me? 

Here’s what we’re asking.  Let us be your friend in North Idaho, for the inside scoop of where to stay, what to do and where to go!  Simply book a vacation home or vacation package on our full service site launching October 18, 2012 www.vacationrentalauthority.com.

As longtime lovers of Idaho, we hope to share her four seasons of beauty and fun with you soon.  Each time you visit can be the experience of a lifetime, and we’re here to help make that happen…for the love of Idaho!

Part 2: Who Knew?

Thank you for joining us as we provide insight into who we are, what we do and who knew what – when. Part 2: Who Knew?  expands upon our purpose, while providing examples of what Guest Services are really about.

Once you have a memory-making place to stay  via Vacation Rental Authority (see Part 1: What’s the Point? ), it’s time to take your vacation to the next level at no cost to you.  Our local experts answer your questions and point you to the best hiking, biking, skiing or swimming spots in the area.

Want a private boat tour of Lake Coeur d’Alene?  No problem.  Need ski passes for Schweitzer, 49 Degrees or Silver Mountain?  We have them. Bike rentals? Paddle boards? Photographer for unforgettable family photos? Done. Our contact list is long and we take care of as much (or as little) as you like.

This blog is just the tip of the iceberg – we have an infinite number of resources available for you, including our Travelers Newsletter “Love of Idaho”.

And that concludes this mini-bite into the passion, purpose and inspiration behind For the Love of Idaho.  Stay tuned for Part 3!

Part 1: What’s the Point?

Allow us to introduce ourselves, our philosophies and our purpose in bite-sized pieces!  Part 1: What’s the Point?  is the first scrumptious nibble…

Have you ever seen something so beautiful, or had an experience so joyful, you wished everyone you love could experience it too?  That’s how we feel everyday about living in North Idaho.

For the Love of Idaho is a heartfelt, 4-Season blog run by Vacation Rental Authority owner Cheryl Kerr. Her passion for the water, snow, trees, wildlife and limitless adventure has led her to market the ideal lodging and experiences available from Coeur d’Alene to Sandpoint, Post Falls to Hayden.

Kerr promises “You simply must find your way to North Idaho; see for yourself what all the fuss is about! You will find awe-inspiring views and unlimited possibilities for fun, relaxation, connection and inspiration.”

We’ve found the best way to see the sites is by tapping into the experience and knowledge of friendly locals, so that is exactly what we are in business to do.  At Vacation Rental Authority, we match you with the ideal vacation home for your stay with friends or family.  (Have business in mind?  We have management and project retreat locations that are out of this world!)

That was quick and easy, right?  Now that you know a bit more about us, stay tuned for the next installment.  Perhaps we may (or may not) get to the meat of the matter.

Hike to Chilco Peak

Chilco Mtn Hike is a Fall Adventure in North IdahoHiking to Chilco peak in the fall is an extraordinary experience. The larch trees begin to change color, their leaves fall to the ground covering the trail with a golden layer of the tiny needles. Larch trees are pine trees that lose their needles after they turn yellow in the fall. The walk on the trail, flat, level and lightly dusted with the golden needles is a beautiful sight in the cold fall air.

Chilco Mountain is located in the Coeur d’Alene National Forest just east of Coeur d’Alene Idaho.  The trailhead is accessible by about 10 miles of backcountry gravel roads, the access is fairly easy to find in good weather but inaccessible after deep snow falls. (insert forest service road number this point). Although this hike is challenging it does not require any special equipment other than quality hiking shoes and some cold weather gear.  Be prepared for the cold wind maybe some rain and for a challenging hike up hill and the quick easy decent afterwards, so dress in layered clothing.

North Idaho Fall Hike of Mt. ChilcoThe hike is a challenging two miles uphill the entire way. Once you reach the top, the trail breaks out into an open rocky windswept slope. A chill breeze usually sweeps across the exposed broken rock making the final traverse of the slope cold but exciting. The views are tremendous, looking across the valley of Coeur d’Alene and the Post Falls area.  Stop for a break in a small island shelter of trees and have a snack maybe some coffee before moving on. It’s an exciting moment to feel like your sitting on top of the world.

Although you may be reluctant to leave the beautiful views and scenery you’ll be happy to get out of the cold wind and head back down into the trees. the hike down as much faster of course as it is all downhill. 45 minutes steady walking will bring you back to the trailhead. But you don’t have to rush there is plenty of Wildlife to see so take it slow keep your eyes open.

Remembering Rough Waters on Lake CDA

Heirloom Kayak on Lake CDA - windy day in spring 2012A strong wind came up one day in early April, the sun was up and spring was here. The water temperature was still very cold but it was just what I was waiting for. I couldn’t wait to try out my new kayak in the rough waves. At least as rough as it gets here in Idaho.

I loaded up the two boats and we headed out to the lake. In no time at all we were in our boats in paddling out in the waves. We stayed close to shore we knew we weren’t experienced enough to be out there in those conditions. We had a great time splashing around trying not to tip over in the waves that crossed over the bows of our boats. Constant use of our paddles was required to keep the kayak upright and heading in the right direction.

We aimed at the high waves, driving through the one to crash down into the next. The kayaks rode the water well; the long boats would slash in the waves rising over each as the water washed over the bow. As we traversed along the beach, sideways to the waves, the boats would rise and fall with the waves supported by their secondary stability. The rounded bottom allowed the boats to remain in an upright position as we creased wave after wave.

We were soon tired from constantly having to keep ourselves stable using our paddles as quickly as we could to recover from each wave. The water was too cold on this early spring day to take any chances so we stayed close to shore and paddled to and from shore enjoying the splashing and exciting waves. Now anybody that has been in a sea kayak knows that they are very stable once you are in but they can be difficult to get in and out of while staying dry.

We paddled over to the beach having decided that we needed pictures of this great albeit tame adventure. In a moment of genius I decided to try and hand Cheryl my truck keys while still in our boats. I felt things were going well as I was able to fish my keys out of my back pocket and hold them out to Cheryl. Now remember,  constant use of our paddles was needed to maintain position and keep the boats heading into the waves.

I took a moment to grab my paddle and position my boat carefully alongside Cheryl who apparently felt she was already on shore enjoying a nice ice tea or lemonade in the summer sun. Forgetting her kayak was not an Adirondack chair she upended the kayak exposing the fine artwork along the keel.

Cheryl came up shocked from the cold water and out of breath. We were only a few feet from shore and in shallow enough water to walk out of. The fun of playing in the water quickly became a lesson in safety. We had been careful to stay close to shore and with the air temperatures well above 70 we were able to continue the fun.

I continued to hit the waves and try to surf my 18 ft sea kayak while Cheryl snapped the pictures we needed to remember that wonderful day.

Battleshots, Septemberfest, and International Talk Like a Pirate Day

The upcoming Septemberfest on Saturday Sept. 22nd at the Best Western Coeur d’Alene Inn from 2-8 will feature a similar Battleship Drinking game to the one below…but theirs will be used with beer and boards will be much bigger!!

Come down on Saturday for all you can drink for $20 and play a round of battleship!

Talking like a pirate is optional.

Originally posted on Brew Connect Idaho

Why Travelers Love Vacation Rentals

Why Vacation Rentals Infographic

Wine Tours in N. Idaho

With the evenings cooling, thoughts turn to Fall…

North Idaho Wine Tour for Fall Girls GetawaySome of my favorite memories are those spent with girlfriends catching up, dreaming and dishing over bottles of wine.  Cool evenings are ideal, and a spectacular view even better.  I recommend October or November in Coeur d’Alene, Hayden, Post Falls or Sandpoint for beautiful, brisk days and cool, wine tasting nights!

Now that the busy Summer of family activities have wound down, kids are in school and you’ve had a moment to breathe (almost), it’s time to do something for yourself, and reconnect with friends.

A girls’ getaway to North Idaho Wine Country is just what you need, but without putting in all the effort it takes to get something planned.  Let us take care of everything, at no cost to you.  Give Love of Idaho a shout for the best vacation rental homes available, a free girls’ getaway itinerary and a luxury “designated driver” for Fall 2012.  You deserve it, and so do your friends.