for Unconventional Women
for Unconventional Women
A couple of weeks before February 28th, one of my closest friends, Angeli, who I consider a sister-by-choice, called and asked if I would think about coming up to visit her in Idaho because Sarah, another friend and sister-by-choice, was flying in for a board meeting that week. The thought was that we could both arrive Wednesday, hang out that evening in Boise, drive up to Sun Valley on Thursday, and then the two of us could spend time together during the day and meet up with Sarah in the evenings after her meetings.
It’s so easy to fly from Sacramento to Boise that even though I would have just returned home from our California road trip a few days before, I couldn’t resist seeing two of my favorite people at the same time and so I booked my tickets and we made a plan. Well “plan” might be too strong a word, when you’ve known people for twenty-five years, you don’t really need a plan when you spend time together. And besides, they fully embraced the idea of a “wanderful weekends” (in case you missed my prior post on this, this is a word my sister-in-law inadvertently made up and I’ve now adopted it because I think it’s the best travel-related word ever).
Sarah, who flew in from the east coast, didn’t arrive until ten at night, so Angeli and I decided that we needed to partake of the Girl Scout Cookie and wine pairing tasting at her local wine bar. It’s a charming little place called Tastings and they have a fairly big selection of wines and small plates. We tasted sparkling wine with Savannah Smiles lemon cookies, a zinfandel with Trefoil shortbread, a malbec with Tagalongs, and an Amarone with Do-Si-Dos. All in all, it was a very satisfying experience and Angeli and I both volunteered to help the staff next year if they needed additional tasters to help decide their pairings.
On Thursday we headed up to Sun Valley and word of advice, if you are ever traveling to Sun Valley in the winter, just fly into Boise and drive up. Don’t try to fly into the Sun Valley airport, the weather there is unpredictable and the airport closes all the time. They’ll re-route you and then you’ll end up on a bus anyway so just save yourself the trouble and fly into Boise which rarely has issues and is probably one of the easiest airports to fly in and out of (and the people are super nice too).
We stopped at Sawtooth Brewery for lunch in Hailey and if you are a beer drinker, I’d recommend stopping by and checking out their brews. They have a variety of seasonal and flagship brews and I enjoyed the single hop IPA I ordered.
We cooked in on Thursday night in our AirBnB and then Friday, Sarah headed to her meetings while Angeli and I worked from the condo. It was snowing and beautiful and I loved watching the mountains blanketed in white—it made for a nice change of scenery from my own flat (beautiful but flat) farm land. We did take a break though and go for a walk in the late afternoon; I lived on the east coast for eight years and though I don’t like the cold, I’ve always loved how quiet the snow makes everything. Sound just seems softer and dampened in the snow and there’s something kind of magical in that. It didn’t hurt that despite the snow, it wasn’t actually all that cold so it was easy to enjoy the beauty of the fresh snow and the jagged mountains that surrounded us.
Later that evening we joined Sarah at the Sun Valley Lodge for drinks before dinner. I had an amazing, spicy cocktail with tequila and habanero chili—okay, I had two. I adore spicy drinks and I don’t find them on menus very often so when I do….well, Saturday morning came earlier than we would have liked.
After a nap before noon on Saturday, Angeli and I headed out for breakfast and then to a special place called Wood River Animal Shelter. You see, on Thursday night, I’d mentioned to Angeli and Sarah that we had been looking for an orange cat for a while but as they are in high demand, we hadn’t been able to find one. Then, on Friday, as part of one of her meetings, Sarah ended up touring Wood River and the first thing she saw when she walked in was a seven month old orange kitten (cue: the “aww”).
After a brief text consult with my husband that went something like this,
me: how do you feel about me bringing an orange cat home?
him: your call
me: meet Stanley, our new fur-baby!
Stanley officially became part of the Schultz-Bhachech family. Okay, it wasn’t quite that fast, Angeli and I did take a lovely walk along a snowy river while I pretended to debate the pros and cons of adopting a cat in Idaho and flying it home to California. Needless to say, he’s now quite content being a California cat and is a total love…he kind of reminds me of my kids when they were little, he likes to climb all over us and when he’s sleeping, he likes to have at least a paw touching us as if to make sure we’re still there.
Early Sunday morning had us making our way back to Boise and I flew home Sunday afternoon – it was another amazing wanderful weekend and if you like hiking and being outdoors, Idaho has so much to offer and some really spectacularly beautiful spots. It’s truly impressive the amount of space they have set aside for public use and it’s wonderful to see people actually taking advantage of that…even in two feet of new snow. Had Angeli not lived in Idaho, I think it’s safe to say I probably wouldn’t have gone out of my way to ever go there, but friends bring many blessings and amongst the thousands of things I am grateful for about Angeli, one of them is definitely introducing me to her favorite spots in the state she’s called home many years now. I know my life is better because I’ve been able to experience hiking in Hailey, white water rafting in Stanley (a small town north of Sun Valley where we’ve been a few times in the summer), and the uniqueness (and fabulous food) of the Basque block of Boise.
There’s a companion piece to this blog over on the All the Feels page of Hummingbird Charm. It’s written by Sarah, who is a social worker by profession and a thoughtful, reflective, and beautiful thinker in all she does. While I wrote about the things we did or tried or places we went, she’s written about the power of friendship and the blessings it brings. I hope you’ll pop over there to read her Hummingbird Charm debut blog (and yes, it made me cry).
About the Author: Tamsen Schultz is an avid traveler and prefers to seek out the different or unusual even when visiting some of the more tourist-heavy spots (Capuchin Monastery in Rome, anyone?). Her contemporary novels are set on the other side of the country from where she lives (which may or may not be an excuse to travel) and she’s currently writing an historical mystery set in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, which adds a new dimension to her obsession by giving her a reason to travel in both space and time.
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