Braving Boise–Part 2

IMG_3456Click on for part two, where we take in the sights of Boise, and I experience some first-ever shopping opportunities…

After a nice, late lunch we headed to a shopping center to take advantage of the big city. Birdy and I both like the DIY spirit, but I had never been to a Michaels store. Never had I ever seen such a selection of arts & crafts supplies. (They even had an entire section for Pinewood Derby Cars!)

While there were many, many temptations, I restrained myself from buying anything.IMG_3450 After all, I already had several projects in the queue with supplies already acquired. There was a particular thing I told myself I’d buy (for Birdy’s Mothers Day present) but they didn’t have it. Birdy wasn’t so fortunate, and manage to escape with only a couple things.

Next door was Cabela’s. Sure, I heard stories that it was the “Bass Shop Pro of the West,” like I knew what that meant. The point is, I had to see what the fuss was all about. Many of the prices were fair enough, but the experience made it worth while. They also had an aquarium, so we ducked in there first thing.

IMG_3459As we browsed around the store, Birdy got sucked into the ladies apparel, so I took LilPill to investigate the aroma that was wafting around. Following my nose, I ran into the “General Store” that had fudge, roasted nuts, jerky, and all manor of other savory things. I grabbed a selection of those nuts, and high-tailed it out of there.

Birdy had picked out a winter coat on clearance (it was March, after all) so we exchanged the toddler, and I kicked up the speed. I left a drool trail through the “Library of Guns” then realized that was just a taste of their selection. I resisted stocking up on reloading supplies, which were a plenty, and headed for the camping gear before meeting up with Birdy at “The Mountain” of taxidermy. We selected a few knick knacks for the kids’ reward system, IMG_3468and headed for the doors.

It was dark when we immerged, and well into the dinner rush. Consulting Google Maps’ feature on how busy a place was, we decided to skip a few restaurant choices, and settled on good ‘ol Sharis. We crashed at the hotel, with great plans for Saturday.

We tried sleeping in, and checked out around 9AM (8 our time). Sleep had been a struggle for all of us those two nights. The plan for the day was to checkout the Idaho Sportsman Show at the Expo Center, then head for home after lunch.

IMG_3479Alas, there was some miscommunication, as MANY spectators (we weren’t the only ones) showed up at 10AM, only to find the opening time was actually 11? The stream of people walking back to their cars warned us of this fact. Unfortunately, the toddler was in her stroller already and was NOT in the mood to get back in the car. We took a walk, hoping to see the ‘outdoor stuff’ but the security guard wasn’t allowed to let anyone through the gate. We walked the parking area for a few minutes, then went across the street to Fred Meyers. IMG_3484

We finally got admitted, and proceeded through the show in an orderly, counter-clockwise fashion. I excitedly recalled the shows my dad took me to as a boy, and was looking forward to that experience. We saw some campers and RVs in the wing, then tried zig-zagging our way through the exhibitor’s booths.

Unfortunately, the rows were SO packed, that there was only room for traffic between booths. Therefore, if anyone stopped to talk or look at something, it created a real traffic jam. It was very IMG_3490unpleasant, hot, & humid. Fortunately, the other wing also had some RVs & ATVs to see, and we got inspired to upgrade our devotion to the outdoors.

We skipped the big line at the fishing pond, and headed for home. LilPill fell asleep, so we skipped lunch and fuel to maximize her rest. This left us with little more than fumes by the time we hit Baker City, Oregon. Here we stopped to fuel up, and try out Big Chief’s BBQ shack. It’s a neat set of rail cars, slapped together onto a building, and there’s a neat mural inside. (The food was great, too.)IMG_3501

We did some shopping in LaGrande, then headed for Wallowa County. I had been warned of the snow, and with good reason, as several inches started piling & drifting up. Fortunately, timing was good, and we were back in-county by dark. As usual, our own bed never felt SoOoOo good!

Enjoy the pictures, and we’ll catch you next time!

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