Monday, July 11, 2011

Shopping in Boise

Sunday we all piled in Rob’s Ford F350 Super Duty – there was plenty of room for all 6 of us.  I was appointed navigator and with the help of Google navigation on my Droid we drove ALL over the city.  I’m absolutely certain we didn’t do it by the most direct routes, but we sure got to know Chinden Blvd, State St, Fairview Ave and Franklin Rd.  We started with Cabela's.  It’s HUGE and we all enjoyed spending many hours wandering all over.  I think we hit every major department.  The most fun (to me, anyway) was watching our group take over the wading gear area. We had boxes and cartons and waders and boots strewn EVERYWHERE as everyone tried on all kinds of options.  It was a hoot.  The salesman was getting into it too.  We also descended en masse at the firearms area….I’ve got my eye on something….

From Cabela's we went to Sportsman’s Warehouse.  We’ve got one in Roseville, but no one else has one so we were sure to stop in.  I got a comfy pair of Tiva’s there.  It wasn’t quite the "experience" that Cabela’s is, but it's a great store and we all got things we wanted.

At this point in our day it was too late for lunch but too early for dinner.  We were a bit hungry (we had free breakfast at the hotel) and I’d seen the Kodiak Grill on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives with Guy Fieri when I was out with my Appendicitis (why I watched Food Network 24/7 when I had no appetite I still can’t figure out) so we gave it a shot.  Here’s the clip from the show.  You can (hopefully) see why I wanted to go.  

Shall we suffice it to say the reality was FAR from this?  Nope.  Gotta tell you about our visit.  To be fair, we’ve all decided they were having an off day and we PROBABLY shouldn’t judge it from our one visit. BUT it really sucked!  It started from the time we walked in the door.  The boy (he really was just a teenager it seemed) seemed frazzled and when we said there were 6 of us he looked around the (mostly empty) dining room and said we’d have to eat outside.  We saw a big empty table but figured he had a reason to put us outside.  The weather was nice, so we said ok.  As we walked to the door to the patio we saw signs taped to both bathroom doors saying “out of order” and we asked where the alternate bathroom was.  We were told “4 miles down the road” and we were shocked.  They were serious.  It was an outhouse at a overlook at the reservoir.  Why we didn’t walk out then I don’t know.  But we didn’t.  We sat outside (there WERE some other diners inside and out) and when the waitress came we asked her what she did for a bathroom and she gave us a pained look and said “nothing.”  So we can only imagine what their life must be like.  Shortening the story somewhat we ordered and when the food came almost all of us (but not all) were disappointed.  Teresa was given the wrong burger and had to argue (explain to?) with the waitress that it truly was wrong.  My burger was the one with the sausage inside.  Yes it had a sausage, but it was about 2” long and only ½” was on one side and the other side had the remaining 1 1/2” – so NOT what it shows on the menu or on the TV show.  Sharon’s Turkey, Bacon and Avocado sandwich didn’t have ANY Avocado and only had one slice of bacon and it was only on ½ the sandwich.  The turkey appeared to be store bought thin-sliced deli turkey tossed on a grill to brown it.  The Tater-Tots that came with all the meals would have been great if they were hot, but they were barely warm - not warm enough to stand the breeze.  And of course we all weren’t thinking and ordered drinks.  Yikes.  No bathroom.  As soon as the bill was paid we piled in the truck and drove 4 miles to the bathroom at the lake.  Never were we all so happy to see a pit-toilet!  HA!
So, would I recommend the Kodiak Grill?  Nope.  Would I try it again?  Nope.  Not worth the drive.  It’s 20 minutes outside Boise.  Maybe if I were driving by, on my way out of town on Highway 21 I might stop in, but won’t go out of my way again.  Too bad.

Our next day in Boise was Tack store shopping!  The girls were thrilled.  The boys, not so much!  But they were real troopers!

We hit Flynn’s first.  Sharon and Bill stop there each year, and I can see why.  It had a great selection of new and used saddles, both Western and English.  And a nice supply of all the other things one might need or want for their horse or home.  As we were getting out of the truck I noticed an SUV with the tailgate open and 4 western show saddles piled inside.  I wondered to myself if they were possibly coming INTO the store so when I got inside I asked and lo and behold they were!  They’d just come from the Arabian Regional show in Boise and were coming back into the store.  Wow!  Bill saw one saddle right away and said “Kathy’s Show Saddle” and we all laughed.  But then he pointed to the tag and that is exactly what it said!  Truly.  It was made by "Kathy."  It was very pretty.  But it is a semi-quarter horse tree so it's too narrow. Drat.  Because it is the prettiest one I’ve seen.  And the price was high, but I might have been able to negotiate.  Ah well.  Onto the next saddle.  Actually two.

One was a special edition 1992 saddle with abalone inlay in the silver.  Hmmm.  It was very comfortable, and was very tempting because the price was ok.  But not exactly what I was looking for.
The other was a Circle Y, also Semi QH, but the price was crazy.  They looked up the info on the serial number and it, too was a semi-quarter horse tree.  Drat.  I’m going to have to re-check my info to make sure the semi-quarter horse tree won’t work.  Because if I’m wrong, and it will work then I’m passing up a number of saddles that I’d be VERY happy with.  Something to research when I’m home.  I passed on all the saddles at Flynn's.

Sharon was eyeballing a really nice trail saddle for Nazz.  She wanted to think about it though.  And Teresa was thinking about a show saddle too.  But after a couple hours at Flynn’s it was time to head across town again to meet up and have lunch with my first Fly Fishing instructor and Horsemanship Clinic friend Joy.  She owns Idaho Angler a nice fly shop in Boise.  Everyone was up for the visit and Joy had invited Terry (she had assisted Joy during the Fly Fishing Clinic at Deadwood and is an accomplished fisherwoman herself).  We shopped in the store (of course) and then went to Rooster’s Eatery for a light lunch.  The food was very good (and not just comparing to the Kodiak Grill!) and we enjoyed catching up on fishing and horse news.  We showed pictures, swapped stories, and had a good time.

We were only a few blocks away from our next stop – amazing considering how many times we ended up criss-crossing the city.  My navigation planning was actually working.  Hap Tallman’s is on Overland Rd and looks like a hole in the wall that I’d have driven right past if I didn’t know what to look for.  It didn’t have any saddles that would work for us, but they did have a decent selection of show clothing and cowboy hats.  Teresa got her hat there and I got a show shirt I’ll get to practice putting bling on.

And our trip wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a trailer store!  We had time so we drove out to Caldwell to check out some Trails West trailers.  Since we didn’t call ahead we didn’t know that they didn’t have a large selection, but it gave Ken and Rob a chance to drive off in search of a liquor store (it’s truly hard to buy liquor in Idaho – they don’t sell it in grocery stores – just beer and wine – and liquor stores are closed on Sundays) while we wandered around the lot.  It was fun to walk into the live aboard trailers.  It’s like having a truck camper attached to a horse trailer.  They’re about the same size living areas.

And wouldn't you know, when we drove to the trailer store we passed yet another tack store - of course we stopped in.  It was Idaho's Cowboy Supply and yet again there was a saddle worth considering.  The price was the best I'd seen.  I wrote down the serial number and looked it up on Circle Y's web page - another semi-QH!  Sigh.

We were done shopping.

Our evening was spent enjoying a family dinner at Bill’s sister Sally’s house.  It appeared to be a family reunion – there must have been 20+ people there.  Sharon and Bill picked up Emilie at the airport that evening so she could join us in Deadwood.  We now had 7 fun loving Californians traipsing through Idaho.  I’m sure you could hear the Idaho residents groaning from here!

BUT we did our part to help the Boise economy during our stay!  That has to count for something!

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