2 Towns, 3 Romantic days

While trying to save a draft WordPress published my rough draft Thursday night, sorry for the confusion.

I am one very lucky girl, my hubby whisked me away for a charming Valentine’s weekend! We tend to like to keep things flexible, so there were no plans and reservations only for our hotel. Apparently this isn’t wise in Spokane over Valentine’s weekend, but that just made things interesting. Have you visited Spokane on a holiday weekend?  Tell me about it! Do you live in Spokane, is it frustrating to have out-of-town visitors when you want to go out?

Friday evening:

Our two flights of No-Li Brews, some aged in Dry Fly oak barrels.
Our two flights of No-Li Brews, some aged in Dry Fly oak barrels.

We had dinner at No-Li Brewery, neighbor to Dry Fly Distillery (we have been there too!), and National Brewery of the Year 2015, on Trent Ave. It is Spokane’s oldest brewery (EST 1993) beginning life as Northern Lights Brewery (‘No-Li’) and has great beers. Have you been to No-Li?

  • My favorite: Spin Cycle Red, 5.75% ABV, 49 IBU
  • Hubby’s favorite: Copper Donkey, 8% ABV, 30 IBU
Jazz at Nodland Cellars in the Chronicle Building.
Nodland Cellars new tasting room in the Chronicle Building in downtown Spokane’s Cork District.

Nodland Cellars (and their website) made the move from Spokane Valley into the Downtown Spokane Cork District the weekend before and had live Jazz to pair with their wines. Nice new digs in the old Chronicle Building. Hubby shared a bit of his glass of Frassy, the new label for Nodland Cellars, because this lightweight had way too much beer with dinner.

Saturday morning:

3rd St Marina, Lake Coeur d'Alene on a February morning.
Our two flights of No-Li Brews, some aged in Dry Fly oak barrels.

2009 we walked in to a little beach on Lake Coeur d’Alene with a photographer and a minister to speak our vows of commitment to each other on a lovely July morning. Valentine’s weekend February 2016 seemed like a great time to revisit that beach for the first time since. Cold, windy, and trying hard to rain, it was still a beautiful place to be. Sappy as it might sound, we are more committed to each other than we were the day we married. It took a couple of stumbles to get here, but worth each step. As we walked back to the car we wondered how many other couples married on that beach, or got engaged there.  Our whole morning was devoted to spending time on that beach. As in the morning we wed ducks were our companions once again. Before leaving Idaho we went to Cabella’s where lunch was convenient and quick after visiting the aquarium and wandering through the different departments.

Panorama of Lake Coeur d'Alene from a little beach.
Our moment of sunshine on the beach on Lake Coeur d’Alene.

Saturday Afternoon:

We ‘planned’ a visit to Overbluff Cellars (their Facebook page), another winery that moved into the Cork District late last summer. A huge warehouse with room to crush and press outside and store fermenting, barreled and cased wine in the basement. There is an old loading dock in the parking lot where bands will perform during the nice spring and summer evenings. This visit, although we saw Jerry, the wine maker, we also had the opportunity to meet and visit with the team of owners. Mark, who roasts coffee under his Anvil label, will eventually have a large espresso roasting and brewing space for coffee aficionados that want to taste their coffee not hurry out with a fu-fu drink. Hey, craft wine, craft coffee, why not? It was great to put faces with names and email addresses.

The twin stacks of the Steamplant Brewery are their flight board.
Our two flights of No-Li Brews, some aged in Dry Fly oak barrels.

Saturday Evening:

Dinner was a little more complicated as all of the restaurants that came recommended were booked up. We were left with finding a spot in a bar, so we decided to try our luck at the Steamplant Brewery; a recommended spot. There were a trio ahead of us as we entered the bar, so we weren’t very hopeful. Like playing duck, duck, goose as a kid, we happened to pass a table as the occupants left and we sat down. Crazy!  We had a flight of beers with dinner; good thing we shared our wine tasting at Overbluff beforehand. There isn’t any info on ABV or IBU’s for these beers but they are pretty true to type. Have you been to the Steamplant for a meal? For the beer? What is your favorite?

  • My favorite: both the Bock (a nitro) and Scottish Ale
  • Hubby’s favorite: the Bock, Jalapeno Ale, and Huckleberry Ale (yup, fruity)

Valentine’s Day Lunch:

But the very best meal we had in Spokane was lunch on Valentine’s Day at Queen of Sheeba Ethiopian Restaurant in the Flour Mill!  If you have never had Ethiopian food, please find somewhere to experience it as it is wonderful cuisine.  Of course, we bought tea in the Kitchen Engine shop in the Flour Mill because, besides memories, that (and wine) is what we bring home with us. Have you been to the Flour Mill? Tell me about your experience with Ethiopian food, especially at Queen of Sheeba’s!

Barrister Winery (website) was our last stop, mostly to meet Tyler, the assistant winemaker since we haven’t seen him during prior visits.  We had hoped to visit the newest tasting room by the Davenport Grand Hotel, but we missed seeing it and didn’t leave enough time to return this go around. Next time we are in Spokane we will check it out. Have you been to the tasting room that opened last Fall? Tell me about it.

Well satisfied the weekend was what we hoped it would be, we turned the wheels toward Walla Walla and home. Just after dark we pulled into the garage where our kitty Dragon welcomed us with loud wailings and complaints about being left alone. Cheers!

Black and white cat sleeping beside me.
Our cat, Dragon sleeping beside me; he has it so rough.