It is hard to believe we are already at the halfway point of 2009! Boy, what a busy first half of the year. It’s nice to have the time, and luxury, to return to my back-and-forth, Phoenix to Coeur d’Alene, summer schedule.
In many ways it feels as if I am at a crossroads and at the threshold of many milestones. First, this year is the 10 year anniversary of my marriage to my wife, mother of my two youngest daughters, and biggest supporter, Heather. How she puts up with my schedule and commitment to Candelaria Design is a blessing. Her reward is spending those beautiful summer days in Coeur d’Alene. This is also the 10 year anniversary of Candelaria Design. Over the last ten years we have grown from a staff of me and my two dogs in year one, up to 24 people during the boom times and now back to a much more reasonable size of 10 – which I love. We have accomplished a great deal in this time and have designed hundreds of homes for some unbelievable people. Finally, this is the one year anniversary of our Candelaria Design Blog! Looking back at the pictures and blogs from the past year it has been a busy time and the year ahead looks equally exciting and filled with many creative opportunities.
Reflecting on all that has transpired since I typed from this very deck while overlooking the lake a year ago it is amazing what has happened. New president, new economy, new projects, and some old projects have since come back. Girls getting bigger, new dog, my wife doing triatholons, trip to Italy, British Columbia, Canada, Santa Barbara, Denver, Portland….We have some of the best houses on our boards or under construction at this time – much better situation than a year ago. Everyone’s healthy and we are truly fortunate.
Probably the biggest trend I’ve seen over this year is a focus on time with the family, the simple things, good food, and enjoying our homes. I think that is what I love most about being up here in Idaho. The girls spend time planting flowers, growing tomatoes, playing on the beach, baking cookies, hiking through the forest – not watching TV or playing video games. They are out and enjoying nature and making memories. Our summer visitors start arriving tomorrow – and we are excited to share this place with our friends, employees and family this summer.
Next weekend is the IronMan Coeur d’Alene ( www.ironmancda.com . The race starts with a 2.4 miles swim in Lake Coeur d’Alene which is about 52-54º today (http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv/?site_no=12417610 ) …..brrrrr. That is followed by a 112 mile bike ride then a full 26.2 mile marathon. I have three friends doing it next weekend – two guys and one gal all from Phoenix. I admire the commitment something like that takes. It will be real interesting to see how they prepare and recover from this event.
My idea for a quick recovery would be boat ride across the lake to Gozzer Ranch and Lake Club (www.gozzerranchclub.com). A Discovery Land Company property this is truly one of the most well done developments I have ever seen. A nice massage, a dip in the Red Barn pool (a little warmer than the lake by the way) and then maybe sipping a martini at the Jones Cabin while putting on the practice green and you have the makings of a great afternoon. If your real ambitious and the Ironman was not enough you can play a round of golf and maybe some paddleboarding down at Squaw Bay and now you are talking about my kind of IronMan.
Finally, you might cap the day off with another jaunt across the lake on a Stancraft wood boat (www.stancraftboats.com) . These works of art on water are handcrafted in nearby Post Falls, Idaho by our good friend Robb Bloem. These boats were first handcrafted in the 1930’s and now are on their third generation of family craftsmen putting their love and passion into every boat that comes out of their shop.
By this time you have to have worked up an appetite and what better place to enjoy a great dinner than Angelo’s in Coeur d’Alene (www.angelosristorante.net ). Angelo Martini Brunson opened this quaint ristorante in 2004 and we discovered it shortly thereafter. Angelo’s produce, beef, lamb and chicken all come from local farmers and the fish comes from the nearby lakes and ocean not farms. His commitment to quality and the friendly atmosphere is always a first visit when we come to town. You never know who you might sit next to from John Elway, Dennis Frantz, or Wayne Gretzky all CDA homeowners. Definitely try the Lobster Ravioli – this one is always one we share with the whole table.
Every weekend there is something happening up here, Ironman, Car – d’Alene, Farmer's Market every Saturday morning and Wednesday afternoon, the best 4th of July you could imagine, the CDA Wooden Boat Show, the Gozzer Barn Dance . . . well you get the picture. It is better than any summer you could ever imagine.