Hill’s Resort at Priest Lake, ID

It’s gorgeous here.

The view from cabin 108
The view from cabin 108

But the view comes at a cost. For $3,370 you can stare at this view ALLLL week long. My family (aka my parents) forked over the payment and met us at the lake as our Christmas present. It’s the same resort they took my brother and I as kids. As soon as I started having babies I was anxious to take them there as well.


And the weather was perfect, the lake was crystal clear, and we had a great time. But when it was time to re-book for next year I just shook my head at mom. The price is just too astronomical. It is the exact same price that my husband and I paid for out all-inclusive condo (food, drinks AND wedding included) in St. Lucia. For $3,370 I expect things to be perfect. There were a few imperfections:

The beach: We had our own little beach in front of our cabin, complete with a fire pit for roasting s’mores. It was about twenty steps away from our cabin, which was great. However, the staff doesn’t rake the beach regularly so our sand castles were full of little twigs and bottle caps. It wasn’t rare it find a broken piece of glass in the sand. But the main problem with the beach was the infestation of yellow jackets.


The bees. They were EVERYWHERE. After one stung our baby, my husband armed himself with a flip flop and went on a seek-and-destroy mission. He killed about twenty of them, barely making a dent. Hill’s Resort has bee traps every two feet surrounding their lodge and patio, but none on the beaches. They should put some out while raking the sand.

The cabins: On one hand, it was kinda sweet that the cabins were the same ones my family stayed in thirty years ago (GOD, I’M OLD), but maybe replacing the carpets wouldn’t be a terrible thing. Or fixing the drain in the shower, siding on the bathroom walls, replacing window screens…

This place is NOT all-inclusive. It’s simply a cabin rental. Huckleberry daiquiris are not free with the wave of a drink flag. You are lugging all your own food up, and doing all your own cooking and cleaning. There is no maid service. Naturally, I got around this as my parents did most of the cooking and cleaning and my brother mixed the drinks. But still. No maid service?


So will we be going to Priest Lake next year? Absolutely. But instead of paying $3,370 to fix our own burgers and sleep in sandy sheets, we’ll be staying next door at Luby Bay Campground.


Farmer’s Markets

When I lived in Seattle’s University District I used to go to the Farmer’s Market on 50th and Brooklyn every weekend. I didn’t buy any food because my monthly food-and-drink budget was dedicated solely to liquor. My roommates and I used to throw huge parties every month. We were the only college students who supplied several hundred of dollars of booze at our parties. We obviously rocked the party scene.

Anyways, getting back to the subject on hand, I used to go to the Farmer’s Market just as it was closing and buy a single Gerber Daisy from the vendors. They’d usually just give it to me for free. This provided a nice decoration amid the vodka bottles at the aforementioned parties.

While traveling I like to hit up Farmer’s Markets for meals. Sometimes you can even get a meal’s worth of samples if you wander around long enough. A couple of my favorites have been the Farmer’s Markets in Boise and Kansas City.

Kansas City’s go-to place is the Historic City Market. City Market has tons of events going on through the year (and week), the Farmer’s Market being the Saturday event. There is also a garage sale/swap meet type row of stalls nearby is you are in the need of some cheap knickknacks.  Produce and food prices were actually pretty good (Farmer’s Markets are usually not bargains, but KC was!) and the market is in a great location, surrounded by local shops and restaurants. Though don’t fill up at the market though – save your stomach for massive amounts of Kansas City BBQ instead. City Market is at 20 E. 5th Street, Kansas City, MO 64106. Surrounding parking is pretty easy to find. The Farmer’s Market is open March through October Saturday from 6 – 3 and Sunday from 8-3. November through February hours are 8-3. Check out their website for more information (including a guide regarding what is in season) and other events.

The Capital City Public Market in Boise, Idaho is HUGE and crowded – at least it was on the summer day I was there. I especially liked the hang-out place surrounding fountains that kids (and even some of their parents) were running through. Make sure you stop by the Ballad Cheese booth for cheese curds. They aren’t as good as Wisconsin cheese curds, but the further west you are, the harder cheese curds are to find. The Boise Farmer’s Market is at W Idaho Street and N 8th Street. Street and lot parking where pretty easy to find once you get a few blocks away from where all the action is. The Market is open Saturday’s from 9:30am – 1:30. The 2012 season started on April 21st and is expected to run through December 22nd. I don’t expect running through the fountains would be too much fun in December though. Check out their website for more information.

What is toted as Denver’s “best” Farmer’s Market opened up in the beginning of May, so I headed out to Cherry Creek to check it out. I was not expecting greatness because it was May in Colorado and my roommate’s “garden” still looks like this:

My low expectations were right on target. The entire market consisted of one produce booth. Well, two if you count this one:

The rest of the booths were things that do not depend on good weather: Cheese, bread, specialty pickles, pies, tamales, cake pops and coffee. I joined the Greek Gyro’s line (the longest line at the market) and enjoyed a decent Aegean burrito. Things are due to pick up at  Cherry Creek in the summertime. The Cheery Creek Farmer’s Market is open Saturdays from 8am until 1pm. Things got started on May 5th and will run until October. The Cherry Creek Market is located across from Whole Foods at East 1st Avenue and University Blvd. Parking is available either behind the Bed, Bath, and Beyond or (as a last resort) in the mall parking garage behind Nordstrom’s. For information on this and other Denver Farmer’s Markets, check out http://www.coloradofreshmarkets.com.