Posts Tagged ‘Spokane’

I was already mildly delirious just from my walk past the courtyard to the elevator, so when I first opened the door to my room I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I don’t think I expected this:

Davenport Hotel bedroom

Sleepy yet?

And I sure didn’t expect this:
Davenport Hotel bathroom
Hello? That shower is bigger than my cube at the WoFfice. At least, it felt that way. Let’s just say that one could take several steps before coming near the shower spray. The ginormous bathtub is rather grand, too, no? And (because I feel that my readers need to know these things) the toilet lid floats down automatically. Or at least, it doesn’t slam down.

It’s been a long time, but I rather think my first apartment was not much larger than this bedroom. The closet light came on automatically. Of course. And the bathroom counter (which I did not photograph) emitted a soft glow from underneath so one could avoid stumbling at night.

The room had a doorbell. A doorbell. I learned this when Hanna (my roommate for the weekend) called the desk to inquire about our complimentary peanut brittle, which was unaccountably MIA. (No, I did not eat it and not tell her. Why would you think that?) To our delight, they immediately sent up a handful of samples via a nice young man who, of course, rang the aforementioned doorbell.

Soft peanut brittle

I had to do quality control on that box.

Oh yes, the peanut brittle. It is justifiably famous. Not at all like the also-yummy crispy stuff my cousin Tracy makes at holidays, this was soft yet crunchy. Much like the inside of a Butterfinger, only without the sharp layers. Christy took me to Bruttles, the candy store across the street, where I bought a 2-pound box for the WoFfice. (It was the largest they had. It was gone in 2 days.) You get it here, btw: http://bruttles.com/

While you’re at the Bruttles site, do read the story of Aunt Sophie. And order some peanut brittle, because there’s nothing else like it. I attempted to recreate it at home and it was a complete and total disaster. Not even edible. Ick. Bleah. Whatever Aunt Sophie’s secret is, it’s a good one.

It’s getting late as I type this, which leads me inevitably to longing thoughts about the Davenport bed. That’s what it’s called, the “Davenport Bed.”

The Davenport Bed

The Davenport Bed

How comfy is it? The first night I think I slept 11 hours straight. After the second night, I went downstairs to the gift shop to see if they would ship a bed to Texas. They would. For a small fee, of course, on top of the purchase price of the Davenport mattress and mattress topper, but then with that purchase one did get a discount on the Egyptian cotton bedding. I’ve bought cars for less than the total package price…but that didn’t stop me from taking a price sheet home with me. Yes, they are THAT comfortable. So far logic, prudence, and financial responsibility have prevented me from placing an order, but if I come into money, I’m calling Spokane.

One might think that was all there was to be said about a hotel. But no. In my next post, we go on safari. Stay tuned.

Read Full Post »

For months before I left for the Women of Faith event in Spokane, every time I mentioned to someone on staff that I was attending that particular event they would get a dreamy look in theirs eyes and sigh, “Oh . . . that hotel. Bring back peanut brittle.”

Ooookayy. I’m a sucker for a nice hotel myself. I revel in plush surroundings, marble bathrooms, and all the other trappings of luxury. (Mind you, I don’t get to stay in really nice hotels often, which probably adds to the mystique.) But seriously, what was the big deal?

Then I arrived at the Davenport Hotel. And suddenly, all became clear.

Davenport Hotel Courtyard

See what I mean?

Does this remind anyone else of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum or is that just me?

Seriously? This place has its own walking tour. Of. The. Hotel. Of course, I took it. Er, twice, actually. Yes, I’m nerdy that way. Here are just a few of the wonders I saw:
ceiling beams, Davenport Hotel courtyard
The beams are cast plaster and until the hotel was restored at the turn of this century all that lovely color was lost due to decades of smoke from the fireplace as well as (no doubt) many fine cigars and cigarettes. They cleaned it with soft toothbrushes (and Simple Green) and voila, the colors appeared.

Speaking of the fireplace…

Davenport Hotel fireplace

Always burning as a symbol of hospitality.

Why yes, that IS genuine gold leaf, thank you for asking.

There were people in the Elizabethan Room (the nerve!) so I couldn’t snap any pics of that, but if you’ve been to any Tudor castles, you’ve got the idea. Dark carved wood paneling, chandeliers made of 75 pounds of sterling silver (each), that kind of thing. It was the first hotel ballroom in the world to use folding panel doors to divide the space into smaller rooms.

The Isabella ballroom was being used for a wedding and the reception was in the Marie Antoinette Ballroom. Hanna (my walking tour companion) and I weren’t exactly dressed for a wedding or we would have crashed the party; they seemed to be having a marvelous time. (Of course, we peeked through the window. Wouldn’t you?)

Davenport Hotel gates

Gates to the Isabella Ballroom

But that’s OK…nobody was in the Hall of the Doges.

Davenport Hotel Hall of Doges

Sorry it's so dark.

It was like walking into a Venetian palazzo. Built in 1904 above Davenport’s restaurant, the entire thing was picked up by a crane and moved to its current location during the renovation of 2000, making it “the only flying ballroom in the world.”

All along the halls are fabulous photos of glory days of yore at the Davenport. Hanna and I spent some time studying one photo of the Marie Antoinette Ballroom’s opening night ball in 1914 and deciding who was with whom and how they felt about it.

Davenport Hotel lamp

Just the lamp by the phone in the lobby.

Davenport Hotel water fountain

Water fountain by the pool.

There’s more—I haven’t even shown you the actual bedroom yet—but I think that’s enough for now. Let’s just leave with this picture in mind:

Davenport Hotel courtyard

Sigh. Oh...that hotel.

Read Full Post »

I realize that, to anyone reading my blog, it appears that all I do is travel. I really don’t. It’s just that the times I do travel provide the best fodder for posts.

Take my recent first-time trip to Spokane, Washington. It takes a long time to get to Spokane from McKinney (and even longer to get back) but SO worth it! I actually went there for work, but as a perk I got to see my friend Christy, a transplanted Texan who now lives in Spokane.

Me & Christy

Here we are at the Spokane Imagine event

So once I got in town, checked into my hotel (Oh, the hotel. It gets its own post. Maybe more than one.), and checked my email to make sure there were no crises at the WoFfice that needed my attention, Christy and I went out on the town. Party animals that we are, that translates to ‘we went for a walk along the river.’

Spokane river

Spokane river

And rode a gondola over the falls. Christy confessed she’d never had the nerve to ride them before, but everyone before us came back safely so she risked it. I’m happy to say she lived to tell the tale.

Christy in gondola

She looks pretty calm here...

These are falls over which the gondolas went. Apparently the power company was using half the water, so they’re not up to their usual speed, as it were.

Spokane Falls

Spokane Falls

Next we rode the carousel.

Spokane carousel

Spokane carousel

I laughed when I saw the seatbelt. (Seriously? How fast can this thing go?) Um, pretty darn fast. These horses went at a gallop. I managed to grab the ring a few times but didn’t get it thrown through the hole. The fact that I thought, the first time around, that I was supposed to throw the ring at a flower bucket hanging from the ceiling may have played some part in my poor showing. That and my complete lack of physical prowess, of course.

Next we visited the trash-eating goat. You push a button, the vacuum comes on, you hold your trash by his mouth and whoosh! Down the gullet it goes.

Trash-eating goat

trash-eating goat

This is all still in the park along the river, you understand. But the coolest thing ever was this wagon:

Spokane wagon

That little blob inside there is me!

How awesome is that? It even has a slide…and it would’ve been lame to go down the stairs, so…



After wandering around some more—it’s a great park for wandering—we headed to a place called Moxie for dinner. O.M.G. Christy can recommend restaurants to me anytime. We started with this:

Prosciutto-wrapped mozzarella

Prosciutto-wrapped mozzarella

“Seared Prosciutto Wrapped Fresh Mozzarella; Tomato Carpaccio, White Truffle Vinaigrette, Fresh Basil” so it was basically cheese wrapped in bacon and what’s not to love about that?

Next I got to taste something I’d only heard about on Iron Chef: Kobe beef. It came in the form of a “Grilled Kobe Beef Burger with Truffle Butter, Blue Cheese, Grilled Portobello Mushroom, Apple Smoked Bacon, Drizzled with Demi-Glace. I wanted to cry, it was so good.

Kobe burger from Moxie

Come to mama

Christy had meatloaf–but this is not your average meatloaf, no sirree. It’s Charbroiled Chipotle Glazed Meatloaf with Sour Cream Whipped Yukon Gold Potatoes. Yum!

Moxie meatloaf

Moxie Meatloaf

After dinner we strolled back to the hotel to sit in the lobby (mercy, that lobby), watch people, and entertain ourselves in a way that deserves its own post. But not before Christy spotted a couple silhouetted in the window of a loft dancing. Waltzing or something similar. Awwwwwww. How romantic is that? She tried to take a picture of them, but was spotted by the couple, who then waved at us. (Busted!) We waved sheepishly back and went on inside.

Some time later I discovered that loft was, in fact, a dance studio. Sigh. So much for romance.

Read Full Post »