Imagine palm trees, saguaro cactus and blooming geraniums, petunias and pansies. Imagine warm pools, chirping birds and people sporting shorts, sandals and T-shirts. The skies are blue and temperatures are warm, sometimes hot. People play golf and tennis. They hike and bike. And snap up tickets to cheer the Seattle Mariners during spring training.
In the delightful Travel Channel series "Great Hotels," hostess Samantha Brown takes us on sometimes quirky tours of the nation's best places. She'd no doubt like the Willows Lodge in Woodinville, Wash. She'd run her hands over the slate tables in the guest rooms — rescued from old pool tables complete with holes from the ball pockets. She'd purr about the 120-year-old planks recycled from a demolished Port of Portland building, gush about the computer for guests to check e-mail and snuggle in the plush terry robes. She'd bark at Gus, the lodge's "guest service hound." Rescued from the pound, the aging and gentle dog spends his days stretched out in a corner of the lobby waiting for pets.
The Olympic Peninsula might be best known for its rugged coast, dense rain forests and soaring mountains, but the scenic wonder also holds more civilized charms. Of the 35 wineries located in the Puget Sound region, six stretch from Port Townsend to Port Angeles. Both cities are also home to romantic bed-and-breakfast inns. We'll stick to the scene around Port Angeles this time. Camaraderie Cellars comes highly recommended by nearby innkeepers. The winery, which produces only about 1,000 cases annually, focuses on red and white Bordeaux grape varieties. Its goal is to make full-flavored wines to complement food.
If you want to watch strange, costumed characters take a crack at flying strange, garish contraptions, this event is for you. It's called a "Flugtag" — pronounced floog-tog. That means "flying day" in German. The spectacle looks more like an excuse to party hearty and laugh. This European-bred event, launched in 1991 in Austria, is coming to Portland on July 31 as part of a three-city U.S. tour.
Thanks to two-buck-plus gas prices, that driving vacation to the Grand Canyon may not be looking so good now. But Washington's Grant County holds many grand canyons and it's only a tank of gas away. The county, named after President Ulysses S. Grant, traces its natural features back to an Ice Age flood. Some 15,000 years ago, glacial Lake Missoula covered most of western Montana until breaking its 2,000-foot-tall ice dam. The monstrous rushing waters carved out Eastern Washington's scablands and created Grand Coulee, Dry Falls and Drumheller Channels. Grand Coulee stretches out 50 miles from Grand Coulee Dam to Soap Lake, extends 2 to 5 miles wide and drops down 1,000 feet.
SOME PEOPLE EXPRESS patriotism by flying the stars and stripes. Some literally wear it on their sleeve with red, white and blue shirts. Greg Flibbert collects military memorabilia, particularly flight jackets from World War II.
DESERT CANYON GOLF COURSE ranks as one of the best golf outings in Washington state. Indeed, Golf Digest pins a 4 1/2 -star rating on the Orondo course, tying several West Side courses for the top mark in the state. (Both Indian Canyon and MeadowWood come in just a half star behind.) Today, Desert Canyon boasts the sparking new Lodge at Desert Canyon Resort, a 21-suite lodge with big-screen TVs, granite countertops, full kitchens, balconies and fireplaces.
In his new book, "After Sunday: A Theology of Work," Armand Larive argues that the work world has strong religious connections often ignored by organized religion. He blames that lack of understanding on the church's focus on Sundays and institutional needs. He'll read from that book on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Auntie's Bookstore, Main and Washington in downtown Spokane.
The Halloween trick-or-treaters got fooled. And wowed. From the street, this historic Rockwood neighborhood home looks like a sprawling mansion on spacious and attractive grounds. While the house lists a Rockwood Boulevard address, the building stretches out along Garfield. That was enough to bamboozle two young boys in costume years ago — a story which homeowners Jerry and Linda Key enjoy recounting.
A forensic pathologist and curious investigator, Dr. Janis Amatuzio marvels at death's mysteries. Once she solves the medical puzzle of a death, she calls the surviving family. Sometimes those people tell her astonishing tales that elude scientific explanation — stories of the afterlife.
A 650-pound Yorkshire pig pushes a baby carriage. A team of nine dogs dance in a conga line. A duck gulps down cottage cheese. These talented critters appeared last year on an Animal Planet cable TV show called "Pet Star." The show, an "American Idol" copycat for animals, will be at the Spokane Fair and Expo Center today to hold auditions for Inland Northwest pets.
A rural gravestone, a tree trunk with peeling bark, a door framing a waterfall — like on "Jeopardy," that's the answer. What are three of the best images in this year's competition by members of the Spokane Camera Club? That would be the question.
The brochure for Saturday's Garden Expo 2004 describes the fifth annual event as "an all-you-could want gardening buffet … cooked up by The Inland Empire Gardeners." With some 200 vendors from horticultural organizations to plant sellers, home crafters and fine artists — as well as a dozen free seminars and demonstrations — TIEG has prepared quite a stew. "A show for gardeners by gardeners," organizers say, all at Spokane Community College's Lair Auditorium.
Saturday, March 28, Spokane Arena
Women were everywhere.
Waving, whistling, dancing, screaming, clapping. Doe-eyed.
Though small in stature, Clay Walker is big in the hearts of his mostly female fans, who descended on the Arena Saturday night in packs to gaze on the 28-year-old Texan.
Country crooner Clay Walker will be wearing his trademark black hat when he performs at the Spokane Arena on Saturday along with Diamond Rio and Daryle Singletary.
The last time Walker came to town, in the summer of '95, he played at Playfair Race Course. Now he's moving up to bigger gigs, thanks to eight No. 1 singles and sales of 6 million albums.
Reba McEntire and Brooks & Dunn
Thursday, Nov. 20, at the Arena
Country superstars Reba McEntire and Brooks & Dunn put on a fantastic visual and musical feast Thursday night at the Arena.
The seamless production featured split-second timing, a center stage with numerous elevators and a turntable, fireworks and a lively light show of geometric designs.
The concert began with a bang. As music exploded, the huge white curtain, funneled around the heart of the stage, lifted while splashed with flickering lights. Reba and Brooks & Dunn descended from the ceiling on a small platform, singing and playing "Travelin' Band."
Two of the biggest names in country stop in Spokane Thursday for a concert in the round at the Arena.
Reba McEntire and Brooks & Dunn, both headliners in their own right, will share a specially designed center stage that will allow close contact with fans.
In what's billed as a hits-packed show without an intermission, the artists will hit the stage together for a few songs before performing as separate acts. The show's expected to last more than 2-1/2 hours, with Kix Brooks, Ronnie Dunn and Reba performing at the end as well.
Tuesday night, Oct. 28, at the Arena
Mark Chesnutt uncorked hit after hit during a jam-packed Arena concert Tuesday night, but the crowd didn't howl much until his band started cooking on his trademark honky tonk.
Though he opened with "Bubba Shot the Jukebox" and "Goin' Through The Big D" and got folks stirred up, Chesnutt and his fine seven-member band stood with their boots seemingly nailed to the stage for an hour.
John Michael Montgomery, the Grammy-award winning star who thrilled the crowd during a swing through Spokane last year, returns for an Arena show tonight.
Two other bright lights on the country scene - Ricochet and Kevin Sharp - open the 8 p.m. show. All three acts have scored top 10 albums and singles in the past few months.
Montgomery's been a fixture on the charts since bursting onto the scene in 1993 with three No. 10 singles. His first three albums sold more than 10 million copies, and his latest, "What I Do Best," also reached the top 10.
The release already has spawned two No. 1 singles - "Friends" and "I Miss You A Little" - plus the current rising hit, "How Was I To Know."
Tickets are $22.50, available at the door, G&B; Select-a-Seat outlets or by calling (800) 325-SEAT.