I had the best Labor Day weekend with my visiting friends! So much fun, that the whole first day I forgot to take any pictures! So, I’ll trade you, on this post, some photos for some links and I’ll have some cute photos for next time.
We played tourist both in Boise and a little closer to home and it really made me appreciate where I live again. I was also incredibly grateful that it was not too hot and not smoky for their whole visit! Not exactly something I can say for today, but that’s why we are hiding inside writing a blog post. So, ya know, lemons, lemonade, etc., etc., etc.
We went to a few little shops around Boise that I had never been to. I had to google the names of all of them to share, but one was the “VIPgamestore” (https://www.vipgamestore.com/ ) and the other two were stumble-upons we found around Capitol Blvd, on 8th street. VIPGamestore reminded me very much of the old comic book store I used to frequent when I lived in the Puget Sound, just a group of guys making a business out of what they love. They definitely weren’t hurting for customers, and while I didn’t find anything to bring home, that’s only because I wasn’t really looking for anything in particular. I am convinced however, that if I were looking for something obscure, these guys could probably point me in the right direction. If there’s a gamer in your family, especially a retro gamer, I’d say to definitely check it out.
I loved walking through the first stumble-upon, a used bookstore called “Rediscovered Books”, and we found a super cute little boardgame store too (Fantastic Games, like two doors down from the bookstore)! The bookstore (https://www.rdbooks.org/) made me want to sit for hours and scan through everything, especially the cookbooks, and I almost talked myself into buying a super cool horse puzzle, but calmer heads and a bank account that just had to make some house repairs quickly talked me out of it. My sweet friend gifted me Uno Flip from the boardgame store (https://www.fantasticgames.com/ ), in part so we could play over the weekend. I highly suggest it. My family has always been an Uno family, we have the original, the attack version, the spin version, the amped up semi-unplayable attack version (my neighbor put a little external motor on it and now it’s a public danger), and now flip. I can say attack and flip are now tied for favorite version.
Both the little stores on 8th were near the restaurant we stopped at; a place called Tupelo Honey (https://tupelohoneycafe.com/ ). I’ll be honest, it smelled delicious, wafting from the second story balcony, and I think we were all intrigued, but I made some incorrect snap judgements based on the décor. I absolutely assumed the food would be mediocre based on the very trendy styling and buzzwords the restaurant sported and I have never been so squarely put in my place by a restaurant. It was delicious! Fried chicken is never my most favorite thing ever (I know, I can’t believe it either) but I had their Fried Chicken over biscuits and gravy. I really enjoyed their friend chicken (I had the honey glaze) but absolutely dream about the biscuits and milk gravy. Yours truly will be trying to figure out a make at home option for those very soon.
After a little research, we learned that Tupelo Honey is not a Boise exclusive, however, since it doesn’t exist in their native Seattle, it will be a Boise staple when my friends come to visit for sure.
Our next stop was a cheeky little record shop called the Record Exchange (https://www.therecordexchange.com/ ), which was definitely not my personal vibe, but a very cool one, nonetheless. Much more grunge, hippie, devil-may-care than I’ve ever been, but definitely worth saying we’d seen it. I tried to find some Sinatra records for Christopher, but unfortunately it was busy enough that I wasn’t keen on hunching over boxes and boxes of vinyl. Next time maybe.
Final two stops in Boise included Freak Alley and a little place called JD’s Bodega which promised a “New York” experience. Freak Alley (https://northend.org/freak-alley/ ), for those who haven’t seen the pictures or read the articles, is a street artists exhibit, but also so much more. Under normal circumstances, every few years someone or some people will add, change, or re-imagine parts of the alley with large murals, and it’s given Boise a bit of a reputation as a place where local artists can come and paint whatever they wish in a friendly, art-filled, accepting community. It’s really fascinating to see the range of art and the statements each artist is trying to make. From the silly to the overly serious, you can really see a wide variety of stances in Freak Alley, and it was well worth the trek. It’s in the middle of town, but I admit we walked by it about five times before realizing we had to duck between two pubs. The bodega (https://www.jdsbodega.com/ ) was neat, I don’t think I’ve ever been in a little convenience store that also had basic groceries. I don’t know if my friends cared as much as I did, but I’m pleased to say I have a small idea now of what the New Yorkers in all my novels are going on about now.
Since I-84 was a disaster zone on my way to the airport, we opted to take a historic route home, and while we didn’t give ourselves enough time to stop this trip, we made plans to visit the ghost town and historic drag strip we saw next time they come to visit. There’s so much to explore in southern Idaho.
Well, I’ve rambled on for long enough, I guess our day closer to home will have to wait for the next post. We had just as much fun the second day as the first, so stay tuned for that, next time with a few photos even!
Until we chat again, my Friends!