Sunday, September 28, 2008

Teacher inservice means Amanda has to make plans again.

Sunday night is the night that I plan out our week.  And seeing that there is no school on Thursday and Friday due to teacher in-service, I am planning things to do on those days.  I've checked the weather and, yeah, it's finally cool enough to take the kids to the Bruneau sand dunes.  

On Friday, we plan to go to the Maize.  They have designed the maze around the presidential candidates.  As you enter, you are faced with the choice of going right or left.  Very clever.  They are open on Thursday and Friday beginning at noon since there is no school.  Otherwise, they open at 4:00 on weekdays.  I remember the first time I took the girl to Wagner Farms.  I didn't know they weren't open until 4:00 pm.  (They let us in anyway and we had the whole place to ourselves.  It was great.)  Now I'm always sure to check the hours of operations before I go anywhere.

Our family always looks forward to Meridian's Scarecrow Festival.  We've been for the last three or four or five years.  I can't remember.  It's always the first weekend of October and we go on Friday right after school.  There's pumpkin bowling, a really cool trampoline, rock climbing, vendors, pumpkin painting, kids crafts, and more.  Sadly enough, they're not having the Scarecrow Festival this year, rather a Harvest Festival.  It's one day only and it looks really lame.  

Speaking of scarecrows, check out the scarecrows at the Idaho Botanical Garden.  We are planning on doing this soon.  It looks really fun.

What are your plans for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Free Tater Tots at the Idaho International Film Festival

So I have to admit that I have seen Napoleon Dynamite, not once, but twice, and really liked it. I don't think I'd like to see it again, however.  Seeing "non-traditional" films is fun to do sometimes.  I remember going to the Flicks once and seeing an Italian movie with English subtitles.  It was called Il Postino.  It was such a blast.  Wayne I., if you're reading this, thank you for taking me even if it was only because you didn't have anyone else to go with.  

This weekend, The Idaho International Film Festival is having it's 6th annual film festival.  It looks really fun.  You can watch movies, meet actors, eat popcorn,  go to free workshops, and participate in after-film discussions and debates.  The event actually kicked off Thursday night with a Gala at Bardenay's  (love that place).  But there are things going on all weekend.  Check out the program guide.  Movies are showing at the Flicks, the Egyptian,  and Edwards Boise Downtown.  If any of you readers have been to this before, I would love to hear your thoughts about it.  Click here to read what the Statesman has to say about it.

Another Dumb Factoid About Myself.  This one pertains to being in Idaho and having a famous person say hi to you.  Are you ready for this factoid?  Ok...keep's coming............Matt Damon has said "hi" to me.  In person.  Outside the Egyptian Theatre.  Not kidding you.  Me.  Amanda.  Not the whole crowd.  Just me.  Here's a picture to kind-of prove it.  I have one witness and his name is John.  If you'd like to interview him about this, we can make arrangements.  

Kidding about the free tater tots (in case that wasn't obvious.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Heart Boise

Wow.  Where do I start?  I just found some really cool links that I didn't even know existed. Ya know how you start at one place on the internet and end up somewhere totally different? That's what happened to me.  

1.  Click here.
2.  Click here.
3.  Click here.
4.  Click here.
5.  Click here.

Happy searching.  Plan something fun and then do it.  (Unless life happens and you can't.)

If you're wondering about the poll--we got 16 votes total.  Nine for football and seven for performing arts.  Thank you to every one who voted.

Watch for tomorrows' post about the Idaho International Film Festival going on this weekend.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

According to my calendar, today "Autumn Begins."

In honor of the first day of autumn, (which is never capitalized, I checked) this post will be about one of my favorite things to do in the fall--going to the pumpkin patch with my kids.  We go at least twice.  It seems like we never get enough pumpkins the first time.  I also like to buy cornstalks and straw bales and decorate the front of the house.  We have a favorite place that we like to go.  Spyglass Gardens.  It's close to our house, small, and kid friendly.  The people who own it are so nice. We've been going there for the last 5 years and it's become a tradition. They have pumpkins you can pick, a little maze made from straw bales, and lots of other vegetables, corn stalks, and straw bales for sale.  Admission is free.  You are only charged for the things you buy and the pumpkins are priced according to size, not weight.  They are closed on Mondays and picking begins on September 28th.  So get in the spirit of fall and plan a trip to the pumpkin patch.   Don't forget your camera.

There are other pumpkin patches around town that are great too.  I found a great website that lists the local ones.  Go to  
Another great site is  

One more thing--I think Wagner Farms is closed.  Someone correct me if I'm wrong.  Happy Autumn everyone!  (Whoops).  

Friday, September 19, 2008

How the heck do you spell theatre, I mean theater, I mean.....anyway.

So my friend Eric made a comment to my recent post (which I really appreciate by the way) and noted that I left out the theaters in town.  He probably has theaters on his brain since he runs some really cool ones.  But he's right, what was I thinking? I love going to the theater and not just the movie kind.   

The husband and I have seen a few live stage productions at the Stage Coach Theatre and really enjoyed it.  We've never been to any other stage theaters in town only because our Stage Coach tickets were freebies given to us by a friend of ours.  But this season maybe we'll break open the pocket book and try the Knock 'em Dead dinner theatre like Eric suggested.   Sounds way fun. 

The experience of a live stage production is so fun and intimate.  And the price is not more than you'd pay at a movie theater.  Especially after you add the soda and popcorn.  And depending on where you sit of course.  Check out these upcoming shows and put a little spice up your theater-going-self.

1.  Boise Little Theater
     The Mystery of Edwin Drood.  Several dates in October.  Click here.
2.  Idaho Shakespeare Company (last show til next season)
     Greater Tuna.  Thru September 27th.  Click here.
3.  Knock 'Em Dead Productions (also have dinner theatre)
     Ragtime  Oct. 3 - Nov. 8.  Click here.
4.  Praire Dog Playhouse
     Indiana Stones and the Quest for the Holy Oil.  Sept. 26 - Nov 1st.  Click here.
5.  Stage Coach Theatre
     Dark Rituals.   Several dates in October.  Click here.
Okay.  If I've left anyone out, let me know.  But don't tell me that I left out the Boise Contemporary Theatre.  Their website is a little weird so I left them off.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Be Cool. Attend a Performing Arts Event

I love the Performing Arts and it seems like there are always great performances to be had this time of year.   I'll spare you a few minutes of your own searching and let you know what I found that is coming up for the end of September and the month of October.  All of these events were found using links from this website.  So handy, if I may say so myself.  

This list does not pretend to include everything that is going on around town, like Bronco Football games. Although there is a link for that, if you like that sort of thing.  I know the husband does and a lot of you do too.  With that said, here's what interested me.

1.  Trey McIntyre Project Premiere-- Saturday, Sept 20th at the Morrison Center 
2.  Forever Tango-- Oct 2-4 at the Morrison Center
5.  Beethoven by the Boise Philharmonic--Oct 18 at the Morrison Center
6.  BSU Orchestra Concert--Oct 19 at the Morrison Center

If there is anything that I missed that you would like to see here, please make a comment or send me an email and I'll get it on the list.  

Another Dumb Factoid About Myself--I love the Humanities so much that I wanted to major in it at Boise State.  Impossible since BSU does not offer a Humanities major.  So I dropped out and quit.  Not really.  But I was disappointed.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Art in the Park

Just a reminder that Art in the Park is beginning today and ending on Sunday at 5 p.m. I've been to this in years past and I've always really enjoyed it.  Except for the two times I have taken my kids by myself and really hated it.  I probably won't make it this year but if you go please leave a comment and tell us about your experience.

This is event is sponsored by the Boise Art Museum and is located in Julia Davis Park. Lots of vendors from all over the west bring their arts and crafts to sell.  But they aren't cheap so bring lots of money if you want to buy something.  Also, parking is a pain so I would recommend taking the free shuttle.  More details and hours of operation are on BAM's website. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Silver City

For some time now I thought it would be cool to visit the historic Silver City. Labor Day seemed like the perfect day. The husband had the day off work and the weather wasn't too hot-- so off we went.

Now this trip isn't for the faint of heart. It's a long drive and the last 10 miles or so to Silver City are horrible if you are in a vehicle. If you're riding an ATV it'd be a blast. But I can tell you it's miserable when you're sitting in the back of a van and you're sitting back there because you're nice and you let your daughter who got car sick sit up front. The dirt road was narrow and steep and bumpy and windy. We had a GPS and I was counting down the 0.1 miles until we "reached our destination." "Don't worry Mom," the girl would say, "we just have 8.3 miles to go. Don't worry Mom, we just have 8.2 miles to go." And so on and so forth.

When we got there we realized we weren't the only people with this brilliant idea to check out Silver City. There were lots of cars and lots of ATVs parked along the dirt roads. That's okay, it's not every day you get to go to a crowded ghost town. You're loving the irony aren't you?

We had a little mishap during our first five minutes. We had just gotten out of our car that's now caked with dirt and didn't know what to do or where to go. It's not like Disneyland where your every step is directed, analyzed, and marketed . So we walked up to the first building we see and this guy comes up to us and says really loud and really mean, "Can I help you?" Ahhh.

I think the scared looks on all five of our faces made him realize we weren't trespassing on purpose. He softened his voice a little and informed us that the buildings are private property and that there were two open buildings, the Idaho Hotel, and Pat's What Not Shop. He then informed us if we wanted to come back in two weeks they would have 10 buildings open for visitors. Thanks but no thanks was my thought. I'm not coming up that mountain again for a few years.

So we checked out Pat's What Not Shop and the Idaho Hotel. Not too impressive if you want my honest opinion. But we did have a great time looking at the abandoned buildings and taking pictures. I guess my favorite part of that was just feeling like I had gone back in time. Not that I'd want to do that for real or anything.

Then we spent a considerable amount of time looking for a non-existent bathroom. Finally we found an outhouse near a campsite. Then we found a trail that led to Silver City's cemetery. It was about a 5 minute hike. (Well, 5 minutes for most people, 10 minutes for us.) The cemetery is awesome. It's hard to find something this old in Idaho.

The cemetery is situated on the slope of a mountain and there's beautiful wild flowers and grasses growing every where. It was nice to see something other than cheat grass. A lot of these people buried young children and babies and it was a reminder to me of how lucky we are to live with so many modern conveniences and technologies that help keep our children safe.

Things to keep in mind if you go. Leave early enough in the morning so you're not driving home in the dark. It's about a two hour drive from Meridian. Do not attempt this trip after November 1st or before June 1st. Make sure you have a full tank of gas and your car doesn't need new brake pads. Definitely hike to the cemetery. Do not trespass on the properties marked "Private Property Keep Out." And remember that the bathrooms are outhouses and that there is no running water. Don't forget your children and your cameras. Check out their website for more info and directions. Have fun.

****Four out of four stars. It's not every day you get to go back in time.