Tuesday, May 19, 2009

MK Nature Center, Municipal Park, and the Boise River Greenbelt

We had so much fun at Municipal Park, The MK Nature Center, and the Boise River Greenbelt.  It's a trip we make often in the spring time.  If that sounds like a lot to do, don't be overwhelmed.  It's all in one spot. You just have to do a little walking.  Having done this trip many times, here's what I recommend.  I like to park in the parking lot of Municipal Park and enter the MK Nature Center through the north entrance.   Here are the driving directions to Municipal Park.  Here's a map and driving directions to the MK Nature Center. 

Municipal Park is a beautiful 28 acre park next to the Boise River and adjacent to the MK Nature Center.  It has huge shade trees, a large grassy area, bathrooms, a shelter, a little sandbox, and a great play structure.  Dogs, however, are not allowed.  After you park in the Municipal parking lot, stroll over to the entrance to the MK Nature Center.  There's not a big sign, just look for a path and an opening in the fence.  Go ahead an walk in.  It's totally free.  Check out the underwater viewing windows along the stream walk to see the stages of the fish cycle and some really cool fresh water fish.  The education building has stuffed wildlife, a room to observe birds and other creatures outside of the building, and plenty of activities for the kids to keep their little hands busy.  We usually spend about 30 minutes at the MK Nature Center depending on the weather. 

Then we stroll over to the Boise River Greenbelt which is a step away from the Nature Center.  We usually spend another 30 minutes walking the path and exploring the river banks.  There's a few places along the banks to stop and put your feet in.  Then we head back to Municipal Park and play on the play structures before coming home.   So fun!

What to bring:  water bottles, sunscreen, stroller and /or bikes for the greenbelt, snacks.  See all links for directions, hours of operation, and more info.  My family loves this trip.****Four out of four stars.

*A word of caution.  This area is prime for school field trips.  If you are thinking about going to The MK Nature and/or Municipal Park in May, be sure to avoid the area between the peak field trip hours of 10 am to 2 pm.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Craters of the Moon

A friend of mine Alan Murray, and Brian Davidson and his family, recently took a day trip to see the Craters of the Moon. Alan and Brian are part of a team of individuals from around the world who explore cool places and then report about it on their website. Kind of like I do, but on a much grander, more professional scale. A good comparison would be National Geographic (them) meets Star magazine (me).

Anyway, check out their website Uncharted.net for lots of good information you need to know before visiting the Craters of the Moon. They talk about how to get there, what to expect, what to bring, and show you lots of cool pictures. They advise going in the spring time.

After you check out the Craters of the Moon look around their website for other neat things to see and do around our state and the whole world. I especially liked the story on the alligators in Hagerman. Real alligators in Idaho. I had no idea.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Boise Music Week Going On Right Now

Boise Music Week is going on right now at the Morrison  Center.   Talented performers from the community are putting on Brigadoon.  I've been to several musicals over the years because of Boise Music Week and it is so much fun.  The best thing about it is it's FREE.  Check out this link for more information.

And if you miss it this year, there is always next year.  (I'll try and give you more notice next time.  Sorry).

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Were you around in the 1980s?  Then I know you've heard of them.  Open Arms, Faithfully, Don't Stop Believin'.......
I was so excited to get an email from the Taco Bell Arena this morning telling me that Journey is coming to town and tickets go on sale tomorrow, Friday May 8.  I was bummed to see the date of the concert because I can't go that day, but for everyone else out there that can, here is the information.

Sunday, July 26, 2009
On Sale Friday, May 8 at 10:00 a.m.

Seattle, WA – Live Nation welcomes Journey with special guest Heart to Taco Bell Arena on Sunday, July 26 at 8:00 p.m. 

JOURNEY--Neal Schon (guitar), Jonathan Cain (keyboards), Ross Valory (bass), Deen Castronovo (drums) and new lead singer Arnel Pineda—is hitting the road to promote REVELATION, the highly anticipated three-disc CD/DVD package set for release June 3 exclusively at Wal-Mart stores in North America.

First emerging in 1976 with their debut album Dreamboat Annie, HEART eschews resting on their legendary stature and remains an active and artistically potent unit. In addition to forging Heart's indelible mark in rock'n'roll, the Wilson sisters were also pioneer female rockers whose success and influence broke down the gender barrier for women to be bandleaders and musicians.

Tickets are $47.00, $57.00 and $67.00 and go on sale Friday, May 8 at 10:00 a.m. at LiveNation.com and Idahotickets.com, all Select-A-Seat locations, Taco Bell Arena Box Office or charge by phone: (208) 426-1766. Prices include the facility fee but do not all applicable service fees.

Taco Bell Arena Administrative Office at (208) 426-1900

Journey special guest Heart
July 26, 2009 - 8:00 PM

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Shoshone Falls

Two Saturdays ago we packed the kids in the car and made the trip to Twin Falls to see the "Niagara of the West." Boy, did I wish I would have had the bit of information I'm about to pass along to you before we went. You see, we had no idea that it would be an HOUR wait in the car before we even got to see the falls.

We had no idea that thousands of other people were as interested in seeing Shoshone Falls that day as we were. Traffic was backed up bumper to bumper for two miles. After a two hour drive and sitting in a line of traffic, the kids were getting restless. I finally said, "Come on kids, we're walking the rest of the way." Of course, I didn't know how far it was to the falls, I just knew I didn't want to wait any longer. We jumped out of the car, got the stroller out of the back, and hoofed it on foot, while the husband had to wait in the line of traffic. We beat him down the road by about 25 minutes or so.

The falls were spectacular and the weather was perfect. The girl loved knowing that she had seen the best waterfall in the west. Most of the pictures are ones that she took since I had my hands full with the little ones. We had a great time and would highly recommend making the trip to see Shoshone Falls.

Things to know before you go:
Expect the trip to take all day. Take a stroller if you have young kids. There are restrooms available, but no soap. Bring your own soap or hand sanitizer. There are snacks, drinks, and souvenirs available for purchase. There is a large grassy area and picnic tables. Expect a long wait and tons of people if you are going during the peak season, April thru May. There is a park fee of 3.00 per vehicle. Dogs are permitted on leashes. Take your camera and check the weather before you go. Driving directions are pretty easy. Go to
Twin Falls and then turn left on Falls Ave and follow the signs. Have fun!

Here's a link to a video of the falls that the Idaho Statesman posted in April.

Shoshone Falls

Friday, May 1, 2009

One Benefit to the Slow Housing Market

I'm not a fan of our slow housing market or the big declines in market values.  In fact, I hate the whole mess.  But I have managed to find one benefit.  Since I was a teenager I have loved to go to the Parade of Homes.  I loved to go so much that I would go by myself.  It was free and it was fun.  I remember when they started charging admission and requiring tickets.  I was mad.  Every year I would complain about it and often couldn't afford to go or didn't have time to bother getting a ticket.  But this year the Parade of Homes is FREE.  No tickets are required.  Finally.  Something good out of all this.

It's going on now through May 10th.  Weekday hours are 5PM to 8PM, Fridays are 3PM to 8PM, and Saturday and Sunday hours are Noon to 8PM.  Reflecting the slower housing market, there are just 17 new homes on the Parade this year, but they are homes presented by many of the Valley’s best builders including Tradewinds, Tahoe Homes, The Marrs Company, Capitol Building, Brighton Homes, Crocker homes, Borup Construction (they built my home, btw), James Clyde Custom Homes, Boise Hunter Homes, Berkeley Building Company, Roth Homes, Flynner Homes, and Eric Evans Construction.
The best overall home this year was built by Tradewinds.  Check it out in Bella Terra.

There is an excellent clickable tour map online at the BCA website.  You can also click through to previews of each home.