Superb Stay At Lions Gate Manor in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho

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01Apr2015_1a_Birthday_Garden-TulipIt was a beautiful 3 days! Which made for a great birthday! Thank-You Robin for giving us this time for some quality time. And as for the Lions Gate Manor, an absolute delightful B&B in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho. They have a variety of themed rooms – Medieval Chamber, Phantom’s Lair, Persian Dream, Secret Garden, Victorian Suite, Castilian Dynasty, Roman Bath and Cozy Cottage. Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged. As we wrote in the Expedia – which I probably will not use again – questionnaire,

Describe your stay [at Lions Gate Manor]
From our arrival introduction to John and Tammy, the owners, to our departure two days later, we felt welcome and treated like royalty. Absolutely a 5-Star B&B! We stayed in the Medieval Chamber of King Henry the Eighth. The huge canopy bed was very comfortable. We did have to turn on the gas fireplace to take the chill off the room as it got down to 19 degrees at night.
The adjacent bathroom had a great shower stall and for humor the toilet paper holder was an armored knight “Sir Wipesalot”
Breakfast was included and it was superb. A fruit, muffin and yoghurt plate was delivered as you seated yourself, Water, orange juice, coffee and hot chocolate as well as milk were all available. Then a walk to the adjacent kitchen featured a hot breakfast buffet of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage links, home fries and toast. The refrigerator is available to guests for storage of cold foods. Deer wander outside through the juniper and sage landscape and are visible from the room windows. We were fortunate to be there during a full moon.
Improvements?
For me, since I have difficulty standing for very long, a shower chair would have been helpful. They may have one, as it is an ADA suite. I didn’t ask. I think also a night light in the bathroom would help, too.
What to do nearby?
Lava Hot Springs is a very small town centered around the ‘healing mineral baths’ which we enjoyed twice during our visit. We visited 2 pioneer towns, also

Enjoy these photos of our sojourn.

We do recommend Lions Gate Manor if you are planning to visit Lava Hot Springs. Superb! Let them know we recommended it to you.

We do recommend Lions Gate Manor if you are planning to visit Lava Hot Springs. Superb! Let them know we recommended it to you.

Marnie watched and walked Buddy while we were gone.

Marnie watched and walked Buddy while we were gone.

The B&B is very easy to find as it is well marked. Here is the sign to the entrance to the property.

The B&B is very easy to find as it is well marked. Here is the sign to the entrance to the property.

And as you go through the gates, you seen the manor in front of you.

And as you go through the gates, you see the manor in front of you.

One of the other rooms.

One of the other rooms.

A lounge area where you can watch movies. Each room is also equipped with a DVD, TV and Wi-Fi. Our room also had a gas fireplace.

A lounge area where you can watch movies. Each room is also equipped with a DVD, TV and Wi-Fi. Our room also had a gas fireplace.

Here is our room - the Medieval Chamber.

Here is our room – the Medieval Chamber.

Henry watches all that goes on!

Henry watches all that goes on!

Arise Sir Knight!

Arise Sir Knight!

Bob in the Lions chair.

Bob in the Lions chair.

Interesting. There is a sense of humor in this establishment.

Interesting. There is a sense of humor in this establishment.

Our guard!

Our guard!

Even a gargoyle!

Even a gargoyle!

Interesting wall light.

Interesting wall light.

One entrance to the Phantom's Lair - a secret staircase!

One entrance to the Phantom’s Lair – a secret staircase!

The staircase descends into the "under ground".

The staircase descends into the “under ground”.

Taking a bath can be exciting. See the fill water coming in from the ceiling?

Taking a bath can be exciting. See the fill water coming in from the ceiling?

But have no fear, the Phantom is usually close-by. Look sharp at the mirror.

But have no fear, the Phantom is usually close-by. Look sharp at the mirror.

The main dining room.

The main dining room.

The dining room chandelier.

The dining room chandelier.

A fruit dish is always served at breakfast.

A fruit dish is always served at breakfast.

01Apr2015_2k_Lions-Gate_Breakfast-Fruit

A really good breakfast buffet is served every morning.

A really good breakfast buffet is served every morning.

Here the breakfast is plated.

Here the breakfast is plated.

Suide trip to historic Chesterfield, Idaho. Area services are only open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Side trip to historic Chesterfield, Idaho. Area services are only open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

A historic hay rake.

A historic hay rake.

An old farmhouse that has been restored to its original form. Very typical architecture for the time period and area.

An old farmhouse that has been restored to its original form. Also know as the Jensen House. One of Robin’s co-workers ancestral house. Very typical architecture for the time period and area.

Historic mercantile shop. It is no longer functional.

Historic mercantile shop. It is no longer functional.

Typical construction form for the period.

Typical construction form for the period.

Lava Hot Springs sign. Actually high above the springs.

Lava Hot Springs sign. Actually high above the springs.

The springs at night.

The springs at night.

An Idaho mountain sunset!

An Idaho mountain sunset!

Lava Hot Springs hillside decoration.

Lava Hot Springs hillside decoration.

Looking off of the second story balcony at Lions Gate Manor.

Looking off of the second story balcony at Lions Gate Manor.

A peaceful sight.

A peaceful sight.

The deer really like the area.

The deer really like the area.

01Apr2015_2i_Lions-Gate_Deer_Better

Boise Farmers Market Fund Raiser


05Oct2014_1_Farners-Market-Dinner_Gridiron-SignYes it was! And many thanks to all of the Boise Farmers Market producers for supplying the awesome meal items and the Saint Lawrence Gridiron, at 703 W Bannock in Boise (208) 433-5598, for supplying the space, the Waite Staff and an awesome Chef! Just a super, super night!
I do believe that this was the first of dinners like this to raise funds for the Boise Farmers Market. And I do hope that they continue to do this Fund Raising Dinner next year and many years to follow. When you look at the menu and photos below, you will see the superb meal that we had. Congratulations to all who worked so hard to make this a success! Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.

The flyer for this year's event.

The flyer for this year’s event.

Delightful table center pieces added to the Fall theme.

Delightful table center pieces added to the Fall theme.

The wonderful menu!

The wonderful menu!

Butternut Agnolotti with Sage Monte

Butternut Agnolotti with Sage Beurre Monté

Fraiche Tartine open faced gougere chipotle fraiche cucumber

Fraîche Tartine
open faced gougére, chipotle fraîche and cucumber

Yellow Tomato Gazpacho heirloom tomatoes brown butter crouton

Yellow Tomato Gazpacho
heirloom tomatoes and brown butter crouton

Harvest Vegetable Salad seasonal root vegetables candied walnuts local greens

Harvest Vegetable Salad
seasonal root vegetables, candied walnuts and local greens

Short Ribs smoked and braised short ribs, Carolina grits, salt roasted carrots, braised leeks and pan jus

Short Ribs
smoked and braised short ribs, Carolina grits, salt roasted carrots, braised leeks and pan jus

Apple Galette cinnamon custard brulee with fresh grated nutmeg whipped cream

Apple Galette
cinnamon custard brûlée with fresh grated nutmeg whipped cream

Neckar Coffee added some delightful coffee to our dinner. Thank-You!

Neckar Coffee added some delightful coffee to our dinner. Thank-You!

Snake River Winery offered wines with the dinner and beer was also available from Woodland Empire Brewery.

Snake River Winery offered wines with the dinner and beer was also available from Woodland Empire Brewery.

The Check-In table

The Check-In table

The Chef for the meal and on the right owner Brian Garrett. Thank-You both for this delightful evening.

The Chef for the meal and on the right owner Brian Garrett. Thank-You both for this delightful evening.

Robin enjoys some Neckar Coffee.

Robin enjoys some Neckar Coffee.

Thank-You everyone for this event. It takes a lot of hard work to arrange this. Karen Ellis – Thank-You!

Alaska Photography by Linda Ruppel

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In November there will be what is shaping up to be an awesome Alaska Photo Exhibition by Linda Ruppel. I have seen her work and it really is great. If you are in Boise, or are visiting Boise or would like an excuse to come to Boise, then here is your chance!!!

Linda-Ruppel_Alaska-Photo-Exibition_2014

Oktoberfest At Heatherwood with Fredna

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14July2013_1b_30th-Anniv_Le-Cafe_Bob-RobinWe celebrated Oktoberfest with our dear friend Fredna Green and her daughter Jerri and Jerri’s husband Willard. Great time with all kinds of wine and beer available and some really different appetizers. Fredna is looking well for 96 years! And it was good to see and visit with Jerri and Willard again. Please enjoy these photos and remember: Left-Click to see them enlarged. Cheers!

Table Centerpiece

Table Centerpiece

Ginny, Willard, Fredna and Robin in the Lobby of Heatherwood.

Jerri and Willard Gibble, Fredna and Robin in the Lobby of Heatherwood.

Cucumber Salad - This was really very good!

Cucumber Salad – This was really very good!

Sauerbraten, Roasted Root Vegetables, Red Cabbage, Potato Cake, Onions and Brats - You could request that they leave something off of your platter. Very few people did this.

Sauerbraten, Roasted Root Vegetables, Red Cabbage, Potato Cake, Onions and Brats – You could request that they leave something off of your platter. Very few people did this.

German Pretzel with Apples - A very good dessert!

German Pretzel with Apples – A very good dessert!

Happy Birthday, Robin!

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17Sept2014_1_Robins-71st-BDay_Chandlers-FrontWhen one reaches a given year, let’s say 60 or there abouts, one really should celebrate ones birthday over several days. And one should have plenty of food and wine! I do believe that Robin had just that this year!! Happy Birthday, Honey! Let’s start the celebration on Sunday, September 14 with a dinner that Marnie and Mac made. Thanks to Sophia and Chris, too, for helping with this event. Look what we had.

Mac's 2010 Mead!

Mac’s 2010 Mead!

Some pretty good IPA.

Some pretty good IPA.

All the makings for some really good tacos. Pork, onions and tomatoes. Along with salsa and avocado.

All the makings for some really good tacos. Pork, onions and tomatoes. Along with salsa and avocado.

And add some grilled flank steak and one has a delicious taco.

And add some grilled flank steak and one has a delicious taco.

Stuffed Peppers for a side dish.

Stuffed Peppers for a side dish.

And Robin really likes Marnie's Carrot Cake. (So do the rest of us!)

And Robin really likes Marnie’s Carrot Cake. (So do the rest of us!)

Then we had to rest for a while after eating all of this. This is the Birthday Rule: When it is your time to celebrate, YOU get to choose where you want to go for dinner. Any place in town. U-Pick-It! Robin chose Chandler’s Steak House this year. Good Choice. Look at this spread, and they knew it was her Birthday! Thank-You for a great dinner. The food, The Staff and the Wine were all super!

Robin at out table studying the Wine List.

Robin at out table studying the Wine List.

We did have some great wine.

We did have some great wine.

And it went very well with our dinners.

And it went very well with our dinners.

Start with these two delicious wines. Went very well with our seafood appetizers.

Start with these two delicious wines. Went very well with our seafood appetizers.

And now some awesome dessert wines.

These two also went quite well with the appetizers.

Raw Oyster Selection

Pacific Oysters
Freshly shucked oysters on the half shell, served on shaved ice with housemade mignonette sauce.
Kumomoto, Humbolt Bay, CA
Shigoku, Willapa Bay, WA

TOWER OF TUNA Fresh ahi and hamachituna, diced and towered  with avocado, tomato, red onion, red chili,  ginger, and sesame seed vinaigrette with Asian  sesame crisps.

Tower of Tuna
Fresh ahi and hamachi tuna, diced and towered with avocado, tomato, red onion, red chili, ginger, and sesame seed vinaigrette with
Asian sesame crisps.

Now for these two awesome red wines with our entrees. Great choice!

Now for these two awesome red wines with our entrees. Great choice!

CHANDLERS CAESAR SALAD Whole crisp leaves of romaine with our classic anchovy caesar dressing and garnished with parmesan cheese  crouton and white anchovy.

Chandler’s Caesar Salad
Whole crisp leaves of romaine with our classic anchovy caesar dressing and garnished with parmesan cheese crouton and white anchovy.

American Kobe Beef Snake River Farms crosses the premiere Japanese Wagyu breed with American Black Angus to create the American Kobe beef. This richly marbled beef is considered to be America’s best grade.

American Kobe Beef
Snake River Farms crosses the premiere Japanese Wagyu breed with American Black Angus to create the American Kobe beef. This richly marbled beef is considered to be America’s best grade.

Veal Picatta  Scallopini cuts of fresh veal in a lemon, butter and caper sauce, served with broccoli  raabe and orzo with sundried tomato

Veal Picatta
Scallopini cuts of fresh veal in a lemon,
butter and caper sauce, served with broccoli
raabe and orzo with sundried tomato

An awesome dessert wine.

An awesome dessert wine.

Chocolate Volcano Cake with Grand Marnier Whipped Cream and Hot Fudge Sauce

Chocolate Volcano Cake
Grand Marnier Whipped Cream and Hot Fudge Sauce

FRESH FRUIT COBBLER  Fresh, seasonal fruit baked in a vanilla crust with house-made cinnamon ice cream

Fresh Fruit Cobbler
Fresh, seasonal fruit baked in a vanilla crust
with house-made cinnamon ice cream

So there you have it. Several awesome meals. Here’s to next year!! Cheers.

Pit-Q 2014

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06Sept2014_1g_Pit-Q_Center-Piece_1Ah yes. The Pit-Q! So what is a “Pit-Q”? The event was originally established by the Board of Directors of the Boise Valley Square and Round Dance Hall to raise operational funds for the facility. The dance floor here is probably one of the best, if not the best, in the Northwest. 8000 sq ft of floating hardwood dance floor. You can actually see the floor moving when there are a lot of dancers moving.
I am not so sure that the quality of the meal has been maintained, though. Don’t get me wrong! It was good. But we have had much better. And we were not alone in our opinion. Here is what has changed – (1) The beef is no longer cooked for 17+ hours in the pit that was designed for cooking purposes on location. The beef has been catered out and was a little bland. Not the smoked flavors that we were used to. Cooking the beef in the past, and prepping it, was Party Time for the Crew! The comment that we heard as to why they don’t cook the same way is that fruit wood was not available. I know for a fact that Williamson Fruit Ranch in Marsing, had plenty of wood they were trying to get rid of this year. (2) The slaw is a commercial mix and the dressing is ….. I don’t know, but probably straight mayo. The slaw used to be made by the ladies on the Board from scratch with their own particular dressing. (3) The beans seemed to be a mix of commercial baked beans. They tasted “canned”.
But the tomatoes were fresh and sliced. And the corn was fresh and delicious. I am not a dessert person, but what I had was OK. Sorry to see these changes have come into use. I really don’t think that they have done themselves any favors. Just my opinion, after spending several years on the Board ourselves and 30+ years involved in the activity. Here are some more photos of the evening. Left-Click any of the photos to see enlarged. Cheers!

The table centerpieces were all canned goods. Here are some pickles.

The table centerpieces, as pictured here and above, were all canned goods. Here are some pickles.

The "Square Dance American Folk Dance of Idaho" banner.

The “Square Dance The American Folk Dance of Idaho” banner.

Robin and I Called and Cued for the Spares and Pairs Club. Here is their banner. Both of these banners were hand made.

Robin and I Called and Cued for the Spares and Pairs Club. Here is their banner. Both of these banners were hand made.

Cinder MacDonald and Robin discussing and "important issue".

Cinder McDonald and Robin discussing and “important issue”.

Bill, Trenna (TJ) Chadd and Robin.

Bill, Trenna (TJ) Chadd and Robin.

Robin and CAller Joe White

Robin and Caller Joe White

Callers (L) Gary Davis and (R) Bosco Bosler. Two of "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" Callers. The third was taking photos.

Callers (L) Gary Davis and (R) Bosco Bosler. Two of “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” Callers. The third was taking photos.

Silent Auction table.

Silent Auction table.

Fresh Sliced Tomatoes Fresh Corn Slaw Shredded Beef Baked Beans This was the plated meal.

Fresh Sliced Tomatoes
Fresh Corn on the Cob
Slaw
Shredded Beef
Baked Beans
Roll and Butter

This was the plated meal.

Sun Valley Sojourn – Ice Show and Buffet

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23Aug2014_1g_Sun-Valley_Gondola_View-Sun-Valley_StormySuch a great 358 mile round trip drive to Sun Valley and the Ice Show with Meryl Davis and Charlie White performing. We were really lucky enough to meet General Manager Tim Silva. Robin talked to and showed him some old photos of when her mother worked at Sun Valley in the Roundhouse Restaurant and sang in the Duchin Room. We sat with and had dinner with screenwriter John Briley, “… an American writer best known for screenplays of biopics. He won the Academy Award For Best Original Screenplay at the 1982 Oscars for Gandhi. As well as film scripts, he has written for television and theatre, and published several novels … written works: “The first stone”, “The traitors”, “Pediatric ward”. Films written: Christopher Columbus: The Discovery, Gandhi, Cry Freedom, Children of the Damned, Marie, Molokai: The Story of Father Damien, The Medusa Touch and Tai-Pan.” [Wikipedia] What an interesting table. But first, we had to get there. Here is our sojourn through photographs. Enjoy and Left-Click any of the photos to see them enlarged. Happy Trails!

Only in Idaho can you get snow, or heavy hail, falling in August. Here in Fairfield, is the result of a storm that came though.

Only in Idaho can you get snow, or heavy hail, falling in August. Here in Fairfield, is the result of a storm that came though.


Before the ice show, we took the gondola to the Roundtable Restaurant, where Robin's mother worked in the 1930's. An awesome ride up the mountain.

Before the ice show, we took the gondola to the Roundhouse Restaurant, where Robin’s mother worked in the 1930’s. An awesome ride up the mountain.


Here we go! The people here were extremely nice to Robin and even stopped the gondola so she could easily get in. At the top, they had  a golf cart ready for her to get to the restaurant.

Here we go! The people here were extremely nice to Robin and even stopped the gondola so she could easily get in. At the top, they had a golf cart ready for her to get to the restaurant.


The ride up. Sun Valley in in the background.

The ride up. Sun Valley in in the background.


Sun Valley

Sun Valley


Robin sits at the bottom of the stairs to the Roundtable Restaurant, in the background.

Robin sits at the bottom of the stairs to the Roundhouse Restaurant, in the background. Elevation 7680 feet.


Hailey, ID from Mount baldy.

Hailey, ID from the Roundhouse.


Sun Valley from Mount Baldy

Sun Valley from the Roundhouse.


The fireplace in the restaurant.

The fireplace in the restaurant.


Robin in the restaurant.

Robin in the restaurant.


Robin checking her photos.

Robin checking her photos.


We had Mac 'N Cheese. Big dinner coming up!

We had Mac ‘N Cheese. Big dinner coming up!


Our ride down the mountain is arriving.

Our ride down the mountain is arriving.


Headed down. Nice ride.

Headed down. Nice ride.


One of the buildings at the entrance to the gondola.

One of the buildings at the entrance to the gondola. We are down.


Before we can go to Sun Valley and the Lodge, we had to make a stop at Frenchman's Gulch Winery in Ketchum.

Before we can go to Sun Valley and the Lodge, we had to make a stop at Frenchman’s Gulch Winery in Ketchum.


The lobby at the Sun Valley Hotel.

The lobby at the Sun Valley Hotel.


Robin relaxes in the lobby before the show begins. We had "Will Call" tickets.

Robin relaxes in the lobby before the show begins. We had “Will Call” tickets.


The show stars, Meryl Davis and Charlie White.

The show stars, Meryl Davis and Charlie White.


The ice stage and rink at Sun Valley.

The ice stage and rink at Sun Valley. I was asked not to photograph the show. I did not.


Part of the seating area for the ice show and the buffet.

Part of the seating area for the ice show and the buffet.


Did I mention the buffet? Here is the carving table - Lamb, Roast Beef and Turkey.

Did I mention the buffet? Here is the carving table – Lamb, Roast Beef and Turkey.


Lamb is being carved.

Lamb is being carved.


Vegetable Salad

Vegetable Salad


Cheese variety

Cheese variety


Fruit and Asparagus Salad

Fruit and Asparagus Salad


Did I mention fresh steamed Shrimp and Crab?

Did I mention fresh steamed Shrimp and Crab?


Fruit bowl

Fruit bowl


Chocolate cake

Chocolate cake


Mint and Chocolate Key Lime Tarts

Mint and Chocolate Key Lime Tarts


Robin with her dinner plated at our table. We were covered, but those down rinkside, were in the open. It rained. We were dry. They were not.

Robin with her dinner plated at our table. We were covered, but those down rinkside, were in the open. It rained. We were dry. They were not.


Robin holds a crab claw.

Robin holds a crab claw.


A plate of crab, shrimp and fruit.

A plate of crab, shrimp and fruit.


We were going to bring some home, but there was none left.

We were going to bring some home, but there was none left.

Such a great day. Long, but fun and exciting. We met some really nice people and the staff at Sun Valley went out of their way to see that Robin was comfortable and able to climb stairs, etc. Thank-You General Manager Tim Silva and your Staff. We do hope you tell them how grateful we are. The food was awesome – again – and the show was super. Until next time ……….. But wait! We still had to eat breakfast on Sunday morning. Here’s what we had.

Ronbin made her awesome Refrigerator Lox. This time she used some dill weed and it made the salmon sooooooo good.

Robin made her awesome Refrigerator Lox. This time she used some dill weed and it made the salmon sooooooo good.


Then I made a Transformed Eggs Benedict. Grilled Portabella Mushroom Cap Steamed Fresh Spinach Robin's Lox Housemade Hollandaise Sauce

Then I made a

Transformed Eggs Benedict
Grilled Portabella Mushroom Cap
Steamed Fresh Spinach
Poached Meadowlark Farms Egg
Robin’s Icebox Lox with Dill
Housemade Hollandaise Sauce

The portabella took place of the English Muffin. Added the fresh spinach and the lox. Topped with the poached egg and the Hollandaise sauce. Totally yummers!!

Portland Sojourn – Memorial For Brenda Payne McGowan

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03August2014_5c-Portland-Trip_Brenda-Memorial_Flowers-2The primary reason for us going to Portland August 1 – 4 was to attend the memorial service for Brenda. She and Robin graduated from nursing school together. They worked a while until their RN license came through and then left for the West, via Mexico City in a VW Bug. Camping gear strapped on the roof. Robin ended in San Francisco, where she also helped to start Ravenswood Winery with Joel Peterson, and Brenda went to Oregon. It was great that we could attend this Celebration of Life. Here are some photos from the event. Left-Click any of them to see the photo enlarged.

Brenda Payne McGowan

Brenda Payne McGowan

Brenda liked lilies.

Brenda liked lilies.

03August2014_5c-Portland-Trip_Brenda-Memorial_Flowers-1

Portland Sports Center where Brenda worked out.

Portland Sports Center where Brenda worked out.

03August2014_5b-Portland-Trip_Brenda-Memorial_Soccer-Ball

Harp music

Harp music

Robin

Robin

Some of the crowd. If I had to guess, I would say that there were several hundred people there.

Some of the crowd. If I had to guess, I would say that there were several hundred people there.

A full buffet line was available as was a full bar.

A full buffet line was available as was a full bar.

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