ImageBoise, Idaho. It’s certainly not an area frequently advertised in destination brochures. And it’s not that I had ever thought anything negative about the city, frankly it has just never been on my radar. The only association I had ever had with Idaho (along with most others I am sure) is “home of the potato”. Well, I must say that it far exceeded any (or lack of) expectations I had! What a pleasant little place! Boise rings of a sweet mix of Portland, Oregon meets high desert- an oasis of green in the heart of the city with sprawling, vast and open landscapes beyond its borders- mostly conservative housing a healthy level of Mormon population with pockets of liberal, hipster and granola type folk- mild winters, plentiful sunlight and an array of outdoor activities for all ages. Could it be? Is this the “perfect” place the husband and I have spent our lives seeking?

The only actual reason we had given any thought to visiting was that a dear friend of our had recently relocated there to cohabitate with his awesome girlfriend. After spending close to a week camping in the woods, they had graciously opened up their home and welcomed us with a bed, shower and most delicious dinner. We always enjoy ourselves around good friends and good food. This time was no different. Image

Though we were on vacation, our friends were not so we spent the day cruising around this unknown place, walking the streets and taking in the sights. Our extremely artistic and talented friend Aaron had drawn us a map to downtown highlighting the best route to get there. We did a little shopping, stopped for dessert and then did a little hiking. A movie was also taken in before heading back to the house to dine at a lovely establishment thanks to Brown Betty as a most reliable mode of transportation (Aaron’s “vintage” VW van). 

Our hospitable friends are also fellow camping lovers so we all packed up and drove out. Deep in the heart of the Boise National Forest, we found a pristine spot on the Boise River. The beach was sandy and white while the water was crystal clear providing us with an idyllic, granted cold, swimming spot. It was private, it was quiet and it was beautiful. Meg brought her dog Koa, which normally I would have slightly complained about (as anyone who knows me knows I am not the biggest dog lover) but this dog is super cool and actually kind of made me like dogs a little more. He’s really not irritating and added to the humor and playfulness of the weekend. We also ate really well! Turns out camping cuisine does not have to be dull and boring at all when you have a duel stove top and dutch oven. There were even appetizers. 

ImageProbably the highlight of the weekend had to be learning to hold and shoot a gun(s) for the first time. I felt it really got me in touch with my inner badass/redneck. Aaron has been a lover of the sport for some time and came fully stocked and loaded. A .22 shotgun, a .357 revolver and a .45 1911 WWI/II era were the weapons of choice. Naturally we made sure we were in a safe area with no other humans around to get caught in the line of fire. I can also honestly say that I have a whole new level of appreciation and respect for the power these weapons contain.

It was a wonderful, fun and adventure filled weekend with good laughs and awesome company. We now have an excellent reason to revisit this newly discovered happy land and look forward to next time. Boise, ID. Who knew?