Hailey, Ketchum, Sun Valley
I had forgotten until Danni mentioned it this morning that Hailey is where Bruce Willis and Demi Moore used to live. They have apparently funneled a lot of money into the town, especially the Liberty Theater. There were no Ashton/Demi sightings today, though I did try to get tickets for Bruce’s next gig here with his band. (Not really.)
We had some kick-ass French toast with real Vermont maple syrup for breakfast, and then we took a fun fun fun bike ride on the bike trails that you can enter about 10 yards away from Danni and John’s house. The scenery is so beautiful, and it’s right outside their door. They used to live in Chicago as well, so we talked about how much nicer it is to be able to just step outside and be in a beautiful location rather than having to drive for hours in annoying traffic. Plus, whatever “mountains” Chicago has can’t hold a candle to the mountains of Idaho. Hailey, you get two thumbs up!
On the ride, we ran into Steve, a guy who also went to college with us; Danni had discovered several months ago that he lives here. And since Idaho is pretty far from New Hampshire (where our college is), it was funny and random to see him again. He’s an avid cyclist himself, and he picked a great spot to be one. Danni and John’s son and I had fun on some swings for a bit.
The T-shirt is a shout-out to Danni, John's, Steve's and my alma mater, Dartmouth College, which is known as the Big Green. Had to wear the shirt while with fellow alums!
Later in the afternoon, we drove into Ketchum and Sun Valley. The way the places are connected to each other is somewhat confusing to me, but I think it’s that Ketchum is a town (cute town) near the Sun Valley ski resort, and Sun Valley is also what people call the entire mountain valley where Ketchum and the ski resort are, but the entire mountain valley is actually officially named something else. Well, at any rate, the town, the valley, and the ski resort are all beautiful. Here are some pics of the ski lodge and the scenery near it. I didn’t snap any of the ice skating rink they have in the back yard, but apparently the rink draws big name skating stars. We watched a couple of kids skating, and both John and I were struck by how the kids’ performances, while spirited, reminded us of how difficult it must be to be a good skater. (Sorry, kids!)
A little farther north of Ketchum is an Ernest Hemingway memorial. It is adjacent to a lovely landscaped spot that has mountains in the background and a river running through it. The memorial commemorates the place where Hemingway committed suicide. I guess the general consensus about the memorial is ambivalence: some people don’t like it because they don’t want the place to be recognized for this particular bit of trivia; nor do they want lots of tourists coming to see it and take pictures. (Kind of like I did.) Others are adamant that it stay, because it is a piece of Hemingway history.
This memorial also provided the perfect place for a photo op for the whole fam damily. And a great family they are!
After a little rest on my part, during which I chatted with Natasha, who made me laugh as always, we went for Thai food in town. John suggested the Tom Kha (coconut milk soup with lemongrass and other Thai spices), and then we had a red curry and some noodles.
Good lord, that Tom Kha was kick ass. I wanted to get into the bowl, it was so good. The curry was delicious too, and the pino grigio I had was a nice addition. It was a great meal, complete with minor scuffle over the check. I had it dead to rights until John poked me in the armpit, which is one of the places I am ticklish. And then Danni wrested it away from me.
Can you believe how fortunate I am? Not only did these good friends take me in, show me a terrific time, let me do my laundry, and back up the data on my computer (thanks, John!), but then they insisted on taking me to dinner. And although I know Brazilian jiu jitsu, it was 2 and a half to one (though I think my five-year-old friend would get my back, now that I think about it. Still, 2 to 1 ½ isn’t great odds). So I let it go. But I’ll show them: When I find a place to live, they are welcome ANYTIME! So there.
It has been terrific visiting with Danni, John, and their adorable son. They have a wonderful life in Hailey, and I look forward to being able to return the hospitality they have shown me once I decide on a place to live. :)
Tomorrow it’s on to Boise. We’ll see what new adventure awaits me there!