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Trip report--Boise, Idaho

Just got back from my first trip to Idaho. My sister got married in Boise, so my husband, mother and I made the trek out there from the east coast. We were instantly smitten with the area. We loved the juxtaposition of lounging in 80 degree weather with snow-capped mountains in the distance.

We initially stayed at the Comfort Inn Airport because they were offering double airline miles and because they offered an indoor pool and a comp breakfast. Well, it was awful. The rooms were worn, the bathrooms felt grungy, the smoke alarm went off at 5:30am and went off intermittently for the next hour and a half. Security was lax, as doors that demand key access to enter the hotel were propped open at all hours of day and night. We checked out after the wedding and spent the next few nights at the Shilo Inn on Broadway. VAST improvement. Great rates, lovely heated outdoor pool, nice workout room, pleasant staff, refigerator and microwave in rooms, and comp hot breakfast at the restaurant next door.

Because the bulk of the time we were accompanied by my 9-year old niece, our activities were necessarily modified. We were disappointed to not make it to the Basque museum and the Egyptian restaurant especially. However, we toured the Botanical Gardens, which were small but quite lovely, and the penitentiary, which was quite moving. We also popped into the Geological and Mineral Museum, which was on site at the penitentiary. Very modest, but free admission.

From there we went back downtown to catch the train ride tour. My niece loved it, and the adults enjoyed getting to see a bit of the town from the lovely vantage of being seated. :) After that we visited the Human Rights Memorial, where the Anne Frank statue is (we're friends with the sculptor), which was quite the sobering experience. We also went for a couple of walks along the river, which was beautiful. The weather was perfect for outdoor activities--cool in the mornings and warming to the 80s by lunchtime. Daylight lasted until nearly 9:00pm, which was a nice change from where we live.

We had three noteworthy dining experiences. Our first night we ate at The Ram, which offered a nice variety of sandwiches, typical entrees, and the like. The service was terrific, especially considering we were a party of 16 and that nearly half of us were under the age of 12. They also offered their own microbrewed beer and a full bar to help those of us who are not used to dealing with so many children. :)

Another night we ate at Andrade's, a locally owned Mexican restaurant. Great atmosphere, great good, very good value.

Our last night we took my niece to a Japanese steakhouse called Kyoto because she'd never been to one before. IT was as much fun to watch her reaction to the food preparation as it was to watch the chef. The atmosphere was lively, the food was good, and the other party seated next to us all contributed to our having a wonderful time.

We wish we could have done and seen more, but with a wedding and reception eating up an entire day, I think we packed in as much as possible without running ourselves ragged. Boise was great fun and I can't wait to go back to visit. I was very impressed with the town.

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