Manifest Destiny 2015

The Day We Ate Idaho

We slept in a bit before leaving our Fairfield Inn in Twin Falls, Idaho. After leaving that town, we were in the farm belt of America, passing fields and fields of what I assumed were potato crops. An Idaho license plate reads, “Scenic Idaho: Famous Potatoes.” So basically I drove through Idaho past many celebrities.

We made a pit stop in Idaho Falls, Idaho, at Reed’s Dairy, which was a must-do along our route according to the TripAdvisor community. This was an old dairy founded in the 1940s that made fresh ice cream, cheese, butter, and all sorts of bovine goodies from their fresh milk. They are apparently famous for their grilled cheese sandwiches, so we had to give them a try. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “How great could a grilled cheese sandwich be?” Trust me when I say, it’s the best grilled cheese sandwich I’ve ever had. Second is, of course, those made with love by my Grammy Judy. (Because I know you read this Grammy, I hope you enjoy your shoutout.) The butter, bread, cheese, and everything was fresh and handmade, and you could tell. Bravo, Idaho cow people. We also sampled their fresh ice cream. It was just as tasty. I was happy, after missing the opportunity to have my strawberry cheesecake ice cream at Ghirardelli, to have cherry cheesecake ice cream at Reed’s.

Outside of the dairy was a small petting zoo where you can hang out with some animals. The pigs were sleeping when we approached, but they were snuggling with each other, which was pretty cute. They also had two baby cows, which I was convinced were the poster children for cows. I’m talking bright white with perfectly irregular black spots. These were some pretty baby cows. Then of course I got to meet a celebrity look alike: the pony at the petting zoo looked exactly like Lil’ Sebastian of Parks and Recreation fame (may he rest in peace).  I know I’m the only person out there who loves that show more than anything else so I won’t make too many jokes about him, other than the fact that he is an amazing miniature horse and that everyone should love him!

We continued about two more hours down the road towards Yellowstone. As we were driving, the climate changed from a grassy plain to a piney wilderness lined with the Grand Teton mountains. Soon after, we found ourselves in Montana and in the small resort town of West Yellowstone. This area was really cute, lined with kitschy little hotels and log-cabin looking buildings. We pulled into our hotel called the Three Bear Lodge and nestled in. I loved this hotel. It was old and rustic and felt very wilderness….y. It’s late, I’ve run out of adjectives. The lodge runs on the policy of “the old white shirt,” which is a story told by the founder of the hotel (on a plaque in the lobby). He talked about how his father had an old white shirt that he wore to church, and when it got worn out, he’s wear it as a work shirt, and after it was even more worn out, they tore it apart and used it to make wash rags. Using this story for inspiration, after the majority of the hotel burnt down in a fire, the wood was recycled and used to build the furniture in the lodge. That being said, I got to sleep in a cozy little bed build using the old beams from the hotel! Pretty cool.

Our big event of the night was going to see Mary Poppins at the Playmill Theater. Grampa said that the venue was small, but I didn’t realize the extent of that statement until we saw our seats. They were level with the stage. I was standing on the same platform as the show. I literally could have kicked an actor, and almost did on accident a couple times! There was literally an instant during the show where Mary Poppins exited the stage and her skirt brushed against me and lingered on my leg! It was definitely an experience. The show was very aptly performed with great dance numbers and pretty decent singing and acting. Jane and Michael Banks however were a little bit…raw. The skies may be wide in Montana, but the child acting pool is not too deep. Overall though it was a very good show, and Mary, while not Julie Andrews (but really, who is), was quite good. The theater also had dole whip (pineapple soft serve ice cream) which is always a huge plus in my book.

Mom, Memere, and I capped off the evening by visiting some of the shops in quaint little West Yellowstone. I got a little bear carving, which I knew I wanted from the start of our wilderness exploration. We then got dinner at the Old Town Cafe, which was a quaint little local place that looked like an old fashioned saloon on the inside. The food was good, the atmosphere was cozy, and our waiter was super nice, aside from the fact that he was a Yankees fan. Proof that nobody’s perfect. Our French fries were also made from Idaho potatoes, rounding out our sampling of Idaho food. I’m impressed. Go Idaho.

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