Stage Coach Theatre has entertained audiences for 29 consecutive seasons, shining a flashlight on the human spirit in a variety of genres, including thrillers, comedies, dramedies, and comedramlers. With the 2010–11 season in full bloom, theatergoers can pick its contemporary stage-fruits and slurp up its performance-juices. Darwin in Malibu, a comedy opening October 15, features a living Charles Darwin, 120 years after he died, engaging in a spirited debate with Thomas Huxley and the Bishop of Oxford about science, God, and lesser-known benefits of flossing. For a holiday family outing, A Christmas Twist (opening November 26) stirs the story of A Christmas Carol with a comedic straw, adding a dash of Oliver Twist and Little Orphan Annie. On April 22, Always…Patsy Cline will begin regaling theater-goers with 27 of her tunes, including memorable songs like "Crazy," "Sweet Dreams," and "That Ain't My Medical Chart, Doctor Franklin."
Whitewater Pizza & Pasta?s chefs know how to build a unique pie. They first roll out a regular, sourdough, or gluten-free crust, which adds a unique personal touch to classic pizzas simply topped with pepperoni or cheese. But it's the specialty pies that really reflect the culinary team's creativity?the Maui pizza, for example, swaps out traditional sauce for a sweet chili base, creating a sweet-yet-tangy flavor profile that's matched by toppings like chicken, pineapple, red onion, and bacon. Meanwhile, the taco pie forgoes a sauce base altogether. Instead, it derives flavor from a layer of refried beans, a perfect foundation for the toppings that follow: ground beef, olives, crumbled corn chips, cheese, and a side of salsa. Other pizzas include ingredients like garlic alfredo sauce, slivered almonds, and even Thai peanut-ginger sauce.
But despite the uniqueness of its pizzas, Whitewater's pastas aren't to be overlooked. Homemade alfredo and fresh basil add an extra-layer of richness to plates of cheese tortellini, while baked penne arrives with a medley of sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and artichoke hearts. And the dining room is just as vibrant as the cuisine: a pinball machine and dart boards provide plenty of entertainment and can also settle disputes over who gets the last slice and who has to be content eating the napkins.
If one word had to describe Coeur d’Alene Cellars’ attitude toward winemaking, it would probably be "meticulous." During each stage of creation, from vineyard selection and harvest to bottling, winemakers carefully supervise and adjust conditions to suit their visions. They hand-harvest fruit from their eastern Washington vineyards only on days that fit specific temperature conditions. Between pickings, the vines are pruned for low yields that concentrate flavor and quality. And their syrah and viognier grapes are both hand-sorted the night of harvest before they’re pressed and fermented.
That process is carefully controlled as well. Syrah blends first ferment in open-top vessels, allowing for closer management of color and tannins. Only later do they age inside French and American oak barrels, like former daredevils bent on reliving their trip over Niagara Falls. Viognier blends, on the other hand, spend both fermentation and aging periods in small oak barrels.
The resulting well-balanced wines can claim myriad accolades from publications such as Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast. Their 2004 Sarah’s cuvée viognier, for instance, earned 89 points from Wine Enthusiast, which praised its "good balance" of "peach, apricot, sour lemon candy and even a bit of cinnamon." Current vintages include the 2007 Alder Ridge Vineyard syrah, whose smooth body supports flavors of berries, vanilla, and cinnamon that conclude in a lingering finish.
These and other wines are poured at Coeur d'Alene's onsite wine bar, Barrel Room No. 6. Inside, sleek red walls help create an upscale vibe. Glasses perch beneath pendant lighting on the bar or glitter on top of old wine barrels repurposed as tables. As customers sip, knowledgeable wait staff can suggest ways to bring out the wines' subtle flavors by nibbling aromatic cheese pairings or the hem of a neighbor’s freshly laundered shirt.
At the end of a day spent leading trail rides, wrangler Brad Yunek tunes up his guitar and serenades the moon and stars with the help of a fiddler and mandolin player. “I find great joy in song writing. I like to put words and notes together and make people think, smile, and cry," says Yunek. Steeped in the sounds of the strings, stables that house 40 horses, and views of the Selkirk and Cabinet mountains beyond its fields, Western Pleasure Guest Ranch is a bona fide callback to the American frontier of old.
The 1,100-acre working cattle ranch has passed through five generations; Grandpa Gil purchased the tract of land in 1940. Today, it remains true to its roots, bringing up cattle the old-fashioned way: a diet free of antibiotics, freedom to roam the pastures, and daily exercise on treadmills. At the center of the property is a log-cabin style lodge, hewn from local timber, where six guest rooms and a dining room function as a full-service bed and breakfast and guests enjoy hearty meals of pancakes and scrambled eggs. Outside the lodge, groups can enjoy the relative privacy of individual cabins, equipped with wood stoves for heat and kitchenettes for making rustic stews from fresh pine needles and roasted sap.
Although activities abound throughout the year, warmer temperatures facilitate such outdoor activities as clay-pigeon shooting, archery, and horseback trail rides (a $55 value). On the latter, ranch hands lead small groups of riders on two-hour excursions atop appaloosas as red-tailed hawks often circle overhead, hoping to catch juicy bits of gossip from the elk's exclusive tea parties.
From its bright patio that looks out onto Silver Lake, patrons enjoy fine dining at The Waterfront Grill at The Drink while gazing out over the water beneath a canopy on the floating docks. Within a casual atmosphere, guests dine on entrees with handmade sauces, hand-cut steaks, and happy hour specials. Inside, guests can lounge at the fully stocked sports bar.
Snakes slither in glass display cases, and lizards wriggle in the hands of trained handlers as they're held up in full view of a curious crowd. This is the scene as one of Repticon's presenters educates attendees on the biology, behavior, and typing speeds of exotic cold-blooded creatures at one of the year-round shows held in cities across the country. Reptile and amphibian breeders, scholars, and handlers engage audiences in lectures and demonstrations in the midst of live reptile exhibits, family activities, and displays for exotic-pet supplies. Presentations may focus on the genetics of large snake species, the specifics of exotic-pet care, and the effect that tiny hats have on the image of arachnids such as tarantulas, scorpions, and spiders.