April 2011: Coeur d’Alene, ID

Since day one, my cousin has always been one of my closest friends.  Mallory Jean was born 5 months after I was.  She grew up in Montesano, WA; about an hour and a half away from Tacoma.  The highlight of every family gathering for me was when Mallory and her family arrived.  We looked nothing alike, but in pre-school she came to class with me, we dressed in matching cheerleader costumes, and everyone thought we were twins.  Growing up we would always spend a summer week at each others’ houses, making ridiculous home videos, exploring the woods near their house, roaming the streets of Tacoma, and just being goofy kids.  After high school I went on to Washington State University and she went to Grays Harbor Community College for a few years.  During my senior year of college she transferred to WSU.  Now we are both “grown-ups”, Cougar Graduates, and Mallory is getting married.  I’m very happy to be a part of her wedding day.

Being the only bridesmaid out-of-state, I pushed for details on a bridal shower / bachelorette party.  I ended up planning a good portion of the weekend along with the maid-of-honor, Julie.  As Mallory still lived in Eastern Washington, we decided to choose a destination that was nearby but would feel like a vacation.  About a 40-minute drive from Spokane, the resort town of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, piqued our interest.  I made a room reservation at the well-known Coeur d’Alene Resort, sitting pretty on the edge of Lake CDA.

Friday night we planned a bridal shower for the locals in Pullman, WA.  Afterwards we headed to see Mallory’s fiance, Jamie, play a show with his band, The Can’t Stop.  The next day, Saturday April 16th, 6 ladies journeyed from Pullman/Colfax to CDA.  We headed to a nearby nail salon and all got pedicures – which happened to be Mallory’s first experience!  Then we all dressed up and got ready to go out to dinner.  The group consisted of: Rikki (friend from Montesano), Julie (maid of honor), Amanda (sister-in-law-to-be), Bethany (Mallory’s sister), Mallory, Erica (friend from Eastern WA), and myself.

Reservations were made at the Bonsai Bistro, an Asian style restaurant.  I started with seaweed salad – and had a following of all but one of the rest of the ladies order the same!  I also ordered 2 bottles of hot sake to share around the table.  These were even more firsts for many of the girls.  Various sushi dishes were ordered and one in particular that stood out was the Kobe Roll: raw Kobe beef on top of a roll with tempura shrimp and avocado.  My cousin said it tasted like eating a burger.  Before leaving, we ordered a round of the bartender’s “specialty” shot (which was gross!) and Mallory got the obligatory blow job shot as the bride-to-be.  We headed to the Shore Lounge, in the lobby of the CDA Resort.  It was dead for a Saturday night, and they didn’t allow drinks on their self-proclaimed “largest dance floor in Coeur d’Alene”.  We headed to another bar in downtown and spent the rest of the night dancing with Mallory in her veil.

The next morning was a slow-moving day.  We eventually got up at lunch time and headed over to Tito Macaroni’s, an italian restaurant.  Mallory, Julie and I ordered Bloody Mary’s… which definitely hit the spot.  I won’t comment on the food because our appetites were queasy to begin with.  We hit the Spokane movie theaters to see Scream 4.  Then off I went to the airport to fly back home to sunny California.  Back at home, I realized I had loaded a roll of film incorrectly (and taken no pictures with it) and used another roll of film that had already been exposed – leaving creepy shadows of unknown people/places on some of the pictures.  It was quite unfortunate that I had so many issues with the film, but the overall memories were captured and the weekend was a successful celebration of my cousin’s next big step in life.

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