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Exploring Spokane

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Okay well that might be a misleading title. We explored a very small area while we bolted into town for an hour and a half to have lunch and take some photos in between the pile of work we had/have to do today and between two of Kevin's conference calls. But we'll make it sound really like we were walking leisurely around downtown, taking pictures, having lunch at a little French restaurant, sipping cappuccinos on the corner….okay nevermind. I already told you the truth. (On a good note, it stopped raining for most of the time we were in town!)

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We grabbed lunch at a restaurant on Main Street downtown called Santé and it was good. Window seat, cozy but airy cafe serving organic delicious food.

Around the corner from the café I spotted this amazing, um, parking structure. Really.

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We walked around the block so I could get some better photos of this place. Would you just LOOK at all that 60's Jetson's design goodness!! LOVE!! 

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(The Parkade, Spokane, 1967)

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On the corner near the Parkade we noticed a cool little map of downtown embedded into the sidewalk. Great idea!

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I think this guy's streetside marketing strategy is pretty funny, don't you?

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We drove around a bit planning to head over and check out the river but spotted this crazy ornate tower on the other side of the river and we needed to see what it was. 

"I think the King and Queen of Spokane must live there."

"French Embassy of Spokane?"

"Um…?"

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Turns out it's the Spokane County Courthouse.

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Would you get a load of the detail on that tower??

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The building was designed by 29-year old architect W. A. Ritchie and completed in 1895.

The courthouse is said to closely resemble two famous 16th century chateaux in the Loire Valley of France, the Chateau de Chambord, built in 1519 and the Chateau d'Azay Le Rideau built in 1516. Many architects through the years have commented on the masterly replica of a 16th century French Renaissance design, its fine lines of style and proportion with regard to the towers and turrets, the sculpture, iron and brickwork which excel in pattern and craftsmanship. Detailed exterior trim such as shell patterns with wreaths and festoons and decorative arches are a few of the outstanding features of its design. The beautiful center tower, now lighted at night, is a masterpiece of detail in itself. (Source, with more really interesting history of the place.)

There's quite a bit of interesting architecture in Spokane and when I have more time on some other visit, I'd love to just wander around for a few hours snapping photos of typefaces and textures. 

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Headed down to the Spokane River before heading back to the Airstream.

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There are little purple gondolas hanging over the other side of the river.

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I looked it up and it's the Spokane Falls Skyride

For a spectacular view of Spokane Falls, ride our SkyRide. Enjoy a 15 minute ride in an “all weather” enclosed cabin. Each of the 15 cabins is ADA compliant and can hold 6 passengers.

You will travel past art deco City Hall, then gradually drop down 200 feet over the Huntington Park Natural Area. From there, you will continue across the Spokane River, under the historic Monroe Street bridge and return to Riverfront Park.

I wanna do that! I also want to ride the historic Looff Carousel they have here!

Riverfront Park’s 1909 Looff Carrousel is on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of America’s most beautiful and well preserved hand-carved wooden carrousels. Our Looff Carrousel proudly features 54 horses, 1 giraffe, 1 tiger, and 2 Chinese dragon chairs and still has a brass ring to catch. 

Next time. It's really hard to be in a new place with so much work to do. Luckily, Spokane is not that far from Portland, so I'm sure we'll be passing through again. 🙂