Calling Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Home

Calling Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Home

​What it’s like living in a vacation destination.
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A what seems like a never-ending winter, too short of a summer, and all the weather oscillation extremes in between, it would come as a surprise to most people that Coeur d’Alene, Idaho is such a booming vacation destination. This “little slice of heaven,” as Barbra Walters described, is a place I like to call home. Although it has become an increasingly tourist-dependent economy, the natural scenery and cultural ambiance only emphasizes the love, coziness, and compassion that is present here in Coeur d’Alene.

Growing up, I was clueless as to how fortunate I was to live in such a remarkable town. According to the Huffington Post, Coeur d’Alene is one of the top 15 most breathtaking northwestern places to visit, and I couldn’t agree more. Attending an out-of-state college, such as Washington State University, I have encountered numerous people that seem surprised when I mention that I am from Coeur d’Alene. I get the famous questions; “Do you live on the lake?” “Are you part of the white supremacy?” “Do you live there year-round?” "Do you grow potatoes?” It’s almost comical. Not everyone lives on the lake (which is the most beautiful lake I have ever seen); I am not part of the white supremacy; I do live there year-round; and I most certainly do not grow potatoes! Honestly, for how much work I have put into become a Washington resident, Idaho is one of the most underrated states in the country.

Coeur d’Alene is still somewhere where I would choose to raise a family and continue to call home till the day I die. I have grown up repeatedly saying how bad I want to move to a city, get a great job, and get out of Idaho, but I didn’t realize how much I loved where I came from until I left.

It’s true when they say, you don’t know what you got, till it’s gone. Granted, Coeur d’Alene is probably more enjoyable during the summer months, booming with tourists and a carefree atmosphere and a lot of my peers seem to have lake cabins on Lake Coeur d’Alene and only have experienced the summer vibes when the town itself is so much more. There’re so many great places to snowboard, fish, and golf, home to the Coeur d’Alene resort, and Riders Ranch. The scenery is one you could never forget. Two of the classic Ironman races are held in Coeur d’Alene each year which just brings an abundant of citizens from all over the world who are always in awe with how friendly and beautiful the aura of Coeur d’Alene is. Downtown Coeur d’Alene is the heart of the town where you can get the best classic burgers ever at Hudson’s, which has been up and running since 1907, or get a delicious cocktail at Bardenay, America’s first restaurant distillery.

Coeur d’Alene natives will tell you how badly they wish that the growing population of Coeur d’Alene would slow down because we all seem so “selfish” and want the beauty for ourselves. Even I can see the changes that have been made to this wonderful town in only the last decade due to the population growth and demand for tourism. It is surprising that it still has such a wonderful, welcoming atmosphere.

During the summer months, I work at a little bistro in the heart of downtown Coeur d’Alene, Fine Brewed, and nothing warms my heart more than having tourists come in and that are just taken away by the beauty of this town. The nightlife on the weekends will even come as a shock to most people. Coeur d’Alene offers wide range of breweries, taphouses, and bars that have a different essence for all personalities. The food is amazing and the drinks are even better. For being such a small town with a population of 33,000, there is always something do.

I love Coeur d’Alene for all of these reasons of course, but also for so much more. This place is home because of my family and friends that have made it that way. It’s home because I can get in my car and drive around the mountains for hours and be completely content. It’s home because everyone knows everyone and everyone loves everyone. It’s home because it was designed perfectly. It’s home because even when the population grows, the vibes of the town stay the same. People move to Coeur d’Alene for a specific reason, and residents stay for that same reason. Coeur d’Alene is comfortable and the culture here is not one you could forget.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.northidahoblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Blue-Creek-Bay-Bridge-on-Lake-Coeur-dAlene-Idaho1.jpg

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Your Wait time At Theme Parks Is Not Unfair, You're Just Impatient

Your perceived wait time is always going to be longer than your actual wait time if you can't take a minute to focus on something other than yourself.

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Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios "unboxed" on June 30, 2018. My friend and I decided to brave the crowds on opening day. We got to the park around 7 AM only to find out that the park opened around 6 AM. Upon some more scrolling through multiple Disney Annual Passholder Facebook groups, we discovered that people were waiting outside the park as early as 1 AM.

We knew we'd be waiting in line for the bulk of the Toy Story Land unboxing day. There were four main lines in the new land: the line to enter the land; the line for Slinky Dog Dash, the new roller coaster; the line for Alien Spinning Saucers, the easier of the new rides in the land; Toy Story Mania, the (now old news) arcade-type ride; and the new quick-service restaurant, Woody's Lunchbox (complete with grilled cheese and "grown-up drinks").

Because we were so early, we did not have to wait in line to get into the land. We decided to ride Alien Spinning Saucers first. The posted wait time was 150 minutes, but my friend timed the line and we only waited for 50 minutes. Next, we tried to find the line for Slinky Dog Dash. After receiving conflicting answers, the runaround, and even an, "I don't know, good luck," from multiple Cast Members, we exited the land to find the beginning of the Slinky line. We were then told that there was only one line to enter the park that eventually broke off into the Slinky line. We were not about to wait to get back into the area we just left, so we got a Fastpass for Toy Story Mania that we didn't plan on using in order to be let into the land sooner. We still had to wait for our time, so we decided to get the exclusive Little Green Man alien popcorn bin—this took an entire hour. We then used our Fastpass to enter the land, found the Slinky line, and proceeded to wait for two and a half hours only for the ride to shut down due to rain. But we've come this far and rain was not about to stop us. We waited an hour, still in line and under a covered area, for the rain to stop. Then, we waited another hour and a half to get on the ride from there once it reopened (mainly because they prioritized people who missed their Fastpass time due to the rain). After that, we used the mobile order feature on the My Disney Experience app to skip part of the line at Woody's Lunchbox.

Did you know that there is actually a psychological science to waiting? In the hospitality industry, this science is the difference between "perceived wait" and "actual wait." A perceived wait is how long you feel like you are waiting, while the actual wait is, of course, the real and factual time you wait. There are eight things that affect the perceived wait time: unoccupied time feels longer than occupied time, pre-process waits feel longer than in-process waits, anxiety makes waits feel longer, uncertain waits are longer than certain waits, unexplained waits are longer than explained waits, unfair waits are longer than equitable waits, people will wait longer for more valuable service and solo waiting feels longer than group waiting.

Our perceived wait time for Alien Spinning Saucers was short because we expected it to be longer. Our wait for the popcorn seemed longer because it was unoccupied and unexplained. Our wait for the rain to stop so the ride could reopen seemed shorter because it was explained. Our wait between the ride reopening and getting on the coaster seemed longer because it felt unfair for Disney to let so many Fastpass holders through while more people waited through the rain. Our entire wait for Slinky Dog Dash seemed longer because we were not told the wait time in the beginning. Our wait for our food after placing a mobile order seemed shorter because it was an in-process wait. We also didn't mind wait long wait times for any of these experiences because they were new and we placed more value on them than other rides or restaurants at Disney. The people who arrived at 1 AM just added five hours to their perceived wait

Some non-theme park examples of this science of waiting in the hospitality industry would be waiting at a restaurant, movie theater, hotel, performance or even grocery store. When I went to see "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," the power went out in the theater right as we arrived. Not only did we have to wait for it to come back and for them to reset the projectors, I had to wait in a bit of anxiety because the power outage spooked me. It was only a 30-minute wait but felt so much longer. At the quick-service restaurant where I work, we track the time from when the guest places their order to the time they receive their food. Guests in the drive-thru will complain about 10 or more minute waits, when our screens tell us they have only been waiting four or five minutes. Their actual wait was the four or five minutes that we track because this is when they first request our service, but their perceived wait begins the moment they pull into the parking lot and join the line because this is when they begin interacting with our business. While in line, they are experiencing pre-process wait times; after placing the order, they experience in-process wait times.

Establishments in the hospitality industry do what they can to cut down on guests' wait times. For example, theme parks offer services like Disney's Fastpass or Universal's Express pass in order to cut down the time waiting in lines so guests have more time to buy food and merchandise. Stores like Target or Wal-Mart offer self-checkout to give guests that in-process wait time. Movie theaters allow you to check in and get tickets on a mobile app and some quick-service restaurants let you place mobile or online orders. So why do people still get so bent out of shape about being forced to wait?

On Toy Story Land unboxing day, I witnessed a woman make a small scene about being forced to wait to exit the new land. Cast Members were regulating the flow of traffic in and out of the land due to the large crowd and the line that was in place to enter the land. Those exiting the land needed to wait while those entering moved forward from the line. Looking from the outside of the situation as I was, this all makes sense. However, the woman I saw may have felt that her wait was unfair or unexplained. She switched between her hands on her hips and her arms crossed, communicated with her body language that she was not happy. Her face was in a nasty scowl at those entering the land and the Cast Members in the area. She kept shaking her head at those in her group and when allowed to proceed out of the land, I could tell she was making snide comments about the wait.

At work, we sometimes run a double drive-thru in which team members with iPads will take orders outside and a sequencer will direct cars so that they stay in the correct order moving toward the window. In my experience as the sequencer, I will inform the drivers which car to follow, they will acknowledge me and then still proceed to dart in front of other cars just so they make it to the window maybe a whole minute sooner. Not only is this rude, but it puts this car and the cars around them at risk of receiving the wrong food because they are now out of order. We catch these instances more often than not, but it still adds stress and makes the other guests upset. Perhaps these guests feel like their wait is also unfair or unexplained, but if they look at the situation from the outside or from the restaurant's perspective, they would understand why they need to follow the blue Toyota.

The truth of the matter is that your perceived wait time is always going to be longer than your actual wait time if you can't take a minute to focus on something other than yourself. We all want instant gratification, I get it. But in reality, we have to wait for some things. It takes time to prepare a meal. It takes time to experience a ride at a theme park that everyone else wants to go on. It takes time to ring up groceries. It takes patience to live in this world.

So next time you find yourself waiting, take a minute to remember the difference between perceived and actual wait times. Think about the eight aspects of waiting that affect your perceived wait. Do what you can to realize why you are waiting or keep yourself occupied in this wait. Don't be impatient. That's no way to live your life.

Cover Image Credit:

Aranxa Esteve

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12 freedom quotes to remind you to be proud to be an American every single day

"You're welcome." -- George Washington

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The Fourth of July is a party holiday, plain and simple.

The difference between singing along to the words "proud to be an American" and actually meaning them is major. Appreciating our freedom and country should be continuously held in high esteem, not only on days where the hotdogs and sparklers remind you to do so.

Something about sitting under exploding fireworks seems to awaken the inner patriot in most of us, though this patriotism should be just as fierce every single day of the year.

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1. "Freedom is the atmosphere in which humanity thrives. Breathe it in." --Richelle E. Goodrich

2. "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains of slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take but as for me; give me liberty or give me death!" --Patrick Henry

3. "In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed. It must be achieved." --Franklin D. Roosevelt

4. "Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed - else like a flower cut from its life- giving roots, it will wither and die." --Dwight Eisenhower

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5. "The greatest revolution in the history of man, past, present, and future, is the revolution of those determined to be free."

6. "Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide." -- Napoleon Bonaparte

7. "I am an American; free born and free bred, where I acknowledge no man as my superior, except for his own worth, or as my inferior, except for his own detriment." --Theodore Roosevelt

8. "Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth." --John F. Kennedy

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9. "America is another name for opportunity." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

10. "Intellectually, I know that America is no better than any other country. Emotionally, I know she is better than every other country." --Sinclair Lewis

11. "We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it." --William Faulkner

12. "Life without liberty is like a body without a spirit." --Kahlil Gibran


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