The Finished Product


We’re done. Well, you’re never done done. But, we put some finishing touches on the remodel and we’re ready to go public. The pictures that follow were taken over the Thanksgiving 2016 break. The entire process, for me, was particularly rewarding, given that I purchased this condo 26 years ago.

Simply Grove

vv_p4776-1Author, stylist, designer, Kirsten Grove is a hot Idaho commodity. Her work has been featured in Sunset Magazine, LA Times, Family Circle, Architectural Digest, My Domaine, Marthastewart.com, Inside Out Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, Gray Magazine, Elle Decor.com, HGTV.com, Domino.com, Apartment Therapy and Design* Sponge.

“Started in 2008 as a way to show off eye-catching design and decor from all over the world, Simply Grove has become a hang-out for like-minded creatives with a love of interiors and an appetite for design eye-candy. Kirsten has styled and designed for clients all over the world.”

She stayed in our Sun Valley pad this past January. Check out her post and her Simply Grove site: http://www.simplygrove.com/our-weekend-in-sun-valley/IMG_5066-520x693.jpg

Still the One

coverSun Valley was featured in Ski Magazine’s December 2016 article. Pick up the issue now from a newsstand nearby, or access it via my favorite magazine App, Texture.

The byline reads, “The original winter playground of the rich and famous just got a whole lot fancier. But as anyone who lives there knows, Sun Valley was already perfect.”

Check out the article:  Still the One


img_4632What a treat. We had some final things to do to make the pad feel like home, so we did the two-day trek from Sonoma (thanks again Elko for your hospitality), and spent Thanksgiving in Sun Valley. That means, opening day on the mountain. It’s a long way from skiing the Bowls or doing “T to B’s” down Warm Springs, but to our beginning set of skiers, it could have been a powder day in the Lizard Range. The 619 feet of vertical wore out my 11-year-old in four runs, although I had to drag my 1st-timer off the Kinderspielplatz (aka Magic Carpet run).

It was a bit nostalgic for me, as we geared up for a day of skiing at the condo, and made my old trek, out the sideyard, past the Tyrolean Lodge and across the Riven Run parking lot. The kids asked if we could drive, which is definitely possible, but you’re just driving around the block to the parking lot, and we’ve done the River Run march so many times now, that they didn’t even argue when I said “no.”

I imagine that if we’re here for an extended ski trip, we’ll make the walk and then check our skis and boots at the base after each day ($4 for skis and $4 for boots that they attach to boot dryers). We’ll see. We never checked in our skis in the old days.

River Run is a great base operation, with a huge lodge, a full bar, roaring fireplaces, great dining, a top-notch rental and retail shop, and ski school. Live music for après on weekends. I think it’s as good as ski-in, ski-out, but without all those obnoxious condos lining the ski slopes, taking away from the beauty of the hill.

The best news is that the kids were begging to go again the next day. Sun Valley 2016-2017 is underway. Let it snow. Let it snow.

Sun Valley Ice Show

The greatest show on ice in the summertime has to be the Sun Valley Ice Show. We were fortunate enough to time our visit with Johnny Weir headlining the event. He was clearly the star of the show, but it’s all the performances that make the show so entertaining. Set on what could be considered the most beautiful outdoor rink in the U.S., under the cloudless, spectacular Idaho sky, it is hard to imagine seeing ice skaters perform at a higher, more artistic level than this. Not to be missed, and my girls were captivated.

Sawtooth Lakes

DSC_0916Head north on Highway 75, up and over Galena Summit and back down into the Sawtooth National Forest. Along the stretch of 75 headed towards Stanley are a series of incredible high-mountain lakes. Back in the day :), I would take my yellow lab on all-day jaunts around these parts, taking in the spectacular terrain that makes up the Sawtooths. Petit, Alturas, Stanley and other smaller lakes are flanked by impressively tall and jagged rock. Everything is crisp from the sky to the air to the clear-water lakes.

We headed to the most well-known and developed of the lakes, Redfish. Redfish has a lodge on the opposite end of the Grand Mogul peak, with a restaurant and outdoor snack shack, a beach and access to several water-sports. There’s hiking and biking, of course, as well as several campsites that get snapped up the minute they become available. It’s not where you go to get away from it all, but it’s a great way to enjoy the incredible scenery and have access to indoor plumbing. Sadly, we couldn’t stay long enough for the live music, but we’ll be back.

River Run

Photo Jul 17, 4 24 39 PM.jpgI can’t emphasize enough how much I enjoy being close to River Run. We walked to this base village of Sun Valley Ski Resort pretty much every other day we’ve been here. It’s obvious why the proximity is so great in the winter, but the summer recreation opportunities are abundant as well.

River Run is the starting point for some great hiking and biking. One of my favorite hikes is heading up the Bald Mountain Trail to the Overlook. It’s a solid 1,000 feet in climb and a good workout when done in as quick a tempo as possible. At the Overlook is a plaque reading, “They want’d t’ call th’ town Leadville, but the’ govrn’mnt said there was too many already. So they settled for Ketchum and I’m right proud they did. After all, I built th’ first cabin here back in ’79…Course th’ way th’ silver’s runnin’out, might not matter what th’ town’s name is anyhow.” Can’t beat the view from the Overlook. From the River Run base is also the terrific River Run trail which is open to up and down mountain bike traffic as well.


petelanesBiking, both mountain and road, is easily accessible from River Run as the paved, multi-use Wood River Trail runs right out front. So, we headed to Pete Lanes at the base of River Run, rented bikes (and did some shopping – there’s no better time to buy ski stuff than in the summer – can you say 50% off?). The Wood River Trail connects to the Sun Valley Trail (Elkhorn/Ketchum Loop), or continues on for 20 miles all the way down to Bellevue. We headed towards Hailey as far as we thought the girls could handle and turned back. The paved, private, safe trail is unmatched.

bike_path1 petelanes2


The gondola runs from the base of River Run to the Roundhouse Lodge (serving guests a delicious lunch since 1939). We took it just for that, but many folks take it to the Roundhouse to begin their hike or mountain-bike the top of the mountain. The Christmas Chair runs during the summer as well, so anyone can get to the top of the mountain.


Riverparagliding.jpg Run is also where you touch down if you’re brave enough to paraglide from the top of Baldy. Not me for sure, but my 8-year-old begged to go, and the Fly Sun Valley rep at the bottom of the mountain said they had a 7-year-old earlier in the day.

On the weekends, there are two yoga classes. The Bigwood River runs right by the Lodge, and there’s typically a fly fisherman or two on either side of the bridge. And lastly, there’s the spider bungee jump (a big favorite of the kids – yes, we bought a multi-use package.


SadlyConcert, this year we’ll miss Mavis Staples, Emmylou Harris and Lake Street Dive, who are all playing concerts at the River Run base on the grass. Next year we’ll plan a little better.

Lots to do; a tremendous source of recreation for the whole family.