On the last day of the Idaho Potato Harvest Tour, our group arrived in Victor, Idaho for some rest and relaxation together, and to enjoy a different view of Idaho. We were speechless when we reached our destination: Teton Springs Lodge. Such a beautiful resort...with two large hotel buildings and cabins sprinkled throughout the property. The golden aspens were glowing against the cloudy skies, with a touch of snow visible on one distant hillside.
Teton Springs Lodge
What I remember most about Teton Springs Lodge was the absolute quiet…hushed tranquility…a slight breeze of the freshest air on earth. Clearly the summer tourist season had ended, but we were welcomed by the staff as though we were VIP guests. We were each given a room key, and one of the managers helped me with my luggage. As we walked through the hotel and down the long hallway to my room, I enjoyed the decorative details that added so much to the sense of hospitality. I’ll never forget the surprise of opening that door and realizing that instead of a hotel room we would each enjoy a suite for the night!
Besides a full kitchen and cozy lounge with a cute fireplace, there were two bathrooms, one with a shower and the other with a double jacuzzi tub! A Murphy bed was built into the wall of the lounge, and there was a balcony with gorgeous views. I’m sure each of us gasped when we walked into our “fantasy suite”, never expecting such luxurious accommodations! We had a light lunch in the Range restaurant as Chef Rick Sordahl had invited us to an afternoon reception in one of the cabins.
The air was chilly and energizing. Several of us went out to walk around and take photos of the spectacular views on the resort property. I met up with Laura of Family Spice and Mary of California Greek Girl (all of us are from San Diego) and we stepped inside the cabin where Chef Sordahl was busy making appetizers with Idaho potatoes!
Reception with Chef Rick Sordahl
Our beverages included a cocktail made with 44° North Mountain Huckleberry Flavored Vodka the first vodka approved to wear the Idaho Potato Commission’s official seal. We also enjoyed some Idaho wine!
We had a lovely time tasting all the treats that had been prepared for us, taking photos, and visiting with each other. We were able to talk to the resort staff, visit with Chef and his wife Dana, and learn more about the Teton Springs Resort.
After all the exciting tours of farms and processing plants, we had a chance to relax and visit one-on-one with our Idaho Potato Commission hosts, Don Odiorne, Vice President of Food Service and Travis Blacker, Industry Relations Director.
We probably could have stayed all afternoon, enjoying the delicious appetizers and beverages that highlighted Idaho potatoes, but we were advised to rest up for a little while, as we would be driving to the Linn Canyon Ranch for dinner. Our original agenda had included a sunset horseback ride, but that had to be canceled due to the recent rains.
Since we had a little extra time, we asked if we could stop in town to buy some of that 44° North Mountain Huckleberry Flavored Vodka to take home with us. Can you imagine how funny it was to have a bus pull up to a small liquor store in tiny Victor, Idaho and see about a dozen food bloggers run into the store? We just had to take a photo with our purchases!
Linn Canyon Ranch
When we arrived at the Linn Canyon Ranch, we walked around the ranch house, through a glade with wooden furniture to an area that had a western bar and campfire! Another party just for us!
A real live cowboy with a hat was serving us beverages and an authentic western-style campfire greeted us too! The beauty of the late afternoon clouds and trembling aspen leaves made the party extra special. Our hosts had thought of everything, even a patio heater to keep the tenderfoots warm!
Weather in the distance kept us entertained…rain! Maybe snow during the night! Those of us from Southern California wished we could take some of those rain clouds back home with us.
Soon it was time to go inside the ranch house for dinner. Our group of sixteen was seated on the sun porch, with one long harvest table. Simple country decorations, fresh garden flowers and berries , candles, and glass vases filled with crab apples set the mood for our final dinner together.
The salad included creamy blue cheese and dried cranberries, and my meal of local lamb chops with Idaho mashed potatoes was unforgettable!
We all enjoyed being together as we knew we would be leaving the next morning. By the time we finished dinner, no one had any room for S’Mores by the campfire. We were sleepy and ready to return to the Lodge we could spend some time enjoying our suites.
I fully expected to spend the rest of the evening relaxing in that enormous bath tub, but once we got back into our rooms, our little group of San Diego bloggers began texting each other. We put on our comfy resort robes and padded down the long hallway. We met up in Mary’s suite, along with Spuddy Buddy to keep us company. We all missed our hubbies, but we agreed that Spuddy is the “Best Boyfriend Ever”….especially for a night in the fantasy suite at Teton Springs!
The plan for the next morning was to sleep in and leave after a good breakfast in the Range Restaurant. Most of us were up early to see the sunrise and take in the beauty for a few more hours before hitting the road. We enjoyed one last meal together before driving back to Idaho Falls Airport, promising to return to Teton Springs Lodge with our families.
The Idaho Potato Commission invited us to experience potato harvest first-hand, and we all came away understanding why Idaho potatoes are one of the most well-known and respected brands in the country. The trip included so many different touches of generosity and hospitality, with time to relax and enjoy the beauty of Idaho. Many thanks to Sue Kennedy, Director of Public Relations at Evans Hardy and Young, full-service marketing agency in Santa Barbara, Ca., who has been working with the Idaho Potato Commission for many years. Sue worked together with Jamie Bowen, Marketing Manager of the Idaho Potato Commission to make our time in Idaho an unforgettable experience.
It’s no wonder that we all made a bee-line to visit our friends at the Idaho Potato Commission booth during the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit in Anaheim, Ca. two weeks later! But that’s another story…
Disclosure: I was gifted with an expenses paid trip to see the Idaho Potato Harvest by the Idaho Potato Commission. I was under no obligation to write this post, and did not receive compensation for this post.
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