Christmas Tree Elegance

Downtown Spokane is a special place to be during Christmas time. The trees on all the streets are strung in lights, Riverfront Park boasts a “trail of lights” through its premises, and a festive “ice ribbon” is open for those who want to do some open air skating.

Sidney and I eating at the Twigs in River Park Square.

On Friday night, Sidney and I ventured downtown to soak up some of this holiday spirit. We ate dinner at Twigs in River Park Square. The restaurant is located on an upper level that allowed us to admire the 60-foot Christmas tree that towers inside River Park Square. What a setting it was!

Our table overlooked the famous River Park Square Christmas tree.

But for all the glory of River Park Square, Riverfront Park, and the Spokane streets themselves, there is not a more prominent Christmas experience in the city than at the Davenport Hotel. If you remember, Sid and I stayed at the historic hotel in October of 2020. Although beautiful in its own right during the autumn, we didn’t experience the Davenport during December. We made sure to change that.

After dinner, we strolled over to the Davenport Hotel to experience its Christmas Tree Elegance event. Before entering the lobby, we paused to admire the display at the entrance.

I snapped this photo of the entrance of the Davenport Hotel.

Christmas Tree Elegance is hosted by the Spokane Symphony Associates. It takes place in the lobby and the second floor Mezzanine of the Davenport.

A couple moments after we entered the lobby of the Davenport Hotel for Christmas Tree Elegance.

The event is built around beautifully decorated trees meant to “wow.” Each decoration is placed with care and, trust me, there is no shortage of elegance.

Many of the Christmas trees are gorgeous.

Who owns these 15 trees? That’s a good question. Spokane businesses donate the trees and decorate them. In addition to all the decorations, they have additional display space around the tree that they can load up with products and prizes.

I wish I had enough space in this post to show you all the trees.

But why the products and prizes? Christmas Tree Elegance is actually a fundraiser. The general public can purchase raffle tickets for $1 and deposit those tickets into the basket of whatever tree (and all the prizes associated with it) they would like to win.

If you look at the left of this photo, you can see the bin with raffle tickets.

Regardless of whether you want to purchase raffle tickets or not, the opportunity to stroll through the Davenport to look at the trees is available to everyone. Take it from me, it is an opportunity you don’t want to pass up. There is just something special about walking inside an historic hotel during the holiday season. You can feel the Christmas spirit (click here for a TikTok I did of many more trees).

Sid and I felt some type of way after walking through the Davenport.

Unfortunately, Christmas Tree Elegance concluded its annual run last night. Although that means you can no longer purchase raffle tickets they might still keep the trees up through Christmas (sorry, I don’t know for sure). At the very least, you can still walk through the Davenport and view the lobby Christmas tree. Something to think about as we reach mid-December. Don’t Blink.

Sidney’s Spokane Bucket List

When Sidney arrived in Spokane a few days after I did this past month, she had a list. Now I know the term “bucket list” is very much overused and misapplied in our society but we don’t know what else to call it. During our time in Washington, we kept referring to Sidney’s northwest goals as her “Spokane Bucket List.”

Upon her arrival, we quickly started checking items off. Since Sidney is a southern girl and since it was a winter Spokane Bucket List, you could imagine that most items centered on the weather. Thanks to Spokane for delivering on a certain type of precipitation that Sidney really wanted to see, we completed most of the items with ease. How about we take a look at how she fulfilled the items on her list?

Shoveling Snow – We will start with the most mundane item on the list that also happened to be the first one completed. Sid wanted to experience the “joy” of shoveling snow. Arriving in Spokane a little past midnight on December 22, she was out shoveling with us several short hours later that morning. She woke up to the sounds of my mom and I hastily shoveling out my neighbor who had massive amounts of snow and ice at the foot of her driveway courtesy of the county snow plow. Sidney watched us do the heavy work from our living room window and then joined in on the fun when we came back over to our house to do our own driveway. After a few swipes with the shovel, Sid was a pro.

Unfortunately I don't have a photo of Sidney shoveling snow. However, I do have this photo of a snowman we built!

Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of Sidney shoveling snow. However, I do have this photo of a snowman we built!

Sledding – I grew up sledding with my friends. Since we lived across the street from a park with big hills (and plenty of snow), the entertainment was endless. Never once in her life had Sidney enjoyed this winter activity that I took for granted. Last week my sister let us borrow her sleds and Sidney and I ventured over to the park that I had so much fun in as a kid. We spent time in our traditional and saucer sleds going down the hills that didn’t seem as big to me as I remembered them. Sid learned that sledding is a tiring activity! Soaring down the hills head first is exhilarating but running back up the hill in the deep snow is not. However, the cardiovascular workout was well worth the thrills we both got as we had the whole park to ourselves.

I had a wonderful time taking Sidney sledding.

I had a wonderful time taking Sidney sledding.

Ice Skating – This item on the bucket list goes back quite a bit. It seems like since we first started dating, Sidney has expressed her desire to go ice skating. On a night downtown with my brother and his girlfriend, we made it happen. After drinks at a River Park Square restaurant and a walk through the Riverfront Park light display, Sidney had her chance on the pavilion ice rink. Since I am a terrible ice skater and my brother isn’t much better, we sat in the stands and took photos while Sidney and Ashley (my brother’s girlfriend) skated around the winter wonderland. Sid picked up the skill extremely quickly and looked great making circles around the rink. When she got off the ice I could tell she was so happy to have had the opportunity to ice skate…it was very cute.

Sidney ice skating with Ashley to her right.

Sidney ice skating with Ashley to her right.

Gondola Ride – This was Sidney’s third visit to Spokane. The prior times she had eyed the gondola cars hovering over the Spokane Falls. Because of time constraints, we never made it to the attraction. However, this time around with an open schedule and the city covered in beautiful white snow, we knew there wouldn’t be a better opportunity to do it. We went back to downtown Spokane, purchased tickets, and jumped in a gondola car. We went across the falls while Sidney got to Facetime her dad for a portion of it. Although I got a little queasy right at the beginning because our car/cage was rocking back and forth so much, I loosened up and we both enjoyed the ride and spectacular views.

Here is a gondola collage I posted to Instagram. The photo on top is of us inside the gondola car. The image on the lower left is a view of the falls from the gondola. The image on the bottom right is just of Riverfront Park not taken from the gondolas.

Here is a gondola collage I posted to Instagram. The photo on top is of us inside the gondola car. The image on the lower left is a view of the falls from the gondola. The image on the bottom right is just of Riverfront Park not taken from the gondolas.

White Christmas – This was the big one. All Sidney wanted was a white Christmas and she definitely got it. I didn’t even have to sweat it out either. It snowed the whole time we were in Spokane and it was guaranteed days before that Christmas would be white. She enjoyed the traditional conditions in Spokane while her family in Myrtle Beach celebrated the holiday in 80 degree temperatures. We went out and took photos in front of the deep snow and Sid gleefully posted one to her Facebook account. Snow on Christmas isn’t always a sure thing so I was happy that Mother Nature pulled though.

Sidney and I posing in front of the snow on Christmas Day.

Sidney and I posing in front of the snow on Christmas Day.

Check, check, check, check and…….check! Sidney satisfactorily completed her Spokane Bucket List and I was honored to be along for the ride. Because of Sid’s motivation, some simple planning by me, and a little bit of luck with the weather everything went smoothly. Don’t Blink.