The Variscos leave the Northwest

August 29, 2011

It’s almost time to leave Steve and the Northwest. We spent our last day in Couer D’Alene at the country club – swimming, eating, playing cards, and working on agendas for Steve and me.


Then spent the evening at The Gleasons for a feast – homemade spaghetti, chicken wings, and salad from the garden. Some of Steve’s buddies joined us. Beautiful night.




Goodbye and thanks again to Mike and ‘Jackson’ Gleason.


That evening we stayed at the lovely Davenport Hotel.


Steve and I stayed here 7 years ago when I drove to the Northwest with him for the first time.


We had a really delicious breakfast downstairs the next morning with Gail and Kook. Paul Sr enjoyed his corned beef hash.

We said some goodbyes.

It was really rough to leave Steve. I mean real rough. We’re such a team now and it doesn’t seem right not being with him. But – I’ll see him in about 10 days. And it’s time for me to get home to start getting ready for young gleazy.


As it turns out, it was not time for us to leave quite yet. Due to plane mechanical issues, we were forced to stay for one more night!!


So we got to take the Varisco’s to a hip spot called “The Flying Goat”, which is home to my personal favorite pizza called “The Kiernan” (it’s actually on my top ten favorite foods).


We ended the night playing Liverpool rummy at one of Steve’s favorite Spokane spots – “The Elk”.


And the next day, we had to say goodbye again. Not any easier.


But Steve has some more adventure to embark upon. And I gotta get home. Until I see you again, I love u Steve-o. And I’m lucky for every single minute I get to spend with you. Ten more sleeps.

The Variscos storm the NW – Spokane

Jilly and Paul flew to Spokane today!
We were very very excited to pick them up from the airport.


How about that belly!!! – SG

Steve gave them a tour of the city. He showed them old houses, old parks where he played baseball, soccer, and football, old schools, as well as all of the cool neighborhoods.

We had to take a break to go to our OB Spokane doc, Dr Satterfield.


But first – we stopped by the world famous, well at least SPOKANE famous, Dick’s, for burgers.


Documentarian Sean Pamphilion, AKA “The Fly”, “SeannyP”, or “Sonny” was with us for a couple of days.


Dad treated all five of us for under $20. And that includes the order of fried chicken. Steve has never heard of anyone ever ordering Dick’s fried chicken, but dad couldn’t resist.


Right as we were leaving, as I was reaching for my drink, a bird pooped on my cup. It just missed my hand.

So we drove to the doctors office and I had an ultrasound.


Steve, Jilly, and Sean with his video equipment all came in to watch.
Young Gleazy definitely has Steve-o’s nose! In my opinion.


Everything looks good!!:)

After the doc visit, we continued the tour and stopped by Steve’s high school, Gonzaga Prep. We saw a couple of his old coaches.



Saw an old pic of Steve on the wall…
He’s #34, next to his best buddy #33, Jim Salters.


Notice his fingers in an upside down peace sign. Players have tried to imitate them and have gotten in trouble for it. There has been one #34 since Steve, but after him the coaches said no one has “deserved” the number. And it’s possible that no one will use that number again, because Gonzaga Prep is inducting Steve into the hall of fame on October 25th! (along with John Stockton)!


Unfortunately the baby is due October 28th – but if we can have the baby come late, he’s gonna try to get to the ceremony…
It was awesome – coaches were excited to see him and players were excited to meet him.

Afterwards, we continued the tour. Nice view of the city behind us.


After packing in everything we could, we went to the Old Spaghetti Factory with Ray and Annette Kish, who very graciously offered their cabin in Couer D’Alene to us, Tony and Tina, and Gail.


After lots of mizithra and Spimoni, we said our thank yous and drove to the amazing cabin at Black Rock.

More about that tomorrow…


We watched the Foo Fighters documentary at Ryan and Monique Thielman’s house (excellent show)
Ryan recommended a lodge in Sandpoint, Idaho. Called…
The Lodge in Sandpoint

We took his advice and made reservations and it was Awesome.


View from the Room


We had dinner with Ryan and Mo at the lodge restaurant -’41south’ which was only about 14 steps away from our room – very convenient for Steve and me.



Food was great – best thing was “Avocado frites”.



Our room had a light-switch fireplace and colored heat was very, very enjoyable.

Sunset from the room…


Anyway, the next day we drove into Sandpoint, a place that Steve really loves. We had a delicious hash brown breakfasts at “Connies” and visited a farmers market.


What a great northwest town.


We bought some beautiful sunflowers.


And brought them to the Thielman Family house on Pend Orielle River.

We went for a ride in Ryan’s boat – which I understand is kind of like the “IronHorse” of the water. And took a couple dips in the river.


Back at the cabin, we ate delicious guacamole and bbq chicken sandwiches on the beautiful lawn overlooking the beautiful river. We did lots of video recording – mostly about Steve and football at Washington State. The Thielmans are big time Cougar Fans. A great moment.

The Thoelmans are a great, loving Spokane family who really love Steve-O.
I know it was difficult for them to see him in this condition. They talked about what a great boy he is and what an inspiration he’s always been, which seems like the general consensus of everyone who knows him.


Spokane and Pullman

Back at Mike and Jackie’s in Spokane.


We relaxed for a couple of days and watched an entire season of “Game of Thrones” in the basement. Highly recommend it.

We visited a piece of property that Mike was interested in buying. Pretty, raw land and quite a walk for Steve-o’s legs.
We ended with a some tears, a prayer and a group hug.



We also took a day trip to Pullman and visited Gail.
We watched the 1994 Apple Cup on a VHS tape when WSU beat UW. Its a huge rivalry for Washingtoners. Steve was a sophomore and had a good game and had a huge hit on a big guy named Cam Cleland that knocked them both out.
Gail showed us an old box of Steve’s stuff. This was my favorite picture/article of when Steve was a bit more of a meathead. I learn more and more that he was kind of a “big deal” here at WSU.


We had lunch at one of Steve’s favorite college pizza places called Sellas. Really good salad with ranch dressing.


Then drove to Lewiston to pick up the Halibut caught in Alaska from Brendan.
This shot is from a pullout overlooking Lewiston.


We also got to have lunch with Grady at one of my favorite Spokane spots, Bruchees.


Summer Joy


I told Sean that I want to roll down my dads hill before he leaves from this filming session. Why? Why not? It’s fun! It’s not the cliffs or bridges or cornices I used to jump or the waves I used to surf but… Still fun! That’s joy. Go find your joy for today.

click the video below for the action…

You may notice that I anticipated the snap count and may, possibly, have jumped offsides. But I don’t see a flag anywhere. Winning.

Does Michel sound impatient?

Hayden Lake to Spokane: HOME!

Tuesday, August 15, 2011

Matt made us pancakes for breakfast and we ate them on the deck in the warm sunshine overlooking Hayden Lake.

We went for a morning swim.


It’s hard for Steve to swim now, as his reflexes tell him to breathe in when he’s supposed to breathe out. It’s a huge disappointment, because he loves swimming in rivers and lakes and oceans and pools and it’s now really difficult. However, he said he wanted to swim to the dock in the picture above and as tough as it was, he made it.

Brendan unpacked all of his stuff from the van and we said our goodbyes. He’s surprising his wife Leslie by getting home a day early.


The boys chatted and then Steve and I head to Riverside State Park.

We took pictures from the bridge of the “Bowl and Pitcher”




We did some video recording for the baby. Steve talked about memories from “Malibu” youth group and traveling to south America and the Galapagos Islands.


Summers in Spokane are absolutely beautiful. Warm and no humidity.

Ended the day at Mike and Jackie Gleasons. Felt good to be home. Not really at home yet, but a great place to stay and rest.

The Varisco parents are coming in soon to visit!

See comment below…