It's not always easy being a guy. In what I'm sure is typical guy fashion, I waited until three days before Christmas to do ALL of my shopping and for some reason, it worked out for the best. With an idea in my head and a recommendation from one savvy boss, I headed to Spokane's Flour Mill to snag some eclectic gifts for my mom. Knowing what I know now, I am ashamed that I have lived in Spokane for seven years and have never considered the Flour Mill as a gift buying option. I have been there before but I tend to be somewhat aloof when I am hungry and headed for Clinkerdagger or Queen of Sheba, so this particular experience was a surprise.
I started in Chocolate Apothecary. For those of you who have not finished shopping, I suggest you drop everything and go right now for some last minute gifts. Luckily, I was in early enough to miss the crowd and decided to indulge in a "Spicy Maya" Drinking Chocolate. This is no ordinary hot cocoa. They melt fancy chocolate chips with milk, and for the Spicy Maya that means chocolate infused with cayenne and chile. It was fantastic. I also needed a couple shots of espresso, and they gladly obliged my caffeine addiction. I hand selected an assortment of truffles which took me a good fifteen minutes as there were so many to choose from. I have an awesome picture of the ones I bought, but unfortunately I can't share it with you because my mom does read my blog posts. After leaving Chocolate Apothecary,I walked next door to The Kitchen Engine. I sometimes dream about baking, so this store struck a chord. I frothed over the fancy knife wall and the comprehensive collection of ceramic baking dishes and for a moment regretted holding the chocolate I already bought. Then I remembered my Spicy Maya experience. I can get baking supplies for my mom next Christmas.
Just across the way is Wonders of the World where I immediately found about thirty awesome gift possibilities. This eclectic store has hand carved furniture, unique jewelry, art and much more. With a time constraint on my mid-day shopping I had to cruise through pretty quickly, but I had some time to snap a few pictures and to make a mental note to go back and spend some time exploring all the cool things. On my last day of Christmas shopping, I learned some valuable lessons.
  1. Go to the Flour Mill first. I could have done all my shopping for the year in one day and made my friends and family very happy.
  2. Leave more time for skiing next year. Who needs three days to shop, now that I know I can do it in one place!
  3. Make sure to enjoy a cup of Drinking Chocolate from Chocolate Apothecary on a regular basis, because frankly, it just makes your day better.
Still struggling to find a few gifts in the last days before Christmas? Make a trip down to the Flour Mill.  It's a quick walk from downtown through Riverfront Park, at 621 W. Mallon Ave.