Sun Valley Shopping Serenade

Slim Paley photo……………………..Front Hall  Sun Valley

Slim Paley photo…………..Winter from the porch

Slim Paley…………………………………….. Spring skiing. Sun Valley, Idaho

.It was fun to finally get back up to Sun Valley again this weekend.

Spectacular weather, gorgeous cornflower blue skies and just enough snow left on the mountain to have a great ski day without the huge crowds.  As I’m still getting used to my single eye lasik surgery, I chose not to ski (even though these conditions are perfect for a woos skier like me)

 Oh, let’s be honest- when I get up there and nestled into my cozy house, or walking around in town, I can’t be bothered with all the schlepping involved in getting myself together to ski for just a couple of days.  Is that so wrong??!!  Our younger son and his friend had a great time  “shredding” the slopes and I love their ruddy cheeks when I pick them up at the end of the day.  Of course I never get those. I just get a runny nose, red eyes, severe helmet-head and shaky thighs.

So instead, I was once again selfless and devoted my Saturday afternoon to doing a little reconnaissance shopping for this post.  We’ve been Sun Valley-ites for many years now so I often get inquiries as to what to do, where to shop, where to eat… It would be an awfully long post if I included everything in one go, so herewith, are just the results of yesterday’s wanderings within a two block radius (I told you I was slow)

Naturally, the first stop is ALWAYS my favourite bookstore ;

Slim Paley photo

Although I miss the decrepit charms of the older locations, The Iconoclast in it’s newest setting is still, in my opinion, the best book store in town.  They have fantastic inventory, helpful, enthusiastic staff and have managed to retain that overwhelming feeling of excitement when you walk through the door.

 Need it. Want it. Gotta have it!!

Slim Paley…………………….Oh Happy Happy Joy Joy!

Slim Paley …………………….Chock-a-block Children’s section

Fun special events and a small cafe for those family members who are a little quicker with their book choices than others.

A pretty hip selection of magazines

and some interesting ‘Staff Picks’

BTW, have you read “The Lost City of Z; A Tale of Deadly Obsession in The Amazon” yet?  I enjoyed it very much. It tells the true story of the famous Victorian explorer Percy Fawcett’s  final expedition into the Amazon along with his young son and son’s best friend. 

Fawcett was obsessed with finding the lost city of El Dorado (The City of Gold) and had been to the Amazon several times before, but with each expedition the city eluded him.  He was convinced this final attempt, following intricate maps and codes he had created to keep other explorers at bay, would end in success.

  In the Victorian era, when adventurers were the rock stars of the day and Fawcett was one of the most highly respected of them all, the whole world watched and waited…but the trio was never to be seen or heard from again.  Heeby-Jeeby inducing accounts of insects, fevers and oozing pustules…all those icky adventure bits that make you squirm while happily tucked in your cozy bed instead of some steaming tent in the Amazon jungle.

  God I love my flannel sheets when I read these kind of books 🙂

Continuing down the street from The Iconoclast you’ll find a string of lovely shops including;

Slim Paley

Pure is a lovely one stop shop for lotions, potions, and make-up.

Cute little manicure sets at Pure $25

.Directly across the street from Pure sits “The Open Room” again, in a new location, much bigger and brighter than it’s previous spot.  Lots of goodies here for the home and garden, ranging from tableware, linens, and cushions to outdoor furniture.  Local craft persons are featured – but not like, you know, Dream-Catcher crafts.  I fell in love with the large photo of old Havana below but it was a little out of my Saturday Strolling budget.  Instead, I settled for a Man In the Moon Face Squishy Stress Ball for my desk that my son tried to hide because “God Mom– that’s like so disTURBing”   (Do you ever notice how many things are “disTURBing” to teen-agers??

Unique hand-thrown porcelain by local ceramic artisan Lauren Street.  (Dishwasher, oven and micro-wave safe)

Don’t think I wasn’t tempted to save these for the last installment of my Black & White posts!

Slim Paley………I had to take this photo from the side to minimize  reflections, so I didn’t really do it justice.

“Golf Saleta, Havana” by Andrew Moore Chromogenic print (1999) Edition  #2/5  40″ X 50″

Spring porch

SFP Studios” in the same complex as The Open Room had a wonderful exhibit of photos shot in Africa by Stephanie Perenchio.  I peeked through the windows but unfortunately  the studio was closed by the time I arrived. 

Again in the same complex (Lucky for all the other shops!)

Ciro Market & Wine Merchants; wine bar, food to go, live music (wonderful pianist and guitar player) and a fantastically delicious restaurant.

‘Must Have’ are the homemade Truffle and Parmesan Crisps.  OH. MY.

Slim Paley

Delightful take-out from Ciro – Large entree (which serves two) plus two sides, dessert and a bottle of vino for $32.95

giant killer bread sticks

A little further down the road you will arrive at Tully’s, THE place to get your Frapp on or some sweet hot chai tea after skiing.

Slim Paley

Slim Paley photo

Right around the corner from Tully’s is Elizabeth Lucas Home.  Elizabeth has been a popular retailer and interior designer in the area for many years.

She has a great selection of pewter and Simon Pierce stemware

Autumn on the porch

And lastly, although not in the same block as the above shops, but within walking distance (just passed Atkinson’s grocery store)  is  The Picket Fence.

Recently renovated, The Picket Fence has grown into a much larger and beautiful space that includes two floors of wonderful finds for every room in your home, including kitchen and bath.

They also have a great selection of books, and carry Diane James silk flowers.

I’m a big fan of Diane James silk floral arrangements.  They are incredibly realistic, very well made and let’s be real, sometimes there just isn’t the time to pull living arrangements together, especially for vacation homes and areas where it is difficult to find fresh flowers year-round.

This little “Monkey Tree” looks so realistic I want to plant it by my front porchWell, that’s all the shopping investigative work I had time for before picking the boys up from the mountain. Please note that I didn’t mention clothes, not even once. But there are some fab clothing stores, as well as really great jewelers, eye glass shops, and of course sports outfitters.  I promise to get around to more Sun Valley shops and restaurants, as well as fun things to do as we draw closer to summer.

Speaking of clothes,  I would be terribly remiss if I didn’t warn you that I wore my Target denim leggings for the first time on Friday (after I posted) and  was hugely disappointed. They stretch out BIG TIME but don’t bounce back.

I’ve seen elephants with tighter knees.

Sorry about that.  Next time I won’t post about $12 steals until I wear them first.  🙁


I don’t find the Stress Balls disturbing, do you?! (I got the one on the back left)

Hope YOU had a great weekend!



  1. One has to be a pretty big insomniac to keep up with you, Slim. Thanks for the after midnight post. Love Sun Valley. Next time can you post about Davis, the store in town that sells Lanvin, Marni, Lucien Pellat Finet, Muriel Grateau, Balenciaga, Diptyque, Moncler, etc.? I know you don’t shop, but the two guys that own the store are taste mavens.

  2. ok..i think i get the prize for late night “Slim surfing”.
    i love sun valley and i love your home…please don’t fail to invite me back and as far as being a super duper chick on a stick no worries there.
    now- i don’t like when you are sad-or even disappointed by even the most mundane. so, being a leggings specialist here it is:
    you will beg them to wear out. beyond. nite nite

  3. Ok I want to go to that book shop NOW! and I have that manicure set. Weird because I live in Australia. Your garden photos are DIVINE I thought they were downloaded from the ‘net but then I realised they were yours. Lucky you. I love looking at snaps of Swans Babe P and Slim K -good choice of name.

  4. Thanks for taking me with you! Great photos as usual, and your humor once again shines through (not dream-catcher crafts) !! We used to live in Eagle, Id. and went to Sun Valley a few times. Just love it! Looks like you had a great time!

  5. A great post capturing our wonderful town and special shops. It was good to see you again and I’ve already “forgotten”. Hope to see you again soon…P.S. No I don’t find them “disTURBing”…and you have perfectly captured that accent!

  6. Thank you for a truly lovely, happy, and interesting post Slim.
    All your photos as usual fantastic. The book store , I could spend forever there. I do remember the old one which was very special also.I totally understand why you love S.V. so much.
    Have a great week , until next time xo

  7. Regarding eating the potato chips… go ahead. Enjoy. As a trainer, I’m all for moderation. You should absolutely savor the chips, the cupcakes, the Sweet Lady Jane buttercream filled cakes, the cocktails, the pralines the…. well, you remember I’m sure. Just don’t blame me when the “extra” vibration on the power plate gives you a bad case of the a”itchies!” Besides, how can you be in “peril” when YOU NEVER COME HOME?!!!

    P.S. I find both the name “stress balls” and the faces on them, slightly disTURBing. 😮

  8. I love Sun Valley, the town is super sweet and everyone is so incredibly friendly. There are also a lot of amazing hiking trails. Baker lake is one of my favourite, it’s a beautiful trail surrounded by flower-filled meadows, at the end of the hike (top of the mountain) you come across the most amazing turquoise coloured lake, super clear, REALLY cold and FILLED with fish. We went to Ciro’s beforehand and picked up some snacks and wine to reward ourselves when we got to the lake…seemed fair:)

    the stress balls are a little bit disturbing, although not as disturbing as the bone marrow

  9. Wow,

    I go skiing at Powder Mountain Utah, great skiing but not a shop in sight. You see we are alike, only a tiny bit (ok hugely) different. I love that aqua lampshade at Elizabeth Lucas Home.


    p.s. glad Faux Fuchsia found you, go read her blog, she will crack you up!

  10. Thanks Slim!!!!! I lived in Hailey for a year and have worked for Mr. Willis for the past 15 years doing all of his residences and The Mint,etc…I have soooo many fond memories of Sun Valley!!! OMG.
    Please say hi to the ladies at Picket Fence for me too!!! xxxxx Erin

  11. As always loved your blog. Sun Valley is one place I’ve never been. But I’m wondering where does one buy the little pink ruffle skating costumes Sonia Henie made famous? I wanted one so much when I was very young! Of course I nearly killed every skating
    teacher my mother hired for me. Fortunately I went on to wanting to be Deanna Durbin. But I couldn’t sing either!

  12. I love sun valley! Reading your post I have such a mad craving for a long lunch at christina’s and her wonderful tomato soup!!

  13. I wear a single contact lense… one eye for distance & one for reading, so you have to let me know how the single eye Lasik works for you!

    • Hi Suzy
      It’s still early days for me re the single eye lasik and as I didn’t wear contacts before, it is taking a little getting used to. My distance vision is much improved, but of course I sacrificed some of my near vision for that, so there is a period of adjustment for me which you wouldn’t have to go through as you’re used to wearing one contact already.
      I’m happy I did it. It’s so nice to not be scrambling for my glasses every time I get in the car or glance up to see who is walking into the room etc.

  14. Pingback: The Picket Fence Blog » Blog Archive » Slim Paley Blog Mentions The Picket Fence

  15. I so enjoyed your post on Sun Valley. My husband and I visit often and always have a wonderful time. We’re not able to be there until next year, so it was great to see your beautiful pictures and look forward to being there again! Thanks.

  16. Just found this post- still laughing and YES- the stress balls are disturbing-but isn’t that
    the point? Sun Valley looks great- never been. Not a skier or even shopper anymore-
    just love nature now

Would love to hear from you!