Sweetie & Sinatra - The story of the wonderful geese at Arlo's in Sandpoint: Sandpoint Blog

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Nine years ago Lisa and Tom Guscott gave up the corporate life in New York and started their new life in Sandpoint, Idaho. Theirs was a storybook romance. Lisa had been a model and Tom worked the corporate world. They came here looking for a simpler life. The early years were fun and trying, Lisa with a new baby and the two of them starting a new life opening Arlo's Ristorante right next to the Cedar Street Bridge on Sandpoint's main drag, First Avenue.  They originally opened the restaurant with Lisa's brother, Chris Arlo, but soon the couple took over the reins, and Arlo's has become a Sandpoint landmark.

Many of the menu items come from recipes that Lisa inherited from her grandmother. How cool is that?

They had not been open long when a pair of geese started nesting on their balcony overlooking Sand Creek. At first they would close off the area, but eventually built them a nesting box after it became apparent they would return year after year after year. I am told geese mate for life, and soon the pair were named Sweetie and Sinatra. See the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8oNAWtPQyY

Every year Sweetie and Sinatra have between six and ten goslings, all except for one year, and eventually the eggs hatch and when the first one falls off the rail, thirty feet to the creek bank below, the parents nudge the others off until all are down by the water.

Sweetie sits on the eggs at Arlo's Ristorante
Sweetie sits on the eggs at Arlo's Ristorante

Sinatra stands guard over the nest
Sinatra stands guard over the nest

Patrons in love with the geese have made art that hangs on the ristorante's walls, and a sign and box that the pair nests in.

Every year people predict when the eggs will hatch. It usually occurs around Mother's Day. Thinking I still had some time, I headed over today to check on the chicks. I was having lunch to sample wine between writing up an offer for a waterfront property and listings two new parcels. I was meeting with Mike Scott, an area wine rep, to sample some new wines I might be bringing in to Yoke's Fresh Market. That's my third job, wine buyer for Yoke's, and we tried a great Oregon Pinot Noir and an Italian Rose. I will have those on the shelf soon. The other wines I tried didn't make the cut.

Anyway, I digress. The truth is, as I walked with Mike to Arlo's I told him the story of Sweetie and Sinatra. Entering Arlo's, my fav waiter and bass player Robin called out to me, "You missed it. They hatched yesterday, and they just fell off the rail a few minutes ago." I raced out and down to the water, and the pictures I snapped are just as the goslings were experiencing the cold creek H2O for the first time.

The other pictures are self-explanatory.

Sweetie and Sinatra, the resident geese at Arlo's Ristorante in Sandpoint, Idaho

Sweetie and Sinatra, the resident geese at Arlo's Ristorante in Sandpoint, Idaho

Cedar Street Bridge

Sweetie and Sinatra, the resident geese at Arlo's Ristorante in Sandpoint, Idaho

Anyway, isn't it a great story. Two lovers, Lisa and Tom, are adopted by two other lovers, Sweetie and Sinatra. It doesn't get any better than this, and all in America's Best Small Town: Sandpoint, Idaho.

Cedar Street Bridge and Arlo's Ristorante in Sandpoint, Idaho
Cedar Street Bridge and Arlo's Ristorante in Sandpoint, Idaho

ary Lirette, featured in Where To Retire magazine and host of the Tuesday noon local radio shows: North Idaho Business as well as North Idaho Arts.

Gary Lirette, REALTOR & host of the N Idaho Business radio show

E-mail Gary or call 208-610-1384
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For more detailed local info & real estate


Tomlinson Sandpoint Sotheby's International Realty

200 Main Street
Sandpoint, Idaho


www.SandpointID.net - To learn all about Sandpoint and North Idaho

www.RealtySandpoint.com - For Sandpoint Realty

www.SkiSchweitzer.net - To visit Schweitzer Mountain's Community Web


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Justin & Krystal Knott
LIV Sotheby's International Realty - Breckenridge, CO
Breckenridge CO Real Estate & All Summit County CO

Gary, what a wonderful story!  How fun for owners and locals to have such a great event to look forward to every year.  The babies are adorable!  Thank you for sharing the story and pictures I thoroughly enjoyed it.  --Krystal

May 02, 2011 12:47 PM #1
Kim Inman
Mountains to Lakes Real Estate, Inc. - Harriman, TN
CRS, Broker/Owner

Gary...what a cool story and those babies are just precious!  I'd love to have a second or third job like you, wine tasting would be right up my alley!

May 02, 2011 02:34 PM #2
Janna Scharf
Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert

Wonderful story and I loved the photos!  How cute are those little goslings!!!

May 02, 2011 04:27 PM #3
Gary Lirette
Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest

What is life without wine? I finally gave up not being what I am. I wrote a book on wine - Passion for Wine - and I love all things real estate. Go figure. It's not about what I will have. It is all about what is right in front of me.

These beautiful geese are a model for us. Find one mate, one thing, one place, and make it yours forever.

May 02, 2011 04:47 PM #4
Patricia Feager
Selling Homes Changing Lives


This is a great story that had to be told and I'm so glad you were the one to tell it! Your comments in the box about "What is life without wine... " is fabulous! I hope to read your book on Passion for Wine. Congratulations!

Also, those words of yours about the beautiful geese are a model for us to live by are great! They should be put on a gold plague!

The photos of Sweetie and Sinatra and their family chicks tugs at my heart strings!!!


May 03, 2011 03:50 AM #5
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Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest
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