Thursday, January 17, 2013

Weekend in Leavenworth

We had a wonderful splurge of a weekend earlier this month – in Leavenworth, Washington.  It’s a small town in the Cascade mountains sitting along the Wenatchee River.  It began as a logging and sawmill  town but when the railroad was rerouted and the sawmill closed, its townspeople knew they needed to think of some other industry to prevent it from dying altogether.  The snowy mountains look much like the Alps so the city leaders decided to create a Bavarian-style village to attract tourism. 

Nope, that’s not a postcard!

Everything in town - and I do mean everything - is Germanized.  We laughed about Der MacDonalds and Haus Starbucks but most everything is German in some way.

Back in the days before we had children, we spent a December weekend in Leavenworth with two other couples who are very dear friends from college days.  We rented a chalet back then so we could cook our own meals and cross-country ski right outside our door.  This time we opted for a bit more pampering and stayed at the Enzian Inn, which includes a fabulous brunch each morning. 


The view from our breakfast table!

This man blows the alpenhorn twice each morning, wearing lederhosen and a felt alpine hat with a feather in it.  Very cute.

The weather that weekend was absolutely perfect, though a tad bit cold.  Our temps never got higher than about 27°.

On my phone Sunday morning

BUT… the highway was clear, the skies were blue, there was almost no wind and snow was everywhere!  The scenery was breath-taking.






We walked up to the Sleeping Lady Resort where there are trails to follow next to the river.


Along the way, you come upon these large fish sculptures that crop up randomly.


Liane, Karen and I thought we’d pose next to a fish covered in glass beads. We are smiling but our noses were freezing off our faces here.

girls&fish 1-12-13

The Breams brought snowshoes and we used the free cross-country skiis from the hotel to follow a path along the river, right in town at Waterfront Park.  There are also places with groomed trails to ski and snowshoe but we opted for the low-cost (no-cost) route.  What a perfect place!

Here is everyone getting their gear on…


I started out in snowshoes but the boots I was wearing were brand new and apparently not suited for snowshoeing.  So I walked and it was just as much fun.

Again, God’s creation was stunning!


At night we walked into town for dinner – first for authentic German food (I had spaghetti) and then to a place specializing in crepes (I had French Dip).  (I have food issues.) 

The Christmas lights are world-famous and they leave them up until mid-February.  The town is just gorgeous at night in the winter!  Here are some blurry artistic photos taken of the main street at night:


You really had to be there, I think.  It was fairyland!

My favorite little shop…


I was going to buy this Christmas tree, which you can’t tell from the picture but tiny balls of ‘snow’ were spraying out from the top and landing all over the tree and into the giant basin at the bottom.  How cool is that?  But I decided I probably couldn’t live with the mess.  That and the unreal price tag.  But it went right along with the whole feel of the weekend.  Delightful!

The time was especially great because of the company – which far eclipsed the scenery!  We laughed and reminisced like old friends do.  I’m so thankful for those relationships that now span over 3½ decades!  Together we’ve celebrated each of our own weddings, the birth of nine children, all of the ups and downs of raising families, and now these years with grown kids.  God has blessed us indeed!

Well, thank you for watching my vacation slideshow.  You’ve all been very polite.  Now I owe you one – send me a link to your post about your trip to the Grand Canyon or the time you went to the N. Carolina pickle festival.  I promise to oooh and aaaah!

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