Tag Archives: Leavenworth

Bavarian fun in the middle of Washington State

If you read this blog regularly, you know that my family goes away on a winter cabin adventure each year. Well, the women in my family also do a summer weekend of wine-tasting. Okay, it started as a wine-tasting event, and we really do test wines.  But it’s kind of evolved into a “sit by the pool reading and chatting” kind of weekend. Relaxing, and a great catch up time with my sisters, daughters, and nieces.

This year was our sixth, I think. For the past three years, we’ve been going to a wonderful little Bavarian village in central Washington State called Leavenworth. It’s pretty commercialized, but it’s also, well, just plain beautiful and fun.

In the 1960’s, trying to turn a failing community around, Leavenworth remodeled an entire town into a Bavarian motif to accent the alpine hills surrounding them. All businesses have to follow the Bavarian theme, even the McDonald’s. And that idea took off. Boy, did it ever. These days, it’s busy any day of the year, but that doesn’t stop us. They make it work well.

It’s easy to walk around. In fact, we park our cars and don’t get back in them until we’re ready to leave. Our hotel is about half a mile from the center of town, and easy stroll. The area is full of shops, places to get bratwursts, beer gardens,  and there’s live polka music in the park. Oh, and you can raft the river, too.

We always have fun. Sometimes, maybe a bit too much. Lol. But this year, we actually did some wine tasting again and I found some excellent wines to purchase.

It’s a fun weekend. Bonding as a family, relaxing before the end of summer. (I did not just say that phrase, did I?) And winding down from life, just for a couple days. I love my entire family, but I cherish this time with the women who carry on our mother’s rich heritage of love and family.

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Resetting Focus – Vacation!

Last week, I got to reset my focus. And I SO needed it. I had begun to feel bogged down by responsibilities and that’s a true tell that it’s time for a vacation.  So I had the privilege of participating in the second annual family women’s wine weekend. Just to clarify, that’s wine-tasting, not whin-ing. 🙂 No whining allowed on this vacay.

After spending a few days helping my daughter unpack in their new home (found out I LOVE organizing kitchens), I headed for a Bavarian town in the middle of Washington State called Leavenworth.  Six of the nine of us arrived Thursday night. The rest came on Friday. Everything in this town is walking distance, which is wonderful. I parked my car on Thursday and didn’t move it until I left on Sunday.

Have I mentioned yet it was 100+ degrees out? I don’t DO that hot. Or didn’t. Somehow, it didn’t bother me too badly, sitting in the beer garden, sipping a P1080387local IPA. 🙂

Friday was absolutely the most relaxing day I’ve had in years. We sat by the pool (again, 100 degrees out!) from 9AM until 4PM. We swam, sunned, chatted, and read. A LOT of reading. I can’t remember the last time I had that much time to just be a reader and read. It was heaven!

That night, we had dinner out, then headed for a local karaoke bar. I hate to admit this, but I’ve never been to a karaoke bar. EVER. I always thought it was a bunch of drunk off-key people. Maybe it is. Well, maybe there was a bit of “drunk” going on, but what got my attention was the singing. Probably 75% of the folks who got up could carry a tune pretty darn well. And a good portion of that was two of my daughters (I’m preening my prideful peacock feathers here). Michal and Christie both have great voices and great presence. How did I not know that?

P1080404By Saturday, we really needed to be able to tell our husbands we wine tasted. So we hit several of the local wine tasting rooms and found a few really good wines. I think everyone bought at least one bottle to take home.

The other “new” thing for me was Saturday’s dinner. It was my niece, Sammie’s birthday (happy birthday again, dear Samantha!), and she chose a Sushi and Thai place. I don’t do Sushi, but had Thai for the first time and loved it! I only chose a spice level 1 (on a zero to five scale) and it was pretty hot, but tasty. 🙂

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By the end of the weekend, I was ready to come home and get back to my normal schedule. But I learned some things about myself and my children and had a wonderful time. As well, I re-affirmed what awesome sisters, nieces, and daughters I have. Especially, I had the same feeling I had last year. That the generation that will take our family forward is filled with amazing, powerful women whom I love, respect, and trust with the future of our family.