Yay! Spring break has finally come. Not only does this signify that actual spring might be coming, but it is also the first vacation time of the year that I have with my kids. In the past, we usually stayed around home and didn't do much of anything. This year I took the week of work, and made sure we were going to enjoy the break.
Sure....my kids are like all kids: they love Disneyland and big parks and the great excitement places. But one thing I have come to learn about my kiddos is that they really enjoy just going places that are new. They like the little bits of adventure and the new sights. In fact, their only request for this summer is to rent and RV and just drive. Thought I would give some little taste of that for this break, and surprised them with a 3 day trip to Leavenworth.
We loaded up the car, and hit the highway. Luckily the directions are simple and it is a straight drive out the highway - because none of us had ever been there before and being lost in the mountains really wasn't part of the plan. As we headed out the highway, we climbed into the cascade mountains. At Stevens Pass, there is a skiing area; the ski runs head straight toward the highway, so everyone thought it was funny that the skiers looked as if they were headed right for us!
We started in cloudy, cool weather; drove through misty rain and snowbanks that towered of the car; and quietly slid into sunny spring. Leavenworth appears with no warning. We nearly missed our hotel: it was the first thing entering town, and with no warning of the town we had no warning of the hotel! We checked into the Icicle Inn, and decided to walk into town. Knowing that Leavenworth is a small town, I thought that downtown was only around the bend; turns out downtown was a about a mile up the road. Of course we discovered that after already walking there and having to walk back. We strolled through the German shops and listened to the traditional music that was piped through the streets. As we finally walked back to the hotel, my kids were so sweet and not only did they NOT complain about the walk, but they both commented how great it was that we were so close to town we wouldn't have to drive. How cute is that?
We hit the pool and dinner at the hotel. Watched movies that we brought with us on the in-room DVD player. Then made plans for the next day. Since Tuesday was going to be our only full day in town, we decided to try and do the most which included the pool (again), picking up souvenirs for friends, and miniature golf and the family center that was next door to the hotel. After much bed bouncing, song singing, game playing, and fighting over teeth brushing, we hit the hay nice and late just like a vacation should be.
As Tuesday started, I got up and was all gung-ho to get through our list of activities and just see what there was for us to do. As I was drying my hair, my daughter stumbled into the bathroom to let me know there was snow! Sure shootin.....there were big fluffy flakes falling from the sky. So much for miniature golf and walking to town? It was at this moment - looking out the window to the snow - that I noticed pigeons kept coming back to our window. I had seen them there the day before, but didn't really think anything of it. Just seemed funny that they picked our window over and over again. We went downstairs to the hotel restaurant for breakfast.....and found that they did make-your-own-waffles. YUM! Clearly, this was going to be a memorable part of the trip.....pouring the batter, waffle iron had a timer, and there was no way to go wrong.
We drove into town on Tuesday since the weather was too cold and wet for walking - but my son did suggest that we buy an umbrella at the hotel gift shop and walk because it would be good for us. Somehow, I just couldn't bring myself to pay $15 for an umbrella over spending $3 in gas to get into town. Especially when the car has a heater. We got souvenirs for friends at home, had treats from the Danish Bakery, and talked about how soon we could come back. As we drove back to the hotel, the precipitation had cleared and we were starting to see the sun. It was time for miniature golf and pool for sure!
When we got back to our room, we noticed that the housekeeping staff had propped the window open to let in some fresh air. Knowing now that the widow opened, I took the chance to peek out, and discovered why pigeons loved out window. They were building a nest on top of the vent box where it was covered and cozy. Not only was there a nest, but an egg too! I got a couple pictures, but momma-pigeon sure gave me the evil eye after that!
We wrapped up the unique fun of our trip with room service for dinner. One of my favorite childhood memories is from the overnight trips my mom and I would take to Salt Lake City once a year for school shopping - and we would get room service for breakfast.....it just seemed like the height of posh to me. So I wanted to share that with my kids, too. There is enough work and hard stuff in life already - take every chance to feel spoiled, right?
All in all....this trip had everything.
1. We went somewhere totally new. Charting our own undiscovered territory
2. It took a road trip. We had to plan and pack and got to actually see all the new stuff and not just fly over it.
3. It had excitement. I told my son that the stretch of highway we had to drive on for 10 miles outside of Monroe was the most deadly in the state...and he got sufficiently wide eyed.
4. It had movies. In room DVD players are a life saver at night.
5. It has sun. Beautiful afternoons and one whole day without the need for a coat.
6. It had snow. Living in an area that does not have constant snow in the winter makes snow a treat for the kiddos.
7. It had tasty treats. Junk food in the car, danish pastry, home made waffles, and room service!
8. It had this family. Any place is home as long as you have your family with you.....and my children are all the family I ever need.