My extended family live just far enough away that it is not very convenient to visit. And even less convenient to take the whole family. If we want to fly, it takes a small fortune. If we want to drive, we need a good amount of time to kill to get out there and back. But Tyler is very kind to send just me out every once in a while to hang out with my fam.
Last month, it was my sister's birthday. She requested my presence and I was more than happy to come. Just us gals (Mom, Miranda, and I) went to Leavenworth the first day I was there. Leavenworth is a quaint Bavarian town tucked into the mountains. They have worked hard to give it the feel of European authenticity. I'm guessing every business there must have signed some contract saying they would stick with the theme. Even the Subway's and banks have fancy signs.
And the buildings were beautiful. The flowers and architecture are so fun. (Not to mention the shopping. Well, I probably will mention that a bit more in a minute.)
At one point there was a small street parade as people in native clothes and really long horns walked along the street. I only caught them from the back.
We stayed at the Bristelhoff? (I could be making up that name, but that sounds right.) There was a huge knight outside our window. Here is Miranda standing next to him.
We found out moments later that the knight is also home to a wasp's nest. Don't stand too close to him. (Don't worry, Miranda did NOT get stung.) Because of the flaps on the back of his feet armor, I think it looks like he is standing on tiptoe. I got one more picture of him from our window. Check out the beautiful mountains around the village.
Some of the things that make the town famous are the beer and the nutcrackers. We skipped the beer side of things, but we did go to the nutcracker museum. Naturally, I had never seen so many nutcrackers in one place before. I would be lying if I didn't say that I think most of them were pretty creepy looking, but there were some I thought were quite unique. If you can imagine someone famous, there is probably a nutcracker version of them. I saw everything from Jack Sparrow to Harry Potter. They even had Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and a missionary nutcracker. There were all different sizes as well. I think you are going to have to try coconuts in this one.
We spent the majority of our time trying delicious food and shopping. We never actually went to the Pizza und Brat place, but I liked their sign.
There was one awkward moment when I went into a hookah shop that I thought was a frozen yogurt place. It didn't take me too long to figure out that there was no yogurt and I was out of my comfort zone. Oddly, I still pretended to look around for a few seconds to not look foolish. I don't know why I was concerned with how I looked? After all, I was never going to see that guy again, and I clearly didn't belong in the shop. Why do we care so much what others think? Or think that we can fool them? I'm sure that guy was laughing to himself as I left the shop.
In the evening we played games in our hotel room. I really enjoy playing games with my family, even though Miranda is not too much of a game player. She managed to win over half the games though. Miranda and I ganged up on Mom and didn't let her win anything. Daughters are like that sometimes.
It was such a fun trip. I'm thinking we need to take a girls weekend more often. I'll just put that on my bucket list.
But my WA trip didn't end with Leavenworth. I also got the weekend to party with my peeps. And if you happen to be visiting in September, the fair is a given. Both Miranda and Mom entered stitchery and they each received an award.
Miranda got 3rd place for her Grandmother stitched with birds. She made it for our Grandma Pat a long time ago, but got it back when Grandma passed away. I have always thought it was really pretty. Good job.
Mom designed and stitched the patterns for three Star Wars characters many years ago. They were framed in their own separate small frames. But she had them reframed and put together just a short time ago. I think it looks amazing and I wasn't surprised at all when she got first place.
Actually, maybe it was a little surprising, since she has done very intricate pieces in the past that were phenomenal and not had them recognized. So, I was happy to see that this piece got the credit it was due.
We didn't do a lot at the fair this time around. We walked around and saw some of the hobby hall. We got some essential items like scones and strawberry ice cream. (I managed not to throw it on Miranda this year.) Some things had moved around and we couldn't even find the vendors.
We did take time to go view the Draft Horse show. They have the large Clydesdale horses and other breeds that I don't know, because I really don't know that much about horses. But it was cool to see them maneuver the coaches around. And I did like the ponies. They were the cutest of the group.
Everyone seemed to have a good time. Except maybe Tim.
No, wait, he is happy too.
A nice shot of the blurry us.
Besides the fair, we played games, watched movies, laughed and enjoyed each other's company. I really like visiting and I am very excited for my family to come out and spend Christmas with us.
Love my parents:
Mom, especially thank you for cooking me yummy meals that I don't get at home.
And we can't forget April. Although she is this weird half-dog who can't jump off furniture or climb stairs, she is still pretty darn cute.
Dad, we'll train her to be a normal dog when you come visit.