Monthly Archives: August 2016

So I went on a tour of a candy factory….

So I went on a tour of a candy factory….

Thursday morning I boarded the Link Transit bus headed for the Leavenworth Library. I got sidetracked and found myself in Cashmere at Aplets and Cotlets, a candy store and factory. The library would have to wait.


This business was founded by an Armenian and an Englishman about eighty years ago. The first candy, aplets, was made of apples and walnuts. A few years later, the production of cotlets, apricots and walnuts, was begun. Other varieties of candies have been added throughout the years.



Approximately 80,000 visitors per year stop by for a tour of the factory.

The first room we visited contained vats of candy being cooked. The vats are then moved to a table and the candy is poured into molds.


In the main area of this factory, the candy is scored into pieces and packed into boxes. Weight is carefully checked as part of quality control. Have a look at all the people involved in this process. Slightly different from the drama of Lucy and Ethel in the chocolate factory on I Love Lucy.



This brief tour was most informative. And several yummy samples were scattered on shelves throughout the store. Now, if they only made chocolate………………

Lake Chelan

Lake Chelan

On the weekend we took a drive out to Lake Chelan. As usual, the scenery along the way was magnificent. The mountains, rivers and orchards are spectacular in the state of Washington. I am always in awe of their beauty.


Our first stop was Slide Waters. This park was packed and we couldn’t even find a parking space. Water slides are always a popular attraction for families, especially the last couple of weekends of summer before the kids head back to school. I did manage to snag a photo through the car window as we drove through the parking lot.


We then drove through the downtown area and sought out a less crowded beach area. We were surrounded by other beachgoers who brought their own food and even barbecues, chairs and tables. Beyond the buoys, a variety of boats cruised by and there were parasailors in the air.




The beach at Lake Chelan was a lovely way to spend a relaxing Saturday afternoon.


Icicle Ridge Winery

Icicle Ridge Winery

The Icicle Ridge Winery is located in the small town of Peshastin, just outside of Leavenworth. During the summer, a series of music concerts on Friday nights have become popular among the residents of Chelan County. A short drive up North Road through the orchards takes you to this beautiful area.


A number of tables were set up on the spacious lawn and by 6:30 pm they were just about full.


A stage was set up for the live band, British Racing Green. A handful of people got up and danced.


Some people chose to sit out on the grass.


Wine bottles and cheese and crackers graced the tables.



I ventured into the lodge itself, which was magnificent. The family originally lived here but now it is used strictly for entertaining. The winery is also a popular place for weddings and other celebrations.








The people at our table were delightful, the wine was wonderful and the weather was perfect. What a lovely way to spend a Friday evening!

Love You With Food

Love You With Food

Before I left Winnipeg, I had to dispose of a storage unit full of memories. Some of my most treasured possessions included a collection of cookbooks that I had accumulated over more than three decades. I had them all organized on my bookshelves by category. I can still picture my thirty-five chocolate cookbooks, my vintage section and the other hundreds of volumes. In a way, they defined my life as well as my various careers, as many were discovered in my travels or in flea markets and auctions in later years. My children had given me some over the years, and these were the ones that were most difficult to part with.

I also had a collection of hand-written cards of my mother’s recipes. I was delighted when my daughter eagerly agreed to take these. She had always been very close with my mother and I know that these recipes in my mother’s handwriting were incredibly special to her.

I decided to compile a cookbook with all my children’s favorite recipes. I spent days poring through books and hours putting them all on my computer. When completed I put them on USBs and gave them to my kids.  

One of my favorite past-times was cooking and baking. Unfortunately the kitchens in Mexico leave a lot to be desired, and I haven’t had the opportunity to practice my culinary skills to any great degree. But now I am back in the USA, and am totally overwhelmed by finding all the staples that are so readily available here and so scarce in Mexico. I never thought I’d be so excited to see Cool Whip or Crisco again!

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Today I was browsing through recipes like a kid in a candy store. I’m planning on doing some baking and it’s a real dilemma to decide what to make first. Along with the remembrance of these delicious treats also comes a flood of memories. My son used to call chocolate chip cookies “chewy gooeys” when he was little. I recall the night our puppy jumped up on the table and consumed I’m not sure how many eggnog cookies before they had a chance to be put in the oven to bake. My daughter became a chef at one point in her life and made the most delicious appetizers and tantalizing desserts. And of course there were all the special dishes I used to make when we celebrated holidays and birthdays. And there are also the memories of those who sat around the table with us and are no longer in our lives.

“Food glorious food” – a quote from Oliver.  

“There is no love sincerer than the love of food” – a quote from George Bernard Shaw. 

“C is for cookie” – a quote from Cookie Monster.

Cookie Monster Clip Art

A Morning In Cashmere

A Morning In Cashmere

Friday morning dawned clear and sunny and I decided to explore the quaint town of Cashmere, a town of just over 3000 located a short distance from Leavenworth. The bus driver recommended that I get off at the fire hall and then make my way down the Main Street.  

Across the street from the fire hall I ventured into Weeds Cafe for coffee. This charming place appeared to do a bustling business in takeout as well as being a popular gathering place for the locals. There were a few tables outside, but it was hot and I opted for the air-conditioning inside instead.


Back out on the street,  I was enchanted by the variety of shops and the ever-present American flags that lined the street. A dental center to an antique shop and everything in between is along Cottage Street. Here are a few photos:






I ventured into the tourist center and got directions to the 9/11 Spirit of America Memorial. I was totally in awe and mesmerized as I read the plaques and viewed the statues and the tree trunk.






In a somewhat subdued mood, I made my way back to Cottage Street. Along the way I passed the library, with this delightful statue.


Cashmere is also home to The Pioneer Museum and a candy factory that I intend to view on a future visit. A state fair is also coming up next month. 

Still A Nomad

Still A Nomad

I was talking to my son last night and he remarked that I am a nomad. Apparently what I consider a long period of time and what he considers to be a long period of time are miles apart. Fourteen months in Mazatlan to me is a long period of time. The move to Leavenworth for three months is a much needed change.

I glanced back over my blog posts and noted that I had already published Am I A Nomad back in January of 2014. And I have been on the move since then. Therefore I have titled this post Still A Nomad.

I actually did remain in the same house in Tlaquepaque until April of 2015. The plan was to visit my Mexican family in Culiacan and then fly to Winnipeg out of Puerto Vallarta. I was having a book launch for Alive Again and had a few medical appointments scheduled. Then I would return to Guadalajara.

While I was in Culiacan, I received a job offer in Mazatlan. So I decided to check it out. I stayed with a friend I hadn’t seen in years, and it was a great reunion. On the way to Puerto Vallarta, I spent a couple of days in Sayulita with a former housemate from Guadalajara.

Back in Winnipeg, my 10 days soon became five weeks. I stayed with my son and a variety of friends and lived in various areas of the city during that time. By the time I returned to Mexico, I’d been living out of suitcases for almost eight weeks.

I moved in with a family from Mexico and stayed there for 5-1/2 months. I then stayed with a friend for three weeks until I was able to move into a condo. I remained in the condo for eight months before arriving here in Leavenworth almost three weeks ago. I plan on staying here until sometime in October when I will return to Mazatlan for the winter.

I still haven’t found that perfect place yet where I might settle down. And I don’t know if I ever will. But it has been the most amazing experience traveling and moving around after spending decades in Winnipeg. Obviously there doesn’t appear to be any real stability in my choice of lifestyle unless you categorize change as stability. And that is an interesting thought to ponder as I sit out on the deck and enjoy this view:

View of 17th hole from the deck



East Wenatchee Valley’s Super Oval

East Wenatchee Valley’s Super Oval

East Wenatchee Valley’s Super Oval is located up in the hills and is a popular venue on a Saturday night. I won’t say how many decades it’s been since I’ve been to stock car races, but I thoroughly enjoyed this experience and intend to attend another event.


As we lined up to purchase tickets, the strains of The Star Spangled Banner filled the air. Moments later we were seated in the stands eagerly awaiting the first race. Look at the beautiful view of the hills in the background.


What I found amazing is that people of all ages drive these vehicles. One of the participants in the first race was only thirteen years old! Looking around at the people in the stands I began to understand this. Families were everywhere with babies in infant seats to the older kids who took a ride around the track in the Fun Bus.


The concession stand and the beer garden were busy places. There was also a souvenir booth.


Back on the track, it was show time. The locals all had their favorites as was evident by all the cheering. As for me, my favorite was the bump and pass races, especially the final race. One little bump and your first place can drop to last place. Here are some photos I took of some of the cars.






This was a fun evening and I look forward to coming back for more races.

Wednesday in Seattle

Wednesday in Seattle

About ten days ago, I landed in Seattle for the first time in my life. Sea-Tac was quite the busy place for a Saturday night and it took more than an hour until the luggage from my flight finally arrived. The walk to my friend’s vehicle seemed like an eternity and the traffic on the freeways in the city was ridiculous. The drive to Leavenworth did become quite enjoyable once we were out of the city. However I made a silent vow that I didn’t want to return to Seattle anytime soon.

A couple of days afterward, I had a What’s App message from my daughter. She and her husband would be in Seattle the following week en route to Vancouver for a wedding. As they were reluctant to come to Leavenworth, I agreed to meet them in Seattle. Plans were made to meet at the Argosy Boat Cruise.

We left Leavenworth a little before 9:30 and made great time until we got to Seattle. Traffic was bumper to bumper and came to a grinding halt several times due to construction. Then began the attempt at finding parking. A 2 hour limit on the streets nixed the free idea. We wound up in a parking lot a short walk away, at the pricey cost of $36 for 3 hours. When we arrived at the ticket office my daughter was nowhere in sight. Of course it turned out that there were three ticket offices. But we did manage to find each other eventually and bought our tickets for the cruise.

The weather that day had been overcast and quite dreary. Amazingly once we boarded the ferry, the sun came out and was very welcome due to the breeze once we were out on the water. We sat outside on the top deck and enjoyed the spectacular views of the docks and the city. A most informative guide pointed out the various ships, docks and other attractions visible to us on the skyline. Here are a few photos I took:











After the cruise, we headed down the street for a beer. We sat outside and visited for a while. Kimmy and I hadn’t seen each other since her wedding in the Dominican Republic last October. It was just a few hours yesterday, but for me they special memories always in my heart until we see each other again. Love you Kimmy!

Monday in Wenatchee Via Link Transit

Monday in Wenatchee Via Link Transit

Monday dawned clear and sunny and I decided to venture out on my own to Wenatchee. I have been there several times by car with a friend, but today was a solo trip. A five minute walk away is the highway where I boarded a Link Transit bus. What a pleasure! Air conditioned, up holstered seats, movable floor on entry——-a far cry from the buses in Mexico with the graffiti, gaping holes in the floor, smashed windows and uncomfortable metal seats. I am quite impressed with Link Transit. Service is reliable and regular, and there are even racks on the front of the buses for bicycles. A day pass entitled me to unlimited rides for the small fee of $5 and covered the intercity route as well as all the Wenatchee routes.


Our first stop was Peshastin, a tiny town close to Leavenworth. This was the delightful view from the bridge.


Minutes later we were back on the highway until we came to this stop.


Our next stop was Cashmere, and I know I need to go back and do a post on this quaint town. Another breathtaking view of the river and the hills as we traversed the bridge into town.


We then arrived in Wenatchee and I got off at Columbia Station. Most buses head to this area making commuting both enjoyable as well as efficient.


I then took a free trolley to East Wenatchee Valley Mall.


I enjoyed being back in an American mall, albeit a small one. Macy’s, Ross Dress For Less, Marshalls, Bed Bath and Beyond, Bath and Body Works as well as several other smaller stores are found here.


A couple of hours later I was back on the trolley headed for Columbia Station. I then took a bus to the Walmart Super Center. This has become one of my favorite stores here. It is huge and has absolutely everything, as well as a fabulous grocery section with amazing produce.

On the bus once again returning to Columbia Station where I then boarded a bus back to Leavenworth. Today was merely a preliminary scoping of the area. I intend to go back soon to explore the downtown area including the courthouse, and to delve into the history of Wenatchee.