Tag Archives: Leavenworth WA

Last Saturday In Leavenworth For A While

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Last Saturday In Leavenworth For A While

It’s fall. The leaves are starting to change color. The temperature is dropping. And I’m down to my last two weeks here before returning to Mexico for the winter. This is always a bittersweet time of year. I love fall, but it’s getting harder and harder to leave. Friendships have grown over the years and so has my extended family.

I met friends in Leavenworth for one last Lions Club breakfast yesterday morning. The sun was shining and the smoke level was more tolerable than it’s been lately. We enjoyed a lovely meal of pancakes, sausages and eggs. Then we walked downtown to Front Street where Alpenfolk were performing at the gazebo. I have fond memories of the first time I ever saw them back in 2016 when I first discovered Leavenworth.

Next we walked up to the Senior Center where I saw friends I haven’t seen in a long time. Now that I live in East Wenatchee, I usually come back to Leavenworth twice a week to teach fitness classes. I no longer go to the Senior Center for lunches or to play bridge. Craft afternoons and music nights are history as well. Covid affected a lot of activities and I hope that maybe by next spring many of them will have resumed.

This weekend is also Autumn Leaf Festival. We enjoyed watching the Grand Parade from the shade of the veranda at the Senior Center. Some of the seniors who come to my fitness classes were on a float from Mountain Meadows and we waved at them enthusiastically as they passed by. I’m always amazed at all the high school bands who come from all over the state to play in the parade. There were also two small floats from Canada. One was from Penticton and the other from New Westminster. Beautiful flower arrangements adorned some of the horses in the parade.

I got a ride back to East Wenatchee from a friend who lives across the river in Wenatchee. Bob has lived in the valley for decades and I enjoy hearing his stories of what life was like before Highway 2 was built. Where stores and warehouses now line the road, vast empty fields once filled the land. The road to Wenatchee to Leavenworth meandered across both sides of what is now the new highway. We drove along the North Road to Peshastin before winding up on Highway 2, always a beautiful drive. And the high road up to East Wenatchee offers a picturesque view of Wenatchee.

I will miss Saturdays in Leavenworth. But I look forward to them again when I return in the spring.

Double Boosted

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Double Boosted

Somehow I found the time yesterday to get my second booster. Glad I did. The latest version with the omicron protection is in short supply here in the valley and the demand is high. I was in Leavenworth promoting the SAIL program at the Senior Health Fair, had lunch with Connie at O’Grady’s at Sleeping Lady and then went to Cascade Medical before heading back to Wenatchee.

Lots of debate going around re all these vaccines. I have several friends who are Trumpers and can’t understand why I could possibly have even one dose, let alone four. Simple. I like to travel. Covid is here to stay. It was rampant when I was in Canada over the summer and I can only imagine what awaits me when I return to Mexico next month.

Yes. I booked my flights. I’ve decided to fly inland to Guadalajara. It’s still hurricane season. The earthquake and subsequent tsunami warning didn’t help any this week either. The bonus is I fly out of Pangborn and avoid the hassle of TSA screening at Sea-Tac.

The leaves are starting to change color as the cooler temperatures move in. I didn’t have time for pics today when I was in Cashmere, but I did notice that the leaves on my tree are starting to turn red. I need to find some time to go back later this week and take some pics. And I know I can rely on my friends to visit my tree and take pics while I’m gone.

Naturally a trip to Costco was in order yesterday. I always find the most insane things to buy there that I never thought I needed. The kicker is that I usually make good use of these whether it’s clothing, groceries or just stuff. I must admit that my packing cubes came from Marshalls. But the dark chocolate sea salt caramels are definitely from Costco.

On Sunday Clairesse and Katie introduced me to Legends, an extremely high end and gourmet ice cream shop here in East Wenatchee. Of course it’s quite conveniently located close to where I live here in East Wenatchee. And this comes on the heels of discovering Blue Spoon, a fabulous frozen yogurt place, also conveniently located close by.

Autumn Leaf Festival is coming up this weekend in Leavenworth. Apple Days are the following weekend in Cashmere at the Pioneer Museum. Then it will time to fly back to Mexico for the weekend. So I can’t figure out why it feels like I just got back to Washington from Mexico in the spring.

The Dream And The Usual

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The Dream And The Usual

The weekend was a dream that ended far too quickly. I got to hug my granddaughter live and in person. No more blowing kisses on a video call. Grandma is a real person who doesn’t live in a phone. And Maddie is no longer the baby she was when I last saw her.

It was exciting to see Leavenworth through the eyes of a child. I never realized how many “no touch” shops there are in town. Or how many candy and fudge shops there are. Or how much fun it is to run around in the gazebo or up the grassy hill. Or how a simple gingerbread butterfly could light up a child’s face so brightly.

Picnics. Maddie is a big fan of these. We had three of them on Sunday. The first was a snack picnic at Walla Walla Park in Wenatchee. The second was lunch in Cashmere at a playground. The third was dinner in my backyard at home in East Wenatchee.

I was determined not to cry when we said goodbye. But I did anyways. Maddie is four years old and I’ve only seen her three times. The first time she was only a few weeks old. The second time she was still a baby. Barring another crazy pandemic, I hope to be able to see Maddie more often.

But the weekend came and went. Labor Day found Maddie and Kimmy on their way home to Kelowna.

Back to the usual. Teaching a SAIL class in Leavenworth Tuesday morning followed by lunch at the golf club with Linda. Next was another afternoon bingeing Virgin River on Netflix. Then it was time to head back to East Wenatchee.

And now it’s another Wednesday, another humpday. The week is half over and I need to start researching flights back to Mexico. It’s almost October. The temperature is starting to drop and that means the leaves will soon begin to change color. Fall is my favorite time of year here in Washington state.

Finally!!!!!

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Finally!!!!!

I finally got to hug my granddaughter for the first time since before Covid. This has been the best long weekend ever!

Kimmy and Maddie came from Kelowna for the weekend. On Friday they picked me up at Bonaventure after I was finished teaching. Maddie wanted to see where Grandma lived so that was our first stop.

I’ve mentioned before that the friends I live with have seven chihuahuas. At first Maddie was a little overwhelmed but it didn’t take long before she was petting and cuddling with them. Christina had kept them outside when we first arrived as Maddie was a little tentative. But she was enchanted with them and it was hard to convince her that we had other places to go.

On Saturday we headed into Leavenworth. We walked in and out of almost every store on Front Street. And there were treasures to be found in all of them, especially the candy and fudge shops. Maddie was absolutely delighted with a jar of lemon stuffed olives. Neither Kimmy nor I will even touch olives.

After a delicious lunch at Soup Cellar, we stopped at Gingerbread Factory and got her a butterfly cookie. She loved Kris Kringle, the most amazing Christmas store ever. This has always been one of my favorites and it was interesting to view it through my granddaughter’s eyes.

We were in a shop where one of the sales clerks and Maddie really hit it off. Maddie was delighted when she got to sit on Sydney’s knee and help her at the cash register. Maddie got to use the tablet, ask people if it was cash or card, as well as if they wanted a receipt. She had a wonderful time!

We found a playground where Maddie liked the slide and swings. She’s a climber so monkey bars and other structures appealed to her.

Then it was off to Ann’s to have a short nap. After we sat out on the deck overlooking the river. Rafters and kayakers came by. Maddie went down to the beach and had fun throwing sticks in the water for Mitzi, Ann’s dog, to retrieve. And of course Mitzi was excited to have someone play with her.

Off we went back to Leavenworth to visit Linda and Gene. Maddie is inquisitive and insisted on exploring the whole house. She enjoyed watching Dora the Explorer for a while and challenged Gene to a game of chess, Maddie’s rules of course.

On the drive back to Wenatchee, Maddie decided that we should get some take out rather than eat in a restaurant. Visconti’s came through with delicious lasagna, chicken parmigiana and salad.

Today Maddie wants to go swimming and have a picnic. And I’m sure we will find other things to do as well.

This magical weekend ends tomorrow when Maddie and Kimmy go back to Kelowna. Grandma has had an amazing time and will miss them dearly. Hopefully Grandma will come to visit them in Kelowna next spring when she returns from Mexico.

Where I Live

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Where I Live

Seeing as I first discovered Washington State back in 2016, here’s a little more info about where I spend the six months when I’m not in Mexico.

Leavenworth has a population of roughly 2000. However on the weekends when all the tourists bombard this quaint little Bavarian village, it feels more like 2 million. Highway 2 splits the town in half and traffic is a nightmare.

I’m living in East Wenatchee in Douglas County. The population here is approximately 14,000. This area is home to Costco and several restaurants. The Wenatchee Valley Mall is here and shopping also includes Safeway and Grocery Outlet. Pangborn Airport is also on the outskirts.

On the other side of the river, Wenatchee is in Chelan County and has a population of 34,000. Walmart and Valley North Mall are here as well as restaurants, theaters, a senior center and the YMCA.

Also this week, a haircut at Shears, watching more of the new season of Virgin River and The Sound of Music up at the amphitheater in Leavenworth.

Feliz Miercoles!

Nomad On The Move Soon

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Nomad On The Move Soon

Yes my flights are finally booked. Hopefully next Sunday my post will be coming from East Wenatchee. This is my last Sunday post from Winnipeg.

I had a nice relaxing time out at the lake. And I have been busy since I got back into the city. I have been sorting through hundreds of photos that were backed up on my Seagate and trying to remember where and when they were taken. My old laptop had died and finally gone to hell at some point during the early days of Covid. Gone to hell…………I hated that ASUS!!!!!

I finally booked my flights. I am taking my chances with a Canadian airline. Please keep me in your prayers that Air Canada actually has a crew to get me to SeaTac via Vancouver on Thursday. I still have to book the Wenatchee Valley Shuttle and buy my travel health insurance, but I know that is minor in comparison. I also know that Christina and Danny will be waiting with bells on for me to get back home.

Of course it is now crunch time and that means saying goodbye to my friends here. I hope they understand when I say I have no plans to come back here anytime soon. Six weeks was way too long for a visit this summer when I had planned on being here only three.

I have been texting Annie back in East Wenatchee. I have new classes to teach at Bonaventure the week of the 15th. And of course I will be back in Leavenworth teaching that week as well. I am looking forward to getting back to those fitness classes.

I also have tickets for Leavenworth Summer Theater productions of The Music Man and The Sound of Music. Performances always include an outstanding cast and the Amphitheatre up in the mountains is the perfect venue.

Almost time for internet church from Sage Hills in Wenatchee. Next Sunday I hope to be there in person.

Have a great Sunday!

On My Mind

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On My Mind

My blog post on Wednesday had more than a few of you wondering WTF was going on in my life. It was a short post and I sounded kind of down.

About three weeks ago I saw my doctor in Leavenworth to get a prescription refill. I hadn’t seen her in almost two years. In Mexico I don’t need a script. However this past year there were still shortages so I wasn’t able to bring my meds with me to Washington.

She noticed a mole on my ear and was concerned. I consented to a biopsy. The results that came back were inconclusive. I had her book me in with a specialist in Wenatchee. He removed the mole on Tuesday and phoned me on Thursday with the results of the second biopsy. Malignant. But he was confident that he got it all and that the tissue surrounding it was healthy and cancer free.

I was relieved. But at the back of my mind is that nagging thought. What if I had waited until next month when I got back to Canada? I would never have gotten an appointment with my PCP and then seen a specialist within three weeks. Instead it would have been several months. Yes, the precarious nature of the Canadian medical system scares me. Socialized medicine is not all it’s cracked up to be.

I have nothing but praise for Cascade Medical Center and Confluence Health. The medical staff were attentive and caring, as well as efficient. Canada can learn a lesson from their neighbors to the south.

Half Time

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Half Time

I just crossed the border at Nogales. What do you mean I’ve been back in the USA for three months already?

That got me thinking about all the changes since I first arrived in Leavenworth in July of 2016. I’ve always lived primarily in Leavenworth but I’m now living in East Wenatchee. But I still commute to Leavenworth to teach fitness classes.

Covid caused a lot of changes. The Senior Center in Leavenworth has yet to reopen. I went there often for lunch and I also volunteered in the kitchen. I played bridge there and went to craft afternoons.

Covid also affected the library programs which all switched over to Zoom. The rumor is that in person programs are starting again next month. And I am looking forward to those, including book club, craft programs and speakers.

I now attend a church in Wenatchee and have a new life group as well. It’s a much larger church than the one I used to go to in Leavenworth. It’s also a Free Methodist rather than a Nazarene church.

My attorney has told me he’s retiring at the end of the year and my doctor has told me she’s moving on to a different clinic. More changes.

Over the years I’ve met a lot of people and have developed close relationships with many who I now consider as part of my extended family. Friendships are especially important to me considering my nomadic lifestyle. And those constantly change depending upon where I happen to be living. But my extended family changes very little.

There are constants in my life here as well. This is my sixth year teaching fitness classes in the SAIL program. Next month I’ll be taking training in A Matter Of Balance. But more about that in a future blog post devoted to the program.

Another constant is the beauty of the mountains. I am as much in awe of it today as when I first came here six years. This is truly God’s country!

It’s Raining It’s Snowing

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It’s Raining It’s Snowing

Yesterday was April 12th. With April Fool’s Day weather. It was also a Tuesday which means I commute to Leavenworth from East Wenatchee to teach a fitness class. I usually hop on Link, but not yesterday. The rain had turned to snow. Will I ever get rid of this ski jacket? Do I really need to dig out my Sorrells?

Driving along Eastmont, the town of Wenatchee below us had totally disappeared from view, as had the mountains beyond. Visibility improved as we made our way along Highway 2 towards Leavenworth.

I must admit the mountains look very pretty with all the freshly fallen snow. But the snow didn’t stay up on the mountains. Instead it graced the town itself.

I snapped these pics after the fitness class.

The snow had finally stopped and didn’t resume again until late afternoon. On the drive back to East Wenatchee, we noticed a drastic change once we got out of Leavenworth. Instead of snow on the ground, everything was green again. And the sun even began to peek through.

Elsewhere in the USA the weather ranged from vicious tornados to blizzards. My friends back in Manitoba were also bracing for severe winter storms.

Did we skip spring, summer and fall and head directly back to winter?

It’s now 9 am Wednesday, today, just before I post this. The snow is still coming down in East Wenatchee. I know the mountains are out there somewhere.

Snow Kids Chocolate

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Snow Kids Chocolate

The spring solstice was on March 21st. But I think winter has returned to tease us. Here in East Wenatchee we had daytime highs approaching 70 F for a couple of days. But now we’re back to 30s at night and 50s during the day. And there has been snow up on the mountains.

The above photo was yesterday in Leavenworth. The photo below was yesterday in East Wenatchee where it’s quite a bit warmer.

There is far less snow on the mountains and the trees are blooming more and more everyday.

Yesterday Joyce and I went out for lunch and wound up at the Wenatchee Valley Mall. We had a great time at Macy’s and Ross. Amazing how quickly two hours can go by at those two stores. And those sacks can get heavy too!

I’m still thinking about a couple of trips to Canada. Possibly next month if I can pin down some dates with my daughter in Kelowna. And, yes Winnipeg, you are also in the running. But I’ve just settled in here in East Wenatchee and am not overly anxious to pack up another suitcase and head out so fast.

Once in a while I like to embarrass my kids. I guess today is the day. This photo came up as a Facebook memory from 2010 before I left for Mexico. The occasion was Kimmy’s birthday.

Let’s talk time zones. For my friends reading this, Culiacan is now one hour ahead, Winnipeg and Aguascalientes you are two hours ahead, Indiana, Alabama, Maine and Toronto you are three hours ahead. Times like this I wish it was the same time everywhere. At least Kelowna is the same as Washington. I’m not sure what’s happening next year everywhere, but in Washington they’re doing away with the time change in the spring and fall.

Look what the chocoholic found at Costco the other day!