Having grown up in Eastern Washington, it is a mystery to me as why I only just now visited Leavenworth for the first time. If at some point in my life I have been there, I have absolutely no memory of it.
The Victoria Clipper has a bus service that goes there, and in case we have not met, I don’t drive in the snow (I barely like driving in the sun), so I was excited to see that option. The bus departs at 9:00 in the morning from the downtown waterfront and there is another bus that departs from Northgate.
The package includes a breakfast bag, which included a couple of mandarins, yogurt, a muffin and a bottle of water. It was the right amount.
I am going to give the Clipper the benefit of a doubt and say it was an off bus day. When we first started the journey, the heat was blasting. I was about to start taking off layers, when the driver pulled over and opened up the bus hatches, explaining it was a system problem. That was fine for a short while before it became too cold. So I never felt the right temperature. The bus was swapped out for the journey home, but that bus was a little on the cold side to me as well.
We arrived at Leavenworth around 11:30. I walked around and wandered around for a bit. Most of the main area was either food or merchandise. I did go to a few craft fairs, and I picked up some lovely lavender/avocado body butter from Stormy Mountain Soaps.
One of the churches was offering free use of their bathroom as well as cookies and coffee. Another church was offering soup and sandwiches for a donation. They also had a craft fair. I ended up going in this hall to charge my phone, which was quickly running out of juice. Sometime between my entering the hall and my leaving house, the number of people multiplied…a lot.
With technology, I was able to meet up with Des and her family, but I got to tell you it was too crowded. We ended up going onto a side street to get some relief. The lines to everything/where were hell of long, which I did hear about before getting there. I am not sure how the town is outside of tree lighting, but take the advice to book ahead for restaurants to heart.
We ended up toward the back to see the tree lighting. Again, there were just so many people there. There was a malfunction, so the lights came on in a few spots. Were turned off and came back on in a few more spots before everything came together. Oh, and they said 4:30 for the lighting, but it was well after that.
Then, I had to rush back to catch my bus. I was trying to get pictures, but alas, I was fighting the crowds. I was one of the last people to return to the bus in my attempt to get some pictures, but I was not the very last. We were able to leave in good order, and we got back at 8:00 ahead of the listed 8:45 scheduled time. We got another bottle of water and a snack from Macrina for the way back. We watched White Christmas. It was my first time seeing it.
If I were to do it again, I would probably find a company that stayed a little after the tree lighting service was over (if one exists). The crowds were clearing out as people were leaving directly after the lighting. Another option would be to stay overnight and enjoy the lights after the day trippers were gone. It reminded me of being in Venice and having the cruisers descend into the city. Then the city was calm and moveable after they left.
Pictures can be found here. Password: italia.