I left Mazatlan on April 29th and it seems like yesterday. May was a blur of traveling and suitcases until I arrived in Leavenworth on May 16th. Then it was finally time to actually unpack a suitcase and settle down for more than 3 or 4 days in one place.
I’m still in awe of the beauty of the mountains and the rivers and streams around here. Spring is here. The pungent aroma of budding lilacs fills the air along with the scent of pine from the towering evergreens. I went to visit my tree in Cashmere the other day and it is completely green with no evidence of the crimson glory displayed last fall.
A friend and I were sipping Mack n Jacks at Igloo in Wenatchee the other day when I remarked that I felt like I was at home, as though I hadn’t been away for six months. Everything was so familiar and very little had changed. It’s comfortable and relaxing and it’s good to be back.
I haven’t even pulled out my laptop all week. I’ve been out and about and too busy to write. I’m back volunteering at the church again and it’s so nice to be back with my church family. Vacation Bible School is fast approaching next month, and as a co-director I am only too aware of all the planning and organizing that needs to be done this month.
I also joined the Leavenworth Senior Center. I’ve met some lovely people and enjoyed lunch and an afternoon of bridge the other day. Next week I start an exercise program and I plan on attending some of the daily lunches at the center. There are other activities offered as well including a monthly trip to a casino.
I took Link Transit into Wenatchee and rode around on the trolleys to the various shopping areas. And I got an ID card as I’m at that wonderful age where public transit is now half price for me.
I visited Spirit of America in Cashmere. This tribute to 9/11 is a must for any traveler.
I’ve also joined a bible study group in Cashmere and am only too delighted to have yet another excuse to visit my favorite town in Washington.
The public library system in this state is amazing and I have been at both the Leavenworth and the Cashmere branches this week. I have lots of reading material to catch up on as John Grisham and Danielle Steel are difficult to find in English in Mexico.
Also on the agenda this past week was a walk in Walla Walla Point Park in Wenatchee. The path is alongside the river, peaceful and tranquil. A few people were in the water on rafts or in boats as it was quite a warm day.
I start a course next week from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. The course is titled Emotions: A Philosophical Introduction. It’s wonderful to have the time to take courses that are of interest rather than courses that are compulsory in order to obtain a degree.
I’m also indulging in another favorite pastime while in Leavenworth. I love to cook and bake and both the kitchens and available ingredients are certainly lacking in Mexico. I am overwhelmed when I walk into grocery stores here but I eagerly make my purchases and return home to bask in the glow of an American kitchen.
No wonder it’s June already!
I don’t mind gazing up at the still snow capped mountains. Here in the town of Leavenworth it is sunny with a predicted high in the 70s today. I listen to the chimes outside my window. I glance over at the 17th hole and note that the golfers are all sporting shorts today. I plan to go out for a walk later today to take pictures of the blossoming trees. I miss the springtime when nature truly comes alive. In Mexico it always feels like summer, and there are no definitive seasons.
Yesterday my friend Ann drove me into Wenatchee. It was a tedious process, but I successfully got a sim card and had my phone activated. It’s nice to be able to call and text again and not to have to rely on WiFi to call on What’s App or Messenger. This number is now mine so that when I return next spring after wintering in Mexico, I’m good to go.
I had dinner with Ann at her home and had to share this spectacular view as we ate outside on her deck. The next best thing to ocean is the rippling water nestled among the trees. Peaceful and tranquil.
I have a “to do” list for the coming week that will keep me busy. I plan on going to Cashmere to visit my tree and enjoy an apple fritter at the bakery. Some shopping in Wenatchee includes Bath and Body as well as Walmart. A visit to the salon is in order as I have not found anyone in Mazatlan who layers my hair properly. I intend to check out the Leavenworth Senior Center to see what activities are offered. I have several books on hold at the library here and they should be coming in this week. My life group has a pot luck Monday evening and there is a meeting for volunteers at the church on Tuesday.
It was without saying that I want to renew acquaintances with friends I haven’t seen since I left last November. We do keep in touch on Facebook and What’s App, but it will be nice to get together again in person over coffee or a glass of wine.
It’s Friday and the beginning of the Labor Day weekend here in Washington. It’s also been raining most of the day and it’s quite dreary out there. Instead of going for a long walk to the library I stayed in and baked chocolate chip cookies. Last week at this time it was hot and sunny. I used to think that Winnipeg was the only place where it rained on the weekends.
But the rain is much needed around here as it helps to contain the wildfires that are a big threat at this time of year. The one burning near Peshastin affected over 250 acres of land and destroyed one home. Hundreds of people were evacuated. And that’s just a few miles down the highway from Leavenworth.
The other day I was in Wenatchee and wandered through the historical district. I passed churches, the courthouse, other government buildings and a couple of parks. I came across these statues:
It was quite a dull day as well. The sun needs to return and the clouds need to disappear. Chelan County Fair is coming up next weekend in Cashmere. I’ve never been to a county fair and am looking forward to this one, but not in the rain. Along with the rain the temperature has plummeted. But I’d still rather be here right now than in Mazatlan with the soaring temperatures and the torrential rainstorms.
In my stroll along Wenatchee Avenue in the downtown area I found other interesting statues:
I checked out some of the shops along the way. An old movie theater has been converted into a spacious thrift store.
As election time draws near this was a prominent storefront:
Here is the performing arts center:
There were a variety of other shops with everything from clothing to antiques. Restaurants ranged from a Mongolian barbecue to burgers and everything in between This quaint little soda fountain caught my eye.
I look forward to my next visit downtown to explore more of this historic area.
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.
It’s the end of July and the end of my first week here in Leavenworth. Temperatures have soared above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, but it’s a dry heat unlike the high humidity I left behind in Mazatlan. It cools off overnight and was only 58 degrees this morning. I’ve done a fair amount of writing this week along with meeting new people, sightseeing and exploring. I also started a part-time job this week.
A job? Yes. Those of you who know me personally know my background……………businesswoman, counselor, motivational consultant, teacher and writer. What I’m doing now in no way, shape or form resembles any of these. A friend here owns a construction company and has hired me to help out. For the time being it’s painting, but he has aspirations of other things in mind for the future. I did remind him that knives are not a great idea, lol. I believe I may have the world record for cutting my toe with a butter knife, but that was decades ago in another lifetime. Take a peak at my first painting job.
Now isn’t that the prettiest flower box you’ve ever seen? And the flowers remained purple and the leaves stayed green. I just may be on to a new career here.
Now we come to the sightseeing and exploring part. Leavenworth is primarily a tourist town, Bavarian style. When you walk along the streets in the downtown are it does not feel like you are in the USA at all. The buildings are so quaint, and there is an abundance of flowers everywhere.
The building pictured above is where I painted the flower boxes. This is a German restaurant owned by a man from Manitoba, my home province in Canada.
Here are a few other shots of the downtown area:
And this is only one section of a street. There is also a small park with a kiosk where live music is featured on the weekends. An art show also happens on the weekends. But I will leave that for a future post.
Yesterday we checked out the Farmers Market. It’s a small one featuring some fresh produce, handicrafts and a couple of food stands.
It was a great place to people watch and I just had to share this photo. What a sweetie!
Wenatchee is a town about twenty minutes away. This is where the WalMart, East Wenatchee Mall, Costco and all the shopping are located. There are also a variety of restaurants. The downtown area has the courthouse and i intend to spend a day walking around that area in the near future. The drive to Wenatchee from Leavenworth is beautiful. Have a look at these photos: