Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Oktoberfest 2012- Leavenworth (1 of 2)

This year, My Sailor and I headed up to a famous Oktoberfest in Leavenworth, Washington.  (For those not 'in the know', Leavenworth is a small Bavarian village, similar to the Solvang vibe of California - only German culture is honored here more than Dutch culture.) The drive was a harrowing evening through the mountains. Between the construction (blasting they are doing to widen the 2 lane highway) the new light rain, and the darkness of night, the white knuckle 4 hour drive was an adventure in and of itself! My Sailor drove nearly all of the way up, and I drove nearly all of the way back.
 One the drive up, we learned the cabin we'd booked with friends for the weekend had been double booked. Oops. Leavenworth is incredibly busy during Oktoberfest weekends, so we were relieved when our hosts found us a comparable place to stay.

Instead of a luxury cabin, we expected to stay at, we ended up staying at a large house with an amazing view, huge kitchen and great living space. Sure, we didn't have a hot tub, the area was far too dry to enjoy a fire even in the fireplace, and - to be honest - it wasn't quite the romantic evening yours truly had in mind, but it was a stunning retreat. It immediately had me thinking that it would be a perfect writing retreat. A girl could get happily lost in 35 acres of forest and a 7000 square foot log mansion cabin with a mountain vista waiting to be whisper in my ears and fill my pages with their enchanting adventures. But I digress...
   We checked in around 9 pm pretty much exhausted from our drive in. After a quick trip to a nearby store, we opted to enjoy some wine and chocolate before crawling into bed.
  Later that night, our friends arrived (another married couple My Salior and I have befriended through his boat) and we helped them find the way and come in. Once we were all moved in and comfortable, we went to bed because we had a big day coming up.

View from/of the living room/reading area. Who needs a TV with a view like this?

  We woke up the next morning, made a relaxing breakfast (with eggs provided from the hosts' own hens) and we relaxed for a bit before heading out to explore downtown Leavenworth and enjoy the Oktoberfest festivities. We all took some time to soak in our beautiful surroundings. Thankfully, the weather cooperated all weekend!

Oktoberfest is free to military and their immediate dependents, so yours truly was a very cheap date, since I ensured everyone got back to our cabin safe and sound.

  The men relaxed with some steins of beer. I was the designated driver, but still had a great time. The music was fun. The people watching was very entertaining, and the booths were typical festival fare - only much of it had a beer or Bavarian twist.  I'll let our pictures tell that story.

The guys w/ their first beers of the day. Each Stein holds about 2 beers.

One of the bands

Gotta love Polka. The only type of music where a tuba can solo!

Finishing the beers...

While joining in to a few German Drinking Songs.

What happens when you give men w/ beers a camera.
He makes this look easy!

Shouting over the music
Seeing over the table. lol
Aw... Party's over...

Look what almost came home from the Christmas shop!
We headed out to dinner, explored a few shops (the Christmas Shop being my favorite) before heading back to the Cabin. I'll save our other adventures for my next blog.
Preview of Part 2 - Downtown Leavenworth and the long road home

Just outside of Oktoberfest - minus 1, the photographer and my fellow Navy sub wife.

What's a Designated Driver to do?

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