Monday, July 7, 2008
The hills are alive with the sound of music
Oh Leavenworth. Could you possibly be more perfect? With your gorgeous mountains, your quaint little village, your darling painted buildings, your gorgeous flowers, your beautiful river, your BILLY GOATS:
Who knew Leavenworth had "community goats"? Seriously, could I possibly love Leavenworth any more? NO. I COULD NOT.
Anna and I had SO MUCH FUN this weekend!!! She is at such a great age to just hang out with; even the car ride over was fun. She read to me much of the way, and then we listened to the soundtrack to Sound of Music and sang at the top of our lungs with the windows down as we blasted toward Leavenworth. We arrived Friday morning and Anna immediately hopped into the pool.
And just so you know: Springen Verboten. We played in the pool for a couple of hours and then went horseback riding. I can't tell you how much that area looks (and sounds and smells) exactly like Garden Valley. Waaaay down there is the ranch where we started out. We rode up and up and up to the top of this ridge. It was breathtaking. Anna, of course, was in paradise. She impressed the guide with her knowledge of the ranch's draft horses; she correctly identified which were Shires, which were Belgians and which were Percherons.
The next day was more swimming and then we floated the aptly-named Icicle River. (those photos will come later as I had to use a water-proof disposable camera). The river had just that day opened to rafters after raging wildly all Spring. It was SO beautiful, with the gorgeous mountains rising up all around us, wildflowers all along the river, and so many birds you can't believe it: Cedar Waxwings, Swallows, Thrushes, Sandpipers, Osprey, Eagles, Warblers.... Anna was a little bit freaked out at first; this was her first-ever rafting/floating experience. But other than the frozen-butt syndrome, she LOVED it. Then she swam some more and we walked around town; we visited our favorite hat-shop: She was, of course, enamoured with the flower-wearing draft horse that pulls tourists through town in a carriage. I had to laugh because, as I took this picture, the carriage-driver, decked out in leiderhosen, knee-socks and green felt hat, was TEXTING on his cell phone. I tried to get a photo but he caught me and stopped to pose.
We found a cute little cafe to have a snack and played a game of mancala on the porch. Later, we stopped to visit the goats (their field was directly across from our inn) and it turns out that goats love gelato as much as we do:
We had dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant and then it was time for Sound of Music. It was everything that is wonderful about summer theater: at an outdoor amphitheater on the ski-hill overlooking the valley. The cast, in their leiderhosen and hats, doubled as the greeters, ticket-takers, and seat-locaters. I managed to snap one photo (of the nuns singing a song about turning off our cell-phones....I don't remember that part of the movie...) before we were told no photos or video-taping. It was a fantastic performance with amazing acting and singing. Sitting there watching Sound of Music while surrounded by breath-taking mountains as the sun went down, after a day on the river, sitting with my precious daughter, I can't remember the last time I've been so happy. As much as we both missed "Davie", I'm glad we went just the two of us. It was just such a beautiful weekend together.
Oh, one day, if we ever win the lottery, I would LOVE to have a little cabin there on the river. It's as close as I'll ever get to my dream of living in Switzerland.
I mean, look: What's not to love??