Up this morning for a big casino breakfast at Skagit. (casino food is always affordable)   Figured we would eat big and skip lunch.

Only 3 1/2 hours to Leavenworth so we stopped at an Outlet mall to spend our money in aid of the poor US economy.  An overcast rainy morning so we took our time heading east through the mountains.  Climbed up through Stephen’s Pass where it looked like snow (big snow drifts on the side of the highway) but on the eastern slope it was as if we had found the doorway to summer. 

Sky turned crystal blue and drove into Leavenworth in brilliant sunshine and warm weather.  After checking in we shed our jackets and wandered through the quaint town.

If you have never been to Leavenworth Washington it needs some explanation.  Think of Banff but turned into a German alpine town.  Apparently many years ago the railroad closed its centre here and as there is no major highway and no other industry, the town stagnated despite being in a valley tightly surrounded by beautiful mountains.  Then one bright guy (probably just back from Germany) said lets rediscover ourselves as a German Alpine village.  So over the years all buildings and hotels have all rebuilt themselves as Bavarian and they carry the entire motif throughout.

Now Pat and I spent 3 weeks in Germany last summer so recognize that the facades are only replicas but it is fun and on a beautiful day like today it is wonderful. Leavenworth is now a major tourist destination with winter skiing, spring white water rafting, summer hiking and of course a huge Octoberfest.  All the stores are filled with touristy German knick knacks and there is a host of beer halls and places to get sausage and Schwein.  Very picturesque but touristy.

On our return to the hotel we played a round of miniature golf on a real bent grass miniature golf course that is part of our hotel in a valley below ( not one of those carpeted concrete things with windmills.)  Took an hour for 18 holes and we had a blast (numerous mulligans and do overs) 

We went out for dinner and had a platter of Schnitzel, sausages, pork meatloaf, red cabbage, sauerkraut and potato salad with German beer.  Nice but nothing compared to the similar meal Jorg’s brother Oliver treated us to after the wedding last summer. 

Still a great evening as we sit on our balcony facing the sun setting behind the Tumwater mountain.    Tomorrow we have a much longer day as we head through moutain passes and Rattlesnake hills  to end up possibly Walla Walla.   Everyone should see Walla Walla Washington in their life.