After spending a July day in Seattle hanging out with friends and family, Jon, Pablo and I headed out for Leavenworth. Jon’s sister and brother in law would be joining us later that day, as well as Jon’s parents and brother. We headed over the pass on Highway 2 – enjoying the scenery along the way, and stopping along the river to take some photos and enjoy the view. If you haven’t been over WA Highway 2, it is a beautiful scenic drive – more like a country road in most parts – two lanes that wind along next to the river.
Once we got to Leavenworth, our first stop was at Smallwood’s Harvest, a local farm stand and retail store featuring many local products and produce. Jon, Pablo and I got some salad dressing, some peach cider, fresh peaches, and some jalapeño stuffed green olives. Jon really liked the green olives – I accidentally ate one and my tongue and lips were on fire for the next several hours! Also at Smallwood’s is a kitchen shop, with all sorts of neat kitchen gadgets. If we lived in the area, I think this would be someplace to check out regularly – just to see what kinds of local items they had!
By this time we were hungry, so we decided to stop by Milepost 111 Brewery in Cashmere, WA (just one town over from Leavenworth on Highway 2). It was a hot day, but we sat outside in the shade on their patio, and were comfortable. They do brew small quantities of their own beer, but they happened to be sold out the day that we were there. They have a large selection of Northwest microbrews, including several from around the Leavenworth area.
I ordered the Bacon Bleu Cheese Burger – with gorgonzola cheese and sauteed mushrooms – YUM! It was served with Truffle Fries, and I loved the meal! I paired it with a Dirty Face Amber Lager by Icicle Brewery in Leavenworth, which was a nice malty amber lager that was very smooth and approachable. Jon had the Salmon Fish and Chips and Pablo had the Pineapple Express Burger, they were both really pleased with their meals as well.
After we had been there for awhile, Jon’s parents showed up, so we sat with them while they had lunch too. Jon’s mom had the Watermelon Jicama salad. I was a bit unsure about it at first, but this salad was awesome! It had watermelon cut into big chunks and jicama, flavored with honey, orange, lime juice and mint. The flavors just exploded in your mouth, with the mint providing the perfect accompaniment with the watermelon! Sorry, I didn’t get a picture though…
After hanging out on the patio for a couple of hours, it was time to check out our cabin. Jon’s sister had rented a cabin for the weekend that was right on the Wenatchee River, overlooking a section of rapids. We checked into the cabin, dropped our stuff in our rooms, and went down to the river! By that time of the afternoon, it was really hot – close to 100 degrees, so dipping our toes into the frigid water felt really good. Dipping the whole body was quite a different matter. That water was cold! REALLY COLD!
I don’t think I had ever been swimming in water so cold – it is mountain melt, and is pretty close to the source in Leavenworth. It took a few minutes to get acclimated, but once you were in, the crisp cold water felt really good. Of course, it isn’t water you can lounge around in for the whole afternoon… but for later in the evening there was a hot tub.
Jon’s sister and her husband treated us to dinner that evening – homemade seafood paella. Paella is complicated to make, requiring many steps to turn out a finished product, so I was excited to have some outside of a restaurant. It is one of my favorite dishes, and we all really enjoyed it.
It was a great day to relax and enjoy ourselves!