“Pack your bags for cold weather,” said my hubby. With no clue were we were heading for a Valentine’s getaway, we left 80 degree weather in Oahu, Hawaii and flew into Seattle, Washington where there was a winter storm warning in effect for the surrounding area. When we arrived, I immediately pulled my winter coat out of my suitcase and layered up. Once we got to the car rental area, I dug out my winter boots, scarf and gloves. I was, indeed, freezing! But snow was on the way, and I was in heaven. It hit 8 degrees at one point. “We’re not in Kansas anymore toto!”
We drove a few hours and as we got further away from Seattle, it began to look more like a snow-globe. Driving through the snow covered mountains was quite the change from tropical island life in Hawaii. When we arrived to the small town of Leavenworth, Washington, I felt like I stepped back into Garmisch Germany. Leavenworth is a quaint little snowy town, with boutiques and restaurants with small gas-lit fire pits perfect for a pint or a little gluhwein. It is beautifully lit up at night as the town prides itself with a massive display of lights from before Christmas through February.
Our first stop was quickly unpacking at the Icicle Village Resort and heading back to the little town for some much needed food fuel. We found the Soup Cellar and were pleasantly pleased! Warm homemade soup and sandwiches were perfect to warm us up!
Originally we had planned a four night getaway, but little did we know another snow storm would hit the day we were to leave to drive a few hours back to the airport. We checked out anyway (I do believe I made a comment to my hubby…. humm, you think we just stay??, anyway…) we packed up and drove out onto the only road that was open to the airport. (Hwy 2, as the interstate was shut down due to an avalanche). About 30 minutes out of Leavenworth, we came to a halt… yep, snow began to fall even harder and faster, and all the trucks (oh, about 40 or so!) were pulled over putting on snow chains. What do we do now? Of course we rolled down the window to ask the police officer’s advice, and we continued on…for about one min. Then we decided that maybe driving in a white-out was not a great idea. God was in control, because he gave us the wisdom to literally do a three-point turn in the middle of the road to head back to, um, where… that was a great question. As we were driving, the snow was piling up and there were no hotels in site. Through a quick internet search (thankfully we had cell service), and awesome customer service (thanks, Amanda!), God led us to a sweet little cabin in the middle of no where that was available to rent. We were good. We were safe, and we were snowed in!
Later that evening when we were checking the road conditions, we noticed that the road we were on earlier in the day became completely shut down. God had our backs. We were blessed indeed.
We made the best of the situation and realized that by the weather forecast predicting more snow, the earliest we would be able to get back to the airport would be in three more days. So we found a little grocery market, stocked up on a few provisions, grabbed a quick hot soup to go at the local hardware store, and made the best of our situation.
Sometimes, we have a plan, but we must be flexible to what God has planned. In the end, this little getaway to seek snow turned into enjoying an entire week in what felt like stepping into a snow globe. It was magnificent. It was refreshing (minus the stressful snowy driving conditions), and it was just what two empty nesters living in Hawaii needed.
I highly recommend adding Leavenworth, Washington to your bucket list. It checks so many boxes…”snow” much to name, but check out the photos below for our snowed-in adventure.
Oh and a little bit of humor… as we were snowed in, our Hawaii Life episode (that we had filmed over a year ago for HGTV) finally aired. What a great laugh, watching ourselves during our “house hunting trip” in Hawaii, while sitting in a 15 degree snowstorm.
Because there was no way, or place, to get a covid test before returning back to Hawaii—into another 10 day quarantine I went…but it was all worth it.
All links are based off my opinions and experiences.