July 4th with Family

We so cherish the time we get to see friends and family when our travel adventures bring us anywhere near them, and so it was once again this weekend that we got to take a Time Out from our national park visits to spend some time with a branch of the Jolly clan who lives in Washington.  Niece Kristen (Fred’s brother, Jeff,’s daughter), her husband Kevin, and their two sweetheart girls, Lauren and Kaelin [you may recall they were the perfect little flower girls in Kara and Kyle’s wedding in Florida back in December; see Kara and Kyle say ‘I Do’ post] introduced us to the wonderful little Bavarian village of Leavenworth, Washington, a couple of hours east of Seattle. 

Fred and I had a full day’s drive on Thursday, coming over from the Olympic Peninsula, and got settled in at a nice campground less than a mile outside of town.  The Erickson’s drove in on Friday and we girls got ready for the holiday weekend by painting our toenails red, white and blue!

Lauren, Uncle Fred, Kristen, Kevin and Kaelin
A fine yodeler entertained us as we ate our ice cream
A fine yodeler entertained us as we ate our ice cream

We all enjoyed Friday night dinner downtown — at a German restaurant, of course! — and topped off the day with some ice cream while we were thoroughly entertained by an accordion-wielding yodeler playing in the little town park.  Leavenworth is so beautiful with Bavarian designs and painted murals everywhere — even Starbucks and McDonalds were barely recognizable!  And flowers of all colors and varieties were in bloom all over — it was really a treat to have been introduced to this special little haven in the mountains.

The Erickson’s enjoyed Kinder Fest downtown on the 4th which included a kids bike parade, games with prizes, and a bouncy house — reports from the girls were that it was really fun!  Given that it was almost 100 degrees outside, way warmer than what it normally is around here this time of year, they all went swimming in their hotel pool then came over to our campground where we had a 4th of July cookout.  Due to the burn ban in effect all over the area, there wasn’t a fireworks display, but we didn’t seem to mind.

The weekend is over and we’ll be saying our goodbyes soon, but what a great weekend it’s been!  Thanks to the Erickson’s for introducing us to Leavenworth and for sharing this holiday weekend with us.  We love you and are so happy we got to see you!  And of course all of us send love to our families back in the Midwest who aren’t with us!