Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Our Anniversary trip in Leavenworth, Washington

“You want me to stay at a Bed and Breakfast?”

My husband surprised me for our anniversary this year by a weekend trip to Leavenworth, Washington. We both love Leavenworth very much and go there at least twice a year normally staying at various hotels downtown. We try to go once during the summer for the wonderful holiday spirit and once in the summer for the great outdoor eating and fun shopping (but that's a different chapter).
This time he said our trip to Leavenworth is going to be a special occasion for our anniversary and we are going to stay at Pine River Ranch Bed and Breakfast. My first thought was not very positive as I equate Bed and Breakfasts with stuffy basements, lace doilies and cats! To be quite honest with you, I was a little irritated and thought I should do the anniversary planning! He assured me that he had thoroughly researched the location and knew I would  be pleasantly surprised. I felt a little bad for my initial reaction because he had never let me down! He informed me that he did NOT want me to research Pine River Ranch and I was forbid to google "Bed and Breakfasts in Leavenworth." I reluctantly agreed because now I was very excited to see the location!

“Road Trip”

I had to make a special chapter just about the drive to Leavenworth. It is absolutely beautiful, if you have never driven highway 2, put it on your bucket list! It is about 2 hours from Seattle to Leavenworth and I never get bored on the drive, the first half you go through small cities like Goldbar and Sultan and "window shopping" as you drive through seeing the great shops in the town are always fun for me. There are plenty of mocha stands and eateries. This year we decided to stop at the Sultan Bakery, one of our favorites. We normally just stop to get fresh made donuts and coffee but decided to split a early lunch snack and had a delicious Turkey sandwich.
The second half of the drive is breathtaking scenery. My kids always attempt to count the waterfalls along the way and normally lose track at around 50. The highway follows the Skykomish River for some time and even an amateur photographer can get a seemingly professional photo because it is just that beautiful and the drive never gets old.
Pine River Ranch is about 15 minutes before downtown Leavenworth (for those of you that are familiar with the drive it's by the 59'er diner, squirrel tree inn and the Shell gas station. If you have never stopped into 59'er diner, next time on your way through, make sure to stop in for a milkshake! Mmmmm! The 59'er diner is exactly like it sounds and exactly what you would picture it to be. Jukebox, album covers, Elvis and friendly service.

Photo From Pine River Ranch's Website

“This is not what I expected…In a good way!”

We pulled off the highway and turned towards Pine River Ranch. At this point I was very excited and very nervous as of what to expect! Even though my husband had reassured me that Pine River Ranch was not a typical bed and breakfast, I still had my doubts! About a mile from the highway I peeked through the trees and saw a large rustic barn then a giant welcoming sign for Pine River Ranch. We pulled in and saw the main house with a beautiful wraparound porch, wooden rocking chairs, hummingbird feeders and 2 cabins to the right of the main house. We hadn't even made it all the way out of the car and Rob and Carrie were there to great us with a warm welcome!
We went into the main house with Rob and Carrie and they gave us a little tour, showed us all the menus of local restaurants, the collection of about 200 DVDs that we could take to our room and watch, and Carrie gave us some homemade cookies that smelled like they had just come out of the oven. They invited us to come back later for a cup of coffee, but I think they could tell I was too excited to see our room to stay and chat! There are 2 suites in the main house, but our suite was located in one of the cabins on the property. We moved our car closer to our cabin and Rob helped us unload our bags and show us our suite...Wow!

“Drum Roll Please! Welcome to your Romantic Getaway.”
We were staying in the Natapoc Suite and I was blown away when I walked in the door! Having been forbidden to see any pictures I was absolutely amazed! I had hardly stepped foot in the door and could not wait to completely settle in!
There was a beautiful floor to ceiling river rock fireplace nestled in the corner (Which had already been turned on for a wonderful first impression!) The far wall was covered with windows that opened up to our private deck and a beautiful view of the property and a large pond. Rob pointed out the pond and told us to keep our eye out for the osprey as they love to fly near the pond for fish (it is not stocked yet, but they are thinking about stocking it in the future). A "Happy Anniversary" banner was hanging above our bed which is made out of logs and branches and a river rock Jacuzzi tub that matched the fireplace was in the other corner near the kitchenette and bar. WOW! My eyes literally filled up with tears when I looked at my husband and his beaming smile! Rob quickly snuck out the door and let us enjoy the moment! I couldn't decide what I wanted to do first, soak in the Jacuzzi tub, sit on the porch with the bird watching guide and binoculars from our suite or jump onto the big bed and relax. My husband surely outdid himself! About 10 minutes later there was a knock on the door and Rob and Carrie greeted us with a HUGE tray of chocolate covered strawberries, bouquet of roses and bottle of chilled champagne. I looked over to see my husband’s smile grow even larger and teared up again. AMAZING

Natapoc Suite at Pine River Ranch

Natapoc Suite at Pine River Ranch

“I guess we have to leave our suite.”

I didn't want to leave the comfort of our suite, but even after about a dozen chocolate covered strawberries my stomach was growling! We decided to go one of our favorite restaurants in Leavenworth, Gustav's. It's not exactly what you would call romantic but we love the atmosphere at Gustav's and the second story outdoor deck on a sunny day is impossible to beat! They have over 30 beers on tap and is a great joint to eat for burgers, sandwiches and fresh, seasonal salads. We got a bratwurst and green salad with salmon to share and enjoyed some delicious microbrews. After stuffing ourselves completely full we wondered aimlessly around Leavenworth for awhile and enjoyed the sunny day before deciding to head back to Pine River Ranch.

Photo from Gustav's Website

“Back to Pine River Ranch”

We enjoyed the beautiful drive back to the Ranch and had about an hour til the sun went down. We decided to walk off some of our dinner and headed on the "Nature Trail" that was built on the property. (I brought the bird watching guide from the room in hopes of spotting a rare bird :) The trail goes around the pond and we stopped on the dock and sat for awhile then through the fields and out to a spot on Nason creek. We sat along the riverbank for awhile and enjoyed the sound of the rushing current and peace and tranquility of the scene. We just sat and enjoyed breathing in the fresh air and reflected a bit on our marriage and how we had come this far. The water was a little bit to cold to put our feet in but I think if we had towels to dry our feet afterwards we would have waded in anyways! The trail looped back along the other side of the property and we stopped in the main house to grab a DVD on the way back to our suite.

Photo from the Pine River Ranch Website of the drive back to the Ranch

“Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, You mean Breakfast IN BED!”

The other thing I have heard about Bed and Breakfasts is you normally have breakfast served in the dining room. Since I am not really a huge morning person I don't like the idea small talk and mingling with strangers in the morning before I have had an entire pot of coffee. (Yes, I'm from Seattle)
I was pleasantly surprised when I began to get ready in the morning and my husband told me to stay in bed. As if he and Rob had arranged this secret schedule there was a knock on the door no more than a second after the sentence escaped his lips. Rob brought in a huge tray of breakfast, fresh flowers and fresh orange juice! I took the lids off of the breakfast dishes and found a huge breakfast spread! There was an "egg-roll omelet" as we decided it should be called. Egg with ham chunks, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and cheese rolled into a sushi type omelet with a mango salsa on the side, breakfast potatoes, bacon, fresh fruit and fresh juice! Can this get any better?!? We had breakfast on the big couch in front of the fireplace and I could not believe how spectacular this anniversary was!

View off our Deck at Pine River Ranch

“I’ve never liked goodbyes.”

After enjoying our delicious breakfast and packing up it was time to hit the road :( We checked-out with Rob and Carrie and were sent on our way with home made cookies for the ride home. This was the most wonderful, thoughtful, perfect anniversary I could have ever asked for. It was such a wonderfully relaxing and romantic weekend and I enjoyed every second of alone time I got to reconnect with my amazing husband. I can guarantee you from here on out that we will be starting a new tradition with our annual trips to Leavenworth and enjoy the pampering, luxurious retreat at Pine River Ranch at least once a year. (maybe twice ;)

Picture of our Suite from Pine River Ranch's Website

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