We spent last weekend in Lake Chelan, and it was absolutely lovely and so needed. We left midday on Friday and didn’t return until just before dinnertime on Sunday, so while it was just a weekend getaway, it felt a bit longer.
We hadn’t gone anywhere since the short trip to the Oregon Coast visit Regina and her family at the very beginning of August, almost three months ago. Before that was the road trip to Montana in early May. Pre-Covid, we used to go somewhere every month or more. That has certainly changed.
The weekend was spent mostly offline and a large part outdoors. The drive out on Friday was beautiful and we were treated to absolutely stunning October leaf color views along Highway 2. The weather held off in Chelan on Saturday when it was rainy at home, so it felt extra like a vacation to enjoy the sunshine. It felt like a big exhale, and reminded us that we need to take some time away more often, even if not that far from home. We need some R&R badly after the last year and a half and more.
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Friday’s Frugal Five
1. We rented a two bedroom Airbnb with our bubble friends, and the condo was fabulous (except for unfortunately uncomfortable beds). It had a stunning view of Lake Chelan with a large deck and BBQ grill. The condo was in a well appointed resort that clearly is a destination location during the summertime, with a pool, hot tub, tennis courts, water craft for rent, and other awesome amenities.
Curious, I looked up the price to rent the same space during the peak summer season, and I was floored to realize it was almost triple the price we paid. We like traveling off season for many reasons, and the cost is definitely a big perk along with the smaller crowds.
If you haven’t stayed in an AirBnB before, I would highly recommend it. We love the flexibility it gives us while traveling as a family – full kitchen, laundry, and extra bathrooms, and it’s usually considerably cheaper than a hotel, especially when you travel as a group. If you’re new to AirBnB, here’s a link for $65 off your first stay
2. On the way to Chelan on Friday, we stopped in Leavenworth for a few hours to hang out and walk around. We picked up some meat and cheeses from the Cheesemongers shop and then other charcuterie board type snacks from the local grocery store there. They had local pears and fresh figs for sale, which were a definitely worthwhile purchase. along with discount wine from one of the local wineries.
Once we got to the condo that evening, we had a snack type meal from what we picked up in Leavenworth and just relaxed and hung out for the evening. Cheaper than eating out, and more enjoyable, especially since we’re still only doing outside dining for now.
3. The condo we rented was about two and a half miles from downtown Chelan, but the weather was lovely, so we decided to walk into town on Saturday. It was a beautiful walk (other than the first mile on a shoulder that wasn’t particularly pedestrian friendly). Whenever possible, we love to ditch the car during travel, and this past weekend was no exception. Now for a great car-free way to get to Chelan…
They also have a bus that runs seven days a week that we could have taken, which is pretty awesome for a small more rural town. It is also fare free, which made my transportation nerd heart very happy. We’ll definitely have to check out the bus travel option in the future.
(We also had an awesome meal at Stormy Mountain Brewing, and literally the best soft pretzel of our lives. If you’re ever in Chelan, definitely check them out)
4. Before we left for the trip, I harvested the sunchokes along with some leeks, celery and garlic from our garden. Other than the olive oil, butter, stock, and spices, the soup was made entirely from food grown in our front yard. (Plus a bit of bacon grease from some of the homemade bacon my husband had made and we’d eaten for breakfast)
Saturday night, once we’d returned from our car free day in downtown Chelan, I prepped the sunchoke soup for dinner along with some awesome olive bread we’d picked up from Chelan Artisan Bakery. Sunchokes, while they’re a root vegetable, do taste surprisingly like artichoke (hence their old name “Jerusalem artichokes). They’re a perennial new to me thanks to a friend who gave me some of her tubers, and one I’ll be happy to continue to grow from here on out.
5. Since the kiddo and I listened to the Alanna series together, we’ve continued on to the following series in the Tortallan universe by Tamora Pierce. I sure do love awesome female characters, and just because I have a son doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be listening to those stories. In fact, I’d say it’s at least as important that we read these stories to show him that girls can be the star of the story and be just as tough as boys.
During the car ride to and from Chelan, we continued to listen to First Test, the first of the Protector of the Small Quartet. I checked the book out from the library and we listened to it on Overdrive. Audiobooks are pricey, and while I do like to own them and support the authors, the library is a great place to check them out as well.
Friday was the walk around Leavenworth before we headed further east to Lake Chelan. Saturday was the walk to and around town and then back, logging more than 5 miles / 20,000 steps. Sunday was an easy walk around Leavenworth before heading home in the afternoon.
Monday and Tuesday I was back on the elliptical. Finally my ankle doesn’t seem to protest that motion, and it felt good to get those short workouts in during my work day. Wednesday was a run with the kiddo and his great-godfather Bob and then a mushroom hunting hike on the way home. Thursday was another run/walk, being easy on my heel but still getting back to my more regular runs.
Have you traveled anywhere lately? How do you balance being safe and cautious with Covid while also living and doing fun things during this complicated time?