We had a very unique Christmas experience this year because we headed to the little town of Roslyn, WA to stay at a condo over the holiday. Roslyn is the town where they filmed the TV show "Northern Exposure".
We were prompted to take this trip when we heard that many of my extended family would be staying at the nearby resort of Suncadia. We wanted to be able to visit with them so I poked around on the internet and found a very affordable condo.
The condo exceeded my expectations. It was small but very nice with a well equipped kitchen. That was a good thing since we planned on doing quite a bit of cooking.
The day we arrived we did some brief grocery shopping in Cle Elum and then checked into the condo. Then in the evening, I stayed in with the boys and watched some silly holiday movie on TV while John went to check out the local pub that was featured on Northern Exposure, The Brick. He was thrilled to find Wi-Fi there too. We then crashed that night and got up early to do some sledding. It was a bonus that there was snow in Roslyn because there wasn't a bit of it back home in Olympia.
We found a little sledding hill in the condo complex that probably was meant for snowmobilers but was vacant at the time. This was the first time we had ever taken both boys sledding and they had very different reactions to it.
Orion was quite terrified by the whole experience and agreed to go down the hill after much coercion. Oliver required no coercion at all and wanted bigger, faster, better hills. We definitely have a thrill-seeker in the family. We took a few pictures and the difference of expression on their faces tells the whole story of their personalities.
After sledding, we shopped around in Roslyn at the local hardware store and then headed to Cle Elum to find some lunch. We enjoyed lunch at a local burger joint and continued to do some more exploring.
We realized that we had no Christmas tree at the condo and felt we must go in search of some small "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree. John pulled over on the road on a mission and returned with a teeny, tiny tree with it's roots intact. Yep, he ripped it out of the ground, roots and all, since he had no knife or saw. We took the tree home and decorated it with goldfish crackers wrapped in aluminum foil and various other inventive things. It looked perfect!
Our next adventure was tracking down Santa. He was said to be visiting the downtown Christmas tree in Roslyn that evening so we ate some dinner and headed that way. We stood in the freezing rain with bunches of excited kids in the dark while Santa pulled up on an old-fashioned Fire Truck. Orion went up before Ollie and was ready with his wish list. He wanted an xbox kinect game system. But when Ollie got up on Santa's lap he choked and repeated the last thing the kid before him asked for, a trampoline. We happen to already own a trampoline. Oh well, they both still got goody bags so they were happy.
We raced to get the boys in bed. Christmas morning the boys actually slept until almost 7:30AM. Amazing! They happily awoke to gifts beneath the tree and full stockings. After opening our gifts, we started cooking to get ready for a potluck with my extended family.
We hit the sledding hill for one last time and then headed to Suncadia resort.
Suncadia is HUGE with tubing hills, pools, fitness centers, a golf course, etc. It overlooks the river and was beautiful.
We had a nice visit with my Uncle Ken, Aunt Mary Mae and cousin Carolyn before the rest of the family started to arrive. My Uncle Ken has been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and we are very sad to know that he is not feeling so well.
After the rest of the family arrived we enjoyed catching up with everyone. There were cousins, aunts, uncles, and lots of kids. Ollie loved playing with Logan who is about 3 months younger than him. They piled toy cars into an empty bathtub and played for a long time happily.
The next morning we checked out of the condo and headed to The Past Time Bar and Grill in Roslyn for some sliders and sweet potato fries. It was sad to leave our little vacation. It will be a Christmas that we will always remember.