I always forget how re-energizing leaving town can be, how quickly goosebumps can form when you drive out of a flat expanse of dry land to find valleys and mountains and rivers.
I always forget how entertaining new things can be--things like restaurant signs that declare the burgers to be "durn good," or things like miles and miles of orchards that label their plants with roadside signs: concord grapes, alfalfa, mint, etc..
And I forget how much fun it is to count how many hawks you can spot perched on the poles alongside the highway (13) or how many times it turns out to be a bald eagle instead (1) or how many coyotes are poised elegantly in the nearby fields (3).
And while I'm accustomed to seeing them by now, I will always love the magpies with their awkwardly long tail feathers and their shiny blue wings ruffling around in the wind with so little grace.
It's even better when your destination turns out to be as beautiful as some of the things you see along the way.
For instance, we were delightfully surprised with the lodge we shared with our family.
It was right on the water, so I went to bed each night by the sounds of the Wenatchee River.
And when I woke up, I could stare at it out the giant living-room windows.
We even saw a bald eagle fly by.
The house also had my dream kitchen.
The night we got to Leavenworth, a few of us went downtown to see the lights (and some of us went to sled).
Cedric loved the lights and the Bavarian-themed buildings.
If it hadn't been so snowy (not a complaint) you'd be able to see the mountains in the background. Instead, here is an adorable shop that decorated their tree with actual soft pretzels.
We really enjoyed our time in this winter wonderland, and we made sure to take a walk up the road our lodge was on (Icicle Road) to see what we could see (a blue heron, trees, river, and snow).
On the way home, in order to see even more of the new and beautiful, we took a different route--US 2, which looks quite a bit different than the US-2 we spent so much time driving in Michigan.
We knew we'd see some excellent sights as we drove up this incline.