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Mt. Bachelor

We have done some very good vacation planning this year, just like the last year! With my job, I have to pick my vacations in January for the complete year. Sometimes it is hard to know what plans to make in advance and what weeks to pick. But last year we did great and this year is all laid out. We have never done a week ski vacation before. Usually it is just a long weekend or possibly an anniversary trip that we do some skiing! This year we decided to plan one! Debbie looked and looked for a place to go. Colorado was a thought, but we found it to be on the spendy side. Tahoe was another target, but again proved to be to pricey. Another factor was Cordell. We planned on taking him with us and just couldn’t justify the expense. On of our friends suggested we check out Mt. Bachelor just outside of Bend, Or. We could drive down and plus we had friends there we could visit! Debbie found a great place to stay so off we went with Cordell in the back seat. Now people always ask, what about Patience (the cat). Have you ever travelled with a cat? They don’t do well and she is happy at home just fine. We have very good friends that take good care of her.

The drive to Bend isn’t a bad one and we had great tunes to listen to whilst on the way from SnoJoRadio my music podcast! Debbie had found us a condo to stay at the Seventh Mountain Resort for the week and our unit was dog friendly! It was a very nice place and just twenty minutes at the most to the slopes at the mountain. It also had a kitchen so we could cook there when we wanted. A very cozy place. Cordell loved walking the grounds and exploring. Both of us had been to Bend a few years back, but had never been to Mt Bachelor to ski and only vaguely remembered anything about the town itself! It is a really cool, hip town and the downtown section is very vibrant and alive. There are many restaurants for a town that size, so when we did decide to venture out for dinner, we had plenty of choices. We ate at the Pine Tavern Restaurant, McMenamins, and also the Brickhouse Restaurant. Each of the were fantastic! When we weren’t on the slopes, we drove around and explored. We took a drive down to Sunriver, and also headed out to Sisters, Or. It was a bit quiet at both places, but we did find a lively and enjoyable place to have dinner in Sisters at a place called Bronco Billys Ranch Grill and Saloon. Dinner was filling, tasty, and cheap. Check out my salad that I had to take part of back to the condo:

My Huge Cobb Salad

Now the real reason we went down to Bend was to ski and ski we did! The only snafu was my feet, especially the left one. I have very flat feet and also pronate somewhat. I have to wear special orthotics in my street and running shoes and the rental boots on the mountain just killed my left foot. After the first day, I was in severe pain. I was hoping not to spoil the rest of the week for Debbie because she was looking forward to doing a lot of sking. We spent a whole day looking at ski boots and thought we had found a pair for me, but hesitated. Then I decided to rent some demo boots skis at the mountain. I explained my situation to the boot fitter there and he came up with a pair of Tecnica Mega 12’s and I was in heaven. It was the first time in my life I could ski for hours and have no foot pain. I scored on a new pair, and as well fitted as they were, they still needed to be punched out for my left foot. Then Debbie wanted to also demo boots and skis and by the time we left, we each had a pair of brand new boots! I guess we will be skiing more often now! We’ll demo skis for a while until we decide to buy, but we need to save money for the next big vacation adventure coming in May! I also put up some pictures of our trip in a new album on our Flickr Photo Page, so go have a look!

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Anniversary At Alderbrook Resort

Another year has passed and it seems I was just writing about our 15th anniversary trip to Tamarack in Idaho! Well here we are again in anniversary number 16! It is hard to believe this last year has gone by so fast! This year it was Debbie’s turn to plan the trip. You might or might now by now how we work our anniversaries, but I’ll explain again. Every year we take turns on handling the anniversary extravaganza! One plans the surprise trip, usually locally for a long weekend type of thing, and the other buys the gift! Both, of course, are surprises to the other! Now last year was kind of a milestone, being year 15 and all, so the trip was planned together! This year it was Debbie’s turn for the trip and she planned a get away to the Alderbrook Resort and Spa on the shores of Hood Canal. It was beautiful and neither of us had ever been there even though it was only a two hour drive from Snoqualmie! Here is a little history about the resort.

It’s 1913. The Alderbrook is open for business. Even then it’s a resort destination, unique to the Pacific Northwest. No roads exist so visitors arrive by boat. 12 years later, the business is sold to Clara Eastwood and Eloise Flagg, known affectionately as the “Alderbrook Girls”. The accommodations? Think tent frames with orange and black striped canvas sides. Wood stoves. A place where guests put their butter and milk into the creek to keep them cold.

After World War II, the Alderbrook Girls sold the resort to the Schafer Logging and Lumber Company. 21 new cottages were built. For the next fifty plus years, Alderbrook changed hands a few times, including a brief stint as a Christian conference center. In 2001 it was bought by North Forty Lodging.

The Alderbrook Girls would be amazed by the resort today. Virtually everything on site has been redesigned and rebuilt. The cottages and lodge have been remodeled. Beautifully re-furbished, the indoor canal-front swimming pool and whirlpool provide visitors with endless enjoyment. Gorgeous landscaping design includes a revitalized stream for salmon habitat, with resting pools that run throughout the property.

Luxury aside, Alderbrook Resort & Spa continues to personify the Northwest. The smell of cedar lingers in the air while eagles soar overhead. Sitting on the shore, you can easily imagine someone pulling a milk bottle from the water, and almost savor the long sweet taste of ice-cold milk on a summer afternoon.

Now Alderbrook is known for it’s spa treatments, golf course, and luxurious pampering!! We had a wonderful time. We thought about hitting some balls up at the golf course, but the weather wasn’t cooperating most of the time. Even though it is early March right now, it is very cold, and is snowing outside here in Snoqualmie as I write this post! We did manage a hike at Twanoh State Park right up the road, and swam in the indoor pool, so we did manage some excercise while we were there! The only foopah in the whole trip was having to drive to Shelton to the “Evil Empire” (Wal Mart) to get Debbie a bathing suit because she forgot to pack one! Arrrrrggggghhhhhh! I hate Wal Mart!!!!!

We also enjoyed a nice hot stone massage at the spa and it was awesome. I had never had an actual professional spa massage before. Almost fifty years old too! It was a great time and now we plug along to year seventeen and it will be my turn! Visit our picture page to check out a few shots we did take.

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