Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Back from Leavenworth

We are back from Leavenworth and from our adventure to recreate Christmas. Like most adventures, it was filled with unexpected surprises of all types. It was a wonderful trip.

LoveHubbie has yet to upload his pictures, as he is hard back at his job with a huge backlog of work to do, so until then I'm sharing with you some gorgeous pictures taken by Abendblume Pension, the bed-and-breakfast where we stayed.

The town of Leavenworth, WA is set up to look like a German town high in the mountains. Everything from the McDonald's to the Starbucks is special, with alpine-looking facades and everything set to convince you that you are really in Germany. The whole town is surrounded by mountains, as you can see in this first picture. It was bitter cold, and we were fortunate that although the snow was piled up everywhere, there was none on the roads so traveling was safe.

The Abendblume Pension is subtly Christian throughout and the owners are lovingly and caringly and hospitably Christian. There was a peaceful spirit that permeated the entire place that is unlike most Christian places I know. I just loved being there, and I would think that anyone, no matter what their beliefs, would feel the same.

This is a picture of the dramatic circular staircase in the entryway. I just loved looking at it.

LoveHubbie and I were disconnected from the rest of the world while we were there. It made for a very intense time. LoveHubbie and I both have many issues around Christmas and this was a perfect place to be together and to learn how to experience Christmas in a different way.

It was the most positive experience I've had of this time of year in a long, long time. I actually began to love the decorations and to feel fondly towards the holiday season. I really enjoyed the other people who were there. They seemed to be quiet, peaceful, and like us in seeking a time to be together yet away from home and to relax.

The beds were made up in a European style, which we really enjoyed. Instead of sheets, there were two duvets on each bed with duvet covers. I slept like a baby every night, all night through, wrapped up in my duvet.

I didn't bring my laptop, so I felt cut off from all of you. I didn't like that too much, but it allowed me to focus in on just LoveHubbie, so that was probably a good thing. Even though I did have my iPhone (and thus FaceBook and Twitter) it wasn't the same, and in the mountains our iPhones weren't very reliable. Still, being isolated ended up being a good thing. I liked that LoveHubbie and I focused on each other and on our feelings about this time of year.

This is the breakfast area; here you can see the beautiful style of all of the decorations. This is hard to explain, but in the totally strange environment, completely absent of anyone familiar except LoveHubbie, I allowed myself to let in good feelings about Christmas. It was a very safe place, safe from bad family memories, safe to create good positive ones. It is hard to put into words.

We were alone when we needed to be but with others when we needed that as well. It was a very romantic environment and it seemed that the couples who were also there had been together for many years. The group we were with was mostly older folks, so their company was particularly enjoyable--people who have been married for many years and who were successful at building and maintaining loving relationships.

The food at breakfast was amazing. I had the best omelet I ever had in my life, as well as lots of other great food. Both LoveHubbie and I sampled everything that was there, including the treats that were presented each night. I pretty much abandoned my normally restrictive diet and just enjoyed myself.

We ventured into town most days either to eat or to look at the little shops. Downtown Leavenworth is a little Bavarian village. It was quite crowded at this time of year, and even though everyone seemed very friendly, we don't enjoy crowds much, so we hurried back to the pension to relax by the fire. To read. To talk.

We had some very intense times. I witnessed a lot of LoveHubbie's pain, and he mine. I cried a lot. I forgave a lot. I feel like I am only just starting to heal, but this was a beautiful way to start, in a safe and lovely environment, and even, in community.

More pictures, our own pictures, and more reflections to come. I haven't processed everything yet, because I wasn't alone or writing much, so I'll do that here. And share it with you :)

~All pictures are from the Abendblume Facebook site and Website


patti said...

This is a really beautiful post Olivia. Your happiness is seeping into your writing, like ink into blotting paper. It is so good that you have both been able to begin the healing process.

Leavenworth looks like a magical place - thanks for sharing the photos. Welcome back!

Kim Mailhot said...

This sounds like a life-changing and perfect trip, Olivia. You have re-created Christmas to be a safe and precious thing for you and Love-Hubbie rather than a painful and anxiety causing one. Wonderful, and thank you for sharing your beautiful trip with us.
Big New Years Love to you !

Kate said...


This sounds like an amazing place and that you had a very healing time too. I am so happy for you. You sound so relaxed and at peace. It looks like Leavenworth did wonders for you.


Anonymous said...

I am impressed by the wisdom it took to decide to do this and the conviction to go without connectivity, which would have made for an easy escape for each of you as soon as the emotions got too intense. Thank you for sharing so honestly.

Lori-Lyn said...

Wow. Wow. Wow.
This is beautiful.
Happy New Year, dear Olivia.

Jane said...

Beautiful, Olivia. Just beautiful. I'm so happy that you two managed a nice getaway like that. It sounds like a lot of healing took place and I can't imagine a more beautiful place to let it happen! May 2010 continue to bless you with healing, peace and happiness.

Lots of love to you,

Seeking Simplicity said...

I saw all those beautiful pictures on facebook... and could just imagine myself there in that reading nook.

I'm so happy that you and your love-hubby were able to get away and recreate a magical christmas holiday.

The place looks so romantic, and quiet, and serene... what a place to visit to get recharged, to spend time with the one you love and to just enjoy each moment without having all that pressure on what to expect.

Dearest Olivia... may 2010 be your year. I'm wishing you the very best.