Hi friend. I''d love to share some stories and photos of our recent lakeside getaway....
Three hours east from the city, just past the spot where Hal proposed, we landed in the charming little town of Lake Chelan. It's a fairly popular weekend destination for Seattlites, known for wine tasting and lake sports, but unbelievably, this was our first time visiting. And after being greeted with a surprise wine basket from Campbell's Resort, we couldn't have felt more welcome in our plush and comfy lakefront room.
Campbell's location cannot be beat. Historic downtown was just steps away. We explored boutiques, the oldest movie theater in Washington, and gift shops, winding up at Marcela's Cocina Mexicana for some spicy grub, Pacificos and jalapeno lemonade. I'm craving those insane veggie chimichangas all over again. Muy bueno!
Happily stuffed, we rolled ourselves down the street for our first adventure of the weekend: a private twilight tour on an electric bicycle built for two!
Have you been on an electric bike before? They're brilliant really. No effort required. Good for lazy bums like ourselves who want to pedal backwards up hills without breaking a sweat. (I could really use one of these in Seattle). Merv, our super charismatic guide, was full of fun facts as he led us into the mountains, along the river, over bridges and through top secret trails. At one point, we took a mini hike up into the hills to admire the view. Such a fun introduction to Lake Chelan and to get a feel for the lay of the land.
The next day, we lazed around the hotel beach and went stand-up paddle boarding. Or shall I say, kneel-up paddle boarding! If you've never been, it's a lot harder than it looks. Within minutes, I fell off and made a huge splash in the roped off swimming area. I surfaced, coughing and cursing as kids pointed and laughed (in my imagination I'm sure). Granted, it was a stormy day. The winds were making such large waves, it was nearly impossible to move an inch. Hal made me feel better by saying I did a really good job for my first time, especially in such unfavorable weather. Thanks love.
Still shaking from this slightly traumatic experience, I mellowed out with a 90-minute massage from Deepwater Salon & Spa, just steps away from the hotel. My therapist was an angel, working out all the stress from my neck and shoulders. I walked out of there glowing; a whole new woman.
If a town has a cheese shop, you can bet on seeing me there. We hit up Fromaggio Artisan Creamery & Bistro for an early dinner on Saturday. We sat outside in their cheery colorful patio and I ordered, of course, mac and cheese! The cheesiest. With a hint of blue. And I couldn't resist a side of watermelon feta salad, reminiscent of our wedding dinner. I could have eaten there every day.
All cheesed up, we drove to the local airport for adventure #2: a helicopter ride!!! Yep, this really happened. For a moment in time, I was the Bachelorette, whisking away my man for an unforgettable daredevil date.
Hal lived out his dream of running toward a helicopter ala M*A*S*H.
We flew over the 50-mile lake, spotted our hotel, a few mega mansions, and even witnessed a backyard wedding ceremony taking place! It was wild seeing the same landmarks we'd visited the previous day on our bike tour, except from high above. The town looked like a miniature model replica.
I let Hal sit up front because he likes to geek out in front of levers and knobs. I was giddy and content in the back, while the wind whipped my hair back and forth. Our awesome pilot, Dale, took the doors off the chopper for better photos. But the ride was so bumpy, only a few shots were clear enough to post. Strangely enough, they came out with a cool tilt shift effect.
This part was pretty amazing. We found rarely seen bighorn sheep running in herds along the side of the mountain, trying to escape the loud obnoxious bird overhead. Sorry buddies. It felt like we were filming an episode of Planet Earth. The whole chopper experience was definitely a highlight of the trip. We got to cross one thing off our bucket list!
On Sunday morning, we had our third and final adventure: parasailing! Have you been before? Al and Grayce, the soon-to-be-wed co-owners of the company, took excellent care of us. From the boat, we were strapped into harnesses and gently floated up into the air as the parachute inflated. At 600 feet, we felt on top of the world, admiring yet another beautiful aerial view of the lake, feeling the sun on our backs and breeze in our hair. It was quite peaceful and serene. At one point, Al let us float down to the surface of the water for a refreshing little toe dip.
It was a very special way to end our magical trip and bid adieu to Lake Chelan. We're already trying to find an excuse to go back with friends. Electric bike wine-tasting tour anyone?
If you're local, or visiting Washington, I highly recommend this itinerary for the ultimate adventurous weekend escape....
- Campbell's Resort (get the top floor!)
- Marcela's Cocina Mexicana
- Fromaggio Artisan Creamery & Bistro
- Also suggested: Lake Chelan Artisan Bakery
- Also suggested: The Vogue - Liquid Lounge
- Chelan Electric Bikes
- Stand-Up Paddle Boarding (at Campbell's Resort)
- Lake Chelan Helicopters
- Pirate's Cove Parasail
- Also suggested: Tunnel Zip Lines
P.S. Make sure to stop at Sultan's Bakery right off Hwy 2 on the drive there or back. Best (and biggest) breakfast sandwiches around!
This post is sponsored by Lake Chelan and the above establishments. The content and opinions are all my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep Happiness Is running!