Added the year in the title because I think this will be an annual thing. We’re already registered for 2023. There was chatter that the 2024 retreat will be held in Greece. Not sure I’d go to that one but maybe. Leavenworth is more my vibe—a short drive from home. But I do find it humorous that a retreat in Greece sounds totally normal around here. We live in such a bubble.
Late last spring we were doing our belated birthday dinner. The three of us—A, J, and I—all have birthdays within weeks of each other, between January and February. The three of us have 10 kids between us, and limited time with kids and all things life. Hence the late spring birthday dinner. We talked about a getaway, maybe Arizona, maybe a something closer… and then a week or so later, A texted a yoga retreat option in Leavenworth. Sold. I’m easy. J is easy also. We immedely booked and A emailed the yoga studio indicating we would share a three-person cabin. The yoga studio reserves a certain amount of cabins—single, double, and triple occupancy. We scored one of the few remaining triple occupancy cabins. Luckily we booked when we did because the retreat sold out a week or so later. It appears to have sold out for this year before they opened registration to those who haven’t attended before. Understandable, it was a great retreat. And I’m not a huge yoga person.
Because I book all kiddo appointments at the same time, I had booked all five appointments back in March. Our doctor is in West Seattle, and with the bridge closed (it’s now open!), I’d avoid driving to West Seattle unless necessary. To simplify life, I wait until all the kids turn a year older, and then take them all in for their well-child appointments. And since that is usually in November, Brian and I toss in getting our flu shots at the same time. It’s a family affair. These appointments were the Friday morning before I left for the yoga retreat. Because that’s how life goes for me. I considered rescheduling but it’s such a hassle to schedule them all at the same time. Timing worked, even if close. I usually like a larger buffer.
Kiddos checked and multiple vaccinations—and flu shots—later, we were back home. I quickly packed for the retreat knowing A and J would be by shortly. I was set to drive; A is a New Yorker and not a big driver and J doesn’t have a snow car. We were heading to Leavenworth and you never know with the passes. It was noon when they came by. I was not about to go to a yoga retreat without a pedicure. That was our first stop. I made three appointments in Monroe, on the way to Leavenworth. I’ve been getting pedicures every 2-3 weeks since I was 14. I absolutely despise getting them; they’re such a chore. But I also cannot not have my toes done. Especially at a yoga retreat where feet are on display. I’m annoying.
Pedicures, check. We continued on to Leavenworth, with an ETA arrival 30 minutes before the retreat officially started. And that’s just how timing worked. It was a smooth, beautiful drive. I love taking the 2. The mountains, rivers, all the views are stunning.
The retreat was at the Sleeping Lady in Leavenworth. Such a beautiful property. It’s almost summer camp-like, with individual buildings including a restaurant, game space, bar, multi-purpose room (where the retreat was held), swimming pool, spa… all the things. And I realize summer camps don’t have bars, and I never went to a sleep-away summer camp, but that’s how I’d describe the Sleeping Lady. An upscale summer camp-like property. We checked in and were greeted by a lazy cat, whom I forget his name! I didn’t think I would but here I am, months later and I forget. RUBEN. His name is Ruben. I had texted Karann about him with his picture, and his name. Phew.
Our cabin was perfect. It’s a small space with two full-sized beds on the main level, a full-sized bathroom, and a loft up a ladder with a nice space just large enough for a full-size bed, nightstand, and small dresser. I scored the loft. I’ll take a bed below this year, unless A and J don’t want the loft. It was quite cozy up there. We quickly put our stuff in the cabin and left for the retreat kick-off. It started with a welcoming and then straight into a yoga class. It was so lovely, and super casual. The owner said—multiple times—the retreat was pretty much to do yoga and eat. All meals were included, in the restaurant on the property. We yoga’d and then went to the restaurant for dinner. I hesitate calling it a mess hall, because it was more than a restaurant. A fancy mess hall. It was buffet-style but with fancy food. And the little pies that one woman who has been coming for years was all about. I’m not a pie fan but they were little and cute, and looked good for those who like pie.
Some of the Sleeping Lady property. Extra nice with the coating of snow. It was SO cold. SO COLD.
And my loft space. So nice!
Dinner the first night was fun. A commented later that night that it felt like a cruise dinner, even though she has never been on a cruise. And I’m in 100% agreement it felt like a cruise dinner, also as someone who has never been on a cruise (nor do I want to go on a cruise). We sat at a large round table; large enough to seat 10. The three of us sat next to each other at first but then decided to join a table with others. If we were going to retreat, we may as well experience it all. The women were all so nice. They had all been coming for years—some for a few years, some for decades. We were the newbies. And I think the youngest ones there, in our forties. Haha. There were two women who brought their teenage/early 20s daughters—they were the youngest attendees. Another set of three women were newbies also, but we didn’t cruise dine with them until the next day. They all told stories from their lives, some more boisterous than others. The three of us newbies mostly sat there, interjecting a little here and there when the opportunity arose.
After dinner there was a small amount of downtime before the next yoga event. It was freezing. Like I thought I’d be fine walking the short distances between buildings wearing only a hoodie. Nope. I needed my puffy coat. It was SO freaking cold. Like in the teens cold. The evening yoga event wasn’t my thing but I went. It wasn’t really yoga; it was more lying there with your eyes closed envisioning whatever the instructor was saying. More meditation than yoga. But I was respectful and lied there quietly after I realized it wasn’t my thing. I’m a counter, which I always knew I couldn’t be the only one. Like I count things, usually when I’m exercising. Like on the trail, I’ll count cars in parking lots I pass. I count trees, bridge slats, fence posts, sidewalk cracks… if it’s countable, I’ll count. Turns out another friend is a counter also. As I was lying there while others medicated, I was thinking of my counting friend as I counted all the air vents on the ceiling, the beams, the lights… all the things. That was a long 1.5 hours. But it was all good. Now I know I’ll skip that session this year. The retreat is super chill, they encourage you to do whatever you want. Come to all the things, skip all the things… seriously do whatever you want. I love this mindset.
So. Many, Counting. Options. Haha.
Friday was over. We went back to our cabin and chatted a while before calling it a night.
Saturday kicked off with breakfast. I’m not a breakfast eater so I skipped. I also like alone time. I need quiet and space, and I was able to enjoy the cabin alone while A and J went to breakfast. The first yoga class of the day was not long after breakfast. We all went, for the 1.5 hour class. It felt great. Yoga is one of those things I truly enjoy when I do it but forget about it otherwise. Not that I forget about it, rather I don’t make time for yoga. My time is limited and yoga isn’t a top priority. But maybe it should be. I felt amazing after the retreat weekend.
The retreat had lunch covered, followed by a candle making class and then an herb class? Maybe not herb but something holistic. We had decided beforehand that we’d skip lunch and the afternoon classes, and head into downtown Leavenworth. Somehow I scored parking easily. Right in front of the hotel Karann and I stayed at back in summer of 2021 when we spent the weekend in Leavenworth to hike Colchuck Lake. We parked and found a restaurant. A and J were kind and we ended up at a restaurant that had a vegetarian burger I liked. We ate and walked around, and ended up on the trails behind the main drag, along the Wenatchee River. So beautiful. And fairly quiet for a Saturday afternoon.
Hitting downtown Leavenworth. The small water ponds were frozen. Like we could walk on them, frozen thick.
Back at the Sleeping Lady, we made it in time for the 4pm yoga class. More yoga. More feeling great. We yoga’d and then went to another cruise dinner. Except this time we sat at a four-top. The owner’s sister helps run the retreat, and makes it so the owner has an opportunity to dine with all of us guests. She sat us three at the four-top so we could dine with the owner. They are all so nice. We had a lively dinner with the owner, chatting about each of our lives. After dinner, some of the group decided to hit the spa. I passed, more alone time while A and J went to the spa. Even just 30 minutes to myself is so appreciated. They had a fun time in the spa and said it was very warm. A few other retreaters were at the spa; it sounded like a nice time.
The bar building was open, and we all decided it was time for a drink. I hadn’t had a drink in years—over a decade—until we went to Las Vegas last year. We were at a show and I decided I’d have a drink. I slept so well that night. I told my doctor at my annual not long after that I have a hard time sleeping but that night in Vegas after that drink, I slept well. That maybe I should take up drinking, haha. Totally joking! He said yeah, not a great idea. I agree.
At the bar, there were other retreaters drinking. We ended up joining the larger table. It was a casual way to wind down after a full day. Two drinks later, for me, it was time to call it a night. Back in our room, we chatted some more. Life, marriage, kids… all the middle-age topics before we hit the hay.
Sunday morning was breakfast, check-out, and then one last yoga class before the closing ceremony. I skipped breakfast again, opting to stay in the cabin to shower and wash my hair. A and J hit up breakfast and once back, we packed up our stuff, loaded up my car, and went to the retreat building. Man it felt good to do more yoga. Even now, I can remember how wonderful it felt after all that yoga. And yet I know I probably won’t do any yoga until the next retreat. I’ll try to make yoga happen before then.
The retreat ended and we left for home. We stopped along the way at the 59er Diner just outside of Leavenworth. And I was already starting to get back into real life. Ticket sales for Saige and Maive’s winter dance recital opened that morning and I needed to get on that as we sat waiting for our food. I was able to delegate it to Brian, but it still required me to get back in mom-mode. We ate and hit the road, and made it back home mid-afternoon. It was great to be home but I wasn’t ready to get back to real life. Not that real life isn’t great, it is. No complaints. And only six months until the next retreat.
Sleeping Lady bonuses: The super cute Ruben and a Chihuly sculpture they light up at night. Apparently there was a bear hanging out on the property but we never saw them. Not that I want to run into a bear but I wouldn’t have mind seeing the sucker. Maybe bear yoga could be a thing, like goat yoga. Okay no, but bear yoga is fun to imagine.