The next morning, we decided to loiter in Wenatchee for a while. We hit up a most excellent Old-tyme soda fountain, went on a goose chase for a giant pig that ended up being a sad coyote, then headed up the mountains to Leavenworth.
In the daylight, not surrounded by tourists, the town is a wonder. Cute, goofy, quaint and stylish, the entire town proper is stylized and designed with a bavarian theme, everything from the Kris Kringle store to the Mcdonalds. I totally dig it.
There's a slight feel of the artificial, but enough fun to go along with it that it feels more like a Disney theme city with added brats and beer. We didin't have a lot of time to visit the first day, the wedding was the next afternoon, and we needed to get the logistics figured out, so we caught up with Rob and Brooke and Rob's brother, Derek, who had driven up with his wife in a two wheel-drive sports car, taking the Pendleton pass route rather than heading through Missoula, as I'd suggested. As a result, he was a bit tired and frazzled from the drive.
We snagged some brats and headed to the Big Bear Lodge, where Brooke's family was staying, with the goal of returning in time for the lighting ceremony that evening.
The rehearsal went well; Brooke's family is very laid back and friendly, and it was a pleasure meeting them and running through the wedding quickly.
The lighting ceremony was a lot of fun, characters in costumes, hot wassail, (Though we were bummed to see that the roasted chestnut guys didn't come that week), they have a charming little parade and lighting ceremony and everyone oohs and ahhs as the village is lit in a rainbow of colors.
After the ceremony, we retreated to the Bear Lodge and ate some dinner and relaxed, playing with some wedding prep stuff, decorating, combing my Santa beard, the usual. Then us boys (and Lindsay, who was heading to bed) left to our lodge for the bachelor party. We'd rented a place called the Icicle Meadow Lodge, and though we didn't know it at the time, it was just down the driveway and across the street from the Bear Mountain Lodge; perfect!
We spent the evening goofing off, generally, nothing too wild. We played pool, drank some frosty beverages, lit a fire, played some Scrabble, wore plague masks, played the accordion, the usual stuff.
Finally, around 3am, we headed to bed, with plans to get up the next morning and grab a few things in town and eat some waffles at Sandy's.