We have been lucky enough to spend 2 Christmases in the USA and both of them have been very, very WHITE. With a lot of research, planning and a bit of luck we have managed to stay in the most idealistic log cabins in the snow. We have watched snow fall on Christmas morning and Santa has managed to find us each time!
Our first Christmas in the snow was in LEAVENWORTH in Washington Sate. I stumbled across this village while researching places to visit for Christmas. This picturesque town is about 2 and a half hours out of Seattle. We had started our drive in California and taken about 4 days to arrive in Leavenworth. The village is a Bavarian themed village and it is magical. The Village has millions and millions of Christmas lights, sled rides in town, singing carollers. such a beautiful festive place. Have a look here at the village.
We stayed out of the town centre as I wanted the ‘log cabin in the middle of the forest vibe’. We found the perfect place 5 mins drive out of town. I started looking at VRBO.com and Airbnb.com but ended up using a local real estate agent that leased properties.
Snow gear for the kids is hard to come by cheaply in Australia and we didn’t want to carry it with us. We slowly bought clothing and all the necessary cold weather accessories as we went from city to city in the US. Grabbing bargains in the areas where it was colder. It was hard to find snow gear in California but the further north we travelled the more readily available it became. Once we returned to Australia we sold most of the snow gear. I tried to buy labels for the kids so it would be easier to sell when we returned home. I sold all the gear and made a profit doing so. We bought the following for the kids:
- snow pants/bib and brace
- snow jacket
- winter coat
- gloves both waterproof and woolly
- snow boots – these were worn everywhere as the ground is wet and slippery in places.
- thermal under clothing
- thick socks
- thin clothes to layer
We picked most of these items from Target, Walmart and discounted sports shops.
One major concern for me was driving in the snow and being able to access our accommodation. We has a 4WD but this didn’t have snow tyres on it. From Walmart we purchased chains for the tyres in case we needed them in the snow. These cost about $100 but keep your receipt. We didn’t open the chains as there was no need to use them so we returned them to Walmart once we were out of the snow. Such a great tip and piece of mind that didn’t end up costing us anything. All the roads are well maintained and snow ploughed each day. You will be driving on snow but we felt safe and took our time.
The last White Christmas we have had was in Breckenridge. Again I stumbled on this town by researching and broadening our search. We left LA and headed East this time, through Las Vegas and over to Colorado. I had heard of Vail and Aspen and knew they were upmarket ski resorts. I then looked for areas close to these resort villages. I wanted a log cabin with: a hot tub, washing machine and dryer, in a quiet area, single dwelling, parking, wifi, separate bedrooms, a log fire, tv, kitchen and only needed for 4 nights. This is a big list especially over Christmas where lots of places want you to stay for a whole week – Saturday to Saturday. The challenge was accepted and many many hours of searching I found it! The house was on a few websites all a little different in price and length of duration. We had the most perfect stay. Lots of time was spent walking through the snow, jumping from hot tub to the snow and back again and lots of family time with board games and hot chocolate.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that we have kept close in our memories. This will be a Christmas your kids will never forget.
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