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A few blocks from our house- they have turned downtown Bellevue into "Snow Flake Lane". Each night the drummers march, the carolers sing and it "snows" from the rooftops. It's actually machines blowing bubbles.

We went on Friday to help welcome Santa to town!

Light show on the building

Crowds lined the streets and pedestrian bridge to watch the parade.

Mission #1 of Holiday Season:
Find a Christmas tree

We drove around looking at tree farms and trees for sale. Anyone can buy a tree for $60-70!
But it takes an adventurous and daring family to cut their own tree.
You can go to the local ranger station and pay $10 for a permit to cut your own tree.

Here is my darling & daring hubby with his proud permit

Here is a list of things the Park Ranger suggests:
Purchase permit.....CHECK!
Go early before substantial snow falls.......SEMI-CHECK (11 AM)
Tree saw/ax.........CHECK!
Fuel.........SEMI-CHECK! (1/4 tank of gas)
Let family/friends know where you are going and when to expect your return...........NO.
Warm clothes..............NO.
Food & beverages.............NO.
4 wheel drive/snow chains.............NO and NO.

*Disclaimer: Most trees are accessible only by narrow, unplowed mountain roads. High-clearance vehicles are often required along with tire chains and a shovel.

When we left our house, the sun was shining and it was 52 degrees. We had jeans and t-shirts on...and a sleeping toddler in the backseat.

As we climbed the mountain for our coveted tree, I watched the temperature drop to 31 degrees.
The further we drove, the lower the temperature and the higher the snow banks.

The road was muddy and narrow. As we met one car, we pulled over to let them pass....and then we were stuck. Trucks and SUV's were coming both directions. We had the entire road blocked.
Two nice men helped us and we continued up the mountain....much to my dismay.

Tim turned to me and said "Are you mad you didn't get a picture of us stuck in the snow?"
I replied, "Nope! It wasn't a completely lost opportunity. I'm pretty sure it's going to happen again."
Tim frowned.

Here are the very nice men who helped us get un-stuck the SECOND time!
I didn't get a picture of the stuck car. I was afraid to completely crush Tim's ego.

One man said to Tim, "You must be stuck pretty good if your 4WD can't get you out of this."
Tim just looked at him and nodded.

We tucked our tails and went home....ten dollars poorer and no tree on the roof of our car.

I think I have married Clark Griswold...remember this movie???

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