Signs of spring are slowly showing up in some places. Daffodils are blooming along the coastal range, and reports of Thundercloud Plums flowering in Seattle have been heard. In less mild climates, tulip and daffodil shoots are poking through the earth. But, in many places, winter is still very evident. A small town on the eastern slope of the Cascade mountain range is still very much in winter mode. Traces of snow and chilly temperatures greet visitors to Leavenworth. Although signs of spring are not yet seen, there is evidence of gladness everywhere! Christmas lights still twinkle and sparkle, adding a golden glow both night and day. So cheerful, there's no need to take them down for the Valentine holiday! Instead, a layer of sweetheart decorations are added on top of the Christmas decor, making for an interesting mix of both holidays. The result really is quaint and jaunty. Little shops provide much to see for the window shoppers who walk along the streets. European gifts and treasures meld with handcrafted items made by local artisans. And the food! Restaurant menus, posted behind windowed boxes that are placed by front entrances, reveal German dishes of all sorts! Bakery windows are dressed with cheer, calling passersby to enter in and sample sweet and savory baked goods. An old hotel and motels adorned with gingerbread fru-fru provide places to rest and revive, making this an ideal place for winter sport enthusiasts in season. The inviting warmth of Leavenworth during the chilly months of February and March helps one retain a bit of buoyancy of spirit when spring seems to be taking too long to arrive.