40 minutes ago
Saturday, May 28, 2011
In Which We Visit Leavenworth
Visiting Leavenworth is one of those touristy-but-awesome things that you just have to do if you live in Washington state for any period of time. It's a town nestled in the foothills of the Cascades, and the entire place is decked out like a Bavarian village. And they take it really seriously, too. They have professional yodelers. Pretty much every single street sign and shop is named something like Der Wienerschnitzel Gas Stationhaus, and even the local McDonald's is decked out in white stucco and wooden scroll work. They have an annual festival celebrating the accordion. Their town mascot is a nutcracker named Woody Goomsba, and you wouldn't believe their tourism commercials.
No really. That's really one of their tourism commercials. I am totally not making any of this up.
So basically it's like what would happen if a Disney World employee went to Germany, got really really drunk, and then doodled on a napkin and built the result. A really, really drunk employee-- a quick google search for "Leavenworth winery, brewery and tasting room" brings up thirty-four results, twelve of which are located on or within walking distance of the main street of the town. Some of them were literally next door to each other.
Did I mention that Leavenworth has a population of just over 2,000 people? If you assume a quarter of the population is under age, that works out to one drinking establishment per 44 people. Whoa. And the ratio of mural-to-person might actually come out at about 1:1, because pretty much every available paintable surface had some sort of Bavarian Domestic Scene plastered on it. The mural painters in Leavenworth are probably living very, very well.
The scenery was truly lovely and the town itself was charmingly picturesque, if a trifle overdone. We found a lovely park to walk through that followed the Wenatchee river and strolled along the path for a while, stopping on a bench to soak in the view and watch a trio of rafters make their way downstream. After that we made our leisurely way back to the town and wandered in and out of stores and through the small art market set up in the central park of the town. It was lovely to spend so much time with no particular goal in mind: just enjoying the day in each other's company.
So we drove back over the mountain pass in early evening, stopped for dinner at a little restaurant in downtown Auburn, and then ended the night at (where else?) our local bookstore, sitting in the comfy chairs in the back with a hot drink in hand. All in all it was a lovely day!
But Jer and I enjoyed ourselves, and now we can say we've officially visited Leavenworth, so we can check that off our list of Touristy Things To Do In The Pacific Northwest.