We have been to Leavenworth a few times before. I think of it as a quaint old sleepy town covered with snow, intriguing curio shops and inviting pubs and restaurants. So, I warned everyone with me to bundle up in jackets and sweaters and expect to feel cold. What I hadn’t planned for was the sunny day, bright flowers and happy tourists everywhere.
Leavenworth is a few hours drive from Seattle. This tourist attraction is made to resemble a Bavarian city from the architecture of the buildings to beer served in the eating joints.
It was past noon when I got down from the car and realised it was a hot day, not at all what I was expecting. The sky was a vivid blue with bright almost hurting to eyes silvery tufts of clouds.
Lazywiz, my permanent travel companion wasted no time in reminding me that warm clothes were not needed. Instead, we probably should have brought along caps and shades.
So, we ignored the places with the out door seating, and the signs that directed us to the picnic spots in the wild and headed for somewhere cool. We decided to eat at a place called Bären Haus ( which from google I gather means bear house). The brick walls, high ceiling and hearty feeling extended inside as well as outside. The food was expensive, but quite delicious. We even got some vegetarian options, though sadly the lemonade could not be made sugar free.
From here, sufficiently sluggish from the food and the heat, we walked ahead along the side street. The backdrop had the mountains, while closer to us were the barrels filled with ferns and flowers. A picture perfect postcard spot at each corner.
I followed the notes of music to reach the central park where a local band was performing. The lead singer even performed a yodel and people actually swayed to the beats and danced along. The shade of the trees and cool grass underneath had me wishing that I did not have move anytime soon.
I had most of my attention on this Chinese family who were trying hard to get their selfie stick to work. I did not know such a thing even existed! The park area is gradual sloping ground. On one side the elevation ends up on the main road of Leavenworth, but if you duck your head and at a special angle you can pretend that all you see is the beautiful gazebo against the timeless background of the mountains.
There were some young boys rolling down the grassy slope and making a lot of noise that somehow did not disturb all the peace.
A few feet away a girl lay with her head on a boy’s lap. I wondered if they were married or not and why that mattered not at all.
Next to the playing band was a painting exhibition set up. Under light floaty tents were water colors and oil pastels spread out next to digital photgraphs. A warrior princess rode on her horse across the wenatchee river surrounded by pine trees. A steam engine pulled a goods train along a winding railyway track. My favourite picture was a still of a rainy evening on a New York street. Everything was in black and white except the reflection of the street lights on the puddles on the sidewalk and this girl carrying a red umbrella.
The main road has these colorful lodges. I have never spent the night in them so don’t know how good they are from the inside, but they sure look appealing from the outside. I picture a dame in her puffed gowns giggling in some corner with an old world soldier. My fanciful moments were however soon over as we made our way across the street.
A nut cracker museum we skipped to enter. I spent minutes with my nose pressed against the glass of a shop that had the most delicate porcelain elves and fairies. The bakery made me hungry all over again and the signboards for the pubs made me thirsty.
These weren’t the end destination of course. I wanted to visit this shop that I always go to whenever am in Leavenworth. The shop has these boards with block letters of the most wonderful quotes. Of love, life, family and friends. This visit I quickly found a new favourite motto to live by.
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
There used to be a studio right in front of this shop where you could rent antique costumes and get a picture clicked against these beautiful old settings. I was all set to be an alluring princess in a scarlett off shouldered gown, but sadly the photo studio had shut down. Another familiar place gone forever.
So, instead I went deeper into the labyrinth of shops; determined to hold on the this sense of having stepped into a world of another era. There was a shop that had hundreds of life like dolls that would have made a perfect sinister setting for a horror film. There was a wrinkled old lady selling aromatic spices. I walked on finally reaching this shop that had on display metals, minerals and rocks from the earth. I bought myself some glittering luck. A horseshoe made of mica with a steam engine from Leavenworth where mineral and memories are mined.
Sharing the luck with you all, just how I share my day with you all.