Gold Bar - Pearrygin Lake SP via Leavenworth and Chelan
Aug 17, 2010
|Our first stop today is Leavenworth. I'm afraid, Leavenworth's charms are lost on me. I have lived in Germany and the Swiss alps, and know what 'authentic' looks like. The inhabitants of Leavenworth have clearly worked very hard to get their 'Bavarian town' right, but oh, it is wrong on so many fronts! I am not a huge fan of theme parks/faux architecture anyway.
Of course, what Leavenworth has done, has clearly worked - and their economy has been given a boast. So I don't think they would be too worried about my opinion!!
Once the good folks of Leavenworth had had their idea, they set about restyling their town with gusto. In no time they had added shutters, balconies, turrets, slanting roofs (in front of the flat roofs behind) - anything they thought was 'Germanic'. Then they painted the walls with all sorts of Alpine scenes. I'm afraid, to my mind, there is only one word to describe Leavenworth - and it is a good German word - kitschig!
In Leavenworth, however, there is one Germanic experience I really want... so we search for a street cafe, where I can sit outside on a pedestrianised street, under a parasol, and drink a European style cup of coffee.
Unfortunately, it doesn't exist. So we go to... Starbucks.
Well, I do have my coffee outside, sitting under a parasol...but it doesn't have European style coffee!
Now, I know that Starbucks is the Northwest's pride and joy... but it is not where I would go for a coffee at home. Don't get me wrong. I don't dispute the fact that the coffee is of an excellent quality (and I know some of the coffee we serve up in Britain is dire), but there are a number of aspects to Starbucks that I am not so keen on:
1. TOO MUCH COFFEE
I know, I know. How can you have too much of a good thing! It's silly of me! But I can't cope with large quantities of coffee! Even the 'tall' coffee is too big, and how anyone can drink the 'vende' is totally beyond me. I would be a quivering wreck!
2. IT COMES IN A PAPER CUP
Now, I know this is the norm in the States, but in the UK, it is only the most down-at-heel establishments that serve coffee in a paper cup. I tell my husband that coffee tastes better in a 'proper' cup, and he says that's nonsense. Coffee tastes the same whatever you drink it out of. My head tells me something else, unfortunately!
3. TOO MUCH CHOICE
Why does the customer need all that choice? It's too confusing! And anyway, I just want a 'normal' CUP(bigger than an expresso,but smaller than a mug). I know it's being picky. Oh, and it should have a froth on top (but coffee froth, not milk froth).
But alas, I can only dream on, and have to make do with Starbucks.
On a more serious note, I worry about all the paper/card that coffee drinking in the States generates. I must have used more coffee paper cups in four weeks, than I have done in four years in the UK. And this time, I am not exaggerating!
Our next stop is Chelan. We sit in the little park by the lake, and enjoy the glorious sunshine. We all have a swim in the clear, crystal blue water to cool off. Bliss!
Heading on we drive though another theme park type town - this one is representing the old wild west - and although it is just as 'faux' as Leavenworth, it seems at least more fitting in the US than a Bavarian town!
At Pearrygin State Park we check into our cabin. This one is the 'delux' cabin. That means, it has a toilet and a small kitchen. Well you know what they say... it is all relative! And it was very nice to have a toilet and kitchen too!
It is very hot on this side of the Cascades, so once again we jump into the lake, just across the road from our cabin, and cool down. Then I drink too much wine and crash out very early in the evening!