The Great American Road Trip

Ok, so I haven't reeeally had time since we last spoke to go on a proper road trip, but I did hire a car for the weekend, so let me just take my PG Tips and Oreo cookie (see how I've balanced the UK/US there) and tell you all about it...
Saturday dawned bright and sunny (no change there!), which is just as well as I had to get up at 6am in order to make the day's planned 6 hour round trip worthwhile. The car I've hired is sadly not some huge lumbering brute, but in fact a (bright white) small and zippy, almost European seeming Nissan Versa. I thought it seemed perfect until I sat in the driving seat (yes, I did remember to get in on the left-hand side) and tried to drive away. There's no clutch! The gear stick only goes forwards and backwards! Terror! After struggling womanfully trying to leave the car park of the rental hire company, I had to admit I had no idea how to make this car go and shamefacedly walked back into the shop. Initially, the two men seemed alarmed at my admission of not knowing how to drive, but fortunately my accent saved me, not for the first time, and I was soon on my way.
My destination was Leavenworth, which is a small town about 100 miles east of Seattle and 143 miles north of Richland (where I live). My supervisor had advised me against following Google's route and instead sent me on a much more complicated, but absolutely stunning drive over miles and miles of desert-type plains, along the side of a huge river and along the top of deep gorges (see Flickr feed), and oh, did I enjoy that drive! I tuned the radio to a local station and found the perfect soundtrack of classic American rock to accompany my trip.

Leavenworth proudly proclaims itself "Washington's Bavarian Village for 48 years", which excited and attracted me to it in the first place and it was truly everything I expected from "America does Bavaria". Have a look at my photos if you don't beleive it's true, but there were Austrian-style shop fronts, every kind of Wurst imaginable, edelweiss everywhere and even a nutcracker museum! It was truly a wonder. The best thing about Leavenworth (for me at least) was that there was an international dance festival going on whilst I was there, and this was mostly taking place in the main square. The great advantage of living somewhere where you can guarantee sun in summer is that you can host stuff outside without fear; the people of Leavenworth had a huge parquet dance floor laid out in the middle of the street! I could hear the music for the dancers whilst I wandered merrily in and out of knick-knack shops and cheesemongers ("Give the Gift of Cheese!"), and then spent the afternoon sat watching Irish, Bavarian, Polish and American Jazz dancing; all splendid!
The journey was just as stunning in reverse, though I was somewhat more tired and ultimately glad to be back. As for today? Well, I'll leave you in suspense until my next entry...


  1. Only the Americans could have a traditional Bavarian village that has existed for less than 50 years (I believe this has been covered by someone with greater wit than myself before: However I do heartily approve of the shop with the tagline "The Best of the Wurst" :D


    P.S. It's too hot here for tea today (I have now scientifically disproved my parents claim that hot tea cools you down) so my tea blog may have to feature a change of pace this week (I'll keep you posted, don't worry)


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