…the city in Washington state, not the penitentiary in Kansas. Coffee is a morning ritual at Uncle Ed’s house and it won’t be until I return to foggy mornings in San Diego that I realize the power of the sun in waking me up, but the hot coffee is still good for those first chilly hours after dawn. We take some coffee to go and drive to Mr. T’s Family Café in Mt. Vernon for breakfast. I get some oatmeal with raisins and a biscuit that I will cut into four layers and take half my meal in a box for later.
Our next stop is Snoqualmie Falls. I was expecting a difficult hike or at least a more forested walk, but these falls are easily accessed by a short paved trail. There is a trail available that will take visitors from the upper park to the lower one for another view of the falls – currently closed. There’s a lot of power in the water coming from this river and hydroelectric companies have taken advantage of it since the 1890s.
In the guest shop they have books about hiking, animals, and places to see in Washington. They have smoked salmon, motley sweaters, and large stickers. They have keychains, bookmarks, and jam. And they have cups, candy, and pancake mix. They want you to take something home to remember them by, to feel a part of history in the present day. I’m overwhelmed by the selection and almost get a sweater, but soon we are outta there.
We drive to the town of Roslyn and visit Carek’s Meat Market. The lady selling sausage and jerky doesn’t know how I could be happy not eating meat – for me, I’m happier. On to the oldest mining townsite in the state – Liberty. The café is closed, but there are still some nice houses in a beautiful setting for us to stare at. Then we stop in Peshastin at the Smallwood’s Harvest mercantile that sells bags, jars, bottles, and tubs of things to eat or cook with. They have some things for the kitchen and garden and a petting zoo too.
It’s 2:30 in the afternoon and we can be found in the town of Leavenworth – a Bavarian themed place in the mountains of Washington. They have shops dedicated to chocolate, Christmas, and cheese. There are shops for bacon, shirts, and hot sauce. There are knickknacks, nutcrackers, and a hat store; a boutique, bakery, and book shop. There is jewelry, odd signs, and compressed socks, undies, and towels. There is also a shop for olive oil, garden art, and shiny dresses.
When we are all shopped out it’s time to begin the hunt for dinner. We studied the menus outside for a while and finally decided to go upstairs so that I could try some ice wine. Well, they weren’t going to start serving dinner for another hour and only sell wine by the bottle. We quickly changed our minds and went downstairs to Andreas Keller where I ate $12 mac-n-cheese aka kasespaetzle – delicious and enough to take some home.
I finished reading Wild on the way home. I know I should’ve enjoyed more of the view, but it’s not the same from the backseat – and it’s an old habit that happens to be better than others I used to have. I see plenty of mountains with water and trees and I want to get out and touch them with my hands, feet, and eyeballs, but Leavenworth is at least a three-hour drive from Oak Harbor and we didn’t bring any flashlights.
We stop at Baskin Robbins, two miles from the house, and I get a scoop of raspberry nut and almond mocha in a cake cone; they get their scoops in bowls. I feel like a kid again. It’s been a while since someone (my dad) has bought me ice cream from a shop – husbands don’t count in this case. Tonight’s movie will be Parker – Statham gets screwed in a deal and works with J-Lo to get even. Email Caleb, Skype Dad, Facebook friends, sleep.