Flashback: Kitshy Bavarian Holiday in Leavenworth

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This summer we took a few days off with our friends F and T and their 4 kidlets, and spent a weekend in Leavenworth: Bavarian kitsch capital of the USA.

Now don’t get me wrong… I just love this place! Sometime back in the 70s, the town was failing economically, and a band of merchants decided that they needed a reason to attract people to their community. A theme! Yes, that would do it! What shall we be?? Well, how’s Bavarian? Done!

So since then, every building in the downtown has morphed into a southern German façade. There are brewhouses, pubs, an infinite number of candy shops, tacky tourist souvenirs galore, Alpen bands playing the streets… it’s a Bavarianacopia. Really, it’s the best attempt I have ever seen of a small town putting itself on the map by sheer tourism determination.
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So we drank it all up – beer at the brewhouse after the kids had gone to bed, as well as all the tourism activities. We rented cute little cabins by the river, ate copious amounts of candy, hiked all around the lovely hillsides, swam in the gorgeous river winding alongside Leavenworth, and basically enjoyed the heck out of ourselves. On the way home, we took a big detour to visit a yurt making facility and a yurt-in-progress for F & T, who have dreams of yurt-living. Pretty fun, including the windy roads up to the mountaintop where the demo yurt was located.
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But back to Leavenworth. For those of us that speak German… it is a little creepy when you constantly feel like you should be saying “Guten Tag” but stop yourself, realizing no one will reply back. This is rural Washington, after all. But besides that, it’s an awesome little place, with lots to do for families.

Likely we’ll be going back sometime around Christmas… that’s when they break out the ice-skating, caroling, and, of course, Gluhwein! No one in the world does Christmas better than the Germans, but Leavenworth dos Washington state proud.
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