Thursday, August 4, 2011

Washington State

I have the utmost respect for our neighbour to the south. Those beautiful winding roads....new tarmac....polite drivers that realize when they are plugging traffic up. We were at the border early ready for adventure. We weren't disappointed being on a familiar route....Mom's Cafe for breakfast...then off to Leavenworth.

Leavenworth could have a page of its own, for the kitchy German theme....the upscale tourist shops....you feel transported to somewhere very far away from the boarded up stores and malls, businesses and houses that lined the road along the way. Leavenworth had all appearance of thriving with people teeming through streets and stores and a line up of traffic down the strip.

We stopped without lingering...more intent on seeing a vista than a visa. Azure lakes, spectacular mountains and valleys flew by. I can't help but feel incredibly blessed at seeing the world magnified through the vast expanse.

We cool off in the shade of a tree, but by now the air is stifling. We sway with the curves through the Chelan valley and arrive in Omak as the thermometer passes 100F. I am grateful for air conditioning and water.

Omak is a nondescript border town that boasts a casino and a WalMart. Not just a WalMart....a Super WalMart. This means that the parking lot is full on a Saturday afternoon and as you walk through the store I am amazed at the overflowing superfluous chips and pop topping carts. I am ashamed we are here. I am ashamed that we have given in to the lure of a quick microwave meal.

WalMart never fails to live up to my expectations. In true form we are 3rd in line and are there for more than 20 minutes as there is a problem with a bank card...then a credit card and a cheque - or check down there. The absurdity of the wait is not lost of either one of us - this so that the purchase of 10 pounds of lard...(yep pig fat) and several cases of gatorade can be transacted. I would say only in America...but it happens in Canada too...so I will refrain. But I will say it was his idea....to find the microwave dinner.

This contest for the best "cheapest" dinner began innocently in Port Townsend. We were in a Safeway to get a few snacks when I spied vegetarian meals that looked good. Too tired to try to sit in a restaurant we purchased the meals along with snack sized ice cream for a grand total of $5 ... Ken was hooked. It really was one of the best meals I had had in a while...but since then we have tried to top it....to find the perfect meal with dessert for two of us....WalMart was our only hope.

We were slightly over on the meal....buying organic Amy's vegetarian meal....and threw in some licorice as well. That did not work.....The licorice was like corn syrup....and the dessert was inedible. I gave the meal two thumbs down. It filled us up but did not leave me satisfied - it was a WalMart experience.

I will not darken the door of the Omak WalMart again! I do love the Chelan valley though...so I will be back.

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