It was Octoberfest in Leavenworth this weekend, so, along with some friends, I set out through the Cascades on Saturday. I’ve undertaken the drive when I interned at Microsoft, but back then it was a pretty dreary day. Yet, the views across the mountainous valleys were astounding. Unfortunately, this time around, we drove through fog and rain, so there really wasn’t much to see. We stopped at a cafe in Monroe, where we scarfed down some breakfast around 1pm. I’ve always loved the cozy feel of small town cafes, where the rich culture just envelopes you. It’s probably the thing I miss most about growing up in a small town. Every place I’ve lived since has been too commercial, too hectic. Sometimes it’s nice to slow things down.
Leavenworth is quite the place. I knew the town was styled in a ‘Bavarian’ fashion, but I didn’t realize it had seeped so deeply. The architecture, the signage, and even the dress to an extent exuded the style. It was great fun to see Starbucks and Bank of America built like something you’d see in the Sound of Music. Octoberfest was great fun – although Kitchener-Waterloo, where I went to university, holds a giant Octoberfest each year, I had never been, so this was my first taste. Just imagine thousands of people singing, laughing and dancing, while holding large steins of beer!
For a much tamer Sunday, I went curling. I must say it’s rather ironic that I end up curling for the first time in the United States, when I grew up in Canada. A few weeks ago, a friend at work suggested I try it out at the annual Open House. Having enjoyed that immensely, I signed up for the novice league, along with three other friends. We played an informal match today, and the first official game will be next week. I recall thinking how easy the athletes made it look during the Olympics. Out there on the ice, I can see it’s an enthralling and challenging game of strategy, not to mention you actually have to be able to execute on the strategy. I was also surprised to find out how social of a sport curling is. It’s customary to sit down and have drinks with the opposing team after the match. I think it’ll be a great experience.
It’s been a fun weekend, and now I have tomorrow’s early morning launch of Windows Phone 7 to look forward to! By the time I wake up, there should be news on some of the real hardware that will be launching around the world. I remember thinking how difficult it would be to wait nearly a year for the real thing, when Windows Phone 7 was first talked about early in the year. In a few short weeks, I’ll be grinning from ear to ear as I pick up a device for myself. Happy 10/10/10, no matter where you are in the world!