Thursday, March 22, 2012

120: The number of miles to get a box of McNuggets

[Just fair warning that this blog was typed up in two hours bored waiting for a connection at the Minneapolis airport. There is only so much creativity you can muster in that kind of environment.]

This is what Spring Break is about. Just far enough detached from winter finals last week and from spring quarter next week to do the complete opposite of what school asks you to do. Nothing. If anything, ventures this week should only be justified by vacations to sunshine states or trips to get food. I went with the Ohana care group to Leavenworth, debatably for the culture and debatably for the German food.
To get there we took the road less traveled – the road that gets you from Seattle to Leavenworth in 120 miles. This translates into about an hour of scenery from Seattle to Snoqualmie and about an hour of absolutely nothing. To be fair to Eastern Washington, absolutely nothing sometimes looks absolutely stunning with snow on it but still that doesn’t excuse it from the title. It takes a special DJ mix of Kesha, Bruno Mars, and Lady Gaga to keep the drive interesting. But once the drive is over, it ends up being worth its while once you are in the Bavarian village.
Sadly our first stop was McDonald’s to recover from the drive and grab some McNuggets. I may have even suggested that we stop by the Starbucks. Clearly we are terrible at this recreational tourist business. However, we eventually legitimately visited town and it made me note a couple of observations. 1) The nicest people on earth work at fine jam shops. We met a store owner of berry spreads who greeted us and started talking with us about college, how his son goes to SPU, and how he recognized that some of us had the figures of string players since he was a singer and violin player. I really should have bought something from him… 2) Sauerkraut is not a suitable substitute for bread. I’ve had bratwursts from Leavenworth before in buns served with various mustards that were life changing. We went to another restaurant this time and ordered what I always ordered, sausage. This time there was no bun though. The sausage was served over the biggest bed of sauerkraut I had ever seen in my life. Let it be known that I prefer the sauerkraut on top of the bratwurst, not under it because the way it was served, I was never going to win the battle against the dish. It’s not often that I get owned by authenticity but I got pwned then. Finally, 3) nothing in Leavenworth is a better deal than a box of McNuggets. Nothing in Leavenworth was that overpriced but looking back, has civilization really been that bad for us? There is a time and place for premium ice cream, chocolates, and $15 plates of bratwurst and potato salad but for every one of them, there are 5 more times and places for $3 McNuggets. It really does make you wonder if anyone does come to Leavenworth and in the end, leave with nothing more than some photos and a box of chicken nuggets to show for it.
Clearly the debate over McNuggets versus bratwursts is a first world problem of complete nonsense. But you know what? This nonsense is alright. Everyone needs a break from reason. Students only get one week of it between winter and spring quarter, but I'll happily take it. Reason can wait.