Washington State is one of exquisite beauty. For most of my life, the Pacific Northwest was a region known for rain, Bigfoot, and for a tragic period in high school, vampires.
I never knew about the natural beauty of the region. The most surprising aspect is how quickly it can change. Within 100 miles, the landscape transitions from gentle, rolling hills to sheer cliffs and mountain lakes. Another 100 miles sees vast pine forests, tinged the deepest green.
Spokane is only a few hours from Colville. After leaving the small town yesterday, I didn’t know what to expect. Colville had the sort of charm that only small, closely-knit villages can have. In many ways, it reminded me of the area I grew up in, several thousand miles on the other side of the country.
Spokane itself is a moderately-sized city. It’s not Seattle by any means, but Spokane holds a certain appeal — perhaps because my first stop in the city was a coffee shop called Atticus, whose logo was a finch. To Kill a Mockingbird, anyone? On the other side of the shop was a toy store called Boo Radley’s, and I spent far more time browsing their goofy offerings than was necessary.
After meeting with friends for lunch, I attended the Spokane Chinese Lantern Festival. I had no idea what to expect; I had only heard that it was worth checking out. The entrance to the festival lay behind an ornate, wooden arch.
The pathway into the festival itself was lined with electric lanterns. The smell of fried foods permeated the park, punctuated by the roars of dinosaurs.
(For some reason, there were animatronic dinos scattered throughout the park that had been left active for the festival.)
The main part of the festival was the performance. The introduction was met with the same bluster expected from any sort of circus performance, but there could be no denying the skill of the performers themselves.
Something about cultural shows has always kindled a sense of wanderlust inside me; they stoke the desire to travel all over the world and learn all I can about other cultures. China has never been particularly high on my list, but I can’t wait to pay it a visit now.
Spokane itself seems like the type of city that would be fun to rent an apartment in for a month or two, if only to experience the unique blend of lifestyle that can be found in a city permanently stuck somewhere between a small town and a metropolis.