Visiting Family; Wenatchee & Leavenworth, WA — August 22-25, 2018

On our first night in Wenatchee Roberta & Michael and Barb & I met at Visconti’s Italian Restaurant for a spectacular dinner hosted by Barb’s brother Dan Carr & Candy Meecham, owners. What a special evening. Candy ordered several types of anti-pasta boards for the table, after which Dan & Candy described, in loving detail, the possible choices for the main course. When we had each given our individual choices, Candy suggested that we be served family style. Brilliant!  What  platters and dishes of delights we had. We all enjoyed it immensely; I thought Roberta was going to swoon and pass out!

We also spent a number of visits to another of Barb’s brothers: George and his wife Anne and their three children, Nancy and twins Josey & Maggie.  On one such occasion, Dan & Candy also joined us, so we were able to take some family pictures.  (See below.)

In addition to the Visconti’s in Wenatchee, Dan & Candy also have a number of other businesses.  They include ‘Fire’, at the Pybus Public Market, featuring wood oven pizza and wine, brats and beer, plus a full menu of salads and small plates. Right next to ‘Fire’ is ‘Ice’, also owned by Dan & Candy and also in the Market, featuring authentic Italian style gelato and crêpes and locally roasted Caffè Mela espresso.  And that is not all.  They are perhaps best known for their businesses in Leavenworth, where there is a bigger version of Visconti’s.

Although Leavenworth is a Bavarian Village, Visconti’s is not to be missed.  The first floor of the building has a Deli and a Gelato shop. The second and third floors have dinning rooms and also an outdoor dining space on the third floor.   In the basement, Dan creates the cured meats that are featured in the Deli and in the adjacent Leavenworth Sausage Garten and in Wenatchee’s Fire.

From promotional literature:

The Leavenworth Sausage Garten is the best place to enjoy two of the most important staples of Germany…Good “Wurst’ and “Bier”! WE MAKE OUR BRATS! Right in our own facilities located next door. We use only the finest ingredients to produce great sausages, such as Bratwurst, Bockwurst, and Currywurst and our signature Italian sausage. To compliment those wonderful sausages have some great regional micro brews and German imported biers on tap.

Just up the road from George & Anne’s home is an interesting Park called The Ohme Garden. We made a return visit; this time to show Roberta and Michael.

From the Park’s web page:

In 1929 Herman Ohme purchased 40 acres of land for an orchard. Included was a craggy, dry, desolate, rock-strewn bluff with a breathtaking view of the snow-capped Cascade Mountains and the shimmering Columbia River valley. Herman and his new bride, Ruth, loved to stand on the bluff and dream of flourishing alpine meadows, shimmering pools and shady evergreen pathways where the hot, relentless summer sun allowed only sage and scrub desert growth. They set their minds on achieving that dream.

Small evergreens were transplanted from the nearby Cascade Mountains, native stone was hauled to form paths and borders, desert sage gave way to low-growing ground cover, and pools took shape adjacent to massive natural rock formations. It was hard work, done mostly by hand, and truly a labor of love. In the beginning, sustaining the Gardens meant hauling water in five gallon buckets from the river valley below, but eventually the Ohmes constructed an elaborate irrigation system that pumped water to the site.

Initially intended as a private family retreat, the interest of friends and community members prompted the Ohmes to open the Gardens to the public. The Ohmes continued to perfect the Gardens for 42 years, until 1971 when Herman died at the age of 80. The couple’s son Gordon and his family then assumed responsibility for the Gardens, and in 1991 Washington State Parks and Recreation purchased the Gardens and surrounding property. The Gardens are currently owned and managed by Chelan County.

Earlier in our RV wanderings, we had all realized that the fronts of our toads were getting chewed up from stones being thrown back by the RVs. So we ordered three “Protect-a-Tow”s and had them shipped to Dan. Michael and I installed ours while we were in Wenatchee on the eve of our separate departures. I am quite pleased with ours; the screen is stretched under the tow and reaches from the back of the RV to under the front of the toad, and appears to offer near-total protection from rocks thrown up by the RV.

Footnote: Only yesterday, 9/26/18, did X-ray reveal that Barb’s toe has finally healed enough that she can stop wearing the boot. Yippee!

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