|Woodinville town center: cars…|
|… and more cars|
Where are the restaurants? The fun and distinctive shops? The quaint buildings? The small town charm mentioned in brochures?
|The Ingalls were lucky to live in Walnut Grove, MN|
Garrison Keillor described the ideal American town in Lake Wobegon Days. Nostalgic pieces about American small town life are published on a regular basis. In fact, I could keep listing books and movies that relentlessly promote an idealized vision of small town USA. Even Walt Disney immortalized the Main Street concept in his theme parks.
|Main Street USA yesterday…|
|Main Street USA today…|
|Main Steet USA immortalized by Uncle Walt|
|The Herb Farm : a nine-course Northwest dining extravaganza|
|The Barking Frog (Willows Lodge),
a favorite lunchtime destination of mine
I think you get my point. Urban design is not Woodin[ville]’s forte. This would fine with a lot of people, if the town had not started advertising aggressively its new status as a major tourist destination over the last few years. What are tourists meant to do here once they have made the obligatory stop chez Molbak’s? Why, drink wine, bien sûr.
|Bienvenue au Chateau Ste Michelle|
|Elegant and peaceful Chateau Ste Michelle|
|A true tourist destination. Notice the amphitheater in the background|
|Wonderful Summer Concerts Series|
|France’s Burgundy region: vineyards as far as the eye can see.|
|More tasting rooms|
|One strip mall. Four (out of many) wine tasting rooms.
Food option? A Mexican chain restaurant.
Tourist buses traveling from Seattle are a common sight these days. To accommodate the influx of vehicles, the city of Woodin[ville] has extensively remodeled a major intersection. Three consecutive roundabouts were built over a year ago. Not just any roundabouts, mind you, award-winning ones! Sadly, you risk your life every time you drive through them because some people don’t seem to notice the 200+ “Yield” signs strategically located all over the roundabouts. A logical conclusion is that Yield signs are not part of drivers’ Ed. classes in the United States.
|Three award-winning roundabouts:
Safer from above?
|The largest of the three Woodinville roundabouts,
nicknamed “Stonehenge” by a friend
I would argue that the worst possible time to use the new Woodin[ville] roundabouts is on Sunday afternoons, when the wine-tasting crowds get back in their car and try to get home. These guys are dangerous because 1. They are, by then, officially buzzed. 2. They have no clue how to drive on a roundabout 3. They are s.t.a.r.v.i.n.g. and can only think about one thing: “What did we leave in the fridge?”
|Big Fish Grill, we will have you, whatever you are!|
Fun reading about Woodinville from a French girl’s perspective. I always wondered where the centre ville was and now I know that there isn’t one!
Very funny and entertaining. I always learn something reading your blog!
Margie– Now you know the BIG Woodinville secret! 😉
Cherie– Merci beaucoup. Believe it or not, I, too, learned beaucoup de choses while researching Le Blog’s posts.
Ahh Little house on the Prairie, happy memories. I did not think, they had roundabouts in the States, they seem to prefer intersections, most Americans seem to struggle with them when they come to Europe, especially l’Arc de Triumphe, always amusing! Roundabout education most definitely needed!
Thank you for visiting and for your comment, Dash. It’s true, there are not that many roundabouts here, at least on the West Coast. I must say Woodinville has made it even more challenging by adding three back to back! As for the Arc de Triomphe, I can honestly say driving there should scare anyone in their right mind. My brother is the only person I know who will go around it twice (with his sister -Moi- screaming next to him with her eyes closed) “just for fun!”
Great read! I’m in the south of France visiting my mother but have to go back soon to the father land in the southwest. I always end up missing the centre ville big time! =) moi.
Thanks for visiting Sandy. I have just left a message on your blog. I can’t believe our different our worlds are… Here I am, in the chilly and rainy Pacific Northwest and you live in the middle of the desert! Let me know what you thought about Southern France.
My first visit to your blog and I found it delightful. This little town of yours looks very pretty. I have been to Seattle a couple of times but we stayed in town – I had read about the wineries. I also took a quick look at your posts in French and I’ll come back to read them when I am caught up reading all my friends’ blogs as I rarely hear any French around here (near Atlanta.)
Merci Vagabonde (what a pretty name) and welcome! There is a special place in my heart for Atlanta where I studied in college 25 years ago as an exchange student. I need to go back soon and make sure “my American family” still recognizes my son when they see him. Come back anytime and do let me know what you think about the posts en francais.
v- this was SIMPLY incredible…again i say to you WELL DONE!! i just love your presentation of information on such various topics and your own take on them. i cannot express how i ENJOY time spent here…the blog looks great…the comments are also nice reading and your fan base is growing…and to think i’ll be able to say i “knew” her when…SERIOUSLY-just GREAT!!enjoy your weekend and hope to be reading again REAL SOON. thanks for all the time and effort from one very grateful reader.-g
g. — Thank you, as always, for the encouraging words and enthusiastic comments. I do believe you are right: my fan base is growing. I am flattered, and happy, as i am meeting pretty cool people along the way, and discovering great blogs at the same time. I am off to Europe soon and will be posting during the trip. This has become a bit of an addiction I must confess. Bon weekend to you too. Come back soon.
Too funny! My LOL moment: “BigFish, we will have you whatever you are! SO TRUE!”
Dear Elana– Amen, sister. Hope Big Fish is open by the time I get back.