Bookish Adventures in Bavaria

I recently visited a town near where I live, Leavenworth, Washington. Leavenworth is a Bavarian theme village located in the Cascade Mountains. That's right, the entire town is basically a Bavarian theme park (with enough gift shops to make Disney Land blush). It gets criticized for being touristy and inauthentic, but I always have fun there and they really do the place up amazingly for Christmas (I saw probably four different incarnations of Santa walking around). 

Mostly it was an opportunity to eat pretzels and the best vegetarian brautwurst ever (I've eaten many varieties of vegetarian sausage and they've all been disgusting, so this brautwurst was a real victory for vegetarians everywhere). 

But I also had some great bookish experiences in Leavenworth. First off, I made sure to stop in at one of my all-time favorite bookstores, A Book for All Seasons. They have a wonderful little YA section with quite a diversity of titles. 

Then, I made what may be the greatest bookstore find EVER. In the used section, I found a copy of Will Grayson, Will Grayson for only $6. This would be amazing on its own, but then I saw the shiny gold sticker on the front that said Signed Copy. I shouted "OH MY GOD!" and wondered which of the two authors might've signed it--John Green or David Levithan. And you'll never guess--it was signed by both of them. 

The sacred artifact, the tome that touched the hands of greatness. 

Another bookish thing I noticed in Leavenworth was the word "Bayern" everywhere. If you're a fan of Shannon Hale (like you should be), you know that Bayern is the kingdom in her series The Books of Bayern, which begins with one of my favorite books, The Goose Girl. I looked it up and learned that Bayern means Bavaria in German. I think I'd heard somewhere that the Bayern in Shannon Hale's books is based on medieval Germany, so that just makes all kinds of sense! 
We capped off the day by watching the lighting ceremony in which all the storefronts lit their Christmas lights at the same time while a choir sang Christmas songs. It was a grand day, and I highly recommend the entire town to anybody who's willing to suspend judgement about what may be a kitschy, inauthentic tourist trap, and instead appreciate Leavenworth's lovable charm.