We all love Washington, but how do you think other people feel about our town? Jennifer Wells, a blogger and a re-Discover Washington fan, offers an outsider’s view.
My husband and I sat on a bench facing the river, coffee in hand, one cool August morning in Washington, and watched as boaters prepared to embark on a race down the Missouri River. The atmosphere was serene and quiet, despite the number of people – bikers, families, young and old couples – who stopped to witness the event. I could sense a feeling of community and support as the race finally took off and the onlookers cheered the boaters on.
It was a wonderful way to begin the first morning of our anniversary weekend in Washington. We had actually planned to stay and hang out in a certain town close to Washington (hint: famous for wine), but somehow ended up spending most of our weekend here instead.
That decision didn’t really surprise us, as we have been big fans of Washington, Missouri for years now. I can’t recall what first brought us there, but we were hooked from the beginning.
I grew up in the downtown area of St. Charles, on Main Street. It was an environment of rich history, small businesses, and festivals galore. I spent my childhood exploring the banks of the Missouri River, and searching for lost change to take down to the local homemade fudge shop.
Washington reminds me of home for sure, but it also has its own character that sets it apart from a larger suburban city. Washington offers all the charm of a small town, with a strong sense of community and an endless stretch of unique small, local businesses, many of which are extremely unusual to find in a small rural area. It surprised and thrilled me to discover that I could take a meditation class or look at local art while drinking wine at the annual Art Fair! Seriously, what more could one want?
As a nature-loving family, one of our favorite things about Washington is that it is located in one of the most beautiful areas of Missouri, surrounded by many opportunities for exploring the outdoors. The most obvious is the big river that Washington sits on – poking around the banks, walking the riverfront trail, boating, or simple sitting to watch the currents. And of course, only a few miles away is Katy Trail State Park.
For us, Washington was love at first sight, and we decided almost immediately that we wanted to make it our home in the near future. Washington successfully marries the character and culture of more urban areas with the warm and fuzzy atmosphere of a small town community. It is the best of both worlds, and we can’t wait to be a part of it!
Text: Jennifer Wells
Photos and captions: Slava Bowman Photography
Jennifer Wells is a homeschooling mom of three, ages 7 and under. She loves to share with other parents her discoveries and challenges in cultivating mindfulness, compassion, equanimity, and authentic joy in our daily lives. She is passionate about living simply and in harmony with the natural world, and revitalizing the idea of strong community connections. Her other interests include learning about and practicing sustainable living, homesteading, nutrition, growing food, hiking, camping, amateur photography, reading, learning, and discovering the world with her children. You can follow Jennifer’s blog here.