The fourth stop on our adventure was Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Definitely on my "bucket list" on places I wanted to see.
As soon as we arrived you could see the buggies in the roads along with
the cars. I'd always heard that the Amish didn't like to have their pictures
taken so I was careful not to take their images up close.
I later learned near the end of my trip that most don't mind
at all as long as you don't get right up in their face or ask
them to take a picture with you. While all of the curious tourist
are riding around looking, they actually live there and are going
about their busy lives with work.
They really grow their pumpkins hugh.
There were lots of opportunities for buggy tour rides.
This is a farmer going about the business of moving his crop. The
locals are really patient in Lancaster and move slowly
when there is a buggy or wagon on the road which I was
very happy to see. It seems the movies I've seen showing
the "english" being so mean to them just isnt true. At
least in Lancaster.
This was one of my favorite antique shops of the entire trip.
Mike and I both got a few really good deals and the people
were so great. They asked where we were from, made suggestions for
food locations and directed us to the best buggy ride business.
I loved this shopping location. It's fairly new and hosts lots of shops in one
place. It also happened to be where we began and ended our buggy ride.
A lot of the shops had Amish working in them. There was a shop that had mustard, jellys, relishes, candies and baked goods that had an open view of the cannery.
The Amish ladies working in it were beautiful and very sweet.
This is the buggy we rode on. It had been raining off and on (which happened
most of our trip) so this one offered protection in case of a down pour.
Which did happen a couple of times on our ride.
The young man who drove us was not a practicing Amish. His father had
been Amish but decided to leave when he was 18 and live among the towns people.
Did you know that they get a year or two when there about 16 or 17 to
experience living they way the other teenagers and young adults do?
After that period of time they decide whether they want to live in the
Amish traditions or live in the "world". I had heard of that but what
I didn't know is that if you decide not to live in the Amish ways, most Amish
families do not bannish them. They come back for Sunday dinners with the family.
Our buggy driver told us he grew up visiting on the weekends. His grandparents
had even bought his dad a car when he was 18, but he just had to park it
at the neighbors house.
There were lots of dairy farms in the area.
The first covered bridge of our trip.
After we finished our ride we decided to head to dinner to
the famous Stoltzfus Farm Restaurant. We wanted to try
the food that was known in that area.
It was a beautiful converted farm.
I'll admit when I saw the menu, I was a little taken aback. Not what I would
normally choose. They served your food family style and they bring an
enormous amout of food to your table in serving bowls. But I decided to
give most everything a try. They had something called hamloaf
(basically meatloaf minus the beef and adding ground ham).
It was incredibly good. There fried chicken was some of the best I've
ever had. There were also lots of farm vegetables. We were
pleasantly surprised at how delicious the food was. I'm so
glad we made an agreement to try the food that is famous for the
area we were in. I don't think we would of chosen this if we hadn't.
We had heard so much about shoofly pie in every store we were in
and neither of us had ever had it. That's what they served for dessert.
It's wonderful. Kind of (but not exactly) like pecan pie without the pecans.
The food is prepared by Amish women and I definitely think
if you ever visit there you have to make this a must do.
I just had to get a picture of this. It was just the cutest restaurant decor
I've ever seen. It just puts a smile on your face.
And I'll leave you with a cute lawn decoration that you'll see as you
leave the restaurant.
Things we learned on our visit to Lancaster.
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies are the best fall dessert I've ever tasted.
It's alot more commericalized that I thought it would be.
The Amish don't mind if you take pictures as long as your not directly in their face.
Amish quilts are beautiful and expensive.
There are lots of really great antique stores with reasonable prices.
Some Amish have solar power, even though they don't have electricity.
Amish farms are AWESOME.
The English and the Amish get along great where we were at.
I really like covered bridges.
I like shoofly pie.
They grow really big pumpkins.
Just because some Amish decide to leave that way of life, it doesn't have
to mean they are bannished.
Great memories were made here.
We realized about a week after we left Lancaster that Mike's favorite ball cap (Cherry Point Naval Hosptial) was missing. We tried for days to retrace where we had been recently. Because there had been so much rain and no sun he couldn't remember the last time he wore it. One eveing (while we were in Maine) I was thinking about our trip and it suddenly dawned on me that the last time I saw it was on a chair at the Stoltzfus Restaurant in Lancaster the week before. We called them and would you believe they had found it and decided to keep it in case someone came back for it. It had been almost two weeks by the time we called them. They were so sweet and put it in the mail to us. Can you believe that? Mike was so greatful. He was at that Naval hosptial in the 80's and had found the hat in an antique shop in mint condition a few years ago. We will always be so thankful for their kindness.