Monday, May 24, 2010

Amish Country – Lancaster Pennsylvania – Part 1

I’m finally home.  I just had a wonderful semi-girly weekend in Lancaster, Pennysylvania.  It started out as a 3 girl girlie weekend and ended up with 8 head – 4 women, 4 men – but it worked out fine.
Lancaster PA 1
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is beautiful.  It’s not until you get outside of town do you really see the true beauty of it.  Hills and hills of beautiful grassy pastures.  It threatened rain the whole time we were there but finally held out until the day we had to leave.  How’s that for timing?
This was my first trip to Lancaster and if you don’t count the views from a bridge we had to cross from New Jersey, it was also my first real trip to Pennsylvania.
I love mountains and wasn’t sure I’d see any.  I didn’t, but what I did see were miles and miles of hilly farmland which was just as good (the car’s engine took a little beating…I don’t know how it would have held up if it were any hillier).
Lancaster PA 2
On the way to our room, this is what you saw quite often.  This is a big no no according to non-Amish people, but to the Amish, they’re used to it.  They say, “I don’t know why you’d want to take our picture.”  It’s not that they hated (hate isn’t in their vocabulary) you for doing it, they just didn’t see the reasoning.
All of the buggies were the same color.  Their main message to each other is that no one is more important than the other. I learned so much about the Amish.  It’s really quite interesting to find out why they lead such simple lives and there’s quite a few lessons they could teach us if you paid close attention.
The picture thing for example.  They did not take pictures of themselves – not even their children as they were growing up – and you’d never see any pictures of people on their walls.  They had other things on their walls but no people whatsoever.  They believed that everyone was equal and no more important than the next person.
Lancaster PA 3
Before we hit the room, we decided to stop off at what they call the Green Dragon Farmer’s Market.  This place was HUGE.  I was so excited, I didn’t take but a couple of pictures and this was one of them.  This is actually in the humungous parking lot.  There are places for cars to park and places for buggies to park.  See if you can find the buggie. ;o)
Lancaster PA 4
This is two of our 8 head party heading back after spotting a buggie.  You do that a lot here.  In time, you get used to them but if you’ve never seen one before, they’re really neat to catch a glimpse of as they fly by (and I do mean fly…these buggies can boogie!).
So this is on our way back from the Green Dragon Farmer’s Market.  We had loaded up on fresh breads, pies, canned this, canned that, you name it, it was there, and went to find our room.  Let me tell you something while I’m thinking about it.  If you’ve never owned a navigator (I hadn’t but the friend whose car we rode in did), you have really missed out on an experience.
Lancaster PA 5
And so this is our home away from home.  Picture taken on Sunday when it did rain, but the skies remained rain-free until then.
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So we’re checking the room out…it’s very very clean, smelled great, so we’re happy with our decision to stay here instead of the ritzy hotel in town (might have to do that one next) and I look out one of the windows to see what’s out there and I say, “Kim, come quick!  Look out the window!”
Another buggie parked at a convenience store across the yard there.  It took all of five seconds before we were grabbing a camera and ran out to get a close up.
Kids.  What can you do with them.  Show us a buggie and we’ll show you a picture we snapped of it no matter what lengths it takes to get it.  No matter what people might think of you.  No matter if you look like a tourist.  You gotta have that picture.
One thing that annoys me about living here on the island is that when the tourists come, it’s like you’ve lost your home to them but this experience did give me a better understanding – when you’re vacationing, it’s time to have fun.

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