Amish Country

Trip Start May 19, 2010
Trip End May 24, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Thursday, May 20, 2010

We drove to Amish Country and saw a few animal-driven plows and buggies along the way, women tending to their gardens, and the wash hanging out to dry.

We were all very excited for our visit to this part of the country, although none more so than the principal. Anything Amish is her absolute favorite. For those of us (most of us) that had not been there before, I think we were all very curious about these "plain people" and how they could live so simply in such a complex world.

Before our stop, the principal told us the name of the town we were going to--Intercourse. After a few giggles, she explained that it referred to the "intersection" of the road (although there are a couple of other possible origins of the name) and NOT what we normally think of when we hear that word. We were also forbidden to buy anything related to that vein of thinking. The village was founded in 1754.

The buses stopped at a touristy shopping place called Kitchen Kettle. A couple of us (including the principal walked down the street first. We went into Zimmerman's grocery store (the movie, Witness, had a scene filmed there on the porch. The store was small and unassuming. I think the only thing that was different was that there was a whole section of goods that were hand packaged.

From there we split up, and I went on my own to the Old Candle Barn. It had house stuff and doodads in it, nothing particularly interesting though. I headed towards the Kitchen Kettle, but went into another little store first. It was full of imported, Amish imposter dust collectors. So, I went back to Kitchen Kettle.

The first thing I saw was the ice cream place. Oh yeah! I got a scoop of Butter Pecan, and, wow was it good. It had to be the creamiest ice cream I've ever had with huge pecan halves in it. Unbelievably good.

I relaxed while I savored the homemade treat, but before long Hunter and her friends came by. She had bought me a Christmas ornament for my birthday, sweet girl! We split up again, and I perused some of the stores. I found some honey with honeycomb in it, apple butter and sweet potato butter to take home. These items will play a part in a disaster later.

I was running out of time. I got through the check-out line and back to the bus just in time. I passed two cute little Amish boys selling horseshoes on my way there. They were adorable in their hats and suspenders.

Kettle Kitchen was ok, basically a tourist trap though. I'd say it was a good "introduction" to Amish country. Our next stop was great, though, and very authentic.

We went to a real Amish farm with a large house, barn, outbuildings, a store and farmland. There were cows, a calf, mules, horses and a little pony to admire. The "garage" was open so we could see the shiny black buggies. A little blonde girl rode her tricycle around while the boys played basketball, some sat on the chairs on the porch of the store, and others shopped. DD and I bought "quillows" which are small Amish quilts that you fold into a pillow. We got the small ones that are perfect for travel. I think we all really enjoyed visiting the farm.

We then went to dinner at Good 'n' Plenty where you sit at long tables and eat family style. Some of the food was strange, some I didn't like at all, and some was really delicious. While the restaurant is commercial and not technically Amish, it does serve traditional Amish food.

Of note, were the buttered noodles. I could have eaten the whole bowl. The fried chicken was good, as was the mashed potatoes. I actually tried a lima bean (something I've hated since I was a child) and thought it just as disgusting as I always have. I had no desire to eat red jello (jello, really?). There was sandwich bread that you put some spreads chicken salad. We all liked the Shoofly Pie and Ice Cream.
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