Amish Country

Trip Start Jul 24, 2007
Trip End Aug 24, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Indiana
Friday, August 3, 2007

In the morning we woke up early to get breakfast and pack up all of our luggage into our car. It seems that the amount of bags and things we have to pack in keeps getting larger and the amount of trunk space we have available keeps getting smaller. However, somehow everything always fits, especially when Mom, the "master packer" gets a hold of all our bags.  When everything was set, we said goodbye to our gracious hosts and thanked them for the wonderful time we had and for taking us all around Chicago. They really did a fabulous job, without them we wouldn't have been able to see so much or know where to go. So we said goodbye and used our wonderful navigation system, "Dottie" as we call her to take us to Elmhurst, a suburb outside Chicago where my Mom grew up. We went to see her old house and her elementary school. Both were still there and looked great. Her house however, had gained some interesting lawn sculptures and tacky plastic furniture which I know were not fixtures when she lived there, but I was able to visualize how it looked back then regardless. We also went to Salt Creek, a creek near her house that she and her brothers used to play at as kids. After we had finished our trip down memory lane we got back on the highway (again a toll highway) and headed for Niagara Falls.

On the way through Indiana we decided to stop at Notre Dame University to look around and get some exercise. The campus is truly amazing, it made me a little jealous that my campus isn't that nice. Stanislaus is really pretty, but it has nothing on the two hundred year old buildings and manicured grounds of Notre Dame. It has been nice to see so many universities on this trip, to see where famous and influential people have gotten their educations and to see the wide variety of architecture at each campus.

After Notre Dame we decided to take some back roads to get to the main highway. This alternate route proved to be pretty hilarious and also really interesting. On the way we saw the Hummer assembly plant, and a lot of small towns that really fit the stereotype of small town America. But the best part about taking the back roads was the Amish! There were Amish people everywhere, on bikes, in buggy's, all over. The roads even had extra wide shoulders for the horse drawn carts to drive in. It was really neat to see, it was like they were stuck in a different era or we had been transported back in time. The countryside that they lived in was so beautiful, they took such good care of their houses and farms it was majestic. By the time that we reached the Ohio border and the freeway the Amish community pretty much disappeared. Once we got to the highway we drove past Cleveland and tried to find a hotel for the night. Oddly enough all of them were booked from Cleveland to the New York border we were informed. Finally, after calling around and driving forever we found a room in Conneaut, Ohio to sleep at for the night.
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