Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Lucky 13th Anniversary!

Wow, 13 years have gone by since we've been married!  This is going to be a "lucky" year of marriage!  I guess technically we are starting our 14th year, so looking back, number 13 was a good one!

We don't always go on a trip for our anniversary, but I think we will make it a yearly tradition.  This year we decided to stay somewhat close to home.  After talking about several choices, Lee came up with a great plan! I have been reading lots of Beverly Lewis' books about the Amish and I am very intrigued with their way of life.  Lee suggested we visit Lancaster County, Pennsylvania AND rent a sports car for the trip.  Kind of a funny combo, visiting Amish country in a BMW, but it was really fun.

My sister Lois lives just about an hour from Lancaster area, so it worked great for dropping off our kids at her house for the weekend.  We stayed at a bed and breakfast in Bird-in-Hand.  I spent too much time looking for a place to stay (HOURS looking on line) and should have booked something months ago.  But in the end, we were pleased with the place I finally decided on.
Sept 19 2015 Anniversary Trip, Bird-in-Hand PA (3)

I thought there was going to be a hot breakfast for guests, cooked from scratch.  Apparently I didn't get the information right.  There was a hot breakfast, but more of a help-yourself breakfast buffet.  Saturday morning there were yummy omelets and sausages, so that helped make up for the misunderstanding.  Sunday morning breakfast I wasn't too thrilled about, but there was still food so can't complain!
Sept 19 2015 Anniversary Trip, Bird-in-Hand PA

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The bed and breakfast we stayed at is associated with a hotel and inn just down the street.  We were able to use the facilities at the inn and played tennis that morning, which was really fun.  We need to go do that more often!

It was so fun hearing horses clop by outside our room.  Thought of my sister when I saw this shop.
Sept 19 2015 Anniversary Trip, Bird-in-Hand PA (5)

Here is the car we rented.  It was really fun driving it!
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After tennis and getting ready for the day we walked down the street to Abe's Buggy Rides. Our driver, Paul, is an old order Mennonite.  I didn't know this but the Amish actually broke off from the Mennonites.  As old order Amish Paul did things like drive a buggy (not a vehicle), but did have electricity at his home.  He and his family, like the Amish, don't believe in taking pictures of themselves.  So I asked him if he was allowed to take pictures for people.  He said yes and took this one of us.
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Notice the horses hooked up to the plow?
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Paul took us on about an hour buggy ride.  He pointed out Amish homes to us and we chatted about each others families a little and I asked about the Amish and Mennonites too. It's kind of hard to tell, but see the window on the yellow house, the upper far left?  Near the tree with dark green leaves?  Can you tell that there is a hunter green shade pulled halfway down the window?  Paul said the Amish have them in all the windows on their houses.  It wasn't for anything religious, just something they do. 
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I loved seeing these scooters all over.  We really wanted to buy one, but they are somewhat expensive.
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Paul stopped at an Amish house for us.  We went into the basement at that house and could buy stuff.  We bought Shanna and Haley a tiny little purse that had a toy horse in it. Nothing that I couldn't make myself, but it was fun buying it from an authentic Amish family.  Yeah, weird I know! We stopped at an Amish hardware store in Bird-in-Hand and they sold these scooters there.  They were about $170!  Can't remember exactly, but expensive.  It still would be fun to get them someday!  While on the buggy ride we saw a girl go by with her little baby brother sitting in the basket!
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Some of the houses Paul pointed out were newer and nicer than our house! On the outside anyway.  I was really surprised that they were Amish.  For some reason we started talking about the Amish and home mortgages (I brought it up of course, ha ha) and I said something about how they are self-sufficient and must not have loans or anything.  Paul told me that they do get home loans.  He mentioned a particular bank or credit union that works with the Amish and said that bank was doing very well.  It really surprised me that the Amish had loans!  Not sure why, but it did.  Oh, I also mentioned to Paul how neat it is that they are "off the grid" as they go on living life with out needing the utility company.  He had never heard the term "off the grid" before.  The buggy ride was one of our favorite parts that weekend.  If it would have been cheaper we might have gone on two!

For lunch we asked an Amish young man if we could eat at an "authentic" Amish restaurant. He told us where one was.  Katie's Kitchen.  It was so good!
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They had regular food and Amish food.  Lee and I each ordered "authentic" Amish dishes, which are basically comfort foods. Okay, french fries are NOT Amish, but I love them sooo much and we were on vacation.  Had to have fries!  The mashed potatoes and gravy was divine!
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Yep, I was one of those gawking Englischers! I was respectful though and didn't take a picture of peoples' faces.  But I snapped a picture of one of the Amish girls working at Katie's Kitchen. So, they had the best dessert menu I've EVER seen.  Usually a restaurant has three or four dessert items...not very many.  Katie's had TONS.  We ordered four things so we could share them all and try several.  YUM!!!
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Later that afternoon we visited different Amish shops.  We enjoyed the ice cream at this place.
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And it was fun seeing interesting bottled watermelon rind and cantaloupe....
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Stopped by a fabric store too.
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I thought these aprons were cute.  I like finding inspiration for cute things to make for my kids, or more specifically my girls.  Execution on the other hand is a different story.
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We also drove around Lancaster a little, and Strasburg.  This was quite the prison in Lancaster! In Strasburg we walked around a visited a little shop too.
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Definitely un-Amish, we ate at a 50's diner that night.  The burgers were awesome! More fries, please!
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Sunday we went to church at the Ephrata Ward.  It was very interesting because that same Sunday Lee was being sustained to be the 2nd counselor in our Bishopric. (Yes we missed it because we were in Lancaster!)  Well, in the Ephrata Ward the 2nd counselor was being released.  He had a chance to briefly talk about his experience as a 2nd counselor and share his testimony.  It was a sweet experience to be there, knowing that Lee would soon be experience this calling the fellow was just released from.

I took some pictures of our room.  I thought it was a pretty room.  They could update the bed as I didn't think it was that comfortable, but thankfully I am young I recovered just fine from a sore back in the morning.
Sept 20 2015 Anniversary Bird-in-Hand (2)

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Sept 20 2015 Anniversary Bird-in-Hand

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After church we drove around some more to find covered bridges in the area.  We found one.  Unfortunately there wasn't a place to walk around so we drove through it twice, and the neighboring neighborhood. 
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Some youth out on an afternoon ride....or something!
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We then headed back to Lois' to get the kids.  We took Lois's family on two separate drives in the car just for fun, and then brought the car back to the owner.  Our kids took turns riding in it too. 
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Thanks Lee for the great suggestions for the anniversary!  We both had a terrific time.  I love that my husband will watch things like Jane Austen movies, Hallmark shows and go to places like Amish country for our anniversary!  Looking forward to next year's trip!  Someday we'll head out on a cruise.......


Lena said...

Looks like it was an awesome trip! It would be fun to have a girls trip to Lancaster County someday.

Deb B said...

What a fun mini-moon!!! Your shirt is adorable and you look lovely. Do you think you might go again? It would have been so educational as well and enjoyable.

Love the hot tub in your room too!

Lois said...

What a fun little trip. So glad you could go. Have a happy 14th year.

Lois said...

What a fun little trip. So glad you could go. Have a happy 14th year.

Risa Stumm said...

Wow, how fun!!!! I didn't know you were on an ANNIVERSARY trip?!! Sounds like a wonderful weekend!

Melissa S. said...

I'm SOOOOOOOOO jealous. I DEVOUR Amish books too!!!!!!! That sounds like a dream come true. And what an oxi-moron to rent that car. hahaha