Last week I had the opportunity to go with my sister on a work trip to Lancaster, PA for a trade show. We stayed a couple extra days to sight see. We arrived in Harrisburg Pa on Tuesday evening, rented a car and drove to downtown Lancaster to Hotel Lancaster. Wednesday we woke up to heavy rains so we slept in. One of the first things we found is there are no fast food restaurants or gas stations in PA. We couldn't find a store to buy umbrella's but a very nice man on the street gave me his umbrella. The people were so friendly most every where we went. There is very little parking in the downtown area and the parking garage for the show was full. Finally in the downpour we found a spot on the street, Tammy Lou got drenched trying to pay the parking meter, the money kept getting wet and machine didn't want to take it. Once we were able to head to the show, it was a long trek in the rain. We spent the afternoon at the show getting lots of goodies. It continued to rain so we went shopping. The mall was 3 miles long, had several stores we had never heard of like Bosco's and Bon Ton. Had a delish steak at Long Horn Steakhouse.
Thursday we spent the day in Amish Country. We went East 30 to Highway 340 through Bird-In-Hand, Intercourse, Paradise, Strasburg and many other little villages.
The horse and buggies were all over out in this area. Lots of touristy places also.
They ride scooters that are sort of like a bike without the seat. Not sure why? We saw lots of the scooters especially at the school houses.
Most people just went around the buggies on the highway. We saw men, women and young kids driving the buggies.
I have read all of Beverly Lewis's fiction books on the Amish. They are fiction but Lewis grew up in Lancaster County so the stories are fiction the content is based on actual Amish culture. Tammy Lou didn't know a lot about them so she was in awe. She really wanted to take home a little boy, they were so cute dressed in their little suits with straw hats just like the grown men. They don't take pictures as they believe it is a sin to have a graven image. I don't think they have mirrors either. We respected that and didn't try to take many pictures of their faces. Most of the Amish we saw out on the road were not friendly. I am sure they are tired of the tourists. The thing that struck me was how large the farms were. All of them had many huge barns and silos. The homes were large 2-3 stories. They were all neat and clean.
This farm had miniature horses. They all had dairy cattle too. I suppose that would be normal since that is where they get their milk, cheese, butter etc. Probably get their meat from the cows too.
We saw many signs for the sale of flowers and root beer. Wished we would have stopped for some root beer, not sure why we didn't. I would have loved to visit with some of them, to learn more. We did see several Amish women in town working in some of the stores. They spoke English but when talking to each other they spoke in Pennsylvania Dutch or German dialect. I admire the way they keep to the old traditions in our modern world. There were also the Mennonite's which are more modern around the area.
More on our trip tomorrow.