Sunday, July 29, 2012

And... We're Off

We pulled out of our driveway this morning to begin our 7 1/2 hour drive to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania...  Ashlee's choice (no surprise there).  She has been reading a lot of Amish novels recently and has been really interested in their way of life.  So the first leg of our journey began in Amish Country. 

As we pulled off the interstate exit where we would be staying, right there in the middle of the road sitting at the red light beside us was a horse & buggy driven by an Amish man!  Definitely not something you see every day.  Of course, I pulled out my camera and was immediately reprimanded... mostly because I was the one driving at the time... but Ashlee informed me that we were NOT to take pictures of the Amish people.  Oh, this was going to be really, really, REALLY hard for me.  But I didn't want to be disrespectful. :-(  So I drove on ahead toward the hotel, reluctantly sliding my camera back into my purse. 

I knew we would be arriving in Lancaster early in the evening, so I did some research on local activities and found that Long's Park held a summer music series.  On the evening we would be arriving, they were hosting the March Fourth Marching Band.  Cool!  After we checked into our hotel (Hampton Inn conveniently located across from Costco and beside the visitor center), we grabbed a "picnic" dinner at Subway and headed toward the park. 

We arrived at Long's Park, finally zipped into a parking place, and followed the crowd to a grassy field.  We found a spot to camp out on, spread out our blanket (yes, I was prepared!), and began munching on dinner.
Waiting for the entertainment to begin
I didn't quite know what to expect from the marching band, but it was pretty entertaining. There were several musicians playing typical band isntruments, and then there were a handful of theatrical performers who were on stilts... think part marching band and part circus act. Even though we were sitting about 100 yards away from the stage and couldn't see all that well, we could definitely hear them.  And the stilt-walkers strolled through the crowd walking past us several times.

A "very" zoomed-in view of the stage.

Stilt-Walker strolling through the crowd
We spent a little over an hour watching the performance... and people-watching in the crowd, which I actually found to be more entertaining.  There was a precious girl with Downs Syndrome sitting with her family in front of us.  I think we had more fun watching her dance than we had watching the show.  She was adorable.

As the performance started winding down, we decided to beat some of the traffic and hit the road back to our hotel for a good night's sleep.  Thanks to Ashlee's research on things to do in Amish Country, I had a full agenda planned for tomorrow.

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