Monday, July 30, 2012

Day 1 - Touring Amish Country Part I

Today we started our tour of Amish Country with the first stop being the Visitor Center, as all good tourists do.  We grabbed a few brochures and chatted with an employee who gave us a map and marked it up with some good places/things to see.  After posing for some pictures I was "allowed" to take, we began our self-guided tour.

Inside Visitor Center in Lancaster, PA

Amish Buggy at Visitor Center
There were a few things that Ashlee specifically wanted to do while we were there, and taking a buggy ride was top of the list.  After a lot of research, I decided on Abe's Buggy Rides, and we chose the 3 mile - 30 minute ride.  Also, all their tours are private, so you are only in the buggy with your family or group.  They didn't take reservations, but we only had to wait about 15 minutes for our turn.  The great part is that the 15 minutes went by really fast because they have a working farm with lots of animals to watch, feed, and pet. 

When it was our turn, we loaded up and headed out onto the main road.  It felt very strange riding in a horse-drawn buggy down a paved two-lane road... while stopping at a red light!  Our driver was very knowledgeable, gave lots of information and answered lots of our questions.  Of course, one of my questions was about how the Amish feel about people taking their picture.  How was I going to capture our trip in Amish Country if I couldn't take pictures of the Amish people?  He informed us that as long as you take a picture from a distance, they really don't mind.  YES!  Our tour was so much fun, and the girls were grinning from ear to ear. 

Amish Children taking a rest behind the barn.
(Rest assured, I used my zoom lens so I'm far away!)
Love the Amish clothes line!

We finished up our buggy ride and found some fun shops to browse before a late lunch/early dinner.  On our drive toward the shops, I almost drove off the road trying to get to my camera in time to snap this picture before we got too close. One of the little girls was on a scooter, and the other one was pushing a wagon. It ended up being my favorite picture from Amish Country, not including the pictures of my family of course.

We found a fun shopping area with some outdoor shops.  While strolling around, the girls even got to "milk" Klarabelle!

We're missing a "flower"!
One of the things we really wanted to do while we were there was eat at an Amish buffet. We had been told that the Good N Plenty was the place to eat. When we arrived and walked inside, we discovered we had two choices... we could choose the family style all-you-can eat option or the menu dining option. We had originally wanted to do the family style all-you-can-eat... until we realized we would be sitting at a really long table with people we didn't know and would be passing the bowls around the table as they came. Combine that with the fact that this option was $22 PER PERSON, and we decided to go with menu dining. So we walked back down the hallway to the other side of the restaurant housed in a completely different area and were seated immediately. Upon walking into this side of the building, the smell was quite distinct, and not in a good way. I'm not sure what it was, but it was not appetizing. Knowing how weak Scott's stomach is, I didn't know if he could handle it. I pulled out the hand sanitizer, and he rubbed it underneath his nose to try to mask the smell. And I tried to tell him that the smell was from cabbage or sauer kraut being cooked, but he didn't really buy that. We placed our drink order and then debated on whether or not we were going to stay. The waitress came back then and we went ahead and placed our order. Scott excused himself and walked outside for a few minutes, and we were worried that he wasn't going to make it. It was actually quite comical for the girls and me to watch his discomfort, but he was a trooper and came back to eat with us, while continuously smearing hand sanitizer under his nose. :-)
Relaxing after lunch

After lunch we had plans to do a real guided tour of Amish Country, but we had a few hours before our 5:00 reservation, so we decided to head back to the hotel for a rest before our tour.   
Horse & buggy stopped at a redlight.

This was a tiny horsedrawn wagon. Several Amish children
had just unloaded and went inside this hardware store.

Too pooped to party!
Stay tuned for part II of our first day in Amish Country. 

No comments:

Post a Comment