Monday, July 30, 2012

Day 1 - Touring Amish Country Part IV

The last stop on our tour was to an Amish home.  Unfortunately, I am incredibly sad to say that I cannot remember their names.  We pulled onto their property, and I immediately spotted three small children eating grapes straight from the vine.  They were just so precious and were just begging for a picture to be taken.

Is he not the cutest thing ever?!?!
We unloaded the bus and were introduced to the family.  They led us into their home for a tour of the main level, and then took us outside to their patio so we could visit.  Ashlee was so excited to get to visit with them... so excited, in fact, that she didn't ask a SINGLE QUESTION!  I think she was just too in awe to think straight!  I found that they were just as interested in our lives as we were in theirs.  They were incredibly gracious and hospitable and answered every question our group threw at them.  One of the group's questions was about the scooters we saw when we pulled into their driveway.  They explained that the children traveled using scooters instead of bicycles because bicycles encouraged going too fast.  If only we could take some of that wisdom home with us! 

We were only able to visit for about 45 minutes, and the time just flew by.  The wife had some canned goodies for sale that I couldn't resist purchasing - I bought a couple of jars of homemade strawberry jelly.  As we were walking away from their patio, Ashlee spotted a gorgeous flower that I have never seen before.  The wife spotted her taking a picture of it and explained that this was called a Passion Flower, and she shared that the story behind it symbolizes the crucifixion of Christ.  The five petals and five sepals of the passion flower represent ten of Jesus' disciples (all but Judas who betrayed Jesus and Peter who denied knowing Jesus).  The five stamens of the passion flower represent the wounds on Jesus' hands, feet and head.  The three pistil stigmas, with their knob-like heads, represent the nails that pierced his hands and feet.  And then the lavender fringe of the passion flower represents the crown of thorns Christ wore on his head.  It was absolutely stunning, perhaps the most beautiful flower I have ever seen.

Passion Flower represents the crucifixion of Christ
We thanked our gracious hosts, loaded up the bus, and headed back to our our car.  Overall, the tour was amazing and, although a bit pricey, was definitely worth the money for a small taste of Amish life.

Once back at our car, we captured the sunset on our way back to the hotel.  The display across the countryside was gorgeous.  I think I could get used to the slow pace of life here... although I think I might need a little bit of electricity.


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