Today we had to leave our little bit of paradise and we were just that little bit sad … but New York was calling and my little Ben had itchy feet!
New York was still quite a way away so as we were driving we investigated different places to stop. Lancaster came up as the perfect not quite half way point as it was home to the largest Amish population in the US.
On the way we made a couple of small stops … a sporting good store because apparently Ben just had to try on a football helmet and a lovely little restaurant on the banks of a river called John Wright’s. There was a beautiful old bridge which we could see and the lovely old people at the next table told us how they remembered walking across there as little girls!
What we expected was small little Amish towns selling various home goods and quilts. What didn’t expect, their Amish visitors center to be in the middle of a car park out the front of a target. Yes you heard right, originally this farm house was surrounded by farmland but suburbs have expanded and now this visitors center is in the most unlikely of places.
First up we did a bus tour of the area. Amish home and farms sat side by side with “English” homes. In their businesses, If legally required like dairy’s are required to keep milk chilled they are allowed to use electricity however in their houses there is no electricity and they power refrigeration and cooking with propane.
We saw horse and buggy’s trotting down streets and scooters are used instead of bikes as they feel that bikes allow you to get to far from home. We stopped at two small Amish shops which sold baked goods and different quilting and wood products. Oh my god the baked goods, they made the most amazing pretzels I have EVER tasted.
Next we explored the house getting an explanation on the different stages of life and death and how they live.
It was fascinating to see and a brilliant place to stop but now our eyes are on the prize … next stop New York!