Saturday, February 12, 2011

Day 29 - Lancaster Pennsylvania and Amish country

Christina put on the Irish movie “Coming to America” so we could understand the struggles that people face in every walk of life, as we drove to Lancaster so it gave us something to watch.  Also considering we were slowly working our way back to New York City. The beauty of the rolling hills, the green pastures with the backdrop of the reds, yellows, orange trees that dotted the landscape next to the highway was pretty amazing to watch as well. 
Yes this is really the size of our grocery store  
One thing also that we saw were the barn stars which is from German farming backgrounds. They are particularly popular in the Pennsylvania Dutch country which is the area that we were in. It means good luck and can be traced to the individual barn builder.
The beautiful area of Williamsport and Raf of Rif Raf  
Christina explained to us that Philadelphia was founded on the idea of brotherly love. The Amish community is founded on the same belief with strong family ties and escaping Religious persecution.  With 3 main religions in Pennsylvania Dutch country which are Amish, Memonite and Brethren. They have set up these communities to avoid religious persecution in their native countries.
Susquehanna River   
The sense of family is strong in these communities and it is the foundation on what they built.  We learnt about Rumspringa and how if the family member chooses to accept the outside world they are no longer welcome. This is the one thing I don’t understand, if they are strong family people as their religion claims to be how they choose to turn their back on their own children because they make a different choice.
Amish Farm  
They choose not to embrace modern technologies and dress simply but yet some of them are using mobile phones to communicate. Sunday is the day of the week where they spend all day in church and then the women of the house prepare a feast for dinner. We would learn more about that later than night.
Amish Farm  
We finally arrived to a traffic jammed highway in Lancaster and finally pulled into the hotel. We had a couple of hours to settle in before we had to be ready for dinner.   We had a nice meet and greet but it was very brief especially after no afternoon stop I needed the toilet so just wanted to get into the room.
Amish Stuff...   
Got my room ticket and I was right next to the lovely ladies from Sydney but I did notice the bus was still so went out to see if I could get my other off so I could grab out my hair straightener off.  Steve was chatting to some of the people from the hotel so I waited patiently but he turned to me straight away with a “How can I help you beautiful darling”… man he was smooth with a smile and a wink…
Steve and Amish Buggy  
I just said I wanted to grab off the bag so I could grab out my straightener and he asked what I was going to do with that..  I said curl my hair for dinner, why want do you want to help? Was my response and surprisingly enough I got a yes I am great at hair…  I said ok see you soon and shouting out my room number as I laughed walking away.
Hershey Farm 
I sorted out myself in the room and realised there wasn’t a suitable power source next to the bed which I need.  So I had to make my way to reception to get hold of Christina and she was still there but talking to our non-talking friend.  It would appear she decided to leave the tour… we still have one of the best bits to come so personally she was nuts.  I did notice on the bus she took a phone call, she was quite loud which was a surprise and it turned out to be a cousin or something so she organised to go stay with them.
waiting for us to enjoy..   
I mentioned it to Christina and she had never had it happened to her but I think she was secretly relieved because she avoided a potentially harsh feedback score. But I mentioned my issue and we had a chat with the front desk and they would organise an extension cord.
The Making of Shoo-fly pie  
I jumped in to shower to smell like a girl again and all I heard was knocking so I had to quickly get out the shower… I think the guy was embarrassed so offered to come back in 10mins. So I finished up and got dressed but gave up trying to curl the hair. Then the guy was back with friends… we got the extension cord sorted and I finished getting ready for our Amish dinner.
The Making of Shoo-fly pie  
I got to sit up the front for once because I was first on the bus thanks to Steve as he somehow manoeuvred that I got on first for a change  woohooo. It was a pretty drive to the Amish dinner experience and we got to see our first Amish buggy.  It was pretty cool.  We got taken around to the back of the restaurant to a special event room. They did a presentation initially on how to make shoo-fly and whoopie pie which are desserts. Shoo-fly is made from treacle and similar ingredients. Whoopie pie is a chocolate style dessert with cream in the middle. The lovely Christina and Linda got to make Shoo-fly pie and I got to take photos…then Roy and Fran did the Whoopie pie.
The Making of Whoopie Pie 
We then got to enjoy a family style meal and I was sitting next to the lovely Cecilia so I got to know her a lot better. She has such a beautiful personality and loves her kids. We really connected that night with lots of girly chatter mixed in with serious chat and fun.
The Making of Whoopie Pie  
We headed upstairs to the gift shop where the other restaurant is … while I get why they put us in the function room but upstairs is a lot more fun…  and noisy I would have preferred to be up there.
Whoopie Pie  
We wandered up there for a while and I had some fun with Postcards...  Intercourse… the town… not the action… giggle… especially when I thought about whom to send it too… LMAO… 
The postcard ...  giggle 
When we got back Christina asked me what I was doing then and I said I don’t know because I had been invited to the bar with the others. So I headed up to the bar but also inviting Cecilia and the rif raf. Ran into the welsh crew while I was there so I decided to join them and we were chatting about how the trip was going then Roy make a remark that I was the only one to get Steve to smile. I said no way that is so not true… but everyone agreed.  I am totally clueless when it comes men aren’t i?
Vodka...  how i have missed you  
Then the vodka hit me like a sledgehammer so I headed off to bed since I was sooo tired.  Caught up on some emailing and fell into a nice deep vodka induced sleep!!!!  

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