3.3.12 – Saturday: The Amish Way

3 Mar

For our Saturday adventure, we drove out to Lancaster County to see the Amish farms and tourist stops.  We got a little bit of a late start waiting for the weather to clear up, so we headed straight to lunch at the Good ‘N Plenty PA Dutch Restaurant.  Food is most important anyway, right? 🙂  At this restaurant, you can choose to eat family style with other patrons or sit in the traditional menu-style restaurant.  We opted for family style and were not disappointed!  The menu included: homemade breads and butters, chow chow, chicken salad, cabbage (coleslaw style), applesauce, ham loaf, roast beef, fried chicken, butter noodles, corn, peas, mashed potatoes and gravy, homemade ice cream, apple pie, cheesecake, cracker pudding, and shoofly pie. They just keep bringing out food and you keep passing it around your table. Needless to say we were STUFFED!  It was all delicious.

During lunch, we sat next to a lovely retired couple from Connecticut who has a house in the area.  They have been friends with an Amish couple for a long time and shared with us some of the history and beliefs they had learned from their friends.  For example, did you know:

  • Amish adults do not want their faces photographed due to their religious beliefs.  If they travel, their state-issued ID or passport does not have a picture on it.  After lunch, we saw signs in the Amish stores that stated, “No photographs.”
  • Their homes cannot have any connection to the outside world – hence no electricity wires.  However, they can use electricity and machinery for business purposes – just not in their homes for personal use.
  • Amish people – especially the younger ones – have cell phones because they do not require a wired connection to the outside world.
  • Many Amish people hire drivers to take them longer distances.  Therefore, many non-Amish stay-at-home moms and retired folk offer driving services for hire in the area.  They are paid using a formula that includes time, distance, and number of stops.
  • The Amish are self-insured for medical purposes.  The group negotiates with the hospital much like a health insurance company would.  The hospital is willing to negotiate because they always pay in-cash and in-full.  (Can you guess who asked this question?) 🙂

After lunch, we decided to drive to the city of Lancaster.  Unfortunately, the Central Market – the country’s oldest continuously operating farmer’s market – had closed for the day.  We walked around a little bit but decided to head back out.  It is a much larger city than we realized!

We then headed to Miller’s quilt shop.  We had to wear gloves to touch the quilts, which is why you see a picture of me wearing gloves below.  I was impressed by the detail and was a little shocked by the prices!

Our adventure then took us to Intercourse, PA. We were going to stop for a horse and buggy ride, but there was a bit of a wait and it was getting pretty chilly at that point.  We opted to head into town to check out the Kitchen Kettle Village.  We browsed through the shops and purchased some homemade jams and spreads (after sampling a few).  There were over 30 different shops and restaurants to explore.

At this point, Jamie decided she was getting pretty tired, so we headed back home. We both decided our favorite part of the day was the food – imagine that. 🙂  But we both really enjoyed checking out the landscape as we drove.  Kyle liked pointing out all of the horse and buggies, clothes hanging to dry, and animals.  Jamie enjoyed it because it reminded her of the Midwest – with just a few more hills and trees. We definitely want to head back when it is a little warmer and greener outside to do the horse and buggy ride and tour an Amish farm. All in all, it was a fun-filled day – so much so the prego one fell asleep at 7:30. 🙂

Here are some pics from the day:

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