After our very busy time along the coast searching out all the lighthouses, we drove in-land a bit to the (mostly) Amish area of Lancaster PA for a week's break. We had a wedding to attend on July 3rd and knew we would be busy with family outings during that holiday weekend, then after that, on up to NY for more family, and back to PA for even more family, so this was our week to RELAX!
The day we arrived, Jack had gone out to run a quick grocery errand and when he returned, said, "grab your shoes, and let's go! I've got something to show you!" He was quite excited, so I didn't hesitate, and off we went. When I asked him what it was, all he would say was "just wait and see!" Well, as we went around the corner...there it was! As far as the eye could see, a field full of belongings ready to be auctioned off! It was the "Annual 2-Day Amish Auction" for Lancaster and Bird-In-Hand! Wow! What a sight it was to behold! Tents the size of football fields, holding small stages, with chairs for people to sit and view and bid from; open fields full of merchandise with everything from buggies to signs, to pictures, to forges, to old furniture...you name it, they had it! They had a tent that was all for flowers and plants, one for antiques and quilts, one for buggies and tools and one for handmade crafts. Outside they had auctioneers for every 4 rows, and the rows were long! It went from 8am to 8pm each day. Of course they also had a place to get food and drinks, handmade ice cream and goodies! ;-)
We bid on several items, but were outbid on all but one, and Jack got his mechanic's roller for only $5, so he was happy! Me, I had fun! What a cool experience!
One of the days we were there, we decided to take the Strassburg Scenic Railway Train. It's just a short 45 minute tour, but a fun way to see the countryside...and we love train tours! It was a lovely sunny day. The train is an Steam Engine (#475) and the railroad was established in 1832 in response to the Philadelphia & Columbia Railroad's bypass of Strassburg. It remains the oldest American railroad operating under it's original charter.
Another fun thing that we did, was go to a old pretzel making factory! Well, where the "original" ones used to be made...;-) Julius Sturgis, began making pretzels and opened the first commercial pretzel bakery in America in 1861 at the age of 26. It was a family owned and operated business, first with he and his wife and ultimately all 14 children! It is still "family owned", by his grandson, in Reading PA.
The tour is of the original "old style" way of making the hard pretzels, all by hand until 1953, when the first machine was introduced!
We got to try our hand at the "art of hand twisting" a pretzel, and then got a certificate for doing so! That was a hoot! Jack's not going to take up that "art" anytime soon though, I can bet....;-)
They give you a small bag of their hard pretzels at the end and you can purchase a nice warm, hot out of the oven soft pretzel, if you wish - which of course we did - Yum!! Very fun morning, and an interesting tour!
The rest of the time, we did what we came for, which was a whole lot of RELAXING! We sat back and enjoyed the days, went out to eat the fabulous food, got haircuts at a great barber shop (that was sooo fun!) and just enjoyed "people watching" and the beauty of the landscape!
All to soon, it was time to leave...in all honesty, I wish we could have stayed another week, the Lancaster area is such a beautiful place, so peaceful and lovely, and this was such a great time of the year to be here.
...on the road in Pennsylvania, Marie
If you would like to see the rest of my photos, you can on my Flickr at https://flickr.com/photos/74905158@N04/