It was late afternoon when we arrived in Lancaster, and we had not eaten lunch, so we interrupted our search for a hotel to find somewhere to have dinner, We discovered the Good and Plenty, a Pennsylvania Dutch restaurant that serves family style. We were seated at a long table with two other families. The meal started off with appetizers that included chow chow (sweet and sour vegetables), peppered cabbage (like a coleslaw with no mayo), chicken salad, apple sauce, homemade bread with butter, apple butter and cottage cheese. Main meal was fried chicken, pot roast and a local sausage, with buttered corn, browned buttered noodles, mashed potatoes and gravy, and carrots. This was followed by dessert of blueberry pie, shoo fly pie, cracker pudding, cheesecake and ice cream. It was all you can eat….We thought the appetizers were good, the fried chicken was exactly what you want fried chicken to be, the corn and noodles were the highlight of the meal. Both of us were underwhelmed by the desserts and wished we had chosen more noodles over the desserts. The food was bountiful, but the only seasonings used were butter, salt, pepper, vinegar and sugar, so it was a little one note for us.
With our tummies full the hotel hunt continued. As we have been learning, there does not appear to be a slow time for many destinations…baby boomers are traveling. It took quite a few stops to find a place that had a vacancy for the four days we planned to spend in the area. Finally, around 8 PM we found the Courtyard by Marriot and moved in just before the rain began.
Earlier in the week, I had contacted Cheryl Brooks, a friend from Sierra Madre who had moved to Bethlehem, PA about 15 years ago. Luckily, she had Thursday free and we made arrangements to meet for lunch in Reading, PA. Cheryl’s son, Greg and his wife and baby live in Reading, so he suggested that we meet at a little restaurant called Say Cheese. I have known Cheryl since our children were very small. We were both involved in early childhood religious education at St. Rita. It was so wonderful to spend time with her and to catch up with her. We spent a few hours talking and eating. I am so glad that she had time to meet us. I’m not sure, but I think we actually overdosed on cheese as every dish had cheese. After we left Reading, we went to the farmers market in Bird-In-Hand, PA. Lots of meats, cheeses, crafts, jams, jellies and even some fruits and veggies. We tasted a few things and bought some fruit and veggies for the hotel room.
Friday, we made arrangements to take a buggy tour through Abe’s Buggy Rides. Our tour guide, Sam, was a retired Amish farmer who thoroughly enjoyed telling us all about the Amish way of life and showing us Amish farms,
businesses and schools.
He told us about a wedding he had attended the day before, which lasted about 10 hours–along with prayers and two meals, there are two singing sessions that last 2-1/2 hours each, one in the afternoon and one in the evening.
After the tour, we continued to explore the area on our own. The scenery in Lancaster County is unbelievably beautiful. We discovered a weaving and yarn shop and Kathy was lost for an hour or so looking at the the hand-spun, hand-dyed yarns (lots of new yarn, Christmas presents????[Kathy: No.]). The weather was worsening with threats of torrential rains so we returned to the hotel in the late afternoon.
Saturday, we went to a weight watcher workshop in Lancaster, then out to breakfast at a local diner. We took a wrong turn on the way home and had to go through a covered bridge. Because the weather was so bad, we decided to take care of personal business for the rest of the day. Three loads of laundry, working on the blog, and paying bills….fun stuff.