Vacation... Long Version: Chapter Ten
Chapter 10: Monday September 16, 2013
Woke up around 7:30am, after a very goodnight sleep…no psycho killers broke any windows…Lol. Unfortunately, it was raining outside and very cloudy, and we were spending most of the day outdoors. But a little rain wasn't going to stop us!
After we left the hotel, we went back to Bird-In-Hand to have breakfast at Bird-In-Hand Family Restaurant & Smorgasbord. The food was amazing! Everything was so fresh, and delicious. There was a huge selection of breakfast items; from farm fresh eggs, to bacon, sausages, cereals, pastries and fresh fruits. I filled a huge plate of everything and ate it all.
After breakfast, we drove around town, passing by Amish houses and farms. The town in the morning looked different, everything was so green. We passed by several farms with different animals, mainly horses and cows, roaming around in the fields.
Our next stop was Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse, PA. It was an outdoor shopping area, with different stores selling local products made by the locals. After making so many jokes about the name of the town, we finally decided to ask why it was called by this name. The answer was very simple…there are two major roads that intersect each other…hence the name Intercourse!
We spent some time at Kitchen Kettle Village, shopping for souvenirs and local products. One of the stores that I LOVED was ‘The Canning Kitchen’. The store sells homemade jams, butter, pies, cookies, canned goods such as salsa, relish and so many delicious food products! One of the nice things about this store is that at every food section, you get to sample every product on display before buying.
We tried almost everything! The jam was sooo good, I ended up buying six small jars to take back home with me. I would have bought the entire store if I wasn't worried about the jars breaking while in my suitcase. For anyone visiting Lancaster, PA, this store is a must visit!
Our next stop was supposed to be Farmers Market, unfortunately it was closed that day. It only opens on certain days. Instead, we went to a local grocery store carrying different local products. They had a cheese sampling station for customers to try the local products. I can now officially say that I love local Amish cheese! It tastes so good…creamy and rich…and most importantly, so fresh!
After finishing the shopping part of the trip; we went to Lancaster Beer & Wine Gallery… a wine gallery and beer brewery place. The store is two floors; the first is Mount Hope Wine Gallery and the second is Rumspringa Brewing Company. We started at the lower level, sampling different local wines; some sweet and some bitter. I discovered I actually like sweet wines more than the bitter ones I drink back home. They had a very big selection of good local wines.
After the wine tasting, we went up to the brewery. The upper level was sort of a restaurant style brewery. We ordered a beer sampler; where you get 7 different beers to try and we ordered some cheese and chips. Each beer was different…some good and some undrinkable.
By this time, the weather was getting better…it wasn't raining anymore and the clouds were disappearing. It was a bit warmer and sunny.
The next stop on the agenda was a buggy ride. We drove over to place called Aaron & Jessica’s Buggy Rides. Remember, we were in Amish country, so things work a little different here than the rest of the USA. Rather than buying a ticket beforehand; we had to write down our names in a book…with an actual pen or pencil and were told to pay the driver once the ride was over. So we did just that! We waited for almost an hour till we got on the buggy.
We had a very interesting buggy driver…and by interesting I mean weird and without manners. N decided to sit in the front next to the driver; while G, S and I sat in the back. Two other ladies rode with us as well. We were buggy-riding through town and Amish farms lands, when suddenly we heard a long loud burp…at first I thought it was one of the horses…then a few seconds later we heard ‘Excuse Me’ from the driver….this happened a lot on the way.
Like I said, the driver was so weird…when G’s cellphone suddenly rang, he actually turned around surprised by the ringtone…
Oh, and let me tell you something I found out about the driver… after we traveled back home, I was looking through some local magazines I got from Lancaster; when suddenly I see a picture our buggy driver. I immediately took a picture of his photo and sent it to N. It turns out his name is Big Steve and he’s actually famous! He was in a TV program on the Discovery Channel called Amish Mafia…look him up online.
Anyway...after ride was over, we went to lunch to a local restaurant called Plain & Fancy. What’s interesting about this restaurant is that you get to dine family style…by sitting with total strangers from different cities and states and sharing food with them. We entered the restaurant and were immediately seated with a group of people, I can’t remember from which state they’re from. Then more people came. There’s no menu for the family style dining…so you only get to order drinks. The local or natural drinks such as iced tea and juices were included in the meal, while other drinks such as sodas were for extra. Now remember, everything was to share…so the portions are huge and you can eat as much as you like. We started off with salad and local bread and spreads. Then the main course consisted of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, something with corn, and a lot of different dishes that I can’t remember. Then lastly, you get to choose from different dessert options.
It was an interesting experience…we were the youngest people on that table, and everyone else was at least 70 years old!
After finishing lunch, we decided to go to Tanger Outlets in Lancaster. There, we spent so many hours shopping…from 4 or 5pm until around 8pm. We went from one store to another, buying clothes and make up. Seeing as we had a 2 hour drive ahead of us; we decided to hit the road and go back to NJ.
On the way, I had too much sugar from the candy I got with me…and we were suddenly stuck in traffic for almost an hour not moving…so I literally went crazy. We had the music up so loud, and combined with the sugar rush, I was dancing in the car and pretending to be a heavy metal guitarist and N was singing. At one point, I remember S telling G this “you said they were both shy girls??” while we were acting crazy in the car…blame it on the sugar rush… because after a while I was exhausted and almost fell asleep the rest of the way. We almost got lost on the way, taking different routes to avoid the traffic we were stuck in…so the way back took longer than expected… by the time we arrived to G’s house it was around 1am.
It was a really fun trip on the way back to South Amboy!
Our trip was coming to an end in three days, but this didn't stop us from having more adventures! Stay tuned to hear all about our adventures in New Jersey and one last exciting and amazing trip to NYC!