Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Adventures with the Amish

There was much build up but it finally happened: we had our first over night in Moby the Eurovan!

We left Manhattan on Friday afternoon of Memorial Day weekend.  That was our first mistake.  It took us almost two hours just to get off the island.  We sloughed that off and enjoyed the rest of the ride to Pennsylvania Dutch Country to see the Amish.  We set up camp at Tacquan Family Campground and by "set up camp" I mean we unfolded our chairs around the fire pit and popped the top. Oh so much easier than tent camping.

Saturday we set out in search of Amish.  It didn't take long.  They were out in full force - farming, riding around the countryside in their buggies, whizzing past us on their funny-looking scooters.  And all with a big smile and a wave.  

The most surprising part of the weekend for me was the bucolic rolling hills of farmland.  The greenest green I have ever seen in nature.  Gorgeous farm houses, tall silos, perfectly manicured yards.  My neck hurt at the end of the weekend from having it cranked to the right, starting out the window at the passing landscape.

We spent the day touring an Amish farm, riding in a buggy, and learning a little about the Amish people from Gideon, our tour guide.

As you can see, Ella really got into it.  As she sat knitting by the campfire that night, wearing her bonnet, I realized that my daughter was born a century too late.  She begged to stop at an antiques store we passed that afternoon and the salesclerk was impressed with her appreciation of the cross-stitch work on the walls.  Ella was in her element.

Sundays are very quiet in Lancaster County.  I would recommend that if you're planning to come for a weekend that you look up what is closed on Sundays (which is a lot) and plan to do those things on Saturday.  We did however, find the Strasburg Railroad and the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, which took up most of our day.

Afternoons were spent back at the campground, swimming in the pool, playing pinball in the game room, and finding lots and lots of caterpillars.  Holden said he forgot how much he loves camping.

To break up our drive home on Monday, we made a pit stop in Philly to see The Barnes Foundation museum, which was closed on our last trip to the city.  Dr. Barnes was a successful doctor and inventor who used his money to collect post-impressionist and early modern artwork. 

Once again, the museum had a fantastic scavenger hunt for the kids and a fun audio guide which had the subjects of the paintings speaking directly to the children, teaching them about the art.  We spent two hours walking from room to room without a single complaint from the kids.  As a matter of fact, when we walked into one room, Ella (who just read a biography on Vincent Van Gogh), yelled, "It's Van Gogh's postman!"


A great weekend indeed, but I'm not going to lie - Kevin and I were happy to get back to our own bed.  Moby is cute and Moby is convenient.  But Moby is not yet comfortable.  We'll be looking into some more padding for the next adventure.

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