Summer took a bow to allow fall to enter last week. To celebrate the opening of a new season, my family planned a minication to a locale different than a seaside vacation spot. The roar of the sea was exchanged for the sights and sounds of the country. In the crisp morning air, we set out to travel to Lancaster, PA remembering the other visits to Amish country many years ago when our adult children were young.
As with all destinations to unknown places, my husband, son, and I stopped at the visitor center, pleasantly designed with a arts and crafts gallery, to map out our itinerary. Here we met up with our other family members, my daughter and son-in-law from Washington, DC and my daughter's in-laws from New Jersey. The friendly tourist guides gladly provided background knowledge about the history of the area. Along with jokes and laughter, we were provided a color-coded map, coupons, brochures, and good wishes for a lovely two days of touring.
...and so the celebration of autumn began with a warm sticky bun oozing with walnuts and icing. The dough was so delicious that many forks quickly devoured the tasty confection in record time. As we left the center heading for the town of Bird-in-Hand, we heard the clippity-clop of horse hooves marching onward with buggies in tow. Some of the buggies were filled with Amish families while others were carrying tourists to view the sights. The first town of our trip noted for its hand-hewn crafts, fresh vegetables, edible delights, and meats was a grouping of stores in a few blocks radius. Albeit small, there was much hustle and bustle inside the market place in sharp contrast to the serene country scene outside.
Moving onward we went to the next small town, Intercourse, PA and then onto Strasbourg to see the antique railroad cars. There we found a 1926 Wurlitzer organ that played callliope music throughout our stay. Since everyone was hungry, we decided to eat at one of the local country buffet restaurants that is a must stop when visiting the Lancaster area.
After we were satiated with the foods, sights, and sounds of the Pennsylvania Dutch area, we eagerly looked for the vacation house rental that my son-in-law rented for our visit. We knew that it would be a beautiful 1930's renovated cottage with many amenities but did not realize how special the stay would be. The property was situated on an acre of land with a millstream in the backyard and a dairy farm across the street. The house, large enough to accommodate seven of us, was a dream getaway place to lodge, as picturesque as any seen on the HGTV channel.
On Sunday morning we took a short jaunt to Mass at a church constructed in the late 1880's and then came back to Sycamore Cottage to make a farm-to-table breakfast with sticky buns, ham steak, sausage, Canadian bacon, butternut squash, scrambled eggs, juicy tomatoes, fruit salad, cheeses, and coffee. After breakfast, we bid good-by to the the little cottage by the stream and took one last country ride. Our minds were already filled with memories but this final ride provided another opportunity to capture the calmness of the Lancaster countryside.
What we saw were picture postcard scenes or as we use to say Kodak moments. Cornfields were blazing with golden hues; rows of green lawns with a hint of scattered orange leaves were endless; country roads were long stretches of quiet. Along the ride we encountered many buggies filled with families dressed in a variety of brightly colored shirts peeking out from black attire. Little Amish boys were skateboarding along the road and a group of Amish teens were playing volleyball. Cows, donkeys, and horses were lazily enjoying their day, undaunted by the passing cars.
After two full days of enjoying the first hues of autumn, I left with painted memories and an attitude of gratitude. In days to come the country minication will remind me of the blessings of family and the beauty of early fall.
Join me this season to blend the colors of autumn into a palette of inspiring hues with each digital inspiration for a Finding Fall Gallery that will be a tribute to the splendors of autumn.
Now, please visit Two Writing Teachers for the Tuesday Slice of Life posts from various educators and Ruth Ayres' Celebrate This Week. Since I was traveling this weekend with family, I took the opportunity to unplug.
I am also offering this short one minute video to Digilit Sunday hosted by Margaret Simon since I capture the sights of a weekend in which I fell in love with fall all over again.
Enjoy the season!