Jenn and Vin’s Amish Country Adventure
Vin and I drove there for three relaxing, eye-opening, wi-fi-free days last weekend, and I have to tell you, it was the most centered and calm I’ve felt in months. How ironic that I went to Amish country to recharge my batteries.
We decided to take a buggy tour through the farm land and back roads to get a clearer picture of how the Amish live. The tour guide was the most precious 19-year-old boy named Caleb, whose father grew up on an Amish farm but decided not to be baptized into the church as an adult. It was really a pleasure to have a tour guide who knew so much about the area and the Amish lifestyle. Everyone on the tour was equally curious about the culture and we kept the questions coming.
The subway is my typical mode of transportation, so being driven by a horse was quite a different experience. Smelled about the same though.
Pennsylvania Dutch country is well known for its many covered bridges. After our tour was over, Vin and I went driving around the back roads, with the mission to find as many of the bridges as possible.
Anyway, back to the tour. These are typical Amish farms, complete with homes, stables and farmland. Old order Amish do not allow tractors on their farms, and still do everything with traditional horsepower.
One of my favorite parts of the buggy tour was stopping at a roadside stand to purchase fresh baked goods and jellies from an Amish man and his young son. One common misperception of the Amish is that they want complete separation from the people who live in “English” society (aka: anyone who is not Amish or Mennonite). I found the Amish to be warm people who were happy to have respectful visitors glimpse into their culture. As long as you don’t gawk at them like monkeys in a zoo, they’re more than happy to pass a shoo-fly pie to a city girl with a big digital camera and a long-haired boyfriend.
PS: Their chocolate chip cookies RULED. I’m now surfing the interwebs for Amish cookie recipes, although I’m pretty certain they’re not uploading anything to allrecipes.com. Worth a shot though.
I took about 600 photos during this short little trip–far too many to incorporate into one post. I’ll be posting about our trip to Pennsylvania for the rest of the week, because I’m “English” and therefore totally addicted to the Internet. Guilty as charged. But that certainly doesn’t mean I don’t have a deep respect (and maybe even a secret yearning) to live a lifestyle resembling the Amish way. These “Plain People” have their values and morals in check, and their sense of community and freedom from material influence was truly inspiring.
If you’re as interested in learning more about the Amish lifestyle and community as I have been, you should check out this website, where many frequently asked questions are answered. Till then, stay tuned for more posts from Pennsylvania all week!