Much To My Delight

Much To My Delight

Jenn and Vin’s Amish Country Adventure

One of my very favorite things about living in New York City is how close it is to so many other fantastic places, most of which offer a completely different feel than the city. Weekend getaways abound whether you want to go antiquing upstate, sailing in Connecticut, or fist-pumping on the Jersey shore. East coast, represent!
Since moving to the Northeast nearly 12 years ago, there has been one road trip I’ve always wanted to take. And as technology has advanced beyond recognition over the past dozen years (can we refer to years by the dozen, or does the measurement only apply to eggs and mini-muffins?), I have grown more and more intrigued by one quiet, peaceful, mysterious place: Pennsylvania Dutch Country.

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.

I learned quite a bit about the Amish way of life during our stay in Adamstown, Pennsylvania. First, visitors should know that it is considered quite disrespectful to take photos of an Amish person head-on. Therefore there will not be any pictures of Amish people in this post. And please don’t worry: these young women all signed model releases. 

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.

We are total bridge and tunnel people. People in the Tri-state area know what we’re talking about.

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.

{“Yes, I’ll take a quarter pounder with special sauce on a sesame-seed bun. Of course I want it super-sized, need you ask?”}

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 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!

Jenn P.

30-something psychotherapist. Loves cooking, hosting parties, exploring new places. Texan by birth. New Yorker by choice. Likes to tell little stories. Pull up a chair; I'll tell you one.

  • A Delightful Design
    These are some amazing pictures! I especially love the one of you two–looking like rock stars. :-) The bike/barn and the candlesticks should be framed for sure!
  • SimmonsFamily
    Every now and then I get one of those “starter” packs for Amish friendship bread- but you have to keep baking it every 10 days to keep it going (so not happening). It is the BEST, though.
  • Indie.Tea
    It looks delightful – peaceful, calm, beautiful. And all of those goodies look precious – well-made too.
  • Jennifurla
    My favorite from Amish Country when I visit is the bread & butters…oh man, I always bring back like 4 loaves.
  • Beth
    What a wonderful getaway! I love those quilts.
  • Shannon
    I love love love Amish country. Lancaster, the Amish/outlet shopping mecca, is about an hour away from us. Swear to God, John and I used to drive up there on a Saturday night, have dinner and go to this comedy club that has since closed. People would laugh all the time when we told them we were seeing comedy in Lancaster, like it was Amish guys on the mike…joking about horse traffic and whatnot. It was regular comedians though. Anyway, I guess we’re pretty lucky because around here all the farmers markets have tons of Amish people and TONS of food. Those bonnet-clad lassies sure know how to bake. Oh and awesome photos too Jenn!
  • Simple Life Journey
    Wow! This is so amazing. I have a blog about my journey to simplify my life. Learning tips from the Amish is exactly what I need!
  • ag.
    Gah, you make me laugh. And you take great photos…what more can I ask for in a blog?!
    Looks like a great trip…I love the idea of getting away from technology, it kinda makes you appreciate life more. Love, love, love those covered bridges! PS My dad works in the sports world…he’s been a hockey player/coach his whole career and I guess when you get a bunch of jocks together, they can’t help but get good at pranking each other.
  • jackie fo
    This was quite the interesting post, I must say. I did chuckle when I saw your comment re: Hee.
  • kristen
    lovely post! i am originally from southwestern ny, near PA, so i grew up very close to an Amish community. i am also a social worker :) thanks so much for providing awesome recipes, stories, and pictures to lighten my day!
  • Adamstown Inns/Cottages
    love it…..and you got some great pictures
  • Feast on the Cheap
    Hilarious – love the headline…