“At Motel 6 in Amish Country I wonder if they leave the light on for you?” – JL

I squeaked a trip in just under the wire. My one summer road trip was on Labor Day, basically what I consider the end of the season. I’ve been working non-stop and have had little time to do anything, so I’m extremely happy for my respite driving into and through Amish country. It’s been forever since I traveled, blogged, or basically did anything in life. I’m totally going to change that…maybe…we’ll see…who knows?

This will be a quick post about a place I’ve traveled through more times that I can count. That’s not true, I can count pretty high. I just don’t remember every time I’ve passed through Lancaster (I do remember bailing my friend out of jail there…he’s now a judge in Alaska). This trip was special though because it was with new, awesome, fun, and amazing friends. How great are these people? Well our first stop was for apple cider donuts. They should be judged upon their actions, and their actions are fantastic. We also posed with this bee sculpture out in front of the farmers market because that’s what I/we do. We couldn’t decide if those were wings or antenna. Either way that bee was just the right amount of janky.

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Then off to lunch for “fancy” grilled cheeses at Tom + Chee, “HOME of the GRILLED CHEESE DONUT!” Personally that sounds a bit much to me so I rocked the Hot&Spicy; pepper jack cheese, pepperoni, grilled hot cherry peppers, grilled onion, and I subbed wheat for rye bread. It was a great choice but way too hot for me. I don’t regret it but doubt I would get that again.

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The place had a contest where you could try to eat a dozen donut grilled cheeses in, I believe, 10 minutes and you get them free. The gentleman at the store said it was rarely accomplished so they canceled the contest. It surprises me that the classic only has 490 calories, but that still comes to 5,880 calories for a dozen. Gross.

Our next stop was Kitchen Kettle Village, a little tourist shopping area with snacks, art stands, and silly t-shirts. The place is actually located in Intercourse, PA so you can imagine the various, kitschy souvenirs they sell to giggling visitors. Our only purchase was a soft pretzel for Sean who wanted to compare the famous Amish pretzels to real world pretzels. Verdict? Go to Auntie Anne’s. They have removed the “I heart Intercourse” smashed penny machine, so I’m pretty happy I got mine years ago!

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Note: Christine and I did not coordinate our poses. We’re just both awesome.

In the center of the village was a one-man band playing different songs that all sounded the same. Didn’t matter though, that one sound was fantastic. He had instruments in a bucket so that tourists (mostly children) could play along. Christine and Dr. Jen couldn’t help themselves…they wore these bell-cuffs on their ankles that reminded me of court jester BDSM apparel. To each his own.

From here we needed to try more food so we spirited away to Dutch Haven, a place known for being a giant windmill on Rt. 30. I have passed this place thousands of times (maybe) but this was my first time going in (definitely). I was blown away with how awesome it was. First they know why everyone comes. They give out small plates with a free tasting of shoo-fly pie. It’s delicious. People aren’t shy about going in, eating pie, and essentially leaving after a short, polite walk through the place. We spent a little more time there wondering why there were so many cheap Native American souvenirs in a place that is Amish themed. Didn’t matter, I eat that stuff up. These are the same wolf statues, wind catchers, and proud chief paintings you can find across the nation. I didn’t buy anything but I did have my eye on a large shelf of goofy frog statues. Sometimes I have self control.

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Next stop: BUiLDiNG CHARACTER, essentially a catch-all junk store masquerading as an antique and art shop. They have rubber duckies, loose and broken toys, weird clothing, records, jugs and washboards asking to be purchased by some hipster band (Dr. Jen and I did play them), etc. My favorite part, although broken, was an old school cigarette machine where you pull the lever out and a pack falls down. This wasn’t for sale and instead of smokes it sold acrylic paint tubes! How genius! Anyway here is the group posing with various items we grabbed from the shelves. My belt was magnetic (and probably magic!).

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The weird things on Christine’s head were actually little wings for kids. Look how surprised I am by a bow-tie wearing Dr. Jen cheating at checkers! Jerk. That’s why the word simple is above her like a serendipitous label. She has to cheat to win! Maybe. I’ve never actually competed with her in the noble game of checkers but she kicked my ass one night at Jeopardy.

Because Dr. Jen is a self-described professional ice cream eater, we headed over to an ice creamery for some fantastic creations. The line for this place was fairly significant so you know it has to be good. Seating was at a premium inside because it was too damn hot to sit outside. The Fox Meadows Creamery, where they practice “cow to cone,” is damn popular and one of the reasons why is their Baked Fox treat. It’s an outer shell, like brownie or cookie, with your choice of ice cream on the inside. Everyone loved it but it seemed too much for me. I got a very flavorful and floral strawberry, hibiscus, mint sorbet instead.

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After that Sean and Christine had to leave, making a very late and long drive back to Long Island. Our poor friends got back after 1:00am and had to work the next morning. But it was worth it to hang out with me, right? Well it was worth it for University of Delaware toothbrushes at least!

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I have 2 trips planned for October and a couple other posts I’ve been working on for sometime. Maybe I’ll get off my lazy butt and try to fiddle with this blog a bit more.

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