When we last chatted last time we were heading out on a beautiful sunny day to have lunch in the place "Where the Locals Eat" - at Boyd and Wurthman Restaurant in downtown Berlin, Ohio. The horse and buggy is a common sight on the roads here. I snuck some photos, although you're discouraged from taking photos directly at their faces.
We were lucky to get a booth in the restaurant, as I saw two Amish women getting up to go and I grabbed it. I had a good view of the back wall where they have hung old kitchen utensils. Some of our waiters were Amish. Amy had chicken noodle soup and I had a half order of hot roast beef sandwich with potatoes and gravy. They brought us hot wheat rolls and they have a specialty here - homemade peanut butter mixed with marshmallow whip and Karo syrup. LOL! YUM!
After lunch we walked to a shop next door - you crafters would have loved this! it was full of crafting supplies, fabrics, embroidery threads in every color, patterns, etc.
Then we were off to the Amish Heritage Center where we boarded a van and headed off for a 2 hour tour of the countryside. It was the 4 of us and a young couple. The driver was married to a Mennonite and knew many Amish over her 30 years here. The Amish call non-Amish people "English". As we drove down the country road we came across this group of school boys who found us as interesting as we found them. The children are JUST adorable! They dress just like the adults, only smaller clothes. The Amish mothers make almost all the family's clothing. These kids just got out of school.. their mother's pack homemade lunches for them, thus the boys carry their coolers. Interestingly, the boys and girls do not walk together.
We came around a corner and were treated to this.. a boy and girl on their way home from school decided to play in the creek! How cute is this?
The Amish make maple syrup - the tour leader told us that they used to hang buckets from the trees but just this year began using these plastic bags - then I began to notice them attached trees along the road and on the edge of the forests.
It was a long cold snowy winter here so a LOT of Amish were out in their buggies enjoying the sunshine and warmer weather. Each one was thrilling for me to see.
Almost every farm has a windmill for pumping water up. Many farms also sport some solar panels with which they charge batteries for their many battery operated items.
You can drive around all through the countryside and see beautiful, well-kept farms. I just loved it here.
I thought this was the most picturesque barn ever!
Next we went to a leather shop run by an Amish family. It was on their farm and they had a pretty pasture with a chicken house, chickens and a herd of Pygmy goats. Here is a little mother with her new little kid nursing. Amy always wanted a Pygmy goat and I told her she should buy one and take it home. :-)
This was a particularly adorable little kid.
They had wonderful leather goods, bags, computer cases, doctor's bags, and a huge display of their own handmade horse collars. I was so impressed! The shop was clean and bright with a huge well-appointed workshop. I got a sleigh-bell keychain which drove Amy nuts. LOL! It's Coblentz Handmade Leather. I almost got a beautiful leather laptop case but I wasn't sure my laptop would fit in it.
Next we were driving through the countryside and I snapped this photo of a man loading his wagon with lumber and his beautiful matched pair of draft horses ready to go.
On down the road we saw a team of 3 horses hooked up to a plow.
I snapped a closer shot and I just love the faces on these wonderful animals. Can you tell I love horses dearly?
The photo below was shot into the sun and isn't the best.. but these guys were literally FLYING by and I'm amazed I got the shot. Our tour guide told us oftentimes you'll see two carts racing down the road side by side. Actually we saw a LOT of the carts going at pretty fast speeds.. you should hear the clip clopping of the horses.. I love it!!
Our next stop was the most amazing time. We drove up a muddy and rutted sloped driveway into a very old farm place where the woman makes baskets to sell. When we pulled in most of the 11 children came out to gawk at us English. She'd just had her eleventh baby which was in the house with probably the oldest daughter. Grandma was hoeing in the garden. The little boys in black suits and pageboy haircuts and little black hats showed us through an arbor and up a stone walkway to an old shed on the side of the house. We went in to the dimly lit shed and were amazed at the array of beautifully of hand woven baskets. The girls found necklaces of beads made the girls in the family, Jenna got a handwoven potholder, I got Amy a basket (the one she's looking at) and I got one too. But the best part of the visit there was all the little children sat on stair steps up to the loft and stared at us and chatted with us. The 3 year old girl and 2 year old boy walked by us and hugged our legs. :-)
I jumped right on this basket as it used rainbow colors and was beautifully made.
After our wonderful tour we went back to the cabin to rest up before heading out to dinner. We tried another restaurant for supper - "Der Dutchman" in Walnut Creek. It was set with THIS view out the window!!
Amy and I both had the chicken pot pie which was out of this world! Flaky crust and lots of tender chicken chunks, savory chicken gravy with peas and carrots. Oh yeah!
Yesterday morning the girls took a jacuzzi bath in my room in the basement and then got all dressed up for our last day of our trip. They're both wearing the beads made by the little Amish girls and Paige bought a cute little handmade bunny at the craft store the first day. My matching pink granddaughters.
When we were loading our things into the car to leave the cabin I spotted a Cardinal on the ground before us! This is not a good shot but you can get the idea of him. We don't have Cardinals in Oregon so this was a huge pleasure for me to see him.
On our last day we decided to free wheel the day. So, off we went to find Mt. Hope where there was a flea market and farm animal auction. We drove along and enjoyed seeing the Amish families out enjoying the beautiful weather.
We found Mt. Hope and saw a long row of Amish carts and horses parked along the alley by the side of the big barn where the flea market was being held.
I took a quick shot of the inside of the barn...
One lady had a collection of vintage crochet, knitted and patchwork items. I got a real pretty hot pad crocheted with white and variegated purple cotton thread.
We did peek into the auction barn and they were showing newborn calves - the gallery was full of farmers looking for new milk cows and such. Then off we went to find a place we'd been told about by my blog friend Susanne from Forget-Me-Not. It's called "Ashery" - and it's AMAZING!! They have bulk foods and spices and it's so fun to shop there! They have fresh cheeses, such as "Colby Bacon". This is the first thing you see when you enter - the girls went nuts! I got my little grandsons some fun "Lego" candy! My DIL Kristi would have gone nuts here! I got one package of pasta, some Farmer's Cheese and crackers and a jar of Amish peanut butter with marshmallow creme and Karo syrup. :-)
Then we headed off on the most funny quest... we wanted to find the Yoder Bargain Store. As we meandered over hill and dale I snapped a few photos.. this one shows you how tidy all the Amish Farms are. And especially I wanted to show you the clothes line.. each farm wife does her laundry early and hangs up the clothes to dry - the clothes have to be in a certain order. All the men's clothes, from oldest to youngest are hung in a row. The women's clothes have to be separated and are all hung in a row from oldest to youngest.
Another line of clothes at a different farm.
Amy plugged the address in her GPS and off we went. I swear it took us 20 miles off course in this huge circle in the countryside. Finally the GPS said we were there. Hesitantly we pulled into a regular driveway that meandered up a hillside into a farmhouse and group of barns and outbuildings. We truly thought the GPS had lied to us as we felt like we were trespassers on some's private space.. we were relieved to see this little sign which meant we'd arrived where we meant too. See the Guinea hens there? What a racket they make!
Can you see how it would be hard to tell this is a business? :-) I didn't take any photos inside but it had all kinds of household goods, toys, games, gift ware, glass ware, tools, clothes, under clothes and Amish cookbooks, etc. Two whole floors of things! I got 2 pairs of golden hand dipped candles.
We learned about these unique structures on our tour.. what do you think it is? No.. you're probably wrong. :-) It's a telephone booth! Several families go together and install a phone and message machine in a little shed and they all share it. Isn't that fascinating?
One of my favorite buggy, road and farm shots as we found our way to Mt. Hope where we'd have a late lunch at "Mrs. Yoder's Kitchen".
I zoomed in while in the parking lot and got this photo of 2 women and 3 children walking by. I love how they dress! We had a fun lunch at Mrs. Yoders where it was a soup, salad and a dessert bar. We had broasted chicken, sweet and sour sausages which they call "Boozie Wienies" LOL!, many types of salad and several samples of very whipped creamy pie desserts.
From Mt. Hope we found our way back to Berlin, gave it a last fond look and headed towards "home".. in Centerville, Ohio. It took 3.5 hours or so. We grabbed this one photo on the way out of Amish country.
We made it home just fine, but late for the girls, 8 pm, so they were trundled right off to bed. Today we're taking it easy and relaxing and I'm putting together the mother of all blog posts. I do hope you read clear through to the bottom.. you get an Amish Star for it! Now I'm going to make lunch of Amish peanut butter and some cherry jam we got at Ashery. If Amy will share it with me. LOL! OK, I do hope you're having a super week. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)