Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Step Back in Time

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 :-) 


  1. What an interesting and fun post. I just finished a book series (Kate Buckholder) that takes place in Ohio Amish country, so I was even more interested :-)

  2. I'm glad you're having such a nice time. It looks like beautiful country with lots of fun things to see and do.

  3. Each image had a kind of Peace to it. Love all things Yoder and Amish from afar. Don't' think I'd last more than a day. I do well without power for about 24 hours…then I get really cranky ! Love the baskets, the goats and the horses. Just love them all. You did a great picture post!!!

  4. Wow, what an amazing trip. I'm so envious, I'd LOVE to visit Amish country, it seems like such a wonderful way of life. Your photos are fantastic, and you've put together a really lovely post, I've so enjoyed reading all about your exploring. I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip Teresa.

  5. What an interesting post Teresa and the most beautiful countryside. The Amish live a very different lifestyle don't they. I really love your rainbow basket. Your granddaughters look so very sweet together. Have fun x

  6. Looks like a fun and interesting trip with lots of beautiful scenery. :-)

  7. I've been watching the various Amish shows on National Geographic over the years. It's such an interesting lifestyle! Great pictures Teresa. Thanks for sharing with us.

  8. What a fun trip and great day with your girlies. It was fun and interesting to see all the Amish things. Sounds like all the food was good too. Love your colorful basket! I bet you could do that. I remember seeing some of the baskets you've made. Maybe you should sell them and Dayle should sell some of his food if times get hard. Ya never know! Glad you are having such a good trip, Teresa!

  9. What a wonderful trip Teresa. I enjoyed every bit of it!!! In Pennsylvania where I am from originally there is Lancaster, PA, so I am very familiar with the Amish. It's always so much fun to visit and your trip was superb!!! Thanks for sharing, xoRobin Have a safe trip home xoxo

  10. Hello Teresa. Sounds like a wonderful time you're having. Everywhere looks so beautiful. Such an interesting account of all you saw and did. Hugs Anne x

  11. Looks like a wonderful trip. The Amish are a hardworking and fascinating group of people. Many more our moving into our area, along with our established Mennonite population. Our Mennonite store is like a small version of Ashery, so I know your joy in that place!

  12. Oh Teresa I enjoyed every little part of this post and get a star coz I read the lot lol.
    I have a Mennonite cookbook my daughter gave me when she lived in Canada and it is well used.
    Such a great time you are having with your girls and some yummo meals too. That basket is wonderful.
    How about those telephone booths, I thought it was a dunny (oz term for loo) lol and love the old shed with the tobbaco sign xoxoxo

  13. Hi Teresa! I savored every word, and every photo of these last two posts, like a good book, I didn't want to end! Oh how I would love to see the Amish country one day. Their lifestyle fascinates me.
    You have captured so many wonderful photos. The one of the children playing so carefree in the water, was really terrific. You should do a watercolor of this! Or the wonderful barn photo!!! So happy to see you enjoying your daughter and grandgirls so much!!! What a trip!!!
    XO Kris

  14. Thanks for sharing all the nice photos of your trip. Looks like u are having fun. Nice basket. I love baskets myself. Did u eat a whoopie pie? They're an Amish dessert. Yummy! Take care!

  15. Thank you for taking your readers along on this trip to Amish country, this is absolutely fascinating to read! Your basket is absolutely gorgeous :-) xxxx

  16. The scenery is exquisite. That's the type of scenery I imagine of when I think of Amercia.

  17. Dear Teresa I loved everything in this fascinating post! Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos of such a beautiful and interesting place! A real treat :)
    Happy belated anniversary to you and Dayle.
    Enjoy the rest of your trip with your sweet girls.
    Helen xox

  18. Ooh--I earned an Amish Star! ;-) Looks like y'all had a great time.

  19. Such a beautiful post filled with lovely pictures. :) Oh what fun you are all having...such great memories you are all making. ((hugs)) to you sweet friend.

  20. Good afternoon lovely I have loved catching up on your posts and seeing that you are finally with all your dear girls...everyone together must be having so much fun! Your photographs are beautiful of the stunning Ohio countryside and this post has been such an interesting your beautiful basket (and I'd definitely enjoy a browse around the craft shop with you too!)
    Happy Weekend!
    Susan x
    P.S Thank you for sharing my Giveaway Teresa and good luck ..x

  21. Okay Teresa! This post did it! Next time I am going with you and you can play tour guide. I not only read all the way through, I read it three times. I've had the Amish peanut butter with Karo and marshmallow crème and you're right. It's wonderfully delicious. Love your basket and hearing about your other "finds". So much fun! Fascinating people, the Amish. They live their faith for the most part and try to stay away from the limelight. Thanks for taking us with you. More of your trip next time? Please?

  22. Fabulous post, Teresa!!!! Thanks❤️❤️💐⛵️😃

  23. Thank you so much Teresa for taking us all with you on your trip via your wonderful blog posts. I have studied the Amish as part of my first degree, and as an ex- Religious Studies lecturer I would dearly love to go to visit this part of the world. I find their devotion to their beliefs and way of life to be fascinating. And inspiring.

    The food stuffs sound so delicious, I manage to buy marshmallow crème here in the UK from time to time, we love a spoon of it floating on top of hot chocolate!


  24. Oh what a wonderful post! I thoroughly enjoyed it and LOVED your photos too ~ so fascinating!
    Thank you so much for sharing.
    Toni (Kent, UK).

  25. Teresa, I am getting all caught up on your trip. It sounds fantastic, so many wonderful things to learn about and to see. The girls are getting so big, I can hardly believe it.

    I am so glad you had a wonderful time, I know you will be so sad to leave them.
    Sending you a hug,

  26. Hello Teresa what a super wonderful trip to the Amish country. All the photos you shared are most glorious. Love them all. But I think the two Amish children playing in the stream was priceless. I agree Amish food is most yummy. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos with us all. Hugs Judy

  27. Thank you for sharing this! I live only a couple of hours from here and have never visited. I think this should be on my summer to do list! Thank you again!

  28. What a great blog post! I live about 2 hours or so from Berlin & we have friends that live about 45 minutes away, so have been to that are many times. I have eaten in some of the same restaurants & that first picture of the "craft/fabric" store is one of my favorites to shop in. Thanks for sharing with all of us.

  29. How could I not read the end? Fascinating, thank you so much for taking the time to share it all with us.

  30. A very interesting and instructive post Teresa. I know very little about the Amish communities. I would really like to visit this one! keep well Amanda x


I absolutely love comments and thank you so much for taking time to leave me a note. :-)