Like A Game Of Checkers...
Updated: Aug 30, 2019
And I'm back...again :) Yes, we took another road trip, but this road trip lasted all of 48 hours. It was jammed pack with driving, shopping, and lots of eating! This adventure took us to the towns of the Ohio Amish...
As many of you know, this trip has happened almost every year for my family. We started going in 2000 when the kids were pretty young. Prior to that we used to do some camping this time of year, but that particular year we decided to try something new. Bill and I had visited for the first time back in 1993 when our son was only 6 months old. Back then it was extremely peaceful and just a few shops existed. So, in 2000, to be different, we told the kids we were taking them to visit amish people. In the back of our minds, Bill and I thought for sure the trip would bore the heck out of them, but the following year they all but begged we go back. So for about 15 years or so we have visited the area in October staying in different places ranging from cabins, to bed and breakfasts, to hotels, Inns, and even single wides. On two different occasions we even stayed in the basements of the homes of amish families and once in an apartment above an amish family's garage! Oddly enough, the hotel was the stuffiest and dirtiest. So this year wasn't going to be much different except for the company. The kids have grown and the last time all of us went as a family was in 2014 right before our daughter went into the Navy. Last year Bill and I went by ourselves, and this year our son and daughter and her fiancé went along for the adventure.
The adventure started off nice and early (5am) which allowed me to see the morning commuters waking up to their journey into Cincinnati to their daily work routine. I was quite amazed to see so much traffic that early in the morning. One of the sites I love to see is coming over the hill on the interstate from northern Kentucky and seeing the city all lit up in the dark sky. I remember when I was 15 years old and went to stay with my aunt, uncle, and cousins in North Carolina and took the Grey Hound Bus home by myself (yes I know, scary and completely unheard of today!). I sat behind the bus driver and can vividly remember coming over the same hill on the interstate about the same time of day, only in the summer the sun was coming up a little bit sooner. And there it was, Cincinnati...my hometown...I made it...
A lot has changed since then, but I still think it's a beautiful city. No where near as big as some, but still lights up the river and creates a gorgeous skyline with its buildings and bridges.
Once we cleared the city, our next passing was going to be through Columbus, Ohio. The sun was up and the traffic was fierce, so no pictures of Columbus this day. Everyone found themselves pretty hungry after driving through rush hour traffic a bit so we decided to once again stop at our "It's Not a Vacation Unless You Stop at Cracker Barrel" road trip restaurant. And this picture cracks me up because we were all dragging lol.
After breakfast we weren't all too far from our destination, which was good because our first stop was our important stop...The bakery and farmer's market. This is by far our most favorite place to shop, mainly because it's food! Homemade breads, pies, jams and jellies, fresh picked vegetables that are somehow grown 5x bigger than any other size I've ever seen. The prices are ridiculously affordable which doesn't help our wallet because that's just more we end up buying. Oh, and did I say fried pies? It's the one thing we have to go home with if we go home with anything.
This place has grown to the size of a village. When we first started coming here, the actual store was the size of my family room and 1/2 my kitchen. Since then they have added a huge barn to shop in, a petting zoo, this big canopy where the pumpkins almost wrap to the side of the main building, a food stand, and a pumpkin patch where they take you on a horse and buggy ride to get to. It's enormous now. The picture above shows you the street we come off of on the other side of the white fence. The red barn is across the street from the market. To the far left of the photo you'll see (faintly) the entrance to the bakery/market store. It is jammed pack with people and produce. The picture below shows you the newer barn you can shop for decor and gifts and to the far left is the roof of the petting zoo.
And the pumpkins are HUGE! But see the corn stalks? This is how they bundle them in their corn fields as well. I know there's a reason they do this, I just don't know it, but it has to be more than the sole purpose of being aesthetically pleasing. That's my blurring picture of them below.
I was able to choose a few pumpkins to take home and decorate my front porch with, which I was excited about. I had to keep in mind the trunk space we had this year so these are the ones I chose (and another big orange one that isn't in this picture.) I LOVE the colors!
Of course after buying all the food that should last a month, but only lasts a week if that, we headed over to see some the of the animals and see if there were any new additions. And yes, I want a goat. I'm pretty sure after owning one I would probably shoot myself, but I love their craziness!
Lol, her name is Debbie!
And of course I had to add this little addition to the fun. The goats love to be on the roof and they have this little way of feeding them for a dollar! So this is all of us gathered around the pulley and videoing the event lol. I had to add the music because it just reminded me of The Price is Right!
We eventually left and drove to some areas where we knew we wanted to shop. It gets dangerous when you walk into a store and it smells so good with all the varieties of candles and home decor. Of course I had to buy a couple little things. Then we headed to Coblentz Chocolates. Every year I buy my dad some dark chocolates that are filled with raspberry jelly and some filled with orange jelly. Now we all have to have some plus some pecan turtles and coconut clusters, and fudge, and more jellies...
We finally headed to check into the Inn we were staying for the night. It's a stunning Inn, especially in the evening. I love that there's a breakfast included in your night's stay. We checked in, the guys all took a short nap while my daughter and I went next door to do more shopping, then we headed to dinner. After dinner Bill and I went our separate way from the kids to check out another shop I wanted to see. When I got out of the car this is this is what I heard from a hill over...
I absolutely love the sound of church bells and miss hearing them. I heard them all the time when growing up and I don't get to hear any where I live now so I had to video this.
Below is the little shop with it's welcoming front porch and gazebo!
After being mesmerized by the little shop, we decided to go on back to the room and relax. On the way back I got to capture some of the most stunning views of the hills in the area. It's amazing how crowded the roads are during the day, but most people turn in early and just as the sun is going down it becomes so serene and peaceful and the earth is aching to be put to bed.
And I had to take a picture through our rearview mirror of the sunset because it was just so pretty!
Although the sun has gone down, you still have to be careful of the horse and buggy! Of course when I drive I go completely to the other side of the road if possible!!
We finally pulled up to our Inn just to be greeted by this... This is just the entrance so you don't get to see the size and grandeur that it really is.
After the snore fest that evidently took place over night, we all had breakfast and walked out onto the balcony that you should be able to see in the above pictures (on the second floor) and this is the beautiful site that awaited us...
Which also meant that we had to take some quick photos since the air had just a little chill to go with the bright sunshine. This literally makes me want to come back every year. How blessed we are to be able to have places in this world we can visit and take in. It is stunning and peaceful and all ours to share.
And talk about blessed. My world right here! (minus my sweet girl in the Navy). The soon to be husband and wife above and the men in my life below. And to think that young man below was 6 months old when we first visited here. My cupeth runneth over...
And then we were off! I just thought I'd share a couple of photos of the area and how the amish live. They are just like you and I; well, to an extent because I love my car so you won't see me on a bike!
I'm more this style!
And I love my washer and dryer...to think they are up before any of us doing their laundry and not a care in the world who sees what they wear! (hanging in the front yard!) They are busy before sun up to way past sun down.
And they are family oriented. It is said that the eldest son receives the house/land that he is brought up on and then another home is built behind it for his parents. Some farms seem to have more than just the two families on it though. And yes, all the houses are white (or brick if purchased and house was already there). Like there simple exteriors, the interiors possess no mirrors or electric, but they do have generators and most have running water and indoor plumbing.
The morning flew by with traffic and congestion. We took in some new shops and headed back to the bakery to pick up our pumpkins that we made room for. Fortunately we bought all our fried pies the day before because they were down to nothing when we got there. We decided to have a late lunch before our 4 hour adventure back home, so while the line was long, someone found a way to pass the time as time should always pass...nice and slow like a game of checkers.
If you are ever wanting to visit Ohio Amish, (click here) I'm sharing a link that will give you places to stay as well as things to do. You will find the area of Holmes County, Ohio the commercialized area with amish living there as well as in surrounding counties. I highly recommend going in the fall just to experience the autumn season. There are many towns to visit including Millersburg, Berlin, Walnut Creek, Sugar Creek and the little town of Charm where on the second Friday of October the amish teenagers come together from all over for a outdoor volleyball tournament held in an open field. Such a site!