REFLECTIONS ON LANCASTER COUNTY AND PHILADELPHIA

THURSDAY, AUGUST 30

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My Favorite Parts of Lancaster County

Today being the transition day  – a mix between last day of vacation and the day to get ready to travel home tomorrow – I leave Lancaster County sadly.  I truly feel in love with every part of this piece of God’s country  and will miss it.  Knowing what I know now, I would have stayed longer in Lancaster County and a shorter time in the city of Philadelphia. The historic sights  of Philadelphia were nice to see and I enjoyed the museums, but the city itself  I would classifiy as just a big city.

Lancaster County on the other hand, was a  piece of heaven and the beauty of the land alone will nourish your soul.  Then add in those desserts at the smorgasbords……..  :  )

So I close with more of my favorite photos….

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This Amish Famer Gladly Posed for Me.

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More Amish  Buggies

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More Amish  People That Rode or Stepped Past My Camera

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More Amish Laundry

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Another Sign That Will Have You Making a Doubletake.

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FALLING IN LOVE WITH LANCASTER COUNTY, DAY 3

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

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All Sorts of Opportunities

Last full day in Amish country so I’m in panic mode to fit everything in.I first toured The Amish Farm  and Home which used to be a real Amish farm, now open for the public to see how the Amish live and learn more about them.It was very interesting, except the farm was geared towarda generation past . Though the  guide didexplain some differences of the Amish of the past generation andthe Amish now.There are not many changes but some.

http://www.amishfarmandhouse.com/

Afterwards I took an Amish  buggy ride with “Ed’s Buggy Rides” which was really fun.  I was the last one in line and  they asked me if I’d like to  me sit up front but  I accidentally sat in the driver’s seat. The old men running the buggy ride  got a kick out of that and I became the person to tease for the duration. The ride went through back country roads and onto an Amish farm and through the  fields. We  stopped at the farm, saw  the animals, the barn that housed the different buggies, saw where the cows were milked, plus they had a little shop set up for selling Amish crafts and lots of beautiful quilts. Three of the little kids in the family came outside to look at us , we are referred to as “the English”. The kids were so cute, all dressed in there Amish garb and their little dirty bare feet. One of the little boys was very friendly  and enjoyed the attention.  

http://www.edsbuggyrides.com/

My last adventure for the day was a trip to a gourd farm. I saw the ad in a magazine so I was unaware it was actually a real Amish farm until I found myself driving deeper and deeper in farm country and  arrived at his address.The owner raises acres and acres of gourds to sell and has a large shop set up in an out building.He makes bird houses out of some of the gourds and his daughter paintsthem. This was a wonderful experience.  The owner was very friendly and personable.The farm was beautiful and charming with his own bird houses hanging,  along with the Amish clothes on the clothes line, the chickens quietly resting in the shade, his daughter  working in the yard  and his dogs coming up to greet me.  It is called Smuckers’s Gourd Farm  in Kinzer’s PA and they sell  beautiful gourd bird houses and other gourd decorations, or  if you choose, you can also  buy the gourds undecorated and finish them yourself.  They do beautiful work and they will ship by UPS.  I highly recommend.  

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The Amish Farm and Home

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Smucker’s Gourd Farm, Kinzer’s PA

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View From Ed’s Buggy Ride

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Hats and Scooters  in the Yard of the Farm

We Visitied on the Buggie Ride.

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Bird House I Bought at Smucker’s Gourd Farm

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Beautiful Photo Ops  Everywhere I Look

MUCH TO SEE IN LANCASTER COUNTY ON DAY 2

TUESDAY AUGUST 28, 2012

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THE RED CABOOSE HOTEL, RONKS, PA

My second day was spent enjoying more ofsame:shopping the Amish crafts,nourishing myselfwith the wonderful food and stalking the Amish. Now the Amish do not like to be photographed,  it has something to do with their religion, so I had to be very sneaky with my camera.But I must be pretty good at itbecause, so far, I haveno arrest warrants against me.And thanks to the rental car agency also, who gave me auglynon- descript, non- memorable little  silver car.

As for some of the sights to see in Lancaster county, besides Amish people, they also have 29 covered  wooden bridges. I saw 3, one of which ( pictured) I would classify as being orginial and not having been built for the tourists. This wooden bridge is a “double long” and it spans 2 creeks. It is also in disrepair and can only be used for foot traffic.

Quilts are a popular enterprise in this area. There is a Quilt Museum (which I never made it to – it keeps odd hours and days) but they are many, many shops that sell quilts, fancy pillows, pot holders and the such.

A very clever hotel venture for this area is The Red Caboose.   When Don Denlinger  bid on 19 retired cabooses at an auction on a dare, he surprisingly won  all of them for $100.00. Thus the start of the Red Caboose Hotel.  They have been  cleaned them up, converted  to hotel rooms and  are now a caboose hotel. It is a  colorful and darling sight to see sitting smack dab in the midde of the corn fields!  There is  even a converted  silo  / now “viewing tower” which I climbed 76 steps to the top. The hotel also has a restaurant in a proper dining car along with a wooden train  playground.

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HERR”S MILL BRIDGE

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VIEWING TOWER SILO AT THE RED CABOOSE HOTEL

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QUILTS ON DISPLAY

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Amish Father and Son in Town

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Amish Farmer in the Field

 

INTRODUCTION TO LANCASTER COUNTY, PA

MONDAY, AUGUST 27, 2012

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Rented a car today with Lancaster County as my destination for the next 3 days. It is only  1 ½ hours drive from  Philadelphia. (Driving  in Philly is a nightmare so if you ever travel here, avoiding driving at all costs. ) As for Lancaster County, I cannot say enough wonderful things about it.  Especially if you are interested in the Amish way of life.    This area is home to approximately 30,000 Amish people, many of whom are farmers.  It is a beautiful area with gentle rolling hills dotted with farms complete with barns, silos, fields, cows and horses  grazing and a  home with  the laundry hanging on the clothes line, an Amish buggy or two in the driveway.  Their children could sometimes be seen outside either playing or helping with the farm work, wearing the traditional blue shirts, dark pants and staw hats for the boys   and the girls wearing  the blue dress with a dark colored apron and  their hair pulled up. The fields were full of corn, alfalfa and tobacco.

While driving out and about , the Amish  horse and buggies can often  be seen parked in  parking lots, on the road with their horse and buggies,  and the Amish people walking, or using a scooter along side the roads. Plus many of the young Amish women work in the restaurants and some of the shops.  I learned on this trip that their schooling only goes through the 8th grade for both boys and girls  and once they are married, the girls almost never work outside the home.

There are several little towns in Lancaster county but I only had  time to visit Bird-In-Hand, Paradise, Intercourse, Ronks and Strasborg.  One more important thing to mention is the food.  There are  many wonderful places to eat, referred to as Pennsylvannia Dutch cooking.  Most are smorgasbords or served family style and the food is WONDERFUL.

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Parking Lot of a Farm Supply Store

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I Always Liked the Laundry Look in a Yard!

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Telescopic Lens are Great!

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Beautiful Farms and Beautiful Country Everywhere You Look!

DAY 4 in PHILADELPHIA, MORE HISTORY, ROCKY, AND ART

SUNDAY, AUGUST 26, 2012

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Benjamin Franklin

Today was the last walk through the Historic District. I still wanted too see City Tavern where George Washington frequented, then the First and Second Bank. Second Bank is now a portrait gallery of famous country men since the start of our nation. I also went in Carpenter’s Hall and the Military Museum, but mostly because it was air conditioned and free. Then I stumbled upon The National Liberty Museum which is really a hidden gem. It is dedicated to Heros. The obvious Hero of course, but it also told stories of ordinary people who stepped up to the plate in the moment of need. Along with the wonderful stories, there were many art pieces in the museum, both beautiful and thought provoking. Chihuly’s Flame of Liberty is in this museum. I spent 2 hours in the Liberty Museum, although you could easily be there much longer.

Next stop was the Rocky statue. The line to stand with Rocky for a photo was a mile long! Longer than the line I stood in for the Liberty Bell ! And, of course, each person had to do their Rocky imitation for the photo. Cheap entertainment. In case you are wondering – no, I did not pose with Rocky – I’d prefer Ben Franklin. Next on the list of entertainment was to watch these sudo-Rockys run up the steps of the Philly Museum of Art (just like Stallone did in the movie). I dutifully scanned the surrounding area for an emergency defibulator but didn’t find one. Guess the City of Brotherly Love can only love so much.

Quickly I had seen enough Rocky impersonators and entered the Philly Museum of Art. It is huge and I totally enjoyed the American Art Paintings, Glassware and Pennsylvania Dutch Furniture and the European Art Paintings. I was delighted to see one of my favorite Renoirs –  Protrait of Mademoiselle Legrand.

Today was an entertaining day. Tomorrow I drive to Lancaster County, land of the Amish.

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The First Bank

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The Rocky Statue

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Steps of Philly Museum of Art &

Where Rocky Ran Up

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Beautiful Renoir Painting in the Art Museum

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Funny Mirror in the Liberty Museum

DAY 3 in PHILADELPHIA, A DAY of ART AND BODY PARTS

SATURDAY, AUGUST  25, 2012

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One of the Love Letters

Today was a wonderful  mixed assortment of entertainment. I started the day on a Mural Arts Tour where we rode the “el” (short for elevated subway) and saw  30 ” Love Letters” that were painted on the sides of buildings. It was a story of “boy loses girl,  boy tries to win girl back, girl rides this el route to work every day”.  It was a great tour and the Love Letter Murals were wonderfully  touching and creative.

http://muralarts.org/tour

My second activity of the day was the Mutter Museum.  Orginally used as a teaching museum for doctors, now open to the public.  Incredibly interesting and disgusting at the same time. After a good dose of observing skeletons, rotten  and dissected  body parts, drawers and drawers of recovered objects that people had swallowed, shelves FULL of skulls, dozens of fetuses in jars, creepy looking medical instruments, and a dried up over-enlarged intestine that held 40 lbs of waste when the guy passed, I finally called it quits and needed fresh air.  BTW, this museum was packed so I’m not the only person who enjoys this gross stuff.

http://www.collegeofphysicians.org/mutter-museum/

My last hurray for the day was the funky Magic Garden, which was a building/garden full of mosiacs solely created by a man that is now 73 years old.  He started it 6 years ago and its continues to grow. Truly a one of a kind, very interesting and a mixture of beautiful colors, whimsical as far as the objects he includes and groups together and fascinating, that someone has this kind of patience to create this one little piece of glass at a time.

http://www.philadelphiasmagicgardens.org/

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View from the El on the Love Letter Tour.

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The Mutter Museum

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Mosiac on Building Next Door to Magic Garden

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Mosiac in the Magic Garden

PHILADELPHIA – LOTS TO SEE, DAY 2

Friday, August 24, 2012

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Robert Indiana’s Famous Sculpture in Love Park

My sightseeing list is a mile long so I could not afford to waste any time today.  Besides  visiting Love Park, I also toured the Mint,  paid my respects to Ben Franklin’s grave where visitors leave a penny for good luck  ( “a  penny saved, is a penny earned”), saw the Besty Ross House, and walked through  the Comcast  Building Lobby to see the interesting decor of “beam walkers”        ( see photo). But the highlight of my day was enjoying the Rodin Art  Museum and the Barnes Foundation Art Museum.  The Barnes is the private collection of 800 paintings and 1700 other objects of  the now deceased Albert Barnes.  Barnes  co-developed Argyrol, an anti gonorrhea drug and subsequently, made a fortune.  My favorites were the  Impressionist and Post Impressionist paintings and Dutch  furniture and decorating items. Lots of beautiful art to see!      It was wonderful!!

Oh, I almost forgot -after going through some serious  xrays machines,  I also  went into the Federal Reserve Building  to see a display about, what else? Money!  One tidbit I retained – The US has 12 Federal Reserve Buildings. Each has a vault about  the size of a football field and on a daily average,  each contains $7 billion dollars. As I left, they did give me a bag of money – the only catch – I have to glue it back together.   : (

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The Comcast Lobby

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Hanging Beside Ben Franklin’s Grave

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Even the Barnes Sign is Impressive.

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One of Many Sculptures All Over the City.

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