ROAD TRIP DAY 35: TWO TICKETS TO PARADISE…

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…Pennsylvania. Yes, there really is a Paradise… and Blue Ball… and Intercourse, Pennsylvania. For that matter, there is also a Bird-in-Hand, PA

As we sat on the Strasburg Railroad vintage train, Bruce asked to see my ticket. He held it up with his and started singing, “Two Tickets to Paradise” by Eddie Money. Classic Bruce humor; ya gotta love it.

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Today was dedicated to exploring the Amish farm country, and we got a good taste of it as we made the short trip to Strasburg to board the train. During our three-mile drive to the station, we saw nine horse and buggies on the road with their Amish drivers.

Vintage train rides are always a kick, and we enjoyed the 45-minute ride that passed by several Amish Farms including Henry and Emma’s, the couple we had met on Thursday evening during our Amish Experience Tour.

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Henry & Emma Fisher’s Farm

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Following our ride, we gave Trudy (our GPS) the day off and put Bruce in charge of navigation, instead. With a Lancaster map in hand, he led me and Scarlet (our car) along back country roads off the beaten path. Much of the time it was just us and a few Amish in their buggies trotting along the roadside.

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One of the stops we made was at the Lil’ Country Store & Miniature Horse Farm where we could walk through the stable to see the cutest horses I had ever seen. One of the babies was just six weeks old, and it was adorable and VERY soft!

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They also had cute baby goats. Awww!

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This was also a great opportunity to see Amish furniture and the workshop where the family made it. Everything was open to observe, so it was fun to poke around for awhile. Being off the beaten path, it wasn’t a tourist trap at all, and it was nice to spend some relaxing time just enjoying and taking it all in.

The family also made their own cheese, lemonade, and root beer to sell out of their little shed. The root beer was sold in gallon jugs or smaller bottles labeled with their family name. We shared a small bottle while sitting in Adirondack chairs under a tree, and it was the best root beer I had ever tasted!

Off we went to do some more exploring along the farm roads, pulling off when something caught my eye to photograph.

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These little pigs stopped us in our tracks. What a hoot! We pulled off the road, and stepped up to the fence to watch these little guys. Boy, they were skittish. Every time I would lift my camera to take a picture– no matter how slowly– they would scamper away. I finally had to just keep my camera up, so I could get a photograph. If I didn’t move, they would come right up to the fence to check us out.

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Their moms and dads, meanwhile, we’re total slugs. They laid in the mud looking like lumps of mud or large boulders, and even the one right by the fence didn’t bat an eye. Chaos ensued all around, but she didn’t want any part those little piggies running back and forth making a racket.

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We also came across a small farmer’s market in one community, so we picked up a whoopie pie to share for dessert. It’s another one of those Amish traditions we had never tasted, so we thought we would see what this six-inch round chocolate cake sandwich with a whipped cream center tastes like.

What a fun day exploring the back country roads of Lancaster County with no cars or other tourists around; a joyful feeling that came abruptly to an end when we returned to Lincoln Highway East (30) to make our way back to our motel. It was bumper-to-bumper with tourist traffic beating down the touristy beaten path. I am so glad we had given the highway a miss on this Saturday afternoon.

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