The Amish country of Pennsylvania has always been a favorite destination for us over the years. It was nice to have an extended stay around Lancaster instead of the long weekend jaunts we used to take in the fall back in the days when we were working. If you are a camper, we highly recommend the Lancaster/New Holland KOA. It is meticulously operated and maintained, it has open campsites that provide expansive views overlooking the nearby valley and farmlands.
We ventured off to Valley Forge National Historic Park. Valley Forge was the site of winter encampment of the Continental Army. Over 3000 acres of monuments, meadows, and woodlands commemorate the sacrifices and perseverance of the Revolutionary War generation. The scenic drive meandered around the park and provided ample opportunities for us to walk our “furry fidos”. Highlights of the park were George Washington’s Headquarters, the Knox Covered Bridge, the National Memorial Arch and the Washington Memorial Chapel. They even had a used bookstore on the chapel grounds where I found some old Navy-Blue Jacket Manuals.
The countryside in Lancaster county and the surrounding area is beautiful. Deb and I enjoyed driving the backroads and observing the Amish way of life. Fresh produce, flowers, jams & jellies were sold in roadside kiosks in front of many homes.
A trip to this area would be incomplete without seeing some of the covered bridges and stone mills. Each has its own character and soul. Many have weathered the storm, have defied mother nature and are still sharing their place in history, while others are a mere skeleton of their glorious past.
Deb had an opportunity to for us to meet up with some of her Instagram film friends and we did a street walk in downtown Lancaster. Its always interesting to see the styles and nuances of other film photography enthusiasts.
The Shady Maple Smorgasbord is without peer. By far the best selection of food and quality of service you will EVER experience. We went for breakfast one day and they had a station for just eggs Benedict, made fresh to order. Their marketplace is also 5-Star…trust me…just go back to the bakery area and find the whoopie pies and apple dumplings…proof positive!
Lancaster Central Market has been around since 1730. It is the oldest, continuously running public farmers market in the country. Today it hosts over 60 local vendors that sell everything from quilts & potholders to fresh meats & produce, dairy products, deli, fresh baked breads & pastries. Our favorites are The Shady Maple “Bacon wrapped-Long Johns” and the
Rooster Street Butcher charcuterie. It was here that several years ago Deb fell in love with duck prosciutto.
Downtown is not just the bustling Central Market; it also has the St. James Episcopal Church that was founded in 1744. The cemetery next door had gravestone markers from the War of 1776, Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and GAR. (Grand Army of the Republic) The resting place for those that made the ultimate sacrifice while our country was being born.
We also had the opportunity to have lunch with our cousins in Wrightsville. Its always special to reconnect with relatives and share the stories of our family’s past. Pennsylvania Turnpike here we come! Next stop – Ohio…