06 April 2006

PA Dutch Country

Gettysburg at last, we arrived here on Saturday the 1st and set up. Sunday was laundry and relax day. Monday brought us errand running which included stopping at the Gettysburg Pretzel Factory and Outlet store….mmm….pretzels. Tuesday we walked the nature trail in the park we are staying at, then drove into Downtown Gettysburg and walked around. Gettysburg is the type of place that being here, I could imagine living here. There aren’t many places that have struck me like that, but Gettysburg is one of them. We also drove around to some of the neighboring towns in the area just to get a feel for where we are. It’s so beautiful out here, I’m sure I’ll have pics to share before our time here is up. Central PA is gorgeous, not just for the rolling hills and farms, but also for the old buildings and history.

Yesterday, Wednesday the 5th brought us into PA Dutch Country. We started by driving out to Bird-In-Hand, PA to visit the Farmer’s Market there and buy some Shoofly Pie, it’s really yummy, and we had it for desert last night after dinner .yummy! This was also where I saw my first real horse and buggy with the Amish at the reigns. They ask specifically that you don’t take pictures of them or wave or engage them in conversation, they are not a theme park or an amusement, and they are living their lives and should be left alone. It’s cool to drive down the road and be stuck at a traffic light with the horse and buggies, or the pile of horse crap in front of the drive-thru ATM that was pretty funny. The contrast is what struck me the most, the buggies have been fitted with turn signals because there’s no other way to keep them safe, little stuff like that, although it’s kind of sad to see the modern world creeping into their lifestyle. After Bird-In-Hand we drove on into Intercourse, PA (gotta love the names of these towns) and stopped at the Intercourse Pretzel Factory, that’s right, we were eating our way across PA Dutch country and loving every minute of it. Intercourse is really very touristy and we didn’t stick around long because of it, we visited a couple of the Amish owned shops that have hand made items. I bought some handmade candles, then we left, we avoided the really touristy areas that didn’t have anything to do with the Amish and everything to do with wasting money. From Intercourse we drove into Lititz and visited the Sturgis Pretzel Factory…seeing a trend? http://www.sturgispretzel.com/ Lititz is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year. Sturgis Pretzel Factory was the first commercial Pretzel bakery in America. It’s a neat place and for $4 you take a tour that more just a short history lesson and they show you to twist a pretzel. Bill and I are Official Pretzel Twisters and have the certificate to prove it. MMMMMMM…..Pretzels!

From here we drove into Hershey, PA. I was a bit disappointed, I really expected Hershey to be more chocolaty than it was. It’s really just like any other town that has a theme park. The Theme Park isn’t open for it’s season yet, and Bill doesn’t like theme parks so we likely wouldn’t have gone anyway. Instead we went to Hershey Chocolate World, which is in the same complex area. It was fun and we enjoyed being there, but I was a little disappointed that they didn’t have more stuff. Maybe we were just in the wrong area, I don’t know. You can buy all the same candy that you can get anywhere, the only different stuff that you can buy is clothing (not interested) and stuffed figures (again, not interested). Oh, I did buy a Hershey Chocolate scented candle, and an entire case of Good & Plenty. I was really hoping for like Hershey shower gel and lotion and stuff like that. Your one-stop shop for anything Hershey, but that wasn’t case. I wouldn’t have minded Hershey shampoo either, after all who doesn’t want to smell like chocolate? Oh-well…maybe I should write to Hershey and suggest this. After all you can go to day spas in Hershey and get chocolate massages and stuff like that…why not a line of chocolate bath stuff?

That’s all for now, that was our day of eating our way across PA Dutch Country.