First of all, for those of you interested, B1's softball team got rained out tonight. There is still the possibility of two games left. The first of those will take place now on Saturday morning at 10am. If a second game is necessary, I believe the date that has been set aside is AUGUST 6!!! Yeah, like 2.5 weeks away! The reasoning behind this makes some sense, but I personally think we should just play 2 games on Saturday and get it over with. We could play at 10am and again at maybe 6pm to give the girls a break in between games. But anyway........once again, we'll see what happens.
Okay, now about my trip on Wednesday to Amish country. What a cool experience! I of course have seen Amish people while on family vacations all over the country. However, I have never seen them in their own "comfort zone" if you will. We drove through Arcola, IL and then on a 2-lane highway towards Arthur, IL. We stopped at two places along the way. The first place was a craft sort of store and no, there were no lights in the place. I especially looked at the ceiling to make sure I wasn't imagining things. I did see a gas fixture with mantles, similar to the gas light that is in my front yard, but it wasn't burning while we were there. We then stopped at a grocery store and most of the items there were not brand name. Even their snack aisle contained potatoe chips and tortilla chips that I had never heard of. Many of the items were packaged locally and closed with a simple twist-tie like we use on bread wrappers. I noticed too that all the establishments have places where a horse might be hitched. These are things you just don't see every day and it was really cool to experience. We ate lunch at R&I Restaurant in Arthur, which I'm guessing from the way it appeared is a townie restaurant. We got a few strange looks as we entered but no one actually stared at us. There were several Amish people eating there as well. The food was very good and very cheap. I had a grilled chicken breast sandwich, a side salad, and a diet coke for only $5.26. You can hardly eat that cheap at McDonald's! We then browsed in a few stores in Arthur which were not run by Amish people and eventually made our way to the outlet mall in Tuscola. I made more purchases than I set out to do, but I feel that all were warranted. My hubby might not so much agree.
I really enjoyed seeing the Amish children running around their yards, playing. They had bicycles, dolls, doll buggies, etc. It's sad that our own children don't play the way they do. It was also very interesting to notice how so many of their homes look very "pieced together." I assume that as their families continue to grow, so must their homes. You can tell by looking where more and more parts have been added on. I think there was one home that looked as if three houses had been built but then eventually they all connected! We passed several horse-and-buggies on the roads and saw many Amish people on their bicycles on the roads. I also loved seeing all the clothes hanging on their clothes lines, blowing in the wind of what was a beautiful day.
After I told my family about my experience, my oldest daughter was interested and curious about the Amish people. I told her that I had seen a book in one of the stores we were in that I almost bought for her. She enjoys learning about different cultures and people and always has many questions about it. I thought that she might enjoy the book better, however, had she been there to experience it herself.
For the past two years, for Mother's Day, we have taken my hubby's mom on a day-long "mystery trip." We don't tell her where we are going to try to make her guess, which is fun for the girls as well as us. Last year, we went on a riverboat ride on the Mississippi, then drove up into northern St. Charles County in Missouri and across the ferry into Illinois, down the river road for a stop in Grafton to eat at the Finn Inn, and on home. This year, we did a train ride to Springfield, IL and saw many of the Lincoln sites. I am thinking now that next year's trip will involve the Illinois Amish Country.