With over 200 pictures taken in a span of 2 hours it’s kind of hard to summarize in words what the Amish Dutch country was really like. Let me just summarize it as breathtaking. 🙌🏾 Yes I applied filters to every single picture magnifying the colors and supersaturating them because from my perspective that’s exactly how it looked from the love behind my eyes as I looked out at these beautiful views.🌈 Everything was just so intensely colorful. We couldn’t have asked for a better day. The sun was shining, ☀️ok fine maybe 95 degrees was a tad hot, 🔥 the sky was so so so blue 🔷and the clouds were so so so white and puffy. ☁️☁️☁️ Juxtapose that to every shade of green, 🏞fields, flowers, corn crops🌽, tobacco crops 🚬it was almost not to be believed that a land this beautiful was in the good ole US of A. Rolling fields for as far as our eyes could see. 😳One working farm after the next. 🏘Not like the fake farms we saw in Ithaca in June, these were the real thing. Silos and all. Horses and buggies. 🐴🚜Men in tall hats, 🎩beards, trousers and suspenders. Women in bonnets, aprons and long dresses with capes. 👕 Children’s clothing resembling their parents. I kept squealing in delight…there they are again!!!!! ☝🏽️😍 I see a kid in that buggy!!! With only 2 hours to spare we weren’t quite sure how to spend our time so we just dove right in with a horse and buggy tour at Aaron and Jessica’s Buggy Ride. It was enough to whet our appetites but now I’m so hungry to live the real thing next time. 🙏🏽
I’m not going to do a lot of talking. I’m just going to let the pictures do the telling because you know the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”.
Here’s the deets: Ben was our Amish driver for our horse and buggy. 👴🏻🎩🚜🐴 Justt to set the scene imagine a buggy load of people, well I pushed by way to sit in the front seat with my pal Ben…
He took us to a real working Amish dairy farm, who sells their milk to Land o Lakes (woah 🆒). We caught glimpse of the family eating supper outside on their picnic bench. 🍗It took every ounce of restraint for myself from running over plopping down at their table🏃🏻 and firing a zillion questions at them. GOSH SO MUCH TO ASK WHERE DO YOU BEGIN???? Unfortunately, I didn’t get my chance to interview them 📝🎤but later on while we saw them milking the cows…we kinda pounced on an 11 year old boy, his name was Sammy. 👦🏼Poor Sammy he didn’t know what hit him. I had to seize the moment! More about that later…One topic that stood out from our driver Ben was about schooling. 📚Kids go for about 7 hours a day in a 1 room school with mixed ages. They get summer vacation like us, and get this. They graduate around 8th grade at age 14. Ben made no bones about it. He said “we’re not gonna be doctors and were not gonna be lawyers. All we need to know we learn by 8th grade. For us learning is by doing”. I get it Ben, I get it. No wasted hours learning trig, lucky you. Oh, by the way we are referred to as the “English”. And the English live in nice houses 🏡 sprinkled throughout the farms. The Amish can leave at anytime and become English. They have quadrupled their population since he was a kid around 35k. He said the retention rate is like 90%, they rarely leave because they love their life. Aweeeee. Average family size is 6 kids, oooo were getting close! Oh another beautiful statement Ben made “in our culture it’s our job as the adults to take care of the young, but then when we get old the young take care of us”.❤️💙 It wasn’t those exact words but simply said it was sweet and touching. The no electricity🕯🕯thing of course is just mind boggling.🕯 I hope I wasn’t offensive but I just had to ask Ben. “So just so I understand. Are there annnnnnny outlets in your entire house?” Ben answered “no”. I was satisfied and skipped away.✖️🔌
So now on to the main event. The pictures. 📸📸📸 I need to make a real life shutterfly book of these pics because they need to be held and reviewed over and over. I want to remember this hot August summer day in the Summer of 2016 where I checked off another bucketlist item ✔️and fell in love with Amish Country. 😍🙋🏾 Just to set the scene imagine a buggy load of people, well I pushed by way to sit in the front seat with my pal Ben…
These pics were taken on the way to the farm. We parked our buggy and got out to explore the dairy farm. Here’s how our journey unfolded:
We Were lucky enough to watch 11 year old Sammy and his dad milk the cows. That’s when our little “interview” occurred. Afterwards we bought their homemade chocolate chip cookies, pretzels, lemonade and root beer!
Here 10 year old Ben pauses for a pic with 11 year old Sammy. How different these 2 boys could be. Sammy told us he comes from a family of 6, each kid has jobs his is milking the cows. He does not have a tv 📺✖️ He likes to play baseball ⚾️, they do not make birthday parties 🎂✖️, he goes to bed at 8, in his free time he likes to race his ponies 🐴, and my brilliant question if he has a favorite sports team? No. Obviously…why would he if they don’t have outside access on tv or Internet. Cringing.
Turns out my Pal Ben also runs a bed and breakfast and invites guests to have dinner in their homes! They were booked for tonight! Darn!!! Now that gives me a reason to come back! A real life Amish meal! Cool! 👴🏻🎩🍗
For more fascinating Amish facts you can read here:
Their chief tenet is, “Be ye not conformed to this world.” Well ain’t that the truth Ben…ain’t that the truth 👍🏾💁🏽❤️