Mercifully, my children aren't at the age where Spring Break is synonymous with "South Beach" or "MTV". For Spring Break this year, we escaped the Concrete Jungle and headed to literally greener pastures - Amish Country, in Lancaster, PA. We took my mom along, who really needed a break herself.
There is something very relaxing about waking up and seeing green everywhere. Our EconoLodge was right next to a farm, so we got to see (yes, and smell) the cows every morning. No alarm clocks, no work stress, no e-mail - it was bliss.
I was blown away by the amount of craftsmanship that still exists in Lancaster. There are handcrafted gifts in every store, from the beautiful quilts that Amish Country is known for, to the incredible amount of woodworked gifts - I treated myself to a little tin star (so many of the homes have the beautiful bigger ones on their doors - where am I putting that? My living room?) that's hanging in my kitchen, and the cutest little sheep - I've recently gotten little sheep figures in a couple of my knitting swaps, so I've kind of fallen into collecting them.
I also went to the Lancaster Yarn Shop, which was just gorgeous. I could have bought every single thing they had, if there wasn't that whole money thing involved. Just amazing yarns. I did have great deal of restraint - I didn't buy a thing. Lately, I've found that just increasing my stash hasn't helped when I go to find something to knit. I take part in a few swaps, so I love getting my stash increased that way, and it also helps me knit things for me - if I buy my stash, I end up knitting for everyone else.
Speaking of knitting, I had started a Stargazer sweater over the drive - figured the stockinette sleeves would make for good car knitting. For some reason, though, I got about halfway through one sleeve and I just noticed several little holes - I thought I was knitting evenly, but they were really on my nerves, so I frogged the sleeve. Yes, the whole sleeve. Augh.
I'm still working on the Cirque sock, but that required a completely different level of attention, so it ended up languishing in my knitting bag for the trip.
I'm still reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, which I'm enjoying much more than I thought I would originally would. But I've got to say, it's completely different from Blade Runner, the movie - in a good way. I'm looking forward to reading the supplement which details more about the making of the movie, because I'm thinking Ridley Scott used Dick's novel as a jumping-off point for telling his own story using Rick Deckard and the idea of retiring replicants. I think I'll watch the movie just after finishing the book, so it's fresh in my mind and I can get a full picture.
Back to Amish Country. We visited Kitchen Kettle Village, a shopping village where we got to take the kids and Mom on a buggy ride and wander around enjoying the beautiful day. We ate fresh kettle corn - I may never be able to eat the 99% fat-free microwaved stuff again - and Mike and the boys enjoyed freshly made ice cream.
The FOOD. I can't even describe it. We went to a few Amish-type places, where we had corn fritters with powdered sugar (heavenly!), homemade noodles in a chicken pot pie, brown buttered noodles (caramelizing the butter at the bottom to give it extra flavor) - I could go on and on and on. Heartbreaker managed to find macaroni and cheese everywhere we went, and Cutie Pie actually ate - at one point, after polishing his third hot dog off at Jakey's Amish Barbecue, Mike and I considered a move to Lancaster County, since we finally found a place he'd eat.
We also found several petting zoos, which I enjoyed as much as the boys did. Kitchen Kettle Village even had a llama, which I was desperate to shear and spin. ;) As you can see from the picture below, he was quite interested in being fed - right after this picture was taken, he managed to lean over enough to headbutt my Mom as she got the feed out!
Heartbreaker was looking forward to his funnel cake, so when he finally got a chance to have it, he expressed his glee. And that funnel cake was HUGE.
All in all, the boys thoroughly enjoyed having Nana spend three days with them. And the feeling was more than mutual.