Thist past weekend, we went to Lancaster, PA, to take our kid to yet another theme park. In her short life, she has been to Sesame Place and Disney World a couple of times, Busch Gardens, Knoebel's, a few local carnivals, and as of last week...Dutch Wonderland. Canetto and I are fairly confident that we have now met the parental theme park requirement and can thus begin our focus on some real travel in coming years. (Perhaps to Amsterdam -- the real Dutch Wonderland.)
We spent our first day in Lancaster County exploring the area and seeing how the Amish live. And they do live very differently from us...in that they seemingly have a one-to-one person-to-outlet mall ratio and what appears to be an unnatural love of kettle corn.
All I know is that for years I have had some kind of romantic notion about what Amish country is like and not once when I was imagining the simple lives these folk had carved out for themselves (working the land/ forgoing technology and evil indulgences like zippers and not marrying cousins) did I envision that Amish country would look so much less pastoral and so much more like a super Wal-Mart.
I mean, sure, we saw some covered bridges and some horses and buggies, so I did get a chance to gawk at the Amish like I wanted. We also saw a courting buggy (a convertible two-seater) and a homemade rumble seat (a plastic lawn chair secured to the back of a buggy with a thick piece of rope in which a young, blonde child bounced up and down as the horses clopped down the street). It did not look at all secure, but then again, when each Amish family has an AVERAGE of seven children, I suppose losing one or two on the way to a barn raising or a sing is not the end of the world.
And let's just say that for a people who consider the rest of society the "Devil's Playground", they live in a town called Intercourse, they are famous for their whoopie pies, and they decorate folk art with a stylized bird called a distelfink. (My new favorite non-dirty, dirty-sounding word.)
(Amish Aside: In a previous life when I did trade shows for the NRA, I was in the booth one day when an Amish man came up and asked about a Life Membership. At the time it was $400, which I let him know. He proceeded to pull out a huge wad of cash and peel off four $100 bills and hand them to me. I processed his membership application, put the cash in the cash box and sent him on his way. Then I turned to one of my fellow exhibitors and said, "Must've been a good year for butter.")
My whole life has been a rumspringa,