Experiencing our nation through its environments, animals, people and history.

Galatians 5:1

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Intercourse, PA

Our adventure out to Amish country began with a stop at McDonalds, because out here you can get a supersize sweet tea for a buck (limited time only). Will someone please tell the West coast chains that the Kalers are completely addicted to Sweet Tea, and they need to start offering it before we get back?

Anyway, the Sweet Tea addiction is a real one, but its more than just a drink... it represents freedom, being on the road, adventure, and ice-cold refreshment in nearly intolerable humidity. At the time of this writing I'm happy to say, Greg has even taken the GU shuttle in to Union Station twice, just to go to McDonalds and get us Sweet Tea! And we've also discovered Chic-fil-A has kids eat free on Tuesdays. (Their Sweet Tea is even better and what got us hooked in the first place.) Anyway, back to Intercourse.....

It's a town, ya know. Have you seen the movie Witness? They filmed it in Intercourse, which is in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania- otherwise known as Amish country. I'm sure they picked it just for the name...... anyway, our adventure out to Amish country began with our rental car and our sweet tea, and a map from the farm showing us points of interest along back roads. The first little town we stopped at was quaint, had a used bookstore, and woops! An hour later we went over to the little park, where our map said it had a "refreshing ice cold Spring". The ducks liked it too....

The kids quickly discovered that these well fed ducks will try to eat your toes if you put them in the water.... it became a relaxing hour, laughing cuz man! They got aggressive. I was having fun taking pictures, of course, and didn't notice one duck eyeing my toes (that were not even in the water at the time). The darn thing jumped up and bit me!! It was a good laugh and we see why they tell you not to feed the ducks. Our kids figured out how to put grass on their feet....we could have stayed there all day!

We then took off in search of some quilt shops. Driving along the road, we noticed a fire station with a sign saying "Auction, 2:pm". It was 2:40 so we figured score!! We pulled in and there were quite a few amish and English families selling their wares, but all the quilts were wrapped up and already sold. (quick auction!!) We decided the ducks were worth missing it, and perhaps we are destined to come out here again next year! We did stop at a Quilt shop along the road, it was amazing... the Amish woman explained that she has 100 women working with her, all the quilts are hand sewn. They're beautiful, amazingly intricate designs. Shayna and I picked out two hot pads!! It was all we could afford!! But I do want to save up money and come back to buy a quilt called "Grandmother's Leaves". It was beautiful and reminded me of all the times I spent collecting leaves with my Nana.

We also stopped at a farm and got some sweet corn, potatoes, and a few other gifts. A lot of the farms have small sheds out close to the road with signs, and as you pull in, someone will come out of the house and help you in their little store. We enjoyed moments visiting with the store keepers, always going back to the car with a conscious reminder that this was not Plymouth or Williamsburg, this was really their life. You couldn't help but feel like Jack and Annie jumping right into a book!

As we got closer to Intercourse, more and more buggies were on the road. I didn't take any pictures, as it just felt.... wrong, and from what I understand of their religion, they do not believe in "making graven images" of themselves. So in Intercourse I took a few pictures of what I felt was respectful, and did find one buggy full of tourists!! Ok, no problem snapping them!

You really find yourself checking your own assumptions and stereotypes out here. We saw Amish children on scooter bikes, Amish men on rollerblades, fancy dairy farms with killer home made ice cream.... It was a fun, fun, day and it was nice to go back to our cozy B&B and have one more morning with the goats and pony rides. Shayna also found some kitties, as you saw!

You wanna hear probably the funniest thing about the weekend? There was another couple at our B&B with a young girl, the dad was in the army and they were having a weekend getaway. We spent two mornings sharing breakfast and enjoying the animals together. On our last day there, we got into some more detailed conversations, and come to find out that his post in the Army is serving on Airforce One. Huh? The guy's duty is to go everywhere with the President, "First of all, in the event of an accident, making sure everyone is safe.... second of all, serving the food."

We left the weekend with visions of Harrison Ford, goats eating our hair, lightning bugs dancing at sunset.... Shayna said it best when on our way out, she said "mom, some of the best moments in life are so good....

they're not even bloggable!"


Look! It's me! Hello!!

We've had an amazingly intense, hot, busy, crazy last two weeks... and I'm happy to say, I got my curriculum project turned in on time (47 pages of character ed lessons for DHH elementary kids) and just woke up from a six hour nap, recovering. Greg and kids did the Gally ropes course today and Shayna and JJ did the zip line.... as soon as we figure out the problem with our laptop and loading pictures, we'll show ya!!

I just wanted to let you know I'm alive!! And well!! And we're going to baseball games this weekend!! (Back to the important stuff...)


Friday, July 25, 2008

Misc Cell Pix!

White House Pix! I promised you pictures from my cell phone camera and here they are. This is where the White House tour ended. It was so quick we thought we were going outside to see the gardens and then would go back in again. Nope. All done. Move along.
From the walkway where the tour ended.The famous photo from the ellipse.
From the grounds of the White House looking at the Wa. Monument.

Today, me and the boys went to Reagan National Airport to see the planes and play some baseball. We took the metro all the way out (its on the opposite side of town...Actually it's in Virginia).
Cool architecture.

We went to the National Museum of Natural History. Sorry, shaky hands.

More Cal Jr. pix from baseball camp. This was actually 8:45 Monday morning. He came and talked to the boys right behind us. Darn, knew I sat in the wrong seats.
Playing pickle on the Gallaudet Softball Field. If you really look close you can see the Capital in the background. One of the boys noticed this and wanted me to take a picture.
We decided to go see some of the monuments on the National Mall. This is the WWII Memorial.

On the way from the WWII Memorial to the Lincoln Memorial we found some cute duckies! Most assuredly the highlight for the kids.

Monkey see, monkey do at the Phillies game.
One of the streets just outside Fenway Park. The street gets blocked off and all manner of craziness ensues.

Me and SK went to target and could not get enough of the shopping cart mover! We don't have cool stuff like that in Seattle!

Kittipies! By Shayna

"'Owangie, did you know that we'we gonna be famous?'"

"'Stop tewing siwy stowies ,dat gway thing is just a......ummm, a....
gwoth measuwer!'"

"'Me waking yew guys up. Yew need to be awake to see yowr fame!'""'You guys sweep like wocks!'"

"Dis is mommy cat"

"'I towd you we'we gonna be famous!'"