Saturday, 22 September 2012

Ah, the Amish....

Yes, that's right.  Today was Amish day for us.  Not so long ago we saw a very interesting documentary about the Amish and here we were, only an hour's drive away from Amish country.  So, after my first real American breakfast (incomplete, because I am not that hungry in the mornings) we went in search of the Amish Trail in Western New York.

Toasted bagels with cream cheese and coffee

We got to Dayton at about 11am and stopped off at a hardware store that displayed the Amish Trail sign, only to discover that they had not really anything to do with the Amish, but........... we stayed there for a while anyway, because we got to chat, and chat, and chat a bit more and after a while we had half the family interested in the conversation, I believe.  All those people here are so wonderfully friendly.  They asked us a lot about Australia and in turn told us a lot about their family, their lives here and about the Amish, amongst which they live.  They also produced a little map with all the information we needed and told us about this perfect little restaurant that we just HAD to visit.  As it was about lunch time anyway, we couldn't care less if they had shares in the restaurant or not, but we made our way to the Mustard Seed restaurant.  A quaint little house turned into a restaurant which offered a cosy ambience.

Ordering the meal went real funny.  I was after French Onion soup and a meat and cheese sandwich (on home baked sunflower bread) and got it served with the standard chips, although these were not the packaged type, but freshly baked.  Just lovely!  

The sandwiches don't look like much, but they were to die for!

When Frank ordered his burger however, the waitress asked him also if he wanted the chips, but then she said, oh no, you'd probably want the French fries?  She'd picked up his accent and realised that he wasn't used to the American type of chips, but what we in Australia call 'hot chips' (fritekes dus).  He had a choice of potato fries or sweet potato fries and went for the latter, because we have just recently started to make our own French fries with sweet potato.  Very tasty.

Frank's burger with fries

All in all the chat and lunch had taken up a lot of our time, so next we made our way into Amish country further down the road and visited a few of their shops.  The shops are part of their home and you don't see any electrical gadgets around.  The Amish dress differently from us and ride their little horse-drawn buggies.  I don't think they are very comfortable (those buggies), because they are not allowed rubber tyres either.  Unfortunately I can not show you a lot of pictures, because you're not allowed to take pictures of them or their children.  It's understandable, but a pity altogether, because those little children are so cute and all of them wave at you when you pass by.

Frank managed a picture of a horse and buggy at a little quilt shop

For my Dutch readers, I think you will have heard about the Amish, but if not, they are very much like the people in Staphorst: very religious and in Staphorst you're not supposed to take pictures either.  Anyway, we managed a few outside, as long as there are no people in the picture:

The road sign makes you aware of the slow moving buggies on the road

The few shops we visited all had beautiful home made articles for sale.  I bought a 4-sample container with fudge made with goat milk and a beautiful wooden basket:



Ain't that cleverly done?  We also bought some fresh rhubarb and farm eggs and visited a local cheese factory (not owned by the Amish), where we had hoped to actually see some cheese being made, but they only sold cheese. Next we went to a little business that made toys.  That was fun!  They had all kinds of funny and interesting toys, amongst which was a little toy chest-cum-piggy bank.  We were asked to put in a $5 note and try to get it out again. Actually, what the man said was: "You get it back if you can get it out again."  Well, no such luck, it was so cleverly done.  We did get our money back though. ;-)  Next we were asked to put a quarter (25c coin) in another wooden piggy bank.  We almost jumped sky high, because the whole thing exploded!  In it the man had hidden a mouse trap..........  Anyway, the list is too long to go on about all their wares, but a good time we had! They did have an interesting little board game though, so we might go back to pick one up one day.

Our drive was through the beautiful country side.  It's amazing, one day you are staring at a map, knowing you are going to visit a little town somewhere on the other side of the globe, and next you are part of the living picture that you didn't even know existed!  All you've ever seen about America is coming together: the all American mail boxes, the autumn wreaths on the front doors, the little squirrels hopping around, huge orange pumpkins everywhere (and heaps of them too) and the different styles of houses.  For Ria: we see a lot of the Swedish red coloured buildings here as well, although I believe that it's mainly the sheds that are of this particular red colour.  See the picture with the buggy above and this one below:

As it's the start of autumn, the colours are about to turn, although we have been told today that we may be in for some disappointment.  The leaves used to change colour and stay on the trees for a long time.  Last year, and possibly this year again, they just turned and fell.  No beautiful autumn colours.  A well, we'll just have to wait and see what is going to happen.

Well, that's about all for today.  If you're interested, this is the link to the Amish Country that we have visited today:  If you want to see more pictures then do a Google search for Amish.  You will find that there are a lot of Amish people in the pictures and that not all is true to what I have told you before, but that's because the people of the New York Amish Country are of the Old Order and have stricter believes that they adhere to.

I hope this blog is of as much interest to you as it is to ourselves, hoping to read it all again one day when our travelling days are over.......


  1. So funny... While reading I had the thought that it must be a lot like Sweden and suddenly I read you, saying about the same. A lot of Swedes (over 2 million) have emigrated, so no wonder you still can see the influences.
    I love to travel with you, thanks! Love to you both and hälsningar (greetings)from Jan and me.

  2. Indeed, there must be a lot of influences, not only from the Swedes, the Dutch seem to be well represented too. By the way, Jan would have a ball here, living on the edge of a golf course.... Love from both of us.

  3. The one thing about blogging they would have to improve: first things first, last things last. I hate to start reading from the bottom up! It is so much more logical to do it the other way around....anyway, Amish look as weird as they have always looked to me and I like the way you write, with distance, empathy and humour. So I will follow your adventures: give my love to Frans!

  4. Thanks for your kind comment, Dienke. Unfortunately blogging wouldn't quite work the way you had in mind. Just think about it, it works the same as fb. You wouldn't want to scroll down to the very last page every time you want to have a look at an update..... It's only the very first time, when you need to catch up, that it is a bit of a problem. Anyway, you should be right from now on! :-) And love from both of us to you and Dirk.


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