Day 9 – Everyone Welcome

The better part of one’s life consist of his friendships. – Abraham Lincoln

We headed toward the city of Lancaster this morning.  We were looking forward to meeting up for lunch with some of our friends from Philadelphia on the way there.

Because we were in Amish country, we had a wide shoulder to walk on the entire way (it’s extra wide for the horse and buggy traffic).  That made for some pleasant walking through the rolling hills and beautiful farmland.  We’ve noticed that when we wave to the Amish passing in their buggies, they wave and smile back, but also look at us like we’re the novelty.  We’d venture to guess it’s a nice change for them.  That’s not to say we’re not gawking at them too.  We saw two Amish girls holding on to the back of a buggy while rollerblading.  Also, one had on modernly fashioned sunglasses.

Our only proof that we were in Amish country

At one farm, a curious horse came up to Tara.  She jumped at the opportunity to pet him and let him nibble at her hands.

A few hours into our walk, we heard a car horn and turned to see Megan, Raavi, and Remi drive by.  They parked a short distance up the road and then walked with us about a mile to a pizza place.

Raavi takes over the cart pushing duties

It was great getting to spend some time with them and see their smiling faces.  It really meant a lot to us that they drove up to see us and treated us to lunch.

Saying goodbye to Raavi, Megan, and Remi

After saying goodbye to Megan, Raavi, and Remi, we didn’t get too far before we saw this:

Sure beats a topsy-turvy

We stopped to take a picture when the owner of the house came out and said, “I couldn’t help but notice you were admiring my legs.”  It turns out these are a permanent fixture on his porch.  He has two sets, one perched on each side.  He decorates them for each holiday.  We just missed the St. Pat’s décor, but were lucky enough to see the Easter bunny setup.

Here are some other interesting things we ran across.

I’ve often heard that school pictures help sell appliances. I wonder if these are updated each year when the new school pictures are taken.

Honestly, you can leave our comforts alone, thank you very much. Stick to cleaning clothes?

We arrived in Lancaster a bit early.  We had couchsurfing hosts to meet in the evening, so we were headed downtown to find a coffee shop to relax in.  On the way there, our paths crossed with Michael and Rachel.  Michael saw our bumper stickers that said we are walking across the country.  He had ridden his bicycle across the U.S. a few years ago, and was really interested in our journey.  He said they were headed to a friend’s house for dinner and to watch basketball, and we were welcome to join them.  We took them up on their offer, and were glad we did. What a great bunch of people.  They were all so welcoming, friendly, and fun.

Kate (holding baby Caleb, Rachel and Michael’s newborn son), Nate, Zach, Alicia, Rachel, and Michael

They explained that they were all Mennonites and that they get together three times a week to share food and good times.  What a great idea and wonderful example for the rest of us. While talking, we discussed the coming snow storm.  They said that if the weather was bad the next day, we were welcome to stay in Lancaster and join them for dinner and to spend the night in Kate and Nate’s guest bedroom.  We told them we would strongly consider it and headed off towards downtown to meet Zach and Chelsea, our hosts for the night.

Zach and Chelsea

Zach and Chelsea were very nice, relaxed, and welcoming.  Chelsea, a pastry chef, made a basil pizza from scratch.  We talked for a bit, learned a lot about Lancaster, then, much to John-Michael’s delight, Zach let us play his newly acquired vintage (1978) Star Wars Destroy Death Star board game!

Star Wars Destroy Death Star Game

Zach used the force and blew up the Death Star, we watched the American classic Coming to America and then settled in to sleep through the snowy night.