Sunday, November 7, 2010

Annual Mother-Daughter Journey

Late October brings our annual mother-daughter trip. This was our 7th trip and it was brown headed daughter's turn to pick the location. She chose Pennsylvania. Our center lodging would be Amish country and we found this house on Vacation Rental By Owner--perfect!
This was the side view of the house coming up the drive. We arrived late evening (thanks to air traffic control problems--somewhere!) so were unable to actually have a clear view of the house and surrounding area till morning.
Here is some of the history....
The Bellaire Farm was granted to the Hoffman Family (then spelled “Hoofman”) as part of the original William Penn Land Grant in 1681. There was a portrait of William Penn on the wall. The Schoolhouse is the last remaining corner of the farm still in the family. It served as a one room schoolhouse for most of the 19th century and was then quarried for rock during the first half of the 20th century. The original schoolmaster’s desk was against the wall to the left just before you walk out into the sun room.
Sometime in the 1940s, Francis Hoffman replanted the property and used it as a weekend retreat for him and his friends to smoke cigars and play poker. It has been used as a private residence ever since his death in 1970.
If you are adventurous, you can walk up into the woods to the right as you come in the main gate to find the original “dynamite house” – a small stone house used to contain the dynamite charges during the quarry era. The original “Blasting Machine” is on the floor in the sun room.
The house burned down in 2001 and the remaining stone structure was rebuilt in the
residence you see today. The house contains many artifacts gather from Hoffman Sr.’s travels around the world.
Needless to say, we weren't very adventuresome so we did not explore the surrounding grounds. We let our eyes do the walking.
The bell graced the front entrance.
The fall colors were in their finest.

These were some of the artifacts in the main bedroom. This old quilt laid across the quilt rack.
Leather baby shoes rested on the dresser.
And this tree of life quilt was the back drop for the headboard of the bed. Our first day we toured Intercourse--so commercial now--so many tour buses in the area. The shops boasted these towels and quilts.......
Rugs........
All Chinese made! We did find a section of the store where we found hand dipped candles made
locally! Our drive through the countryside yielded interesting sights; like these corn barns.
We found the barn structures interesting and unique.
And then we saw the sign for this.......but alas, it wasn't open. As with so many Amish businesses, the hours vary. But, now, we had our mouth set for chicken pie and against our better judgement, we decided to enter a restaurant that advertised smorgasbord. We could order off the menu, which we did. There are the menu was 'small portion of chicken pot pie'--yes, sounds perfect! When the dish arrived, it wasn't chicken pie in our regard--it was we call chicken and dumplings! Our server saw we didn't eat much and ask if anything was wrong, we said it wasn't what we expected. "oh, you were expecting closed" well, yes! Then she said "a little old Amish woman comes in on Wednesday to make this chicken pie, called 'pot' because it is made in a pot!" Later, in the local market, we found a vendor who had frozen Zook Chicken Pie and it was exactly what we wanted! We purchased one for our evening meal.
The weather was rainy, then dry, then rainy.
In our stop at the Intercourse Canning Company we saw the operation in progress.
A sample of their wares.
The buildings in Intercourse were painted with murals.
In our stop in Lititz,we made the 'last call' at John Sturgis Pretzel shop, where we purchased two for one fresh made pretzils. Across the street from this store front, we found the oldest boarding girls school: Linden Hall
This was the roof landscape of the church.
Onto Strasburg, PA for Eldreth Pottery which is famous for their salt glazed and red pottery.
Our day rounded out with a driving tour through the countryside to view Hex Barn Art Tour
We saw one covered bridge with Hex sign and many barns that hosted these brightly painted signs.
More later......

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