But only KIND of. If I had my choice it would be west coast til I die. But Eric and I are trying to make the most of the coast where people take themselves really seriously and think my chipperness is due to some sort of tragic anti-depressant malfunction.
One thing that’s pretty cool about the east coast is it’s kind of like Europe. In Europe after only a few hours of travel you are *POOF* in a new country. But instead of new countries, here it’s just a different state…but you still can’t understand the language. So in my opinion it might as well be a different country. But this state-hopping ability is really novel to a native west coaster.
If you’re someone like me, and get lost when you walk outside of a store in the mall, you can drive over state lines and not even know it! You can start your errand in Pennsylvania and finish it in New Jersey! Just hopefully not in Trenton. And even though Broad Street in Philly looks like we’ve ripped off a hunk of an underdeveloped country and wished it good luck in the good ol’ U.S. of A, there are parts of Pennsylvania that are truly breathtaking.
Yesterday Eric had to do some work in Lancaster and so I tagged along. Lancaster is like the Amish and Mennonite head quarters. A few towns right outside of Lancaster, Bird in Hand, and Intercourse, (yes, I know, why does the Amish town HAVE to be named Intercourse!?) have lots of Amish and Mennonite settlements. There are so many beautiful green pastures and country roads. The coolest thing ever is when you’re driving along and you pass a horse-drawn buggy and some strapping 16-year-old Amish boys at the reigns. And am I a total creep for saying that they’re suspenders are just downright sexy? Screw it, I’m totally getting Eric a pair.
Anyway the Amish have lots of restaurants and farmer’s markets where you can get scrumptious farm-fresh food and family style meals. There are hand-painted signs for “Frosty fresh root beer” and “Buggy rides.” As we drove around the town we saw the Amish women, in their long purple and green dresses and bonnets, laughing and working in the fields or getting icee’s at Rita’s Water Ice. Old men with shoulder-length beards and their iconic hats are sitting on porches or plowing the land with horse-drawn farm equipment.
I got such a thrill trying to guess which houses belonged to Amish people by shouting out to Eric, “Look! All their clothes are on a clothesline! THEY HAVE TO BE AMISH!” When we first drove into the city I was scanning the roads every which way asking, “Are they Amish? Are they Amish?!”
And then I stopped and said to Eric, I bet this is what dorky, slightly uneducated people like me do when they come to Salt Lake City. They drive by the huge temple and gasp, “WHERE ARE THE MORMONS? ARE THEY MORMON? ARE THEY MORMON?” Ha. Then start to ramble off all of the probably totally inaccurate “facts” they know about the religion. Just like I did with the Amish and the Mennonites. What’s sad is that we’ll look on Wikipedia for our answers instead of asking a real person who is just 10 feet away.
But regardless of my ignorance, I have such a respect for these people. Maybe it’s because I know what it’s like to be part of a religion that most people think is insane, or because they were like totally all over the green movement before it was even trendy. If I were them I would be gloating about all the suckers who are just finally coming around to buying local and eating organic. But that’s probably why I’m not Amish…
Anyway. We’ve also been to Atlantic City (not quite the religious experience), Baltimore and New York. And they’re all within driving distance! So like I said, even though the west coast is obviously where it’s at, the east has it’s gems too. Tomorrow we are going to shuffle off to Buffalo, and hopefully hit up Niagra Falls. I don’t have a passport though. Does anyone know if I need one? I know, my life is really rough. Day trips and weekday getaways. But somehow I’ll struggle through it.
I love you all. Here are some pictures of me trying to embrace the east coast. And because I never post pictures, I’m posting a ton. Because there’s a life lesson to be learned and that is: when it rains, it pours.
Brace yourself for show and tell:
Enjoying fine cuisine in Philly.
(And yes whoever that random person was who said that Geno’s is run by bigots, I think you might be right.)
Good morning BALTIMORE! And this guy who has obviously spent a considerable amount of time on his boat. I sang that song no less than 100 times in the two days we were there, then made a car full of people try to find Charm City Cakes, which by the way, is not open to the public.
What’s that? You want one more REALLY good one for the road? YES! Ok, here you go.
Alison and Sprinkles