With the Autumn foliage at its beautiful peak in Ohio, we decided to go on a day trip to Amish Country with family. There was a lot to see and do, so much that we plan to revisit next month to experience some places we needed to pass up this day. There is something for everyone: good food, beautiful countryside, a variety of specialty shops, etc… and Amish life all around.
Our first stop on this fine fall day was Pearl Valley Cheese Inc in Fresno, Ohio. When we arrived, our family was already digging into some cheese, meat, and veggie crackers while sitting in the conveniently located gazebo provided for guests just outside the cheese factory. One of our family members was enjoying a wooden swing under the sunlight with a lightly crisp breeze blowing through her golden hair. It was a pleasant delight for us to get out of the car and be greeted with food options to try and the lovely sight of mom swinging with a smile. After catching up a little with family, we went in to find some of our own late morning snacks; we were pleased with our selections of party snack mix, asiago cheese dip with parmesan, spinach, and artichokes, and a small bag of mild cheese nibble samplers. After our yummy snack time in the gazebo and visiting with family (one being dad, who chose to sit on a cow statue), we traveled onward to Berlin Antique Mall and directly next door, Berlin Craft Mall. We were especially tickled to find a Wolfman doll and Frankenstein doll at the Berlin Craft Mall made by the same lady who made our Dracula doll we had picked up at the Prairie Peddler Festival just under a month ago. We also chose to purchase a hanging owl made out of grapevines as an addition to our outdoor Thanksgiving decorations.
Our family had highly anticipated visiting Lehman’s Hardware Store, which is known for selling non-electric tools, homesteading supplies, and oil lamps. So, we headed to Kidron, Ohio and got to observe Amish buggies and homes along our path with Lehman’s as our destination. Shopping there, I was tickled to find a cookie cutter in the shape of each State in which I have lived. I couldn’t resist taking them home with me. With our mutual love of sharks, the shark cookie cutter came home with us too. I have some baking and more baking to do! A convenient traveling straw was a practical purchase. There were also a vast assortment of fun sock designs we enjoyed viewing, as we both have a thing for socks. The extra special treat for us though on this visit was the wood carving artwork on display and getting to meet the artist, Paul Weaver! The details and the 3-D art are magnificent pieces that make one’s mouth drop with their exquisite design. One of the pieces we know took the artist over 30 hours. Weaver told us to look for the dog in the window of one of the pieces, and he shared later that he had a dog like that. Seeing Weaver’s artwork and getting to meet and visit with him was such a pleasant surprise!
By this point, we were all hungry and chose to eat at Mrs Yoder’s Kitchen in Mt. Hope. While waiting for our seats, a couple of us decided to walk over to Mt. Hope Hardware, which was like a much smaller version of Lehman’s. I picked up a guitar and musical note cookie cutters to add to future baking plans. Once we were seated, some of our family members chose the buffet and were quite satisfied with their meals, which included a salad and hot bar. One of them was especially happy with the chicken and beef options along with noodles. Two orders of roast platters and one order of a brisket platter were the other chosen meals at the table. All of us were pleased with our meals and could not clean our plates! We wanted to try their homemade blackberry pie, but did not have enough room; we thought this was a good problem.
We all wanted to see the “World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock”, so we traveled onward to Sugarcreek, “The Little Switzerland of Ohio”. Several people were crowded around waiting for the clock to strike at 5:30 pm, as the cuckoo clock becomes quite lively with the ringing of a bell initiating the display, followed by Swiss polka music while a band plays and a couple dances. We got several photos and some videos of the clock activities. There were a couple of shops nearby we noticed were open, so we walked across the street to Kaleidoscope Custom Goods, where we found a handmade ceramic ghost wearing an early-20th-century style derby/bowler hat making him quite the cool ghost and a round glass ornament someone crocheted around with purple, orange, and gray yarn; first time for us to see that unique crochet project idea. Our last stop was next door, Secret Garden Inc, which feels like entering another world of fairies, horses, gnomes, and Victorian decorations. We took several photos in this shop, as it was aesthetically appealing. The items for sale that stood out to us most were the purses and wallets that looked like book covers. Well, that’s a wrap for our pleasant day trip to Amish Country; we will return.