display | more...

We returned to the motel on Harvest Drive to re-group and take in some local attractions. Four members of the eleven decided to nap, leaving me with an assortment of six guys (the adopted adult brothers in their 40's with their sons, ages 13 and 16, and my two sons, in their 20's.) I suggested the Intercourse Canning Company, the Intercourse Pretzel Factory, and The Quilt Museum at the Old Country Store, since they were all free admission, knowing none would get any votes. Then I mentioned KillerX: Home of Killer Hats, President James Buchanan's Wheatland, ending with the Strasburg Rail Road, which featured a Murder Mystery onboard an old steam locomotive, the only downside was the inclusion of a meal, and none of us were remotely hungry, plus it was pricey.

Confusion reigned until I pulled out my aces, the American Military Edged Weaponry Museum and the Rumspringa Brewing Company, both getting high votes from all. Off we went to the weapons museum first, which was small but well organized, including other paraphernalia of war, photographs, postcards, cigarettes, match books, patches, dog tags, head gear, language books, and flags...all labeled and mostly behind glass. The museum was run by an elderly man who started collecting as a teen and was now in his late 70's. Totally worth five dollars, I took lots of photos but on and off felt odd waves of sadness, or something close to sadness, that brought a lump to my throat. I mentioned the feeling, and several of the guys agreed, one saying, "Most of these weapons once were not this shiny or clean; they were bloody or muddy, saved or ended someone's life."

On the way to the brewery, the guys all decided to play miniature golf. I opted out since my sprained ankle was bothering me and I've paid my dues on miniature golf courses. Sat in a gazebo for awhile watching other people feed mallard ducks, enjoying the scent of flowering lavender that surrounded me. I picked a small handful, then wandered around taking photos. To say there was a clash of cultures would be inaccurate, more like a juxtaposition, an overlapping, odd but lovely surprises. There were Amish and Mennonite among us, at a distance and moving through: a playful young couple on the miniature golf course, the clip-clopping of buggy drivers of all ages, young children at the reins of a small open wagon led by miniature ponies, straw hats on the boys and some of the men, sheer white caps on the girls and women, ribbons untied.

Last stop was advertised as a local winery and microbrewery, with a tour and tasting, but turned out to be more of a souvenir and high-priced retail shop/cafe. My ankle was totally complaining by this time; some of the guys wanted food and a few of us wanted to at least try the beer. I wanted something to be good, but my preference is dark beer and not even the stout was worth the price they were asking. We raised a glass to Joe, then left, returning to the motel barely in time to freshen up for the traditional All-You-Can-Eat dinner buffet. The youngest boy and my husband balked at this and wanted a child's dinner of chicken nuggets and macaroni with cheese and a senior citizen hamburger meal with free dessert, respectively. It was the first time since we arrived that my husband sat next to me and I could tell he was agitated. I put my arm around his neck and said, "You're my favorite carnivore. If all you want is a hamburger, a yam with butter, and ice cream, that's perfectly fine."

By 9:30 pm, I had reached my limit of sociability and food intake. Six of the group were chain smokers and I couldn't handle any more of that either, so I quietly slipped into our room, watched the last half of the movie Red, falling asleep during the beginning of another movie. Last semiconscious act was to toss the remote to my youngest son. Such a long day, so close to Paradise.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.