In October of 1980, a little more than a year after we got married, Susie and I embarked on a 10 states in 8 days Road trip, across the North East. We traveled in our new 1980 Honda Civic, and saw the Old Man in the Mountain in New Hampshire, went to the top of White Face Mountain in New York State, and made our first visit to Amish Country in Pennsylvania. On that first visit, we stayed in a small place in the town of Intercourse, PA called the Intercourse Village Inn. We spent one rainy night there, and we have memories of the sound of rain and the clip clop of Amish horses as we went to sleep that night.
As our family was growing, we made yearly trips to this area, usually every fall. Over the years, probably 10-15 yearly trips to see things like the Strasburg Rail Road, the Choo Choo Barn, to eat at places like Miller’s Smorgasbord, and to probably stay in 10 to 12 different hotels and motels in the immediate area.
As the kids got older, the trips stopped, but Susie always had memories of the great furniture we saw that was built by the Amish and the Mennonites in this area. About 15 years ago, we came back and purchased the dining room set that Susie had looked at for years, but that was the last time we were in this area, until today.
Susie just had a big birthday this Memorial Day Weekend, and I thought she might get a kick out of returning to an area we spent a lot of time in over the years, even though we hadn’t been here for years. So today, we traveled over for a couple of days from Ocean City to spend two nights visiting Amish Country. We’re once again staying in Interourse, PA, this time at the Best Western Intercourse Village Inn and Suites. Does that name sound familiar? Yep, it’s the same place we stayed at on that first visit, almost 37 years ago, but like so much else in the area, it’s changed a lot!
Things have changed and so have we, so for Susie and I, this may be our last trip to the area. We ate tonight at Millers, and it was as we remembered, but an “all you can eat” buffet is no longer who we are. Areas that we remember as quiet little shops, are now huge shopping centers. Hell, there’s even a Target on Route 30!
But, if you get off of the beaten path, and on the side roads, there still are places that we remember. Places that I can still see a much smaller version of our kids at. Places that still transport us back to a time when we were all younger.
So, will this be our last trip to this area? As they say, Never say Never, but we kind of think it will. Urban civilization has moved closer to the area, more and more farms are now housing developments, and there are less and less of the places we remember from our younger days. As I said, Never say Never, but if this is our last trip to the area, it’s kind of poetic that our visits to this area are bookended by staying at the same place on our first and our last visit!
Happy Birthday Susie…let the Birthday Week Celebration continue!