We arrived here at Berlin RV Park & Campground in Berlin, Ohio last Wednesday after a long 300 mile trip from Lewiston, NY (near Buffalo). This is a nice clean park with sites that are well spaced and has full hookups. The rate here was $182.70/week which comes out to about $26/day, which is a bargain, especially considering what we just paid in New York.
Holmes County and the city of Berlin is considered to be the center of the largest Amish population in the world with an estimated 36,000 Amish living in the five county region surrounding Holmes County. The area and people are similar, but different (if that makes sense) from the Amish settlement we visited in Lancaster, Pa. The topography in Lancaster is relatively flat whereas it's extremely hilly here in Northeast-central Ohio. We've noticed subtle differences between the two communities such as the Amish here use bicycles for transportation, use tractors on their farms and seem to be somewhat more liberal than their Pennsylvania cousins. There are about twelve different sects among the Amish and Mennonites here in Ohio with their lifestyles ranging from very strict to somewhat liberal. The Amish here seem to be more diversified with less dependence on Agriculture and are self employed in business ventures and work in the private sector.
We have spent the majority of our time here riding through the countryside visiting the many Amish business establishments and have really enjoyed the delicious food at several of their restaurants. Not sure, but I think we all might have gained a few pounds since being here. We also went to the Amish Country Theater that presented a country flavored comedy variety show that poked good natured fun at the Amish and featured a lively bluegrass band and ventriloquist Ken Groves, who was hilarious.
Sunday, we drove Bailey to the airport in Cleveland to meet our daughter, Pam, to travel with her back home. Pam had a good flight and arrived on time but the return trip was not as smooth. Pam's husband, Rick, works for US Air and consequently their immediate family get to fly free, but are subject to standby limitations. This means they get to fly on unsold seats on the flight, but if the flight is sold out, they get bumped off the flight. Well, that's what happened on their originally planned flight at 1:30. The next flight out was at 3:30 but looked iffy too. As it worked out, Pam and Bailey barely made the flight, getting the last two seats on the flight and arrived back in Charlotte around 5PM. Needless to say, we have enjoyed having Bailey with us the last three weeks and have made many wonderful memories that will last the rest of our lives. We sure were sorry to see her leave and will take some time getting used to her not being here.
Wednesday, we're pulling out heading to Shipshewana, Indiana. We have reservations at Shipshewana South RV Park for a week where we plan to visit our good friends, Ed & Linda Allison, who are our snowbird buddies we met while in Florida for the winter. This is an Amish area as well and is also the RV manufacturing capitol of the country. We plan to have a few upgrades made to our RV while there and also plan to visit the Amish communities and also tour several RV manufacturing facilities.
|Entrance to our RV park here in Berlin, Ohio|
|Our site # 23|
|Hershberger's on road 557, a really cool establishment that has an animal petting area, grocery store with fresh produce, and a general merchandise store. Their fried pies will make your eyes roll back in your head!|
|Bailey petting a Saint Bernard pup.|
|Did I mention Hershberger's had fried pies? They were flying off the shelf about as fast as they put them out. We skimped and only bought a dozen!|
|Guggisberg Cheese Factory and store. The facility had a Bavarian German theme due to their German heritage.|
|This pretty lass was dressed in a Bavarian theme as were her counterparts working behind the counter.|
|View of their cheese manufacturing facility. The yellow containers in the foreground are molds the cheese is formed in.|
|There were many cuckoo clocks for sale.|
|Cooler where some of their products were for sale. We bought a pack of Baby Swiss, which is their most famous type.|
|I took this picture to illustrate how hilly the terrain is here. This hill is pretty much typical. The truck sure knew it was a steep hill when we were pulling our RV in this area.|
|Amish ladies on bicycles and horse and buggy headed out of town.|
|Shot of the parking lot at Mrs. Yoders Kitchen. This is our favorite restaurant here and is obviously a favorite of the locals too.|
|Beautiful plant known as Cockscomb. It's called that because it resembles the comb of a rooster. This was at a Amish roadside produce stand where we purchased some tomatoes, cantaloupes, honey and beets. Oh, we purchased some of the Cockscomb too. Crickett made a pretty arrangement with it and have it here in our RV.|
|Close up of the Cockscomb|
|Amish school. They are definitely different from the ones we saw in Pennsylvania.|
|Our neighbor told us about an annual Amish auction in Farmerstown, about ten miles from here. This is a shot of a small number of the buggies we saw there. The horses were in stables in the barn or tied to a rail in the shade.|
|Inside one of two auction tents. There many beautiful Amish items for auction. They had a flea market area outside with some not so beautiful items. The auction is held once a year and is widely attended.|
|Some of the Amish furniture to be auctioned off.|
|A corn crib used to store corn on a farm we visited.|
|A field of some type grain thats been cut and stacked. I've seen pictures of hay and grain stacked like this before, but first time I've seen it. I assume it's stacked like this so it can be loaded onto a wagon by hand.|
|Lehman's Hardware in Kidron, Ohio. A truly unique store where they cater to Amish needs. The store is actually much larger than it appears in the picture. There is so much unusual merchandise for sale that it would take quite a bit of time to take it all in. They have a lot of regular merchandise as well. If you're ever in the area, this is a cool place to visit. They do have a web site and do a mail order business. The link is highlighted in the name above.|
|Need a litter box?|
|Or how about a bell? This bell is very large. I would estimate about two foot across the bottom.|
|Or, how about an Amish hat?|
|Crickett found a bonnet. You don't see those every day!|