Yes, it is!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Day Trip to Arthur

We went to see Arthur yesterday.  No, not the person.  A town in Illinois.  Arthur is an Amish community sort of northeast of where we live. Beautiful people, beautiful countryside.  And good food.
We started out a it later than we had planned.  My mother-in-law, who is visiting from Florida, apparently did not get the memo that we were planning this day trip.  It still boggles me that she didn't have any idea what was going on yesterday morning.  We had discussed our plans with her on Friday evening.  The kids slept in a little bit so that put us about what should have been just about a half hour behind.  As the kids ate breakfast and got dressed, Tim and I got things together for the day.  Things like putting in ice into a cooler, putting drinks into a cooler, gathering a few snacks, putting stuff in the SUV, making sure the dogs are put in jail, etc.  There was a lot of noise and commotion.  Something was going on, right? 
Right before we set our feet out the door, Tim asked his mother if she was ready.  "Ready? Oh, where are we going? Oh, well, let me get ready."  My first thought, "Are you kidding me?"  No, she wasn't kidding as evidenced by the half hour she spent getting ready to go.  Another half hour delayed.  In the meantime, Tim and I had to find humor in it. Mom forgot the memo and was oblivious to the subsequent chaos of getting the family ready to go. Finally, we got on the road.  After awhile, I noticed that we were not going in the same direction as mapquest had showed.  I knew Tim had input the address in his GPS but where were we going?  Apparently, he decided that we needed to make a side trip to some sort of boating store in the middle of corn country, USA.  A boating store.  In the middle of corn fields.  We finally arrived there and it didn't look like a typical boat store. No wonder.  It was in the middle of never-ending rows of corn fields. I just wonder how much business the "store" gets. 
We finally got on our way to Arthur.  The drive was nice except with the "Are we there, yet?" every 30 seconds or so.  And "I'm hungry."  Grrr.  And guess who had to sit in the middle of it all in the back seat. Yep, you guessed right.  Grandma and Daddy were riding in peace in the front seats.
When we arrived in Arthur, the first thing I noticed was the abundance of horse and buggy parking.  Cool!  I even saw a utility trailed hooked up to a buggy and horse.  I would love to have seen that in action.  But alas, they were parked waiting for the rightful owner to return.

We walked through some of the shops before we went to Yoder's Kitchen for lunch.  Yoder's Kitchen was pretty good.  Real Amish and Mennonite cooked food.  The sweet tea was really good.  Of course, I'm a fan of sweet tea.  The next stop was Beachy's bulk foods.  We loaded up on some unique candies, pancake mix,  pretzel mix, rainbow popcorn and Amish noodles.  We even bought some of the locally grown produce.  The cinnamon roll was beautiful.  And delicious. 
We visited some of the Amish owned stores on the outskirts of Arthur.  The Amish made furniture is absolutely beautiful.  Too bad we didn't have our utility trailer.  We wanted to buy the swing.  And a dresser and a bookshelf.  It's a good thing we didn't have the trailer with us.  Otherwise, our trip would have set us back about a couple grand.  The furniture was expensive but it's built extremely well.  The last store we visited was called the Farm Market.  It was very nice and clean. And a bit more expensive.  Probably a more upscale Amish store.  Is there such a thing?
I loved visiting Arthur and I hope to go back sans kids.  I might even take the kids back in the Fall for their Pumpkin Patch. I've heard great things about it. 
After we left Arthur, we headed toward Taylorville.  Taylorville is where Tim's dad spent many summers during his boyhood.  Tim's grandmother was born and raised there until she married and moved away.  Tim's mom was very appreciative that we visited Taylorville so she could see where her now-deceased husband spent a lot of time during his childhood.  And Jackie asked if this was where her friend, Taylor, was from.  We told her that's where all the Taylors are made.  I'm sure we'll have some explaining to do soon.  

Other than the hot weather and occasionally cranky kids, it was a very nice day to visit Arthur and Taylorville and corn fields, USA.  I love visiting small, older communities.  I love the old buildings.  I love the beauty of the countryside. I love seeing all the animals. I love the inherently simplistic lives that the Amish and Mennonites seem to live.  I just love this kind of stuff.

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