Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Intercourse in Pennsylvania

“Honey, can we experience Intercourse in Pennsylvania,” I asked as I winked at George across the kitchen table.  “Why, of course we can, but aren’t you a bit frisky for this time in the morning?”  “Oh…no”, I replied, “I meant the town of Intercourse”.  “Oh”, replied George with a look of  disappointment in his eyes.

We quickly packed a lunch and took off for a day of exploration to Lancaster County, PA which is so famous for the huge and beautiful Amish farms and scenic landscapes. 

 George was so excited to see farmers out in the fields with horses pulling plows. 

 We stopped by a local farm and bought the best fruits and vegetables (and cheap) from a delightful young Amish young lady.  Passing buggies of families going into town gave us a real sense of being in Amish country.

As we pulled up into the city of Intercourse I chuckled because I just thought that to have a town named Intercourse in the middle of strict and religious Lancaster County was such an oxymoron.  The town was named such because it was the intercourse of two roads leading into town back in the 1800’s. Of course, they had to cash in on this funny play on a word, so instead of renaming the town, they built a city block of small shops and stores to sell to the busloads of tourists the latest Amish crafts, quilts and good food.  No tacky tee shirt stores or salt water taffy here…thank God!

They even had a band playing for the tourists
Fall decorations
Amish yarn
Amish quilt designs on stained glass wind chimes
On one of the brochures for the area was an ad to visit the Sturgis Pretzel Factory in Lititz, PA.  I really wanted to go to a pretzel factory so off we went with visions of huge pretzels in our future.  As we drove through the cute little town we spotted the giant pretzel outside the building and knew we had arrived.  The building is actually on the National Register of Historic Places. 
We excitedly gave them the $6 per person to learn how to make a handmade pretzel and shop tour.  Considering it only takes two seconds to make a pretzel and the tour was only in one small room, we knew this was only going to take us 15 minutes max.  I rolled out the doe and then he tells all of us to pick up both ends and cross them over and give them a swing.  Easier said than done but after a couple of tries I managed to get a pretzel that looked like a pretzel not a new animal from the black lagoon!  They didn’t let us bake them or eat them because of sanitary reasons.  The young tour guide showed us the original ovens where they baked the pretzels so long ago.  They are now made in a big warehouse somewhere in an adjoining town.  The company was started in 1861. They were the first commercial pretzel bakery in the US.  Did you know that the Pennsylvania Dutch believed that pretzels brought them good luck, so they had their children wear them around there necks on a string.

After the five minute tour of the wood fired ovens we were escorted into the gift shop and we purchased two bags of their delicious cinnamon coated pretzel sticks.  Wish I had purchased a case of them, they were that good.  We had them all eaten before we left the state!  Look at their website for more info.

As we drove home later that day I asked George if he liked Intercourse.  Of course, he answered…with a wink and smile on his face while crunching on cinnamon pretzels.
Happy travels,
Peggy (plus George & Coco)

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