We got up at 3:00 in the morning (arrgh!) and caught a flight to Akron, with a brief layover in Denver. In the Denver airport, I saw something that you don't see in California:
On the flight from Denver to Akron, a woman sitting next to Terry began asking her questions about Trooper. It turned out that the woman was also visually impaired, and had been thinking about getting a Guide Dog. So Terry spent the flight chatting with her seatmate, while I, as usual, spent my time staring out the window. On this flight, they had Wi-Fi, and while they charged money for Internet access, they offered a free Flight Track service, that displayed our location on a map, and that kept me happily occupied for the entire flight.
We picked up our rental car:
Its license plate (which was from Connecticut, of all places), was 210 ZUP, or as I pronounced it, "two tens up," which Terry and I agreed was a good blackjack hand.
We made our way out of the Akron/Canton metro area and into rural Ohio, where I took some of the pictures on the intro page. And soon we began to see evidence that we were entering Amish country:
...and sure enough, we began to see horse-drawn buggies driving down the road. The Amish, as a rule, don't like to have their pictures taken, so I never took any pictures of the buggies on the road - you'll just have to take my word that we saw many of them during the time we were there. But I did take this picture of several buggies parked in the parking lot of a local pizza/ice cream parlor:
At first, whenever we passed a buggy, I would roll down the window, so that Terry could hear the clip-clop of the horses as they passed by.
We stopped for dinner at an Amish restaurant, The Amish Door, that we had heard about and wanted to try. Before going to the restaurant, we made a short side trip to Mt. Eaton, which was just a few miles up the road.We didn't see Dr. Lehman, of course, although I did speak to a woman later in the week who said he still lives there - he's retired, and his son has taken over his practice. Another day, as we happened to be driving through Mt. Eaton again, I spotted this sign:
The restaurant was very good - what we in the big city would call "comfort food." Roasted chicken, meat loaf, pork chops, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, etc. Lots of kinds of salads, and all the vegetables were quite fresh. And I saw something on the menu that intrigued me - grape pie. I had never heard of that, so of course I had to order it. Picture a cherry pie, made with Concord grapes instead of cherries. Very tasty.
There was a plastic squeeze bottle on the table, the kind that you usually see in burger joints or diners, filled with ketchup and mustard. This one was filled with a light brown substance, which I initially took for Dijon mustard, until it occurred to me that Dijon wasn't the type of condiment you'd expect to find in an Amish restaurant. Then I noticed that a similar bottle on another table was labelled "Peanut Butter."
Peanut Butter? I squeezed some out onto my finger and took a taste. Yup... peanut butter. But not quite. It was much sweeter than ordinary peanut butter. It turned out to be a peanut butter spread, very popular among the Amish, and found at all Amish restaurants and food stores. It's made from peanut butter, marshmallow creme and syrup - sometimes corn syrup or sugar syrup, but sometimes, if you're lucky, maple syrup. Delicious. And deadly.
After dinner, I went into the bakery next door and picked up a present for Bob and Jean - a Shoo-Fly pie. This is a molasses pie with a crumb topping that's traditional in Pennsylvania Dutch cooking, and is also popular among the Amish. The Wikipedia article isn't very good, but here's a link to a web page with more information. My Mom tells the story that my Dad (who grew up in Pennsylvania) wouldn't marry her unless she learned to make Pecan pie and Shoo-Fly pie - so she did (not bad for a Jewish girl from New York City).
We then headed on to our resort - which we reached after some difficulty. First, a road was closed, requiring a detour which added a significant amount of time to the drive. And then my phone's battery, which had been drained by my constant use of its GPS, died a few miles short of our destination, leaving me to find my way on my own. I had to stop and ask for directions (yes, some men actually do that).
Here are a few pictures of the resort:
The Living Room
One additional nice feature of our unit was that it had a hot tub! When we lived in Marin County for two years, we had a hot tub in our back yard, and we've missed it since we moved back to L.A. It was nice to have one again for a few days - we went in it almost every night.
But one night, after I got out of the hot tub, as I was putting the cover back on, I slipped in some water on the floor. My left foot went left, and my right foot went right, and I went down - hard. My back slammed into the door so hard that the doorknob punched a hole in the wall. And I pulled a muscle in my groin, which hurt for a couple of weeks afterward.