Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Girls Trip to Lancaster, PA!

So Diana and I had a wonderful long weekend with Lea and Sam to wrap up April Vacation Week!  We decided to do a fun Girls' Road Trip which included some education and cultural lessons as well as many belly laughs, delicious food and relaxation!

I chose this destination as my parents took my brother and me when we were young and it ended up being our favorite family vacation.  We loved the people and the food and the location is just so beautiful!  Lea was so happy that I came up with the idea and planned our itinerary and we made it so successful that we agreed we will be doing this once a year and sometimes including our full families :)

Here is what this trip looked like.....

Day 1- Thursday

We left Windham around 5:40am.  Diana and I stopped at Dunks for drinks and snacks for all and then picked up Lea and Sam.  The ride would take approximately 6.5 hours but we knew we would make several bathroom breaks and planned for a 7-7.5 hour trip.  We actually did it in 7 hours and 15 minutes with about 4 stops!

We started the trip with lunch right outside of Lancaster at a historic restaurant called 
John Wright's Store and Restaurant in Wrightsville PA.
You can check them out  HERE

They boast a beautiful, casual dining experience in a restored warehouse along the Susquehanna River.  They even have a pizza patio that is open seasonally- we were inside this day due to the showers outside but we could still see everything and it was beautiful!

Their homemade salsa (below) and guacamole were to die for!

For lunch, I had their roasted beet and wild green salad and had soft shell crab on top- so  yummy! (I am all about trying the foods of the area and soft shell crab is not something we have at home!)

 After lunch, we hit Turkey Hill Ice Cream Experience which was only a few miles down the road.  That is where our laughs started and never stopped for the remainder of the weekend.  Our favorite part of this tour and experience was the ice cream samples- Lea tried chocolate and I tried Peanut Butter Ripple and then we all tried Crazy Swirl - they were all delish and kept us giggling :)

Oh and we didn't know that they make tea too!  I loved the Diet Green Tea

The girls got to milk mechanical cows and also create their very own ice cream flavors, virtually, on computers- cute

After this brief experience, we decided to head over to Lancaster to check into our hotel- the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square.  We really got the best of both worlds with this trip.  Lea's hubby booked us this beautiful hotel which is located in the heart of the city of Lancaster.  We got a true taste of both the country and the city on this trip!  

After checking in and getting settled, the girls demanded that we hit the pool and so we did.  While they swam, we chatted and relaxed...

After swimming, we headed back to the room, freshened up and Uber'd over to dinner at 
Cork and Cap Restaurant in the historic Cork Factory Hotel.
Check them out HERE

We all loved our meals and LOVED the cheese board we started with- we got to sample brie, bleu, cheddar and gouda cheeses along with delicious truffle honey, olives and crostini.  It was the perfect starter and paired well with Lea's and my wine.  We chose a California Cab of course called Sebastian.  For dinner, we both had the roasted chicken which came with broccolini and roasted potatoes.  Once I spotted truffle mashed on the menu, I substituted my potatoes for the mashed- #canneverhavetoomuchtruffle ;) 

More laughs ensued as we started thinking the folks down here were very confused by us...maybe overwhelmed...maybe we just talk too fast...I don't know but it sure was funny!  After dinner, we Uber'd back to the hotel and crashed for the night!

Day 2- Friday

We did SO MUCH this day! 

Diana and I were up early so I took her down to the pool but not before we had some drama with the elevator/or the effort to not use it.  I am claustrophobic and really try to avoid elevators at all costs.  It is sometimes comical when I am visiting clients in Boston and they are on a high floor in a sky rise- definitely can get a good work out or try and jump in with other people- just don't want to be by myself.  Anyway- I digress!  

Diana thought I was crazy when I told her we were taking the stairs down (6 floors) to the lobby to grab a coffee before heading back to the 5th floor for the pool.

We started down and because the hotel has construction going on, we ended up in the "back of the house"....meaning the back of the kitchen.  A lovely woman who worked there was kind enough to walk us to the lobby- funny but my heart was beating so fast!

I grabbed my coffee and realized that the stairs were going to be so complicated and I asked (my soon to be friend Louis) if he would ride the elevator with us- that would make two people (before 7am) who thought I was crazy- ha ha!

Louis was wonderful.  He rode the elevator up with us and walked us to the pool.  Diana just dove right in and laughed to herself.

She then proceeded to swim...and dance of course...she knows when she practices her bar work that I get excited...so she humored me :)

I read my book for a bit until Lea and Sam came down.  We regaled them with my crazy tale and then all hit the gym for a quick workout...Happy Happy!

After that, we headed to the room to shower and get ready for our big day.  No day starts, in Lea's world, without some strong iced tea!  Had to snap a pic...more laughs

Then we were off!  We walked around the city for a bit....

and then found this cute little shop where we had breakfast.  It was called The Bake House.  You can find them HERE 

 Lea and I got the most amazing breakfast sandwich- bacon, egg, cheese and tomato relish on sourdough...we pretty much inhaled it!

 After breakfast, we hit the famous Central Market.  Have you heard of Central Market?

From their website: Designated as a market town in 1730, the City of Lancaster is home to Lancaster Central Market, the oldest, continuously running public farmers’ market in the country. More than 60 local vendors call the beautiful 1889 Market House home three days each week, when it opens its doors to welcome the surrounding community. A step inside is sure to highlight all that Lancaster County has to offer. A walk through its aisles will find an abundance of produce from the deeply nutrient-rich soils native to the local landscape; an array of prepared foods representing the proud cultural diversity of the county; and locally sourced meat, poultry, cheeses, and more.

Let me tell you friends, it is all this AND more!
Check them out online HERE but seriously the website doesn't do it justice- it is an AMAZING place!  Everything is sooo fresh....the vendors are so grateful and friendly and we loved every piece of cheese...fudge...flower and more....we walked around in awe!

After the market, we hit a few more shops downtown including what ended up being the girls' favorite and will go down as part of our legacy....

Rainbow.....it was the most peculiar mix of 80's and hip hop clothing and the girls were wow'd!  They ended up getting matching track suits and Lea and I couldn't get over how soft the material was.  Diana also got a neon orange sweatshirt that is really cute.

After that, we hit an Irish Pub for lunch (thanks to the recommendation of my elevator friend Louis at the Marriott).  Lea could not stop talking about Rainbow and said before we headed out to the country for the afternoon, we needed to go back and get matching track suits too- she wasn't kidding- I was dying!

 We had a lovely lunch at Annie Bailey's.  You can check them out HERE

The wedge salad was yummy and the bacon was the best I ever had- nice and chewy and an awesome maple flavor!

This girl was so excited about her cole slaw!

Another "cool" shot of the sweatsuits ;)

 and so after lunch...you can guess where we headed....

Yep and I can't believe I let Lea talk me into getting the sweatsuits....and NOPE no pics to prove it- ha ha!!!

So...after this 2nd visit...we headed back to the hotel to grab our car and head out to the country for our main event.  We visited Plain N Fancy Farm for a horse and buggy tour courtesy of Aaron and Jessica's Buggy Rides....it was our favorite part of our trip!  Check them out HERE

It was so cool to hear about the Amish and the farmers...we actually were hungry to learn more and wish there were more stories but we soaked up what we heard and also experienced more bouts of laughter...

The first laughing fit came when our tour guide walked us into a working barn.  He was telling us how they feed the cows this corn pictured below.  There were pigeons flying freely in there and if you have been reading for awhile then you know one of my biggest fears is birds.  Well one flew a little to fast and a little to close for my liking so I jumped out of the barn and the guide snapped, "What's the matter!?" I explained that I hated birds and he just grunted...laughing fit #1 ensued

On our buggy ride back, our horse decided to do #2 (it is the nicest and cleanest way I can say this on the blog)...and I was the ONLY ONE who saw it...everyone ended up smelling it though...I couldn't look away fast enough..it was like it was happening in slow motion...so...laughing fit #2 ensued and by this time, our guide and the other guests thought something was wrong with me....I am in tears laughing just writing this...I guess you had to be there but do you know how hard you laugh when you are not supposed to be laughing?  Oh it is awful!  We did make it though..it was so much fun!

Next stop was the Gift Shop next door.  We wandered around for an hour and picked up some cute trinkets for our families...they had so many authentic Amish trinkets and fun baubles.

Then we headed across the way to the restaurant at Plain and Fancy Farm called The Smokehouse.  You can check them out HERE 

They had authentic barbecue and Amish fair- we enjoyed some different meats with various sauces to try along with traditional sides like corn fritters, chow chow and cinnamon apples.  It was a delicious meal where we continued to laugh about our latest escapades...

and I made everyone share the Shoefly Pie for dessert.  I remember having this when I was a kid and my family liked it so much that my mom started making it at home!  It the traditional Amish recipe chalk full of molasses!  Lea said it would've been better with chocolate chips in it and we also split the brownie sundae to make her happy too :)

 After dinner, we headed back to our hotel and Wayz (our new fave app) took us through some country roads instead of on the main drag.  We actually enjoyed it because we got to see more beautiful farm land and the prettiest houses that we wouldn't see had we been on the main road.  It was then that we enjoyed one more laughing fit of the night!

Once we got back to the hotel, we got into our pajamas and actually watched the documentary that got me started on researching and reading all about the Taconic Crash in 2009.  I am more intrigued now to learn about the people behind the reports and now I am not the only one fascinated- I got Lea hooked and she ended up reading me articles for much of our way home Saturday.  (BTW Jackie Hance is my new hero- she is the pillar of strength and I highly recommend her book, "I'll See You Again.")

  We enjoyed a bottle of Inkblot and dove into some of the fudge we got at the market while we watched the documentary.  (We used the pretty Lilly glasses that Janie gave me a few weeks ago- my new fave!)

After that, as you can guess, I read for a bit and crashed.

Day 3- Saturday

Our final day.  We started with breakfast downstairs and paid one more visit to Central Market for a few more treats.  

Diana pointed these apples out to me- she knew I would be excited to see the name of my blog :

and I had to snag some lilacs- my favorite smell in the world!

Then, and I kid you not, we waited for Rainbow to open so Sam could get the same sweatshirt as Diana.  We were parked on the street when they opened the store and they were looking at us like "Oh boy...they're back!" Yes...one more laughing fit ensued on our long trek home!

It took us much longer to get home because we took our time...made several stops...including lunch in Connecticut.  Then we hit an accident on the Mass Pike and were a bit delayed but still got home by 7:30 which was great!  It was nice to spend some time with the fam and catch them up on our trip before heading to bed!

It was a wonderful and memorable little getaway full of many laughs...education and new experiences and I am so glad we did this.  Laughing is such a great stress relief- I am so glad we were able to get this little break- good for the soul and completely refreshed!

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