Monday, June 13, 2011

Weekend Shenanigans

We got away for the weekend. Whatever that means. Not sure I can get away from what's plaguing me since it seems to follow me everywhere I go. Nonetheless, it was a really wonderful weekend spent with my amazing husband. There aren't really enough adjectives to describe how much I love this man. For that I am thankful abundantly.

The weekend started around 3:15 on Friday afternoon when Ray surprised me by coming home early! He said I needed to have my bags packed as the bus was leaving at 3:30. We were out the door around 4:00. We're pretty good at meeting our goals. Hah.

Off to Amish country we went! We dream of new bedroom furniture. But considering we bought a house, spent a load fixing various issues and renovated and furnished about 6-7 rooms all in one year, we know it's probably a pipe dream to purchase right now. But since all we have are dreams right now, we added another one to the list: Amish-made bedroom furniture.

Here is one of the contenders:

Our desire is to own furniture that will last us a lifetime and be strong enough to pass through generations. No particle board allowed! We're looking for a king bed, two nightstands and a long dresser without the mirror.

We drove the 2ish hours to Shipshewana, Indiana and had dinner at this fine establishment in South Bend. The main reason we ate there was because 1. the pickings were limited  and 2. two of my friends were joking about this place the other day as we waited in line for our $1 Jimmy Johns subs. I'd never seen nor heard of this place before, so we had to give it a go. Cheap, acceptable Italian food. Not raving about it but satisfied the need. I'd give it a 3 on Yelp. I'd go back, but I won't be knocking down the doors for another taste. Chipotle, yes. Fazoli's, no.

After being completely lazy resting Friday night, we set out Saturday morning with plenty of energy. Until. we. got. to. Amish. country. We drove about 15 miles to get there and realized that we didn't fit the bill for usual visitors. We either needed to completely change our eating habits to that of country fried steaks and biscuits, or we needed to drive a buggy like the Amish. Don't even get me started on being a vegetarian in Amish country. I have no photos of them as I feel weird about photographing people who don't even believe in technology. We saw a good 50 buggies while we were there.

We found a place for lunch which was a huge tourist trap. We knew it going in, but with limited options for me, I conceded. Das Dutchman Essenhaus it was. Here are some photos of this homely lovely establishment.

This was my husband telling me to "smell the bread" to which I replied, "I will be photographing this!" Look at that nostril flare!
This happy husband grew up just a short drive from Amish country, Pennsylvania-- the Pennsylvania Dutch region. Apple butter runs through his blood.
We walked the shops, bought a very large and delicious pretzel to share from a very Amish lady, read about the Amish in their "People's Exchange", biweekly publication, and scoped out furniture. These slow, small towns are just not typical Wilson favorites. The pace is too slow for us and we just aren't chachkie hoarders. As a matter of fact, we can't stand "things" to clutter our house. That's the same reason most of our souvenirs from traveling the world come in the form of Christmas ornaments so they are stored away all year and only come out during December. We'll see about this Christmas. December will forever be changed for us.

We vetoed the idea of watching an Amish love story play for like $25/person! They're simple people but sure know how to make a buck out of the tourists. We headed to downtown Elkart on Sunday afternoon and experienced something special. They had a street fair and boy was it eventful. Every stereotype was present at this lovely event. Not only was every single unwed 16-24 year old girl pregnant, but she also (likely) had a kid in tow! Nothing irks me more than seeing girls who, oops... were knocked up and weren't even trying! Evidence #8647 that the world is not fair. Perfectly respectable, married, educated, family here just waiting for a freaking miracle and these girls are eating funnel cakes and shacking up in the back of pickup trucks just populating the freaking country. Super. No photos of this totally trashy experience. We did not purchase sand art, have our faces painted, or buy cheap Hawaiian dresses in the middle of the Midwest... but we did do this really classy thing:

Walk through a drive-up ATM!
What happens when you parks blocks away, the fair requires a $1 entry fee, you have no money in your wallet and the closest ATM only has a drive-up ATM? Why this, of course!
Off we went to find dinner. The problem was finding something in the heart of the Midwest I could eat. I wanted something more substantial than empty carbs. That eliminated Olive Garden, Applebees, Texas Roadhouse and most other diner-ish places around our hotel. That was as classy as it got in this area. I wanted Mexican food. Per usual, I was disappointed with the pickings. Two restaurants came up after a quick Google search but neither were acceptable for vegetarian options. So that meant we drove about 12 miles to the nearest Chipotle to suit my needs. I have a very patient husband. And I <3 Chipotle. It seriously might be my favorite meal on the planet.

The next day we set out to the Michigan "beach" lakeshore. The only problem... the weather. We switched our plans and decided on the next best alternative: wine tasting. We found ourselves at the first winery, Tabor Hill in Buchanan, Michigan. In case you're keeping track, we crossed over to Michiana (what they refer to as the areas bordering Michigan and Indiana). We arrived early because we're ambitious boozers.

We took a wine tour and had 6 tastings. We purchased a bottle of their Grand Mark and carried on our way to the second winery, Round Barn in Baroda, Michigan. It was located about 1/2 mile down the road and was indeed located inside a round barn. Rather than taste more wine, we were much like sniffing dogs drawn to the large BBQ underneath their brewery! That lured us in and we both had a glass of beer-- myself the IPA and Ray the German Kirsch. Along with those came their veggie burger (yes, I love these people) and a bratwurst for the husband.

A beautiful 65-70ish day in Michigan.
After drinking our beers and finishing lunch, we headed to a small town on the coast, Union Pier. It was mostly a private beach but we were allowed access to the shore. We took advantage although donning bathing suits wasn't in the cards for the breezy day.
What a relaxing weekend with the husband. We've been trying to get away when weekends permit just to take the edge off this no-baby sting. It works for minutes at a time and I'm thankful for whatever I can get at this point.

It's Monday. Oh joy.


Becky said... [Reply to comment]

I love Chipotle too!

ASP said... [Reply to comment]

YAY! for getting away from the city for a breath of fresh air. I'm originally from Northwest Indiana so I know all about the Amish (even though they're a few hours a away) and I'm well aware of the stereotypes that surround being in small towns out there. It's ridiculous and so incredibly unfair how many teen pregnancies seem to saturate these areas. O's birthparents are from Indiana, and while they chose adoption for her, I'm sure they would fall into the stereotypical category if you didn't know who they were when J was pregnant. My husband says that we need to move to IN and drink some of the water there (yeah, if it were really that easy) because every.single.time. I talk to O's bm, she tells me of another girl that she knows is pregnant. Insane, and again, so unfair. Anyway, another thing about taking pictures of Amish, I've always heard that if they think if their picture is taken, it steals their souls. Not sure if this is a wives tale (I have one for everything ;) or really the truth. I know they don't like their pictures taken, especially without being asked. You and your hubby are so cute together! I love his flared nostrils--me and my siblings are the best nostril flare'ers evvvver. ;) Thanks for sharing your weekend! Oh, and I'm making 'your' green peppers for dinner tonight! ;)

d.a.r. said... [Reply to comment]

What a fun weekend!! I am so glad you guys got to get away and breathe a little.

And c'mon! You cannot beat Fazoli's breadsticks, haha.

Dianna said... [Reply to comment]

I am eating Chipotle for lunch as I read this story. Looks like a nice and interesting time.

Solange, Nik and Caitlin said... [Reply to comment]

Yay! I'm so glad you had a great weekend. It's so cool that you were in Indiana and Michigan this past weekend. Super jealous of all the traveling you get to do.