Thursday, February 26, 2004

I was telling this story to Cassie and we decided that it was worth sharing. It happened the summer before I entered 7th grade, so it was a while ago.

When my dad was little, his family had gone on a trip to Berlin, OH, about 45 minutes away from my house. Berlin is also commonly called "Amish Country," collectively with some of the other towns surrounding it. He remembered going to a cheese factory and seeing how cool making cheese was.

Of course, he wanted to share this with his children.

We drove to Berlin and had lunch at this place called the Chalet in the Valley, where everyone was dressed in those little Swiss (Leiderhosen?) outfits and yodeling music was playing in the background. Interesting. Then we headed for the greatly-anticipated Cheese Factory.

When we got there, to our dismay, we found that they no longer gave tours, but you could stand in the gift shop that smelled like sour milk and look through a window at some big vats of cheesy stuff. So we poked around, and my brother found a phamplet about a chocolate factory where you can watch them make the candy. My parents say sure, and we get back in the van and when we pull up at the address, we see a huge old house with a sign on the side. We go in, and wouldn't you know it, we're in a big candy store with a small window to a room where an Amish woman is stirring a pot of chocolate.

I remember thinking, at least this place doesn't smell.

Again, someone finds a phamplet. For what? For the World's Largest Amish Buggy! How thrilling! I can't believe I've lived my whole life without knowing I lived so near such an amazing sight. We drive, and this time end up at a huge furniture and antiques store. This time, the window idea from the previous stops been eliminated, and you can walk right up to the buggy, which is, simply, and Amish buggy: a big black box with wheels. This just happens to be the largest one one Earth.

That was the end of the day; we finally gave up and went home. Well, maybe we didn't give up, maybe no one went to the phamplet display or something. I don't know. It was a weird day and definitely one of the weirdest family trips I've ever taken.

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