Amish Country in central Pennsylvania.
There we were. Rolling up in a dirty white mini-van with three kids. Empty bags of Chick-Fil-A littering the car. Periodic outbursts of cursing at the GPS. Blasting Weird Al and the Wiggles. Holla.
That's quite enough, Lydia.
Cap'n Coupon and I decided on Amish country because:
- I have always wanted to be Amish. I like the hats. And how they all hate Fancy. Sorry, I mean things that are fancy. [Editor's Note: Right. Yeah. *That's* what you meant. Snitch. -Kate]
- It's only a few hours from where we live.
- It was supposed to be affordable. [Apparently we can waste copious amounts of money wherever we go.]
Clark GriswoldThe Cap'n loves him some wholesome, family fun.
- An amusement park called Dutch Wonderland advertises on the Disney Channel and my children became obsessed with the idea of going there.
- We wanted a vacation that would be all about the kiddos.
Hawk quickly became obessed with something, too. The use of public bathrooms. Where ever we went, he wanted to take a dump on a communal and unsanitary public crapper. The historic train station at the Strasburg Railroad? Dump. The pretzel factory? Poopers. Dutch Wonderland? Oh man, we were there all day so he went like four times. Every restaurant we walked into? Why, of course! Gas stations? Even Yesser. Because the nastier the public restroom, the more he wanted to
defecate in add his illustrious charm to it. And of course, he only wanted to use the men's room which meant that the Cap'n had to accompany him. Into 137 different public restrooms. At the height of tourist season. In steamy August. And if there's one thing my husband hates, it's taking the kids into a public rest room. As you may recall, my husband's reluctance to take the kids to the bathroom resulted in a rather unpleasant trip to Five Guys a couple of years ago.
I am fairly certain that the Amish don't do shots. Or express their creativity through the painting of pictures of dogs playing poker. Or allow their children to play with dollar store Barbie dolls dressed as Amish people. These places may have been authentically Amish at one time. Or owned by Amish people who understood that tourists who come on buses from New Jersey enjoy buying crap like t-shirts that say "I was kissed between Paradise and Intercourse, PA!!" But it felt authentically Jersey to me. Like I was in a shop on the boardwalk near Seaside Heights. Except for the straw hats. That were made in China.
It was the cow that upset me.
Her name is Bossie. And she is a statue. This fake cow is milkable. A milkable statue. And all day long, small children come up to her and grab her udder and aggressively milk her and their parents are all like: "DO IT MORE, Little Precious! MILK THAT COW! Oh! Wait! I wanna get a picture!" And the whole time, there's Bossie with this expression on her face, like she wants to silently scream but can't because she's a statue. And I was like 'What the hell is going on here? Won't someone stop this madness?!" And no one did.
And then Thumbelina went over and milked the cow, and I was all "NOOOOOO! STOOOOPPPP!" And she got mad at me because I wouldn't take her picture. And when I asked her if milk came out, she said no. It was dirty water. And then I threw up in my hand.
We left the day after Dutch Wonderland, exhausted and with much less money in our savings account. As we were driving home, we asked the kids what was their favorite part of their Perfect Family Vacation. When they could be bothered to lift their eyes from the DVD screens in the back of then van, they blinked at us vacantly. They thought about it for a while. There was some nose breathing.
Then Hawk said: "I wanna go home and play Wii."
You're welcome, children. Next year Daddy and I are going to Dublin . . . alone.
ps: Weird Al Yankovic had it right. He always does.
(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010