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Ohio!!

I'm not sure what I thought about Ohio before we drove through it, but now that we have, I'm here to report that, at least on all the back roads we took, things are looking very lovely. Again, super neat and tidy, which may seem normal to some, but if you go out in the country much in Florida you are bound to see some pretty scruffy homes and properties. Seriously, we barely saw a one that fit that description!
The roads through the Amish country are rolling and the traffic looked mostly like this all of the way!
I had no idea about how much corn is grown there, which I think I mentioned before, but it bears repeating. There are loads of towns one can visit, however, our destination was Berlin, Ohio. Stopping first in Millersburg, we picked up a map of the area, which should we visit again, we will know much more about the surrounding communities. Millersburg has loads of antique shops, most of which were closed on Monday because they stay open on Sundays when the Amish shops are closed. I can't tell you the number of small towns with squares that looked similar to this one.
Traveling on Rt. 62, we arrived in Berlin at lunchtime, choosing to eat the buffet at an Amish restaurant, the name of which I've forgotten. I wanted to try everything! I am not a huge chicken fan but the Broasted chicken was terrific! As were all the puddings. The mashed potatoes with browned butter were addicting to a potato lover such as myself. Here's a recipe I found for that method of cooking chicken which I will definitely be trying myself.

Inside the restaurant quilts were hung for both decoration, and sound barriers, with the same quilt on either side of these panels. I learned that a local shop made them, so that is where we went after lunch.
I needn't tell you that Fall is a marvelous time for traveling; good weather and pumpkins everywhere!
In keeping with an Amish tradition, quilts are a big thing in these parts, including this "quilt garden" in front of the restaurant. Bonus points for an included buggy!
While I was shopping in the Helping Hands Quilt Shop, Bruce was kind enough to spend the time looking at the numerous quilts on display. Following that we visited a fantastic shop across the street--oh my goodness, it was such a wonderful surprise! Their website is pretty pathetic, but I can assure you their products were not!

From there we pressed on towards Akron, passing through several other small villages.
Every now and again, Bruce would take a road off the main one, for me to see more of the countryside which was beautiful. I was dying over these haystacks, or whatever you call them!
I read there are several sects of Amish, some of whom don't keep their farms particularly tidy. I did not see any of those, only pretty ones equipped with windmills as they choose not to have electricity.
Another thing I was so delighted with are the "Christmas trees" which became more plentiful when we got into New York. It's a cinch these folks don't go to gyms, instead, take a look at the woodpile on the right side of the photo...that must be some serious exercise!
We continued on our way, again with little to no traffic, even as we got closer to Akron;  I'd steered us to a road that although was four lanes, the traffic was very minor. I might mention here what an enormous gift having an iPad was. Oh my goodness, it was great being able to watch our every move, that is until I ran out of roaming data. Of course, I have no idea what that means to us, but the notice did appear while we were in New York. :)

Beside the road......a plane adjacent to a corn field!
Amazingly, the road I'd selected heading towards West Akron was perfect. Exiting the roadway, we were super close to the hotel about 5:30 in the afternoon. Once we found it, Bruce had me look up the address to the house where I was a baby. Only 2 1/2 miles away, right off the road where the hotel is located. I guess I must have planned it this way? Anyway, using the iPad we drove there, finding the owner out mowing his lawn.  Bruce parked across the street, and I got out with my notebook containing the photos I wrote about in this post. I stood on the sidewalk for a few minutes and he completely ignored me, but you know me, I would not be dissuaded.  Eventually, he parked the riding mower, and I gave him my spiel about having been a baby in their home, with zero recollection etc.
You can tell by his body language he was not exactly thrilled to see me, however, after a bit he warmed up, especially when Bruce got out of the car, coming over to chit chat. Turns out Jim is an electrical contractor who eventually asked Bruce questions about a construction lien! I took this photo of the front of the house as he and Bruce chatted in the setting sun.
So here is something so crazy cool you will probably hardly believe it. Years ago, our Mom heard from the neighbor across the street, whom she had remained friendly with all these many years. Mrs. Remark told her that the new folks in our home had discovered a "time capsule" that our brother Pat put into the wall during a renovation our Dad did there. As I was to learn from Jim's wife, Ella, there was a major fire in the late 90's that destroyed much of the inside of the home. During the reconstruction they discovered a note our brother Pat had placed inside a baby food jar, presumably one of mine. Ella brought out the photo albums filled with photos of the fire damage to share with me. Here's the super cool part...one of their three sons, got another jar, put a note in it of his own AND included Pat's note!! She could not find a copy of Pat's note, however, she did show me the photograph of her son placing the new capsule between the studs!
Isn't that remarkable??? I tell you, I was a little teary eyed following our visit. If you've been a reader of Camera Crazy for any length of time you know how nostalgic I am. I told Bruce, that is the home where I learned to walk and talk!!! He, of course, was a gem about the whole thing. xx

By the way, the neighborhood was gorgeous with big, beautiful homes, and a park about two blocks away. I immediately called Maureen after the visit and she asked if Mom's peonies and lilacs were still there...no Maureen, a lot has changed in 60 years.

Our hotel was gorgeous!! A Hilton, booked with points, it was a beautiful way to end a beautiful day.
Should you be wondering, my stomach behaved just fine. After fourteen days of my phone alarm going off at 9, 3, 9 and 3, tonight I will sleep through the night, hoping the pills worked their magic!

Onward to Pennsylvania tomorrow,

Gail
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