In the days before Thanksgiving 2009, our good friend Matt had one of those good-old-Matt proposals for us: he’d pick up the three of us from our usual dinner at the Parker family residence and take us to his hometown Amish-country Lancaster for an Amish-country weekend. Our good friend Ben would also be visiting his shared-with-Matt hometown and our New Yorker five-some could congregate in the small town for…we weren’t sure for what.
So the weekend ensued. As we three sat in the Parker family living room digesting, we waited for Matt who was coming from his family’s holiday dinner in Philadelphia. The half hours passed and we began to doubt what this weekend had in store for us. At around 9:30, Matt walked in and shared stories of riding ATVs, his Beavis and Butthead cousins, and hopping into his car with a bottled beverage that could have easily been mistaken for a beer - a regular evening with the Matt family.
Finally, we hit the road. In the backseat, I wondered how on earth we’d make the outlets by midnight as Funk and Parker hoped we wouldn’t. Somehow, we made it back to Matt’s childhood home, unloaded the car, hopped right back in, drove five minutes to outlet town where Matt created his own parking space, and made it to the one store we wanted to hit all by midnight.
Within the hour, we were back at the Matt family residence and as we waited for Ben, we toured our sleeping quarters for the weekend: Parker was staying in Matt’s childhood room - twin bed, blue walls, regular boyhood charm - while Funk and I stayed in the guest room, The Love Nest.
The Love Nest
Close to 1am, Ben arrived and we filled him in on Matt’s Philadelphia joyride, Uncle Dave’s comment that Parker’s vest was very Han Solo of him, and the near-run-over of Mennonites at the outlets.
Parker Han Solo, Funk, Matt, Ben
In the morning, we woke to a spread of frittatas, fruit and all the breakfast fixings Matt’s mom had prepared. I like country weekends.
We drove down country roads and under covered bridges, snapped pictures of Amish children that we didn’t know we weren’t supposed to take until we saw children running away from us, visited the local clinic that will soon be Matt’s employer, toured the local establishments, enjoyed our time in Intercourse, had drinks with Ben’s parents (without Ben), and had dinner with Matt’s parents.
- Matt and Parker in Intercourse
- Funk, Matt, Parker
- Funk, me, Parker
- Matt, Funk, Parker, me holding Ben’s high school track photo
In the end, a questionable trip to Amish-country Lancaster turned out to be a special one.