After an hour and a half drive we were hungry and and ready for anything. Unfortunately The Amish Country Mall wasn't so ready for us. It was closed along with several other Amish locations as well.
An Amish holiday I suppose?
Darn....I really wanted a fried bologna sandwich. You can't find those just anywhere!
We were off to a very bad start seeing as how that was the majority of our plan for the day.
Let's just say there's not much to do in Ethridge, TN but we decided to make the best of it and do our own thing. We stopped in a local store and asked for a good place to eat since that was the top priority. They suggested Rick's BBQ or Mashall's Deli both of which were right up the road.
We decided BBQ would be the best fit, but discovered it was a gas station chain restaurant. We decided that we needed to do something a little more local. So Marshall's Deli it was...
...which was also a gas station.
Yikes this was not turning out as planned. We laughed it off, took a deep breath and went inside.
The sign said it was built in 1982 and I don't think a thing has changed since! They had everything from kitty litter to holographic Jesus pictures in that place. Dust a mile high. I don't think they have sold a thing since they opened.
Onwards we went to the back of the store where the "restaurant" was. It also happened to be a video store (VHS mind you) and a pool hall. We bravely ordered a hot ham sandwich for me, a BBQ sandwich for her, an order of fries to split and two drinks. The total was $8. At least lunch was cheap!
It was actually good. We are both still alive to talk about it. I consider it a success.
Next stop....Wagon Tour.
Another sign explained that it was a "heated" wagon tour. It was 90 degrees out. I didn't get it. Turns out the Wagon Tour was an hour and a half long. We are on day number 3 of project elimination paci and I knew my ass wasn't getting on a wagon with a potentially screaming baby and no escape route. I'm not that brave. Plus I like my AC...if you want to know the real reason.
So we got a map and headed out on our own.
We were told to follow the map which listed the names of all the Amish households along with the products they each sold. See the Amish don't sell things in stores...you have to drive up to their house and get what you want. They also had signs posted along the way so you could find what you wanted. They left a sign out in front of their house as well so you knew if they were "open" or not.
We were also told not to take pictures of the Amish people. It's against their religious beliefs to have their photos takes so we were careful to abide by their rules. My goal was to buy Jam and maybe something pickled. You can't go to Amish country and not buy anything!
The problem was...I was scared to drive up to someones house I didn't know and just show up on their front porch. Also...I wasn't sure if I knew proper Amish etiquette and the last thing I wanted to do was offend these very reserved people. Knowing me my nervousness would make me act "extra friendly" and probably scare them off.
We drove around for hours just taking in the sights. Every time we approached a home that sold jam we would slow down and look at each other and shake our heads. The drive way was too long, it doesn't look like anyone is home, what if we don't like what they have...we can't just show up and then say "no thanks" and drive on.
We were chickens.
We finally found the perfect one...sold jam, close to the road, kids outside, products on the porch instead of a shed. This was it. Time to put on the big girl panties. We drove up waved, got no return wave, and walked up to their porch and picked out what we wanted. Finally the kids came up to the porch and we told them what we wanted.
Thankfully it had been explained to us that the children grow up speaking German instead of English. We were also told that they tried to keep themselves as separated from society as possible (which explained the no wave or friendly chatter). Keeping that in mind we said little and spoke slowly.
There were about 5 kids on the porch. They stared at us in our probably scandalous clothing and we looked at them in their what we consider very conservative clothing. I felt like I was in another country, an alien from another time. We paid for our Jam and Pickled Okra and headed back to the car.
We did it.
It was a great experience and an eye opening one as well. The Amish are nice, reserved, and talented. I would purchase from them again and next time I won't be quite as nervous.
Can't wait to try it out!
May 05, 2011
She just recently started blogging and came up with a great idea to do a Tour of Tennessee (our home state). The one we have lived in our entire lives. The one we have neglected to fully experience. Isn't it funny how you can ...
Jun 06, 2011
Tour of TN - Rock City. If you haven't noticed, I tend to not be able to just sit at home on the weekends. It always seems we have some kind of plans and if we don't I usually try to come up with something fun to keep us busy.
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