As I sit here on the porch of my brother and sister-in-law's beautiful house in the farming country of Maryland staring out at what will be a field full of corn in a month, while Renee tosses scraps of meat and moldy bread to the chickens over her morning coffee, I'm reminded of the thousands of blogs that we've read in preparation for our trip, and it makes me yearn for the days of grabbing a Fodor's Europe guidebook and just going. It must have been so exhilarating for someone in our position, about to embark on the trip of a lifetime, with only their imagination to guide them. We, on the other hand, have Pinterest to guide us. And Nomadic Matt. And Sunrise Odyssey. And literally thousands of other websites which boast headlines like "Ten Things YOU MUST DO Before Your Trip Around The World!", "The Mistakes YOU DO NOT WANT TO MAKE When You Visit Africa", and, my personal favorite, "How To Monetize Your Travel Blog".
Why are we so insistent on monetizing everything? Can't I simply write about our travels without expecting you to follow me on Instagram or Twitter(although there's a link right at the top of this page for you if you're interested) or click on my sponsored link to Amazon or use my referral to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card? I'm more than happy to tell you all of the steps that we took before we leave for our trip to prepare, but this will never be that site with half of the text in underlined blue because you can hop off here to buy things. Will we accept free nights from AirBnB in exchange for writing about them? YOU'RE DAMN RIGHT WE WILL. But will you see posts titled "The Six Beach Resorts To Use Your Hyatt Gold Passport Points This Summer"? Absolutely not.
FYI, I'm super excited for one of you to throw this paragraph in my face in ten months when we realize we need money and we're shilling for IHG. You can reach me on Twitter @joshkleinrules PLEASE FOLLOW ME OH LORD I NEED THE TWITTER FOLLOWERS TO MAKE ME FEEL WHOLE INSIDE with a link to this article to really rub it in my face.
So, enough with the condescending preamble. We're in Earlesville, MD this week (Coming Soon: "Where to eat in Earlesville the Locals Don't Want You To Know About!"), and we took a quick time out to Lancaster, PA, aka Pennsylvania Dutch Country. Not sure what I expected, but what we found was beautiful countryside with a lot of farms, and multiple tourist traps in Lancaster, Bird-In-Hand, and Intercourse, PA. Picture a lot of T-Shirts for sale with the word Intercourse on them, and yes, Renee had to talk me out of buying one. A ton of restaurants run by Mennonites and the Amish (as you can tell by the above placemat) with delicious, handmade, country food, certainly worth a stop if you're passing through. My sister-in-law recommends Dienners Country Restaurant (where we ate) and Amos' Place for lunch, and I concur. Here's the summary for Pinterest:
Three Must Buys In Pennsylvania Dutch Country: Amish Peanut Butter Schmier, Amish Roll Butter (Hand-Churned!), and Shoofly Pie. Click through my links to help out the cause.