Route 501 South from Tremont to Lancaster turned out to be a very pleasant drive. Lovely countrysides occasionally passing through small villages and towns.
In downtown Lancaster:
Per 2010 US Religious Census, 18 states have significant Amish population. Ohio is #1 with 59,103 followed by Pennsylvania with 58,009.
For our lunch stop, we found a Amish family restaurant located in the middle of a field. I have read that Amish people are reserved and austere. Therefore I was a little taken aback when a young woman dressed in their traditional dress greeted me with a big smile and enthusiastic, "Hello, how are you? Come on in!"
The restaurant's layout looked more like a large assembly hall. They seated us at a table that was about 7 feet away from the only other table that was occupied. Six women in their 20's to 30's were dining with 4 preschool age boys and a little baby girl.
The women wore simple, humble dresses in shades of purple, blue and black. They all had white prayer caps with hairs beaded in the back of the head or in bun. All wore black socks and black shoes.
The little boys had solid color long-sleeve shirts, long dark pants worn with suspenders and black socks and shoes. As they left to ride home on horses and buggies, the boys donned their straw hats over their "Dutch Boy" haircut.
Their conversations were lively and animated and the boys were laughing like any other children of their age. The language spoken was Pennsylvania German commonly referred to as Pennsylvania Dutch. The stark difference was no one had mobile devices of any kind. In deference to their customs, I did not take any photos except for J.J.'s choice from the buffet and my fish sandwich.
It was an awesome experience to being so close to these cloistered, religious people. It must be hard work since modern tools and electricity are not permitted. J.J. commented the Amish must be prosperous. No expenses for jewelry, electronic devices, cars and gasoline. Their religious belief require maintaining a simple life.
Aloha -- Cathi