July 4th Weekend
Berlin, OH - Events of Friday, July 5 to Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Scenic Hills RV Park started filling up for the long holiday weekend on Thursday afternoon and evening. A few others, including our daughter, Lora, and our son-in-law, J. Michael, arrived on Friday. They were planning to stay through the long 4th of July weekend all the way until the following Tuesday. We walked over to greet them when they pulled in around noon then left them to finish setting up. We shared a snack in the afternoon, and we shared dinner then s'mores around the campfire in the evening.
We started off Saturday morning with the breakfast buffet at Der Dutchman restaurant in Walnut Creek. Der Dutchman specializes in Amish-style country cooking. The breakfast buffet, which costs $8.29, has scrambled eggs, French toast sticks, pancakes, fried mush, a couple of kinds of potatoes, biscuits and gravy, bacon, sausage, hot and cold cereal, fruit, frozen fruit slush, pudding, cinnamon rolls and more. We ate way too much.
After breakfast, we headed east to the Walnut Creek Amish Flea Market.
Walnut Creek Flea Market is one of two nearby flea markets, both of which are indoors and both of which have mostly new merchandise consisting primarily of decorative items with a country flair. The Amish are excellent woodworkers, and both flea markets have nice selections of well-made, solid-wood furniture.
Paul especially liked the tables made from slabs of burl wood at one booth. The contrast in textures between the smooth surfaces and rough natural edges of the slabs and the rich contrasts of wood color made the pieces very interesting.
From the Walnut Creek Flea Market, we headed back to the west and stopped at Walnut Creek Cheese, which consists of a complex of buildings. One area has groceries including bulk foods, meats, cheese and produce. There is also a section with various jellies and jams and a section with kitchenware.
We looked for a new napkin holder in the kitchenware section with no luck, but we did get some fresh produce Margery needed for a recipe for dinner and we got some cheese for snacks.
After finishing our shopping at Walnut Creek Cheese, we headed for our last stop of the day - the Holmes County Flea Market, which is located just down the road from the campground. We can see the flea market from our site at Scenic Hills.
After walking around the flea market, we headed back to the campground for an afternoon of relaxation. We shared dinner again followed by another campfire.
Paul had been fighting a cold, so we just chilled out around the campground on Sunday while Lora and J. Michael went to play mini-golf in Sugar Creek, which is several miles to the east of Berlin. Shortly after they returned, we got together again to share another dinner and a campfire.
On Monday, Paul was feeling somewhat better so we all went onto downtown Berlin to check out a couple of the shops there. Downtown is always busy on weekends, so a Monday was a perfect time to go there except for the fact it was threatening rain.
Our first stop was Sol's Craft Mall. Sol's is a craft co-op that has three buildings. The photo below shows the main building with the faux turrets called Sol's Palace. The second building is to the immediate left, and the third is out of view to the right.
Crafters rent space by the month then pay a 15% fee on all merchandise that Sol's sells for them. The spaces are separated by pegboard partitions. Some of the crafts are hand made while some are obviously mass produced.
There was also some nice country-style furniture displayed at various locations throughout the mall as well as some that was featured on a ledge across from the second floor balcony.
Paul liked the chainsaw-carved bears that were out on the porch. Prices ranged from $125 for the smallest one to $350 for the largest.
We had planned to check out some of the other shops along the main street in Berlin, but it started to rain pretty hard while we were in Sol's. When the rain let up a little, we made our way back to the car stopping into a couple of shops on the way. We decided to leave the rest of Main Street for another time when it wasn't raining.
From Main Street, we hopped into the car and headed to Hershberger's Farm and Bakery. Hershberger's started out several years ago as a roadside produce stand, but it has turned itself into a pretty big tourist attraction. Today, they have a petting zoo, a store selling country crafts, a pet shop, a produce stand and a bakery. The also sell home made jams, jellies, pickles and the like.
We stopped first at the petting zoo where they have sheep, goats, cows, ducks, rabbits and more, plus pony rides. Some of the babies, like the calf Lora is petting in the photo below, are allowed to roam free knowing they won't stray too far from their mothers who are in pens.
We got some fry pies for dessert at the bakery and a tomato for our lunches. We made our way back to the campground where we all relaxed a while.
Later in the afternoon, we all headed out to Der Dutchman for dinner. Lora got a hot roast beef sandwich and the salad bar, Margery and J. Michael got hot turkey sandwiches and the salad bar. Paul, who was still a little under the weather, just had the salad bar. Everything was delish!
After dinner, we went back to our rig for some games and for our fry pies. Yum!
Since rain was headed our way, Lora and J. Michael got on the road early on Tuesday morning so they could make it home and get unpacked before the rain hit. After they left, we went out and ran a few errands, then relaxed back at the rig. The bulk of the rain ended up drifting off to the north. We only got a brief shower in the early afternoon in Berlin, so it was no problem for Lora and J. Michael to make it home to Pittsburgh without getting wet.
As we said, we'll be here in Amish Country most of the summer, and we'll be taking it easy much of the time. We'll probably eat out some, we may do a little sightseeing, Margery will work on her crochet projects, and Paul will probably have a couple of small projects around the motor home. Since we won't be doing any major sightseeing, our blog posts may be a little less frequent than they usually are in summer; but we'll still have some news to report on, so stay tuned.