Friday, December 17, 2010

LANCASTER COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

Moravian House Antiques
Brrrr. It was cold today when the Box (which warms up quickly -- thank you, Mr. Box) and I picked up my retired friend David in order to head to Lancaster County, where David was hot on the trail of a throw rug for inside his back door. David's house is beautifully decorated in the early American style, so it was important to get something that fits in and enhances the place.

We hit pay dirt at our first stop, the Moravian House Antiques shop on Main Street in Lititz. I was barely inside the door and getting my camera turned on when David was standing at the cashier counter with a beautiful rug in just the right colors. Talk about efficacy in shopping. No window shopper he!

I mosied around taking pictures of the merchandise, so nicely presented in various settings. There was some great redware -- locally made! -- but I resisted. David was interested in some specialty light bulbs that he did not see, so I asked the owner, who happened to have just the number he needed in the stock room! Mission accomplished!

Next, we walked around the corner to Moravian Square with its beautiful church and associated buildings. We found the Moravian Gift Shop, run by volunteers to benefit foreign missions. Since founded, the shop has earned more than $100,000 for missions. Since it is the Christmas season, there were all sorts of candles and holders, and a ceiling full of Moravian stars in all sizes. David bought a crystal star that hangs or sits and becomes a candleholder, and I bought four of the beeswax candles "dressed" in ruffed paper, something unique to Moravian use at Christmas. I wanted to use them in the bargain brass candlesticks from my last blog entry!

At about 11:20 a.m., we arrived back on Main Street to meet Jay, a real estate agent who is selling condos in Pilger Haus ("Pilgrim House"), a large former inn, school, and apartment house on Main Street. David was interested in learning more about condo living, and I recalled having been impressed when Susanne and I saw a model condo sometime last year.

We toured a number of condos with different configurations, saw the covered parking and garages, the future community room, and my favorite (and most expensive), the top floor unit, which includes a loft area in the attic above, and with a spectacular view of the stone and log houses across the street. Like an idiot, I forgot to take any photos inside! The price tags were a little high, but this is a great place for the person that is looking for something different.

What I liked most was that you can walk out your front door and you ARE somewhere. You don't have to get in your car and drive to a nice town for shopping or lunch or dinner or musical events or museums or soft pretzels or a chocolate factory -- you're already THERE!

Our next stop was down the road at Smoketown, where we enjoyed variations on the T. Burk & Company's turkey Reuben sandwich, preceded by a delicious tomato bisque. It's one of David's favorite places in the area, and the food was indeed very tasty.

The deli also had cases with donuts and desserts -- but no a whoopie pies in sight! How could this be? A Lancaster County eatery with no whoopie pies? I asked the ladies behind the counter where these delicious little treasures could be found, and they recommended a bakery down the road in Bird-in-Hand, appropriately called the Bird-in-Hand Bakery and Creamery. There we found a collection of cookies and whoopie pies, along with fruit pies, cakes, and the ubiquitous shoofly pie. David enjoyed an oatmeal raisin cookie while I managed to resist the whoopie pie until later in the day.

I engaged the ladies behind the counter in conversation about the so-called "chocolate shoofly pie." They claimed that they stopped making it because no one bought it. Wow, those people down there are really missing something good. I know for certain that it is the most popular dessert (besides Oram's donuts) in New Brighton, Pa.!

Walking back to the Box, we enjoyed the view across the field to some farm buildings and an expansive winter sky.

The Old Philadelphia Pike took us to Route 30 and then to Route 501, which we took north to Neffsville, a crossroads community near where is located the famous Landis Valley Museum. We turned right at the "square" and then into the parking lot of the Tin Bin, a shop full of more early American d├ęcor. They have all sorts of lighting fixtures, as well as decorative arts. Unfortunately, much of the redware in the Pennsylvania German style was actually made in China to American specifications. It costs about half as much as the "real thing" made here in Pennsylvania. Well, I ranted about this in an earlier blog, so I will say no more.

The Box then led us through the farmlands along Route 772 until we met up with I-283 north toward Harrisburg and home to David's waiting Corgi, Ernie, who gave us a piece of his mind for being gone so long.





This little table was made near Gettysburg.

A pretty blue lamp shines on holiday figures.
 
David pays for his rug near the tree.

An old farm table was in great shape.

A Peter Sculthorpe painting on the wall.

Jay leaves the real estate office
 to return to Pilger Haus.

The bakery at Bird-in-Hand.

Pumpkin and red velvet whoopies.

Whoopies in bread trays.

Shoofly pies abound!

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