June 24: Tuesday:
We will depart Illinois today and travel through Indiana before reaching Ohio. We will be stopping for lunch in Indiana and arriving in Berlin, OHIO about 4pm. We will be staying at the Comfort Inn and Suites for the next 3 nights. But before we go to dinner, we are going to have a private tour of the Warther Carvings, Gardens and Knife Factory followed by a candlelight dinner in the Ivory Room. View the priceless steam engine carvings, stroll through the Swiss Gardens to Mrs. Warthers button house filled with over 70,000 buttons arranged in artwork. After dinner, visit the Knife Shop where the Warther family creates the finest kitchen cutlery. Return to the hotel for a good night rest. BD
June 25: Wednesday:
We will start our day with breakfast in the hotel before enjoying a back country roads tour with our local step on guide. She will take us to the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center to learn more about the local history and culture of the Amish. The Ridge Ranch Exotic Animal Farm houses animals from over six different continents and we are going to take a wagon ride to get a close and personal tour along with feeding them. Lunch will at The Der Dutchman Restaurant in Walnut Creek, where it has anchored Walnut Street for more than three decades, serving real Amish kitchen cooking to locals and tourists alike. Folks waiting in line who are especially hungry can duck into the attached Der Dutchman Bakery and tide themselves over with a fresh apple fritter or gooey whoopee pie-providing the regulars haven't already snatched them up. Did you ever wonder how they make those candles?? We are going to show you how at the Lamp Light Candle Company!! They are going to demonstrate how to make their wonderful candles before stopping for a refreshing break at the Walnut Creek Cheese shop for some good ice cream!!! We will return to the hotel for a short break before departing to Dinner. Our dinner tonight will be in an Amish home featuring a family style feast!! The menu will consist of pan fried chicken, tender roast beef, real mashed potatoes, noodles, green beans, salad, homemade bread and Amish peanut butter whip and mouth watering pies!!!! We will get to tour the house and take a pony cart ride before heading back to the hotel for the night. BD
June 26: Thursday:
We will be joined by our step on guide again today following breakfast in our hotel. Our first stop this morning will be the Lydia Troyer’s homemade candies, quaint Amish cottage industry, where we will make and take our own homemade buckeyes!!! The Lehman’s General Store and Old Fashioned Hardware is a step back in time!!! Not only is it fun, it is the favorite stop on the tour for most people!! See things you haven’t seen in years but remember your grandmother having!! Mosey around the store and explore all the products they offer. This is a regular stop for shopping for the Amish folks. Lunch is on your own at the Amish Door Village, where you can find great fresh salad bar, soups or a full menu. Followed by a trip to the Hershberger Truck Patch and Amish Bakery, but not only to they have bakery items but good homemade noodles, jams, jellies, candy etc!!! If you want it, they will have it here!! Today will be a good day to buy your cheese because we are going to the Heini’sCheese Chalet. HEINIS CHEESE CHALET is one of the few actual cheese producing facilities in Ohio’s Amish Country. Their cheeses are produced using 100% Amish Farm Milk- milk that is free of artificial growth hormones. A short trip back to the hotel for a break before departing to Dutch Valley for a buffet supper. Our evening entertainment will be the play “Confession”. Based on the best-selling novel by Beverly Lewis, The Confession has been transformed into a musical. Playing at the Carlisle Inn in Sugarcreek, Ohio, The Confession is based around Katie Lapp, a young Amish woman who is caught in the middle of secrets and scandal, love lost and love found, and personal heartache and healing. With lots of comedy intertwined into the musical as a New York actress tries to play a "plain" woman, guests will enjoy high and lows mixed with soaring melodies, inspiring lyrics and glorious orchestrations. Come see what happens when the plain life, the not-so-plain life, and the downright extravagant life all meet together in the musical, The Confession. Back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep.
June 27: Friday:
WOW!! What a way to spend a vacation!! Good food, good friends, good time!!! It doesn’t get much better. We were also able to learn about the lives of the hard working Amish folks of Ohio. The beautiful countryside and information provided by our step on guide taught us so much.