24-28/7/2014: Welcomed in P.A.

Pennsylvania…this time we actually reached this rather elusive state! To be honest I don’t remember arriving early or late and it is not really all that important considering all the great stuff we did while we were there! (Linnea here: we were actually 24 hours late, but that allowed us to visit Chicago for a bit which was nice)

We visited the Market House in downtown Meadville.

We visited the Market House in downtown Meadville.

For once we spent a couple days in Conneautville, taking it easy after a rather tiresome journey. Maggie was really nice to drive us around once we were there and we visited a couple places. The first thing we did actually was to go to a couple of Amish stores. The first one was pretty big and had lots of non-Amish wares on sale, but the second one was more “Underground” and was geared mostly towards Amish themselves. You could find straw hats, drawing books and tractor parts in the same aisle and if you wanted to buy anything, it was cash only as the store didn’t have any electricity! The lady at the counter wrote a receipt by hand and I still have it. I am not going to throw it away any time soon!

After our little trip in Amish-land we went and visited some of Maggie’s friends Chris and Terri who live off the gird in the wood herding goats, pigs chickens and other animals. The place was quite cute but the goats seemed to have gotten quite deranged as you can see in the following video: Crazy Funny Goats (and pigs!)

Despite those strange animals, the visit at the farm was quite enjoyable. You gotta give respect for Chris and Terri for living such a independent lifestyle and have such funny and smelly (in a good way) goats.

We also visited Maggie’s old house which was quite crowded with stuff, a lot of that stuff being neat books I wish I would have had the time to read. Grieving, I decided to steal (“borrow”) a couple instead. I also got to meet Mini, Maggie’s ex-husband who was real nice. He also gave a beautiful antique purple glass chicken to Linnea. I guess everyone knows her soft spot by now ;).

All in all, we had a couple of quite reposing evenings at Maggie’s farm. We spent the first one watching old video tapes of Linnea being a cute child (and one being a shrieking goblin baby too, but she was still cute I swear) and the second one was spent grilling and eating some of Maggie’s most delicious pig meat! It was so good that even the fat tasted delicious. Maggie’s doggy friends, Cassie and Rollo were right with us on that one, chewing on every bone that fell within twenty feet of their snout.

This lovely barred owl named Sophia is an educational bird at Tamarack Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

This lovely barred owl named Sophia is an educational bird at Tamarack.

Besides that we had also the pleasure of hanging around at a druidic Coven, eating most delicious food while Rollo inconspicuously set his tail on fire by lying too close to the  fire-pit. It smelled awful but he didn’t seem to care at all, what a stoic (or could it be stupid?) dog!

Linnea here: We also visited the Tamarack Wildlife Rehabilitation Center where I used to volunteer some 14 years ago. While we were there we got to meet some lovely owls. I just couldn’t let Lyonel forget to inform you all about that, also I took a cool picture of an owl that I wanted to use for this post.

After all of that, it was time to migrate to Linnea’s Grandparents’ place as we would prepare the Engagement party at their place and spend a couple nights there as well.

To be fairly honest I was a tiny bit nervous. Gran and Gramps were the only members of Linnea’s direct family (bar her uncle and aunt) that I hadn’t met yet. I wanted simply to make a good impression and get yessed about taking her hand and stuff…I guess I was a bit too stiff as it went very well. I almost half-expected questions about income, children, and maybe being sent on a quest or two but none of that happened.

The cake that freaked Lyonel out. :-)

The cake that freaked Lyonel out. 🙂

I guess I was a bit overtly stressed, but on the other hand I had never experienced such a huge social gathering set up, at least partially, for my own person. The party set to start on the next day was maybe making me a tiny tad anxious but it’s all Maggie’s fault! She actually had a cake made with Linnea and I printed on it! I was quite dumbstruck when I found out about that but there was not much I could do…

Having fled from the rain into the garage Lyonel drew portaits of my sister and cousins using an etch-a-sketch and chalk.

Having fled from the rain into the garage Lyonel drew portraits of my sister and cousins using an etch-a-sketch and chalk.

Ultimately the party, set up on the following day, went very well! About 40 people came, most of them with gifts for both of us and lots and lots of food! By combining The Fry’s culinary talent (they once won several BBQing championships!), together with the goodwill of the numerous attendees, we ended up with all kinds of yummy food! In addition to that, songs were sung (thank you Sarah and Mister long-haired-computer person) and a rainstorm of biblical proportions sent everyone for cover in the garage.

The extreme rainstorm might have cut the festivities short a little bit, but nevertheless we had great great fun! I cannot name everyone who came and thank them all directly so I would rather like to thank them all at this very moment! It made our stay in Pennsylvania all the more awesome!

Downtown Franklin, featuring lots of brick buildings, which Lyonel seemed to think characterized America.

Downtown Franklin, featuring lots of brick buildings, which Lyonel seemed to think characterized America.

The day after the party, Gran took us out for a delicious brunch at the local Bob Evans diner. I think I really became addicted to the American-style breakfast: pancakes + hash browns + sausages. Just thinking about it makes me hungry, argh! We also went and wandered around in Franklin town itself and restocked on a number of items before preparing ourselves for a very early departure the morning after direction…New York!


Text by Lyonel Perabo | | Photos by Linnea Nordström


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