Weekend in Lancaster City, PA
Two weeks ago my roommate and I embarked on the Trip of Insanity, yes, we drove 7.5 hours to spend 28 hours in Pennsylvania before turning around and coming back home at 5a on Sunday morning. Some days I know I really am turning into my parents, only they did stuff like this with 5 kids.
In those two nights and day I got about 6 hours of sleep and had to be back home by Sunday afternoon to play piano on a worship team for another three days. On the way up there was a double rainbow that shone on the road with brilliance, it looked like it stayed just in front of us for about 10 miles and I took it as a good sign.
Of course it was still a crazy trip, rainbow or no rainbow, but it was sweet insanity. We got to see our people plus a few more, and surprise a friend for the weekend. Then, we spent most of a day wandering around Lancaster City, which is my favorite spot in PA.
Lancaster City, PA
This city is not to be confused with Lancaster County, which more often than not smells of manure and is teaming with Mennonites, Amish, and many others. That shouldn't be held against it, but when it takes me 10 minutes to drive 3 miles I begin to harbor slight bitterness in my spirit. My parents moved years ago, and I suppose the wide open air of Missouri changed my preferences for breathing space.
Since I was born near Lancaster Co. I've had to work through some of those feelings and accept Lancaster, and let me tell you, Lancaster City goes a long way toward re-conciliating me with my birth state.
<First stop at La Dolce Vita, not pictured, but where a spinach and egg croissant sandwich was consumed> Then on to Lancaster Central Market. I adore markets, and if there is one to be found in a town I'm happy to go peruse it.
We bought tea. That seems to be my one staple to buy at foreign markets, because it is light and transports super well.
Passenger coffee is just next to the market, and as I've been hearing about this coffee shop for ages was excited to taste of it's superior brew. Oh boy, was it ever superior.
It was a hand-poured coffee imported from Antigua, Guatemala. Of course I was delighted to see it was from there because I've spent several months there and to this day consider it my second home. Third home. I'm beginning to lose count.
I'm no coffee connoisseur, so I can't say anything about it's undertones, overtones, or flavor other than I enjoyed it as I rarely enjoy black coffee. The presentation was beautiful, and the baristas friendly. We asked several questions about the coffees and I was personally impressed with their knowledge, and kindness to take time to tell us all about this coffee. Plus the shop is simply beautiful. It's not cozy, so if you go for that ambiance it won't suit you as well, but do go for the restful, white and minimal decor and excellent drinks.
We ate copious amounts of food. I love walking through cities, because one eats, then walks, eats, then walks, and the calories go sliding away on the sidewalks.
Fresh fruit crepe from Rachel's Creperie. One word: go.
One of the most serendipitous parts of the day, and there were more than two, was randomly meeting a friend on the streets. I met her first in Guatemala but she lives in Lancaster City now, and every time I go to Lancaster I happen to meet her randomly on a street or coffee shop. This time she was walking back from the Market with a bouquet of sunflowers, and the picture she made on that sunny day! It's fun to be walking along, minding one's own business, to see someone one met in another country in another time walking along. It made my day. Then she told me where her sisters work, and I got to see one of them too.
The day is not complete without an art gallery or two, and we visited Liz Hess's gallery. She includes red umbrellas in all her art, and this was one of my favorites for its unique message.
The day's other serendipitous happening was meeting a blogger some friends and I have followed for awhile on Instagram. The friend we had surprised that weekend already had plans to meet with this guy for crepes and a bit of city exploration and when we came we kind of got added into the plans too. This guy may not have known that five girls would show up where he expected two, but he gallantly showed us around the city anyway. We had a fantastic time, much thanks to Jason on the Edge for giving us the tour! We may have made a few jokes about his Prisoner 24601 tee shirt in conjunction with the fact that he was hanging out with five girls for the day.
I was extra sleepy for a day or two, but thankfully the sleep was soon made up and the memories stayed. Moral of this blog post: sometimes it's good to be a little crazy.