Over Labor Day weekend, I was supposed to meet my friend up in Erie, PA. When that got cancelled because so many bad juju events were occurring in her life at that moment, Hubby decided I still needed to go away.
He told me to find a state within driving distance that we had not visited a zoo in. Well, the only two places were Tennessee and Michigan. After I chose Michigan, I then had to Google zoos in Michigan. I found the Potter Park Zoo in Lansing. Hubby wanted to go to Grand Rapids. Later, we were glad we had not gone there.
If I had all of the money in the world, I would love to go down to Walt Disney World for Christmas.
I would not want to visit on Christmas Day because it would be way too busy but I would love to visit at some point in December.
Why would I want to go to Disney during the busy holiday season?
Two years ago, I got to see the decorations at some of the different resorts throughout Walt Disney World. I loved seeing them. I also got to see some of the holiday decorations outside of each of the parks. (We didn’t go into any of the parks.) I would love to see the decorations inside each of the park. And photograph them.
Also I haven’t been to any of the Christmas parties in Disney. When we were there 2 years ago, I hoped they would have one but there was none scheduled. Bummer!
The last time I celebrated Christmas was during my College Program in 1995. I worked on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and maybe even New Year’s Day. I had a visitor during Christmas week and even though we spent time in the park we could not get to Magic Kingdom because it was so busy. The line for the monorail was all of the way to the entrance. It would have taken an hour or so to even get on the monorail.
Those are some of the reasons I would love to spend time down in Disney. The other reason is because honestly December is a hard month for me. In the last fifteen years, I’ve lost close family members during December – my grandpa in 2003, my grandma in 2008, my father-in-law in 2013, and my father-in-law’s aunt in 2014. (My grandma’s death was on Christmas Eve.)
WDW is my happy place. I’m like a child in a candy store while I’m there. I put aside all of my worries while I am down there. In fact, one of the reason I was down there in 2016 was because it was almost 3 months after my sister’s death. We had planned for a trip to Universal Studios prior to her death. A month after her death, I was seeing if there was a restaurant reservation available on Thanksgiving. I luckily found one and a hotel stay for two nights on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. While we were down there, she visited me on Thanksgiving. (Butterfly)
I would love to just go down there and forget my worries.
Last year, I shared our local holiday display of Clifton Mill. They were featured on a national tv show and granted money towards continuing the 30 years of light displays.
After we finished watching the glockenspiel at the Clock tower, we first visited a tiny bit of the inside museum while waiting for the other couple to return. (I’ll share photos from the inside museum in a different blog post.)
First we visited the Baumgartner Church which was the first Mennonite Church in Berne, Indiana. It was started in 1839 by Reverend David Baumgartner. He was originally from Bern, Switzerland. He was 73 when he began the church.
Since there is no Bibles in Swiss, the Bible is a German Bible. They hold a Christmas service in both English and German. So neat!
A very plain pulpit The ladies sat on one side of the church while the men sat on the other side.
Beautiful fall foliage
The photograph is the first couple who were married at the church.
The German Bible The yellow piece of paper in the top left photo is the bulletin for the Christmas service.
After we finished with the church, we went to the doctor’s office. When the doctor whose office we were visiting died, over 2,000 mourners came to his funeral. That was a lot of mourners especially since there were less than 2,000 people in the town.
I’ve got one more blog post about the Swiss Heritage Center and then I’ll have one with photos from our hotel.
After we finished with the Luginbill House, we went over to the Cheese House. We learned how they made the Amish cheese which was interesting. Did you know they have to boil the milk in a copper pot and check the constancy later with a silver spoon? It’s interesting how they knew how the metals interacted with the different steps of the cheese making process.
Next we went over to the Apple Cider Press. When it was in operation, it was the biggest apple cider press in the United States. It was not original to the Berne area but was moved to the Heritage Center from a place within 40 miles away.
The press barn was rather dark so I apologize for the quality of some of the photos.
F. William Hauenstein built this press during the Civil War. The pressing beam was oak that at time was about 300 years old so it was already growing when Christopher Columbus arrived in the West Indies.
After visiting the Cider Press, we left the Heritage Center to go watch the glockenspiel at the clock tower. Then we came back to enjoy the rest of the tour with Char.
Join me next time when we’ll visit the church and doctor’s office at the Swiss Heritage Center.
As I previously said, Berne, Indiana really did not have a lot to explore. If you wanted Amish furniture, you could certainly find it. The clock tower and the architecture is wonderful. It’s a small town so there is not much there.
There is one other interesting place. That is the Swiss Heritage Center. Berne was settled by Amish and Mennonites immigrants from Switzerland. They were being persecuted in their native country so they came to America. Eventually they moved and settled in Adams and Allen County.
We were pleasantly surprised when we got to the Heritage Center. They had a guide to take us around the grounds which was neat. The guide was a 73 year old lady named Char. She was a wonderful storyteller. It was almost as though she was there when the American flag was being created or when the Amish were being persecuted in Switzerland. Hubby kept wanting her to tell us more.
She had a golf cart for her to ride from place to place. There was a total of four guests plus herself trying to get on this golf cart more than once. Some of the buildings were a small distance. On a nice day, it would be a good stroll. Not on the chilly and then rainy day we visited.
The first building we visited was the One Room School Room. She talked about the reasons why girls were more educated than boys, the history of the American flag, and how many school buildings were in the county at one point.
After we left the schoolhouse, we went to the Lunginbill House. The Lunginbill House was the house of Peter and Barbara Luginbill. It was built in 1856 and moved to the Heritage Center in 1987.
While we were in house, we learned about the typical day of the family, how they built the original house, and how they made soap back in the day. Char also told stories about Barbara.
Join me next time for the cheese making shed and apple cider mill.
Forty-five minutes south of Fort Wayne is a little Amish town called Berne. The founders immigrated from Switzerland by way of Ohio. A lot of the architecture reminds me of what I think of when I’ve seen Swiss architecture. I felt as though I was in another world when I was walking through the town.
It’s also an Amish town. I had to remind Hubby to watch out for the Amish buggies. I didn’t want to be on the news because we hit a buggy.
The reason for our visit was the clock tower. The clock tower is designed after the Zytglogge in Bern, Switzerland. Every noon, 3, 6, and 9, there is a glockenspiel when the clock comes alive. There are 13 different symbolic representations during the 5ish minutes. I took a video but since it was raining I was far away so you really can’t see the individual characters. 😦
These were taken Friday at almost 7 p.m. You can see it was raining. Plus it was cold! Hubby wanted to come back for the 9 o’clock glockenspiel. I’m was like no way!
The next day we went to the Swiss Heritage Center. They allowed us to pause the tour until we saw the glockenspiel. Then we went back and continued the tour.
These are photos I took during the glockenspiel. I was underneath a shelter so they are not close up shots. You could certainly click on a photo and enlarge it if you want to see the actual characters.
Some of the views from the plaza. That is an Amish horse. The buggy is behind the bush.
I hope you enjoyed visiting the clock tower. I don’t know if next time if I’m going to share random photos of the town or the Swiss Heritage Center. Maybe I’ll share the Amish furniture in the hotel we stayed at. Who knows.
When researching ideas of what to do in Fort Wayne, I discovered John Chapman; aka Johnny Appleseed had lived there. We decided to try to find the grave site.
Close to the grave site is the Johnny Appleseed Campgrounds. That is where we ended up at first. We weren’t far from the actual grave site.
It was still raining when we were at the grave site so I got some photos. Honestly, there is not much around there except if you go into the area where the campground is located. There is a river which would have been pretty to photograph if it was not raining.
There was two other graves located there. I also took photos of those graves.
After we got done at the grave, we went to get supper. We were going to drive to a pizza joint that was 20 minutes away. However while stopped in traffic at a light, I saw a Blaze Pizza restaurant. Hubby quickly turned into the parking lot.
Boy were we glad that we changed our minds about where we were going to eat. The food was delicious. We both were able to get our own customized pizzas. His was a meat lover pizza while mine was a veggie pizza.
They had an awesome deal where you got half of a pizza with either a salad or garlic knots. I got the deal with the salad while Hubby got the garlic knots. The half of a pizza was perfect since were traveling.
Afterwards we traveled to Amish country – Bern, Indiana. It is also a city based on the culture of the Swiss. Join me next time for more of our adventure. I can’t wait until you meet Char. She took us around the Swiss Heritage Center in Bern. Such a great storyteller which is a lost art.