Thursday, May 18, 2006

The most recommended place

Hi all,

After staying at Fremont for the night we drove to Shipshewana. This was the place that was most recommended by my online friends, AND I got a chance at meeting one of them there too!!
We took the toll way on the I80 and in Jamestown, Indiana, we left the interstate to go a bit to the south to catch the US20 until we reached Shipshewana. It struck us as very odd to see so many big trucks on this road while the Interstate is almost next to it. We would think that heavy traffic like that would take the bigger road.
Before we had left home, we had made arrangements to meet Sallyann and a friend (called Jan btw, so to avoid any confusion I won't mention her name again... LOL... If I remember correctly it was short for Janice) at Yoder's in Shipshewana. At Yoder's we waited for half an hour wondering who could be Sallyann. Neither of us knew what the other looked like. I only knew she was coming with a friend. I had gone up to one of the store owners to ask if there was a way to page her, but no such luck. Paging in Shipshewana amongst the Amish?? I should have known better of course. They were extremely helpful though and within the mall they walked us from one place to another to say that we were "the belgian couple" just in case someone would mention something like that to them. Then they'd know who we were and could point us out. Finally a light bulb went off in my head!! I got out a marker and piece of paper and wrote my name on it and pinned it on my shirt in hopes that Sallyann would see it. I started walking around through all the stores and making sure everyone saw the sign. In the mean time Jan was getting very bored of the waiting and started studying the city map of Shipshewana. And guess what??? He found that right across the street, there was another mall called Yoder's!!!! So we went to check that out. Oh yeah, of course we had been waiting at the wrong Yoder's!! We had a kind of déja vu feeling with this incident. Many many years ago we had a rendez-vous with some dutch friends in a small belgian village at the church entrance. We couldn't possibly miss each other that way. But guess what?? There were TWO churches in that small village!! It looks like are born for this kind of funny situations, doesn't it?? LOL
When we came in to the other Yoder's we immediately saw a sign saying "hi Wezz" so we knew we were in the right place this time. :-))
Me standing there with a large sign with my name on it, and Sallyann and her friend sitting on a bench with a big sign too immediately broke the ice. We laughed from minute one and didn't stop anymore, right up until the end of our visit there!! They told us they had been so worried we might have been caught in a very bad traffic accident on the I80 which resulted in both directions being closed. So, THAT explained all the big trucks and heavy traffic on the US20!!! Guess we were lucky to get off the I80 when we did!!!
We had lunch with Sallyann and her friend at a local restaurant where we exchanged goodies. Of course, what else, right??? LOL
She gave me the nicest small scrapbook for putting in some of my best pictures of this trip and also a folder with a bunch of pre-stamped images for me to color in. Plus a magazine or two, and a stamp or two....
After lunch we almost ran to the local stamp store run by Amish. Yet another big mistake according to Jan. Our bellies were already aching from all the laughter and it only got worse, but we just had soooo much fun!! The stamp store didn't look like I would have expected a stamp store to look like on the outside. But since there are no stamp stores in Belgium, of course, I wouldn't even know what a stamp store should look like anyway. hahaha!!
Inside, the store was very well organized with the bargains right in front... (ggg)
The amish guy jokingly told us we could get bigger baskets if needed, and I was the good girl saying "no thanks, I can't, my husband is here with me"... ROTFLOL!!
I found some Ancient Page inks on the bargain table. Regular price was already less than half the price in Belgium and they were 50% off!!! Wow!!
The stamps were very neatly organized, with the mounted ones categorized and the unmounted ones right next to their mounted counterpart, so you could immediately see the image. No fooling around with a mirror or guessing what it might look like. Also very easy to see if they were out of some unmounted images. I got just a few... LOL
One of them was a squirrel, I was so happy to find that one!! :-))
Jan didn't even complain about my shopping there, and when I later asked him about that, he said "well, I could see things were cheaper there, so it didn't really bother me". HUH????? Is this MY Jan???? I couldn't believe my ears!!
I then proceeded to explain that most craft things are cheaper here than at home, if I can even get them at all. He said I shouldn't push my luck.... hmmm... LOL
The Amish people at the store were really interested to know what life is like in Belgium, how come we speak so many languages, and how come I could understand his "Amish talk" too. I believe he said it was Pennsylvania Dutch, but I could be mistaken. It sounded like german to me. But because he said "dutch" I thought he might understand me too as that is my mothertongue. But alas, he didn't, though his wife kinda did. Probably the Pennsylvania Dutch is actually "deutsch" which is german and would explain why he spoke some form of german to me.
When we were done shopping, Sallyann drove us back with her real american Cadillac car to where our real american Suzuki was parked and it was time to say our goodbyes. With lots of pictures, more laughs and hugs of course!! Sallyann tried real hard to convince Jan to come back again to visit soon!!
Well, I wouldn't mind at all!! (ggg)
When we left Shipshewana it had just started to rain. Blèch, feels too much like belgian weather!! I like a lot of things belgian, like chocolates for instance, but I'm not that fond of the rain!! LOL
We had spent a lot more time in Shipshewana than planned (more Jan's plans than mine, I never mind staying longer... LOL), but had so much fun that we didn't really mind. Especially since driving to Chicago that day we crossed a time zone and gained an extra hour that way!! Ain't that nice??? LOL


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