Lancaster County

Goats!

Best Kept Secrets – Goats

Goats - or kids

Thanks to the recent Best Kept Secrets Tour and some lovely guests we found out about many great places to visit when you are in visiting Lancaster County.

I was so excited when they came back the first day and told us they had been to a goat farm.  Goats!   I love goats – I couldn’t wait to go visit Misty Creek Goat Dairy in Leola.  According to Google Maps – Misty Creek is 5 miles from Carriage Corner – and did I mention they have Goats!!

Visiting:

Thankfully our daughter and son in law came to visit right after the guests had given us this Goats - well hello there!wonderful information!  Based on Little E’s nap and eating scheduled we had a little window to check out a farm.  It was a toss up between heading to Lapp Valley Farm to see the cows and get ice cream or heading over to Misty Creek to the see the goats.  We decided to grab Lapp Valley at Kitchen Kettle and go see the goats!  Misty Creek is open from 8a to 6p Monday through Saturday.  No appointment is necessary.

E was thrilled!  She’s at that stage where everything is a doggy.  But she was reaching out and petting the goats, laughing when they nibbled on my coat, and she sampled all the cheese.  Be advised when you stop at an Amish farm like this one you’ll need to have cash for your purchases.  The cheese was creamy and delicious. The soap smell light and there were some lovely little trinkets available to purchase.  If you’re visiting Kitchen Kettle – add Misty Creek Goats to your places to visit.  You won’t regret it!

We’re Getting Green-er All the Time

So, if you’ve stayed at Carriage Corner anytime since mid-October, 2016 you know we are originally from Seattle.  Which means we are tree hugging hippies!    Okay, not really, but we are very environmentally conscious, always have been.  Since day one, we’ve been changing what we could to keep Carriage Corner Going Green.  So, imagine my surprise when we got here and found out the local garbage company didn’t offer recycling.  ::thehorror::

So, for the past 15 months, we’ve done everything we could continue going green and help reduce our carbon foot print, including:

Cloth Napkins - the environmentally friendly option

  • We compost as much as we can and use that beautiful, rich soil in our gardens;
  • We keep the thermostats set low in both the summer and the winter;
  • We added energy efficient fireplaces in all of the guest rooms;
  • We’ve eliminated the need for auxiliary window air conditioning units in the guest rooms;
  • We updated the washer and dryer to more energy efficient models;
  • We changed all the shower heads to be more water friendly;
  • We stock refillable, environmentally friendly luxury bath products in all of our guest rooms;
  • We keep a britta pitcher full in the fridge at all times and encourage guests to fill their water bottles; and
  • We’ve been loading up the recycling to recycle it ourselves.

For Christmas 2017, we got the best gift ever!  A garbage company that wasn’t servicing our area expanded.  They now service our area – so no more taking the recycling in ourselves.  Now, we just take it to the curb and they pick it up!

What does this mean for you, our guests?  Nothing really.  The garbage is all sorted for you – so all you need to do is what you have been.  But we’ve also added garbage can in the garage specifically for recycling if you want go green and take care of it yourself.

What other things do we do that benefit our guests, the environment and keep us moving forward on the going green path?

Vintage Finds available - yard art rather than landfil?

  • Indoor lights in public spaces are on timers; outdoor floodlights are on motion sensors
  • Use LED bulbs
  • Grow our own herbs, edible flowers and small vegetable garden
  • planted loads of fruits – figs, raspberries, strawberries & kiwi, researching the hardiest varieties for the area
  • Freeze or preserve food so it doesn’t go to waste
  • Recycle large glass bottles into craft projects – herb planters and candles to name a few
  • Shop at and support locally owned retailers
  • Use Energy Star appliances
  • Re-use furniture – all of our antiques have been lovingly used by other generations
  • Donate to Goodwill and utilize services such as Craigslist and Freecycle. See www.freecycle.org and www.craigslist.com
  • Take re-usable bags to the grocery store
  • Pay bills online and receive e-statements
  • UL-certified power strips provided in guest rooms where needed
  • Windows and screens kept in good working order so we can open them on days when the temperatures are moderate
  • Guest rooms are individually cooled, therefore eliminating the need to cool rooms that are not in use
  • Ask guests to partner with us in our green efforts by re-using towels and sheets
  • We are currently looking into installing a rain barrel to collect runoff water for outdoor watering
  • Cloth napkins are used at the breakfast table

quilt line drying - doesn't get much greener than thatOur Green efforts continue as we find ways to reduce our carbon footprint and be more environmentally friendly.  My personal favorite is using the clothesline – which I do with our personal laundry but am a bit hesitant to do with Carriage Corner’s laundry.  I’m worried about allergies and line dried sheets and towels.  So talk to me – how do you feel about freshly laundered linens blowing in the breeze?

What Is A Mud Sale?

vintage lawn game purchased at the Farmersville Mud SaleThis is a question we get asked often – what is a mud sale?  Are they selling mud?

The answer is no, they are not selling mud.  But you may be up to your knees in mud while attending one.

Mud Sales

A mud sale is basically a community fundraiser that supports the fire department.  In Lancaster County many of the fire departments are volunteer.  Over the years, they have figured out what does and doesn’t work to generate funds to support the fire department.  Mud Sales are the Giant Dahlia Quilt purchased at the Strasburg Mud Salething!  Because the mud sales start at the end of the Winter and many of the items are being auction off in the field, the fields can get quite muddy – hence the name.  Pro Tip:  Pack your wellies.

What Can You Buy at a Mud Sale?

I think a better question would be – what can’t you buy?  You can buy hand quilted Amish Quilts; furniture; buggies; horses; outdoor furniture; architectural elements and all manner of crafty items – from birdhouses to wooden flowers.   Pro Tip:  Know what you are looking for.

Beautiful wood swing purchased at the Strasburg Mud Sale

Food

At each of the mud sales we attended last year – the Ladies Auxiliary was set up and selling food – coffee, water, donuts, and corn chowder to name a few of the items readily available.  Also, there were several food trucks on the premises so you don’t have to leave when you get hungry.

Things to Know

Earlier this year, I wrote a blog post about attending the Mud Sales last year and what we learned.  Hopefully it will help you too.  The Mud Sales 

Vintage sled and old cast iron pot bellied stove purchased at the Gordonville Mud Sale

Are Coming!

Schedule

I posted the schedule through March on our Area Attractions page.

Book Your Stay

When you book your stay for one of the mud sales – let us know in the comments that’s what you’re coming in for.  We are offering a ‘grab & go’ breakfast for the people who want to get a jump start on the day.

We love going to the Mud Sales and look forward to hearing about your adventures and seeing your treasures!

Fire & Ice Festival

13th Annual Fire & Ice Festival

Fire & Ice Festival 2017

Friday:

It’s not too early to make plans to shake off your cabin fever and attend the Fire & Ice Festival.  2018 is the thirteenth annual Fire & Ice Festival.  The schedule works out so that you can check into your room at Carriage Corner and then head over to Lititz to watch the ice being carved into amazing sculptures.  Last year (2017) we had both of our girls with us and our grand daughter too, the weather was a balmy 70 degrees and the ice was melting – fast!  There is no danger of that happening this year – so pack your long johns and layer up!

Once you’ve had your fill of watching the ice being carved, why not head over to Appalachian Brewing Company for dinner?  This is one of our favorite places to go.  The service is always excellent.  They have a good appetizer menu and we enjoy the beer.  After dinner, take the scenic drive back to Carriage Corner where you can enjoy fresh cookies and a cup of coffee in front of either the gas flame fire in the common room or the electric fire in your guest room.

Saturday:

Fire & Ice Festival - Ice Throne

Krystle, Eleanor & Jessica

After enjoying our filling hot breakfast – head back over the Lititz to wander around and see the finished ice sculptures.  Stand in line to sit in the ice throne (we’re looking forward to getting years of photos of Eleanor in the Ice Throne).

Options for lunch are plentiful:

  • eat at one of the many food trucks at the park;
  • enjoy the chili cook-off (the fire); or
  • stop into a local cafe.

Don’t forget there is also a carnival at Warwick High School from 11a – 3p.

The Fire is the Chili Cook – Off:

So, we’ve talked about the Ice, but what is the Fire part of the Fire & Ice Festival you ask?  Well, that would be the chili.  There is a chili cookoff that included chili from 20 different local chefs.  You do need an admission button to sample the chili at the chili cook off.  Buttons are $10 and should be purchased in advance at Stauffer’s of Kissel Hill.

This year’s Fire & Ice Festival starts on Friday, February 16, 2018 – so plan to celebrate your Valentine in style with a beautiful weekend away, a fun festival that supports the local community and some good food.  Call 717-768-3059 to book your room now!  We can’t wait to meet you and hear about your weekend at the festival.  Maybe we’ll bump into you while we’re waiting to get Eleanor’s 2018 Ice Throne photo!

What Are You Interested in Reading?

Happy 2018!!

Carriage Corner Blog Posts

Lancaster County B&B Blogs

We have our first full year behind us and are looking forward to the next one.  With that in mind, I’m interested in knowing what you are looking for in a Lancaster County B&B Blogs.  Do you read them?  Or do you just look at the room pictures, click the book now button and either make your reservation or move on?

I thought I would take this opportunity to ask you  – our guests – past, present and potential – what it is you’d like to see on this blog?  Are you looking for 5 fun things to do on Friday Night in Intercourse?  Or maybe you want to be kept up to date on the Mud Sale Schedule?  I can do more of that.

I’ve been doing some research.  And by research – I mean reading other Lancaster County B&B Blogs!  There are a couple that I’ve come across that end each blog post with a sales pitch – they detail a room and tell you why you’d like that one.  I don’t care for that format – seems a bit pushy and I’ve never been the ‘hard sales’ type.  But maybe you like that.   There are couple that I’ve come across that post so sporadically, you’d never think to go look for a new post.  I’m trying to post weekly and let you know via our facebook page when the post is live.  Finally – there are the B&B Blogs that share funny stories about guests, but absolutely nothing personal about themselves.  Again – not my favorite – I’d rather share something about us and build a sense of community.

I’ve been trying to utilize the following monthly format:

  • upcoming events;
  • something crafty (that’s for me);
  • 5 best things; and
  • a recipe

But what I’d really like to know is this:

  • Are you reading the blog – what are you looking for?
  • What frequency do you want to see blog posts?
  • Are you interested in the crafts or recipes or only the upcoming events and 5 best places for ice cream posts?

Talk back to me – please.  I really do want to know.

The Mud Sales Are Coming!

Furniture finds at the Mud Sales

We bought this beautiful piece of furniture which now holds the coffee and snacks

Do you know about the Mud Sales?

Mud Sales are a Lancaster County “Thing” and a pretty big thing too.  Every weekend from the end of February straight through to early April there is a mud sale somewhere in Lancaster County.  Each community fire department has a mud sale where people bring items to auction off.  Think high end garage sale – you can find antiques, hand-made quilts, outdoor furniture, indoor furniture, sewing machines, buggies, food and even horses!  If you are looking for it – it can be found at a Lancaster County Mud Sale!

Tips to help you enjoy the Mud Sales

Last year was our first year in Lancaster County and our first experience at Mud Sales.  We have some tips:

  • Go early – either the day before or prior to the start of the sale to get your bidder number and have a little look around
  • Know your spending limits – mud sales are auctions and it’s easy to get carried away with the excitement of it all
  • Have a shopping list in mind – if you only need a sled to decorate for the holidays – look at the sleds and not the swings 🙂
More Mud Sale finds you can't live without

I loved this set of metal wash bins

Schedule of the February and March Mud Sales

I’ve put an asterisk* by the sales we attended.

  • Strasburg Spring Mud Sale* – February 24, 2018
  • Bart Township Mud Sale – March 3, 2018
  • Gordonville Spring Mud Sale* – March 10, 2018
  • Airville Fire Co. Spring Mud Sale – March 17, 2018
  • West Earl Fire Company Mud Sale – March 17, 2018
  • Farmersville Mud Sale* – March 22, 2018
  • Gap Fire Company Mud Sale – March 24, 2018

Honestly – Farmersville was our favorite of the bunch.  It was smaller and in the evening.  But Strasburg was amazing and Gordonville is huge and very well known.

 

Short video of a Mud Sale Auction

Tips for attending:

 

  • Dress warmly – you never know what the weather will be
  • Bring your checkbook – most of the fire departments will take a personal check and many will add a surcharge for using a credit card
  • Stay someplace where you can get a good hot breakfast to keep you going all day.  We will be offering a hearty grab and go hot breakfast during mud sale season
  • Book your room early – the mud sales are very popular and people come from far away to attend.  Last year we met people from New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky during the mud sales.

5 Things to Do in Intercourse on a December Friday

Looking for things to do on a Friday night in Intercourse?  This little town can be a little sleepy.  Most of the year the sidewalks roll up around 6p, sometimes even earlier.  BUT during December – Intercourse comes alive on a Friday Night.  Here’s a quick list of 5 things to do on any given Friday in December:

Friday Night knitting in Intercourse - yarns

 

  1.  Shop at Kitchen Kettle – Between Thanksgiving and Christmas Kitchen Kettle Stays open until 9pm on Fridays.  Giving you more time to stroll through the Village and find that perfect gift.
  2. Drop into Lancaster Yarn Shop – they really are your LocalYarnShop even if you aren’t local.  On Fridays during December there is Open Knitting – working on holiday projects and need some time away from the family to get them done?  Now’s the time.  This is a wonderful group of women who are incredibly warm, inviting and helpful.  You’ll find all the support you need to complete your project in time.
  3. Head over to the Corner Coffee Shop – between 7-9p the Corner Coffee Shop has live music.  If the weather is nice, the performance will be outside on their patio which is decorated for holidays.
  4. Do a little Christmas Shopping at The Treasure Place – this is truly one of my favorite shops in Intercourse.  If you’ve stayed with us – you’ve most likely seen my ‘collection’ of farm animal paintings – well, they all came from The Treasure Place.  I adore their re-purposed furniture and am constantly inspired by their room displays.  AND
  5. Work on a holiday puzzle at Carriage Corner Bed & Breakfast.  During the month of December the puzzle will have a holiday theme to it.

Fall is Happening Around Us

Showy Trees

We are just hitting our stride with the fall colors.  The leaves are just getting into the spirit of Fall and starting to put on a wonderful show.  The weather has finally turned cool – but not cold.  I’m finding it to be the perfect sweater weather.   Here some ideas for you to enjoy the Fall happenings in Lancaster this year.

Pumpkin Ideas

With all the farmlands in Lancaster County, this is the ideal spot to go pumpkin picking – get your sugar pumpkins and roast them down for everything!  I love having both cubes of roasted pumpkin in my freezer as well as pumpkin puree.   A quick google search will return more ideas then you can shake a stick at, here are some of my favorite things to make with pumpkin:

Corn Mazes

Another great thing about all the farmlands is the corn mazes.  Why not take a few hours and challenge your brain.  There are several corn mazes close by.  You might want to try: Orange Leaves

  • Cherry Crest Adventure Farm
  • Brubakers Corn Maze
  • Corn Cob Acreas
  • The Corn Maze at Oregon Diary
  • The Golf Maze at Foxchase

Shop and Relax

Or maybe, just maybe you want to do a little shopping around Kitchen Kettle Village and then relax and enjoy the crisp air, while having a seasonal coffee and listening to live music at the Corner Coffee Shop.

Whatever inspires you about Fall in Lancaster – come and enjoy a little get away!

Fall Flavors

fall flavors at their finest

It’s finally Fall here in Lancaster County and with the crisp air and changing of the leaves, I’ve been inspired to play with fall flavors while creating breakfast.  When Fall rolls around, the fall flavors I think of first are pumpkin, cranberry, apples & pears.  My first thought was pumpkin granola – but I already have a very, very good granola recipe that I’ve shared and I wasn’t sure I really wanted another.  So first I googled pumpkin granola and printed out a bunch of recipes – which I then compared to my original granola recipe.  This is what I ended up with:

 

 

Pumpkin Crunch Granola:

Ingredients:

  • 3 3/4 Cups oatmeal
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/3 cup wheat germ
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1t pumpkin pie spice* – I made my own
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 3T packed dark brown sugar
  • 1t vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325*.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats through pumpkin pie spice.
  3. In a second bowl, whisk the egg whites.  Add in pumpkin, syrup, oil, brown sugar & vanilla – whisk until smooth.
  4. Pour wet over dry ingredients and mix until fully combined.  Spread onto prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 25 minutes, making sure to stir every 10 minutes to prevent burning.
  5. Allow granola to cool for 20 minutes.  Gently add dried cranberries.  Cover tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Beautiful jar of cranberry curdThis was served layered with plain greek yogurt and cranberry curd.  It was amazing – if I do say so myself.  Please let me know if you try it.

I have actually been thinking about the flavors of Fall for a few weeks now.  Earlier this summer, I made both lemon and lime curd [but not lemon/lime curd, hmmm] and I could stop thinking about what else I could curd.  Cranberry would not leave – so I made that as well.  I will share that recipe later – but it was amazing!

*I had a guest staying with us who has a cinnamon allergy – so I had to make my own cinnamon free pumpkin pie spice.  There are many recipes available for pumpkin pie spice – I used nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cloves & mace.

 

Find Your Holiday Spirit In Lancaster

In Lancaster Holiday Spirit is Around Every Corner

Christmas Tree In Lancaster Holiday Spirit is Around Every Corner
 
Need to get away and take a break during the madness of the holiday season? Why no slow down and reconnect with the reason for the season? Let us help you find your holiday spirit in Lancaster? With tours, train rides & live theatre you are sure to find your holiday spirit in Lancaster County. 

Tours:

Authentic Bed & Breakfast Belsnickle Tour. December 2 & 3, 20 bed and breakfasts open their doors to let you see their holiday finery.  Each inn will have a “hidden” Belsnickle. Find him and enter into a drawing for a stay at one of our inns valued at up to $325. Each inn will offer a signature cookie. Start your cookie recipe collection with the recipe cards at each inn.

Honeybrook Community Church hosts a live Nativity each year. Allow an hour to walk through the 7 scenes of the Nativity and enjoy the provided refreshments. This event is free.  The website is not updated for 2017 yet, but it appears that the live Nativity is the second weekend of December.

 

Train Rides:

Strasburg Railroad has a couple of Christmas train ride options.

  1. Take the Christmas Tree Train to Leaman Place Grove where you choose a pre-cut tree. Your tree will be delivered to the station on the train’s flatcar.
  2. Take a ride with Santa when you climb aboard the Santa Express.

Don’t forget about the shows.

Lancaster is well known for its amazing live theatre. You can see anything from bible stories to crazy comedies and all are sure to have you talking over breakfast the next day. A sampling of what’s available.

Magic Lantern Christmas Show – Classic Christmas stories, poems, and much more will fill you with the Christmas spirit. Your Showman will take you on this wonderful trip through the joys and heartfelt emotions of the Holiday Season as he presents iconic stories and poems like The Night Before Christmas, with stunning visual images, heartfelt music and legendary storytelling.  Amish Experience at Plain & Fancy Farm.

Guess Who Is Coming to Dinner – All Nancy wants is for her two families to get to know each other over Christmas dinner. Nancy invites both her grown children and her new boyfriend’s. Will anyone show up for the turkey dinner? And if they do show up, will there be peace on earth good will, or will the police arrive to cart them off to lock-up? It’s Christmas at Rainbow, what could go wrong?

White Christmas – Based on the beloved movie, veterans Bob and Phil are a successful song and dance team when they meet a sister duo and follow them to an inn in Vermont. They discover it’s owned by their old General who fell on hard times, so they decide to put on a show to save the inn and their General’s future.  Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

A Christmas Story – It’s not sugarplums dancing in Ralphie’s head; it’s a Red Ryder air rifle! On a desperate quest to prove to his mother, teacher and even Santa that he is Snow Sceneresponsible enough to be the proud owner of this Christmas wish, Ralphie isn’t going to let any opposition stop him from getting what he wants, including the schoolyard bullies! Bundled with your favorite film moments, fans will rejoice as they relive the triple-dog-dare flag pole incident, the worst Christmas present ever (pink bunny pajamas) and the FRA-GEE-LAY top prize (leg lamp). A Christmas Story, The Musical hits the bullseye for holiday family fun!  Fulton Theatre

Home for the Holidays – Inspired by warm memories of family Christmases, Home for the Holidays celebrates the joys and merriment of spending the holidays with the ones we love. This show takes place on a festive Christmas Eve and features many beloved traditions. American Music Theatre.

Get Your Holiday Shop On.

Kitchen Kettle Village is open until 9pm on Fridays between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so you can do some late shopping.  Don’t forget that the Corner Coffee Shop offers live music on both Friday and Saturday nights. 

A weekend get away to Lancaster might be just what you need to get you feeling the holiday spirit again.