Alive and Well in Lancaster, PA

What might you do 13 days before you take your leave of the country of your birth? Why, go to Dutch Wonderland, of course. Because I couldn’t leave without going on the “Flying Trapeze.”

We are visiting my parents in Lancaster County, PA, home to many, many Amish, horses, buggies, cows–lots and lots of cows–and the place where I grew up, in an attempt to soak up as much grandparent time as possible before we leave this fair nation.

And there’s also the matter of my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, which my family, my sisters and I will celebrate with a “surprise” party this Saturday for our extended family. I say “surprise” in quotes because, well, I blew the surprise part by not actually noting on the invitations that this was all meant to be hush-hush. Considering all I’ve been doing in the last few months–constantly cleaning the house to show, clearing out, chaperoning children, looking for a home for our cats, painting, weeding . . . well, I think this oversight can be overlooked, don’t you? So, my parents got wind of a shindig and I ultimately confessed to it.

But back to Dutch Wonderland. It’s an amusement park, Lancaster County style–small, a bit old and tired, and one of the few amusement parks in the world, I suspect, where you will see Amish people lining up to go on the rides. I also suspect it’s the only place where a ride is called the “Wonder House” with a tagline underneath saying, “Why Don’tcha Come in Now Onc’t.” Being Pennsylvania Dutch and all. And I doubt many other amusement parks have a farm-themed “Silo Slide.”

Dutch Wonderland does remind me of one of those American things I won’t see quite as often in England: clear evidence of the obesity epidemic. It is alive and well and, yes, living in Lancaster County. Or visiting Lancaster County.

It’s everywhere, I know, and while the UK is not immune to obesity, it’s one of the many things that predominates in the U.S. that makes me worry for my nation. What is it about the U.S.A. that makes so many of us fat?

Mmm . . . maybe I can get in one last funnel cake before I go.

One thought on “Alive and Well in Lancaster, PA

  1. beverlydiehl

    Greetings, SheWrites sister here – and one who grew up down the road, in York, near the Shoe House, among other places. So I bop into your blog and see Dutch Wonderland. I miss the swan boats, and I’d forgotten about the Wonder House and the Silo Slide. Good times, lol!

    Could be we’re fat not simply because of funnel cakes and shoo-fly pie, but because of other factors. They had an article in Newsweek a few months ago about how all the lab animals in the US have been getting fat over the last few decades – and THEY’re not eating more junk food or playing more video games. Exposure to AC and artificial lighting? Pollutants in the water supply?

    On that cheery note… thanks for he trip back in time and geography.


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