It seems like a fact of life these days that many families live far apart; college, careers and relationships drew my mom, my dad, my brother and I to settle in different cities across the east coast. When we are able to get together, it’s always a blessing and a blast! Being the spontaneous people that we are, my mom decided on a recent Monday to come from Pittsburgh that Wednesday to spend two adventure-filled days with me here in Lancaster. And of course, I wanted to impress my dear mother, so luckily, I was able to secure a gorgeous suite at the Bird-in-Hand Village Inn & Suites for our “mini-staycation.” This lovely bed & breakfast is subtle yet elegant, and a breath of fresh air among many traditional motel lodging options in Lancaster County.
During our stay, we learned from the innkeeper that this historical property was once a tavern, dating back to 1734. And while the property is full of rich history, the fresh and inviting feel of the inn made us feel at ease immediately. Each staff member wore a name badge proudly displaying the number of years they had served at the Inn. Upon arrival, we were greeted warmly by LouAnn, who has worked at the inn for over ten years. For me, a regular traveler, this sense of caring and hospitality is what really set the Inn apart from other lodging locations, and according to innkeeper Penny Hershey, draws many visitors back year after year.
There are four separate homes on the property: The 1734 Inn, The Ressler House, the Desmond House, and the Carriage House. Our suite in the Carriage House featured its own private entrance, and lovely back patio shaded by winding, woven trumpet vines and overlooking a rolling corn field. We were pleasantly surprised by the spacious accommodations and the convenience of the mini-fridge and kitchenette. But for me, all I wanted to do was immediately forget the world and dive into the amazingly luxurious looking spa tub and never leave – ever! But, we decided instead to begin our adventures in Bird-in-Hand.
Well, we didn’t make it very far. Our first – and last – stop of the night was the Bird-in-Hand Family Restaurant & Smorgasbord. The spread of authentic PA Dutch comfort food was perfect for our girls’ night out, and we topped it off with a hand-made slice of pie followed by some browsing in the gift shop. What could be better? We couldn’t think of anything, so we decided to turn in for the night. I never did make it in the spa tub. Bummer!
The following morning, we enjoyed a delicious continental breakfast in the Ressler House. Fresh fruit, muffins, and home-made waffles were available in the lovely private dining area. A perfect way to start a great day together! The hostess was exceptionally pleasant, and offered suggestions for our day’s adventures, as well as educating us about the local history. We learned that all guests at the Bird-in-Hand Village Inn receive a complimentary shuttle tour of the Amish farmland, as well as options for vineyard, brewery, and other interest based excursions. But, for us, unfortunately, there wasn’t time to do everything, so we decided to treat ourselves to an afternoon of theatre.
My mom is a quilter, but, I am not. No, no, no, my attention span will not spare me even five minutes of sewing. However, we both absolutely loved the Amish musical “Half Stitched,” performed on the Bird-in-Hand Stage. I am not too proud to admit that I teared up at least five times during the play… which of course I tried to hide from my mom so she wouldn’t see what a blubbering sentimental I have become in my “old age” (I’m 30 now). Thankfully, just when I thought she’d find me out, they would crack a hilariously unexpected joke and provide the moment of uproarious laughter I needed to slyly flick a tear off my cheek. We laughed out loud more than we have laughed in a long time. The whimsical characters were lovable, relatable, and provided good, clean entertainment – which is hard to find these days.
Leaving the stage, we both felt blessed and so thankful that we were able to take this time out of our busy lives to make lasting memories. So, whether you’re traveling from near or far, make sure you check out the Bird-in-Hand Village Inn & Suites, Bird-In-Hand Family Restaurant & Smorgasbord, and the play, “Half Stitched.” If you’re anything like me, you’ll be glad you did!