Happy Holidays, from Bluffscape Amish Tours

Another beautiful day in Lanesboro. It is overcast with a few snowflakes floating outside. We could use the sun, but at least it isn’t too cold. Amish tours are done for the season. It was a whirlwind year scheduling tours, lining up guides, and meeting so many great guests on our tours. The time off helps us to rejuvenate for next year’s tourist season.
Dave and I plan on visiting a few of our Amish friends to wish them a merry Christmas this week and catch up on the happenings of their families. One Amish lady’s daughter had triplets, two boys and one girl, in November. Hopefully, they are all doing well and adjusting to the busy-ness of raising multiples with their other children at home. Dave’s brother and sister-in-law had triplets six years ago which encompassed much organizing and care in tending to all their needs along with their two other daughters. They now have six children, and they are a fun bunch of kids! Holidays are exciting times with them around.
As Christmas is soon approaching, we wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Joyous and Peaceful New Year!

Lanesboro Holiday Weekend

Lanesboro is getting ready for the Holidays! Lanesboro’s Holiday Open House is this weekend. You can find the stores and village decorated for the Christmas season. At my gallery on Saturday I will have refreshments, specials on merchandise and art, and will be open until 7 p.m. We will have Amish Tours at 10 am and 1:30 pm, too. On Sunday the 22nd, Bethlehem Lutheran Church is having their annual meatball dinner. Dave and I are preparing the mashed potatoes for the second shift. Yes, we use real potatoes, not the boxed stuff! We use about 600 pounds of potatoes to serve about 900 guests. The Lanesboro Inn Keepers Association is having an inn tour on Sunday, as well. The tour goes from 2 – 6 pm and costs $25. We are offfering our Amish tour bus for a shuttle between the inns. So if you don’t want to have to worry about driving and looking for parking at each stop, just hop on our bus and Eric will take you to your next stop. Unfortunately, the inn tour is during our shift at the meatball dinner, so I am unable to go on the tour. I was looking forward to checking out the inns, because I live in Lanesboro and don’t usually need a place to stay. Although, I have stayed at a couple of local inns for winter weekend retreats for scrapbooking.
During the month of November we take Amish tours out on Saturdays and only during the week if we have four or more adults attending. The weather has been beautiful the past two weeks, so it is a wonderful time to go on an Amish tour. 10 am tours are best, as it starts to get dark in the afternoon and can be difficult to see inside the Amish shops. Keep in mind the Amish don’t have electricity to easily turn on a light! Two Amish sisters ride their horse and buggy to Lanesboro on Saturdays and set up their farmers market at the end of our block. They arrive about 9:30 am and pack up to go home about 5:00 pm. They wander down to the gallery to visit and warm up when they are too cold from sitting outside. One of the Amish sisters teaches at an Amish school. They had a week off from school last week for corn husking. Many of the Amish children help their parents husk corn by hand, and they get to take a break from school to husk. The teacher enjoyed the week off and attended her cousin’s wedding in Iowa. She was looking forward to going back to school, as she had a chance to rejuvenate after the time off. It’s always a treat to visit with the young Amish ladies. The next time I see the young Amish sisters, I’ll have to ask them about Thanksgiving and report on the blog if/how the Amish celebrate the holiday.
Come to Lanesboro this weekend and take in the special events to get into the spirit of the Season!

Shopping on Amish Farms

Tour guests enjoy the Amish shops on our tours. Beautiful hand-made aprons, quilts, potholders, and baskets can be found on Amish farm shops. One day I had a tour guest purchase four Amish quilts for Christmas gifts for her children and one for herself. Not only was the guest excited with her special purchase, but the Amish ladies were very grateful for the sale, as the economy has slowed down their sales this past year as well. The recipients of those quilts are very lucky, as the quilts are pieced with a treadle sewing machine and all hand stitched with care.

November Days in Lanesboro

Another month has disappeared in our rear view mirror. November weekdays really slow down in Lanesboro with tourist traffic. Most stores and restaurants are still open, but best to call ahead as some establishments are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Here at Bluffscape, I’m keeping the same business hours until December. I’M STILL OPEN!! I may close occasionally for appointments, but the hours will be posted on the front door, if they change.

Amish tour times have changed for the month of November. Saturdays only at 10 am and 1:30 pm. During the week, we will only go out on a tour if we have four or more people attending. I’m hoping to get more tours, as I miss visiting with my Amish friends already. The Amish are pleasant and gracious folk.

Dave wants to go deer hunting on Saturday with Kirsten, so I may take his place behind the wheel and guide the tour. I also have the opportunity to go to a cousin’s wedding in North Dakota on Saturday. Since Dave can only hunt on the weekend, I may have to work instead of traveling. The Jallos know how to have a good time, so I’m sure to miss a great wedding celebration.

Two days in a row the sun has been shining! October was one of the most dreary months I can remember. What a difference in attitude and energy a sunny day makes. The farmers are also thankful for the great weather, so they can continue with the soybean and corn harvest. With all the rain we have been having it has been difficult to get harvesting done. Cheers to the sun!

Amish Canning and School

Well, it looks like I totally missed blogging in August! Life has been busy here in Lanesboro. Meredith and Emyli were a great help in the gallery, so I was able to take guests out on the Amish tours. Therefore, going out on the tours didn’t give me much time to write.

The Amish ladies are always working when we stop at their farms. They have been canning produce from their gardens and many of them have fresh produce for sale. The ladies also purchase bushels of peaches and pears that they have ordered in advance and preserve many jars for their families and customers. One day when I stopped at the Amish bakery Amanda and her friends were busy husking, cleaning, and cutting corn for canning. They thought they would end up with about 30 pints of corn when they were done.

The Amish kids are back at school. Most of the Amish schools started August 24th and one school started August 17th. The Amish students are referred to as scholars by their teachers. We drive past five Amish schools on our tour and many times we can see the scholars outside for recess. They look like they are having lots of fun playing softball or kickball.

Time to close. I hope to post more Amish happenings soon.

Velkommen til Lanesboro

Velkommen til Lanesboro!

Today we guided two bus loads of Norwegian band members from Arendal, Norway, and their spouses and/or friends on an Amish tour. The Arendal Brass Band had played in Stoughton, WI, for Syttende Mai weekend. They were on a tight time schedule as they arrived from LaCrosse, WI, this morning and were on their way to perform in Decorah, IA, at the Vesterheim Museum this afternoon. They were a jolly, fun bunch and so kind and respectful to our Amish friends.

The Norwegians gave the Amish children balloons, and they were so happy! Their dad said they were spoiling his kids, but it was fun! It was my first time as a step-on-guide, and I learned that I have to pay attention to the road even if I’m not driving so I can give directions. Bus driver, Ben, was excellent and you could tell he enjoyed his job. Go Bus #1!

If you are wearing a hat today, you better hold onto it, as we have wind gusts up to 40 mph. It is also warm with temperatures in the 80s. I’m hoping to plant flowers in front of our store today, but I’m going to wait to see if the wind decreases.

Mange takk! (I’m not sure if it is spelled correctly, but it means thank you in Norwegian.)

Amish Tours and Track Meets

Another beautiful day in Bluff Country. Yesterday, I was lucky to take out an Amish tour. It gave me a chance to get out of the store and take advantage of the beautiful weather. I had a nice couple from North Dakota on my tour. It was their first time in SE Minnesota on an Amish tour. I found out they know some of my cousins in North Dakota. I really enjoy visiting with our guests, they seem like good friends by the time our tours are over.

The Amish seem to have most of their planting done, that I could see. The past few weeks many were in their fields planting crops with their horse-drawn equipment. We drive past a few sawmills on our route. I’m always amazed at the work they do and how much lumber is produced. One Amish lady just finished sewing an all ivory quilt with hearts, doves, and other details hand stitched on the quilt. It is beautiful. Many guests ask her how many quilts she has made, but she doesn’t keep count.

This afternoon Kirsten has a track meet and will run a relay and the two mile event. It is supposed to thunderstorm later today, so I hope it holds off until the track meet is over. I enjoy watching track and field events. The kids work hard at improving their personal records and try to place as high as they can in their event to help add points to the team score. Track meets are also good for socializing with everyone while the next race is preparing to start. Good luck LFC!