Sunday, August 31, 2014

Lancaster 2014, Day 1: Kitchen Kettle Village Part I

After the drive through the country, we finally arrived at our first stop, which was Kitchen Kettle Village. In 2006 and 2007, my mom's side of the family went on mini vacations to Lancaster that included a brief stop at Kitchen Kettle Village. Of course, it wasn't as fun browsing in the shops then because I was still rather young. Instead, my cousins and I had fun being silly when we were there. This time, however, I was really excited to go especially since Howard and I knew we wouldn't feel guilty purchasing any snacks or other food items to take home with us.

Right after we parked, we did a quick walk around the tiny shop called Ken's Gardens. There were so many things to photograph in such a small amount of space!

We were able to admire plants that we had never seen before, including these ornamental peppers. The sign states the following: ""Gardeners grow these plants for their ornamental appearance, not for eating. Some are very HOT!"

To some degree, they actually look fake! I think the colors were just gorgeous, but Howard did a much better job at capturing them.

It's hard to imagine that we have only seen the smallest fraction of plants that are growing right now as I type this. What a Creator we have who has the ability to make all living things so different and so beautiful!

Though the edible plants may not look as pretty sometimes, they're the ones that I think are the most interesting because I just want to eat them! I love the concept of farm to table, which is why my mom, Howard, and I all really love Living with the Land in Epcot since the things grown in the gardens are served in Sunshine Seasons and other restaurants. Realistically, it's not difficult growing vegetables; it just requires the time and patience to tend to them. For us, it would require space! But once you've had a homegrown vegetable, it's hard to compare it to the things that are picked really early so that it can be shipped to the store. I wonder what this kale and cabbage would taste like when it's picked fresh and eaten right away.

I was also excited to see some lemon verbena. The signs states the following: "Bright green leaves provide a sweet lemon flavor. Use in cold drinks, jelly, fruit salads, fish, and soups." I only know of it because Bath & Body Works had scents with this in it. I'm also intrigued with the idea that there's lemon flavor in a plant when there are no actual lemons on it! Maybe that's the naive city person in me that's saying that because if you asked me where to get lemon flavor, I'd say you could only get them from lemons! 

Though these plants looked a little dried out and pale, they reminded me of Benji's little herb garden in his backyard that he shows all the time on the "itsjudyslife" vlogs that I enjoy watching on YouTube. In the morning, he'll go outside to choose fresh tomatoes for tomato and avocado salad, and he'll also pick some fresh herbs to put in their omelettes. I can't even imagine just how tasty those things are when they're taken straight from the garden and cooked right away.

Other than plants, Ken's Garden also had a variety of items to display too! Living in a studio apartment on the 9th floor means that we clearly don't have our own garden, but it was still fun to look and think about what we would get if we lived somewhere like Pennsylvania and had a lot of space. These wire designs were some of my favorite things there. They had a few choices in a bunch of different colors.

I don't particularly like it when there's a dragonfly near me since they can be quite large, but when I saw this, I immediately liked it! It helps that the purple is so pretty too.

My mom and I saw the alligator (or crocodile ... I always forget which one has the shorter/longer snout) and pointed it out at the same time. I took a boring picture of the entire area, and when we got home, I saw that Howard had taken this one where it looks as if it's stalking the turtle! 

To the right of this flag, you can also see a yellow butterfly.

I definitely missed out on a lot of what was there because I didn't even see this howling dog. Looking at it kind of reminds of Haunted Mansion or something like that.

I didn't even notice this pig either!

Or this squirrel! I only saw it when Howard paused and bent down to take the picture.

And here is the reason why I kind of stopped seeing everything that was around me ... this bicycle! Isn't it just awesome?! It ended up being my favorite thing in all of Ken's Gardens and would be the kind of thing that would come home with us if we had the spot to place it. I mentioned in a blog post about two weeks ago that I've been loving bicycles for some odd reason. I enjoyed riding my bike up and down the block with my older brother when we were kids, and Howard and I also rode bikes on our church's bike trip and on the Belt Parkway when we were dating. But I haven't ridden one in ages! Yet every time I see something that has to do with bicycles, I am drawn to it and have to at least take its picture! I did check the price when I was there, but I can't remember it at this point. 

Just a few minutes were spent here, and yet there were a ton of photographs! Can you tell it'll take quite some time getting through this brief Lancaster trip? Just imagine how long it takes for me to get through trip reports on the Disney message boards!

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