Being born and bred in the South - specifically, Charleston, South Carolina, a city recognized internationally for being graciously hospitable – I just always assumed that we had cornered the market on friendliness with our y’all-come-back-now-personalities. However, after less than 24 hours in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, I stand corrected. From the staff at Eden Resort in Lancaster, to the folks at Turkey Hill Dairy in Conestoga, to the shops in Columbia – particularly Burning Bridge Antiques and Hinkle’s Pharmacy, I was not able to find even half a disgruntled person. If not for their accents, I would have thought I was still down South. Of course, I heard no y’alls and sweet ice tea was hard to come by, but I have never met a nicer, friendlier, more helpful group of people. So I guess I’ll have to admit that the South definitely has some stiff competition above the Mason-Dixon Line.
Our trek “up North” started with packing up our four-legged son, Spike, and dropping him off for a few days of “doggie camp” at Continental Boarding in Charlotte. Unlike most dogs, Spike hates riding in the car. He just can’t settle down and enjoy the ride. He whines, cries, shakes and sheds the entire time. (Just ask Missy, she had the dubious pleasure of traveling with Spike from Charleston to Fort Mill. Even a grandmother’s love and indulgence couldn’t soothe Spike’s travel-related woes.) Of course before he could go to camp, he made a trip to the vet, where every orifice of his body was violated. But he passed his physical, got his shots, some drops/paste for his ears and his certificate for “camp” admittance.
With Spike all checked in, we headed towards our destination, Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County. The Great One had a sales meeting at the Turkey Hill Dairy plant and so I tagged along to see what we could find in Pennsylvania.
Our first stop was the Turkey Hill plant where we were given lots of advice on places to visit and directions on how to get there. From the blank looks on our faces, they realized oral directions weren’t going to cut it and fortunately printed out maps for us, even highlighting the route. Following their advice, we headed to Burning Bridge Antiques. They were definitely right about this being a must-see destination for us. After covering the entire main floor, we headed upstairs and then finally downstairs spending most of the day with them and I am sure we still missed a lot.
When we realized the noises we were hearing were the rumbling of our empty stomachs, we followed their suggestion for a late lunch at Hinkle’s Pharmacy. Hinkle’s is a family-owned business that in addition to its obvious role, have also been feeding the community for four generations. They certainly know how to make an awesome club sandwich as well as breakfast, lunch and supper.
No visit to Columbia, Pennsylvania would be complete without stopping at the Turkey Hill Experience. It’s a great place to have some fun while learning all about Turkey Hill Dairy and the Frey Family. The kids will have plenty to do. There are interactive displays, “cows” to be milked, and samples to be tasted, as well as the opportunity to create your own signature flavor ice cream.
I’ll be posting more about the shops we visited and the treasures we found on future posts, but for now, click the links below.