Monday, October 27, 2014

Of all the states I've visited so far, this one, Pennsylvania has taken me the most by surprise.  I had high expectation for the New England states, which were amply met, but I did not expect the beauty and back road scenery that Pennsylvania has to offer.  Around every corner is a photo op and I stop to do just that, as I check out this crop.  As suspected, it's soybeans which turn a beautiful Midas gold.

I love soft pretzels and having filled my share of punch cards over the years, head down the street to the oldest commercial pretzel bakery in America. 

Lititz, PA was voted the "Coolest Small Town in America 2013" and is home to the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery, founded in 1861.

I buy my ticket for the tour and the opportunity to get all twisted.

Ah, but not so fast, there are prayers to be learned!  

The origin of the pretzel dates back to 610 AD when an Italian monk "invents" the pretiola (little reward) to be used as a treat to help children memorize their prayers.  The shape of the pretzel represents the child's arms crossed in prayer and the twist, the union of their parents in marriage.  This is where the term "tie the knot" comes from.  The three openings exemplify the Christian trinity of the Father, Son & the Holy Spirit.  Who knew the homely pretzel had such symbolism!

I finally get twisted and make my own pretzel!

I'm informed however, that the FDA (aka killjoy) does not allow for it to be baked here.
Okay, onto plan B.   I pull out a buck and savor the soft, warm, pillow of deliciousness at the gift shop.  Wetzel and Anne... you have some catching up to do.

I finish off a glorious day with a trip to the Country Barn for some general poking around and an evening of line dancing.

Now, this is my kind of place.
Includes a detached  master bathroom!

Although there are regional differences from the songs and dances on the west coast, (planting me on the side lines more than I'm use to) I am warmly welcomed by new friends; Jean, John, Dottie, Ken, Bill and Deb.  Thank you for the invite to your table!  This was their first time line dancing and they did a great job.  Keep coming back!


  1. What an interesting story; would never thought the humble pretzel has such an interesting background. Looks like the weather is still beautiful. Keep on trucking. mom

  2. Pretzel story, amazing. Dance group- down home country lovin' awesome! Luv ya! aunt judy

  3. But can you arrange a pretzel dance? (Videos, pls.)

  4. We live in were so close! Next time ;)

  5. That's what I call a 2fer...great company and great pretzels! Have you been back to the Country Barn?