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Shipshewana & BFFs. (A Grateful Heart)

August 24, 2015
Well, WOW. What a week I had!! If you’re catching up (much like I’ll be doing this next week), I’ll tell you that I just spent the last week in Indiana – with a few days of that spent in Shipshewana, IN with my mom, her bffs and my own bff. We stayed at (the CUTEST) Bed and Breakfast, shopped until we dropped (quite literally), and ate until we could not eat anymore. (Darn you Amish people and your amazing cooking ways!) I thought the easiest way to sum things up would be a quick rundown and recap:
If you’ve never been to Indiana, I can honestly tell you (since I’m from there) that while there IS more than corn in this state, once you start to drive north – that’s pretty much all there is… and it’s beautiful. The fields are vast, animals like cows and goats and horses everywhere, and when the sun is shining (which, it was for our trip) – it looks like something straight out of Little House on the Prairie – it is SO pretty. While the temps dipped down just enough to remind us all that fall is quickly on its way (YAY), everything was still so, so green – which only added to the beauty that was already found in the colorful flowers and the clear, blue sky.

We took two cars for our 4 hour drive to Shipshewana from my parents house and I rode with one of my mom’s bffs, as well as my own. Here’s the thing about bffs, ok? And I’ve talked about this before but it’s worth mentioning again: there isn’t just one thing that makes a friend a best friend. As to what makes that person your best friend is different for everyone: the amount of time you’ve known them, what you’ve been through, how often you talk, etc. etc. etc. While I feel SO blessed to count quite a few of my girl friends my best friends, Erin has always been someone I can be my complete self with. We’ve seen each other through some of the hardest times and have celebrated together through some of the best. I love her heart. After having shared a friendship for 17 years, I smile knowing she’s a friend I’ll have my whole life. It was a lot of fun to have her with me on this trip… we decided to bring the rest of our girls back in a few years to keep the Shipshewana Girls Trip tradition going.

Face-timing with her babies 😉 Times sure have changed and I love it.
When we first arrived to Shipshewana (or as the locals call it, “Shipshe”), we were famished so we headed straight to The Blue Gate Amish restaurant so that I could get a plate of carbs 😉 (#vegetarianprobs). And would you believe it was the best plate of carbs I’ve EVER had?! I mean, holy cow – the Amish know how to cook up a meal!!

Between the homemade mac & cheese, noodles, mashed potatoes, green beans, every type of pie you can imagine, marshmallow peanut butter, apple butter, and candy galore, let’s just say I’m on a strict diet of water and air these next few days. #worthit. We also had dinner at the famous Essenhaus where I had more home-made mac & cheese, noodles, green beans, pie, marshmallow peanut butter,  and apple butter. (I did throw some salad in there, for good measure.)
Shipshe is like the mecca for antique and vintage (as well as some crap) finds. I would consider my mom a professional antique shopper; her entire house is tastefully filled with the most beautiful antique pieces you’ve ever seen. While I have an appreciation for antique furniture and things, my style differs a bit and I tend to lean more towards vintage finds. We did most of our shopping at the adorable shops around town but spent our last afternoon at the auction. It was my first experience attending an auction and I hate to say it but I’m pretty sure I stuck out like a sore thumb as I walked around with my fingers in my ears, pointing at things with my elbows. It was SO LOUD in there – practically deafening! 
Erin and I scored some amazing finds at the shops!

Me (Emily the Giant) and My Best Gal, roaming the rows of the flea market. We do some of our best talking & catching up in flea markets 😉 This was on our last day, at the end of the day- I think we were about to collapse.
I found a few things, all great deals, I came home with! I don’t “collect” many things but I do collect old books (they go in a bookcase in our living room), as well as antique perfume bottles. The perfume bottles are actually being collected for a future project – I can’t wait to share those details with you all one of these days!



Of course there are some rather questionable things to be found here too… none of which I came home with.

It’s like a table of terror.
Aside from the fact that they clearly know how to make bank off of their name (because anyone will buy anything, especially food or furniture, if the word ‘Amish’ is stamped on it), I couldn’t help but think about how my life might be in need of some simple living, much like the Amish. (Although, I wouldn’t be writing this and you wouldn’t be reading this if I were Amish, of course.) While I don’t understand (or even agree with) some aspects of their culture, I can most certainly appreciate their hard work ethic, as well as their simple living ways. It definitely highlighted some things in my life I could (and truly should) do without… stay tuned while I work those details out.

It’s official. I don’t think I can ever “hotel it” again – I think I will always look for a Bed & Breakfast instead of a hotel when traveling now! We stayed at the ever-lovely Songbird Ridge b&b and I will forever stay there for my future Shipshe adventures. I totally goofed and never got a picture of the front of the house but it was huge and gorgeous, as you can imagine, with a large front porch and plenty of seating to take in this view:

And here are the views from the back porch… 

(There were little goats in this field – they were SO cute!)
Songbird’s adorable house pup!
I slept the best I’ve ever slept away from home (besides my parents house) and I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that the room I stayed in reminded me a lot of my parents house with the antiques and cozy feel. 
This was my view, looking out the window, in the morning. 
No trip to the country is complete without some mini-horse love. (GAH!)
Love My Best Gal so much & had so much fun watching her with her amazing girl friends. 

Much like the weird shopping finds, something else that remains questionable (but most definitely still awesome) is my mom’s fannypack. The day we left for Shipshe my mom mentioned to me that she’d somehow lost her fannypack and had been looking EVERYWHERE for a new one. And I quote, “I’ve looked everywhere – not even Goodwill has them. No one carries fannypacks anymore!” You don’t say, mom. You don’t say. Well she must have been praying God lead her to one because what do you think she found on our first day in Shipshe?!

T’was an epic trip, and my heart is so grateful to have new memories with amazing women in such a beautiful place. 

What are you grateful for? 

Link up below and join the rest of us in starting each day this week with a grateful heart. Not enough time to write a Grateful Heart post today? No worries! This linkup will be open until Friday! 

1. Link up to your Grateful Heart post, not just your blog’s homepage, and please link your post back to Ember Grey (via link or GH button) so that others can link up too! *Any posts that do not have to do with this GH topic or those that do not link back up to this blog will be deleted. 

2. If you use #gratefulheart on Twitter, tag me and I will retweet! @embergreyblog

3. Carry on and be grateful! XO!
Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey

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