Mary Burtch arrived at The Inn at Amish Acres last Tuesday. She was likely the most excited guest we have ever registered. Her story began to unfold. Mary is from Houston, Texas, originally from Bowling Green, Ohio. She taught first grade at Almeda Elementary for 38 years and just retired--you could read that fact on her tee shirt. She still wasn't convinced until her principal said at her party, "You are officially retired."
Mary taught with a PE teacher who went to Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana and introduced her to the treasures of Northern Indiana. She enjoys reading books about Amish culture and has been to Berlin, the center of Ohio's Amish population. Mary’s son, who works at Bowling Green University, flew to Texas for her retirement. They then flew back to Dayton together. Mary had decided her first retirement present to herself was a trip to Northern Indiana's Amish Country. She paid off her credit cards so they could be filled up again with rememberances from her vacation. She Googled and up came Amish Acres and she said to herself, “That’s where I’m going.”
To mark her special occasion she asked Courtney to take a picture of her in front of the hotel. Since I was eves dropping, I introduced myself and asked I asked if I could have a picture, too.
Courtney immediately upgraded Mary to our more-than-popular $99 all inclusive Getaway that includes the entire Amish Acres Experience, custom designed for Mary. Reservations were made for her to see State Fair on The Round Barn Theatre stage on Wednesday and Threshers Dinner in the old bar restaurant before the show. She got her day’s itinerary for the guided tour, documentary films, and wagon ride. As our gift, we gave her a complimentary ticket for Plain and Fancy, the 1955 Broadway musical about Amish life and love that is in its 26th season at Amish Acres! Mary was particularly excited because she had never seen a staged musical. Now she was seeing two in two days!
I saw her having breakfast in the Geranium Room the next morning and you could see her eyes filled with a whole new world—live theatre can do that to you. She said, “I had a wonderful night’s sleep, the food is fabulous; and she had not yet had the farm’s famous family style Threshers Dinner that has been named "Indiana’s Best Meal" by Travel Trade magazine!
Mary said, “This is just what I was looking for: Amish Acres, right next to the small city of Nappanee; a plain, simple, tranquil and peaceful place. Houston is massively noisy, traffic is horrendous and no trace of traditional lifestyle remains."
She was last seen smiling and waving her credit card in the bakery, stocking up with cookies and pies for her trip to Bowling Green to continue her new found freedom with an extended visit with her son.
If this sounds like an ad for visiting Amish Acres in Nappanee, Indiana, and partaking of the $99 all-inclusive package, it is; but I didn’t write it, Mary did.
PS Mary was back this weekend, same shirt, different color, with her family and repeated her package experience with them. Now we're ready to hire her to be Amish Acres' own Flo.
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