so, now that we're home i found the time to get the pictures off of my phone and can finish telling you all about our fascinating trip.
the castle was amazing. we were the only guests that night which was a little creepy but the bed was so comfortable i didn't have any trouble sleeping. the grounds were gorgeous! i loved it. i recommend to anyone in the philly area if ever in need of a vacation go up to this area. it's only 2 1/2 hours away and is so beautiful and there's so much to do. do it.
from there we went to stay a night with the bellvale (bruderhof) community. any chance we get to spend with these folks we jump at. as per usual it was a restful and thoughtful visit. again, the weather was perfect and we visited chickens and goats and walked around the lake. we joined in their daily rhythm with family time, singing, a very local dinner and evening reflections. we sat around the fire with some of the members we met last time we visited and shared our frustrations and encouragements about community life. i always leave a visit to their communities feeling heard and appreciated and inspired. i respect that they don't see their model of community as the only way and really seek to learn from others. i appreciate their sense of humor and simplicity. i'm thankful for their interest and support of our community.
on the way home the next we got stuck in an almost 2 hour traffic jam. that was quite a juxtaposition - coming from simple, peaceful bellvale only to end up very frustrated and surrounded by hot, running cars.
here some (bad) photos in and around the castle.