For those of you who’ve read Love Finds You in Charm, Ohio, you’ll remember Keim as the place Noah Weaver works.
I decided it would be fun to drive from Memphis to Charm, so I rented a car and hit the road. It was actually a great trip. The weather was nice, I had my favorite music with me, and the car even had satellite radio.
Every now and then, a girl just needs a road trip!
And for the most part, it was tons of fun. Except for the time I was stuck in road construction traffic for more than an hour. Or the part where when I finally got to the hotel (somewhere in Kentucky) it came a monsoon and I was seriously drenched by the time I got inside. And then I left my laptop charger at said hotel, so I was without my laptop the entire trip. And of course, on the return trip I decided to take what turned into an hour long detour to see the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln but it was CLOSED by the time I got there.
Everything else was perfect. 🙂
I arrived in the picturesque town of Sugarcreek, Ohio just in time for dinner on Friday evening. After I got checked into my room, I went to eat at the Dutch Valley Restaurant. The food was so good I felt compelled to take pictures. In fact, pretty much every meal I ate was photo-worthy.
Fun side note: the hotel I stayed in had my book for sale. As did the restaurant. I’m still waiting to get used to the feeling of seeing my book on the shelf. I resisted the urge to tell people. 🙂 I’m sure they wondered why the weird girl was taking pictures of the book rack though.
Saturday morning, I set off for Charm. There were lots of buggies on the road and I saw lots of Amish on bicycles. Once I got to the “Charm” sign, I could see that Charm Days were already well-underway. There was some kind of horse show going on and there were people everywhere.
The signing went really well. Susan Downs and Connie Troyer (both from Summerside Press) came to the event and sat with me at the table. I was very thankful to have them there. It would’ve been really daunting to be there alone. I met a lot of very nice people–some who’d already read the book and some who purchased it at the signing. I signed for nearly three hours in all and just had the best time.
After the signing was over, Connie, Susan and I had lunch at Grandma’s Homestead Restaurant, which is featured several times in my book. The food was yummy and we had a great time visiting. After lunch, Connie and set out on a walking tour of Charm. First we stopped at the Charm General Store. The owner and her son were so nice. They’re selling the book in the store and I actually signed a copy for an Amish family who bought it while I was there. We went to a quilt store and a fabric store–the quilts are just beautiful. I bought the cutest apron to add to my apron collection. (yes, a random thing to collect, but I love aprons–especially cool vintage ones)
Then it was back to Sugarcreek to visit the Christian bookstore. That was the first time I’d seen both of my books on the shelf together. Everyone I met was so nice and many had read the book and told me how much they enjoyed it. (I did meet one lady at the signing who told me she wished I would write just a regular book with no romance in it because she was tired of reading about love–I thought that was kind of funny)
By this point, I was seriously exhausted. I had a quick dinner at Beachy’s Restaurant in Sugarcreek–again, the food was delicious. I had some of the best food ever on this trip!
The next day, I spent a couple of hours driving through the small Amish towns. I went back to a deserted Charm and took some pictures. The leaves were beautiful and I loved passing the houses–one yard full of Amish guys playing football and another driveway with Amish girls playing basketball. It was just a very neat place.
But all good things must end, and it was soon time for me to turn my car toward the South. Uneventful, except for the aforementioned detour to see the (closed) home of Honest Abe. I made it to Nashville for the night and then to Memphis the next day.
Oh yeah. One more thing. 1500+ miles in a rental car with no problem and I backed into a tree in my driveway on the way to return it to the airport. (am just thankful it was only a tiny ding…but still I felt pretty silly explaining to my insurance company!)
The song of the day: Life is a Highway, the Rascal Flatts version. Enjoy!
A few more photos: