During our little trolley ride tour of the area and the school, I was almost brought to tears a few times hearing our tour guide (who was a teacher at the school for years) speak about Mr. Hershey's life and all the good he did with his success. He was the real deal and after hearing his story, it almost makes me not want to buy any other brand of chocolate since that school for underprivileged kids still owns 80 percent stock in the company. Pretty amazing.
And speaking of the chocolate, they were not stingy with it at Chocolate World. Every time we turned around someone was handing us another chocolate bar, Hershey kiss, or Reese's cup. It was my kind of place. And the store? Oh.my.word. I had visions of diving headfirst into the endless rows of milk chocolate and
mountains of Twizzlers.
How this child of mine is not smiling while holding up a super sized bag of extra long Twizzlers while standing in the middle of Hershey's Chocolate World is completely beyond me. I guess he's smiling on the inside.
When we arrived there, we had to decide what things we wanted to do. We all agreed on the trolley ride tour and the chocolate tasting but Dracen was the only one set and determined to design his own chocolate bar creation. I thought we'd all be able to go with him and watch but no such luck. You had to have a ticket to go in. I asked him if he wanted me to go buy myself a ticket but Mr. Independent was completely fine to fly it solo and have us wait outside in the store for 45 minutes.
And here he is after he came out holding up his very own chocolate creation complete with its special tin box sporting his name and everything. But still...the smile remains on the inside.
Oh, and just when I thought we were going to make it out of there without one of those five pound chocolate bars, Mr. Independent aka Money Bags reminded us that was the whole very reason he wanted to make this trip so against my better judgement, I got out of his way and watched him make his way to the counter with it.
Later that night, without my knowledge, he and his brother took all the packaging and wrapper off that thing and now it sits in big chunks in a plastic bag on my kitchen counter and believe me, it takes every ounce of willpower in my body not to inhale it through a straw.
I don't think I could ever possibly grow tired or sick of chocolate.
Charlie though, it turns out, is a bit of a lightweight when it comes to chocolate consumption because while I didn't think we ate all that much (just some small samples) that day, he went into some sort of chocolate hangover later and had a headache for hours. And there I was still trying to resist the urge to eat another chocolate bar or two. Or three.
I did begin to run out of steam about halfway through the Hershey Museum later that day, however. Here is Dracen and I after we first arrived searching for the answers to his scavenger hunt they gave him at the front desk. This was not too long before Devin drove him into the fitful rage of breaking his pencil tip off on his chest in the middle of the museum while I was taking a breather on a bench somewhere in a quiet corner. Oh, how I wish that were an exaggeration.
While Hershey was probably my favorite part of the trip, what with me being a chocoholic and then learning of the goodness of Mr. Milton Hershey, Gettysburg, although cold and windy, was pretty amazing to see as well. I had hoped to get more photos but I am a straight up wuss when it comes to cold wind, especially while under-clothed.
Some of the stories our tour guide told us about what the troops went through and about all the lives lost, were just heartbreaking and just like the Hershey tour, I found myself with tears in my eyes a few times. I was surprised to learn, however, that with all that fighting that took place there, only one civilian life was lost. I thought that was phenomenal.
And Amish farm country? Was absolutely beautiful but I really could have done without the reek of manure in the air. I guess you get used to it after awhile.
Here are a few random shots from those areas...
|on the tour bus|
|There is fire coming out of the top of this monument though it didn't show up in this photo.|
|Devin's photography... he caught me blinking|
|He's almost smiling!|
|Nike, the goddess of victory|
|Mr. Lincoln, himself|