Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hershey World--Where the Air Is Edible

After an excruciating day of traveling, we landed in the best hotel of the entire trip. The staff was kind to my kids, even requesting that they help feed the fish and the ducks with their leftover breakfast cereal.

Our big plan for the day was Hershey World.  What could be better than an entire day surrounded with chocolate?
Yes, you read that right.  Free tour.  Free sample.  Air perfumed with chocolate dreams.
And welcoming, smiling, excited, animated chocolate!
We were ready--with our hats on again today.
The kids were excited about the chocolate, but I was more excited to finally meet one of my blogging friends, Kerri.  She was awesome!  I know that if we lived closer, . . . ah, well.  Next time I'm in Pennsylvania, Kerri!

Biggest downside to Hershey World--no strollers allowed inside.  This made for a very long day for Miss Evie.  We had the monkey leash, but she couldn't or wouldn't keep up with everyone else's fast pace--which led to me losing sight of the boys on more than one occasion.  Mean mom that I am, I forced them to wear their red hats all day . . . no exceptions.

She brought her son, Brady, and we were off for an adventure in Chocolate World, including 4D movies . . . 
. . . chocolate tasting . . .
. . . where they taught us to slow down, smell, feel, and evaluate . . .
. . . like a fine wine, chocolate has undertones of taste.
You should try tasting the buttery, nutty, fruity, woody undertones in different bars.  Micah, however, was unimpressed and just wanted the bottle of water by this point.
We rode through the factory, listening to how they make chocolate, at least five times.  Evie loved the singing cows and Hyrum only cared about the free sample every time we exited.
After a break for ice cream, Kerri and Brady had to leave, so we decided to make our own chocolate bars in the new exhibit.
As cool as this sounds, everyone was pretty exhausted by this point.  It took almost 35 minutes of waiting after we had donned our hairnets and aprons.

Eve was so tired by this time--it was 4:30 and a full day of fun behind us--that I couldn't even put her down.  Before we even finished making our chocolate bars, she was crashed out on my shoulder.  

It was an interesting process--picking which flavor of chocolate (white, dark, milk), which fillings (nuts, pretzels, fruit, chocolate chips), and which topping you preferred.  Then we watched each bar as it progressed through the machine and was wrapped with the personalized wrapper of our choice.  I just wish we hadn't saved this for last.  It would have been so much better if we'd done it first.
What a great way to spend a day--new friends, fun movies, singing cows, and lots and lots of chocolate.  Lily and Micah, as their souvenir, each bought five-pound Hershey bars (plus another one we brought home for Ben).  You read that right.  How big is a five-pound chocolate bar, you ask?  A little bit bigger than a jelly roll pan, that's how big.  And they were stoked about them, I can tell you.

I didn't dare tell them that adjacent to Hershey World is Hersheypark--an enormous amusement park.  There's no way I could have done that park with four tiny kids, anyway, right? Next time, for sure.

We all piled in the Suburban, tired and kinda grumpy, and as I was backing out of the parking place, I felt a small bump.  Really?  I got out of the car and looked at the Suburban--not a scratch.  Not even a scuff in the dirt on the bumper.  Then I looked at the Maryland minivan parked behind me--a huge dent.  Did I do that, just from that small bump?  With no scratch on the Suburban?  I didn't know.

We had to take our Redbox movie back, so we found a close one and dropped it off, all while I was discussing with Lily the possibility of whether or not I had done the damage to the van.  After considering it and realizing that I didn't know if it was me or existing damage, I returned to the parking lot, left a note with my number on the door, then we drove the three hours back to Wyalusing.

Did I do the right thing?  Well, around 10 pm I got a call from the Hershey PD, asking for my insurance information.  Good thing I'd left a note.  Weird that my car was totally fine, though.

What were my dreams of southwestern Pennsylvania?  Shopping and mingling with the Amish, a lazy afternoon snapping pictures of the beautiful farmland, possibly finding a hole-in-the-wall cafe and asking a local the best sights to see.  Didn't happen.

Frankly, hardly even missed it.  Next time.


  1. you had me at 'no strollers'

    still i'd have gone to inhale..i mean sample some chocolate!

  2. You are a very brave mum!!! What great memories the children will have - and you too!

  3. You are a little survivor - but chocolate carried the day! Too bad about the little "bump" though...

  4. Oh no strollers would be tough! Sounds like the tour is a little too long