Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Sweetest Place on Earth

That's Hershey, Pennsylvania's tag line and it's relatively accurate, considering the amount of free chocolate we were treated to during our stay. We spent 3 nights and 3 days in Hershey, with the plan to go to their Haunted attraction, Hershey Park in the Dark, Friday night.

Unfortunately, the park was closed throughout the duration of our stay due to heavy rain and frigid weather. We made the best of our getaway though, enjoyed the time away from the apartment, work and bills and just enjoyed our time together.

The first place we visited was Hershey's Chocolate World.





With giant chocolate mascots, how could we resist?

While we were there, we went on the Hershey Factory tour (which is cheesy, fun and not in the factory!) where we giggled and felt briefly that there should have been oompa-loompas dancing about instead of cows:






We also participated in a chocolate tasting "adventure" where we were given chocolate with different amounts of cacao in them, and asked to identify different flavor notes. We also learned a bit about the history and origins of chocolate:





After that, we ate dinner at a delicious pizza place in town before retiring to our room to watch 'The Evil Dead'. Even though I was on vacation, I continued on with the 31 Days of Halloween blog party. Good thing I brought so many movies too, since nothing is open in Hershey after 8pm most nights.

The following day we took a tour of the Hershey Story museum, which chronicles the history of the Hershey company since it's founder's birth. We learned some really interesting stuff, like that Milton Hershey founded a school for orphans, because he and his wife couldn't have children of their own. He left his entire fortune to the school when he passed and the school is still open today, providing housing, schooling and a savings fund and college options for underprivileged children all over the country.

We also saw an interesting clock in the museum and warmed up with some hot chocolate and chocolate rum cake:






Afterwards, we decided to explore the surrounding towns a bit, since it was raining and too cold to walk the main streets and discovered a bowling alley, where we stopped and played a few games. In true form, I rolled a gutter ball in every single frame:





We ended the night with a viewing of 'Elvira: Mistress of the Dark'. My husband had never seen an Elvira movie before and was completely unprepared for the cheeseball nature of the movie. I loved it as usual. :)

On our final day in Hershey, we started the morning by finding the nearest theatre and watching 'Where the Wild Things Are', which I've been looking forward to since I heard about it being made. The preview has been tugging at my heart strings since it was released and I've been on the verge of tears every time I've seen it; it moves something nostalgic inside of me. The movie was everything I had hoped it would be; whimsical, innocent, touching, beautiful... I cried uncontrollably at one point and left the theatre a mess of swollen eyes and bright red nose.

Once I collected myself, my lovely and I hopped on a trolley ride:





We also did a hot chocolate taste testing, which let us sample cocoa from different areas of the world:



Chocolate tasting is serious business

Ecuador had my favourite cocoa



We wrapped up our day with a romantic dinner at a pub in a neighboring town, after which, we snuggled at the hotel room and watched 'Shaun of the Dead'.

Chocolate, romance, zombies, what more could a girl ask for on vacation?

How about a trip to a now leveled ghost town on the way home? For the seventeenth day of October, we took a detour home to stop in Centralia, PA, an abandoned mining town, with fires burning in the Earth beneath it that will continue to burn for many more years. There is nothing left of the town, but the cracked and smoldering remains of PA-Rt 61:





An eerie, fascinating and ultimately sad place.

12 comments:

  1. Wow! What a great vacation! And that town, so strange and sad.

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  2. Scary - the town that just disappeared!

    Love the tour - Hershey looks great - I'd never make it out alive with that much chocolate! Yum!

    Glad you had such a great time with your sweetie!

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  3. Sounds like a great vacation....All that chocolate... how could it not be... The town that disappeared .... how sad... bet the vibes there were different... glad to have you back..

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  4. I live in PA and have been to Hershey and Centralia. Hershey is definitely the sweetest place on earth! I feel bad for the people who had to abandon their home town of Centralia because of the fires. It's hard to believe that the fires will burn for decades! You used to be able to take Route 61 through the town but now they have even re-routed that around the town! So sad!

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  5. I just loved your photos -- thanks for sharing! I yet have to visit Pennsylvania, but now it's even higher on my list. :)

    Greetings from Munich,
    Birgit
    PS: Do you happen to know the PC game/movie "Silent Hill"? In a way, Centralia makes me thinking of Silent Hill...

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  6. I first heard about Centralia when the Silent Hill movie came out, since they based the town in the film on Centralia. The background of the place is what drew me to it and it IS really sad that people had to leave their homes due to the noxious gases and pits opening up due to the fire. :(

    We actually wouldn't have been able to find the remains at all, since they're tucked away now, but we ran into a resident of the neighboring town who took us around and filled us in on some more of the history. Really interesting stuff, despite the reasons for abandonment.

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  7. Wow! Sounds like a ton of fun. My husband also loved the film (I didn't go). And what's the deal with the disappearing town? Is it the one with the fire underneath? Very spooky stuff, that! Thanks for sharing!

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  8. Oh, der, read the comments and learned a bit! Next time I shall read them first! :)

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  9. My mouth is watering. One of my best friends lives near Hershey and I stop by every time I go visit him. I love the smells and all the chocolate themes. I am such a chocolate addict. If I lived there, there wouldn't be enough running in this world to keep me from being 500lbs.

    I'm glad you made the best of things even if it rained.

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  10. Sounds like Disneyland for chocoholics??
    I would be in a chocolate coma for sure.
    My hubby wants to go. I read this to him and the whole time he is making mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm noises. LOL!!!
    Thanks for stopping over, good luck!

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  11. Oh boy, you could have come to visit me in the rain:) I live really close to Hershey and my dad lives in Hershey. I love going to the park for Halloween too - that sucks that it was rained out! That chocolate tasting looks wonderful and I've always been curious about Centralia. Thanks for the post:)

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  12. Lisa Scottoline, one of my favorite authors, wrote a story involving that town. It really is sad. And a little scary.

    You have me craving chocolate so badly after this entry, I think I might have to go eat that carton of chocolate peanut butter ice cream I have in the fridge. :D

    Glad you had such a good time on your vacation!

    )O(
    boo

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