Monday, August 1, 2011

Hershey, PA

Well folks, I apologize for the radio silence over here last week. After posting my Pennsylvania Road Trip Preview, the week sort of got away from me and I never got around to posting the other recaps I had planned. What has happened to me? I'm falling apart!

But, let's just move along with the rest of the road trip recaps this week, shall we? We can go back and pick up those other posts later, and I'm sure the earth won't implode if things are a little out of order. Right?????

As you know, the first stop on our Pennsylvania Road Trip was Hershey, PA. Our vacation actually got underway on Thursday, the night before our departure. We sent the dog off to his "pajama party" for the weekend, and picked up our rental car. We celebrated my birthday with a Crumbs cupcake, packed and then got ready for an early start the next morning.

The next day (my birthday!), we got up and moving bright and early. We were on the road shortly after 6:00 a.m., and quickly ran into a little traffic jam, but for the most part it was smooth sailing as we made our way into Pennsylvania.

Welcome to Pennsylvania!

We made it to Hershey right on schedule, just after they opened at 9:00 a.m. That ended up being a stellar plan, because it was very uncrowded during our time there. By the time we left, however, the place was packed with people. Thanks to our early arrival time, we were able to get in and out quickly, which is what we were looking for. We had more places to go!

Hershey: The Sweetest Place on Earth

We followed signs for Chocolate World!

Unfortunately, we did not have the time to explore the town or check out the theme park, but rather, we were just there for a quick stop at Hershey's Chocolate World.

It looks delicious already.

Happy little chocolates welcomed us to Chocolate World

Our first chocolatey destination was the Great American Chocolate Tour, which is free. It's just a short 10-minute ride that takes you through a brief explanation of the chocolate-making process, complete with singing cows. I had no idea chocolate-making was such a process! We thought that although the description of the process was brief, it was a pretty decent overview.

Hershey's Great American Chocolate Tour

Passing by the singing cows (Gabby, Harmony and Olympia, obviously) in our little tour ride car

Mmm, chocolate syrup!

Hershey's Kisses

After the tour, we bought our tickets for the Hershey's Chocolate Tasting Adventure. We were led into a classroom-style room, and each "student" was given a bag containing five different types of chocolate, plus a glass of chocolate milk (flavored with coffee and cinnamon) and a bottle of water at their seat. Our professor introduced herself, and went over the syllabus for that day's class.

My personal chocolate-tasting station, containing two dark chocolates, two milk chocolates, a caramel kiss, and chocolate milk

Going over the course syllabus

We learned a little more about the chocolate-making process, and then were taught the steps in actually tasting (not just eating) chocolate: first you look at the color of the chocolate, then you smell it, then you break it and listen to the firmness of the "snap," and finally, you put it on your tongue and let it melt. We tried all of our different chocolate samples in this manner, and tried to point out the different flavor notes of each.

Smelling my chocolate

I think Eric is listening to his chocolate here!

When we finished our tasting, we were officially awarded our Masters Degrees in Chocolate Tasting, complete with diplomas and the graduation song playing proudly. With these two new diplomas, between the two of us Eric and I now have seven diplomas floating around our house, so that was a proud moment for us. It's really good to see all your hard work pay off, don't you think?

Eric receiving his diploma

I'm official now!

We then spent some time in the gift shop (which is waaaaay bigger than the Hershey store in Times Square) to pick out our postcard for Hershey, along with some other fun things (Reese's cup lip gloss, mmm!). By that time, Chocolate World was super crowded, but we needed to be hitting the road again anyway. We stopped for lunch outside of Hershey, and then were on our way to our next stop: Gettysburg. Thanks for a great morning, Hershey!

Fun times at Chocolate World!

Up next: Our tour of the historic battlefields in Gettysburg, coming up tomorrow!


moderndaywife said...

I sooo want to visit there now, chocolate tasting? YUM! :-)

KSK said...

My sister and B-I-L went there about a year ago.. I have wanted to go ever since! :)

Meghan said...

I would die for all of that chocolate in one place!!! SO FUN!

Steph said...

That is SWEET (haha, get it?)! I wish I had a Master's degree in Chocolate...