Saturday, April 3, 2010

A blogger has died and gone to heaven...

Well, to Chocolate World....also known as....Hershey Pennsylvania!

Yeah this is my cropped pic of the 2oo dollar haul of souvenirs, mementos, treats for K-man and future baking posts!

Have any of you been to Hershey's PA? I live only 2 1/2 hours away and never have gone. Don't say shame on me! Blame my parents....they never took me nor had the desire to go. I also had to take myself to Disney World as well 4 years ago!

As my birthday present, I told K-man I wanted a trip to Hershey while we had the time also known as SPRING BREAK. We planned a mid week trip left Wednesday and came back on Friday. (OH MY, you should have seen the line on the way into Hershey for the FIRST day opening of Hershey Park!!! We didn't care cuz we were

First, I have been to many an amusement park, we were not going there to ride the rides @ Hershey Park. I wanted to check out the chocolate! Second, I wanted to go to Hershey when it wasn't crazy from park attendees - middle of the week and BEFORE the park opened for the spring season was ideal!

I had read the book The Emperors of Chocolate (the story of Hershey vs. Mars) and I was intrigued. Milton Hershey was all about community and giving back. His school is attended by 1500 kids of NEED (stopping myself from going on, because it's an amazing story). Just the story about how he worked for years to make milk chocolate perfect, makes me shake my head how he worked so hard wavered on the brink of bankruptcy a few times. Also, are many people who think Hershey's chocolate is awful (but doesn't everyone have their OWN opinions about ANY/EVERY product?)...but he was only trying to make it available for average and poor people...chocolate was for the rich (again, there is so much more to this story....stopping myself).

For family fun...the Hershey Park is the way to go. I think the parking lot for it is bigger than the park. I can't speak of the rides and park itself for we "jetted" before it opened for the season.

Much of Hershey is all about the history and philanthropy:
  • The Hershey Story museum is a self guided tour seeing the artifacts of Hershey's life.
  • The Trolley ride through town is a physical trolley ride around all the buildings (actually I learned more detail about the school through this trip than I did reading books-the kids on the trolley were getting wiggly impatient- was it because they were JACKED on chocolate?)
  • Big 3D show, very cartoon-y for the smell smells, get rained on...hokey cute but the kids loved it.
  • Chocolate Tour - a ride that SUBSTITUTES a factory tour. Singing cows, videos of chocolate bar productions, simulated candy on conveyor belts....It was fun (getting off and on the ride car was cool-room in perpetual motion thing)
There are many places to actually experiment with chocolate.
  • Cafe Zooka (in the Hershey Story Museum)just a little sandwich/coffee cafe that offers a Tasting of chocolate shooters (for 13 bucks) to enjoy 6 different sauces from chocolate beans from 6 different countries,
  • The Chocolate Lab -you can sign up for classes to make things from chocolate (they were making Spring Tulips with balloons during our visit).
  • In Chocolate World (down the street two blocks) the kids can sign up to be an apprentice and package some chocolate kisses. The get a employee id badge, hat, box of kisses they packaged and a picture of the process. (Don't ask me the price....I didn't look into it since I couldn't play)
  • You can get your picture put on a Chocolate bar or bottle of syrup.
  • Coming this spring, you will get to customize (nuts, rice crispies, graham cracker bits, peanut butter, etc) your own chocolate bar....DRAT...too early for the next exhibit!
  • Chocolate Tasting in Chocolate World was a classroom setting where you were more educated about chocolate and the tones and flavors and pairings, etc. You receive a 'Master's in Chocolate Tasting' (I didn't understand why parents were taking small children in for this...I can't see them caring about the different beans or the world and how they taste....all they want is chocolate in any shape or form!?)
I could not GET OVER the amount of free samples that were given out.
  • On the trolley ride...a dark kiss, then a hug....then a regular kiss....then a mini peanut butter cup. Although, great for us adults...not sure it's good idea with young kids who are trapped for an hour listening to an old guy speak of Hershey History. At the end of the trolley ride you received a regular Hershey Bar when you stepped off the trolley.
  • We got a peppermint patty after the Chocolate Tour ride.
  • We got sour filled twizzlers from the 3D show.
We planned when to do 'the SHOPPING'.....

I had to decide....we DO I get from Chocolate World? OMG...chocolate and candy everywhere!!!....A chocoholics best dream or nightmare!!! (yes, there were shirts, keychains, hats, and a million other souvenirs)....
SO- K-man picked up a basket and braced himself....for he knew a FOOD BLOGGER was on the PROWL!!!

(seen here DARK reese pieces..., chocolate toffee baking bits, COCONUT kisses, cinnamon chips, DARK miniatures, DARK reeses cups.- except for the almond joy pieces NONE of these are available in our area.)

Instead of me putting all my pix on here....I embedded a slideshow from flickr...

You will be seeing my new apron, the HUGE 5lb candy bar (I am donating that to our school's Silent Auction), extra long twizzlers for classrooms rewards, some other products I have never seen or tried, cookbooks for me the blogger, K-man eating, picturesque Hershey from the trolley.

If you have any questions about my STUFF or suggestions what to make with them...go to my JennyMac Lip Smack Fan Page on Facebook (link on the right side margin) where we can chat more !!!

I highly suggest you visit Hershey! If you haven't....don't wait until your 44th birthday like me!

Chocoholic for life,


Kathleen said...

I am sooo dying to go there! I live in CA so it's a bit of a trek :(

Cate O'Malley said...

We're about the same distance to Hershey, and love it. Such a great, clean family amusement park. Going back in June and can't wait!