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Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday Mug Shot

Hershey’s Chocolate World
Hershey, PA

Another niece weekend, another mug? Last weekend was Tori’s turn to be attended to by her single aunt and uncle hopeful. Now, where Rina is the dependable railfan like us, who wants to spend A weekend, seeing ne places, chasing trains, visiting Sheetz and making sure we keep our train brains open to new train things, museums and excursions and such, Tori's not at all a railfan. Tori keeps us from getting pigeon holed into a routine and makes us open up to new experiences. Mind you, we still get to shoot some trains, but that’s not the focus of our trips with her!

A scrapbook metaphor would be that It’s kinda like challenges. There are the ones that give you some different perspective, but don’t take you out of your comfort zone, like a color challenge or an element challenge. There are also some that dare you to try new ideas completely, like a scraplift or ones that as you to use elements you never use. You get great pages as a result and trying both gives you the variety that makes a fantastic scrapbook. So it is with the interests of a variety of people in your life. Variety being the spice of life, that cornucopia of interests makes everything better!

So Tori’s trip this year was Hershey, Pennsylvania, the sweetest place on earth! Our first stop when we got into town was Hershey's Chocolate World! There is so much to see and do there! We went on the factory tour ride first. Upon entering the factory tour ride, everyone got two pieces of Hershey Bliss, the pushed candy du jour. The factory tour ride puts you in a car that takes you through a bit of entertaining song and the basics of mass chocolate production, including those bite-size chocolates made from droppers kissing the assembly line with milk chocolate! When the ride ends, assuming that you ate your first to on the ride, they gave you two more Bliss candies!

Nex we browsed in the gift shop. Tori had a list of souvenir chocolate to bring home! We decided that it would be safer to buy the take-home chocolate on Sunday before we left. We brought my refrigerator cooler that plugs in to the lighter port in the car and also bought an insulated bag and ice pack at the store, but it was still a better idea to buy the meltables just before we left. We did get a Reese's Pieces purse for Tori and this mug for me on Saturday!

Next was lunch at The Kit Kat Cafe. David and I had kinda pricey pasta and Tori had kinda pricey soup. Al I’ll really say about the Kit Kat Cafe was that it was convenient and we had a coupon! Hershey is known for chocolate, not pasta or soup!

After lunch it had become fairly sunny and David wanted to catch some trains at the chocolate plant. As I said before, Tori is NOT the railfan! We struck a deal with David that he could leave us there for a couple hours with our blessing if he sprang for tickets for the 3D show and Chocolate Tasting 101!

The chocolate tasting was very cool! We learned about the different levels of cacao and how that effects the darkness and sweetness of the chocolate. We learned that you can hear the flavor in the snap of the chocolate when it’s broken and you can see and smell the types of processing and amount of cocoa butter. We also learned that you’ll get teased for the rest of he tasting if you’re caught texting in class! (Truthfully, I think Tori liked that attention!) There were two milk and three dark chocolates that we tasted. Tori didn’t care for the darks and the last one, the darkest and bitterest one, I agreed! But the lovely parting gifts after class were another Hershey Bliss and jumbo 4.4 oz Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar that completely made up for that nasty dark one,!

Next was the 3D show which was a blast! We made sure we got some dorky pictures of each other in our 3D glasses beforehand. The show was a fun musical about chocolate that included a spray of water when elephants stomped in puddles, the feel of mice rushing around your feet when the box of them was spilled, a giant purple, therefore not so scary to me, spider that was squished and you got sprayed again with the guts, and streamers falling from the sky. It was just a laugh riot! Tori and I agreed, however, that we expected candy to fall from the sky too, but it didn’t. We did get sample packs of ice breakers sour strawberry chews on the way out. I don’t usually go for sours, but these ones were really good!

Next we called David to come back and meet us for ice cream. Tori, taking a break from the chocolate, had vanilla with sprinkles. David went with the chocolate mint sundae and I had the Reese's sundae that was delicious but almost too much peanut butter for me! It was chocolate peanut butter ice cream with hot fudge and peanut butter sauce with crushed peanut butter cups, whipped cream and a cherry! It was the first ice cream of Nanifest and it was worth waiting until day two for it!

On Sunday, after a sit-down breakfast at Eat-N-Park, where David and I both had a smiley waffle, we went to the Hershey Museum. and then back to Chocolate world before chasing a few trains on the way out of town. I did get a shot or two of the trains at the chocolate plant, so Railfan Nani and Chocoholic Nani were both satisfied!

A couple hours after getting in, I took Tori back to our meeting place to switch her to the Indy-bound parental car with the borrowed refrigerator cooler. I think she definitely had a sweet time!

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