“The Sweetest Place on Earth”

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Hershey, Pennsylvania…”The Sweetest Place on Earth!”

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On our way home from Gracie’s PSAT testing on the eastern side of the state we pass by Hershey, PA.

And since we were passing right by the exit how could we not stop?!

Although Gracie has been to Hershey recently, Molly and Rusty have not been since they were 6 and 4 years old. Their memories of Hershey have faded and the thing that they most vividly remember is the smell…That wonderful smell of chocolate.

Tyler and Ozzie have never been to Hershey, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to make a stop at Chocolate World, since we were passing by anyway. 🙂

The path from Downingtown to Hershey takes us off the turnpike and along some beautiful country roads for a few miles. The leaves were all in the process of turning from green into a mosaic of oranges, reds and yellows. It made for a beautiful drive. As we were driving the country roads into Hershey, PA we passed a sign with Gracie’s name. We had to stop for a photo op!

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Right next door was another restaurant, long closed down, bearing another McCleery’s name- Molly! (Although the spelling was different.) So we stopped to get her picture.

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Just next door to that building was a covered gazebo advertising spring water. It was so charming and kitschy I had to stop for another photo. I know the little boys were dying with all these photo stops, wondering if we would EVER make it to Hershey. As we pulled in closer it seemed as though the spring water booth might still be open for business. It advertised a gallon of spring water for a quarter.

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Well, we just had to try it. I dug for a quarter while the kids looked for a container. We didn’t have an empty gallon jug lying about, but we did have some empty water bottles. So we decided to try refilling them. Tyler inserted the quarter and the water started flowing.

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The kids each held their empty water bottles under the stream of spring water. So Cool!

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Then they gave it a try. Rusty declared it “delicious water.” He should know… he is my water lover. Tyler, however, was disappointed. “It just tastes like water,” he said.

(I’m not sure what he was expecting) 🙂

Then we were on the road again. As we pulled into the town of Hershey the excitement level in the van increased, especially when the saw the tale tell signs that we had arrived in Hershey:

like the street lights shaped like Hershey kisses.

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When we arrived at Chocolate World I pulled out a surprise that Toby sent along for them. He gave me a two dollar bill to give each child so that they could buy their favorite Hershey candy from Chocolate World.

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When we stepped inside the smell of chocolate was intoxicating.

Although there are many activities offered at Chocolate World we decided to just do the free tour and shop in the gift shop.

First stop: Hershey’s Chocolate Tour.

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This fun ride takes you though the steps needed to create the famous Hershey’s chocolate bars. The ride is kid friendly with songs, dancing milk cows, and an easy to understand explanation of the process.

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The kids loved it, especially Ozzie who was in awe of the entire experience.

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At the end of the free ride everyone was given a sample of chocolate.

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Next stop was the gift shop. We began by window shopping and checking out all the neat Hershey merchandise for sale.

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Then we headed over to the candy section where the kids used their $2 bills to buy a tasty souvenir. It was fun to see what each of the kids picked.

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We even picked up a sweet treat for Daddy since he couldn’t go with us.

We stayed until 5:00 pm and then got back on the road for the remaining 4 hour drive home.

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As we left we passed an older couple (just arriving) who heard Ozzie declare, “Thanks Mom, this was the best day of my whole life.” To which Tyler interjected, “Yeah, I think this was even better than Disney World.”

Overhearing the boys’ conversation, the woman smiled while her husband leaned toward her and said, “Well, I’m sure glad we decided to stop.” 🙂

I hope the boys’ rave reviews don’t leave them disappointed!

As for us, we left with full bellies and sweet memories…

Thank you, Mr. Hershey.

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