As promised, I’m back to tell you about the sweetest part of our recent road trip vacation (pun shamelessly intended, of course).
How cute are those street lights? On the way there, Dan jokingly asked me if everything would be edible, like the roads and buildings, and sadly, they’re not, but when they open THAT theme park, I will gladly be there for the opening ceremony. And every day after that one.
I had been to Hershey as a kid, but since my brother and I were about 2 and 10 at the time, we skipped the amusement park. Since Dan and I are both roller coaster fans, we were excited to read about the 12 different coasters at Hersheypark.
For a sunny-ish, warm, weekend day in July, we were really expecting a crowd, but the lines, both for parking and rides were next to nothing! I don’t know if it was the threat of showers that day, or maybe we just got lucky, but we never waited in a line for more than 30 minutes, and most were far less. While in line for the first coaster, we decided to employ the “go big or go home” strategy and waited in a separate queue for the front seat. This was the longest we waited and it was still only about 30 minutes and completely worth it!
Both of us are used to being at amusement parks with other non-riders who will hold our phones and wallets while we flip upside-down and sideways on all the coasters. This time was a little different, and after a couple of near losses, we headed back to the car to get rid of our important things. Unfortunately, this included my phone, so I have no pictures from the rest of our day at Hersheypark, including the adorable little black bear in the zoo.
We made it through five or six coasters (we skipped the wooden ones and the kiddish ones) and thought we were done, but on our way out of the park we discovered one more that we hadn’t already tackled. All of the spinning around had gotten to us both, though, so we decided we were happy with what we had accomplished so far and that it was time to head over to Chocolate World.
You don’t have to tell me twice.
The first thing we did here was the tour. The ride runs continuously through a makeshift factory showing you how all the different types of chocolate are made. This was the one thing that I had done before when I visited years ago and I still had a really strong memory of the smell of chocolate at a certain point in the tour. I got that weird, nostalgia-like, deja-vu feeling midway through the ride when I smelled it EXACTLY the same as I remembered.
After the tour, we had booked a chocolate tasting. Yes, it’s even more awesome than it sounds. You’re given several sample-sized pieces of chocolate, some that I never tried before, and told to absolutely NOT chew them. You let the chocolate melt in your mouth so that you can really enjoy the flavors and pick out the different notes in each one. That was equal parts difficult and eye-opening for me. Everyone’s taste buds pick up flavors differently, but it was really neat to notice the fruity and earthy flavors in a piece of dark chocolate.
After that, we put on some really flattering glasses and watched a 4D movie that was clearly intended for kids, but enjoyed by us just the same. There was a motion-capture effect that kept Dan interested and the smell of chocolate and Jolly Ranchers that did it for me. There will never be a time where I complain I’m bored while pieces of 3D chocolate are flying towards my face, even if they’re simulated.
If you promise not to judge, I’ll tell you that we hit the gift shop afterwards, even though we already were stuffed full of free samples. Ok, fine, I had a sundae too. Vacation!
If you can resist that, we can’t be friends. Unless you give me your piece.
I definitely think we saved the best for last with our road trip vacation. I enjoyed D.C. and most of the things we did, but I feel like it’s more of a place that you visit once or twice just to be able to say you’ve done so, whereas Hershey I would love to visit again in the near future. There were a few other things, both at Hersheypark and in Hershey itself, that we didn’t have time to check out, and I can always find more to do in the gift shop (wink, wink).
Drive six hours for chocolate? Piece of cake. With ice cream.