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Friday, November 11, 2011

ELC’s Whiskey and Chocolate Tour—Part Two

And The Rhode Trip Goes On and On and On…

We woke up on the third day of our Driving Adventure with happy jitters! We were getting closer to our Final Destination. Approximately thirty-two more hours. We left WV and headed through a tiny part of Maryland (it was dangerously foggy and we didn’t see much—lovely mountains and trees that reminded me of Arkansas) to Pennsylvania. We’d be in Pennsylvania all day and planned to spend the night in Allentown.

We’d only had one previous experience in Pennsylvania (other than flying into Philadelphia about twelve years ago and renting a car to drive to New Jersey for a wedding—I don’t feel that really qualifies):

Hubby and I were chaperones on TLC’s 7th and 8th Grade Trip to Washington, D. C. She was a 7th grader. It was a trip we will never forget—no matter how hard we try. A trip that almost did us both in—and that might have caused us to think about putting TLC up for adoption. J/K. (Or am I?)

Circa 1997
Where's TLC and ELC? 

We were headed to Gettysburg (there were three buses full of our Texas kids and fourteen chaperones) to see the Battlegrounds on our third day. I remember I kept begging Hubby to wake me up as we drove away from our hotel in Virginia. I wanted to SEE Pennsylvania. He tried—desperately. It was futile. For those two hours—goin’and returnin’—I couldn’t keep my eyes open—no matter how hard Hubby shook me. My eight (well-behaved though they were and none were TLC!) girls and the endless days and nights touring everything historical in and around D.C, not to mention the required and very late-night meetings for “Chaperone Updates,” took a huge toll on my sleep opportunities. I’m happy to report I did stay awake as we walked around the Battlegrounds. It became very emotional for me and Hubby. We were never quite sure the kids could even remotely grasp the significance of where we were or the deep sadness that surrounded that hallowed ground.

When we boarded the bus? Bam. I was out like a light. Almost instantly. The eerie stillness of the incredibly beautiful fields of Gettysburg? Locked in my memory. Like the picture of TLC at thirteen.

Back to 2011. As Hubby and I breezed through Pennsylvania, we decided to veer off course to have lunch in Hershey. It’s called “The Sweetest Place on Earth." Awww. Did y’all know their lampposts are chocolate kisses? And their main street is named Chocolate Avenue? How precious is that?

I was thrilled at the chance to take the Hershey Company’s Chocolate World Tour. A chocolate addict’s dream-come-true. It’s kind of like a ride—at Six Flags—that all ages can go on (no height—or weight—thank goodness!—requirements). But it’s not just fun—it’s educational and downright fascinating.  You see how Kisses are made—from the cocoa beans and where they’re grown, harvested and shipped, to the final placement of the little Kiss “flag.” We walked around the biggest Gift Shop I believe I’ve ever been in and bought the requisite souvenirs, then reluctantly headed to Allentown. Trust me: It’s hard to leave The Sweetest Place on Earth.

ELC and Hubby went to Hershey, PA,
and all TLC's Hubby got was this candy dish.

Would so love to return to Hershey and stay a little longer. (Hubby? Not so much. But he did have a great time! He, by the way, is the Hershey Kiss King—a title I bestowed upon him several years ago. He has five kisses—Hershey, Sillies—nearly every night of his life. It’s also my understanding he’s been known to be the Hershey Candy Culprit at work. If he knows someone has Hershey candy in their office? It’s simply not safe.)

We weren’t going to have too many hours left to drive the next day, so we allowed ourselves to “sleep in” that Saturday morn—6:30. Instead of the usual (How many of y’all are now just praying you can sign up to take a driving trip/tour somewhere with ELC and Her Hubby? I’ll start my Waiting List.)

Coming up—soon—my observations about Newport, Rhode Island

Gotta scoot… all this talk about Kisses has me needin’ to make a pass by Hubby’s Candy Dish!

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