Pennsylvania - 2009
Traveling and Visiting in Pennsylvania
Our trip started out in the rain. The rain began as soon as we had the last minute items loaded.
We crossed the Maumee River on the new bridge in Toledo.
The rain continued as we drove through Ohio and into Pennsylvania. It rained all day. It rained all night. It rained most of the next day.
One of our planned visits in Pennsylvania was with a couple we were in the Amy with in Missouri. We last visited them in 1969. So, we had a lot to talk about.
Jim and Dianne came back to the HHII after dinner - where the conversations continued.
Jim is retired from a bank. Dianne continues to work as a part-time school aide.
We had a great visit. We agreed our next visit should be sooner than 40 years in the future.
The next day we actually saw dry pavement. It was a rather nice morning. The weather continued to improve as we headed for our next planned visit.
Arriving in town, we saw an old chimney used as a cell tower and an old corner grocery store.
When you promise to take someone to lunch you have to do it. It was the least we could do for all the help Chris gave us resolving our Web site issues last Fall. Chris worked with Fred using many e-mails back and forth and phone calls. Finally, Chris had Fred burn a CD of the Web site so he could upload it for us. By taking him to lunch, we were able to thank him in person.
Chris authored the book Fred used on MicroSoft's Expression Web 2 software and is a Microsoft MVP (Most Valued Professional).
We had a great conversation with him. After lunch, he gave us a tour of his office.
Thanks again Chris.
The following photographs show a stack of wrecked cars advertising a scrap yard and other sights we saw as we drove back to our route.
Coincidently with our planned a trip to Pennsylvania, Fred found a great price on a utility trailer for our golf cart on the Internet. We purchased the utility trailer in January and the dealer held it until April for us. All the paperwork was done in advance so we had our license plate and were ready to go.
He stored it behind his building. We towed it empty the rest of our trip.
Hershey, PA - Hershey's Chocolate World and The Hershey Story
As Mary Lou was looking for a camp site near the trailer dealer, all of the listings referred to their proximity to Hershey. Since we were close, we decided we'd better visit. It was a nice experience.
Hersheypark is an huge entertainment complex. Within the park is Hersheypark (an amusement park), Chocolate World, Hersheypark Statium (an ice arena), Giant Center (a live entertainment venue) and The Hershey Story Museum. There is also the Hershey Theatre and Hershey Gardens close by.
Across the street is the school Milton Hersey built for the community. An one hour tour of the city was available but we chose not to pay the $13 each for a ticket.
Chocolate World . . .
We visited Hershey's Chocolate World first. This is the part your children will like the best.
Several opportunities were offered in the lobby to add to your experience including a movie and a 'make your own' activity. Both had a separate fee imposed.
One sign in the lobby directed you to the Chocolate Tour. It sounded like the place to go. As a matter of fact, we went twice. It was more for the information presented on the free ride than the free piece of candy they gave us after the ride. The long winding walkway was decorated with attractive murals and TVs to entertain you as you waited during busy times. We were fortunate to be there on a weekday when there was a small crowd.
From the stairway you could see the cars arriving and departing.
As you started the Chocolate Tour, you enter a 'barn' and were greeted by a cow. The ride was challenging for photographers - bouncing and turning cars and low light.
Around the corner, you saw both ends of cows. And, the tanks where their milk was stored.
The tour gave you a complete chocolate making experience. From the railcar delivering cocoa beans, conveyed to the factory and cleaned for processing.
Hershey uses a mixture of three cocoa bean varieties.
The process to get the chocolate as smooth as it is for our enjoyment is a very multi-task process. The cocoa beans are crushes, rolled and stirred many times. You would never have lumps in your hot chocolate if you followed this process. Then, the milk and sugar is added to the chocolate liquor.
The smooth milk chocolate is poured into molds, solidified, dumped on the paper and wrapped.
Sometimes, the product is poured into container like this ice cream syrup.
Hershey's makes 60,000 chocolate kisses a day. The process is to chill thickened chocolate before it loses it 'drop' look.
At the museum, we saw a closer look at the chocolate kiss wrapping process.
Our car passed by these product vats.
Near the end of the Chocolate Tour, a cow took a photograph of each seat in every car.
Later, of course, you had the opportunity to purchase the photograph to document your experience.
Rounding the last turn, you were reminded of some of Hershey's products.
Part of the floor was turning at the rate as the cars were moving so they did not stop the cars for loading and unloading passengers. The railings did not quite reach the edge of the stationary floor. But, employees were there to help the 'old' people make the transition to the stationary floor.
The cars were attached to the track with pins so they could add cars as needed.
Walking out, Mr. Milk Dud said good-bye.
The next area was the Photo Order counter.
We didn't order a print of ours.
As we were exiting the Chocolate Tour, a women asked if we had any food allergies. Because Fred did not, she asked if he would participate in a taste test. It turned out to be for a new breath 'tablet' they were researching. We both received mini bars of Hershey's for his time.
Adjacent to the lobby, the gift shop presented many things to eat, wear and play with. Be sure and give yourself and your children a budget before entering the area.
The round white room in the top left of the photograph is the tasting room. It probably sat a dozen people at a time.
A stuffed Hershey's Kiss... The world's largest Hershey bar... Your picture on a wrapper...
And, t-shirts with too many different images to show.
Outside the garden decorations looked like Twizzlers and inside the roping looked like candy sticks.
The Hershey Story
The Hershey Story was presented at the Museum on Chocolate Avenue. The street lamps near the museum were chocolate kisses - wrapped and unwrapped.
This was relatively new museum. It was very well done.
This told of Milton Hershey's experience with many failures. Click on it to read the words.
First rabbit molds . . . The Homestead room told about Milton's life . . .
Hershey bar molds . . .
This machine wrapped the chocolate kisses.
Yes, this is a bathtub. At one time, it was used to move chocolate around the factory.
The rollers that helped smooth the chocolate is in the mural behind the bathtub.
This machine could power four rollers.
This early crusher ground the cocoa beans.
Some of the displays were very colorful and interactive.
This map let you move a circle to areas of interest.
It would then give you information about that specific area.
This 14-foot Torchere was the centerpiece of Milton and Catherine Hershey's home. One of the largest cut-glass pieces ever produced, it weighs 600 pounds, features 1,200 parts and 30 brilliant lights.
No promotion until the 1970s . . . Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner . . . Newer rabbit molds
Milton Hershey followed a plan to build a company town that benefitted his employees and the community. The exhibit talked about a company plan that worked and one that didn't. He followed the one that worked. The town of Hershey was the lucky recipient of his approach.
One of his early competitors benefited from his good business practices. He not only supported Reese in his efforts, he sold him chocolate. Now, of course, Hershey owns Reese products.
This Apostolic Clock, handcrafted in 1878, is part of the museum's Pennsylvania German collection. The procession of Christ's apostles occurs 15 minutes before every hour. Unfortunately, it wasn't working the day we were there.
We were hired for the day to increase production.
In addition to the street lamps, the flag base was decorated with chocolate drops. The amusement park was closed the day were were there. The shuttle that took us to the museum and back to Chocolate World passed the Hershey factory. When asked, the driver was quick to point out that all of Hersey's production did not move to Mexico.
We enjoyed our visit to Hershey, Pennsylvania. We spent about four hours at Chocolate World and The Hershey Story. You could spend an entire day in Hershey. Chocolate World could be free if you don't buy the extras. The Hershey Story museum charged seniors $9 each.
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