Today Joe and I took a drive up to Hershey, Pennsylvania to experience their famous "Christmas in Hershey." We were actually expecting the city of Hershey to be the main attraction, but it turns out it's actually a Hershey theme park. We were a little disappointed, because it was basically an amusement park for kids (guess we should have figured that out when we were walking inside as the ONLY kid-less couple). But we of course made the most of it because that's what we do. :-)
This is a statue of Milton Hershey. Apparently, he and his wife couldn't have kids so they dedicated themselves to helping orphans (well, that and making chocolate....) and there is still a school across the street from the park that serves underprivileged children. Pretty cool.
Okay, I admit, I'm easily amused, and it was actually pretty fun to see all the chocolate-themed things in the park. You could find everything you could possibly want (clothes, pillows, ornaments, lip gloss) marked with different Hershey brands - Kisses, Reeces, Jolly Ranchers, York... They had a "Kissmas Tree" set up in the middle of the park with a giant kiss on top:
I tried to make Joe go on the carousel with me, but no go. He saw another poor sap on there that was drug up by his girlfriend and decided not to be "that guy". haha. So we left. Then, across the parking lot, we discovered the real reason for going to Hershey - Chocolate World! In Chocolate World you can personalize chocolate bars, make your own cupcakes, package your own box of kisses straight off of a conveyer belt, and buy ANY kind of Hershey's chocolate under the sun.
Okay, so we're huge dorks and took their free tour they were offering where you took a ride through a "faux factory" and they explained all the steps it took to make their chocolates. They had singing dairy cows and everything. And afterward they gave you a free candy bar and tried to sell us a picture of us on the trolley thing. Yeah, we didn't buy it, although we looked pretty damn cute.
When we were done, we had to restrain ourselves from buying hundreds of dollars worth of candy. They had this five-pound chocolate bar on sale for $30 that we started salivating over and Joe wanted this kiss (seriously the size of his head) so bad he had to have me take a picture of it. But we ended up getting a half-pound kiss and some multi-colored twizzlers instead. :-)
Overall, it was a pretty fun experience. It was interesting to learn about the guy that started it all, back in 1900 when the first milk chocolate bar was produced. I wonder if he knew then that it would turn into such a successful enterprise.