A Trip to the "Sweetest Place on Earth"


Every summer, I create a "bucket list" (no pun intended).  The list can include anything from eating ice-cream at Rich's Farm (five miles down the road from us) to vacationing in Europe.  This year, my all-time dream was to take Lewie to Hershey, PA.  Multiple friends told me this was a great trip for eight year-olds.  Plus, as a huge chocolate lover myself, how could I resist going to a place that smells like chocolate and has lamp-posts in the shape of Hershey Chocolate Kisses?

The trip was written on my dream board, and sure enough, it came true.  Weeks earlier, I asked my good friend Sue if she would be interested in going with her eight year-old son, Ryan.  We had taken many day trips together, and we knew our boys got along great.  (In fact, they've been having play-dates since they were one years-old.)  To my delight, she and Ryan were 'game,' and soon the plan became a reality.

As with any trip, we made lots of memories, and the details of each day could easily take up a whole book.  So, for the sake of this post, I will do an abbreviated recap.  The drive to Hershey took us about five hours (with stops and traffic) each way, so we reserved two days just for driving there and driving back.  However, on day two, we spent the entire day at Hershey Park and Zoo America, and on day three, we bought tickets to go to Chocolate World to do the 4-D movie and to take a Trolley Tour of the city.  The attractions did not disappoint.

For my son, the highlights were the Monorail Ride at Hershey Park (who can resist a train in the sky), the Chocolate Factory Tour, and the Trolley Bus Ride.  In fact, he loved the Monorail so much, we went on three times.  (It would have been more if we didn't stop him in his tracks--ha!)

For me, the highlight was learning about Milton Hershey's life through the Chocolate Factory Tour and especially the Trolley Bus Ride (which gave us an in-depth overview of both his failures and triumphs).  The man was truly an entrepreneur in his time with a solid commitment to social justice and equality--he started the Hershey Industrial School for orphaned boys, which today, is still a tuition-free, private school committed to teaching young children of families with economic hardships.  (High school children even have a chance to earn prestigious scholarships for college!)

Beyond the attractions, however, was the joy of spending time with a wonderful friend and getting to experience the antics of two high-energy eight year-old boys.  The days were filled with pillow fights, super-hero battles (with their little action figures), laser beam toys, swimming, tag, candy, Sponge Bob Square Pants episodes (before bed), and potty humor--lots of it.  In fact, my son was the worst--ripping farts before bedtime and even chasing Ryan with his bare behind.  It's the kind of behavior that makes me cringe and my husband proud!

With next week being the start to a brand new school year, I'm so happy we squeezed in this trip.  It was definitely one for the history books.  I will always look at a Hershey Kiss or Hershey Chocolate Bar with fond memories.


  1. I have always heard that the Hershey park was great! Looks like so much fun!


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