Sunday, October 6, 2013


Hershey, Pennsylvania

What can I say, I’m in Chocolate Heaven and I never want to leave.  Chocolate is everywhere in this small town.  Street names like Chocolate Ave and Cocoa Lane tell me I am truly in a town that was founded on Chocolate…one of my favorite things in life.

I wanted to start off the day at the Hershey Museum which told about the man Milton Hershey and how he built this empire.  About a year ago I read the book “Hershey” by Michael D’Antonio and was fascinated by the man and his quest for something that never had been done in the USA.  I highly recommend the book, I thought it would be boring but I breezed through it with ease (got it through the library and the cover looks like a giant chocolate bar).

As I stood on the steps waiting for the doors to open anticipating the whole chocolate experience, George was looking at me like I had lost my mind!  As we went through the doors and purchased our tickets, we started in the museum at the display at how it all began.  He started at the age of 14 with the blessings of his mother to find a vocation (he quite school).  He started out as a printers assistant and quickly got fired for putting his hat in the printer (he hated his job).  Next job he got was an apprentice to a candy maker, which history would tell was his best vocation choice.  Over the years he would learn more and more about candy making…even going to Denver to learn how to make better caramels.  His mother and aunt even helped him make and wrap candy at one point but that didn’t save him from failing and having to pack up everything and move back home…bankrupt. 

The turning point of his life was seeing a display of chocolates at the World’s Fair in      .  He felt that chocolate was the way to go instead of caramels so he sold his caramel company (second business after the hard candy business that went bankrupt).  It took him many years of experimenting with whole milk and cocoa beans to get the texture and richness that we experience today in a chocolate bar. 
He decided to put his chocolate plant about five miles east of Harrisburg which was in the middle of nowhere but had railroad lines and plenty of fresh whole milk all over the countryside.  Milton decided early on that he wanted to create a whole town around the factory.  After building the factory he proceeded to build houses for his employees, plus parks, schools, swimming pool, community center, banks, police and fire departments.  He felt that happy employees would make his factory and business succeed…what a concept!
One of the fun things I got to do was make my own custom chocolate bar in the Chocolate Lab.

 George hasn't shaven for 4 he must wear a hairnet on his face....oh boy!
I put in the works...marshmallows, choco bits, raisins, pecans & cocoa bits

Next it was off to Chocolate World…fortunately George still had a smile on his face.  What that place was all about was selling, selling, selling everything Hershey. They had a place where you could design your own candy bar and also a 4D movie with chocolate cartoons…we passed on those two adventures.  Decided instead for the free ride in a moving car that went through displays (like Disneyland) explaining the chocolate making process (no more factory tours).  All I can say is it was pretty hokey. 
We walked off the ride and were dropped into the gift shop…mercy! 
Will tie dye ever die?
I know you are all wondering what I bought.  I again held to the ‘simple’ lifestyle that we are experiencing and only bought postcards and a small silver necklace with a Hershey kiss pendant about the size of a eraser on a pencil.  It should have an inscription on it saying “in case of bitchiness, please give her a Hershey kiss, or suffer the consequences”.  Of course, it would have to be in size .2 font to fit on such a small space.

I’m really glad I was able to see the town that was built by Milton Hershey and has brought so much joy to about every woman in America.  Thanks Milton, I love you.

Happy Traveling,
Peggy  (+George & Coco)

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