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Hershey PA: the road to chocolate by Ann Treacy
March 5, 2012, 3:45 am
Filed under: Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia

We woke up in Pittsburgh. Kate realized that Dance Moms was filmed in Pittsburgh – so we took a detour, an unexpectedly long detour to the Abby Lee Dance Studio. Luckily for some of us it was closed – but it didn’t stop us from getting pictures. And I suspect it may be a trip highlight for some travelers. It was kind of interesting to drive through suburban Pittsburgh. There were lots of windy roads, pretty narrow roads and some nice houses and some not so nice houses. But it definitely didn’t feel like driving through Mac Groveland!

Then from Pittsburgh to Hershey PA. The World of Chocolate was fun. We started by making our personalized candy bars. We got to choose our flavors and design our labels. I realize that I was in the minority in choosing white chocolate (turns our white chocolate really isn’t chocolate – but it’s still my fave). It was fun to get an idea of the process of making a candy bar.

We took the free tour of the history of chocolate, which was cheesy but fun – and a perfect filler while we waited for our next activity – a chocolate tasting class. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting, but I wasn’t expecting to learn as much. We learned that it takes about 10 days to make a regular Hershey bar – from field to wrapper. The darker chocolate and higher quality bars take longer. The Bliss chocolate takes 30 days to make. I was surprised how much I liked the darker chocolate when I took the time to taste it. Although really – white chocolate is still much better – to me.

From the Chocolate World we headed to Richmond. We drove near DC – but it was dark so we basked in the glory of being near DC and enjoyed dinner in a nearby suburb – then on to Richmond where we stayed in a super ritzy resort and conference center. (Thank you Priceline!)

One of the fun parts of the trips has been to see the different terrain as we drive. I took a few good pictures and have included them. And I learned that I shouldn’t live in the mountains – my ears were popping the whole time. I guess that’s the Great Plans upbringing.

State visited today: PA, MD, VA

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