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Snow in Virginia?! But melted before the Carolinas by Ann Treacy
March 11, 2012, 3:37 am
Filed under: Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia

Do you know why Northerners make crazy road trip plans in March? For the weather – so imagine our shock and awe when we woke in Richmond to snow. It was beautiful – especially since we also woke up in a poshy posh resort – but it was still snow. Apparently they had closed the schools in the area. Big travel advisories – although it was really only a couple of sloppy wet inches.

So we kept on trucking!

Onto North Carolina – which is turns out is a very pretty state. We had lunch in Fayetteville at a place called Circa 1800. The food was very good – the ambience a little strange. It was a hair fancier than we needed – although usually we can rise to that kind of occasion. What we didn’t need at lunch was a bar patron who had maybe had a little too much wine. In the end, he cursed the manager as he was escorted out the door. (Cursed as in – a hex on your family, not just the two word curses most of us could come up with.)

Lily is doing research on Dr Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X, so it was kind of interesting to put their lives in perspective as we toured various areas. Also she was smart enough to ask Grandpa questions about what he remembered from being a kid and Grandpa talked about his first trips south.

From North Carolina we headed to South Carolina. From South Carolina to Georgia.

We spent the night in Savannah. We ended up taking a wrong turn and drove through a less picturesque part of Savannah. The houses were very small – and I was amazed at how close they were to the street. But eventually we found the hotel – which was a very nice place kinda far out of town. We walked around Savannah a little bit. We saw Paula Deen’s restaurant. Lily was very excited to eat there – until she saw the food. Not a ton to offer a budding vegetarian. But we found out that he brother had a restaurant on Tybee Island. So we ate out there. It was dark so I’m sure we missed the best part of heading out there – the view – but the place was kinda fun.

States visited: VA, NC, SC, GA

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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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