Yep…..this past week I was off on another grand adventure! This time, I met some friends in Hershey, PA and we explored around Hershey and Gettysburg over a couple of days. I drove down from WNY and they drove up from central NC. And, it was amazing! We had such a good time and crammed a lot of wonderful sites into our time together!
I went down the day before we had planned to meet. I wasn’t looking forward to the long drive – getting up earlier than any human should have to and feeling rushed to get there so I didn’t waste most of our first day on the road. So, I left here about noon, took a leisurely drive, got a room at a nice little motel, and explored a little on my own the first half of the day while I waited for Ron and Lisa to join me at the condo we booked! Turned out to be a good plan!
On the way, I made a little side trip to drive through Hammondsport, NY on Keuka Lake! I love that little town!
I arrived at this motel after dark and wondered if I had made a mistake when I chose it…..it looked a little seedy in the dark! But, it was a nice, very clean and large room, friendly front desk staff, and looked much more pleasant in the day light! hahaha It was a good choice!
I had breakfast at a sweet little 1950’s style diner called the “Soda Jerk Diner” in nearby Hummelstown, PA
When looking for a dam that was listed as an attraction in Hummelstown, I stumbled on Indian Echo Caverns and decided to stop in there. I never found the dam, but this place was really cool!
And, they had goats!!! 🙂
And railroad tracks that I just knew would make a fabulous photo – and they did!
After I left the caverns, I went to Zoo America at Hershey Park. It is a really nice little zoo that only has animals that can be found in North America – so, no giraffes or elephants or monkeys, but lots of other great animals!
A Pink Roseate Spoonbill
I stood at this exhibit for quite a while watching the owls…..they were fascinating!
And, there was a roadrunner in that same exhibit, too……he was fun to watch, too!
It is always a thrill to see a bald eagle up close!
And, I caught this black bear taking a nap!
This bear happily agreed to pose for a photo with me! 😀
After the zoo, I just wandered around and had a light lunch. When Ron and Lisa arrived, we checked in at the condo and freshened up for dinner. We found a great restaurant and had a fantastic meal……and topped it off with chocolate martinis!!! WOW – they were sooooooo good!!! Potent!!!! But, sooooooo good!!! I had one with caramel, Ron had one with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, and Lisa had one that was the Special Dark Chocolate…..we each tasted them all and came to the same conclusion – all were good, but Lisa’s was by far the best one!
The next morning, we started out at Gettysburg. We booked a private tour with a licensed park tour guide who drove Ron and Lisa’s car while taking us on a two hour tour through the park and all the monuments! WOW – he was AMAZING!!! So knowledgeable and made learning all about the battle a lot of fun!
Of course, I had to sit down for a chat and a photo……
Ron did, too…..
This is a mural in a residential area that represents a very important, but lesser known battle…..that I can’t for the life of me remember what our guide, Bob, said it was called!!! UGH!!!
I was amazed at how many monuments there were and how large the park was! So impressive! Every state, brigade, officer, and key individual has a monument there! We stopped at most of them and were able to get out for photos and a closer look at several. This one is the New York monument.
And, Ron beside the NC monument
And, me beside the rest of the NC monument
I love how this photo came out……it is one of the key farm houses that were there during the battle
Looking out over the battle field at Little Round Top
Our guide, Bob!
Lisa getting the scoop from Bob!
Bob had so many wonderful stories and information…..
Looking down from Little Round Top
140th NY Infantry – Rochester – Union Army – Battle of Gettysburg – his nose is shiny cause it is a tradition to rub it for luck….I did! 🙂
Several monuments included memorials to the dogs that accompanied the soldiers into battle
And, there were a lot of bullet and cannon ball holes in farm houses!
Home state advantage……this is the Pennsylvania monument – the largest in the park!
After we left Gettysburg, we went to the Hershey Story Museum
Our Groupon for the museum included chocolate tastings……we got six flights of chocolate made from cocoa beans from different places around the world! The shot glasses had hot chocolate in them and they were soooooooo good!!! Each one had a distinctly different taste and there was a method to the tastings – start with the most concentrated cocoa and go down……darkest to lightest! I so wanted more!!!
My favorite was the one from Java with 33% cocoa and a subtle caramel flavor
Milton Hershey was quite a guy — very interesting story of his life and legacy!
Really nice museum — a must see when in Hershey! Sad, though, that they stopped allowing tours of the factory back in the mid-70s – I would have liked to do that!
The street lights along Chocolate Ave are shaped like Hershey Kisses…..every other one was unwrapped chocolate and wrapped silver!
After the museum, we went to Hershey’s Chocolate World because we were told that they had the best gift shop and chocolate shop……they were RIGHT!!! OMG….what a place!!! They also had rides and other attractions there, but we just went for the shopping! hehehe
That night, we had an amazing dinner at a little local dive…..we passed it several times and the sign “Best Food in Town” caught our eye…..they didn’t disappoint! The food was good, the staff was friendly (and so were the locals at the bar), and it was a fun evening!
The next morning, we had breakfast and left for home – me headed north to NY and Ron and Lisa headed south to NC! On the way out of town, I stopped by the factory to get a photo of the smoke towers!
I took my time driving home and stopped at this fantastic little diner in Bath, NY for lunch!
So……another adventure in the history books and my memories! Wonder where you’ll read about me going next???!!!