We just got back from a wonderful long weekend trip to see Brad's older brother Jeff and his wife Jody. We were there from last Thursday to yesterday and we DROVE each way. Yes I said drove, as in over a nine hour car ride each way. Actually, it wasn't bad at all but when I told most of my friends that we were driving with our two and half year old, they thought we were crazy.
We left a little later than planned but were on the road bright and early at 6 AM last Thursday. ER was very good, she was awake the first hour of the drive but then fell asleep for the next three. We stopped to eat when she got up and then popped a DVD into our brand new portable DVD player when we got back in. I have to say, it was worth the splurge.
By then we were well over half way there and the rest of the drive was broken up nicely by our first stop, in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Her little books and toys kept her occupied for the rest of the time and she only got fussy when we were stuck in gridlock going into Philadelphia.
The downtown is very cute, all decked out in their chocolate theme. The light posts lining the main thoroughfare curve downward and there is a Hershey Kiss shape on them. Near the factory they've even arranged bushes to spell out Hershey themed messages and I swear they've spray painted them brown to look like chocolate.
When I first told Brad I wanted to go to Hershey, I had no idea how big a production that town has! I thought it would be a quaint little downtown with a small factory tour. Nope, it's a BIG deal with an amusement park, zoo, hotel and lodge, and more. Since ER is too young for a lot of it we only stopped at Hershey's Chocolate World
That's where they have their factory "tour", which is really more of a theme park ride than anything else. You don't actually tour the factory, but as far as ER was concerned this was probably a lot better and more interesting anyway. She was pretty excited to be going on a "big kid" ride, although the singing cows kinda weirded her out. The chocolate bar at the end was a a big hit, note the smudge still around her mouth in the picture below.
I'm sure you can guess that we were not able to make it through the racks and racks of candy that was everywhere empty handed. I have to say, we did manage to show amazing restraint and the damage to our waistlines should be fairly minimal. ER actually picked out one of the cheapest things there, that squishy chocolate kiss she's holding above as a souvenir. The ride we went on and parking for less than two hours were both free so the wallet wasn't even hurt too badly:) Even Brad thought it was a fun way to break up the ride a bit and give ER a chance to move around. It also helped us avoid the bulk of Philly's rush hour.
So now you know why I haven't been around or responding to comments. My posts have been posting as they were scheduled but I've been off having family fun in Philadelphia! I'll be sharing our adventures this week but breaking them up into shorter posts. I'll also be trying to catch up with all of you. I got over three hundred emails, either direct messages or as comments were left on my posts here or at ABC & 123 while I was gone, thanks for making me feel so loved:)