Day ? York, Pa to Hershey, Pa

Trip Start Jul 09, 2009
Trip End Sep 29, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Friday, August 14, 2009

We had such a fun day today ! Aside from the fact that I found a hair salon at the Walmart that we were staying at (If you ladies can appreciate what I am saying!), we then drove up to a place called "Bird in Hand" which has a large Amish community. We went through craft markets and saw people driving the black buggies and ate homemade pretzels in a little shop outside where we enjoyed a wonderful movie about a young Amish man called "Jacob's choice". We learned alot about the Amish people and my point in bring the kids here was to teach them that people of other faith's feel just as strongly as we feel about ours. Also, that there have been many people through history that have been persecuted and even killed for their religious beliefs. It was also interesting to see in the movie how the Amish youth can live "within reason" with the outside world until they are baptized as an adult. The young man in the movie had a car and played on a baseball team. Each young person has to choose the faith and the lifestyle that comes with it themselves. We learned a lot about their history and their faith. From here we drove to Hershey Pa, because as many of you know our family comes from a long line of chocolate lovers ! We arrived late at 6pm and I drove into the factory area (In fact called "Hershey World", which to my surprise was also the biggest amusement park I have seen so far ! The "factory" was part of the feature and is really a simulation as people are not allowed through food factories anymore. Well, we were shocked to find it was open till 11pm ! Suddenly, we were not so tired anymore at the thoughts of all that chocolate ! The simulation itself was amazing ! You get into a car-type ride and it takes you through the whole process from picking the cocoa beans till wrappers ! It was so life-like and had every bell, whistle, music, SMELL you could imagine ! It all made you want to break out in song and dance ! At the end of course they give you treats and then you go on to "chocolate works" where the kids pretend to be a factory worker with a hat and employee card and the kisses really come out on the conveyor belt ! We had dinner in the Kit Kat cafe and then onto the 3d movie which had special effects of real snow, rain, spider webs, things that popped out under your legs and streamers that flew out at the end ! It was Disney's version of Fantasia done in chocolate ! They had the chocolate smell in there as well ! The thing that really struck all of us though was how Mr. Hershey himself was raised a Mennonite, tried several times in different cities to start candy factories and finally in his home town area succeeded and created a special town for all his employees based on the principals he grew up on. When he married, he and his wife could not have children and opened up an orphan school for boys and put huge amounts of money towards free education for children in their area who could not afford it. Today, in their city University which he began, 1200 young men and women receive their education for free who would never be able be able to do it otherwise. At his death, his wife gave the entire fortune to this foundation. There were so many stories of their humanitarian efforts regarding families, children and education and their whole chocolate business revolved around this ! What a legacy and an example ! Pretty amazing to be able to create a whole town that devoted itself entirely to good families so that you could have happy employees! We were here till 10pm and then drove only a few miles to a Walmart. I am glad that my kids did not make a fuss about not doing the amusement park portion but truthfully the stimulation from the factory part was up there and we all never expected that ! Oh, and I never even mentioned the shopping plaza ! I had no idea that Hershey created so many different kinds of chocolate and candy ! We tried the new twizzlers filled with sour cream. Sounds weird but was actually quite good !

posted by Tracy
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