Just a little note: I’ve switched to uploading smaller photos on here, to make things faster for me while editing blog posts, and hopefully also for you as subscribers having to download the posts. As far as I can tell the quality is still pretty good, but let me know what you think. Remember that you can click on the photo to open a bigger version. And I usually have a little caption on each photo which you’ll see when you hover over the photo with your mouse.
Carrying on from where I left off last time. :-)
We reluctantly leave the Tysons’ place and drive to Hersey, PA to visit the Hershey’s Chocolate Factory. The kids loved it, but I think Margaret and I thought it was a bit average. It was a pretty good shop, though, and they benefited just ever so slightly from our patronage.
We went through this little gimmicky thing where we wore Factory Worker hats and pushed a button for some Hershey’s kisses to come out and fall into a little container. The kids thought it was cool, so hey.
Then we went on this super-commercialised (but free) tour of how chocolate is made in their factory. It was pretty cool, but I don’t think any of the ‘chocolate’ we saw was the real thing — I’m thinking it was just some thick brown water. But maybe not? Anyway, it was all pretty loud with singing cows and all that, and Esther just had these great big eyes and kept waving ‘hi’ and ‘bye’ to them!
Because we had limited time, we didn’t do any of the other tours, but instead spent some time in their cafeteria and shop, much to their advantage.
A lot of Hershey township has been built around the chocolate factory, resulting in lots of chocolatey names.
After Hersey we had a beautiful drive to the heart of Amish/Mennonite country, Lancaster County.
We saw plenty of Mennonite men and women, and drove past a school, and I just had to take a photo! You must think I’m weird taking photos of these people, but they fascinate me. Part of me thinks they’re weird, and the other part of me thinks it’s great that people can see your faith in the way you dress. I suspect we’d have a lot fewer modesty issues (and even behaviour issues!) among Christians if we had some sort of dress code and could be visually different and held accountable. But that’s a whole other topic I’m not going to start now!
First we went to a quilting shop in Ronks, which also had a pretty funny shop next door, which you had to go in if you wanted to use the restrooms. Imagine how startled I was when I enter the women’s bathroom and see this fellow right there in the doorway! And the sign “MEN” on the door. I was quite confused for a while there!
He was downright creepy, and the whole time it seemed as if his eyes were following you. It was kind of beyond odd — he even had his own little urinal. Marica was quietly terrified and while I was trying to convince her it was okay and that he was just a dummy. While shoving him a little so she can see he wasn’t real, I was half expecting him to come alive and pounce. Or something. We got out of there real quick.
But not before I took some photos of the funny signs on the walls! (Yes, I sometimes take my camera into the bathroom. Only when I’m on holiday, though. Hey, stop snickering over there! I love my camera!)
And how could I not take a photo of these?
We kept driving on through Lancaster County. This shop name made me smile. Gotta love the ‘etc.’.
The whole area was pretty much like quilt heaven, especially in Intercourse. Yeah, they really did name it that, back in the day when it still meant fellowship.
Anyway, it was a good cultural experience, what with all the quilts and crafts and the people in their traditional dress and horse-drawn buggies and all!
Quilts! Fabric! Beautiful stuff! Quilts! QUILTS! Fabric! More quilts!
It was amazing.
I think Margaret could quite happily have spent a week there!
From Lancaster we drove south to a town called Rockville, just outside of Washington D.C. where we stayed with a lovely couple that Margaret had met at the Janome conference in Orlando.
Margaret drove for the entire trip. I was very impressed with her driving skills being on the wrong side of the car, on the wrong side of the road, with a navigator that often got it wrong. There were some quick slick correction manoeuvres, I’m telling you.
Beautiful clouds on the way to D.C.
Next post will be all about our time in Washington, and how we became friends with the President.